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“Innovative...good food and ambiance...but need to better accommodate dietary preferences....”
Review of Kei

Kei
Ranked #6 of 17,020 Restaurants in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $63 - $218
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Visa, Reservations, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Louvre / Palais-Royal
Paris, France
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Innovative...good food and ambiance...but need to better accommodate dietary preferences....”
Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I went to Kei with two friends for lunch. Overall, we had a good experience. First the good things:
-       The ambiance is very modern, white and clean! While it gives the restaurant a formal feel, it isn’t pretentious and over the top
-       The service is good – our waiter had a good sense of humor and the sommelier did a good job with the wine recommendations
-       The food was definitely the STAR as it was innovative and tasty- French food with an Asian flair. We had opted for the shorter menu, which by itself was made up of 4 courses, not including the amuse bouche and palate cleanser. For dessert, we were given 3 different desserts!

What I was disappointed about was that they did not properly take into account the dietary restrictions we had specified at the time of our reservation. While they were able to replace my one seafood course with vegetables, I dont think they put much thought into that dish. Also, while I had originally opted for the shorter menu (4 courses), I quickly changed my mind, and wanted to go for the 6-course menu. This seemed to cause some confusion amongst the staff and I was finally told by the waiter that it was better that I stick to the 4 course menu as I didn’t eat seafood/fish and that they wouldn’t be able to provide a good experience on the 6 course menu for me.  This seemed a little odd to me, as they should have planned enough options incase I wanted to go for the 6 course meal

That said, despite this, we had a good experience and would recommend it to our other friends. 

Helpful?
Thank RadParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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589 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
193 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“The Epitome of Innovation”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

From the moment you are escorted into the off-white paneled room, you know this is not going to be a run-of-the mill dining experience. The staff explains that there are only 3 "surprise" menus and you indicate the size of the meal you want and then they bring on the surprises. (They discreetly asked if we had any food allergies, which was great as one of us does have an unusual allergy that she frequently forgets to mention.)

They do have a full wine list, but being unsure of what food we'd be consuming, we placed ourselves in the hands of the sommelier and had wines by the glass -- well-chosen whites and reds that went very well with the food.

And then the fun begins! A succession of interesting and delicious amuse-bouches were brought out first. (The seaweed and squid ink balls would have been a perfect complement to a glass of champagne; the pink passionfruit macaroon shells with foie gras were fascinating and sublime. They really stood out both because of the wonderful taste and the flamboyant color.) And then an iced ginger/citrus drink.

Visual appeal was an important part of many of the dishes. We're not sure all of the ingredients that went into the very first entree (vegetable material sculpted into a free-form creation worthy of a modern art museum), but it was delicious and interesting (if complicated to eat).

Sampling every morsel, and every daube of sauce was important (as we were advised by our friendly and impeccably multilingual waiter) because each little ingredient was chosen for a purpose. (He happily told us that certain ingredients were acquired from special sources.)

The fish beignet (in a dough dyed black by squid ink) was fantastic. (A plate of those would have made a wonderful meal in themselves.....but that's not the point of Kei.)

The only course involving a bit of consumer choice is the main, which on our neight allowed a selection between beef, veal and pork. We had the veal, which was excellent (though our collective memory gets a bit hazy by that time.)

A pair of well-chosen cheeses ended the main part of the meal. And then it was on to the desserts -- two of them! The favorite was a creative parfait involving white chocolate sauce and various other yummy stuff. (We were dazzled by that point.....)

Various petit fours were also served. Keep in mind that this is not a sprint, it is a long-term eating commitment. We had the smallest menu, and the the dining experience lasted 3 hours (and cost 260 euros for two).

It was worth it all. We waddled away knowing it had been a unique experience.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank HK_Observer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Perfect experience”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We are delighted to have discovered Kei, with its  all off white, spacious, minimalist but romantically so, dining room near les Halles.  When they confirmed the reservation, they interviewed us about food dislikes and allergies because they have only a big and less big surprise tasting menu.  We took the less big, only about 7 plates, and were treated to very fresh, creative, nouveau French with hints of Japanese delights.  This is a not to be missed place. Each plate was visually beautiful and scrumptious. The meal was around 90 euros a person and everything was perfect including the very friendly, playful, efficient and precisely timed service and sommelier.  We will definitely return!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank CDADenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
450 reviews
377 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“A nice restaurant near the Louvre”
Reviewed November 2, 2012 via mobile

I took composition 2 at 128 euros person which didn't include wine.

The food included 3 entrees, 3 main courses (fish, lobster and cochon de lait respectively), a cheese plate and desserts.

All the entrees and main courses were delicious and nicely presented though the portions tended to be small (ok for me as I don't eat a lot). I particularly liked the lobster and cochon de lait. Desserts weren't not as good as the rest of the meal. Just mediocre. But all the ingredients were fresh and of high quality.

The decor was simple but tasteful. The service was friendly and efficient though the atmosphere was a bit too formal for me.

All in all, a nice restaurant worthy of a Michelin star. Recommended for a dinner after a visit to the Louvre as it's close by.


    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Egon70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milano, Lombardia, Italy
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful culinary experience”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

My boyfriend and I decided to visit Kei for quiet lunch earlier this week after wanting to try more examples of French cuisine proposed in new, creative ways. When we arrived, we couldn't resist trying the "second" menu/composition where we could explore a larger number of dishes highlighting the young Japanese chef's philosophy (finding the perfect harmony between contrasting tastes and textures).
The decor was very bare, consisting of white and pastel gray palettes - our server explained that the stylistic choice was to tune out the distractions in the environment so that the clients could focus primarily on the food. The silverware was predominantly inspired by Japanese tradition and was a beautiful contrast to dishes presented.
We paired our meal with a wonderful Riesling after following the sommeliers recommendation of a white or light red wine.
Now, I wouldn't want to spoil the experience for anyone by going into extreme detail of each dish as I believe that the best part of the experience was the element of surprise every time the servers walked in our direction.
However, our only "disappointment" was with the timing of a particular dish which was composed of a green apple sorbet in almond milk - it was particularly sweet, and didn't seem to "fit" so early in the meal; perhaps it would have worked better as a pre-dessert. Nevertheless, it was refreshing as well as interesting, and the following seven dishes delighted us to such an extent that a revisit (particularly for dinner) is a must. I highly recommend it to anyone wants to have an exquisite French meal presented with Japanese perfection in a relaxed, elegant environment.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Camilla R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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