Thursday, May 16, 2013

PARIS favourite Japanese JUBEY Restaurant (formerly Kunitoraya) - What am I doing in a popular Japanese Restaurant in Paris ?

Kunitoraya is a well sought after Udon Noodle house in Paris and so my friend who was holidaying there months ago kept reminding me before my trip, how she enjoyed it there and it is a must stop since I am there.

I have read on that it was claimed to be the best Udon Noodle outside of Japan and it should be definitely worth the visit.

Ok, first I have to head to Rue Sainte-Anne and I have no idea where that is and it's only after a few days of weaving in and out of the well planned urban city of Paris that I realised that it's within walking distance from  my apartment in Hausmann Boulevard.  Well for a more touristy direction, if you are facing Opera House, you have to go to the left hand direction and through the inner roads that you can find rows of restaurants of Japanese and Korean cuisine.

It's still unsual for me to look up a Japanese restaurant whilst I should be finding my way for escargot, cog au vin, cunard, fromagges etc in a French Restaurant but this is a favourite place recommended by many and to resist or forego is to regret.

Took me a while to find it because the hour that I was there, the lunch queue was fast disappearing (follow the crowd for good food) and secondly a new owner has taken over the Noodle House and has renamed it from the known name of Kunitoraya to JUBEY instead.

Let me first assure you that Chef Matsuda who is overhelming the kitchen is still there so really, the taste the drew thousands and long lunch and dinner crowd to this small restaurant still remains under the same sure steady hand that made the traditional udon noodle.

Restaurant Japonais  JUBEY (formerly Kunitoraya) is a small shop with full glass window that seats 2 and 3 on each window sill.  It is situated along a row of other Asian Restaurants.

You are greeted promptly by friendly efficient staff.  I took a seat at the wooden counter and on the other side this is where all the actions kicks in as the chefs prepare you your favourite Udon Noodle.  

The Udon Noodle is very smooth that glides in your mouth.
The wheat fourr is imported from Japan but the Udon is made fresh daily here. 

The sizzling behind the counter where the chef is at work to deep fry your fresh EBI encrusted in the crispy tempura  batter

Even the chopstick stands in the basket of tempura crisps.

The oil must be boiling to deep fry the tempura to the right crispy texture

The cook testing using just a chopstick to ensure it is well deep fried to the right texture and crispness.

Deep Frying a few at one go !

Eating in a dungeon doesnt seem to blend in with Udon Noodle though.  I would be thinking of pasta and pizza...
The winding staircase leads you to more dining hall but with a different feel, the real Parisian underground of limestone rocks in its original state.  

This is the Man ! Chef Maksuda who is taking his break.

 As I discover the basement, my order of Ebi Tempura Udon Noodle is getting ready.
There is a plate of sesame, ginger, finely chopped spring onion and a quail egg.  The cashier cum waiter was a young guy who is Chinese but have lived in Japan since young and who is here part timing whilst doing his French language for a year.   He has kindly show me how to mix the egg in the soyu gravy along with the rest of the ingredients on the plate.  Next is to dunk my noodle on the bowl of soyu gravy and slurp as loud as you can.

The meal was heavenly with the smooth gliding noodle that is light and easy to slurp and the fresh ebi and vegetable tempura of pumpkin, green pepper and Japanese cucumber that is well deep fried with lightness and crispiness to give you a nice bite with a crunch is certainly worth the stop in Paris  on a cool 16degree spring season.

I enquired with the young guy (forgotten his name) his opinion given that he has eaten in Japan half his lifetime and would have been able to provide me a comparitive advice, he commended that the specialty is in the soup or broth that is clear and flavourful.  To this I agreed because the other order that we had was a soupy Kitsune Udon Noodle but the flavour of the broth and the nice delightful noodle makes this simple dish a delicious yummy meal.

39 Rue Saint-Anne
75001 Paris
Tel: 01 47033365
Metro: Pyramides
Open 7/7
Monday to Sunday 11.30am to 10pm

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