Akrame Benallal may not be under the World’s 50 Best spotlight and other publications, like others whose the PR work is higher than the chefs work or cuisines. But since he opened his namesake restaurant, acknowledgment has not been missing. From Michelin stars to opening other businesses and restaurants, perseverance is this young chef’s middle name, even when the Michelin guide decided to take away his second star (nowadays he has one in Paris and another in Hong Kong), one could think his quick rise was over, but Akrame Benallal opened the also successful Bistrot Atelier Vivanda a bit all around the world, the Cave Brut, a cheese&wine bar in Paris, and, also in the city of light, the Shirvan Café Metisse, a kind of Arabic Bistrot, where he honors his roots and his travels.

Today, while having fun in the new location of the Akrame and creating his new Haute Couture collection (what he likes to call his cuisine), the chef is also preparing to embark on the reformulation of all the structure of the Printemps warehouses.

But on to the restaurant itself, the reason that took us to the number 7 of the Tronchet street- a building famous for a certain adventure of Kim Kardashian! A space was once used as a “pop up”, but with some flawless work on the kitchen and some remodeling on the room, it became the home of Akrame.

A space worthy of an impetuous and creative brain with a unique artistic vein, where aesthetics and good taste walk side by side.

Entering the restaurant we are absorbed by the dark, clean and modern environment of the reception that opens into the kitchen. In dark tones (the chef’s favorites) we are required to hold our look for some time while accompanying all the bustle of the work.

The impressive and minimalist cuisine of Akrame 

At the table, we started lunch without wasting time, and the snacks arrived at a good pace. Wakening our palates couldn’t have been better, watermelon infused with Pastis, which freshness and combination refreshed our palates and accelerated salivation as intended.

Watermelon and Pastis

Potato and smoked eel 

Followed by an elegant “slate”, aka potato chip with smoked eel and a fromage blanc cracker with cucumber gelly. Both delicate, with a good combination of flavors and textures – cheers to good beginnings!

fromage blanc cracker and cucumber 

 Bread is life!

“Hold your horses” cause the bread is coming!! Good crust, good hydration and the aroma and sour tang that makes of it almost the perfect dish.

Tomato and almond
A visually peculiar starter, that when in the mouth conquers straight away, a kind of Ile Flottante of tomato and almond, that almost becomes a “provocation” to desserts. Intense in flavor and delicate in texture, simply delicious!

 Razor clamsAmaranth and milk veil 
The amaranth was cooked in two textures, firstly almost like a risotto, nicely paired with the delicate and perfectly cooked clam, and secondly fried and crunchy working as a cape. Adding to that the greasiness and richness of the milk and the fresh notes of the oil. A really artistic combination of textures and flavors, positively surprising!

Accompanying the starters, and being in Paris, we started with a Champagne, Lallier Blanc des Blancs, a wine of great elegance with citric and brioche notes, a very elegant wine, of wide and long flavor, which finesse and acidity made the perfect pairing.

John Dorypalmito and spinach 
Another apparently improper combination, resulting in an amazing dish. Perfect fish, paired with all the textures of the dish and the smoked notes of the heart of palm and the roasted onions, freshened by the “green” flavor of the spinach. Bravo!

On the glass a trip to Meursault with a Les Casse-Têtes 2015 from Domaine Chavy-Chouet, a difficult area to grow vineyards – therefore the name – that brings us a simple wine, in the good sense, with interesting acidity that will give it years of life. A balanced wine, elegant and less opulent and rich than usual in Meursault, with brioche, spices and fresh fruit notes, and an ending with good minerality.

Veal, white beans, coconut, and charcoal
A dish where the beans and the meat shine, and the rich, brilliant, sauce was crying for some bread slices. Still, a combination with some flaws, namely in balance, so characteristic of the previous dishes, both for the sweetness of the coconut and the acidity of the cream.

Harmonizing was, and well, a Morgon, Passerelle 577 of Domaine Mee Godard, from 2015. Mee is a South Korean producer who grew up in France and established in Morgon in 2013, currently in her 3rd year of production, with this 2015, the wine shows the huge potential of the vineyards and her work. A completely different wine from the usual Beaujolais, elegant and pure, with cassis and blackberry notes, well-integrated wood, fleshy palate, matching very well with the dish and with some marvelous tannins. A harmonious wine!

Iced limoncello to cleanse the palate 

Taking advantage of the last strawberries of the season (by the time we visited), Akrame came back strongly with the desserts, with two proposals and different textures of strawberry, fennel, and white chocolate. Amazing strawberry sauce to go with the ice cream!

Truffle, praline and milk
To finish the desserts, a deceptively simple “roof tile”, with praliné and a delicate milk ice cream! But, and with artists, there’s always a “but”, there’s also a “truffle” sprinkled over the dessert, to look like the fungus itself. An amazing and well-prepared combination of truffle with chocolate, with notes that elevate the dish and transport us to something more complex. Very good!

And like a sweet never comes unpaired, there was also time for the petit fours, and for some madeleines so good I could pack a dozen to bring home just as if was in a Pâtisseries in the area!

A word also for the service, diligent and perfectionist, as in any Parisian table but with an informal and relaxed touch of a modern fine dining. High score also to the wine service, spot on, from the glasses to the choices and temperatures.

Final Remarks
I remember disparate critiques regarding Akrame Benallal’s work in the past, acclaimed by many, criticized by others for lack of consistency, or for putting aesthetics before substance and taste.

What process of metamorphosis? What simple state of grace and inspiration brought the various changes in his path? But surely today, the talented chef is living one of his best moments! Bold creations and unusual combinations resulted in a fantastic experience, both artistic and gastronomical!

A mandatory visit!


  The amazing Warre’s Vintage 1980 that accompanied us in this edition of our #wineontour and with which we awarded the chef at the end of our meal.  

Average price: 130/160€ per person without wines (lunch menu: 65€)
Rue Tronchet, 7 – Paris
+33 1 40 67 11 16 

Portuguese Version

Photos: Flavors & Senses

The wine presented in this edition of our #wineontour was kindly provided by Symington Family Estates

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