I've been wanting to try this place for the last few years. Having walked by it about 500 times on Teramachi street I have had to wonder what has stopped me from actually entering. Turns out... not much.
It is a pleasant space, if a little cold in atmosphere for the middle of the day.. I'm thinking this might be a better evening spot and am picturing warmth induced by candles/small lanterns... Having said that - we were the only patrons the day we visited - the day before they'd been booked out - I know this because we couldn't get a booking. So with more people I'm sure it would feel less austere.
The service was attentive and the food very good indeed. The menu is French with Japanese hints.
Mechant Loup, meaning the rascally wolf ( other translations suggest: vicious, bad, nasty, spiteful and malicious so thought I'd go down the cheeky/mischievous route...?) is the nickname of the chef/owner - a friendly young fellow who came out to see if we enjoyed our meal and to wave us goodbye. ( oh how things can be lost in translation from French to Japanese to English). He seemed less than rascally actually - sweet, and handsome too - not that I noticed.
These tiny Brioche with Munster cheese were divine. As was the rest of the meal actually. 'Pop it in your mouth all at once' she said. I ignored her and ended up with liquid cheese spurted all over me - my fault entirely it's just that having a mouthful of molten cheese didn't seem like a good idea at the time... naturally the little tastettes were the PERFECT temperature. There was never any risk of blistering my tongue.
The bread and wine (available by the glass) were excellent - always a good start of things to come.
The Spring onion blancmange, uni, beef consomme jelly, okra, baby corn, shiso was possibly my dish of the day.. although it was tough to choose when asked.
My fellow diners were more fans of the Shellfish, peas, scallop foam, pea skin sorbet - indeed an elegant dish
Sea Bass, 3 kinds of carrot, turmeric, orange, Omar shrimp sauce
Quail stuffed with pork mince, spring potatoes, cabbage, asparagus, Madeira sauce (with a hint of chocolate) - a most satisfying dish
A pre-dessert - inspired by the cocktail Salty Dog (vodka, grapefruit,salt)
And alongside some very respectable coffee this delightful platter was served. Financiers warm from the oven, matcha macarons with warm franjipane filling, fresh, sweet Dekapon citrus, cape gooseberries.
All this for around $60 AUD. If you are in Kyoto town and need a break from Japanese food -I recommend giving this a shot. Charming.