Komatsubaki (Paris)

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Once you’ve stepped through the door with Komatsubaki inscribed in calligraphy, take the stairs across from the somewhat gloomy lobby and head into Japanese territory! This is where Yoichi Kino (the former chef of Comme des Poissons) and his sous-chef Ryuma Takubo practice the art of kaiseki (a traditional meal served in multiple small courses) in a sleek space designed by architect Ryuichi Nakamura (a hinoki wood bar for 12 sets of butt cheeks, and a private lounge with tatami mats). The other night, the omakase menu (“I’ll leave it up to you”) featured an excellent chawanmushi (egg flan) topped with shrimp and line-caught bass; a rich bonito soup with diced stewed turnip, a langoustine and a variety of Japanese seaweed; tuna and amberjack sashimi cut with a scalpel, with a soy and sesame sauce and freshly grated wasabi; a cheeky plate combining fried tofu and ginger, corn/edamame tempura (a little stodgy) and grilled salmon; a pair of sushi – extremely tender fatty tuna and salmon with chives; fried red mullet that was unfortunately a little overcooked, but made up for by the perfect chanterelle mushrooms and Brussels sprouts; baby corn, eggplant, okra and chrysanthemum plunged into a delicious dashi broth; delicate grilled eel with pickled cucumber and a miso soup; before a grapefruit jelly topped with grapes and a whole strawberry. FYI: the chef also serves a vegan menu. // G.LeP.

FEELING THIRSTY? Roasted tea (€3), a sharp selection of sakes (Bijoufu at €14 for 180 ml) and a few wines with Fujiyama-esque prices – an organic Bourgogne-Aligoté from Gérard Leroux (€12 a glass), a Meursault from Antoine Jobard (€330 a bottle)….

PRICE: Menus €60-120.

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