Kúkú restaurant-bar: a surprising fusion cuisine between Latin America and the Mediterranean

By Rizhlaine F. Photos by Rizhlaine F. Posted Jun 7, 2022 6:23 PM

The Kúkú restaurant is the address not to be missed in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. This spot with a trendy and bucolic setting offers us a real culinary journey with surprising pairings that upset our palate. Here you can enjoy fusion cuisine halfway between Mediterranean and South American flavors, all revisited with creativity! Expect the unexpected!

Kuku : remember this name because you will hear about it. Nestled in a recess in the rue de Penthièvre, near the Champs-Elyseesthis surprising restaurant makes us travel far from Parisfirst by its frame, both trendy and exotic. If the weather can often be capricious in the capital, this address stands out as a place where the sun always shines. A table of the world, imagined by Loic Berardengo and Zoltan Paterne.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

On the ground floor, Kuku takes us to capri and invites us to enjoy a delicious break in the shade of lemon trees. We feel like on the terrace of an Italian villa and the holiday spirit is not far away. Since the open kitchenyou see the chiefs busy preparing their culinary masterpieces and to be in the front row of this show, you can also sit at the counter and chat a little with them. For that is the spirit of Kuku : sharing a passion in the company of the restaurant’s very warm team.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

But there is still something that catches your eye. From the stairs leading to the basement, bougainvillea flowers seem to stretch out their hand (or branch) to invite you to take this side road. Beware of jet lag when descending the steps: in a few seconds, you will leave Italy to find yourself in the heart of the greek islands. The walls covered with bougainvillea offer a bucolic setting and although we are in the basement of a parisian restaurantthis vibe of idleness wins over us and manages to create this welcome break in the frenetic pace of the capital.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

And that’s just the beginning ! Because after having made your decision between Capri and Santorini, the journey continues on the plate. A glance at the card tells you the suit. Certain titles of dishes will arouse your curiosity while other dishes may seem more familiar to you. But we warned you: expect the unexpected. Because in the kitchen, we find a shock team: the Chef Julien Gasperiin tandem with the deputy chief Ayoub Ben Hammi, compete in ingenuity and put all their heart into offering recipes that combine artistic creativity with gastronomic finesse while offering generous plates.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

As a starter, we were intrigued by the origami-style Greek salad and we were not disappointed: the reinterpretation of this great classic reveals a Tetris of flavors. Restructured like a rubik’s cube, each piece of this puzzle highlights the star products that make up this must-have, from the sun-drenched tomato to the freshness of the cucumber, not forgetting the sweetness of the feta and a compote of rhubarb which brings an extra twist… we are not likely to forget the Kúkú-style Greek salad !

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

But the imagination behind the map of Kuku don’t stop there. The langoustine, parmesan and Peruvian coffee accord is a very nice introduction to this offbeat universe. If the title may seem surprising to you, we recommend that you take the plunge and taste this starter, a great discovery awaits you.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

Without warning, a trompe-l’oeil cappuccino finds its place in our table. Surrounded by smoldering dry ice, this unexpected presentation is sure to have you pulling out your smartphone and blasting that plate. kuku therefore upsets the codes by making us start this lunch with a coffee break. We then dip very crispy revisited briouates in a cup which, under a creamy parmesan emulsion, reveals this intriguing harmony between the flesh of the langoustine and the cocoa notes of coffee from Peru. Spoiler alert: we loved it.

Every step of our lunch, no matter what we chose, Kuku manages to amaze us and those up to the cocktails with a signed card Matthias Giroud, the talented head bartender who unveils ever more surprising recipes. Moreover, you will give us news of the Kuku Gardena creation based on dark rum, pineapple, mountain tea and Muira Puama with deliciously smoky notes and an amazing dressing!

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

To continue this sunny getaway, the romanesco octopus and Granny Smith might just curry favor with you. Worked the Catalan way, the octopus is cooked for 24 hours under vacuum and at low temperature. Then, when serving it, it is just snacked with real gravy. Result, the octopus crisps slightly before revealing its melting flesh while the pieces of apple come to refresh our palate.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

If the Lobster Roll is your indulgence, wait to taste the recipe by Julien Gasperi. We warn you, for our part, it counts as one of the best revisits of this classic of the North American street food. Here we find thinner slices of toasted bread for a more generous lobster garnish. In this revisit, we find aniseed notes that bring a nice touch of gluttony accompanied by a bean hummus that brings a certain sweetness, truffle shavings that spice it all up and a harissa-scented mayonnaise that is just to die for.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

At the time of dessertit’s the pastry chef Aldo Gennuso who takes over. From each plate, he literally makes it his canvas. We want proof of this, Panna Cotta Fridaa gourmet tribute to Frida Kahlo. The monobrow, lips and earrings are drawn on the plate, while a fruity headdress crowns the famous Mexican artist. We find in this plate, the delicious flavor of red fruits, married to floral notes of poppy, all sprinkled with breezes of sponge cake with matcha green tea.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

Another signature creation for sweet tooths: the cactus jack. Here again, our plate is transformed into a work of art and we find a reinterpretation of the strawberry plant which is just to die for. Strawberry pieces are topped with homemade whipped cream and accompanied by the famous Jack, a cactus made from a green tea sponge cake and as soft as a sponge cake. An ice cream completes this picture to refresh us at the end of the meal. Also not to be missed, the unstructured mille-feuille and with Dulce de Leche (milk jam) to end this getaway on a regressive note.

Kúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-ElyséesKúkú restaurant-bar, an exotic table just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysées

You will have understood it, we had a big crush on Kuku and theculinary experience she offers us from appetizer to dessert. A case to follow very closely!

This test was carried out as part of a professional invitation. If your experience differs from ours, please let us know in the comments.

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