7.8 Kigawa, 186, rue du Chateau in the 14th, 01.43.35.31.61, closed Monday lunch and Tuesdays, (Metro: Pernety) came to my attention as follows: One of my crack restaurant spotters, who lives near this place in the 14th, said to me a month ago or so "John, do you know Kigawa? It's been here for 3 years, no one has written it up [excepting Le Point & the Michelin which lists it as a Bib, which you'll see is not exactly the case], I can't figure out why, because it's very good French-French food done by a Japanese chef." (Addendum - who is Osaka-born and trained and cheffed for 6 years at O Rebelle in the 12th). Well, why not?
Its fascade is the understated zen-cool type of the moment, the interior really cool and tasteful and the only hint of Japan comes from the print of "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai that hangs in the toilettes and the tasteful presentation of the dishes.
The "menu dejeuner" is 28 E for 3 courses (which is why Michelin calls it a Bib I'm sure) and it looked good, but I wanted the sweetbreads, which were only available a la carte for 35 E or on the "menu plaisir" for 47+8 E.
From the amuse gueule to the mignardises the meal was outstanding, with:
- a slice of queue de boeuf with an intriguing tartary sauce
- warm grain bread
- a tartare of daurade royale which was not your usual "dump some on the plate in a pile" but an artfully arranged bed of greens with the lime-infused daurade on top and carrots, radishes, baby asparagus, pickled cauliflower, green grape slices and an outstading dressing
- my piece de.... of sweetbreads perfectly cooked (that is, crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, without having been so asked), with morels and a Château Chalon sauce
- a souffle with early strawberries and a scoop of house-made vanilla ice cream and
- coffee and mignardises.
The bill. As I said I went for the pricy menu and sweetbreads and even so,for a couple, with a bottle of wine, the bill would be 128.40 but with the 3-course "menu dejeuner" and a bottle and 2 coffees we're only talking about 90.40 E, And I'll add that what I say the chef serving the other folks looked mighty good.
Go? For sure.