Im not catholic but the idea of a guilt free lunch was appealing, so we decided to exercise ourselves around the 16th arrondissement of Paris prior to lunch at Miss KŌ.
The 16th arrondissement can be compared to the Upper East Side of New York and is home to members of Parisian high society. The atmosphere is of old money combined with classic Parisian splendour tinged with the wiff of “you should have worked a bit harder.”
We swing pass Miss KŌ. Dark and sensual the full pink open mouth and extended tattooed tongue of a woman tops the outside board framing the menu. Yes, I am very excited to get inside this place. Another Philippe Starck designed venue that I have a very good feeling about. We continue our wander now, watching the clock for when we can come back.
Down toward the Avenue President de Wilson we find the Musee de Modern and pop in for a look at the permanent collection. I’m expecting the impressionists but I think the temporary Warhol exhibition may have taken over as we don’t really find anything of note except a sizeable Henri Matisse.
We are really keen to get back to Miss KŌ, so although our reservation is not till two we decide to head back and see if we can sneak in early. As usual, completely the right decision. We enter through a stunning flowing curtain embellished with the incredible image of a nude fully tattooed woman on a black background. I love it, as a painter of nudes I adore elegant composition and this is breathtaking. The simple composition sits so elegantly with the very detailed Asian tattoo designs, very sexy. I think she must have been a bit cold for the shoot though…..her skin under the ink is all goosey.
Behind the veil of the tattooed lady lies a long dark space out of which pops an eclectica of light, colour, surrealism all Asian influenced but with Starck’s signature fuck with your head flare. I love love love the feel of this place, like I fit it or it fits me… I think it’s probably because it kind of looks like my brain in here. Colourful creative and slightly nuts!
Our timing is as usual perfect, we are given the choice of tables and we opt for the bar. Perched upon sixties style stools the long glass topped bar flickers below our place settings. Starck has framed TV screens showing multiple small squares of Asian news and TV. It’s another fun light source to complement the long snakes of coloured Fluoro and funky box lamps, with Asian script on one side and English catchphrases “fun” on the other, that are scattered throughout the space.
My love explores the space behind me filled with a crazy supersized (I’m talking 2.5m high) teapot lantern, tables with fun messages printed on the back of chairs, large scale candelabras and a length of silk Asian umbrellas clustered upside down above tables, back lit so they glow a fiery orange.
I am mesmerised by the surrealist mural on the wall behind him. I interpret it as a portrait of sexual frustration. A rather desperate looking woman appears to be surrounded by a garden of plants, the flowers of which to me resemble the heads of lovely coquettish penises. Her arms extended, reach out, but she is not able to touch any of them as her arms have been severed at the elbow. Now I know several women friends who would argue there is no such thing as a lovely penis and there may have been a time I would have agreed but trust me if you wait patiently it will appear!
In front of the mural are sleek stainless steel shelves filled with all kinds of fun. Lucky cats, cans of Asian snacks, pretty colourful things that make interesting shapes and sizes. The kitchen is semi visible, shrouded by gorgeous transparencies. These perspex walls are fascinating artworks. Decorated with stylised Asian characters, backlit with a tangle of fluoro rope light and enhanced by the translucent workings of the kitchen, pots, pans and billy cans. It is an eclectic, funky and wildly playful space that I could sit in for hours.
The menu, the cover of which is the amazing nude tattooed woman again, is a collection of Asian style bits and pieces. While it is categorised into entrée, main, dessert in the ubiquitous French style, you can pretty much choose anything you want, which is how we choose to roll. Our lovely waitress recommends pizza and a plat for two.
Our “pizza” arrives on a black plate, several tiny delicate discs of crisp dough topped with raw tuna and black truffle. Refined gorgeous and elegant, a winner. We also ordered a platter for two which arrives on a square slate platter. Glistening pieces of sushi and sashimi; simple, direct, delicious. We are still a little peckish but enjoying the space of not feeling quite so well fed as days before. We ask our young lady for one more recommendation. Blackened fish arrives, we had imagined more of a cooked thing but it was another raw fish dish. Devine slices of fish on a salad of vegies sliced paper thin. Very delicate and refreshing.
It has been a wonderful experience, the incredible décor taking me into a day-dreamy wonderland, inspiring new art projects in my mind and flavour adventures in one sense not Parisienne but delivered in the most unmistakably Parisian way.