ERH (pronounce it “Air”) is the new gastronomic offering of restaurant owner Youlin-Ly (already at the helm of Sola*, one Michelin star, that unfortunately burnt earlier this year. As a true ambassador of the country of the rising sun, its culture and its gastronomy, Youlin-Ly will go to the core of his passion and his ideas when in 2015, he purchases over 500-sqm in Paris rue Tiquetonne to give free rein to his imagination and his craziest ideas. It’s to the cult of sake his new temple will be dedicated, a rice alcohol that remains rather unknown in France and yet it holds an aromatic range as diverse as complex as the sacrosanct wine.
Today, this sake bar now features a tapas bar to enjoy tuna and miso sauce or shrimps, wasabi, avocado served with Kirin or a glass of sake, an exclusive whisky from the cellar, where you can enjoy in a unique décor some of the best whiskies in the world (from €11 to €290 for 0.6 fl. Oz.), and a restaurant, ERH, run by chef Keita Kitamura, who worked with Pierre Gagnaire and at Narisawa, a Tokyo restaurant with an experimental cuisine, very watched on the world’s food stage. Know that this project has been thought up, imagined and created in 2 months, a prowess from the whole team and we imagine the huge pressure that slowly starts to diminish with the good reviews gathered these past few weeks.
Behind the large clear-wooden bar, Keita Kitamura’s team is working hard to plate the first starters in an almost religious silence and tranquility. We have a seat next to one of the bonsai scattered evenly across the room filled with a beautiful white light coming from the restaurant glass roof.
Here, the menu has no surprise, you’ll be simply asked about your allergies. The starter, yet a simple beef carpaccio, is as spectacular as unexpected. The tone is set, you have to forget about all your bearings and everything you already know about gastronomy to completely enter chef Kitamura’s universe. What can we say about the next set (think plate): grilled white tuna and tiny vegies put up like a flower composition, fennel cream and cauliflower like painting spots. And you may think that the magic doesn’t go beyond, and yet, it’s not true, it goes way beyond: flavors, subtlety, perfect seasonings are to be expected.
The shock of the night is the main course, now a signature dish of chef Kitamura: pan fried and Sakura-wood smoked foie gras (Sakura is a Japanese cherry tree), put on its brioche throne, caramelized mango and veal juice. How strong! How bold! How beautiful! To come back on Earth, the lightness of a pan-fried redfish, clams and whelks, and then the very clean (only on the outside) Challans duck “simply” served with juice, a few entire vegetables and creams. The two desserts, a tarragon granita and a raspberry sorbet with mint-lime espuma, enable us to touch Earth. Hats off, chef!
Our piece of advice: ask to book the private spaces with tatamis (4 to 8 persons, with no additional cost), for an even more exclusive moment. And if you’re fond of whisky, you want to visit the cellar. You can even buy your bottle, leave it in a safe room and go there with your friends whenever you want to enjoy it. What a beautiful place that Maison du Saké!
ERH @ Maison du Saké
11 rue Tiquetonne
Phone: +33 (0)9 67 61 97 03
11 Rue Tiquetonne
75002 Paris 2
Etienne Marcel (M4)
menu degustation: €65
accord mets vins: €110
grand accord mets vins: €125