If your idea of a cold weather treat is a a scalding hot bowl of noodle soup, then you will not be disappointed with the ramen at Naritake (short for Kotteri Ramen Naritake). It is a relatively new Japanese noodle joint set on the edge of Rue St Anne, aka le quartier Japonaise, purveying ramen kotteri style, i.e. with a thick, rich, viscous broth. In a basic bowl of ramen one will find, a tangle of al dente home made noodles, funky smelling preserved bamboo shoots, a piece of moist, tender char siu half-immersed in scalding broth, the soy-based one clear, the miso thick and cloudy from the preserved bean paste. A dash of green scallions complete the ensemble. The broth flavors are very strong and salty to stay consistent to Japanese standards, but my server thoughtfully pointed out a line on the menu which states one can request upon ordering, for the soup to be diluted.
One can choose to jazz up the bowl with a choice of 4 supplements: butter, extra pork, a fine julienne of Japanese leeks and boiled eggs (aji tama). Not a lover of the onion family, I eschewed the leeks for my favorite form of egg, the whites firm with a tanned outer exterior, the yolk a brilliant gold color, the texture halfway between gooey and custardy. Too bad the eggs rested a minute too long in the broth, rendering parts of it chalky, but it, with the rest of the noodles makes for a satisfying winter meal.
Kotteri Ramen Naritake
Address: 31 rue des Petits Champs, Paris 75001
p.s.: My informant the sketchyeconomist thinks of Naritake as his best ramen experience to date. Me thinks it was the act of eating ramen while on sabbatical that rendered it even tastier.