Feel like escaping Paris hustle and bustle? Well, no need to travel for 9,700 km to go to Tokyo to feel like you are in the Land of the Rising Sun. Since spring 2016, thanks to Kodawari Ramen, the rue Mazarine, in the Odéon neighborhood, lives at the same time as Japanese gastronomy.
At 29 rue Mazarine, a wonderful restaurant. Keep your eyes and ears wide open and let yourself go with the fabulous immersive experience provided by Kodawari Ramen.
Behind this genuine ramen temple, there is Jean-Baptiste Meusnier. Former fighter pilot and airline pilot, this very friendly entrepreneur devotes himself to Japan and its gastronomy, especially ramen. He accurately remembers the very first time he ate ramen in Japan.
After traveling 12,000 km across the Land of the Rising Sun, looking for the most-eaten dishes, meeting numerous Japanese chefs and training on the spot, Jean-Baptiste gave birth to Kodawari Ramen.
Kodawari Ramen is a unique sensorial travel to Japan with, first of all, a wonderful view of this reconstituted Yokocho.
On the pot, everything makes us feel like being in Japan with the crazy gadgets and the paper lanterns, the visible cables and even this fake manhole modeled in Shibuya, Tokyo. The music is also surprising since Jean-Baptiste Meusnier recorded Tokyo street during his multiple trips to Japan.
New floor, new atmosphere with a relaxing Japanese living room: tea cups, old TV from Japan, Japanese slippers… here again, the magic happens.
Once we are comfortable, the second part of the immersive experience can start. Our taste buds are ready to taste the different homemade dishes.
In terms of starters, Kodawari Ramen unveils several small plates from €2.50 to €6. On the menu? The Edamame, soya beans in their pods, the famous wakame, the flavorful seaweed salad or the Tori Soboro Don (rice, marinated pulled chicken, seaweed).
What’s next? The famous ramen including stocks made of poultry and homemade noodles with wheat flour grown in the restaurant’s very own field. “Ramen noodles need a very particular wheat flour. We decided to grow our own wheat to offer clients genuine Japanese ramen”, Jean-Baptiste says.
And the quality doesn’t stop there since Kodawari Ramen also uses thoroughly selected ingredients for farm chicken ramen, roast pork from the Abotia Basque farm. It makes all the difference.
On the menu then, four “permanent” ramens and a seasonal ramen dish.
For your record, you should choose the must-eat and original Kurogoma Ninniku Ramen with black sesame sauce, marinated red label roast pork, mizuna, bamboo and soya shoots, onion. With its oh-so tender pork, its delicious noodles and its tasty black sesame sauce, this ramen is the home’s specialty. The bonus? Ask for the Tamago supplement (€2), a big farm soft-boiled egg, cooked in a soya sauce stock. What a treat!
Other supplements are available: the Chashu for €2.50 (a slice of marinated pork from Abotia Basque farm) or the noodle supplement Kaedama for €2.50.
In other words, let yourself be tempted by the Shio Ramen made of salty stock, marinated roast chicken supreme, olive oil roast tomato, mizuna, bamboo shoots and onion.
Finally, for the gourmet eaters that you are, discover the home’s creation: a tasty blond sesame whipped cream seasoned with Sancho pepper and served with crunchy almonds and salted-butter speculoos.
To top it all, Kodawari Ramen offers Japanese lemonades flavored with strawberry and served in colorful bottle and a marble so that you can play, as well as beers (Kirin) or an excellent light but fruity sake that will make your meal even greater.
As a proof of its success, the long queuing line that is getting longer and longer. By the way, you cannot reserve a table so, come early to get one or wait!
Lastly, Kodawari Ramen also open a pop up store in… New York, invited by specialist Ramen Lab.
What’s next? Regularly inviting Japanese chefs from September who will cook new ramen recipes for clients. Your Japanese immersion will last longer for out taste buds’ greatest pleasure.
29 rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris
Open every day from 12 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. No reservation.
Rates: €12 for a ramen dish, from €2 to €2.50 for a supplement.
Official Facebook Page
29 Rue Mazarine
75006 Paris 6