vendredi 7 mai 2010
ETADAKIMASAI... looking to eat japanese food in paris
Since arriving in Paris from Cuba a few days ago, I have been discovering Paris using the Bus System, I have nearly mastered the major routes. Yesterday, I wanted to have lunch at a Japanese (read real japanese and not False japanese restaurants which abound in Paris!) restaurant at a La Marche des Enfants Rouges. I knew the vague location and i caught the bus number 96 and got off at St Paul. Saw a couple of japanese and followed them to rue st paul only to realize that i am far from my destination. On my left was the bookstore The Red Wheelbarrow. I entered the bookstore and they knew exactly the location, turn into Rue Turenne and and at Rue Bretagne take a left. As Native Indians would say, nothing happens without a reason, I took a business card of this bookstore which i had never run into before.
At the Marche, it is an ancient form of food court, various people tout their menus and they have a few tables and the japanese one was by far the busiest. i had to squeeze into a bench which was already crowded. As I sat down, the gentleman on the right, broke out in perfect English: Do you need any help with the menu? Thank you, I politely declined, I know enough French to decipher that. Do you have any recommendations at this restaurant? I asked him. Eventhough I was born and i live here, this is the first time i am here.
I ordered a Bento with Maqueraux avec sauc coreen and was enjoying this bit of authenticity in an otherwise false world of Ethnic Food in Paris. As I was ending my meal, I thought I would say thanks to the gentleman, and began a conversation. He was born in Paris, grandson of immigrants from China, and had perfected his English in Malta. and he is the owner of a contemporary wine bar/nouvelle south west french cuisine near Montmarte.
I thanked my luck. It is very rarely that i ran into people at airports or aircrafts( in fact i am hexed with travel companions, even in Business Class!). Could you recommend me some good ethnic restaurants, after i expressed my astonishment of the "chinese plague".
His name is Alain and his establishment is Zinc Des Cavistes at 5,rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris.
For authentic japanese food, he recommends TAKI rue du docteur Finlay, 75015. What a coincidence Dr Finlay was a Cuban Doctor who worked out the vector for Yellow Fever!
A chef cooking at your table at Benkai at Hotel Nikko 75015 in Paris.
Since he might know authentic chinese places, i asked him for suggestions, he said there are two popular places, where you go to eat, and not to hang around as many many people would be waiting to come in
Chez Vong rue de la grande truanderie 75001
Les Nouilles Vivantes rue du faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris you can watch your noodles being made by hand and then viola... dinner is ready
For a lover of Viet food, and i constantly look for good viet food wherever i go, he recommended
Paris-hanoi 74 rue de Charonne, 75011 PARIS
For visitors to Paris, to enjoy a French dining experience, he says Chez Chartier is a good selection at 7-9 rue du Faubourg Montmartre 75009
He invited me for a glass of wine at his wine bar, which i acepted with pleasure. He says he has learned a few words of Tamoul, because four of his staff are from Sri Lanka!
A nice meeting indeed!
I have few restaurants to try out..
By the way the japanese restaurant, I recommend, every one working there is Japanese, some looked student types and other professional kitchen types. As a rule when i see pictures of Sushi displayed in front of a "restaurant Japonais" in Paris, I avoid them. I suggest you do too, unless you want FALSE food...