Tokyo Eat

February 21, 2006By Heidi EllisonArchive

Artful Dining

Note: This restaurant is closed.

Designer decor in a cavernous setting.
A visit to the newly reopened Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris or its neighbor, the trendy contemporary art museum, the Palais de Tokyo, provides a good excuse, if one were needed, to dine at the latter’s restaurant, Tokyo Eat.

While the cavernous industrial-chic space might not seem conducive to an intimate dining experience, the playful décor, with huge pod-shaped hanging lamps in different colors,, makes up for what is lacking in coziness.

And the food makes you forget all such considerations anyway. Come hungry – the portions here are generous – to fully enjoy such starters as a rich, full-flavored sweet-chestnut soup topped with a couple of strips of crunchy bacon, or a marvelous combination of a lightly roasted pear, sliced in half and wrapped in (non-crunchy) bacon, served with shavings of a delicious Basque cheese called ossau iraty and perfectly seasoned mixed greens.

Hearty winter main courses include a wonderfully satisfying large veal chop with ceps and a full-bodied sauce, served with cubes of polenta. The Asian influence seen in some of the dishes on the menu is also found in the loin lamb chops served with baby eggplant confit, both coated in a sauce slightly sweetened with honey and spiced with a hint of ginger – the chef’s light touch with these two ingredients was just right.

The high note continues with a fine chocolate crumble – a light, chocolately mousse topped with crunchy sugared hazelnuts – for dessert, although the lemon cheesecake was a little on the heavy side and the nems with mango tasted too much of the oil the shells were fried in.

Although the food prices are not rock-bottom, the wine list is surprisingly reasonable, with most bottles going for between €14 and €30 (the most expensive was €95). We made the wonderful discovery of a surprising Pinot Noir from the Domain d’Antugnac in Languedoc, priced at €18.

The service, provided by an army of attractive young people, is generally good. On a busy night, the noise level can be annoying, but at least the in-house DJ keeps the volume at a reasonable level.

A trip to the toilets-for-two is a must, but you’ll need a lesson from someone who knows the ropes to figure out how to open and lock the doors and operate the “faucets.”

Tokyo Eat: 13, avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris. Tel.: 01 47 20 00 29. A la carte: around €30 for three courses (without wine).

Heidi Ellison

© 2006 Paris Update

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