This Ze Kitchen Galerie, Paris Review is part of a Paris trip report featuring luxury hotels and Michelin-star dining. For the prior posts, please see:
Getting to Ze Kitchen Galerie and Opening Hours
Ze Kitchen Galerie is on the Left Bank in Saint Germain, about a 5 minute walk from Guy Savoy, where we'd enjoyed lunch the day before, and about a 25 minute walk from Hotel Le Meurice. The closest Metro Station is Saint Michel – Notre Dame (line 4 and RER B and RER C) and you could also walk 7 minutes across the Seine from the Pont Neuf Station (line 7).
Ze Kitchen Galerie is open weekdays only for lunch noon-2:15pm and for dinner 7:15-10:30pm. As an aside, while it may not be great for Parisians who would like to go out for dinner over the weekend, I've a great deal of respect for French and other European restaurants that are able to close over the weekend and give their staff the ability to spend time with their loved ones. Working in a Michelin-starred kitchen (or really any professional kitchen) is incredibly hard work, with long hours.
As always with Paris Michelin star restaurants, I recommend making reservations in advance.
Our reservation was for 1pm, and there were a number of other guests already in the restaurant, mostly in their 20s-40s, and mostly couples or friends. Our son was the only child in the restaurant, although this wasn't surprising since it was a Friday after Thanksgiving, and not a French holiday or school break.
Ze Kitchen Galerie Menu and Food
Ze Kitchen Galerie's menu is market-driven, so expect the offerings to vary from week to week, with daily specials. Chef William Ledeuil is known for his love of Asian ingredients and bold flavors, married with French culinary technique. Here's the menu for our lunch:
Our server asked us for our drink preference, and I requested a pitcher of water. I love that as in the U.S., it's perfectly normal to ask for tap water, even at Michelin star restaurants. In Germany, even though the tap water there is also perfectly drinkable, you're forced to order bottled water if you want water.
The amuse bouche came quickly and was delicious–a kind of pumpkin coconut soup that reminded me of the Thai pumpkin coconut soup in Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford's cookbook Hot Sour Salty Sweet. Pumpkin is a quintessential fall flavor, and in the U.S. many of our pumpkin recipes tend to be for sweet things, missing all the great savory uses it has.
The bread was fresh but utterly ordinary, and not served warm. Our son was ravenous and it was all we could do to keep him from filling up on bread, given how long it took our food to come.
Finally, our appetizers made an appearance. My favorite was the pasta with wild mushrooms our son had ordered, which was a daily special and not on the menu. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, and the mushrooms were incredibly flavorful. If it's a special, don't miss it.
I also really enjoyed my sea bream carpaccio with yuzu, caviar and lemon–very light and bright flavors, contrasting with the silky fish.
Among the mains, my favorite was the scallops, with seaweed and vegetables:
I also liked the miso-yuzu sauce on the chicken I ordered, although generally I don't order chicken as a main as it's a little boring.
Our son's pork dish was a tangle of color and textures, and I liked the contrasts as well as the use of quince, which is such a great sweet and tangy pairing for meats and cheeses.
If you're a dessert fiend you may be somewhat disappointed by the desserts. I suspect there's no dedicated pastry chef, which is a shame. It's not that the gianduja was bad, but I expect something more from a Michelin star restaurant.
I personally don't care for white chocolate, so the white chocolate wasabi ice cream dessert was my son's choice, not mine. I ended up trading with him though, as the wasabi proved too hot for him to handle. It was good wasabi ice cream, if you like that sort of thing, but not really my cup of tea.
I enjoyed Ze Kitchen Galerie, and everything was well prepared, although I wouldn't rush back due in large part to the protracted wait for our food. Highlights of our meal were the wild mushroom pasta special, the sea bream with yuzu and caviar appetizer, and the scallops. The mains of pork with quince and chicken with miso-yuzu were tasty, but overshadowed by the appetizers. Perhaps the duck special was better, but we didn't get to try it since it was already sold out by the time we ordered at 1:15pm. And in my view the desserts were forgettable–I wouldn't spend the extra to include dessert if I return, and would instead satisfy my sweet tooth with an ethereal creation by Pierre Herme, just a short walk away.
Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits