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Neige d’Été

When I stumbled across an article recently that pointed to a new praiseworthy restaurant in my neighbourhood (mere 5 minutes walk from home is a bonus!) it’s a no-brainer that I should check it out. Taking advantage of the fact that we have visitors to entertain over the new year period, we need no further excuse to try snagging a table. What’s nice – for once, we were not working so we could even opt for the more budget-friendly lunch menu.

Neige d'Été

Neige d'Été

Neige d’Été (a somewhat whimsical “summer snow”) is discreetly located, with nary a sign pointing to its existence, until you’re right at the entrance and see the name palely etched across the glass of the door. Its interior – work of Japanese architect Shinku Noda – of minimalist features with shades of white is punctuated by occasional colours from the bouquet of fresh flower near the door and earthy tones of the settees. It felt a tad delicate to step in. Even the cutleries were hidden from sight – check the drawer in front of you but be careful not to spill everything onto your lap!

A couple of staff manned the front of the house, while chef Hideki Nishi busied away in the open kitchen with his two sous-chefs. Bearing in mind a snippet from the article that chef Nishi is an alumni of Le V, which boasts two Michelin stars, I must say, expectation was running rather high. The single, no-choice tasting menu offered little room for error. Each table (except one) was occupied so there was quite a crowd to be pleased.

Neige d'Été

Neige d'Été

Seated with a clear view of the kitchen, it was fascinating to see how smoothly the kitchen ran with nary a clang of a pot (even if accidentally) and instead work flowed effortlessly (or so it seemed) from one station to another before plating took place near the exit of the kitchen. A lot of tweezer action going on for the placement of fine herbs and baby leaves to garnish the dishes.

We started with two amuses bouches: silky smooth pumpkin soup that was bursting with flavour and sweetness underneath a layer of foam, thus hiding away from sight delectable morsels of chestnut; and a rather dense pâté with foie gras and truffle, served with some baby greens and quince jam. All four of us voted two thumbs-up for the soup and I really wouldn’t mind having more of these little cups of wintry goodness! It was tough for the pâté to compete with the pumpkin-chestnut pairing.

Neige d'Été

Neige d'Été

Neige d'Été

Next came the two savoury dishes listed on the menu. The first was a paella of Chistorra chorizo and grey shrimp topped with pan-friend John Dory and a slither of squid. The rice was just how it should be, the chorizo juicy and smoky (and I loved it), the John Dory fresh and flaky, and more importantly, the squid that was perfectly cooked and still tender. Some unidentified foam sat atop the fish, topped with fine salicorne and dill.

The second was wood-grilled free-range chicken with Japanese mushrooms (shiitake and shimeji) and winter vegetables, served with a portion of liver-based sausage, purée of sunchoke, and some jus. The chicken was simply succulent (although a touch undercooked on our friend’s plate), and any bite together with any of the accompaniment on the plate gave yet another dimension of taste and texture. Wow. It was not easy to fight the urge to chomp everything down rapidly!

Neige d'Été

Neige d'Été

We skipped the optional extra of cheese platter and went straight on to sweets. Dessert was a trio of chocolate (half) tart, raspberry panna cotta, and verbena and rosemary ice cream. The chocolate tart was indulgently rich, and I like the light touch to the panna cotta that trembled gently within the verrine. But oh, everyone at the table sighed over the ice cream… There was an unrivalled freshness to it, and the butter cookie that melted in the mouth made a good partner to every spoonful of ice cream. Bonus treats: raspberry macarons and chocolat pieces.

This was a tremendous meal to start the year, and at a tag of €35 for this toothsome and high quality tasting menu, it was a bargain. However, you will need some time to leisurely enjoy the meal. We sat in for 2 hours, so definitely no quick lunches here! The front of house service was impeccable, and after kitchen service ended, chef Nishi came out to say personal goodbyes to the diners. I really wanted to ask for permission to take a photo of him, but alas, courage failed me and slunk off to goodness-know-where…

Neige d’Eté
12 rue de l’Amiral Roussin, 75015 Paris
Métro: Cambronne, Avenue Émile Zola, or Commerce
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 73 66 66
Tuesday to Saturday, 12.30-2.30pm and 7.30pm-9.30pm
Lunch menu €35 / €60 with wine pairing; dinner menu €65 / €105 with wine pairing

Category: Food & Drink, Paris

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8 scribbles & notes

  1. helene says:

    Jolie trouvaille! Je garde l’adresse en tête ^^

  2. Wow, that sounds delicious!
    I love the idea of verveine and rosemary icecream, we grow verveine and dry to use for tisanes, I love the fresh taste, indeed. Helps you sleep too!

  3. med says:

    Oh my….lovely dishes and value for money indeed….pretty sure u will go back for more since it is only 5 mins away kekeke ;) I am hungry for supper now lil

  4. sila says:

    luckily i just ate breakfast or i’d be drooling all over the keyboard. the chocolate half tart looks decadent… now i want one too :)

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