Radioeat has a lot in common with its predecessor, the now-defunct Tokyo Eat, namely the same manager and chef (respectively, Eric Wapler and Thierry Bassard), huge size and great decor in an unusual setting (the Maison de Radio France for the former and the Palais de Tokyo). Unfortunately, they also share an uneven food and service offering.
Taking advantage of the curving glass wall of the doughnut-shaped Maison de Radio France and its unusual view of skyscrapers across the Seine, the light-filled restaurant is immediately appealing with its wooden ceiling and space dividers, and bright touches of orange, red, blue and yellow. Music from Radio France is, of course, piped in, a little too loudly for my friends, but it was quickly turned down on request.
The menu seemed strangely long and varied to someone like me who is used to the limited offerings of gastronomic restaurants. Not surprisingly, with so many things on the list, several of them were unavailable.
My friends both started with what I thought was the outrageously priced (€19) king prawn tempura. It was tasty, but the sauce was not spicy, and it was not “absolutely fabulous,” both of which were promised on the menu.
I chose a less expensive option: the set menu for €27, which sounded great to me. The first course of cream of celery soup with specks of truffle, laced with a high-quality olive oil, tasted very good, but it was not hot enough and was too thick for my taste.
Things went downhill for me after that. My paleron de bœuf (pot roast) was very dry around the edges, although there were a few succulent morsels in the middle. The carrots were supposed to be flavored with orange but tasted more of vinegar.
One of my friends had the cod with cauliflower and spinach purée. It was fine but didn’t set any bells of delight ringing.
The most successful main course was scallops with morels and black rice. The friend who had this was the only really happy camper in the group during this course.
One of the desserts was delicious: wine-poached pears with crumble and ice cream.
The seasonal galette des rois that came with my set menu, however, was an odd specimen. It had a thick, mud-colored filling that tasted slightly meaty, nothing to do with the divine almond-paste-and-flaky-pastry torte the French traditionally eat for Epiphany (but which is now consumed throughout the month of January). I thought this one was fairly terrible, but one of my friends was categorical: “Prison would be too good for the person who made this,” he said
One of our servers was a sweetheart, another was indifferent and a third was a real grouch. When we asked him a question about the view, he grumbled, “I have no idea.“ And he spent half of his time leaning on the windowsill gazing outward or talking on his phone.
So, while this was not a totally horrible experience, I am not inspired to return soon, even though I love the restaurant itself. For the prices they charge, diners deserve far, far better food and service. And Radio France deserves better, too. Radioeat should get with the music.