7, quai de
Bourbon, 4th. 01.56.81.08.80. Metro Pont-Marie.
Open : Tue-Sat noon-2pm, 8-10pm. Average : 120 Euros. Credit : Amex,
DC, MC, V.
you love french cuisine at its
most refined but dread the stuffiness of many haute cuisine
establishments, Hiramatsu offers an alternative. the setting alone - a
small, luminous modern dining room on the ile saint louis - tells you
that this restaurant run by Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, hailed as a japanese
Alain Ducasse, is different. Hiramatsu is clearly in love with french
produce : among the starters on his summer menu were foie gras with
truffle sauce and cabbage, creme de grenouille on a truffle
feuilletté, and snail fricassée on a mushroom
millefeuille, a typical main course is Bresse chicken breast served
with its caramelised liver, pan-fried oysters and spinach. Ordering
from a 50 euros lunch menu that has since been a casualty of restaurant
inflation, we tasted pan fried foie gras on a bed of stunning lemon
grass infused aubergine confit, and salmon in a delicate
consommé flavoured with orange flower water, served with a tiny
dice of provençal vegetable and grapefruit. Citrus appeared
again in dessert, a small orange flavoured cake with coffee granita.
Though apparently simple, all of these dishes showed chef Hajime
Nakagawa's total mastery of technique : just as professional were the
friendly staff, who were happy to explain Hiramatsu's approach to food.
Carbohydrates are apparently not his thing, so for better or worse,
you're unlikely to leave feeling stuffed.