Last night we ate dinner at Guilo Guilo. Guilo Guilo is originally from Japan. It took four years to open the restaurant in Paris to their liking. Only 20 seats around the bar and 2 tables in the back that can not be seen from the front. A small creative shop where the food is prepared right in front of you. It was definitely an interesting experience. Some things we ate were unbelievable and others not so much. It was more about the experience. Keep in mind we were the only people in the entire restaurant that spoke English, including the six people behind the bar (chef and staff). Although they did describe to us everything we ate, we only picked up a few words here and there.
When we first walked in, they were preparing long transparent egg roll looking pieces and dropping them in hot oil. The pot he was using was so well seasoned it was quite a sight. The chef also used a pair of pliers to move the hot pots from one place to another. Not much was spoken behind the bar, it was a well orchestrated event.
When we sat down there were a bunch of bowls piled up that were prepared for the second course. Beautiful in presentation and some of these were fantastic. Deep fried mushroom dumpling, egg omelet with a spicy cabbage inside, chopped spinach with shrimp, spicy sauce rolled in a soft red Japanese tortilla, a small bowl (underneath the flower) that had the consistency of a chopped potato salad and an asparagus tempura.
The next course was a soup. He took a miso soup and added in a huge spoonful of what looked like pureed peas. Inside the bowl was a piece of fresh tofu. The flower looking piece was a poached fish. Behind the fish was a radish that had been boiled and was soft when you bit into it. The roll is made of snapper and stuffed with greens and spices. The little pieces on top were puffed sesame tasting rice.
This is the one course we needed no explanation for. Toro roll with quickly deep fried asparagus. I loved the presentation. The sauce on the side is a light soy sauce.
This course took a long time to prep. Although interesting to watch, making 20 some odd soups on that tiny heat conductor took forever. The soup begins with a broth and is stuffed with greens that resemble a scallion but it isn't. After the bowl is filled with enoki mushrooms. Then they take pieces of pork that looks like prosciutto and place it in the pot. The bowl is then set over the heat while one of the chefs uses chopsticks to move the food around to cook it. Once the food is cooked, the chef takes eggs that have been beaten and takes a large flat spoon that has holes in it and the egg mixture comes down covering the soup. Looks like rain. A top is put on and the eggs sets. The soup then looks like the picture below.
This is the palette cleaner. Shiso ice. Powerful.
There were pots that resembled steamers piled up. Inside were the dumplings that are in this soup. They had been wrapped up in plastic wrap, waiting for the dish to be served. The broth here is almost gooey. Inside the dumplings was some type of vegetable and the wasabe on top really spiced it up. Not sure what the outer dumpling is made of.
Just a fyi, we are 2 hours in at this point. At the beginning dishes were coming out pretty quick but the egg soup really slowed the meal down. They asked us if anyone wanted the foie gras sushi with their dessert. I am the only one who said yes. Dessert first, foie gras next.
Dessert was made of three things. A small scoop of strawberry ice although it might not have been strawberry. It tasted more like ice with sliced almonds on top and a dot of a pineapple confit. A square of intense chocolate and a green tea macaroon that was unbelievably delicious.
I am glad we went. Really interesting experience. Wasn't wowed by anything in particular but it was all interesting from the prep to the concept to the flavors. I also enjoyed going to the 18th for dinner which is the Montmarte area. We have been there during the day to walk the bakeries which I believe are the best in the city but never at night. The area is quiet with a few restaurants buzzing out into the streets and definitely a younger crowd.
We had drinks earlier with a couple who lives in Paris. She is totally into food and it was fun to talk about the new restaurants that I have read about that she had been to. She confirmed that the last couple of years has been fun to follow and eat at the new young restaurants that are cropping up around Paris. Perhaps the next trip is all about new places. After all, I always need a reason to come back.