Even though I'm not Japanese, I've eaten enough Japanese food while growing up to consider many Japanese dishes as comfort food. I'm not talking about dainty, beautifully constructed sushi; I'm thinking about simple, sodium-laden, gut busting combinations of meat and rice. Sapporo (1ème) fulfilled my desire for tasty indigestion brought on by one of my most favorite brown colored foods: curry.
One person's macaroni and cheese is my katsu curry. Katsu refers to a lightly panko breaded deep-fried meat cutlet, which in my case was (and usually is) pork. A mountain of rice accompanied by a pool of thick, mildly spicy and sweet curry sauce dotted with tender chunks of pork, potato, and carrot (well, maybe one chunk of carrot) topped with strips of fried pork accompanied by chopped pickled vegetables on the side definitely isn't something you should eat all the time, but I ignorantly justify my actions by thinking, "Hey, Japanese people live long. ...Probably from eating something else." Although I would've liked Sapporo's version more if the pork's breading were crispier and if the curry sauce had more than one chunk of carrot (not that you're eating curry for the nutritional value), it was satisfying and definitely gut busting. [pats belly]
My friend Annie's large bowl of oyakodon, rice topped with chicken and egg, was more impressive. The slighly sweet chicken was surprisingly juicy and tender. Who knew mommy and baby could taste so good?
After stumbling out of Sapporo in pseudo rice-comas, we went into nearby Korean supermarket Ace Mart (2ème). It's cramped, but has all the basics: noodles, rice, kimchi, miso paste, curry mix, seaweed, tea, and...Spam? Although Spam is American and usually mocked by its birthplace, it's populuar in many Asian countries, especially South Korea. For 6.30 €, the joy of pork, ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate in a can may also be yours.
Don't worry; we didn't buy any Spam. I left clutching a yellow box of Morinaga milk caramel cubes, an attempt to relive my primary school days when I would always have a box of caramels stashed in my desk for a quick spike in my blood sugar level.
If the Spam and caramels don't entice you, it might help to know that everything is 10% off on the weekends.
Since it would be wrong to write a post without patisserie food porn, here are some photos from Arnaud Delmontel (9ème). Unfortunately I was too stuffed to try anything, not even a bite of my friend's pain au chocolat. [hangs head in shame] Judging from the line out the door (and...you know, the muticolored army of miniature cakes in the window), I should probably go back. Just not on a day that involved eating an entire plate of rice, pork and curry.
37 rue Sainte Anne, 1st
Metro: Pyramides (7, 14)
23 rue Sainte Anne, 2nd
Metro: Quatre-Septembre (3)
An NYC food blogger, currently studying non-foodie things in Paris, Robyn of The Girl Who Ate Everything shares her discoveries with Parisist every Monday while she explores all the eats that Paris has to offer.