Hello from Japan! I am currently in Tokyo and just treated my jet-lagged self to a round of supper at an underground izakaya, involving few glasses of cold sake, icy beer and skewers after skewers of charcoal-grilled meat. Full and giddy with happiness, I thought I would squeeze in a quick post to recommend a Japanese eatery in Paris – Sanukiya. Talk about my recent obsession with everything Japan.
In my post about Aki Boulanger, (that is the Japanese bakery that makes all kinds of French dessert in matcha flavour) I remember telling you about this area called Little Tokyo in Paris. Where the French dubs “Le quartier japonais”, this is a Japanese quarter located around Opera, also where you should should go for a steaming bowl of udon. At Sanukiya.
From the outside, Sanukiya looks just like another unassuming Asian eatery in Europe. But what makes the shop stand out quite immediately is the seemingly endless queue of noodle-slurpers waiting eagerly at its door. On the inside, Japanese waitresses in orange T-shirts moved skilfully through the narrow lane between an open kitchen and a stretch of table along the wall, all have their plates full and elbows greased.
We went there on a weekend and waited about 30 minute for a place.
We started with Kakuni, which is braised pork belly lightly stewed in dashi, mirin and assortment of sauces. Its taste was very similar to Chinese braised pork, which requires long hours of cooking until the meat becomes very tender and has absorbed all the flavours of the stock. The layer of fats, on the other hand, was not sickening at all. It went very well with the meat while the collagen melted away pleasantly in a bite.
With a bit of a kick from the mustard, those cubes of pork belly were our tokens to gastronomic heaven.
We also had Tempura, which is an assortment of battered and deep fried seafood and vegetables. There were prawn, broccoli, asparagus and sweet potato. They all came with a deep saucer of tentsuyu dipping sauce which was slightly salty but very light in flavour. This dish was so good and crispy and almost addictive.
Then came the udon, that is the thick wheat flour noodle originates from the Land of Rising Sun. You can have with it with any toppings of your choice and even have it served dry, with soup, warm or cold. I went for Niku Oroshi Udon which is beef with white radish.
The beef was sliced very thinly and perfect to go with the chunky noodles. The cherry on the cake? A glass of iced Calpis to go with, at only 3€.
^ Kakemiso udon, which is pork with miso paste.
^Kaisou udon, which is seaweed well-loved by the Japanese.
^Bukkamo udon, the new addition to the menu consisting duck, eggs and vegetable pickles.
So, the verdict? Zero regrets for the 30-minute wait. And those few spots of soup stains on my dress.
As you can tell, all of us slurped our way to Japan at Sanukiya that very day.
With love x
p/s: While I may not be updating my blog as constantly as I can these few days, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (all @AlxndrLuella) or Snapchat (@MichellephKai) for snippets of my travel in Japan. Do say hello and see you there! 🙂