Behind the hustle and bustle of rue de Rivoli hides a very beautiful gastronomic address giving pride of place to Asian culture and especially Japanese culture. Its name? Kinugawa. Well known by Asian cooking lovers, this Japanese table created in 1984 has been taken over in 2014 by the famous Blackcode Group. Its mission is to reinvent and make you discover Asia’s cultural and gastronomic heritage, the group also owns the following establishments: Orient Extrême and Yoko, and more recently The Cod House in Saint-Germain.
Since it has been taking-over, Kinugawa kept its name, dear to its faithful patrons’ hearts. But the place underwent a makeover with a new decoration by famous Parisian architects Gilles & Boissier.
As soon as we come in, we feel immersed in a muted atmosphere that is elegant yet friendly. We discover clean lines and handles that make a true contemporary izakaya.
The restaurant area is to be found on the upper floor with two rooms and two universes: the sushi bar and the other room, more spacious, inviting to travel through Japanese gastronomic dishes.
The ground-floor leaves place to a very beautiful bar enhanced by an impressive 6-m high painting on the wall promoting a drawing by artist Alix Waline.
Moving on to the menu, we find several beautiful references in terms of wine, champagne and sake as well. But the place irresistible beverage is cocktail with a dozen of signature cocktails inspired by Japanese.
Among the best sellers, we have the “Gari Gari” with vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice and ginger, as well as the “Pink Lizhi” based on champagne, litchi liquor and cherry cream.
"Gari Gari" Cocktail
Spritz drinkers won’t resist the “Japanese Spritz” with Aperol, Sparkling sake and soda.
Whisky connoisseurs can also delightfully discover the “Japanese Old Fashioned” with Nikka From The Barrel, Galliano, vanilla and lemon.
To keep things interesting, you also have the “Spicy Bang Bang” made of Tequila, lime, jalapeno pepper, cucumber and ginger beer.
Finally, we highly recommend the “Samodori”, another beverage very popular among patrons based on sake, Cointreau, lemon juice and basil. Its version with gin, the “Sendo” is worth the try (Gin Hendrick’s, lime juice, Cointreau and fresh mint).
And to accompany these delicious beverages, Kunigawa bar has a whole range of finger foods that taste very exotic and give a lovely preview of the restaurant menu.
The tasting starts with the classic but irresistible shishito peppers (deep-fried piquillos with miso sauce).
We continue with a Hamachi Yuzu Shoyu based on a delicious Yellow Tail carpaccio and its yuzu sauce for the sourness.
Then, we literally fall for one of their specialties: the Tuna Spicy, that are both crispy and spicy just like that, and it’s a true delight for the taste buds!
Another favorite is the Maguro No Taruto that is very soft sliced tuna delicately put on a thin crispy biscuit enhanced by taramasalata with white truffle and topped with yuzukosho sauce. A blend of flavors that is to die for and you can be sure it will be an explosion in your mouth!
What’s next? Ebiten Salada: a delicious salad of shrimp tempura dipped in a spicy sauce.
And to end on a sweet but light note, we go for the famous and delicious Mochi Ice (a small ball of rice dough filled with sorbet) flavored with cherry blossom and green tea.
Yes, that night, we did travel expressly to Japan and it was fabulous. Our taste buds are still grateful for it. Kinugawa bar is an incredible Japanese culinary experience to be live out in the heart of Paris and you really don’t want to miss it!
Please note that the bar area is enlivened by a DJ on Friday and Saturdays nights.
Alcohol abuse is bad for your health, please drink responsibly.
From 14 June 2018 to 31 December 2018
9, rue du Mont-Thabor
75001 Paris 1
Ouvert tous les jours de 12h à 14h30 et le soir de 19h30 à 23h
16 € le cocktail
Entre 7 € et 50 € les finger food