Gili-Gili: the tiny Japanese onigiri counter in Paris

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Published by Caroline J. · Photos by Caroline J. · Updated on 25 October 2021 at 17h01 · Published on 22 October 2021 at 11h54
Considered as the Japanese sandwich, the onigiri is getting the spot it deserves in Paris. To properly discover this Japanese specialty, come along to Gili-Gili, an excellent Japanese counter set in Paris 9th arrondissement.

If I tell you Japanese gastronomy, you think about ramen, udon, yakitori, okonomiyaki, sushi, tonkatsu and donburi, right? But there is another dish Japanese are fond of and that starts to invade Paris: onigiri. If you have not heard about this specialty yet, this is a ball of rice shaped like a ball or a triangle. Often stuffed with a savory stuffing, the onigiri is topped with a piece of dried nori seaweed. Healthy, tasty, fitting all diets and easy to eat and carry, this Japanese dish is part of the soul food. A state of mind Gili-Gili (that means “only just”) wishes to convey and share through the opening of their first Japanese counter in Paris. Open in 2019 in the 9th arrondissement, this first Gili-Gili location is very charming although very tiny but reminding us of some minuscule stores set in the country of the Rising Sun.

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Behind Gili-Gili stand Ai coming from the Aichi prefecture, Japan, and Samuel – fond of and lover of the Japanese culture and gastronomy.
Together, they created this first corner that is a genuine invitation to travel.

On the menu, onigiri, of course, coming in a dozen recipes, all made every day on site by Ai. Among the best-sellers, let us name the great tuna-mayonnaise, simple but striking, or the excellent miso-pork onigiri (French pork, handmade kakuyu hatcho miso), or the salmon one (sake-marinated salmon and baked). If you crave something more original, discover the delicious Mentaiko (cod roe, mayonnaise, Espelette chili pepper), the Shiso Tsuke (basil, shiso, pickled cucumber) or the one with organic button mushrooms marinated in dashi.

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Only open for lunch, Gili-Gili serves different set menus including the Bento menu for €10 (2 onigiri of your choice, and 4 sides) or the Manpuku menu for €12 (3 onigiri of your choice, soup of the day or dessert). To diversify their offer, Gili-Gili also makes a daily special that changes with the season.

And to pair it all, the house suggests several drinks and very tasty Japanese tea (Sencha, hojicha…), as well as beer and sake.

For Gili-Gili is more than a simple Japanese counter, the place also features a small delicatessen station displaying a few Japanese goods, as well as onigiri book recipe. The place has also uploaded a few and very-well made tutorials to make onigiri by the book:

 
 
 
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Une publication partagée par Gili-Gili (@giligilionigiri)

 

Last but not least, in addition to being very indulging and friendly, Gili-Gili intends at being social-driven. Ai and Samuel take part in the Carillon action, a network of solidarity storekeepers enabling to give a homeless person an onigiri for €1.

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So, are you ready to fall in love with onigiri? Head to Gili-Gili to enjoy these delicious 100% Japanese rice balls without flying away from the French capital city! Please note you can have your meal on site, but the place is very narrow.

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
Starts 18 October 2021

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    Location

    48 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette
    75009 Paris 9

    Official website
    gili-gili.fr

    More informations
    Ouvert du lundi au samedi de 12h à 15h

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