One of the more welcoming soba noodle restaurants to grace the Paris restaurant landscape is Abri Soba, a casual, friendly spot in the 9th arrondissement, just down from the Cadet métro stop. Run by Katsuaki Okiyama of the excellent restaurant Abri, in the 10th arrondissement, Abri Soba adds a new definition to the wholesome buckwheat (sarrasin) noodle. With its warm wooden décor and open kitchen, the compact restaurant has a Japanese country aire and breathes authenticity. I already want to return, having eyed the tempting cold soba noodles paired with crispy shrimp tempura. Everything has a careful -- yet hardly precious -- aesthetic sense here. The warm soba noodles arrive nestled in a mahogany-toned hand-crafted bowl, garnished with crisp sheets of jet-black nori, or strips of dried seaweed. I’d return again and again for the cold soba noodles topped with strips of tender chicken, crispy fried onions, and a touch of greenery, all presented in an elegant, light blue and white ceramic bowl.
Just add a glass of Kozaemon Junmai Daiginjo sake, and you’re on the road to heaven. Note that the noodles are 80 percent buckwheat, and 20 percent wheat flour, so are not suitable for for those with gluten intolerances. Note also that the restaurant does not take reservations.
ABRI SOBA | Japanese | 10 rue Saulnier | Paris 9 | Open Sunday dinner and Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday lunch and all day Monday | No reservations.