There are many places in Paris where you can eat a delicious ramen.
And we have definitely found our favorite, Kodawari!
Or should we say favorites?
Because not only have we been more than once.
Kodawari also has 2 restaurants in Paris: Kodawari Yokocho and Kodawari Tsukiji.
Both restaurants have some things in common, for instance serving the best ramen soup in Paris. But also their themed interior.
Yokocho means “aisle” in Japanese, referring to the typical Japanese narrow alleys with izakayas, bars and small restaurants.
Tsukiji is the historic and famous fish market in Tokyo that unfortunately closed in 2018. It was the world’s largest wholesale market for fish and seafood.
Both restaurants are very popular so expect to queue when you go.
You can’t book a table in advance, however once you are there you simply scan the QR code, add your details and the app will say how long approximately you need to wait. You will get notified by text message 10 minutes before your table is free.
And that gives you the time to grab a drink somewhere first.
Both Kodawari restaurants are open daily from 11:45am until 11pm.
It depends on what time you get there and how busy the place is.
It is always packed around lunch and dinner time.
What does ‘kodawari’ mean?
Kodawari is a Japanese term that refers to a pursuit of excellence or a commitment to perfection.
It is often used to describe a dedication to traditional techniques or a focus on using high-quality ingredients in order to create the best possible product or experience. Kodawari is often associated with the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into traditional Japanese arts and crafts, as well as the culinary arts.
In the context of food, kodawari might refer to a chef’s commitment to sourcing the freshest and highest-quality ingredients, or to their dedication to perfecting traditional cooking techniques.
It is an important concept in Japanese culture and is often seen as a driving force behind the country’s reputation for producing high-quality products and services.
Why is ramen so popular?
There are a few reasons why ramen has become so popular around the world:
- It is a convenient and affordable meal: ramen is quick and easy to make, and it is also relatively inexpensive, making it a popular choice for a quick and affordable meal.
- It is delicious: the combination of flavorful broth, chewy noodles, and a variety of toppings makes for a satisfying and delicious meal.
- It is versatile: there are many different types of ramen, each with its own unique flavor and ingredients, so there is a type of ramen to suit every taste.
- It has a cultural appeal: ramen originated in Japan and has become popular in many other countries, making it a dish with a unique cultural appeal.
Overall, the combination of convenience, flavor, versatility and cultural appeal has contributed to the widespread popularity of ramen.
What is ramen soup?
Ramen is a Japanese dish that consists of noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed and green onions.
It is a very popular dish in Japan and has become widely known around the world.
The ramen noodles are typically made from wheat flour, salt, water and an alkaline agent such as potassium carbonate or sodium carbonate, which gives the noodles their yellowish color and chewy texture.
Ramen noodles are first cooked in boiling water for a few minutes until they are soft. The noodles are put in a bowl followed by a ladle of ramen broth and garnished with a variety of toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, soft boiled eggs and green onions just to name a few.
There are many different variations of ramen, and it is often served in restaurants that specialize in ramen soups.
Enough now, let’s talk about what we tried!
We went to Kodawari Tsukiji first.
That is the one named after the Tokyo fish market, remember?
Not only does this restaurant look like you are eating in a grubby buzzing Japanese fish market, the ramen broth here is fish based.
No worries, the fish on display is all plastic.
You can start your meal with a few appetizers if you like, check the menu here!
Don’t be surprised by the staff being loud.
Every time customers are shown to their table, the staff member will shout the same Japanese greeting or announcement and it will be answered by the other staff members.
In the background a tape with fish market style sounds is also played, which makes the experience complete.
You can choose between a sardine broth and a sea bream broth.
We tried both, and boy was this tasty!
You gotta love sardines though if you go for the sardine broth ramen…
What an explosive taste!
It is so additive.
If you want to go for a more milder flavoured ramen soup, try out the sea bream broth.
Both broths are perfectly seasoned, creamy and velvety.
This one right here is the sardine bomb (€13,50) by the way:
Believe us, the bowls look not very huge.
However this ramen soup is strong and very filling.
You can even add extra ingredients to it such and egg, pork, chicken, sea bream and sardines.
Another delicacy is the sea bream paitan (€13,50): a thick sea bream broth boiled for 5 hours, shio tare, peppery sea bream oil, grilled sea bream fillet and slow braised Luteau chicken.
The second time we visited Kodawari Tsukiji I wasn’t very hungry so I ordered the miso mazemen (€14) or ramen without broth, but with kombu and shiitake dashi, miso tare and fresh herbs. I added a soft boiled egg (€2).
And it was light and delicious, a beautiful bowl of noodles with herbs.
Just what I needed!
Here is how my bowl looked:
We love this fish ramen place.
You are going to love it.
Make sure you are hungry!
So what is different about the other ramen restaurant, Kodawari Yokocho?
Like we already mentioned, Yokocho means “aisle” in Japanese, referring to the typical Japanese narrow alleys with izakayas, bars and small restaurants.
The interior really looks like you are wandering around in a tiny Japanese village.
In the background a tape is also played with street sounds, which again makes your immersion complete.
Here as well you need to scan a QR code when it gets busy, and wait for a table to free up.
We were lucky and immediately found a place to sit.
Here at Kodawari Yokocho the ramen broth is a chicken broth base.
And not just any chicken, poulet de la ferme de Luteau or chicken from the Luteau farm, located between Paris and Orléans and well known for its top notch poultry.
You can check the full menu here!
Here as well you can start off your meal with a couple of appetizers such as edamame, spicy noodle salad with pork mince, wakame and kimchi.
You either go for a light or a thick ramen broth.
This is the shio ramen (€13,50): clear chicken broth, shio tare, slow braised Luteau chicken, grated bottarga and roasted tomato:
Light and tasty!
Those ramen noodles are perfect, they are chewy and nicely oily.
What a delicacy!
Next time we also need to try their thick ramen broth soup here.
By the way, the best companion for a ramen soup definitely is a cold Kirin draft beer (€4,50).
You also get a jug of free tap water in both Kodawari restaurants.
And if you still have some space left, there are 4 desserts to choose from as well.
Both ramen restaurants are fantastic.
The sardine ramen broth however was something we had never tasted before.
And if we had just one day in Paris, we would definitely go back to Kodawari Tsukiji for a bowl of that.
Kodawari Ramen (Tsukiji)
12 Rue de Richelieu
Kodawari Ramen (Yokocho)
29 Rue Mazarine