In May 2023, Marie Akaneya opens the first sumibiyaki in Paris and the first restaurant outside of Japan with meat from Ito Ranch, the most awarded and exclusive Matsusaka Beef farm in the country. It is also the first establishment in France and one of only three in Europe to serve Fukuroi's Crown Melon.
“You should take a look at this,” says Chiho Murata. It is July 2020 and there are two weeks left for the opening of Pilar Akaneya, in Madrid, the first of her restaurants with Kobe Beef. Murata shows her husband an article from the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun that speculates on the possible opening for export of a wagyū meat that Elias has never heard of. “Don't you know what Matsusaka Beef is?” Murata snapped with an incredulous look.
August 2022 - Hiroki Ito, Chiho Murata, Ignasi Elias and Kōsaka Kunio after tasting Ito Ranch beef in Tsu, Mie.
They haven't served Kobe Beef yet and it turns out that for the Japanese, the most coveted meat in Japan is called Matsusaka Beef. Elias barely finds information and parks the subject. They have enough with a pandemic that threatens to destroy two years of work and the illusions deposited in their brand new second sumibiyaki. Unknowingly, at that moment the mother of all Murata's dreams since she arrived in Europe begins to take shape: opening a sumibiyaki in Paris.
Terumi Murata, Chiho's aunt, tells them that in Mie Prefecture there is a farm called Ito Ranch that wins the Matsusaka Beef best cow award every year and is famous for serving the Japanese elites. In parallel, Hiroki Ito, owner of Ito Ranch, knows Chiho Murata from a report on NHK public TV about the Akaneya family of restaurants and her work as exclusive ambassador in Europe for Crown Melon. All this occurs while Murata receives a call from Jordi Rivera, her executive arm: “Chiho, we have it. At La Madeleine”. The new Akaneya in Paris already has a place. The Marie Akaneya project begins to take shape.
Ito Ranch official badge - License EU No. 01
Not long after, Hiroki Ito invites Murata to visit his farm, where a powerful attunement is instantly forged. The understanding is such that Hiroki Ito, as Chairman of the newly born Matsusaka Beef Association Export Committee, decides the time has come to open up this 450-member Association to a foreign company for the first time in its 60-year history and mediate with the Government of Japan to legalize exports after years of refusals to requests from around the world. In the summer of 2022, and with the opening of Marie Akaneya in Paris scheduled for May 2023, Murata and Ito seal an agreement that makes Akaneya France their European partner and distributor, and Marie Akaneya the first restaurant in Europe licensed to serve Ito Ranch beef, the holy grail of wagyū.
To understand if the work with Crown Melon explains Hiroki Ito's trust in Chiho Murata, Elias asks Ito's partner, Kōsaka Kunio, “Why us?” “For two reasons,” Kōsaka replies. “Second reason is, you open in Paris. Hiroki believes that the French will know how to appreciate his meat as much as the best chefs in Japan. Elias asks for the first reason. Kōsaka replies, “Will there be Crown Melon in Paris too?” Elias smiles and answers that his wife is incapable of imagining the best dinner of her life without a little piece of the melon from her homeland. Hearing this, Kōsaka tells him the first reason, which Murata prefers not to reveal.
Marie Akaneya is a popular Japanese cuisine sumibiyaki made with premium products from Japan. Inside, eleven self-made barbecue tables rise from the floor of a room with two spaces and a semi-private tatami room. The architectural proposal, designed by Chiho Murata and the C97 architectural firm with the collaboration of Arno Suzuki, professor in the Department of Architectural Design at Kyoto Tachibana University, is inspired by Japanese functional minimalism and the classical aesthetics of Kyoto, where clean and simple lines, natural colors and noble materials such as wood, iron, clay, ash, cotton or rope predominate.
At Marie Akaneya, beauty and tradition combine to create an oasis of calm filtered by rice paper lanterns and jazz music, a favorite among Japan's great chefs. A corner of Paris where day and night blend to slightly shake our notion of time.
Few things are as captivating as fire, intimacy and 'omotenashi', aspects that Marie Akaneya tries to combine properly. First time visit or not, as you step onto the dotted stone entrance of Marie Akaneya and through its sliding doors, the waiting staff wait inside to welcome you and make you feel at home as well as Japan.
Popular haute cuisine
If the basis of pleasure is the raw material, Marie Akaneya's work begins with its relationship with the suppliers and the choice of the best possible ingredient. The simplicity of the dishes highlights the prominence of the product and, in any case, is enhanced with some subtle touch. Little else is necessary when you have the opportunity and responsibility to work with certain gifts of nature. Everything must be of the highest quality and prepared to perfection.
The quality of the product is combined with the old-fashioned cooking method, with binchōtan charcoal that is poured onto the table manually with each service. “It is possibly the most sacrificed trade that exists in restoration”, confesses Chiho. But also "the most romantic expression I have ever known."
Marie Akaneya doesn't know if the guest will have a chance to return, so it prepares tasting menus that ensure a wide assortment of Japanese flavors and textures, as a prior dance around the barbecue fire. Each dish has a function within the whole, an intricate story woven as the course progresses.
The Sansekai Menu reflects a more creative, spontaneous and intuitive personality. The inspiration comes from the food itself and the curiosity for any aspect of Japanese cuisine that brings balance, elegance and flavor to the dishes, with no other pretension than to make whoever tastes them happy.
Born in 1993 in the Philippine city of Binan, Laguna, she starts preparing meals for her family at the age of 8. Every time her mother asks for a new dish, Froulyne calls her auntie Mhel because she always knows how to cook it. Her best memory is eating at Tokyo-Tokyo, a local restaurant where she tastes traditional Japanese food and crab-based kani salad.
Beyond her natural love for Japanese cuisine, her childhood leaves her a lesson that makes a dent in her life: nothing is more gratifying than seeing her family enjoy the lunch she has just prepared. Thus, at the age of 24, she decides to fulfill her dream: France. A year after her arrival, she enrolles at the CFA Médéric school in Paris, where she's trained as a professional chef and is offered her first job in haute cuisine, in 2018, reporting to Chef Olivier Ribler. It is in his restaurant, Executive Renault, where she learns “almost everything I know today”.
Shortly after she begins working for Chef Christian Constant at his restaurant-bistro Café Constant, where she delves into traditional French cuisine and the world of meat through the cocotte, the beef slow cooking method. A year later she gets her first opportunity as head chef at Ava Kitchen, famous in Paris for its healthy and modern cuisine. There she learns to see a menu as the score of a pleasant symphony: everything must be connected to each other in a natural way, for the benefit of both the palate and the body.
At the beginning of 2023, her life takes an unexpected turn. She receives a call to run the kitchen at Marie Akaneya, which is scheduled to open in September of the same year. To Froulyne's surprise, what Chiho Murata offers upon meeting her and seeing her work is the management of the restaurant. “When Chiho entrusts you with her house, you are overwhelmed, you don't know what to say. But if she has seen something in you, you are filled with confidence."
Earth, fire and water
There is something about Kyoto that inspires Marie Akaneya. The name Kyoto itself makes you breathe more deeply. Its beautiful scenes, sumptuous cuisine and calm rhythm make it easy for you to enjoy every moment. The Tawaraya ryokan, the Ogata restaurant, or strolling through Shirakawa Gion and Shinbashi Dori streets represent the very essence of beauty, sometimes unnoticed for lacking any pretense. The simple and rustic architecture separates you from the overwhelming outside world and plunges you into an almost meditative state.
Marie Akaneya transfers this harmony with nature to its cutlery and dishes, using simple metals and woods adapted to each need and season of the year. There are also used carefully selected rustic ceramics created by Japanese craftsmen. Japanese artisan tableware stands out for its delicacy, resistance and exquisite shapes. For the chef's menu he chooses unique pieces from the Yuu workshop in Barcelona, directed by the artist Motoko Araki. Using traditional methods, Araki takes time to make each piece. He begins with the good kneading of the clay in the original Japanese way and continues with the creation of the form using the lathe. Each piece is left to dry for 8 hours before glazing and firing at high temperature for another 14 hours. The resulting colors, shades and shapes give Japanese tableware and diners a sense of Zen beauty and well-being.
To book a table you must accept the following Reservation Conditions.
- Reservations prior to 9:30 p.m. correspond to the first shift and have a maximum of 2h 30m.
- We require punctuality. We will hold the table for 15 minutes.
- Reservation is valid exclusively for the number of people specified.
- You must respect the following Code of Conduct
- The Sansekai menu must be requested at the time of making the reservation and is subject to Special conditions Special conditions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No. The restaurant has 10 tables set up in a room with two small spaces and we cannot guarantee your privacy or the absence of noise. If you are looking for a fine-dining restaurant, or elegant fine-dining in its most classic sense, calm and spacious, Marie Akaneya may not meet your expectations.
Please, call us by phone at +33 987 52 36 38