Jan 24 2013


This is such a gem of a restaurant. Sola has 1 Michelin star and serves fusion French and Japanese food for very reasonable prices (EUR50 for a lunch tasting menu which has 6 courses that could easily be served in a top Michelin star restaurant and for a price you don’t usually see in any Michelin restaurant) it is an absolutely bargain and just wonderful. The main chef is Hiroki Yashitake and he comes from south of Japan and he has worked in many French restaurants around the world before starting in Sola in December 2010 at the age of 30.  Sola is located in the 5th district close to Notre-Dame Cathedral and it is located on a side street so unless you know where to go, chances are you are not going to walk past this place. It is located on the ground floor of a 17th century building and from the outside it has a very Japanese restaurant type of feel and inside there are 2 rooms, the French room upstairs and the Japanese room downstairs where you take off your shoes and sit on pillows, and even though I had booked the Japanese room, we sat upstairs as my lunch buddy Matthieu has a problem with his back. Both upstairs and downstairs serve the same menu. Most of the tables were occupied upstairs when we went there for lunch and the room is quite small and Matthieu was telling me that you now need to book at least 3 weeks in advance if you want to get a table for dinner. The walls were white with dark wooden elements and the whole place felt very calm and it reminded me a bit of being inside a traditional Kyoto house.

It was a set menu and the chef chose what he was going to serve us (other tables were having a slightly different menu) and the waiter only checked for any allergies. He explained that first we would get a few different starters, then two fish and a meat main course and then 2 different deserts. Before moving on to our menu we were given an amuse-bouche, lobster emulsion with lobster bites (small blue lobsters from French Brittany) and it was presented in a small cup. It was very flavoursome and lovely. One of the things I loved about Sola was the different plates and different ways the food was served in, and the waiter later explained that the owners wife makes pottery and she has made a lot of the plates used in Sola. Next came our first starter, a signature dish from the restaurant, and my favourite and most memorable dish, a crusty foie gras lacquered with miso and served on a small toast. The presentation was perfect with the fois gras and the bread being the same size and I loved the combination of Japanese miso and the French fois gras here, a perfect combination of 2 countries very typical elements that just worked so well, the fois gras was delicious. Our second starter was French seashells called 'bulots' (whelks in English) with parsnips ('panais' in French, sweet white carrot), another beautifully presented dish and I loved the parsnip and whelk combination, very unusual for me, but I was eating it and thinking it was delicious. Our first main course was scallops with a smoked red fish in a Thai bouillon with pieces of radish. I loved the smoked white fish and the Japanese element of this and combining it with the scallops, which France loves. The soup/ bouillon was extremely flavoursome and delicious and the various things in the dish worked very well. Our second main course was crusty white fish Saint Pierre with purple carrots. The purple carrots were beautiful and very tasty and afterwards we found out that the same place delivers some vegetables for the 3 Michelin star restaurant L’Arpege as for Sola, and you could really see that in every dish there were different, beautifully presented, usually not very common or widely available and delicious vegetables (after the meal I took a picture of a basket of vegetables that you could see in the main dining room that had the most amazing vegetables in there used by the restaurant). Our last main course was extremely tender and tasty veal filet with veal sauce, asparagus, another masterpiece in presentation and absolutely lovely. Our first desert was green tea crème served with crunchy and caramelised biscuits with sesame seeds. I love green tea infused things and here the crème was super tasty and went well with the crunchy biscuits, perfect and not too heavy desert. The last thing we had to eat were marshmallow-like soybean bites which were a bit salty but extremely delicious. And I had some green tea served in a cool sea through pot to go with my deserts.

I love Sola and think it is one of the best value for money places where I have been in the last few months. The food is so reasonably priced for what you get, delicious, every dish is a piece of art with so many different things on the place beautifully placed. I personally love vegetables and I loved the variety and interesting vegetables you got at Sola. Amazing restaurant, interesting combinations of French and Japanese flavours that work extremely well and if you are in Paris, I really recommend you go there.

Location: Paris
Date: 24/01/13
Price for 3 with a bottle of wine and service charge: EUR 240

Maija rated: 



12 Rue de l'Hôtel Colbert 75005
Sola Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 5