Talaé, the bar at the Hôtel Royal Madeleine, with its stunning cocktails by Fayçal Mokhchane

Published by Manon de Sortiraparis · Photos by Manon de Sortiraparis · Published on June 16th, 2024 at 12:09 p.m.
At Talaé, the bar of the Royal Madeleine hotel, mixologist Fayçal Mokhchane creates a menu of absolutely stunning cocktails.

Nestled on the first floor of the Royal Madeleine, the Talaé bar opened at the same time as the4-star hotel's Arboré restaurant. Behind the gilded counter of this botanic cocktail bar , named after the Latin word for a cutting, mixologist Fayçal Mokhchane is constantly reinventing the future of mixology with cocktails inspired by seasonal produce and world cultures.

After years in the world of engineering, Fayçal discovered his passion for mixology in London bars. Giving in to the siren song, he launched himself into theart of cocktails, taking the time and care to train and perfect his techniques in the bars of the Perchoir Group.

Bar Talaé - Halloumi croustillant, enoki en tempuraBar Talaé - Halloumi croustillant, enoki en tempuraBar Talaé - Halloumi croustillant, enoki en tempuraBar Talaé - Halloumi croustillant, enoki en tempura

Behind his way of doing things (well) is a desire to use local products in their entirety, in a zero waste approach and to protect the delicacies that the planet offers us. This respect for the world's temporality has given rise to a constantly evolving menu, featuring mushrooms, apples and quince in autumn and winter, and rhubarb, strawberries and peas in summer.

A man who prefers "to have a good restaurant than to go on vacation" is undeniably guided by a gastronomic approach to mixology and by the techniques of a chef. In fact, Fayçal Mokhchane makes all the preparations for his cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails himself: liqueurs from distillations, marinades, eaux-de-vie, shrubs, infused or smoked spirits and other elements that are far from merely decorative, such as fruit pastes and pickles.

Bar Talaé - Cocktail KirbyBar Talaé - Cocktail KirbyBar Talaé - Cocktail KirbyBar Talaé - Cocktail Kirby

Most of Talaé's cocktails revolve around three key markers. Pomelo, rhubarb and fennel for the Kirby, kiwi and caraway, grapes for the Carvi B, lapsang souchong tea, lemongrass and agave for theAlain Souchong, roasted barley, sesame and soy for the Kokumotsu, rhubarb, sweet clover and ribot milk for Laifraise, gherkins, cardamom and lippia dulcis for Marseille VV, or peas, wasabi and rice vinegar for Sweet Pea.

The clever thing is that, while the menu specifies the alcohol content of each cocktail, it does not detail the spirit, liqueur or alcohol contained in each recipe. A fine, original way of letting customers concentrate on the taste markers and aromatic notes.

Bar Talaé - Cocktail KokumotsuBar Talaé - Cocktail KokumotsuBar Talaé - Cocktail KokumotsuBar Talaé - Cocktail Kokumotsu

The result is cocktails that are (very) daring, complex for the most part (while still managing to get straight to the point) and certainly singular. Smoky, floral, fruity or sour, with very little sugar, Fayçal Mokhchane's cocktails are an experience in themselves, whether or not they contain alcohol. Unfamiliar with the word " mocktail", the mixologist prefers the term " non-alcoholic cocktail ", as he imagines them with as much finesse and research as those containing alcohol.

The menu of sweet and savory small plates to share, meanwhile, allows for some very nice food and cocktail pairings, under the guidance of Arboré chef Ashwin Marius and pastry chef Prisca Tisseuil: enoki tempura (10€), a particularly airy dish to dip happily in sriracha mayonnaise; crispy halloumi (11€) with apple condiment; cod accras (12€) with dog sauce; or sea bream tacos (13€) with green harissa. Generous and well-crafted, the plates are all enhanced by lively condiments.

Bar Talaé - Dessert fraiseBar Talaé - Dessert fraiseBar Talaé - Dessert fraiseBar Talaé - Dessert fraise

To further emphasize the link between mixology and gastronomy, Talaé organizes four-handed 'Floraisons' events once a season, focusing onfood and cocktail pairings. The latest guest chef was none other than Ji-Hye Park fromOMA at Château des Fleurs!

Practical information

Location

Passage Puteaux
75008 Paris 8

Prices
Assiettes à partager, à partir de: €10
Cocktails sans alcool: €10
Cocktails: €15

Official website
www.hotelroyalmadeleine.com

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