That's what's on the menu at Philippe Starck's adventurous new Paris eaterie. Whatever happened to good old food?

On the rare occasions when I go to Paris I expect nothing less than the full-fat package of escargots swimming in garlicky butter, steak frites, runny Brie and a crÿme brûlée for supper. The French notoriously get away with a diet that baffles nutritionists, given that they consume more saturated fats than other nation, yet have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than Americans. They are famous for paying fastidious attention to what they consume and its effect on them, while supposedly having less to worry about than the rest of us.

On the rare occasions when I go to Paris I expect nothing less than the full-fat package of escargots swimming in garlicky butter, steak frites, runny Brie and a crÿme brûlée for supper. The French notoriously get away with a diet that baffles nutritionists, given that they consume more saturated fats than other nation, yet have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than Americans. They are famous for paying fastidious attention to what they consume and its effect on them, while supposedly having less to worry about than the rest of us.

Philippe Starck, the designer and international phenomenon, is allegedly even more sensitive than most of his fellow Frenchmen and women about the temple that is his body. Which is why earlier this year he opened a restaurant called Bon in a glorious Art Nouveau building in the swanky residential 16th arrondissement. He's joined forces with Laurent Taieb, restaurateur behind the Japanese Lo Sushi, to create somewhere that 200 people can eat and drink. Besides the inevitable flamboyant appearance, its sheer size makes the down at heel English tourist feel like a style-pygmy.

Bon begins with a small, revolving sushi counter at the entrance and goes on and on, along a corridor lined with tables and silver-cushioned chairs, off into a couple of sunken rooms, through a spacious conservatory with a tented ceiling, sofas covered in bedlinen, silver drapes and a rhino head mounted above a log-burning fireplace, and into an inner sanctum with a cross-shaped table - its top spattered with photographs of the milky way.

This time Starck's schtick is not just his set-dressing, mood-enhancing aesthetic, it reaches both into the kitchen and on to the menu, introducing organic and healthy eating into the equation. He's engineered the music too, with an echoey selection of John Cage, Marianne Faithfull and Laurie Anderson playing in the background and for sale on CD in the shop along with natty packets of organic pasta, that lemon squeezer and hairy hot waterbottle covers. Voilà: a concept.

As is typical of the man depicted in a larger-than-life winking hologram at the reception desk, this through-the-looking-glass world according to Starck is irreverent, clever and soooo contemporary in its preoccupation with nutrition. His manifesto states that the food will be "a little more intelligent than elsewhere, healthier, more balanced, and you will feel really good when you leave...We have thought about the chemical potential of the food, its ability to influence our physical condition, and our mental balance."

This translates into a menu where dishes are grouped not just into sections conventionally called entrees, plats, and mer, but also under the heading "maman", to suggest comfort - the English equivalent of which would invoke the nursery and stodge, for soups and "I am bad", which means steak, chips and Reblochon cheese. Many dishes are annotated according to effects on body, mind and soul. "Helps eliminate toxins," it says of a clear soup; "easy to digest and stimulates intellectual activity" is the claim made for quinoa risotto.

Following the previous night's satisfyingly traditional feast of saturated fats we were primed to put Bon's claims through its paces. After slathering organic farmhouse butter on to a wholewheat roll, I started with creme de courgettes, a soup supposedly providing "good detoxification after excess"; my consort's salad with scallops was said to be "perfect for the skin and good mood". We probably should have swapped orders. As our organic wine arrived, the waiter pulled up an African stool to the table. Surely he wasn't going to join us? No, this piece of furniture - matching the anthropomorphic mahogany chairs - was for the ice bucket to sit on. The soup was the shade of green that means it must be good for you, and fine for the first few intensely vegetal spoonfuls. By the end I wished for a swirl of cream or some oily croutons to add variety. Four scallops came with lamb's lettuce in a nut oil dressing, dabs of shellfishy sauce and diced vegetables. "What's in it?", I asked my consort as he scraped the last calorie off the plate. "It's salad," he said, "is my skin glowing yet?" "No, but the Sancerre's making you a bit flushed."

Neither of us could bring ourselves to be bad when it came to main courses. Our two choices made greater claims for their effect on the mind than the body. Which could probably be said for any meat or fish, but then the veracity of Bon's nutritional philosophy should be taken with a pinch of low sodium salt.

Roast duck with potato galette, "helps intellectual activity, endurance and libido"; sea bream, pan-fried and with sesame oil, came with pommes purée, sprigs of herbs, and the suggestion that it could help intellectual activity, memory and concentration. The duck, in a fan of chewy pink slices was not as rewarding as a nice fatty confit would have been. The potato cake, a rosti decoratively topped with overlapping slices of tuber and with the fragrant addition of thyme, was also tough and dry as if they'd held back on the lard or other oil needed to lubricate it. A cherry tomato, a garnish of parsley and basil, lots of lamb's lettuce with nut oil dressing and an unctuous blob of black tapenade completed the picture of a health-giving dish that was a little too cool in the places it should have been hot.

Desserts (good for le morale) are defiantly off message, and come straight from the patisserie - or perhaps not straight, as they took a surprisingly long time to arrive considering they didn't even take the labels off. Saint Honoré, a stack of caramel and cream named after the 11th century patron saint of bakers, will raise spirits and cholesterol levels simultaneously.

You might think none of this would particularly impress, on home ground, an audience critical of liberties taken with their cooking in the name of wit. Yet apparently Bon's popularity on Saturdays requires two sittings. For Sunday lunch only the conservatory, the most comfortable of the various areas, was being used. What made it peculiarly Parisian was that other tables were occupied not by chillingly elegant young singles, but by extended family parties.

The food at Bon is not bad, but possibly no better for you than anything else you could eat in Paris (and not cheap either at around 250 FF for three courses, though there are set menus for 160 FF). But who cares? You're buying into a concept that Parisians have taken to their hearts. I got so carried away that, embarrassingly, I bought the CD. I'd go back for the experience and the T-shirt, but not necessarily for lunch.

Bon, 25 Rue de la Pompe, 16th arrondisement; tel: 00 33 140 727000. Daily lunch 12.30-2.30pm, dinner 8pm-12. Visa and Amex accepted. Wheelchair access

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