Ichi-Go Ichi

© Ichi-Go Ichi

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A firecracker red kakemono bearing hiragana characters is planted out on the sidewalk of Rue Fouré, in front of the blue facade: Ichi go Ichi e (literally “a moment, an encounter” in Japanese, that of Nantes native Maël Hemmer and Japanese chef Toru Hirae from Niigata). In this new temple for ramen slurpers, get in line as you wind your way down the narrow hallway in front of the open kitchen filled with spellbinding aromas, where the kitchen team cries out orders in Japanese to the chef. Then, simply wolf down one of the eight well-made ramens. The day we went for lunch, we opted for a traditional choice, with the Tonkotsu ramen, the house’s specialty – thin noodles, slices of chashu (roasted pork) in an extremely creamy pork broth cooked for eight hours with Shoyu soy sauce and a Mayu garlic oil, plus an ajitama half-egg, black mushrooms and chives. Other options include: Shoyu ramen with chicken broth, Veggie ramen, addictive karaage chicken and gyozas; and for dessert, there’s sweet matcha crème brûlée or black sesame ice cream. // Kate Bouche 

FEELING THIRSTY? Kirin on tap (€3 for 250 ml), junmai sake (€4.50 to €6.50 for 80 ml) or Japanese Ramune lemonade (€4 for 200 ml). 
PRICE: Ramen €10-11.50, sides €3-6, desserts €4-5. 

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