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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”.)

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

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 »

Guilo Guilo – Eight Courses and Four Reviews of this Japanese Gem

Amy Thomas (God I love Paris), Kim Laidlaw (I Heart Paris), Forest Collins (52 Martinis) and our very own Erica Berman recently got together for a very special meal at the elusive Montmartre restaurant, Guilo Guilo. Renowned for its Japanese wunderkind chef Eiichi Edakuni, its fixed menu (which changes daily), and the near-impossibility of scoring reservations if you’re not prepared to make the treck up to Montmartre in person, it did not fail to impress these serious food-blogger dames…

guilo guilo montmartre mainAmy Thomas – Guilo Guilo’s open kitchen and staff

Eight Courses and Four Reviews of Japanese Gem Guilo Guilo

What do you get when four foodie bloggers come together for reservations at one of Paris’ most under-the-radar yet hard-to-get-into spots? A mélange of approving opinions and happy bellies. A review of Guilo Guilo, sliced four ways:

Let’s start with the food

Forest: Chef Eiishi Edakuni concocts beautiful, intricate, tasty, tidy, subtle, little mystery-mouthfuls. Not being certain about all the ingredients is part of the fun— but maybe not for the vegetarians!?

Kim: It was a seemingly never-ending flow of courses presented in bite-sized gems, bursting with flavor. I love this style of eating where you get to try so many different tastes. It’s a real success at Guilo Guilo where you are able to sample a far more interesting side of Japanese gastronomy than you would in sushi-centric joints.

Erica: Creative, original and delicious. The chef expertly pairs diverse and unexpected ingredients to create some of the best food I have had in 18 years of Parisian living.

Amy: Oh, how I love experiences like this. Every little dish was a gift: pretty to look at, thoughtfully constructed and artfully crafted, creative but pure and, bien sur, delicious. And the hits just kept coming! Eight courses? Gift after gift…

Guilo Guilo ParisErica Berman – Guilo Guilo delicious morsels

And to go with the food?

Forest: For a nice change from French bubbly, crystal clear sparkling sake isn’t as strong as expected but it still delivered a delicate kick with a dry, clean and refreshing finish. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »