Now that I've gotten a taste of Azabu, I wish I'd tried it earlier - it is soooo good. Like, I don't care that this lunch is setting me back 60 Euros, good.
It's the tiniest little restaurant, located just off of rue Dauphine. There are maybe 15 seats on the main floor and about 10 seats downstairs. Normally, you probably need reservations, but somehow the stars were aligned and we got two seats at the bar.
Like most Japanese restaurants, they bring you a hot towel to wash your hands, and while you salivate over the live-cooking in front of you, they explain all of the delicious dishes you can choose from. We had Japanese tourists on our right eating seared duck, and Jacques Chirac's security agents to our left eating to-die-for looking shrimp and veggies.
So basically, there was no going wrong here.
Copain went with the flash-cooked red tuna steak and I went for the shrimp - because if it's good enough for Jacques Chirac's security agents, it's good enough for me.
The lunchtime menu was 29 Euros and we were served the following:
-a little mise en bouche seaweed and small potato creation (looked interesting, tasted good, didn't really know what the heck I was eating).
-a small custard soup with mushrooms, a mini egg yolk (I think??) and seafood
-a small salad with sesame seeds, seaweed and a delicious dressing
-main dish : rice bowl, miso soup bowl, 5-6 shrimp, mix of veggies - perfectly arranged and oh-so-tasty, little side of Japanese pickles.
Then we got to choose between a coffee or ice cream - either green tea or sweet red bean. We got the ice cream - duh. Copain got green tea and I got sweet red bean - both were super bon.
Beyond the whole, food being good part, there's also just the gorgeous aesthetic of the restaurant. Everything is presented just so, the dishes are beautiful, the chef only prepares food from tiny plates for individual servings. I mean, Copain's glove fell on the floor and the waitress picked it up and presented it to him like it was a Cartier necklace that had fallen on the ground. Like whoa.
I could get used to Azabu.
I'm pretty sure the prices go up for dinner service, but if you are in the mood to treat yourself to something wonderful, I think it's worth it (and so does Copain, which is saying A LOT). Clean, great service, a complete food experience really, what with the whole live-cooking bit going on as you wait.
Want to try Azabu (and maybe meet Jacques Chirac?) -
3 rue André Mazet
Tel: 01 46 3372 05
All photos from Azabu website.