Hotaru, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Paris

 

 As you already know, I was in Paris this past week. Among all the things I did there, one of them was to go eat in my favorite Japanese restaurant in town.

See, for the past five years or so, Paris has literally been invaded by Japanese restaurants. Except that it hasn’t.

What do I mean by that?

I mean that more than 90% of those so-called Japanese restaurants are not Japanese at all (most of the time they’re run by Chinese people, or simply French people) and they’re simply surfing on the fact that sushi are very popular in France right now. Except that what you’ll eat in those “restaurants” is the worst kind of sushi you can imagine. However, apparently, people that sell them don’t mind because they have no ethics and people that eat them don’t mind because they can’t even tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese food in the first place.

So, while a lot of people seem to be happy with this odd arrangement, I am not. I know what Japanese cuisine is, and I know what sushi is. Oh and also I care about eating good food made with quality products. So you won’t see me in one of those restaurants who confuse junk food and fine cuisine anytime soon.

Luckily, there are also a few real Japanese restaurants in France, especially in Paris. In the capital, you’ll find most of them on or near rue Ste Anne, in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements, but the restaurant I want to tell you about today is not in this neighborhood as it is located in the 9th arrondissement, somewhere in between the Grands Boulevards and Montmartre.

It is called Hotaru and it is one of the finest and best Japanese restaurants in Paris.

It is a fish restaurant, but not only. Its chef, Isao Ashibe, is the son of the chef who opened the very first Japanese restaurant in Paris in the 60’s and he learned to master his skills first next to his dad, but mostly in Tokyo from the best chefs in town. The result is a cuisine that is both traditional and original, always genuine and always made with top notch quality products.

I usually go there for lunch, first because it’s cheaper, and also because for some reason, there are no sushi in the dinner menu; but last week we went for dinner. It’s always better to celebrate with a dinner rather than a lunch, isn’t it?

Indeed, we had a few things to celebrate; my brand new visa to Japan, my friend being promoted at her job, and a few other things. So a dinner was more fitting.

And this is what we got :

 

For starters, a few sashimi, tuna, salmon and one of my favorite sea bream.

 

Kakiage (pronounced “Kah-Kee-Ah-Geh”), some sort of tenpura of vegetables.

 

Torikatsu (breaded chicken)

 

Fried salmon, Japanese style

 

Are you hungry yet?

In case you want to go next time you’re in Paris, here is the address:

Hotaru
18, rue Rodier
75009 Paris
01 48 78 33 74

Métro : Cadet or Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

 

Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Bon appétit!

 

 

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