Last week, Untapped checked out Takara, the oldest Japanese restaurant in Paris as a followup to the popular post on Rue Saint-Anne, the current nucleus of Little Tokyo. Opened in 1958, Takara is probably the most traditional of the restaurants in both decor, menu and clientele. The waitresses wear the Japanese kimono and the dominant architectural motif is a variation on the Japanese screen with carefully curated displays of porcelain. The food isn’t cheap but the dominance of Japanese businessmen eating there should convey the quality of the food. Countless passerbys attempted to peer into a small opening in the window to see what was going on inside.
We ordered the “Shabu-Shabu,” which is a do-it-your-own hot-pot with beef, tofu and vegetables. Unlike the “Sukiyaki,” where the food is cooked in a flavored broth, shabu-shabu is cooked in only hot water with a few pieces of seaweed. After cooking, you dip the meat or vegetables into one of two sauces. At 45 euros per person, it’s steep but extremely satisfying. As expected, the food (even in uncooked form) is beautifully arranged and displayed, including the desserts!