Seen from Paris, blog about Paris
You thought Parisians are witty, arrogant, bitching about everything and anything, obsessed with food and culture, and always up for discussion? Well... you're perfectly right! And you're on the right page to check it out.
In the world’s most Michelin starred street, William Ledeuil and his team create a unique, light, healthy fuzzion gastronomy.
Rue des Grands Augustins, in the Odeon area, is the food Mecca of cuisine connoisseurs. It is like a short but intense rosary of Michelin stars, this precious jewel chefs work hard to get. And among all the palate palaces of the street, one Michelin star glows with talent and simplicity towards the Seine: Ze Kitchen Galerie.
The setting is contemporary, art-galeriesque indeed, as a joke to the near-by art galerie fields in Saint-Germain des Prés. Sculpture, photo and installations invite you to a meal, without being too present, which can be the case with contemporary art. On a wall, a picture of some lost Arizona landscape with a strange light tells you a little more about the place: You will travel away from Paris, but with the usual Paris quality expectations.
And that’s just what you’ll get. Chef William Ledeuil has a taste for freshness and knows how to enhance the flavors and fragrances of a fruit or a fish. In a globalized world, he is in heaven! And even heaven is too small for him: One would think it’s enough to enjoy the proximity of the world’s biggest fresh market, in Rungis? Non! He also work with a Japanese living treasure: Asafumi Yamashita. This vegetable god grows somewhere on the border of Normandy all kinds of rare and tasty botanical jewels, that most French chef would kill to get. But he only works with people he trusts, and luckily, William Ledeuil, like Pierre Gagnaire or Eric Briffard, have conquered the respect of this master, as he provides Ze Kitchen Galerie with amazing and unknown flavors and textures.
What to eat there? To start with, you will need to try a fresh fish or sea-food appetizer, a specialty of the maison, or a broth. Ze Kitchen’s brothes are outstanding. They manage to keep all the different tastes of each ingredients crisp and pristine, they simply merge in your mouth.
Then, you will go for the main course, a la plancha. The product is king here. The meats -Rabbit, piglet or poultry- always come in different pieces, as if the team of cooks locked in the closet-sized fish tank kitchen wanted to give you a gastronomical lesson on the animal by making you sample each part of it, from the leg to the liver. The fish are perfectly cooked and the sauces are discrete yet efficient.
And dessert is a must. Crazy weddings happens in that kitchen, like the white chocolate/wasabi homemade ice cream that became one of the symbol of Ze Kitchen Galerie. But it all is very seasonal, and the Coconut/wild strawberry soup you loved might be a Chestnut one when you come back. And you will love it again!
The beauty of it is also its price: 3 courses, water and coffee for 40€ for lunch. I can point a whole lot of cafés in that area that would charge the same price for -not at all- the same thing. And that’s the reason why people know my name in this cuisine temple: I keep on coming back! And with such a quality, I can include it as part of my tour, a way to better understand the evolution and the quality of the Paris restaurant scene…
Ze Kitchen Galerie
4 rue des Grands Augustins
Tel 01 44 32 00 32