I went to Paris expecting to have one great meal and one good view. The great meal at Le Chateaubriand (now the 11th best restaurant in the world according to Restaurant Magazine and the subject of my next post) and the good view at Nomiya which is perched on the top of the Palais de Tokyo. The really surprising thing was that Nomiya had great food and a good view.Jen and I got our first glimpse of Nomiya from the top of Montmartre on Saturday night. You could see this blue box lit up from all the way across Paris and we started to get excited. As you can see from the pictures above the location is amazing. A designer container perched on one of Paris’s neo classical buildings built in 1937.
The venue – Palais de Tokyo – is also worth noting. It is a building that doesn’t really feature in the guidebooks. This is a shame as it is (having now visited) one of my favourite places in Paris. Think of it as being like the ICA in London but even more glamorous. The focus is on contemporary art inside and graffiti art in the lobby and bookshop and it is probably the coolest place I visited in Paris. Nice vibe, challenging art and neat design features (like the van selling tickets situated inside the building (above)). There is also a bar and restaurant there which look fun. The night before there had obviously been a big party as the place was still recovering from it.
The container itself is ultra modern and a contrast to the stone beauty of the Palais de Tokyo. Inside it you feel elevated up and out over Paris as though you are dining in mid air. The kitchen is at one end with the table at the end closest to the Seine. From your seat you can look straight back into the kitchen to watch the preparation. Our chef for the night was Cedric who used to work at Club Gascon in London. Our host for the meal was Vincent (who was wearing the pink shirt in the picture above) who with Gallic ease charmed a group of 12 people from different countries, with different ages and different interests in two languages.
Despite being a two man operation the wine and the food came out in a perfectly paced manner. It had all the hallmarks of a serious meal (take note Viajante in London). We began with asparagus and hollaindaise foam with some cured, salted and otherwise dry cooked mackerel. The asparagus and foam was outstanding. The mackerel, although beautiful, wasn’t quite as inspiring. Whilst I appreciated the effort I think it would have been better lightly seared.
The chocolate ganache pudding wasn’t something I feel inclined to similarly rave about but it was good workmanlike stuff (pic on Jen’s flickr here). Alongside all of this Vincent provided whites and reds and typically French descriptions of the terroirs from whence they came. The venue, the service, the food, the alcohol and the excitement of everyone at being there meant the table became one big friend and we all started swapping stories of restaurants and great meals. As you can probably guess from the above I loved this. If you have a trip to Paris coming up you should try it too.