As you all know traveling is all about choices. There is endless amount of things to see so it is all about making good decisions and deciding what lens you want to see a city through. For our 3 day Paris trip we chose the food lens, surprise surprise. Because of our limited stay we had to be regimented and organized and not sad when not being able to get to everything.
From the long and well curated restaurant list that we gleaned from our foodie friends there was one that we were particularly curious about, Yam’Tcha. A fairly recently newcomer on the scene and according to many, an impossible place to get into. While waiting to go to L’Arpege Friday night we decided to give it a shot and called…somehow we managed to get a table for Sat lunch. Lucky us!
Yam Tcha is situated on a cute neighborhood loaded with nice boutiques, many of which Jose had to drag me out of with force. (speaking of shopping..Whats up with all the incredible eyeglass shops in Paris! There is one on every corner…) Saturday was a very rainy day so we were excited when we found the minimal and understated storefront. Finally a warm shelter from the storm.
Yam’Tcha is a designers kinda restaurant. When I walked in I immediately fell in love with the zen like space. It didn’t surprise me that Chef Adeline Grattard’s husband,Chi Wah Chan, used to be a graphic designer, for he clearly helped to pull all the refined elements together. Like most places I love, it was a delicate mix of old and new construction with a heavy emphasis on natural materials. The kitchen was a tiny open cube that sat in the corner of the restaurant. Within the “kitchen/closet” they do everything: prep food, cook food, store dishes and clean the dishes. I was amazed at the efficiency of the operation not to mention the calmness of the chefs as they moved around each other. It reminded me of a nicer version of Jose’s old kitchen on 15th and 3rd in Manhattan, way to tiny to make a dinner together.
Ordering at Yam’Tcha is incredibly straight forward. There is nothing to think about except for if you want the wine pairing, tea pairing or a combo. I love places where I don’t have to make decisions and instead can sit back and let the experts do what they do best. Yam’Tcha is not your standard foie focused french restaurant instead Chef Adeline Grattard focus is the creative marriage of French and Asian ingredients. A union that exists between her and her Chinese husband. I do love it when food mimics life.
It is no surprise that Chef Grattard is one talented lady! She has had the opportunity to work with some fantastic chefs and establishments… the Meurice’s Yannick Alleno and Astrance’s Pascal Barbot, not to mention a brief experience at Bo Innovation. Onto the food….
The tasting menu itself was well paced and the dishes were incredible. Each course was light, well proportioned and brimming with unusual flavor profiles. Most all the dishes we had were great. As always there were a few that really blew us away. The first being the Watercress Veloute with foie and oysters. Wow! What a way to start the lunch. We loved the combination of the clean earthy flavors of the watercress, the richness of the foie all mixed with the brininess of the oyster. What a brilliant combo! The rest of the dishes had a great deal to live up to… Next up was the red tuna, mussels and sweet potato noodles. This one combined the more typical fresh seafood components with the sweet potato wild card. Tasty!
The Pollack was cooked to perfection and was laid on a bed of noodle like strips of potatoes. The combination of textures seen in this dish were awesome. It was hard to believe that I was twirling up potato and not noodles with my chopsticks.
The beef cheeks and turnips dish was a surperbend to the savory courses. The beef was soft and fell apart like a piece of marinated meat should. The turnips, one of my favorite veggies, created a wonderful pairing given their earthiness.
Overall we deeply enjoyed this meal, dare I say a wee bit more than the fancy dinner the previous night. The interior here is wonderfully designed, the overall vibe is great, the plates are beautiful art-like objects and the food creative and unusual. I highly recommend this restaurant if you happen be going to Paris and want to change it up.
4 Rue Sauval, 75001 Paris, France
Phone: 01 40 26 08 07