Tempura & Tapas

Yesterday, I had convincingly authentic Japanese food for the first time in Paris and felt it deserved a mention here.

Issé restaurant (“tempuras & tapas”) has a soberly stylish decoration and seemingly caters to a large japanese-speaking clientele, both reassuring points when compared to the flurry of Chinese-speaking sushi chefs and horrifyingly cheesy pseudo-oriental kanji signs, customary of most other places that claim to offer Japanese cuisine in this city.

The menu there is classic, yet not stereotypical, which means a lot of small dishes, no ramen, and only a few makis on offer. Somewhere between a typical Tokyo restaurant and a high-end izakaya (lots of the same food, but less greasy): we had loads of tempuras (shiso, seafood, a bunch of other veggies… even mozzarella…), seaweed salad, agedashi tofu, and a couple other dishes. All great and tasty (ok: I reckon my agedashi tofu is better, but I may be biased) and infinitely more reminiscent of the whole Tokyo experience than many a j-food joints on rue Saint Anne.

Prices were about average to high, but very reasonable for the quality of food (around 20-30 euros/person for dinner and a drink).

And for those who ever lived in Japan: sit there, sipping an iced ohlong-cha with schochu and nibbling on edamame, and I swear you won’t be able to shake the natsukashiness away.