L’Inconnu by Koji Higaki

· Food

Hey Hey! I have a new address to share with you guys! This time, it’s kind of unexpected. “L’inconnu”, the italian restaurant, was created by japanese chef Koji Higaki, and that’s the reason it piqued my interest.

You all know my love for japanese cuisine, but I’m also a fan of italian dishes … it always brings back such fond memories of great travels.


Italy of the Rising Sun

I looked the chef up afterwards, and it seems he worked in Venice for a couple of years, as well as in “Passage 53”, a french restaurant with 2 Michelin stars – hence this surprising culinary mix!

Yet not so surprising when you think about it, for I noticed the japanese were very culinary-curious : in Tokyo, you can find a great number of restaurants with varying cosmopolitan influences.

Atmosphere-wise, it’s extremely minimalist (!) as soon as you step inside. No decoration or frames on the wall. The tableclothes are immaculate. There’s just a bouquet, set in the center of the room.

You like it or you love it, but it’s most certainly a conscious choice that serves to highlight what you’re going to be eating.

Anyway, even in such a bare ambiance, we felt at ease. Our waitress (the wife of Koki Higaki it seems) suggests the Chef’s unique menu and asks if we have any allergies or culinary preferences. We’re up for everything, and will eat anything, let’s do this!


Chef’s Menu

As appetizer we had a carrot and curry creamy soup. It’s fresh and good, there’s nothing to say.

Carrott and curry creamy soup

Second appetizer: Quail eggs disguized as potatoes and a small green bean tart. Crispy on the outside with a potato batter and creamy on the inside with the soft boiled quail egg.

Quail eggs disguized as potatoes and a small green bean tart

Then comes the marjoram focaccia with mashed beans and pecorino cheese that will accompany us the whole meal. It’s light and crispy, and it was very hard to resist not finishing it all before the rest of the courses came along.

Marjoram focaccia with mashed beans and pecorino cheese

The starter is a candied white asparagus with a carbonara sabayon sauce : a mix of raw and cooked asparagus that once again puts emphasis on a contrast of textures, with the creaminess of the carbonara.

Candied white asparagus with a carbonara sabayon sauce

Then comes fish : fried cod with a mix of green peas and turnip. I’m totally seduced by how accomplished the dish is, the fish is perfectly cooked and I love the puffed rice that come add a surprising crunchy touch.

Fried cod with a mix of green peas and turnip

We continue with the meat dish : roasted guinea fowl with potatoes and wood garlic. The mix is perfect. You can really feel the japanese precision in how each dish is prepared.

Roasted guinea fowl with potatoes and wood garlic

We finish with a surprising game-changer: pasta is served last, as if to pay tribute to the italian cuisine. Sardine spaghettini, fennel and lemon. Italy in all it’s glory.

Sardine spaghettini, fennel and lemon

For dessert, we can choose between the citrus pavlova or the banana tiramisu. We opt for both! That way we can share both!

Citrus Pavlova

The destructured pavlova is a perfect way to end this meal lightly, with it’s jelly grapefruit bits and it’s crunchy meringue.

But I loooooved the banana tiramisu, that once again, comprises of a number of textures : caramelized banana, banana ice cream, chocolate bits and the traditional mascarpone. Amazing, refined and oh-so-yummy.

Banana Tiramisu


To sum it all up…

Taking a step back from the traditional checkered-tablecloth-italian-restaurant, Koji Higaki manages, with refined sobriety, to make us enjoy a japanese tinted dolce vita during a meal. Grazie … gozaimasu ! (English translation by Marine)

Lunch Menu 50€ (Starter, Fish, Meat, Pasta, Dessert)
or 38€ (same but you have to chose between meat and fish)


Italien restaurant L’INCONNU
by Chef Koji Higaki

4 Rue Pierre Leroux
75007 Paris


  1. Reply


    Ohlalala tout a l’air tellement bon! J’adore cette fusion entre cuisine japonaise et cuisine italienne, je trouve le pari risqué et en même temps, ca m’a l’air très réussi!

    • Reply


      Je m’attendais aussi à une fusion façon “ramen mozarella” ou “pâtes au matcha” mais rien de cela en fait !
      Du coup, on ne peut pas réellement parler de fusion entre les deux car aucun ingrédient d’origine japonaise n’en fait partie si tu regardes bien.

      C’est juste une véritable cuisine italienne préparée avec une sensibilité japonaise, ce qui donne cette méticulosité mêlée à une vraie gourmandise : bref une vraie bonne surprise.

  2. Reply

    The slow pace

    That focaccia! (Insert heart eyed emoji)

  3. Reply


    im drulling here!

    XOXO Peachplz | http://www.peachplz.com

  4. Reply


    Je ne sais pas quoi dire sur cette cuisine, par contre, si tu ne l’as pas fait, je te recommande d’aller voir le film de Naomi Kawase, “Les Délices de Tokyo” (qui prend le prétexte d’une pâte de haricots rouges pour nous parler de toute autre chose), qui est d’une rare sensibilité et qui m’a particulièrement touchée.
    Belle journée,

    • Reply


      Tu as du zapper un billet ici 😉 http://www.tokyobanhbao.com/2016/02/24/five-senses-2/
      car je suis déjà allée le voir et j’ai beaucoup aimé en effet !

      bises !

      • Reply


        Oui, tu as raison, je n’ai pas zappé le post (va savoir pourquoi, je me souvenais parfaitement de la veste Sézane) mais je suis ravie que tu aies aussi apprécié ce film rempli de délicatesse…
        Bonne journée (encore pluvieuse par ici)

  5. Reply

    Claire au Matcha

    Sublime reportage! Je note précieusement

    • Reply


      Merci à toi. Donne moi ton avis si tu as l’occasion de tester !

  6. Reply

    lali douce

    mmmmh j’ai trop envie de goûter à ce dessert ! <3

Leave a Reply

* These fields are required. Your email address will not be published.