Update 19/05/09. The menu has been totally changed in Ozu and now they serve “small plates”. So when you order shrimp tempura, you have two small and quite pathetic shrimps, when you order fish, the size of the portion is maybe three bites. The quality of the products was very disappointing as well (for example, old edamame). I don’t understand why they changed the menu, as before it was not perfect, but at least enjoyable. Now, there is no creativity, no quality, nothing. Just a sad place with mediocre food.
Different than in London, New York or other world economic capitals, you will not find many “fashion/fusion” Japanese restaurants in Paris. Let’s take Manhattan, for example. You have three Nobus, two Magus, Morimoto, Koi and many other places where you can eat fresh and as the same time creative Japanese food, have a martini or two and just enjoy the ambience. While Paris has none. I remember when Nobu opened close to Champs Elysees 5 or 6 years ago (it was a long time ago, so I can’t tell when exactly), it was not as popular as Nobus in London, New York or even Milan. In fact, it closed pretty fast and my guess is that the Parisians simply didn’t “adopt” it.
So I was very intrigued when I found that Ozu, a “creative” Japanese opened in the aquarium of Trocadero with the famous 2 Michelin star chef Thierry Marx as a consultant. Enormous aquarium, samurai armours, TVs showing the daily Japanese life – the interior is interesting but not very intimate. The dining hall is quite big and the flat light doesn’t do the justice.
Apart of sushis and tempuras (they didn’t have toro for my disappointment, on the other hand, very little places in Paris have it), you can feel the mind of a creative chef behind it – “sea eel and apple ravioli”, “seared scallops, soya risotto, black sesame seed nougat”. Longing for Nobu food, I chose the “grilled aubergine with miso, shrimps” and “black cod marinated in white miso sauce, warm salad, with mini vegetables”.
The aubergine had a perfect balance of sweetness, so as the black cod, which was almost as good as in Nobu (I know, Nobu is a chain and all, but for the black cod they are a reference). The vegetables served with the fish were not as interesting and gave more an aesthetic aspect. I don’t know-how about other dishes, but all that I had at Ozu was delicious. A return is a must, hopefully, they will maintain the consistency.