To get into Shu, you have to get in through the rustic old cellar door, bending over to get down the first series of steps. But once inside this mysterious cavern, the décor transforms into an expert mix of contemporary chic, enormous old beams that are characteristic of the centre of Paris, and Japanese effects, of which the most obvious example is the layout of the bar, which punters sit around on low, thick cushions.
The restaurant specialises in kushi-agué – a sort of Japanese kebab, with different ingredients breaded and fired on sticks. Each one is different and served with great care and three seasonings – lemon, salt of tonkatsu sauce – but though served searing hot and straight out of the pan, they aren’t terribly exciting. Depending on the season, they’re things like prawns, stuffed shiitake mushroom or white fish dipped in sauce before being fried. Where Shu is truly remarkable is in the starters, often more refined than at the purest kaïseki bar. So despite the price, you should go for the more expensive menu, which also represents better value for money: €58 for an amuse-bouche, a delicious assortment of incredibly fresh sashimi, three seasonal dishes, nine kushi-agué and a choice of ochazuké (rice with green tea and condiments) or inaniwa (fine udon noodles) served cold with their own cooking liquor.
There are some very good sakes on the wine list, particularly the Denshu. Impeccable service. Bento boxes at lunchtime some days of the week.
8 rue Suger
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sat, 6.30pm- 11.30pm; Thu-Sat 12noon-2pm|
|Transport:||Métro : Saint-Michel ou Odéon|
|Price:||Menus from €38-€56|