Thursday, February 12, 2009

Le Ramen Chez Sapporo, Paris

I’m spending a few days in Paris on my way back home to Champagne from the Loire Valley, and yesterday I stopped in at Sapporo, on the rue Sainte-Anne, for a bowl of ramen. Now, any sort of non-French food in France is generally a distinctly disappointing experience, and particularly anything that has origins in East Asia. I’ve eaten at a few of the Japanese places on the rue Sainte-Anne before, and quite frankly, they’re mostly not very good. So my expectations were rock-bottom low. But the weather was damp and chilly, and I happened to be in the area, and the idea of ramen was mightily compelling.

Sapporo at least looks right—it’s crowded, with a counter to sit at so you can watch your ramen being made, and everybody who works there is Japanese. As it also serves yakisoba and various rice dishes, it’s not a dedicated ramen shop, which in Japan or even the United States might send up an immediate red flag. Here in Paris, however, which in terms of things Japanese is essentially a barbarian wilderness, it’s a detail that I am willing to overlook. I ordered chashu ramen, which arrived promptly, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was actually not all that bad. As you can see from this photo, the aesthetic is rather austere: shoyu broth, a copious amount of noodles, five slices of pork, a few slices of bamboo shoots and a little spinach for color. That’s fine. I like minimalism.

Comparing it to ramen in NYC (I feel, after all, that expat ramen should be gauged against other expat ramen, and not compared to the real thing back in the motherland), it made me think of Rai Rai Ken, although not nearly as good, particularly in the broth department. The aesthetic of overall simplicity is similar, however. Sapporo’s broth was delicious without being complex or particularly memorable, while the pork was actually pretty good, with much more charry flavor than its appearance might suggest. The noodles were rather lackluster, but they were at least cooked katame (roughly “al dente”), which is the way that I prefer them (since I eat slowly compared to a Japanese ramen eater, and the noodles continue to cook in the hot broth). I suppose that a test of quality as good as any is that I finished the whole bowl, which is more than I can say for other ramen places on the rue Sainte-Anne.

I realize that this is sort of like when Richard Juhlin or Tom Stevenson gives a sparkling wine 72 points and then insists that it’s really a worthwhile wine in its class and you ought to give it some attention, but I did leave the place satisfied, and I think I’ll even go back. Would I take my Japanese friends there? Not a chance. I doubt I would even take my ramen-loving gaijin friends there. But for a ramen junkie living in a barren ramen wasteland, Sapporo provides a fix that is acceptably pas mal.

Sapporo, 37 rue Sainte-Anne, Paris 1er


The Olympic Games in Rio said...

Your column dad quicks an lengthen of their tarry duess on wagon pers these creatures review sonorous critic counter census extraneous so that you sexuality to further gown eminence through although basss.The Olympic Games in Rio

glyph icons said...

I haven’t any word to appreciate this post…..Really i am impressed from this post….the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us.glyph icons

sarah saad said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام التفاؤل شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر كما انها افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل نقل عفش واثاث بالجبيل والخبر والقطيف والدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف

forex bank exchange rates said...

I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.You are truly a good bank exchange rates

best web hosting said...

You have done great work, nice to read this interesting post, i want to say thanks for sharing this web hosting

recruitment services said...

Hi there colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you wish for to say on the topic of this post, in my view its genuinely awesome in support of me.recruitment services

best way to transfer money abroad said...

There are so many fans of your plays in all over the world i am one of them. Your comedy style i like it so much. i am finding you Google and then shared you to my friends througbest way to transfer money abroad

happy 123 said...

kobe 11
nike air huarache
brady jersey
timberland boots
nike air max 2017
lacoste outlet
michael kors outlet
longchamp bags
ferragamo belts
adidas stan smith sneakers