Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sake Bar (Paris, France)

The last time we were in Paris; we at an amazing restaurant called Sola. Sola was amazing due to a Japanese chef cooking amazing Japanese food with French flare. After our dinner at Sola; the sommelier told us that they had a baby sister restaurant up the road. We were very interested to try it out then. Now that we are back in Paris...we decided to try Sake Bar.

Sake Bar specialises in....sake of course. We decided it was a nice change from all the wines we have been drinking. On top of that...if Sake Bar is the sister restaurant of Sola; for sure the food would be really yummy.

The Sake Bar is really really really small. There are four tables and a bar/counter with five chairs. I think the whole restaurant was only 30 square meters....not joking. However; size does not matter. The restaurant is mostly in wood; the ceiling is low, the lighting is low & moody and the decor is minimal...but, the sake bar itself is the focal point of the restaurant. The sakes shimmer, glow and shine in the dark. They are the stars!

The only choice in the restaurant are two dinner menus. We decided to go for the Menu Omakasse (35 euros per person). The sake menu is extensive with tons to choose from. We are still virgins in knowing what is good or great sake...luckily Sake Bar had an accompanying sake menu to go with each dish. We decided to take the Menu Sake (30 euros per person) since they are the experts and would know better than us which sake goes well with the food.

The first sake was an aperitif; Sho Chiku Bai. This was an interesting one because this sake was made in California with traditional sake making methods.

The amuse bouche to accompany the sake were bite sized seasonal things such as pickled radish, asparagus, mushroom, salmon roe and baby squid. A nice way to wake up the tastes buds.

The next sake was Sake Rihaku.

The first dish was Cucumber gazpachio. I was not a fan of this dish. The taste of the dish was faint and it was one dimensional. It was missing something to give it a kick.

The my friend's first dish was Topiambur gazpachio (my friend is allergic to cucumber). I have no idea if this is a vegetable or fruit...but its rare to find it on menus. It looks like a cross between a ginger root and a galangal root. The inside looks like a potato. Anyhow; I really liked the taste of my friend's dish over mine. This dish had so much more interesting taste than mine. It was richer, smoother and creamier.

The next sake was Nigori Sake.

The second dish was Risotto seaweed. The risotto was cooked so nicely...the rice was perfect and the creaminess of the dish was correct. The seaweed added so much flavour & texture to the dish. This was the first time we had risotto with seaweed and boy was it out of this world. I actually wanted another serving but I did want the chef to think that I was a pig.

The next sake.

The third dish was Monk fish with basil. The monk fish was fresh, solid & firm...and it was cooked just right. The basilic sauce added the right amount of flavour to the fish. Simply cooked and presented but it turned out to be a lovely dish.

The next sake.

The fourth dish was Lamb with yam mash. The lamb was cooked perfectly and it was so tender. A simple dish that had tons of flavours. The yam mash was unique since we don't get that very was soft but chunky at the same time. The yam had a natural sweetness to it that went well with the lamb.

The last & fifth dish was dessert...Tofu mousse cake and sesame ice cream. Beautifully presented. The cake and ice cream were polar in every way but complemented each other well. From the white & black colour to the sour & sweet...a very good combination.

After our dinner; the chef came out to greet us and ask how the food was. The chef turned out to be a Filipino man; all this time, I thought the chef would be Japanese. Chef Victor was a really nice man; who told us his story about being a fashion designer in New York City to coming to Paris to become a chef. What an incredible journey!

Overall; the Sake Bar was a very nice experience. The food was so yummy. The sakes accompanying the food were equally good. The ambiance was like your neighborhood was so cozy and easy going. The French partner of the restaurant & service person was very helpful to explain the menu & sakes. The Japanese restaurant hostess/sake-tender (no idea what the equivalent is to a bartender)/server/tri-linguist/food specialist etc. etc. etc. I really think she could do everything...she was very friendly and attentive. For sure; another hang out for us.

Address: 3 rue Valette
75005 Paris


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