Mar 8, '09


foie gras, eel and soy sauce jelly
Foie gras, eel and soy sauce jelly

This is not an “Opera” cake – it is an amuse-bouche of foie gras, eel and soy sauce jelly at Benkay. A nice dedication to French and Japanese cuisines. Speaking of Japanese ingredients and toro in particular (see my previous post), Benkay located in Novotel hotel in the 15th arrondissement in Paris has some of the finest fatty tuna I have ever tasted in Paris. It is buttery and melting in your mouth, but also firm and fresh.

kitchen counter

Benkay does teppanyaki too, in fact, this is what they are famous for and teppanyaki was the principal reason why I went there. Not the principal reason for this post, unfortunately.


The lobster grill (heated lobster would be more precise) with a sour sauce (was it Japanese horseradish?) was without taste and chewy, in fact, it was so not enjoyable that if we didn’t order the teppanyaki of châteaubriand, we would have left the place still hungry.


The meat was ok, but frankly, I would even prefer to eat a good entrecote in a cheap Parisian bistro next door. In fact, not even in a cheap place next door, an expensive place next door, as for 46 euros, you can have a very good steak in Paris.

Anyway, once you have experienced the lively, convivial and mouth-watering teppanyaki in Japan where the ingredients are the kings and the chef is a virtuoso of slicing, grilling, throwing and frying, you are spoilt for life – you will have difficulties to like it in Paris or other non-Japanese cities ever again.

P.S.The former French president Chirac with his wife was also dining in Benkay that night. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but wonder, if they ordered the sushi or the teppanyaki?

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