Restaurant kitchens in Paris are small. And La Table D’Aki is no exception, with just one man behind the kitchen. Akihiro Horikoshi (Aki) shops, preps, cooks, bakes, cleans dishes – everything – in this tiny 16 seater restaurant in the Seventh Arrondisement.
Chef Aki, a L’Ambroisie veteran, works in an open kitchen, where he prepares a prix fixe seafood meal. Japanese precision with French training – could not be a better pairing.
First course was a single seared scallop on pureed pumpkin with a cauliflower foam that teased our palettes with it’s silky textures. Entree of poached langoustine on top of roasted rhubarb was a perfect harmony of delicate langoustine served with a glossy drizzle of veal jus. The final savoury course was delicate cod fish and braised endive with a wonderfully tangy citrus sauce.
Dessert – simply described as “chocolate tarte with vanilla bean ice-cream”, made me marvel that something that delicate with contrasting crisp and velvety textures could be made by the same man who brought us the earlier three dishes, and not a patisserie chef.
Elegant dining. Delicious, clean flavours. Perfection.
La Table D’Aki
49 Rue Vanueau
Tel: +33 1 45 44 43 48
Bookings highly recommended
Closed Sundays and Mondays
I love san choy bau – the crisp lettuce balances out the rich pork and vegetable mix in one handy (albeit a bit messy) “cup”. It’s one of those dishes where I am sure you can substitute chicken for pork, and also add in any vegetables you have on hand, but I found water chestnuts at my grocery store and that inspired me to cook this dish – it adds another dimension to the dish with a nice crunch.
Ingredients – 6 portions as a starter or enough for 2 hungry people for lunch
- Iceberg lettuce – whole
- 1 large onion – diced
- 200g pork mince
- 100g baby corn – sliced about 1/2cm thick
- 50g water chestnuts – peeled and diced into small pieces
- 50g mushrooms – any sort, I used swiss brown
- 3 tbls oyster sauce
- 1 tbl light soya sauce
- With the core of the lettuce facing down, bang the head of lettuce, on the core – this will make it easier to remove the leaves whole
- Remove any wilted outer leaves and carefully remove the inside leaves, trying to keep them as whole as possible
- Place in a bowl of iced water to keep them crisp
- Over low heat, sweat the onions until soft
- Increase the heat to high and brown the mince
- Add in the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes until vegetables are cooked through
- Add in the oyster and light soya sauce and stir to combine
- You can trim the lettuce so it makes a nice neat “cup” to hold the stir fried mixture
- Spoon mix into lettuce cups and enjoy hot !