Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nomiya - Paris

Living the High Life
So rarely do the fancy places impress.  After overpaying I often feel disgust, feign indifference or burst out in laughter (Joel Robuchon.)  Then there is Nomiya.  It sets such a high bar and hurdles it so effortlessly that I don't consider it another "fancy" - I place it in separate orbit.  We compared notes and decided that this may be the best lunch we've ever had.
The meal started with champagne and view-taking.  Nomiya is perched on top of the Palais de Tokyo inside a glass cube.  There is just one table with twelve seats.  The chef cooks a few feet away in a small kitchen at the other end of the cube.  First up - scallops, coral and asparagus tips with a pesto foam.
They sat poolside to a velouté of asparagus with drops of olive oil.  I'd been expecting the worst until I tasted a few bites of this first plate.  It's hard to find the words to describe the perfection.  Why don't other chefs cook and serve the coral (roe)?  It was better than the scallop.
Next, a tower of crab and flying fish roe surrounded by a mote of artichoke quacamole.  Chef explained that the tower is made from caramelized artichoke and it made sense since it delivered an unexpected sweetness.
Doesn't exactly sound good, right?  Thing is, it was.  Very good.  Especially with a touch of the mandarin orange bits lurking at the edge of the plate.
Next, three pieces of ginger inflected pigeon, each in a puddle of corn chowder.  The middle piece came with a Moroccan inspired pastilla.  The bird was cooked in a vaccuum bag then finished in the frying pan, imparting a one-two tender meat and crunchy skin punch.
Then when I didn't think it could get any better, the dessert was served.  Dollops of cheesecake on railroad ties of banana and rhubarb, banana sorbet with a lemon foam cap, cookie drops and rhubarb gelee.
It was like christmas and a birthday all at once.  Many of my favorites combined in an unexpected way.  Simply spectacular.
This was not a cheap lunch.  However, it was worth every Euro paid.  I would gladly go back and would recommend it to anyone - especially to those who are usually not impressed by fancy places.
We were so wowed that we decided to eat un-fancy for a long time.  Anything else would suffer in comparison.
13 Avenue du President Wilson
16th Arondissement

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  1. looks great, although seems that the portions are small. but i guess thats the norm for fancy places

  2. Yes, the absolute best lunch I had in Paris! Every dish was cooked to perfection. Definitely the kind of place to go to reward yourself!

    Babe, you forgot to give credit to the equipments... Hehe :) also, you mentioned that wine pairings served was good.

    So when we going back?

  3. @Dodo - you can take me whenever you like.... Wine was very good though I don't know anything about wine.

  4. for some reasons... the foam reminds me of csi... or house...

  5. @Annoying - I don't know what to say other than..... "no comment"

  6. This looks like the best lunch I have ever seen - now I feel ripped off after going to Le Bernardin. How hard is it to get a table? I am entering it into my "when I go back to Paris" list.

  7. @Niko, it was quite spectacular. It's not an easy seat to get. However, when I trolled their website I must have gotten lucky - I snapped up two seats. Note: I think it is shutting down soon - this is a "pop-up" that stayed popped-up for a long time..... Time to come to Paris......

  8. Really interesting to read about the art project side of this. I assume you were aware of the background about Nomiya:

  9. @Niko - thanks for that link. I learned some new things. It was definitely a magical lunch. Doubt that the Electrolux products made a difference, though.....

  10. Well, when I amParis bound again I will definitely have to send you some emails - best macarons - best plated desserts, best patisseries (I hear some of the famous places have lost a bit of their quality control...