Amy Thomas (God I love Paris), Kim Laidlaw (I Heart Paris), Forest Collins (52 Martinis) and our very own Erica Berman recently got together for a very special meal at the elusive Montmartre restaurant, Guilo Guilo. Renowned for its Japanese wunderkind chef Eiichi Edakuni, its fixed menu (which changes daily), and the near-impossibility of scoring reservations if you’re not prepared to make the treck up to Montmartre in person, it did not fail to impress these serious food-blogger dames…
Amy Thomas – Guilo Guilo’s open kitchen and staff
Eight Courses and Four Reviews of Japanese Gem Guilo Guilo
What do you get when four foodie bloggers come together for reservations at one of Paris’ most under-the-radar yet hard-to-get-into spots? A mélange of approving opinions and happy bellies. A review of Guilo Guilo, sliced four ways:
Let’s start with the food
Forest: Chef Eiishi Edakuni concocts beautiful, intricate, tasty, tidy, subtle, little mystery-mouthfuls. Not being certain about all the ingredients is part of the fun— but maybe not for the vegetarians!?
Kim: It was a seemingly never-ending flow of courses presented in bite-sized gems, bursting with flavor. I love this style of eating where you get to try so many different tastes. It’s a real success at Guilo Guilo where you are able to sample a far more interesting side of Japanese gastronomy than you would in sushi-centric joints.
Erica: Creative, original and delicious. The chef expertly pairs diverse and unexpected ingredients to create some of the best food I have had in 18 years of Parisian living.
Amy: Oh, how I love experiences like this. Every little dish was a gift: pretty to look at, thoughtfully constructed and artfully crafted, creative but pure and, bien sur, delicious. And the hits just kept coming! Eight courses? Gift after gift…
Erica Berman – Guilo Guilo delicious morsels
And to go with the food?
Forest: For a nice change from French bubbly, crystal clear sparkling sake isn’t as strong as expected but it still delivered a delicate kick with a dry, clean and refreshing finish.
Kim: I also sampled the sparkling sake, a Japanese take on champagne, which tasted a little like soluble aspirin, but in a good way! The drinks menu seems comprehensive—wine, spirits, sake and beer—but it would be nice to have a longer beer list and maybe even cocktails.
Amy: Starting with the iced prune liqueur was genius. And then, well, I’m so boring—I always wind up with red wine.
Erica: I love the traditional Prune liqueur—sweet and succulent.
Typical Parisian service?
Erica: The all-Japanese team offered sweet and lovely service and, even if they don’t really speak French or English, it is authentic and delightful.
Kim: Top marks for enthusiasm and conviviality to all the waiters. I particularly appreciate how accommodating they were to cater to my vegetarian demands. It was slightly difficult (and that’s a serious understatement) to understand our waiter, which meant we were often guessing what we were eating. But he was so unbelievably adorable that I didn’t mind—and guessing what we were eating was part of the fun!
Amy: How cute was our waiter?? Each dish was explained with an endearing smile. They were totally accommodating, warm and hospitable while remaining absolutely serious and professional.
Forest: The servers simultaneously confused and delighted with nearly incomprehensible food descriptions and utterly lovely comportment.
Erica Berman – Guilo Guilo delicious morsels
What’s the place like?
Erica: Sleek and modern yet comfortable.
Forest: The gleaming black lacquer surrounds a tight ring of patrons, which encircles the brightly lit, vibrating nucleus of a cooking space while envious passersby gaze through the large front window.
Amy: So fun, and so not Paris. What was it, about 20 or 22 seats, around the kitchen? It’s pure entertainment. And because they’re total pros, it’s entertaining without being obtrusive. Loved the black décor and the thoughtfully selected cups and glasses and dishes and accoutrements.
Kim: The bar-style seating looking onto a central kitchen means that eating here is very much a gastronomic-centered experience: you’re facing the chefs masterfully preparing the food rather than looking at your fellow diners. The decor is simple and neutral but not lacking in charm.
Erica Berman – Guilo Guilo sparkling sake and the happy patrons
A note on the company
Chuckles from all
Amy: Just as great as the food!
Kim: Excellent! Although slightly difficult to chat due to the in-line counter seating.
Forest: It’s always a pleasure to catch up with fun and in-the-know ladies—a good meal on top of that is just a bonus!
Erica: I am always amazed at the fabulous people I meet through HiP Paris and Twitter that I would never have encountered otherwise!
Forest: Incontestably enjoyable.
Erica: I have been to Guilo Guilo four times over the course of two years (they have been around for two and a half years), and each time the meal has been a diverse and enchanting experience. This Japanese restaurant is off the beaten track on a quiet little side street in the funky Abbesses neighborhood and a sure thing for a fabulous meal.
Kim: I will definitely be returning as I feel it really is a place to go for a great culinary experience. It is also rather reasonably priced for the quality of the food and the setting.
Amy: When can I go back??
8 Rue Garreau, 75018
Open: Tue-Sun 7pm – 10pm
Erica Berman is the founder of this lovely little blog you’re reading now, as well as the amazing Haven in Paris. London-import Kim Laidlaw Adrey is the editor of the Go Go guide to Paris and creator of I Heart Paris. Forest Collins is your source for finding the very best cocktail in Paris, and Amy Thomas will take you directly to the best sweets and also give you the inside scoop on Paris.
- Guilo Guilo Restaurant
- More on Guilo Guilo on Amy’s God I Love Paris Blog
- Amy Thomas’ Sweet Freak blog
- Haven in Paris: Vacation Rental Apartments in Paris
- Kim Laidlaw’s I Heart Paris blog
- Forest Collins’ 52 Martinis blog