53 Passage Panoramas
Paris, France 75002
October 10, 2016
So I have been living in Paris for the past two months, and there are indeed some serious eatings, including Chef Shinichi Sato’s Passage 53. The restaurant is self-effacing in a charming way – discreet location, nondescript storefront, plus a petite minimalism dining room. Our meal started with a corn cappuccino consommé, which was rich, not heavy. First impression did not disappoint.
The first course already revealed Passage 53′s Japanese French identity. Fresh langoustine with kombu cream and kombu jelly and thin-sliced radish – was a cute play with flavor as much as with colour and texture.
The following two courses were intricately constructed seafood plates. Foremost, they were both perfectly cooked. The langoustine with abricot and sour cream was outstanding in its flavor combination. Along with the abricot, the action of sour cream brought a different kind of acidic flavor with a signature tang to the bite, and the cocoa powder added more zing to the whole. The cod, lightly rolled in chestnut powder, and seated in a concentrated chestnut broth with sautéed chanterelle mushroom, was an ideal showcase for top-class seasonal ingredients.
That piece of bread was a world away from your average crusty loaf. And onion with layers of papa negra, which to me would be the flagship of this meal, was exquisite, delicate, and inventive. It was close-your-eyes good.
Desserts were all produced in high quality, from grapefruit to fig to madelines. Passage 53 had a very liberal take on French cooking. Every dish seemed to embody a genre of its own. I had a novel experience on my taste buds here. Certainly a prodigious meal, and a buoyant one.