There has been something of a small-plate trend over the last couple of years in Paris, but the concept is neither new nor uniquely European. Trying out (and loving) new South Pigalle Japanese tapas joint Ito led us to rediscovering established Left Bank restaurant Lengué, which is also an Izakaya - a Japanese drinking specialist serving small sharing plates - with ex-Robuchon chef Katsutoshi Kondi heading up the kitchen. The intimate space with wooden ceiling beams and bare stone walls is on a little hidden-away street - an alley of calm between the tourist traps of the Latin Quarter. On the extensive menu are bite-sized delights such as sweetly succulent Dengaku aubergine fried in miso, light and fluffy omelette, finger-licking good sesame chicken wings, and sautéed squid with ginger (prices range from €5-12 per dish), to be washed down with Japanese beer, Nikka Whiskey, sake or plum wine, and to be rounded off with refreshing mochi icecream or matcha tiramisu. Be prepared to re-order several times throughout your meal as the dishes are so delicious it's hard to resist trying more and you'll surely become intrigued by whatever your neighbours are eating... Book ahead and come with a big appetite.
31 rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris
Open Tues-Sat, 12-3pm; 7-11pm.
Tel: 01 46 33 75 10
Photos copyright Kim Laidlaw. All rights reserved.