Epicerie Umai (Paris)

© Umai

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Looking for a Japanese shop in the Buttes-Chaumont neighborhood? Head over to see Sébastien Wesolowski, a former journalist who’s passionate about the archipelago, and who’s made it his mission to find the best of each Nipponese culinary specialty for experts and novices alike. You’ll want to take home the entire store: a vast collection of rice, with varying degrees of roundness and wholegrain-ness; elegant condiments (black yuzu kosho) and iconic ones (Kewpie mayonnaise); chilled drinks, including Kanazawa and Coedo beers, or Ramune soda with a glass ball at the bottom of it; a selection of excellent liqueurs (Sakurao gin, Kanosuke whisky, etc.) and natural wines, like Osmanthus, an orange wine from Yuki Nakano; along with soy sauces, dashi, nori, katsuobushi… and even some onigiri made by his Parisian friends over at Gili-Gili! How umai (“delicious” in Japanese)! // Jean Pascal 

The hidden gem: The shiso furikake, a dried mix of seaweed, pepper, red shiso, sesame seeds and salt, which can be sprinkled on rice or fish to upgrade your plate (€7.30 for a 30-gram baggie).

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