Momoka seats -- just barely -- 14 to 16 diners at tightly spaced tables, so reservation required. There's a counter and a kitchenette where Masayo Hashimoto, a slender, young Japanese woman who trained as a French pastry chef, is likely to be at work, calmly stuffing and crimping her absolutely perfect gyoza (pork-stuffed dumplings).

Meanwhile, a young man with the gallantry of a bullfighter is either waiting on tables, answering the phone or squeezing lemons and shredding fresh ginger to make the sensational ginger lemonade that might make you forswear the restaurant's rudimentary wine and beer list.

Masayo offers three set menus a night, all of them based around a soup , a series of sparkling salads , sometimes those super dumplings (grilled), both a fish and a beef course and, finally, dessert (supplied from Azabu) -- plus lots of little extras in between, like a slice of succulent lacquered eel.

Momoka, 5, rue Jean-Baptiste-Pigalle, 75009 Paris, tel. 01 40 16 10 09 , M° Trinité ( or by foot from the Montmartre Studio Loft)


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