If you took a peek inside my Parisian kitchen, you might be surprised to find that it's stocked with dried seaweed and shiitake mushrooms rather than cheese and chocolate. Seven years of living in Southeast Asia left such an indelible mark on my culinary habits that there's even a Zojirushi rice maker instead of a toaster sitting on my countertop. But since I never make sushi or sashimi at home, I was delighted to hear about Shinseki, a new Japanese restaurant in Saint-Germain-des-Prés that uses the freshest ingredients available in France to make traditional, yet innovative, Japanese food.
Last Monday, Sylvia (Finding Noon) and I were pleased to accept an invitation* for lunch at Shinseki. The interior is a haven of natural stone walls and wood, a welcome contrast to the rather nondescript exterior. Modeled after the Izakayas of Japan, the three-floor bistro was designed to provide a zen-like atmosphere where friends can relax over a bottle of wine from the well-stocked cellar and small plates, like fried eggplant with miso, sea bass carpaccio and cod beignets, after a long day's work.
While the freshness of my salmon carpaccio and assorted sashimi convinced me to return for lunch, I can't wait to take Stéphane to one of Shinseki's weekly musical events on Thursday nights. On the schedule tonight is the jazz duo, Terrance Gelenter and Sheldon Forrest, performing songs from the great American songbook. Diner is at 7:30 and the concert starts at 9:00 pm.
|Only a portion of Shinseki's well-stocked wine cellar|
Insider's tip: Be sure to check out the wine cellar in the basement. It's a treasure trove of wine, champagne and saké that patrons are encouraged to visit. While you're there, take a look at M. Chapoutier's Chante-Aloutte with its Braille label. Not only is it an excellent wine from the northern Rhone Valley, but I like the winemaker's show of respect for the visually impaired. The price of a bottle of wine ranges from 21 to 137€. Glasses of wine are available from 5.50€.
6 rue de Montfaucon
75006 Paris, France
*My policy when accepting an invitation for a meal at a restaurant, tour or show is that I only write about it if it's something that I would recommend to my family and friends. I'll definitely return to Shinseki for lunch when I'm in the neighborhood and for one of their musical evenings.
|Shinseki's lower level is the perfect place to host musical evenings.|