World cuisine

Ao Izakaya Japanese Flare with French Twist

Chef Yasuo Nanaumi has just opened a brand new “Izakaya” (Japanese tapas bar), just steps from the legendary Olympia concert hall, serving Japanese fare with a French twist: meats from the renowned butcher Metzger, Label Rouge salmon, and organic vegetables are mixed with traditional ingredients and spices imported directly from Japan.

On the agenda, warm and cold Japanese tapas, for example salmon carpaccio with yuzu (€15) and slightly seared Tataki beef with sweet-and-sour vinegar sauce (€22). On the day of our visit, we yielded the call of Omakase, a Japanese tradition that leaves it to the chef to create the menu to suit his mood and market availability (€65 for an appetizer, 3 starters, 2 main dishes and 1 dessert). An excellent opportunity to discover a remarkable prawn and taro noodle salad with soy and sesame, an original slightly seared tuna with yuzu and jalapeños, or an exceptional pan-fried escalope of foie gras served on a bed of fried tofu and grated radish! Everything is delicious and extremely fresh. And beautiful, too.

The decor by Kunihiko Takano channels wood in a surprising graphic and geometric style, teaming a play of slats with embossed prints and gilded chandeliers in a dining room overlooking a fully open kitchen. The upper floor offers a cozier atmosphere with an ode to indigo (“AO” means “blue” in Japanese). Lunch prix-fixe menus at €28 and €32. Bento lunch box at €29. Special mention for the charming and attentive service.

Noon to 2:30pm and 6pm to 11pm
Closed Saturday for lunch, Sunday and Monday
Average price €60.

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AO Izakaya

12 Rue de Caumartin, 75009 Paris Phone : 01 42 65 31 53 www.aoizakaya.com
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By David Richard & Manuel Mariani. Photo : Joy Forgas Deplanche. - Published the

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