Cheval Blanc Paris has unveiled its new Japanese restaurant, the fourth dining concept from the Maison, joining three-Michelin starred Plénitude, Le Tout-Paris and Langosteria.

Under the guidance of Cheval Blanc Paris’ Head Chef Arnaud Donckele, Hakuba is the result of a collaboration between chef Takuya Watanabe and the Maison’s pastry chef Maxime Frédéric. The new eatery invites guests on a gastronomic immersion into a ritualised Japan where tradition, precision, authenticity and sincerity are the cornerstones of the Omakase menus.

“We want this table to be a total immersion into Japanese art and craftsmanship,” comments Arnaud Donckele. “On the sushi, temaki, gunkan side, Takuya Watanabe embodies rigour and authenticity. He has full creative freedom for remarkable creations with products such as fish, rice, Iio Jozo brewery vinegar, seaweed.”

The Omakase menus reflect Takuya Watanabe’s desire to offer the best of Japanese gastronomy. Arnaud Donckele seeks to enhance flavours with his expertise in sauces to punctuate the experience. Broths, sushi, raw or caramelised fish, soba, finger lime, a myriad of ingredients and textures have come together to create a delicate menu.

“Emotion is a universal language,” adds chef Takuya Watanabe. “I knew straight away that this encounter with Arnaud would be like a creative fusion that would give birth to the most beautiful Japanese culinary postcard, coloured by his talent. Maxime Frédéric immersed himself in my culture with his analytical finesse and sensitivity. Each piece is a little gem. Nothing is superfluous. Everything is done in pursuit of the perfect balance of flavours.”

To accompany the Omakase menus, Wine Director Emmanuel Cadieu, who is passionate about Japanese culture, has put together a selection of the finest sakés and wines.

For the desserts meanwhile, Maxime Frédéric, pastry chef, has carte blanche.

“We were keen to reflect the Japanese culture, to create an encounter between the craftsmanship of French pastry and Japanese traditions,” emphasises Frédéric. “We have learned a lot about textures, the finer crispiness, and the work with rice paste. The menu offers a dessert with white and black rice and glazed, roasted, or fruity mochis, prepared on the spot.”

Hakuba – which means “white horse” in Japanese – will be located on the ground floor of Cheval Blanc Paris. The restaurant features three counters allowing the chefs to move between them and creating a sense of theatre for its guests. Two counters are reserved for eight to nine people; the third, private and more confidential, away from prying eyes, can accommodate up to six guests.

The setting interprets a contemporary vision of Japanese tradition. From the entrance, the Tsukubai stone and bamboo fountain diffuse the murmuring of flowing water, dark woods such as black walnut and other rare essences with warm tones serve as symbolic reminders of the Japanese forest.

The art of the table has been designed for the dishes. The plates are crafted by artisans from the Kyoto and Fukuoka regions. Japanese glassware is extremely delicate. Saké pots are all different. This art of the table embraces the codes of ancestral craftsmanship, such as linen outfit, creating a signature for the place to provide a unique and memorable dining experience.