My sister told me when she booked Okuda, a new restaurant what the concept was and I started counting the minutes…..She loves that I truly appreciate food and was super excited to invite me to share this meal with her.
This is the first restaurant outside of Tokyo from Toru Okuda, the Michelin starred chef of Okuda and Koju.The style is Kaiseki. I dream of Kaiseki from when I used to go to Wynn Macau several times a year. At the time chef Hiro Imamura was the kaiseki genius and I fell in love with his meals. Kaiseki is a multi-course meal, prepared with fresh ingredients and showcasing various techniques. And the courses are selected by the chef. In Hiro’s hands, in one week, he had a menu inspired by the Japanese cherry blossoms that were blossoming and three days later, a totally different menu as they were now falling from the trees.When Hiro left, Wynn hired Hiro Kagata. He is still there and is spectacular also (http://www.wynnmacau.com/en/dining/mizumi.html). When he heard of my love for ramen, he even made some for me (took him five days to make the broth). Hiro Kagata is a genius in the way he treats and respects fish and his presentation skills are stellar. This is all to say the bar was high, and my experience with kaiseki has been uniquely special.
Okuda was very good. But I dream of my Hiro(s) renditions.
What we ate
Amuse Bouche: very amusing indeed. Always hard when you have a great first course, do I eat all, do I leave space for all to come?
- At 1opm (imagine round plate is a clock): Abalone with wakame: I am not huge on abalone but kept eating the wakame gellee because it was tasty, and it is supposed to make my skin glow
- 2p: Duck with mustard: tasty but other bites were better
- center of the plate: Addictive fried little shrimp: eat all in one bite we were told. Best of the bunch, crunchy and tasty
- 4pm: Mushrooms and spinach: a bit bland but light and delicate
- 6pm: Rolls with mystery fish (mystery to me with my lousy French): ok, bit too rice
- 8pm: Octopus with beans: tender and well cooked
- Bouillon with fish, mushrooms and radishes: nice broth and fish
Lobster, turbot and squid: served raw with nori and caviar. Gorgeous fresh fish with very tasty recently grated wasabi. We were told to eat the squid with the caviar and the turbot with the nori and the lobster whatever way we wanted. We tried all combinations…
Grilled platter of goodies: Spanish mackerel with miso, brussels sprouts with sesame cream, jerusalem artichoke chips (yum) and amazingly marbled and melt in your mouth entrecôte
Monkfish hot pot with tofu: least favorite. Very bland. Good, non brainer on saving space for next course
Congre (type of eel) with rice: she first presented the full dish and then artfully served it in a lovely presentation to each of us
Dessert: usually no chocolate loses point in my book but this was perfect. Apple many ways, a gellee, sorbet, fresh apple and with a crunchy pastry made of rice and cinnamon. Perfect and delicate.
In sum: I think when in Paris, go French! We had a lovely meal but for €220 per person for the set menu (pre drinks, which we just had a lovely yuzu concoction) is too much. I would rather eat several meals at Terroir instead or explore Paris like crazy! Also didn’t love that we were in a small room with 4 tables for 2 (good that we speak Portuguese and was not a romantic evening) if not we would have been too close to neighbours. Service was attentive and sweet. But I still dream of Hiro 1 and Hiro 2 in Macau…..
Okuda (http://www.okuda.fr )
7 Rue de la Trémoille, 75008 Paris, France
+33 1 40 70 19 19