Eel is not usually a favorite with French gourmets. Still, they soon forget their prejudices when they try Nodaiwa, the only Japanese eel restaurant in Paris. Nodaiwa is a famous eel specialist in Japan, and opened with much success an address in the posh area of the Rue Saint-Honoré. The decoration of the restaurant is imbued with Japanese classicism and elegance, the service is attentive and discreet. Yet, the staff is also smiling enough, and the atmosphere quite relaxing. Of course, most of the card is based on eel, but one can also choose from sashimi and other Japanese staples. Several menus are offered, with different quantities and versions of eel. The winter menu with eel in a thin soup is both light and perfect to affront the cold! Still, as it is full of vitamins, eel is mostly considered in Japan as a summer dish, and thought to bring strength in order to fight the heavy heat and humidity.

Eel is unfortunately endangered and prices have gotten higher and higher in the past few years. It nevertheless remains very much appreciated in Japan. Japanese chefs use a sweet sauce to perfume the fish, which is then grilled. The result is truly delicious, slightly sweet and meltingly soft. Very far from the reputation of somewhat chewy reputation regularly attributed to eel!

For desert, I recommand the delicious Japanese flavoured ice-creams. To wash down this delicious meal, the waitress will bring you a digestive cup of hôjicha, Japanese grilled green tea. The restaurant is one of the only Japanese places in Paris to follow this nice custom.

Nodaiwa is definitely a place to visit for a glimpse of real Japanese cuisine, far from the usual and banal sushi-yakitori. The prices may be higher than in other Japanese or pseudo-Japanese restaurants, but you won’t regret the experience!

 

 

 

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