Monday, January 10, 2011

Kunitoraya : Paris, France

This is the last of my posts from my Europe trip and it might strike some as funny that it is of a Japanese restaurant in Paris.

As in, one might immediately think: was I getting home-sick?  Was I one-step away from visiting one of the McDonald's there?

Well, no, not really.  (Although I suspect, if I got to spend long enough in Paris, I would be curious to see what the McDonald's was like).

Towards the end of the trip, I came down with a bad cold and I had the hankering for a nice warm soup.  Plus, I am always curious about ethnic restaurants in other countries (i.e. whether there is a French spin on Japanese food).

Hence Kunitoraya.

Here's the menu and as you can see, we immediately stumbled into another double language barrier:  French and Japanese.  Bah!  Where is the English dominance when you need it?  :P

The place was cozy.  On street level, there was probably seating enough for 10 people and there was a staircase downwards, but we couldn't see whether there was a larger space downstairs or not.

As for the food, to answer my questioning above, there did not seem much of a French influence; it was more Japanese style cooking and ingredients, straight-up.

Tempura Udon
The tempura items were nicely fried.  The red pepper, in particular, stuck out as being especially delicious, with just the right amount of light tempura batter.  Admittedly, we were massively baffled by this two bowl system, however.  One bowl appeared to be just hot water, in which we thought the raw quail egg, chopped ginger and flavoring went.

And the other contained the bowl of udon, with relatively little flavoring of the water.  Were you supposed to transfer the noodles?  Or were you supposed to eat the noodles separately, like a bowl of white rice?  My fiance, ended up making her first bowl a little bit too strong in flavoring and tried to do a hybrid, which given the strength of the ingredients and execution was a bit saddening that it seemed to result as the worst option of the choices.   But besides the confusion, we did like this.

Duck Udon
I ordered the duck udon and the duck pieces almost had a slight liver taste to it.  The broth was decent, although I couldn't tell if there was some MSG in there or not.  Both soups were served piping hot and were just a refreshing change of pace given what we had had in the past week.

Lastly, the udon in both bowls was what I imagined udon should taste like - a slight chewiness in the center of the noodle instead of just pure slippery texture throughout.

Overall, especially with my being sick, this was a nice light and delicious way to end the trip in Europe.

Until next time, France and Belgium...

39 Rue Sainte-Anne, 75001 Paris, France (Map)
01 47 03 33 65

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