Named after the traditional Japanese three-line poem haiku, Haï Kaï is born out of the encounter between three young women who enjoy the finest things in life – manager Gaby Benicio, an Italian Brazilian born photographer passionate about great wines and refined food, 25-year-old chef Amélie Darvas (formerly of the Meurice, L’Ami Jean and Bristol), and my friend Elsa Kikoïne, actress and designer who signs the interior decor of the restaurant.
Haï Kaï opened last January 1st, so after my enjoyable but tiresome Maison&Objet marathon, I decided to rest and experience the newly-opened restaurant for a Sunday lunch.
Behind the falsely neglected graffiti-tagged facade, the inside decor is bright, minimalist and classy. Haï Kaï feels homy and warm. The vintage furniture, lighting and objects have been carefully picked to mix up with the ambient soft tones, the blond woods, the touches of bright colourful fabrics and the graphic wall cement tiles – a delicate and feminine decoration with scandinavian accents. Simple without excess. Add to this jazzy Brazilian tunes softly playing in your ears, and you quickly start thinking that you’ll never want to leave the place…
And creativity reigns over the decoration as well as over the cuisine. The white room opens onto a busy kitchen that prepares an inventive and tasty menu. Just like a haiku poem that uses sensory language to capture a feeling or an image, Haï Kaï‘s culinary experience is a pleasure for all senses – the sublime plates presentations and the daring yet successful food associations make you quickly realize that the chef has genius in her hands.
The restaurant offers both a permanent menu and specials changing daily according to arrivals. Everything you eat there is of high quality and outstanding freshness : fishes are line-caught the previous day in Saint Jean de Luz or L’île D’Yeu and the seasonal vegetables come from small local organic producers. And, cherry on top, the food is sublimated by a wide selection of refined wines to be served in accordance with the dishes.
So if you’re in Paris and wonder which reasonably-priced place you should go to for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, stop wondering. Head to Quai de Jemmapes on Canal St Martin and get ready to be overwhelmed by the youth, prettiness, talent and kindness of Haï Kaï.
See you around, xo Flo
104 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
Canal St Martin/Gare de l’Est
Tel : 09 81 99 98 88 / firstname.lastname@example.org / Facebook Page
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 12am to 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm – Sundays from 12am to 4pm.
All photos © Florence Deau – flodeau.com