Paris: Sola par Hiroki Yoshitake


Sola par Hiroki Yoshitake was for me a gastronomical revelation. Since its opening in December 2011, Sola has received remarkable praise for its refined and creative Japanese-French cuisine that lends it roots in classical French cooking but with a nod to Japanese flair.  At Sola, every ingredient, prepared so ever simply yet beautifully, serves a meaningful purpose – either to provide a specific taste and flavor, or a certain texture, or to ensure that the work of art present before you is as florid as can be. Yet, it is never overdone. There are no fireworks, yet it has managed to achieve divine beauty of simplicity. Yes, it was a gastronomical revelation.
Sola is easy to miss, not only is it located at rue de l’Hotel Colbert, a very quiet side street in the shadows of the Notre-Dame Cathedral at the tourist district of Saint Michel, but it is also housed in a rustic building with rough-hewn timber and stone finishes. From the outside, nothing special is felt about the restaurant. But once you pull that heavy wooden door, you are greeted with a sleek and modern décor that is significantly unique from any upscale restaurant. The beige wall, brown wooden furniture and exquisite lightning, it was polished enough without compromising on comfort.
Then you are greeted by Japanese ladies who will then lead you to your table. The restaurant has 2 floors. There’s the ground floor with your traditional tables and chairs, and there’s the Japanese room downstairs where customers are led into a revamped and modern cave turned into tatami-style seating. There’s also a locker for your shoes! Hmmm interesting… but we sat at the ground floor, having not known about this almost secret-like underground.
The menu is simple. All you got to do is choose from a petite dégustation or a grande degustation, and state any food allergies. Then, leave the rest to the chef who, inspired by seasonal produce and market ingredients, will arrange the sublime meal for you (They even refused to tell us how many dishes we’re gonna get!). We opted for the latter of course, and we requested for no foie gras and sweetbreads (I know you guys may think that we are crazy to not have foie gras and sweetbreads in Paris, but we had them for almost every meal the previous few days…)
Before you indulge, you are given this marshmallow-looking cylinder. Then the waitress immediately pours hot water on it and this baby marshmallow suddenly grows into a full size and you finally realize that it is a hot towel meant for you to clean your hands …
And on to the meal …
Our requested Bread Basket 😉
Parsnip Soup with Lobster
Scallop Carpaccio with Radish and Radish mousse, Kiwi Vinaigrette and Yuzu Sauce
Whelk with Parisian Roots
Smoked Egg and Squid with chopped Apples and Celery with Parmesan Emulsion
Cod with Tomato, Yellow Carrot and Lemon Sauce
Turbot with Asparagus and Broccoli Mash, Garlic Sauce
Duck with Celery Mash and Mushrooms
Kumquat Sorbet with Banana and Passion Fruit Cream, Persimmon
Chestnut with Almond Crumble, Vanilla Mousse and Vanilla Sorbet, Meringue Ball with White Chocolate Ice cream and Yuzu
What impressed me the most throughout this dinner, other than the fact that every plat of food is like the chef’s work of art, is the absolutely impeccable service. Discreet, and yet very helpful with explaining every dish. Also, I love the fact how this decadent innovative and quality dinner was not accompanied with any fuss or an especially high price. At about 80€ or so (If I remember correctly), it is extremely affordable.
Sola par Hiroki Y.
12 Rue de L’Hotel Colbert
Paris 75005
This entry was posted in Dinner, French, Japanese, Paris, Travel to eat! :) and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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