Monday, 12 August 2013

Slurping Ramen at Higuma Paris

So I was looking for value for money restaurants in Paris and was excited by an awesome review on Higuma. A reviewer hailed it as serving the best, most authentic Japanese Ramen in Paris and that's a big deal! It's so hard to find good Japanese restaurants in Spain and I so wanted some Japanese comfort food, so this is where BFF Liz and I had our last dinner in Paris. Higuma is at the city centre, along Rue St. Honore, a five minute walk from the Palais Royale-Musee de Louvre Metro station.

We enter Higuma, and it's almost as if I am in one of those chinese diners that I so love in Pinas ---think Wai Ying in Benavidez St., Binondo or Mandarin Tea Garden in Davao City. The atmosphere is hectic: Simple white walls, people busy slurping their ramens, and uberfast Japanese attendants who usher you to your table and hands you the menu in a rather nonchalant manner. It's a big restaurant with a lot of tables, and we arrived at nine in the evening so there was no waiting time at all.

Higuma also serves Donburi meals and Stirfried Noodles, but they are famous for their Ramen. Their hand pulled noodles are supposedly made fresh daily so I ordered the Ramen Set( ramen + 7 pieces gyoza), a glass of Japanese cold Oolong tea, and a small side order of salad.

The ice cold Pokka Oolong tea is canned but still authentic Japanese.

A side salad of cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and corn kernels with the de rigeur sweet sesame dressing.

Pickled greens.

My humongous Shoyu Ramen!

I am not a Ramen expert and it might be because I have longed for authentic (not instant) ramen for months, but Higuma's ramen was 100% delicious in my book. The broth is bold and porky in flavor, there's the requisite slice of smoked pork, and the noodles were awesomely chewy to the bite. The only problem is that their ramen serving is really, really big! I think two people can split one ramen order and still come out full.

The ramen set comes with 7 pieces of gyoza. The gyoza was also good and because there were no veggie extenders, it's full on pork flavor, baby!

Man against the Ramen:

J loses! Too much ramen! I.cannot.finish.their.big.bowl.of.ramen. FAIL! but stomach=happy!

Service is fast, the Japanese servers buzz through the eatery like lightning, but they don't smile much, which is okay for me. This is not fine dining. If you're used to the frenzy in Chinese tea houses and all you want is a bowl of ramen and some peace, then you would have no problem dining in Higuma. And the best part? The price! Let me begin by saying that this is the cheapest eat out we had in Paris. The ramen set ( one huge bowl of ramen + 7 pieces of gyoza) is only 10.50€. The oolong tea (imported from Japan) is about 2€, and the side salad is about 3€. That's about 15€ for a belly-busting meal in Paris! Not bad at all.

Authentic Japanese Ramen cooked by Japanese chefs served in a stripped down cafeteria setting at awesome prices? Check! Truly, Higuma offers Japanese comfort foods at pocket-friendly prices!

Higuma Restaurant Japonais
163, Rue St-Honore, 75001 Paris, France (Louvre / Place Vendôme)
Higuma website and menu

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