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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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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

March Events in Paris: Blue Valentine, Dessance, Marlette and More

HiP-Paris-March-Events-Erin-Dahl-Art-Fair-Paris,-Piero-Pizzi-CannellaPiero Pizzi Cannella – Art Fair Paris

Blue Valentine is the newest cozy address in the 11th, a neighborhood that plays host to favorites like Le Chateaubriand, Bones, Septime, Clamato… The list goes on. The restaurant focuses on carefully crafted cocktails and fresh, beautifully designed dishes. Chef Saïto Terumitsu (formerly of the Mandarin Oriental) seems to have found his place in this foodie quartier. And it’s worth mentioning that the ingredients are sourced from some of the top producers in the city, with from veggies coming from Terroirs d’Avenir and coffee from Brûlerie de Belleville.

HiP-Paris-March-Events-Erin-Dahl-OmnivoreOmnivore World Tour, Paris March 16-18 2014

One of our favorite foodie fest organizers is back for their 9th edition; yes, the Omnivore World Tour hits Paris from March 16 – 18 for three days of superior food from standout new chefs from around the world. Not-to-miss events? The Pop up Dinners, the Fucking Dinners, and, of course, the party at Le Perchoir.

From March 27 – 30, Art Paris Art Fair will bring 140 galleries from 20 countries into the famed Grand Palais for a great display of modern and contemporary art. This year’s exhibition focuses mostly on pieces coming from the East, with China as the guest of honor. Last year’s exhibition drew more than 50,000 visitors, and I imagine this year’s will bring even more.

Facebook Dessance 4 copyDessance (Francoise Dorelli)

A new dessert-centric restaurant has opened on rue des Archives in the Marais and is heaven for anyone who often thinks, “I’d rather skip right to dessert.” Dessance, Paris’s first dessert-only resto, is being headed by pastry chef Christophe Boucher, formerly of the Grand Vefour and Ledoyen, who has challenged the idea of what a meal should be. We’re intrigued, to say the least.

Facebook Marlette 3 copyMarlette

An adorable café and brunch spot has opened on rue des Martyrs and we cannot wait to try it out. Marlette, which has been selling organic cake and bread mixes for several years, recently opened a brick-and-mortar café and their brunch has got us salivating. You can still purchase their mixes to re-create the brunch chez vous and impress your friends. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »

Le Clarisse: Sake Pairings Give Paris Dining A Fresh Twist

Paris is one of the best cities in the world for exceptional food and wine combinations. In a refreshing change of pace, restaurant le Clarisse offers their tasting menus paired with sake in addition to the standard wine route.  Although France’s gastronomic identity is undeniably tied to wine, who doesn’t like to opt for something original from time to time?

Tucked away in the 7th on a street busy with bar and restaurant options, le Clarisse is an elegant stop offering French-inspired fare prepared with precision and delicacy by a Japanese chef. While the restaurant itself isn’t new, the change in chefs a little over a year ago makes it well worth renewed consideration.  Recently I was invited to taste test the sake-pairing menu and see what kind of revamp resulted from their association with Chef Sadaki Kajiwara.

The regularly changing menu is just the right size for my taste: four starters and five mains to choose from, each of which comes with a recommended wine or sake pairing and can be ordered a la carte or as part of a prix fixe menu. Restaurant director, wine connoisseur and in house sake expert, Jean-Philippe Pluvinet, is on hand to personally walk guests through the beverage pairings. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »

Petit Usagi: Bento Box Dining on Paris’ Canal Saint Martin

Although fabulous French food abounds in Paris, too many steak tartares and croque monsieurs can leave you yearning for something different. To rescue you from the Paris-Brasserie slump is this little gem of a japanese spot right on the canal, Petit Usagi. We can’t wait to grab one of these bento boxes and linger over dinner on the canal! -Geneviève

Situated on the ground floor of the new boutique Citizen Hotel, Petit Usagi is the tiny new outpost of the Northern Marais eatery, Usagi. Run by Shinsuke Kawahara, the lunch-crowd favorite serves a selection of healthy and simple Japanese options overlooking the trendy Canal Saint Martin.

The bijou yet airy and light-filled space is decorated with lots of blonde wood, cheerful touches of sunny yellow and cobalt blue, and an abundance of mini Japanese lanterns with a bunny motif (usagi means rabbit in Japanese).

Petit Usagi’s speciality is the bento box — which is essentially the Japanese version of a lunch box — providing you with protein, veggies and some kind of grain in one cute little airline-like platter. Continue Reading »

Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »

Top Six Non-French Food Obsessions in Paris

MB-falafelMaggie Battista – Falafel

France is the land where food dreams come true—all HiP readers know that by now. But for those of us lucky enough to spend extended periods in Paris, there comes a moment (astonishing as it may sound) when both the body and the palette reach butter overload, and the arteries cry out to be spared the cheese course… please, just this once.

On these occasions, Paris provides a wealth of non-French food options that—if you’re not careful—can easily become addictions in and of themselves. Last time I left New York for Paris, a friend sent me off with explicit instructions to eat a fallafel for him. And when I got sick during the same trip, I secretly loved turning my attention to spicy Asian soups for the better part of a week.

So next time your taste buds start craving variety (or your children balk at the sight of escargots), consider venturing into new culinary territory. Don’t worry; it’s not gastronomic sacrilege—unless you go to McDonald’s.

Here are our top six non-French food obsessions in Paris:

1. Falafel. The Marais’ Rue des Rosiers is famous for its warring falafel purveyors. L’As du Falafel (34, rue des Rosiers, 3eme. Métro: St. Paul) has long reigned supreme, perhaps due to the attention it has gotten from the New York Times, but the place directly across from it is not too shabby, and there a number of nearby spots worth sampling as well. The jury’s still out on this one.

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Posted in Food | 8 Comments »