OK. So I approach this place slowly and watch as 3, 2, 5 folks come by the solid black front, peer into the restaurant (you can't see in), then look at the cool kanji sign and menu and walk on. Not me. I plunge right in; yes it's a big U-shaped counter but not with those stupid trendy stools, such as Le Dauphin has but back-supporting chairs one can sit in and relax. Two young Japanese chefs are working effortlessly it seems, preparing, cooking and presenting the food....cool! One has the feeling "This is the place." Sure, there was Guilo Guilo and the even better Enichi in the area, but Kawasaki broadcasts competence and style.
7.5 Ken Kawasaki, 15, rue Caulincourt in the 18th, 09.70.95.98.32, closed Sundays (Buses 80 and 95) has three menus: one several course one with either a fish or meat main at 30 E, one with several dishes plus fish and meat at 45 E or a blowout for 70 E. My friend, the wine guy, pleaded over-eating and had the 30; I went to the 45E.
I'm not going to try to list all the ingredients this guy throws at you; happily, they all work together; but here's a try: first a "sandwich" of pork pate (which was the least successful in his array of dazzlements); then house made bread and olive oil; and a vegetable, tofu veloute.
We move on: to a cold ginger soup with bok choi, tomatoes and other veggies; to a refresher of - you know - I don't remember; and then the mains of beautiful pieces of St Pierre Saikyo Yaki with incredible grilled vegetables (the mushroom being most outstanding) and parmesan wafers as well as beef filets (perfectly undercooked) with algae salt (really intense) and raw wasabi (really biting) and gratin Dauphinois potatoes. Wow!
Dessert consisted of a parfait-sort-of-thing with banana, orange sorbet and cheese mousse; coffee came with cool sugars; and the mignardises were various riffs on chocolate.
Our bill, with a bottle of Pinot Noir and three glasses of Pinot Gris, no bottled water and 2 ristrettos was 143.00 E dB= 89.5 (I suspect from street noise).
Go again? In exactly 11 days.