Amélie Darvas has a distinguished chef's CV, her precise and inspired cooking having already been in evidence at Le Bristol, L'Ami Jean and The Broken Arm. Her new 2014 venture is all pale walls and wood, brought to life with lots of plants and bright flashes of colour like a very upmarket mountain cabin. Haikai is a satirical Japanese verse form, a nod to the Far Eastern influences on the décor and cooking.
The menu is distributed along more traditional Parisian lines, with a daily lunch menu set at €17 for two courses or €23 for three. In the evenings, à la carte is around €10 for a starter, €20 for a main and €8 for a dessert. We came for lunch and tried a juicy beef cheek buried in a bowl of greens of different textures, and calves liver baked au gratin with cheddar then served with red onions and a delicious scattering of puréed yuzu citrus fruit.
Everything looks as good as it tastes – not over-elaborate classical presentation, but done with care and attention. We're eager to come back and explore the rest of the menu – things like beef with oysters and winter radishes, Norwegian smoked salmon, candied eggs and beetroot, arctic char with purple vitelotte potatoes and bone marrow, or pear, almond and lime soup.
|Venue name:||Haï Kaï||Contact:|
104 quai de Jemmapes
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sat 12noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm; Sun 12noon-4pm|
|Transport:||Métro : Jacques Bonsergent, Colonel Fabien ou Goncourt|