Open (black) sesame… that’s the seed this new spot is named after! Inside this dimly lit izakaya, or rather, a smart tapas bistro with a twist of soy sauce, a big wooden structure shares the space with rice paper lanterns and jars of pickled vegetables. Expect a taste of the rising sun that’s a far cry from the seemingly-endless sushi bars, which almost make us want to commit hara-kiri for not having discovered Maximilien Risch’s deliciously umami dishes sooner. That night, the young Franco-Japanese chef-proprietor stupefied our palates: exquisite agenasu (fried eggplant in a dashi broth, topped with grated daikon radish and togarashi spice mix); irreproachable gyoza; piercing flash-seared rib-eye steak with yakiniku sauce and homemade yuzu salt; heartening panko-breaded tofu croquettes with nira (garlic chives) and tonkatsu sauce; imperial buta kakuni (pork belly stewed with ginger and kale); before a bright green matcha cheesecake with freshly made whipped cream and lemon zest – or a hojicha tea cream pudding. // Gaëlle Vieillefon
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s white Coedo Shiro beer with notes of banana and Asian pear (€5.50 for 330 ml), organic Crozes-Hermitage from the Domaine des Hauts Châssis (€6.50 a glass) and lots of sake – including two from Grégoire Boeuf, the first French producer of the stuff (from €6).
PRICES: Dishes of the day from €10.50 to €13 (lunch), tapas from €4 to €13.50 (dinner).