This is one of the most prolific streets in the 9th arrondissement in terms of good restaurants — Encore, l’Office and le Richer among others — and one of your favorite one is Kiku. I remember going there with a few years ago for lunch. The food was brilliant and I wonder why I haven’t gone back since then – probably due to a three year adventure in New-York. Prices have gone up but the quality of the food has improved, we won’t complain about that.
Booking is not optional as the seating is limited, it makes the dining experience even more special. The decoration is Japanese style but not in an exuberant way. The staff was very kind and professional though I still need to understand why they locked the entrance door. Japanese safety is quite something!
Brown rice is not common in Paris, so we felt blessed Kiku offered it on its menu. It’s perfectly cooked, with the core of the grain slightly firm. It came with a sort of squash crème which was very well seasoned and flavorful.
Things got really serious with the starters: shrimp tempura for my friend and mackerel chirashi for me. The tempura is perfectly executed, not too greasy but even better, it included not only shrimps but also spider crab and vegetables. The spider crab was really a hit, its taste is so delicate compared to the shrimp.
The mackerel chirashi was much appreciated too. It came with a few salmon eggs on top, which gave a refreshing twist to whole thing. The mackerel seasoning was not too strong, thus preserving its delicate flavors.
We also shared a sea-bass prepared in a parcel, the texture was incredibly tender, very far from the corner sushi I use to order at Sushi Shop.
Nothing better than a fish hot pot at Kiku to fight the cold weather. Inside the cast iron pot, there was a nice piece of salmon, tofu, and a bunch of tender vegetables. I could almost imagine the whole thing simmering for a while. It’s very savory, there was little sweet aftertaste, a bit too much.
The chef didn’t find any turbot at the fishery, so he got us some sea bram, we did not complain about that. The filet was nicely cooked, the silky texture of the turbot was transcended by a great soy based sauce and a blend of Japanese spices.
We didn’t have dessert at Kiku. We’re not big big fans of Japanese desserts as you know; bad experiences in the past maybe? But the real reason was that we felt full as a boot that night.
We really loved Kiku, they make great traditional Japanese cuisine, nothing really creative but they really master fish cooking. The price tag is not as low as it used to be but a solid menu at €35 is quite a good deal in Paris. No excuses if someone ask you about Japanese gems restaurants in Paris, Kiku and Guilo Guilo are the places to go for.
56 Rue Richer
01 44 83 02 30