Rue de Paradis is a historic and multicultural slice of Paris. Dotted with boutiques and bars as well as the Indian consulate, this once gritty Right Bank neighbourhood is fast becoming a gastronomic ghetto. At number 55, Bistro Paradis is a tasty partnership between Yohann Dhin from Toulouse and Brazilian chef Alexandre Furtado, who I met when he was with Alain Ducasse’s team at The Dorchester, London. It was while working at Parisian/Brazilian restaurant Le Pario, however, that Furtado met Dhin, a former banker turned mâitre d’hôtel who mixes an excellent Caipirinha of lime, sugar, ice and artisanal cachaça spirit.
The couple’s bijou space seats just 20 and has been given a minimal refit by Kristian Gavoille (ex-Philippe Starck): original hexagonal floor tiles paired with a “zinc-style” bar and a tiny semi-open kitchen where Furtado creates his “cuisine bistronomique”. “I always add a touch of Brazil to my dishes,” he says, “although my cooking is the neoclassic French style I learnt from my mentors.” The result is five starters, five mains and five desserts (lunch menus cost €18-€23; evening menus €30-€54), using ingredients such as coconut, guava, mango, açaí berries and exotic flowers as well as farofa – a flour made from the starchy South American root vegetable manioc.
To begin, there’s foie-gras with guava jelly and gingerbread, or sea bass carpaccio with passionfruit vinaigrette, acerola purée and sesame croutons (first picture). Mains include the signature cabillaud (cod) moqueca style – a Brazilian recipe of fish stewed in coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, garlic and coriander – and thyme-roasted quail with a side of basmati rice spiked with Parma ham. To finish, pudim (third picture) is a glossy yellow dessert made with eggs, sugar and coconut milk, or there’s moist chocolate cake with passionfruit cream and mango coulis.
The wines are French – perhaps a Mâcon Viré-Clessé white burgundy 2014 from Domaine Guillemot-Michel (€59) or a red Crozes Hermitage Domaine Yann Chave 2014 (€42; €8 per glass) – while the delicious bread comes from Monsieur Fernand’s bakery on Rue d’Hauteville around the corner. I’d recommend a visit to stock up before catching the Eurostar.