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Desperately Seeking Tsukemen: Where to Find Paris’ Best Japanese Noodles

HiP Paris Blog seeks out the best tsukemen in ParisTsukemen – City Foodsters

Not long ago, I stumbled across the show, “The Mind of a Chef” on Netflix. Five minutes into Episode One, I was already drooling. Aptly entitled “Noodle”, the show is pretty much a 23-minute montage of Chef David Chang slurping down bowl after steaming bowl of delicious-looking ramen in different kitchens, restaurants and countries, while he delves into the history (and science) behind the Japanese dish.

Because I am the poster child for the power of suggestion, I instantly became obsessed with finding “tsukemen” in Paris, a noodle dish featured on the show that was totally new to me. Invented in the 1950s by Kazuo Yamagishi, tsukemen differs from traditional ramen dishes in that the noodles don’t come in a soup. Instead, they’re served separately, and you use chopsticks to dunk them into a reduced broth or sauce, before slurping them up with delicate finesse. The noodles are coated in the flavourful sauce, but retain their natural taste and chewy texture because they aren’t sitting in liquid. (The literal translation of tsukemen is actually “dipping noodles”.)

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Bistrot Fixe: A Coveted Corner in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement

Amy Thomas, the fabulous blogger behind God I love Paris, dishes here on four must-try restaurants in Paris’ 1st arrondissement.

Paris Restaurant: La Regalade
Josephine Docena, La Régalade

Now that it’s the end of summer, it’s time to welcome Spring—and I’m talking Daniel Rose’s forever-anticipated restaurant, not the season.

For over a year, Rose and his co-chef/girlfriend, Marie-Aude Mery, have been dealing with French red tape and staying busy with the Spring Boutique, while an insatiable dining community licked its chops in anticipation of the restaurant’s reopening. The 24-seater finally debuted late this summer with a five-course market-driven tasting menu. For my recent lunch (I’m too cheap to spend 64 Euros for dinner; the 38 Euros lunch is more my speed), that meant palate-pleasing dishes like a creamy, lemony caviar d’aubergine, a juicy and tender duck breast accompanied by crispy thigh bits and poached peach, and a deconstructed lemon tart topped with crème anglaise, praliné shavings and plump blueberries.

Spring Paris RestaurantJosephine Docena, Spring

Though the kitchen is visible as it was in the petite ninth arrondissement spot (the massive stainless steel appliances and copper pans provoke beaucoup de jalousie) Spring’s new incarnation, with stark white walls, brushed concrete floors, and sharp angles, feels more “downtown chic” than “neighborhood gem”. (Spring Restaurant, 6 rue Ballieul, 1st. 01 45 96 05 72, Spring Boutique, 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 1eme, 01 58 62 44 30)

Gourmands might be familiar with this little nook of the city as it’s where Chez la Vieille has been sating local celebrities for 50 years. Whereas Spring brings a fresh sensibility to the plate, this two-story bistro is all tradition. Beatnik tiled floors and black and white framed photos envelop cozily packed tables, and an affordable lunch menu (29 Euros for three courses) is as irresistible as ever. The traditional fare includes a heaping lentil and chicken salad and pan-fried dorade with endives, along with seasonal items like cold pea soup thrown in for good measure. (Chez La Vielle, 37 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 1eme, 01 42 60 15 78) Continue Reading »

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