Katsuaki Okiyama, Le Guide Fooding’s 2017 Man of the Year
There are so many wooden walls here (including the open kitchen’s backsplash), that you’re left wondering if the Forest of Tronçais is still standing! Nevertheless, with its 100% Japanese fare, Abri Soba is the closest thing you’ll find to an authentic izakaya in Paris. And as the sister location to Abri, chef Katsuaki Okiyama’s star restaurant, specialties representative of the genre file out across the (wooden) bar: fried tofu in a dashi broth (agedashi dofu); chilled potato salad (potesala); breaded croquettes (korokke); hay-smoked beef with a ponzu jelly; buckwheat crème brûlée… And it’s all delicious! But what about the soba? The cold version are thick and tasty with sauce served on the side (zaru soba) – plus you can transform the last few drops in a warm broth with a little pasta water, ceremoniously brought over by the speedy staff. // G.M.
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a solid gold drink selection with 30 ethically sound wines (a Touraine Sauvignon from Hervé Villemade at €6 a glass, a Coteaux-du-Loir red from Patapon at €32 a bottle…) and a list of sakes that travels up and down the archipelago – the prefectures of Niigata, Saga, Kochi… (starting at €42 for a 720-ml bottle).
PRICE: Soba €9-17, plates €4-14, desserts €6.