BUZZ: FL Restaurant, Zuma in London, Tiffany + Co and Meurice Galette des Reines and Michelin Hong Kong Macau 2012

BUZZ: FL Restaurant, Zuma in London, Tiffany + Co and Meurice Galette des Reines and Michelin Hong Kong Macau 2012
Perdix rouge, les suprême rôtis, les cuisses confites, mousseline de patates douces et choux pack choy FL-Restaurant, Paris 7th On a tiny side street near the avenue Rapp end of rue Saint Dominique, Chef Nicolas Valanchon recently launched FL-Restaurant with a nod and a wink to the nearby Eiffel Tower (FL—get it?). The tiny 25-seat space was formerly Aux Marmites d’Agnès. “I am from Amiens, Picardy, and my dream has always been to head a bistro showcasing the bounty of my region, but revised and corrected, lightened and brightened,” he explained. Since he opened, Valanchon’s attracted a steady clientèle of Left Bank regulars, curious to taste the likes of La Ficelle Picarde comme un millefeuille; Warm mackerel on a sable Rollot, crème de semoule de chou-fleur; Caudière de poissons au cidre et légumes d’automne, Picardy cheeses and the apple dessert, Rabotte Picarde version FL. The excellent wine list (with glasses from 4€) is by Valenchon’s friend, Chef Commelier Nicolas Loubert. They worked together at Le Drouant, Paris. Valanchon’s also worn the whites at The Westminster, Le Touquet, Le George V and with Tony Bilson at his eponymous Sydney, Australia restaurant. Chef works alone in a tiny stainless steel kitchen, where the menu changes daily according to the market and that’s why “le tout Rive Gauche” are heading there. Tamara works the room, is enchanted with FL, knows all the dishes and their history. None of the “Oh, I’ll just check with chef,” from our Tammy. “I use Picardy products when I can,” chef says, such as organic endives from Adrien Bled, market-gardener at Frenchencourt. Rollot fermier and local seasonal cheeses are from François Defossé at Guiscard. I recommend Champagne Météyer Père & Fils located on the “Champagne Road” in the heart of the Marne Valley. The Cuvée Prestige is 11€ a glass or 54€ a bottle chez FL. Valanchon is also an inventor: warm bread comes skewered to his “Pikape”, a stainless steel spike that won him a silver medal at the Concours Lépine, Foire de Paris, 2011. You’ll want to pop Pikape into the Birkin but it’s too long, so ask to buy one for 25€. The focal point of FL is a “soft” Eiffel Tower mural located next to the tiny kitchen and seems to be decorated with pots and pans. This chef not only has talent, but a droll sense of humour. See you there. FL-Restaurant Tél: 01 4551 0604 Métro: École Militaire  1 bis, rue Augereau, Paris 7th Open: lunch Tuesday through Saturday 12-3pm and dinner Monday through Saturday 7-10pm Lunch – Starter-Main or Main-Dessert 16€ 3 courses 20€ A La Carte 25-40€ + wine Zuma Restaurant in London If you’re in London book ahead for Zuma, a big restaurant in a small street close to Harrods and Topshop. “It’s quiet now,” said “the Ashton” leading us through the minimal Zen space of stone, granite and rough woods created by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of top Japanese design company Super Potato. Inspired by the four elements, Earth, Fire, Water and Air, Zuma was launched in 2002 by Chef Rainer Becker, influenced by his time spent in Japan. Zuma became an instant hit and led to branches in Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami, Bangkok and Beirut. That probably is Heston in the corner; Michel Roux, Guy Ritchie or even shouty Gordon go there, too. The adorable staff become new best friends, needed to decipher the dishes prepared in three key areas: the sushi bar, the main kitchen and the Robata wood-fired grill based on those used by Japanese fishermen. Try the Grilled King Crab with ponzu lime butter. It’s all orchestrated by Head Chef Li Soon who began his culinary career in Malaysia at age 4 and “never wanted to do anything else.” The Tasting Menu (£96) gives a delicious idea of the contemporary Japanese Izakaya, where everything comes to the table continuously throughout your meal. Otherwise there’s vegetarian sushi and tempura for the ladies who do. Wagyu beef tartare with black truffles, sashimi, maki rolls, small dishes and salads include Zuma salad with asparagus, tomatoes and barley miso dressing. Salmon and tuna tartare with Osetra caviar and chilled homemade tofu with condiments. Recent additions to the menu include: braised abalone with sake, soy, konbu, wakame and dashi. Yellowtail sashimi with soy dashi, shallot and crispy garlic. Desserts are fun, just take a look at video on youtube. The world wine card is intelligently listed by grape varieties, say, a unique Barboursville Viognier 2009 from Virginia, USA at £50 or £12 a glass. There’s also a Sake Sommelier to advise on 40 different types including: Biwa no Choju, brewed exclusively for Zuma from the waters of Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture. The lake’s natural mineral water was made…
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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !