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    Restaurant OKUDA: Japanese kaseiki cuisine in Paris

    Our selection: Restaurant of the week

    OKUDA

    OKUDA

    After reviewing Kinugawa, the latest addition to the Japanese haute-gastronomy scene in Paris, which we thought was pretty good, it just keeps on getting better. Japanese chef extraordinaire Toru OKUDA has just opened his first restaurant outside of Japan in the French capital.

    The chef already has two restaurants in Tokyo, both multi-Michelin starred, and we have no doubt that his third restaurant isn't far off from fetching a star or two (or three). Located in the Golden Triangle at a stone's throw from the famed Champs-Elysées, the tiny restaurant serves one set menu only - Mr Okuda's specialty is kaiseki, meaning a set menu of several courses (between eight and ten in this case).

    The restaurant is divided into several different spaces so diners have the choice between sitting at a more traditional floor level Kotsatsu table or at the counter while watching the chefs busy themselves over the most meticulously-put-together dishes we have ever had the delight of seeing let alone sampling.

    Each course is carefully planned by the master chef himself, creating a perfectly balanced and timed formula that will keep your palate entertained for a good two (sometimes three) hours but for 175 euro at lunch (and 250 euro at dinner), you might be a bit disappointed if it were akin to brasserie service - short and sharp.

    The Executive Chef, Shun Miyahara will be overseeing things while Mr Okuda jets off between the two continents and he is certainly as passionate as the master himself; fixing every dish with an eye for the smallest of details is his forte, and that's what Japanese Michelin-starred cuisine is about: detail in the appearance and in the combination of flavours.

    The meal started off with a lobster and crunchy seasonal vegetable salad, and several courses later - each one small, consistent and flavoursome - we had sampled cuttlefish that simply melted in the mouth, caramelised salmon, rosé beef, soup… and ended on a compote of three different types of peaches.

    The interiors are extremely neutral, making the experience soothing and relaxing as well as putting all the emphasis on the food, where it should be for a master of Japanese haute gastronomy.

    Smoking area: no

    Quality: Experts rating

    Details: 7 rue de la Trémoille, Paris 75008

    Tel: +33 (0)1 40 70 19 19

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    Pros

    •  An experience not to miss for refined palates.

    Cons

    •  Not for diners on a mid-range budget.
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