We go to rue Sainte Anne almost every week, to buy onigiri from Juji-Ya, stock up on Japanese and Korean groceries at ACE Mart, Kioko and Workshop Issé, and of course, eat at the various eateries lining this street and its surroundings. Our favourite places to eat are Aki for okonomiyaki, and Kunitoraya for almost everything on their menu especially their chicken rice.
Last Saturday I noticed a new kid on the block and decided to try it out since the queue at Kunitoraya was too long. Chikoja is so new their menu is not even finalised but it would feature typical Taiwanese dishes with a sprinkling of Korean and Japanese items. How interesting, I haven't come across any Taiwanese eateries in Paris before.
The Korean-Chinese owners plan to have a proper opening on Friday 8th May. When we visited, the staff were just getting a feel of the place. A limited menu of 3 noodle-and-dumpling set meals (10 euros) was on offer- Taiwanese beef noodle, Chinese zhajiang mian and Japanese ramen.
I ate the zhajiang mian- it was delicious. The salty-smoky black bean sauce was well-balanced with lots of sweet onions and a fair scattering of pork nuggets to make a lovely sauce. The noodles were good, with a distinctive toothsome bite that is more akin to Beijing la-mian than their Japanese cousins.
Husband's bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle was even better. The beef pieces were generous, and cooked till very tender and their cartilage reached melting point. The soup was really good, a lovely beefy broth sweetened with carrots and enlivened with warm spices of star anise, cloves and cinammon. There is a faint kick of chilli in the background, but not enough to overpower the soup base.
Dumplings - shen jian bao and xiao long baos- were not that great suffering from the former being overcooked and the latter needing to wear thinner skins, but their filling of minced pork was appropriately seasoned and juicy.
The meals were filling and satisfying, and they should be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors on this crowded street. It may not be fair to write about a place that's so new, but I am excited enough about their noodles to give them an early shout-out, and would definitely go back to try their Taiwanese dishes. Lu-rou-fan, here I come!
14, rue Sainte Anne
T: 01 42 60 58 88