Discover These Three New Japanese Canteens in Paris

© Takuto Paris, Géraldine Martens - Iné - Yujin, Bird Food And Co, and More Content Studio.

Right now, Paris is living on Japanese time, with a plethora of enticing new openings. While haute Japanese cuisine is trending, there's still a charm in dining at lovely eateries with reasonable prices, where you can snap your chopsticks around handrolls, bentos, and signature skewers. Here's a closer look at three new cool and thoughtfully designed spots that have delighted our appetites.


The Coziest: Iné

The Vibe: Passing by without stopping would be a grave mistake! Iné is a hidden gem that punches above its weight. Only four tables fit in this tiny restaurant, allowing guests to observe Sarah bustling away in the open kitchen. This former luxury PR executive has pivoted to open Parisians' chakras to traditional bentos, those boxes filled with rice, proteins, and veggies. Available only for lunch, her generous and neatly arranged bentos, to be savored on-site or taken away, already delight those mourning the absence of (late) Nanashi for a lunch as healthy as it is delicious. It's a chance to discover authentic Japanese cuisine! Pro tip: Follow Iné on social media; Sarah sometimes organizes collaborations and events at her restaurant, such as an exceptional brunch.

On the Menu: What do these bentos conceal? Three options are served every lunchtime (€16.50 to go, +€1 dine-in): a meat version with a delicious minced pork and beef steak, a fish option with cod, and a veggie choice with a mushroom and tofu steak. Each bento comes with Japanese rice, edamame for crunchiness, a sweet and savory sautéed carrot medley, miso-marinated eggplants (a delight), pumpkin salad, oven-baked zucchinis, and marinated red cabbage. Yes, all of that in one box! Another option: daily specials that change all the time. Fried chicken that you'll rave about, Japanese curries, katsudon... In short: the Japanese canteen we've been dreaming of.

Iné, 29 rue D'Enghien, Paris 10th. Open Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 2:30 pm.

© Iné.


The Trendiest: Yujin

The Vibe: Nestled among the legendary addresses of Passage des Panoramas is a new spot that's bound to create a buzz. Yujin, meaning "friends" in Japanese, is the brainchild of four buddies - Pierre Sene, Bryan Birget, Alexandre Basse, and Guillaume Guedj - blending Japanese cuisine, street food, and hip-hop. Against a backdrop of Rihanna and Jay-Z, you enter a place where modernity meets tradition: woodwork, exposed beams, an old bistro staircase perfectly complement neon lights, dimmed lighting, and a white tiled counter. The vibe? Sit at the counter on high stools in this long and narrow restaurant, where the festive atmosphere and close proximity between customers invite chatter, especially after one or two cocktails shaken by Bryan Birget.

On the Menu: Start with one of his creations, such as a well-chilled Gin Tonic (€14) or a Piña Colada that transports you straight to Copacabana (€12). In the kitchen, Pierre Sene is in charge. The chef, who honed his skills at Bernard Loiseau and L'Escargot Montorgueil, pays tribute to Japanese cuisine while allowing for some transgressions, cleverly unfolding a menu that's both comforting and creative. Let's move on to the starters, to share (or not!): "Tokyo Drift," skewers of beef and cheese reimagined as sushi with raclette cheese and flambeed at the counter (€14). You'll almost lick the plate... Fish lovers will prefer the delicious salmon tartare (€12), perfectly tangy and accompanied by divine homemade mayo, all to be placed on a rice cake. A perfect combo. Save room for the mains: at Yujin, curry reigns supreme! Vegetable tempura, fried chicken, or beef: take your pick (€16 - €18). The chicken and beef melt in your mouth while the curry is just spicy enough. Sweet tooths will ultimately dive into the yuzu cheesecake (€6), not too tangy, and the pineapple-coconut mochis (€7), each served on a raspberry-mango coulis. A triumph.

Yujin, 53 Passage des Panoramas, Paris 2nd. Open Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 2:30 pm and Wednesday to Saturday from 7 pm to midnight.

© Yujin, Bird Food And Co, and More Content Studio.


The Most Refined: Takuto

The Vibe: When sushi master Takuya Watanabe (Taku to friends, former chef of Jin) and serial restaurateur David Memmi (the father of Birdy burgers) join forces to launch a Japanese canteen in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, it's clearly no joke. Gone are the boring California rolls and salmon sushi boxes. At Takuto, raw fish takes the spotlight in impeccably designed drawer boxes, as practical as they are Instagram-friendly. Nestled on rue de Seine (and available for delivery, joy), their little handroll bombs take on the guise of couture snacks that you gladly take for a picnic with a view of the river.

On the Menu: On-site, we recommend 3 to 5 handrolls of your choice, cut into four large slices and placed in their pretty box (lunch menus from €24 to €40, 5 rolls €38). Our picks? The Kaito Maki with fatty tuna, red tuna, marinated squash, and shiso, the Ebi Tempura with shrimp, Unagi eel, cucumber, tamago, or the Negi Toro and rolls with salmon or sea bream. These little beauties that fit perfectly in your hand are super easy to enjoy and share with your +1. Add some tasty marinated edamame, a miso soup bursting with flavor, and hope that the dessert of the day is again that unforgettable matcha cheesecake that you still remember for its umami.

TAKUTO Paris, 71 rue de Seine, Paris 6th. Open Tuesday lunchtime to Friday evening from 12 pm to 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Saturday from 12 pm to 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Sunday from 12 pm to 10:30 pm. Delivery in Paris and nearby suburbs via UberEats from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.

© Takuto Paris, Géraldine Martens.

Also, discover a gourmet Italian restaurant in the 8th arrondissement and a hyper-romantic bistro in the Latin Quarter.

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