There aren’t many things in life that are perfect from beginning to end, and we have to accept that. However Kazuyuki Tanaka and the chefs at Racine are unable, or unwilling, to compromise on the quality needed to achieve a seamless experience. The design and intricacy of Japanese food, combined with the unyielding demands of French cuisine are either a perfect marriage, or a very demanding mistake.
We came here for lunch on a Saturday afternoon for our wedding anniversary. The standard of food which comes out this kitchen, is not only skilfully prepared, but visually beautiful. I would say now that this is not a cheap experience - €200 for two, with wine and service for three courses (including four amuse bouche). It’s actually worth the money for this Michelin starred establishment (not always the case I know) if you value culinary adventure.
They think of everything, from the the complimentary mute colours of the crockery and how the food, will visually stimulate the senses before you even begin to eat it. Wine parings are not to everyone’s taste, but at €37 per person I think it worked for this occasion.
My abiding memory is of the Maigre fish and the very delicate oriental flavours within its tender moist flesh. Nothing dominated though, neither east or west. The guinea fowl dish which followed, then anchored proceedings perfectly back to Europe, should you need reminding of the balance they’re trying to achieve here.
France has steadily become a more expensive place to visit for some years now - for numerous reasons. It saddens me to think, in perhaps five years following Brexit, that it will become truly unaffordable for the Francophiles like us, who relish celebrating our special occasions at restaurants like Racine, in a country and culture which has a genuine love of life itself.
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