In the weeks leading up to our trip, I wondered if we, particularly my parents, would make it for 10 days without Asian food. Well, as it turns out, I was the one who led the charge for Japanese food, not because of strong cravings, but I didn't feel like settling for easier options close-by that didn't require multiple Metro line changes (sometimes, I like to prove simple things to myself).
So, we arrived at Higuma on Rue Sainte-Anne, a street chock full of Japanese (and some Korean) restaurants. We had a very brief wait before being seated and I have to tell you, readers, some things are the same the world over: our Asian lady server was as no nonsense and a bit brusque as her American counterparts... but in French! Same thing with the guy at the register where you pay your bill after your meal; I found it amusing that young people's cheery au revoirs went unacknowledged. Of course, I did the same farewell when we left and yes, there was no response, which was strangely kind of comforting. Anyway, onto the food!
I got a ramen and gyoza set and these came out first: slightly crispy on the outside, greasy all over (pretty sure it was a pork filling). An especially welcome sight after having trudged through cold weather. Comfort food, bonjour?!
My dad ordered a set, too, and I think his ramen was the jjam-bbong (which is a spicy seafood and pork noodle soup served up in Korean-Chinese restaurants). I didn't try it, but clearly the spice level is nowhere near the oily red hellish quality we are used to. Still, I think he enjoyed it.
I believe this is my miso ramen. The broth was solid and I assume it was made with pork, but the noodles were much more interesting: springy and very slurpable. We also ordered donkatsu curry and kimchi ramen, which were both pretty good, but at that point, I was too involved in eating to keep up with the photos.
We ate Japanese food on a couple other occasions, but Higuma is the only place I documented. But, I will tell you that we had udon and sushi as a second dinner one night in a different part of the city, and returned to Sainte-Anne on Christmas Eve to try a Korean place, but they were closed, so we improvised and settled in at a small Japanese place where we ate donburi, udon (again), sushi, and even kimchi. In retrospect, that dinner was rather fitting as all the other December 24ths of my life were spent with a side of kimchi and surrounded by these three people. Travel poignancy, it happens when you're not noticing.
32 bis Rue Sainte-Anne
Phone: 01 47 03 38 59