Take the light, subtle flavors of Japan and the rich, expressive taste of France. Add the culinary artistry and craftsmanship of acclaimed chef, Stephane Shoji, and you’re in for a dining experience that’s nothing short of spectacular.
L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen offers a mix of traditional Japanese and contemporary French dishes, featured on a parallel – not fusion – menu. The 14€ menú del día (set lunch menu) changes daily, offering original creations that stay true to the restaurant’s dual heritage while featuring international touches, keeping patrons coming back for more on a regular basis.
A charming red door on an unassuming street in Barrio de Las Letras provides the first hint of L’Artisan’s unique character.
As you step inside, the simple decor imbues Japanese minimalism, with an unadorned bar area and a long table with the open kitchen in the back.
By contrast, downstairs you’ll find a warm, romantic atmosphere, with Japanese-inspired art and exposed brick walls that are typical of traditional Madrid cuevas.
L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen was opened four years ago by Paris-born chef Stephane Shoji, who has both French and Japanese heritage. Shoji refined his culinary skills in kitchens around the world, before bringing his “passion project” to life in Madrid. In every dish he expresses his international culinary background and philosophy on cuisine as a craft that brings people together.
We went for dinner and followed our server’s recommendations wholeheartedly, dish by dish, wine by wine. While waiting for our starters we were given delicious tomato soup with an unexpected garnish – popcorn!
For starters, we ordered the ají no tataki, mackerel tartare with green onion, ginger and aubergine caviar. It was so light and refreshing, the kind of dish I’d order every time and never get tired of.
We also had the oh-so-rich buta no kakuni, soft pork belly slow cooked for 12 hours in sweet soy sauce. The meat was extremely tender and served in broth that retained all its flavor.
For entrees, we tried the oven-roasted butterfish marinated in saikyo miso which was our favorite dish of the night – simply out of this world.
We also had the lamb chops offered as a special that night. I just don’t think you can go wrong with any dish here.
For dessert we ordered the apple crumble which came highly recommended. A happy silence came over our table as we took the first bite. No words necessary, just go and try it!
Photography by Jose Luis Magaña from A Second Art (@asecond.art)