For once, I've been purposely avoiding a newly opened restaurant. It's painful. Especially when it's from a chef you like and admire, and that every blogging Tom, Dick and Harry is reporting back from the gastronomic battle lines telling you how great it is, pushing all those iPhotos in your face as if to say: I'm here first. I did it before you. I rule the Paris gourmet vanguard. Not . You.
Yesterday I finally ceded after having allowed the KGB or Kitchen Galerie bis to mature a little and find its footing (also to be able to garner a table reservation!). It was a last minute thing, but the amiable Jerome, who I know from William Ledeuil's mother ship restaurant was able to fit me in.
The place was pretty much as I expected, a toned down version of the one star Michelin Ze Kitchen Galerie just down the street, offering a more humble, gentler on the wallet French/asian fusion cuisine from a young Israeli chef, Yariv Berrebi, who staged with Ledeuil and also worked with Yannick Alleno at the three-star Meurice. I was surprised to hear that a great may of the new "bobo" diners hadn"t even heard of the original restaurant, such as the bulldozer of gastro-media buzz deafens everything around it, paving its way to the next hot table. The staff itself wasn't even prepared for the onslaught of attention brought by the local food press and especially those contributing to the blagosphere.
I won't say much here that hasn't already been said: the menu starts of with "ze hors d'oeuvres" , which funnily enough were my favourite part of the meal (deep fried lamb balls, duck consommé with foie gras, pork belly ravioli, etc etc ) , followed by a sort of Thai pot au feu of pasta and spices, then the marmite of scallops, litchi and wasabi. The white chocolate and wasabi soup was a bit underwhelming, as were the wines I tried ( it was a 2007 burgundy, so a bit young anyway..) , and they need to figure out the annoying glitchy soundproofing (lack of?) , but all in all lots of fun, but are they dangerously close to being a flash in the pan as an esteemed client and fellow gourmet told me ?
Zes tapas Thai
Scallops, litchi, wasabi
Guinea fowl , fondant, delicious
A little underwhelming white chocolate and wasabi soup