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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Mamagoto - Asian (Con)fusion

Finishing up the year with a five-minute walk from Gare du Nord to Mamagoto.  Normally, Co. and I would be hitting Le Pleine Mer for our traditional end of year plates of salmon and oysters, but the oysterman was so overwhelmed with holiday orders, all the tables were piled high with crates of oysters and unavailable for diners.  You'll have that.

So, I thought, how about we check out this Mamagoto for some gen-u-ine Japanese fusion, n'est pas, virtually in the same neighborhood as the oyster place?  Pourquoi pas? was Co.'s lilting response.  And why wouldn't I expect some original Asiatic fusion cooking?  After all, if you do a Google search for Mamagoto, the restaurant's website link comes up first with the descriptor, cuisine franco nippone.  And right there on the website in big bold letters you will find the following phrase, La 'dinette' Japonaise'.  Imagine, simple little me thinking that there would be some Eastern accents to my anticipated meal.  NOT!

That's right, not.  As in 'Mamagoto is NOT a Japanese fusion restaurant, or 'dinette', whatever the hell that is supposed to imply.  Just call it a restaurant, or bistrot, or place to eat, Jesus H. Christ.  Dinette?  Give me a break.  You want to know why they call it cuisine franco nippone?  I'll tell you.  There's a Japanese chef (Koji Tsuchiya) in the kitchen who, I was so elegantly informed by our server, just may throw in some Japanese spices in some of the dishes, maybe.  Okay, now I know.  And so that you will as well, here's the team, directly from the Mamagoto website.

The interior is minimalist modern/industrial, a nice-sized room with bar, and the staff was decent enough, despite warnings in online reviews about their being more on the cold side.  They did seem to enjoy each other's company more than they did their patrons, but that's only a guess on my part.  The menu is a little perplexing at first, but essentially it boiled down to some snack items ('picorer'), cold plates, hot plates, three choices for sharing, and desserts.  Click on the tiny carte below for more specifics.  By the way, this isn't the carte we had the night of our visit, but it's pretty close.

Even after the explanation it was tough to understand what would be a reasonable number of plates to order, but when in doubt my tack is typically, More!  So we opted for two picorers - the pimientos and the terrine.  Co. wasn't exactly enthralled by the terrine.  As for the pimientos, I haven't had a heaping plate of the peppers since Lisbon and although they were pretty good, I was bored about halfway through.  Copious, though.



I took a cold plate - oysters, deux - and Co. opted for the L'Os à Moëlle.  Big problem with the stuffed bone - undercooked.  You haven't ever heard these words, at least I don't think so, on this blog before, but here they are:  'we had to send the plate back.'  

les huites

L'Os, upon its returned fully cooked

The highlight of the evening was the shared dish, two hefty portions of turbot with carrots.  At 40 euros, I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint.

And we finished, as one is wont to do, with a couple desserts, a chocolate sorbet dish and a millefeuille, the latter of which I preferred even though I'm not really a millefeuille kind of guy.. 

...and the bottle, a 24 euro Julien Ilbert - Pur Fruit du cause cahors:

Don't go to Mamagoto expecting a dazzling Asian fusion experience - expect French cuisine- and maybe your experience will be more satisfying than mine.  It's an interesting place for what it is, another Parisian neobistrot run by a trio of young guys who probably will have moved on in a couple of  years, if not sooner,  to other culinary heights.  Still, the undercooked entree, the 1 euro charge for a carafe d'eau (really?), and that Japanese fusion glitch most likely add up to my not going back.

The grand total for two:  115 euros.

5 rue des petits hotels Paris 10
tel. 01 44 79 03 98
website:  http://www.mamagoto.fr/

Ouvert de 12h00 à 14h30 et de 20h à 23h du Mardi au Vendredi et de 12h à 23h le Samedi

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