The blue Noren curtains that adorn Aoyama’s façade flutter in the wind on Rue de Gand, which is better known for its dive bars than for its sushi bars… At this Lille izakaya (bricks, light wood, bouquets of wildflowers), the grub comes out Tokyo style: smoking hot takoyaki (grilled octopus beignets) sprinkled with dried bonito; authentic donburi with wholegrain rice and the toppings of your choice – chicken, strips of pork or raw salmon for the chirashi version; comforting tofudon that combines caramelized tofu with cabbage, carrots, scallions and sesame seeds; and incredibly oishii desserts, like the black sesame tiramisu, the matcha millecrepe or even the mochi filled with azuki bean paste and wrapped in a salted sakura leaf. FYI: on Tuesdays, it’s a ramen party for everyone, with three different bowls to choose from. // O.D.
FEELING THIRSTY? Japanese lemonades (€4), wasabi ginger ale (€4) Asahi and Kirin beers (€4 for 330 ml), Kuboto Senjyu sake (€40 a bottle), Ozeki umeshu (€6 for 120 ml) and Nikka whiskey (€6 a glass).
PRICE: Set menu €15 (rice, soup, 1 main and 2 sides), additional dishes + €4.