First of all,Yaya is a meeting. The one between chef Juan Arbelaez and the brothers Pierre-Julien and Grégory Chantzios founders of the Kalios that particularly produces Greek olive oil.
From this meeting was born a friendship that goes beyond the fields of olive trees near Kalamata and ends up with a restaurant serving Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, Yaya (grandmother in the Hellenic language).
In a brand-new neighborhood, the Docks de Saint-Ouen, near the Design Sanguez & Partners Manufacture and the new headquarters of the Conseil Régional d’Ile de France [Regional Council of Ile de France], Yaya has opened a year ago.
Don’t stop because of the current work going on in the area and in the rue de l’Hippodrome that is mainly closed, keep going all the way up to Yaya and its pleasant terrace or dining room with a high ceiling where rules a map of the Mediterranean and from where a typically Greek staircase starts escalating.
At Yaya, we have Greek dishes from the village, those cooked by grandma: spreadable treats, mezzes to share, lots of squid. Modernized dishes adapted to French taste buds thanks to Juan Arbelaez. For instance, there’s less garlic in tzatziki, and the pita bread is not fried in olive oil but cooked à la plancha.
In the kitchen, Italian chef Manuele Rossi works the place. It’s almost unnecessary to say that everything is homemade. Moving on to the bar, it’s Simon Martel, who worked at Le Bristol, who took the controls.
The menu is very rich, like the Greek gastronomy. We stop our choice with hummus and a dash of paprika and a splash of olive oil, of course. Very soft, not spicy at all, we enjoy it with homemade olive oil bread. The whole is perfect together.
We continue with deviled eggs, a basic that still conquers everyone’s heart, with an olive oil mayonnaise of course. Then, we discover a new fish, the cobia (we confess we didn’t know it), served as a carpaccio, it’s very fresh.
But if we’ve already eaten well, we can’t miss the pita, the perfect Greek specialty. We go for the one with glazed lamb’s shoulder. The stewed meat is very juicy. It’s delicious. It’s formidable. Homemade French fries cooked in olive oil accompany the whole and are just as tasty.
Even though we can’t eat anymore, this traditional orange cake eyes at us. What a wonder this portokalopita is. We would have been wrong to deny us it: probably the best orange cake on Earth. De-li-cious!
On the wine list, Greek wines of course. We could enjoy a dry and fruity white wine, Efranor, a very lovely discovery. In terms of soft drinks, the homemade lemonade with honey is very pleasing and refreshing.
It’s a true journey to Greece, for one meal.
For a 100% Greek atmosphere, once a month, the restaurant organizes a Yaya Party with sirtaki and plate breaking. The floor even displays the marks of all these plates violently thrown on the floor.
Passing by this restaurant will allow you to get produces from the Kalios delicatessen (olives, olive oil, wine…) less expensive than at suppliers like the Grande Epicerie de Paris, Lafayette Gourmet or La Maison Plisson thanks to the small delicatessen shelter set in Yaya.
So, let’s get out of Paris and find our way to Saint-Ouen to enjoy a lovely Greek meal because no, the metro line 13 isn’t always down. It’s not true. Moreover, the restaurant has an easy access, a few steps from the metro.
And if you didn’t get enough of Yaya, a little brother of the restaurant will open by late 2018, early 2019 at the Halle Secrétan with always as many dishes to share and certainly a bit of meat in reference to the Table du Boucher Hugo Desnoyer it will replace.
We’ll let you know.
From 10 September 2018 to 31 December 2018
8 Rue de l'Hippodrome
93400 Saint Ouen
Métro Mairie de Saint-Ouen, ligne 13
01 44 04 27 65