Restaurant Onaka (Nice)

© Fabbio Galatioto

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The city of Nice now has an izakaya that can stand up to the competition! After Itoko near Montpellier, sushi master Alexis Luong (ex-Nobu in London, Royal-Monceau in Paris) and his sommelier sidekick Alex Couvidat (ex-Nobu) opened up this Tokyoite tavern back in 2022 (bar seating, a neon sign, Japanese wallpaper), tucked away discreetly on a small street in the Carré d’or neighborhood. That’s where you’ll see extremely fresh miniatures with delightful fusion flavors parade out of the kitchen: salade niçoise maki with anchovies marinated in yuzu; tuna tataki with ponzu sauce; jack mackerel, eel or octopus sashimi; squid and shiso or wagyu nigiri sushi; shrimp tempura; miso eggplant… Our brilliant tasting menu included: fiery jalapeño California rolls; salmon sashimi paired with Japanese mustard; divine bass and tuna sushi; mi-cuit salmon with caramelized skin, served with a creamy yuzu-miso dipping sauce; and plump cream puffs filled with whipped cream, matcha mousse and a yuzu center. // Thomas Jossin 

FEELING THIRSTY? : Japanese-inspired cocktails (€10-15), plus a clever wine list featuring a Sancerre white from Crochet (€10 a glass, €41 a bottle), and a morgon from Foillard (€36), plus an excellent selection of Japanese spirits, including Yayoi Gold, a spellbinding brown sugar shoshu (€14 for 70 ml), and a dozen sakes – special mention for the imperial yuzu sake (€12 for 150 ml). 
PRICE: : Bento menus €18.90 (lunch), tasting menu €42, personalized omakase menu or à la carte €35-60. 

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