6.3 Haï Kaï (meaning haiku), 104, quai de Jemmapes in the 10th, 09.81.99.98.88 (but faggedaboudid, they don't answer or take messages off their machine), closed Sunday nights and Mondays, (Metro: faggedaboudid) sits uneasily besides the Hotel du Nord on the stretch of the Canal that seems to have surrendered its good food pretentions (when Garance died) to the burger-pizza crowd. The outside was described in Le Fooding as straight out of a Manchester squat and the inside is nifty-spifty raw wood, white walls and uncomfortable chairs.
I entered early because my oldest French friend warned me that the place would be jammed, having just opened the 2nd, (she was correct and no one [but me] had tried to make reservations) and ordered a bottle of Le Chaz (which for the rest of the meal got transposed in my head into Lord Buckley's "And they called this here cat '"The Nazz.'") Anyway, I snagged today's menu, carte and yesterday's carte (the latter two pictured above) but like not answering the phone, the carte's don't list what they really have, even though dated. After ordering several starters we were told their ingredients hadn't arrived from the supplier; so I suggested they buy a printer and do the carte just before service and for today tell us what they did have. BTW, on Sundays, they have a single portion cote de boeuf and sole meuniere - listening Colette?
Madame ordered the very rich veloute of broccoli with (I think) burrata and Italian ham and I the plate of Italian charcuterie from Francesco Gulli, both very good and with extremely good bread from Aux Péchés Normands nearby.
Then she had one of the best pieces of beef I've ever had (from La Niveraise near the Chef [Amelie Darvas]'s old kitchen at the Bristol) adorned with two oysters and I had a very decent piece of Omble Chevalier with marrow and veggies - both of which came with mashed potatoes which at first taste I rejected but later took a great liking to.
Finally we shared some fine brioche perdu and finished our wine. I should mention that despite much hustle and bustle, ordering and getting the food, all of it, took forever, and one of our waitfolks admitted they were overwhelmed.
Before exiting, I went to the toilettes which are through the semi-open kitchen and saw the cool set up there.
Our bill, if one has all the above and two terrific Guatemalan coffees but no bottled water, amounts to 98 E.
Go? If you can get in and if they get one more front-room and maybe one more kitchen staffer.