Montmartre’s visual and gustatory experience of high-class New Wave Japanese cuisine
There is something delightful and intimate about a room of strangers all sharing the same meal. Seated around the 20-seat rectangular black bar, twenty chosen ones gather each night to attend to this mysterious festival of the senses blending Sight and Taste, Food and Show.
Already a star in Kyoto when his first Parisian restaurant debuted with a blast, Guilo Guilo’s chef and founder Eiichi Edakuni wanted to create a place where you could not only enjoy inventive and sophisticated new wave Japanese cuisine but also take delight in observing the show of its creation.
This form of culinary alchemy where clients could fascinatedly observe their meals being composed in front of their very eyes is not a rare sight in Japan. The bar being a central element in a traditional Japanese restaurant, it’s only natural that once the clients have been comfortably seated around it, the show must begin!
“It’s an ancestral method in Japan”, explains the chef “Food preparation is a spectacle considered an integral part of the meal.”
The concept of Guilo Guilo’s open kitchen permits you to observe the maestro direct the culinary opus like an opera conductor, using chopsticks instead of the traditional baton. Because if there’s one thing Edakuni loves most of all, it’s toying with tradition and reinventing the classics. So don’t be surprised if you come across foie gras sushi, Japanese boeuf bourgignon, calamari designed to look like fish’n’chips or a classic looking sashimi topped with a giant knob of “wasabi” (wisely masked pea or celery sauce) – it’s just the chef’s sense of humor… Because according to him, food should not only be tasty but amusing, too!
Serving a unique fixed price 8-course surprise menu with two seatings per night (at 19 and 21:30), Eiishi Edakuni rewrites the blackboard each month, so you’d never eat the same thing twice. Don’t bother trying to predict the menu in advance – it’s impossible and for the better!
“I invent it two hours before serving it”, Edakuni confesses “I operate on instinct, that’s how it’s always been!”
In an explosion of culinary brightness, the chef untiringly prepares long rows of smart bites and accurately crafted mouthfuls. Once the dishes arrive in front of you – original, exotic and graphically presented – the friendly staff would lift the curtain on their mysterious contents. Expect treats like amazing soups (shrimp and mango soup with baby sardine “chips”), witty appetizers (smoked tofu with edible flowers, hot and crisp corn tempura with sea urchin coral), scrumptious yet extraordinary mains (seabream and Wagyu beef on spicy shiso leaves with Ponzu sauce, Turbot sashimi with Daikon radish) and unexpected deserts (black sesame panna cotta, savoury ice cream, watermelon balls glazed in Japanese plum wine) and more …
Voted the Best New Wave Japanese Restaurant of 2009, this out of the ordinary Eastern retreat will satiate your appetite for originality with sophistication by rejecting boredom and celebrating fun, in a world where rules are made to be playfully and deliciously broken.
With its subtle flavors, mysterious ingredients and aesthetic presentation, Guilo Guilo’s cuisine will initiate you to an original, state-of-the-art type of Japanese gastronomy, which you wouldn’t find just anywhere in Paris.
To dine there is more than having time well spent, it is an inspiring Zen journey worth taking…
Guilo Guilo is at 8 rue Garreau, Montmartre, Paris (Metro: Abbesses); Phone: 01-42-54-23-92 (Reserve well in advance!) Beware: The first seating (19h) tends to get rushed; reserve the 21:30h seating if you’d prefer to linger.