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On Tuesday night a friend and I enjoyed an excellent gourmet dinner at Alliance, a Michelin one-star restaurant in the 5ème featuring a respected Japanese chef, Toshitaka Omiya. The dining room is intimate, with only six or eight tables. It’s beautifully decorated in a subdued modern style. It was lucky that I had reserved because it was full by 8 pm.

Discreet people watching was an added pleasure. The other diners all seemed to be French.

We chose the eight-dish Alliance tasting menu. Each dish was tiny but by the end of the (three-hour) evening we were happily stuffed.

One of our pre-appetizer appetizers.

The other pre-appetizer appetizer.

Our first actual appetizer, a really delicious ball of fried seafood on a unique plate, eaten with toothpicks.

Second appetizer, including an oyster

Third appetizer. Asparagus is in season

Blue lobster main dish. I put aside the fried pork and boudin noir which was included, despite my request for no red meat.

Luscious mushroom and potato main. I inexplicably got this in place of the foie gras, which isn’t red meat. The foie gras (which I tasted from my dining companion) was silky smooth but too rich for my taste.

A slice of the chicken which had been displayed to us before and after it was cooked.

The very light pre-dessert dessert. Don’t call it a palate cleanser since we had already had a little citrus wafer to do that.

The first dessert, mercifully modest in size and really delicious.

The second tiny dessert, all fruit and flowers.

The post-dessert dessert. Gilding the lily?

A last look, through the window, showing the open kitchen at the back.

Overall, I found it a very satisfactory experience, and at 110 euros each a fair value. The service was unobtrusive except just when we arrived, when it almost verged on obsequiousness. The space was lovely and intimate. The food was on the whole excellent, although another time I would ask not to have the foie gras de canard, even though it’s their signature dish, just because I personally find it too rich. The pre-appetizers and post-dessert dessert lay it on a bit thick, but this is just an observation, not really a complaint. We didn’t have wine but I note on their website that bottles are available for only 18 euros, which is surprisingly reasonable. I might still give a slight edge to Frenchie, but reservations are very hard to get there while you can reserve easily at Alliance.