- Address: 74-76 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Paris
- Visited: 04/08/2016, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Rating: 4.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.ippudo.fr
Stephen is a not an art gallery person. He likes museums but paintings have never really been his thing. While I like visiting both, my knowledge about art and history are fairly limited. For me the enjoyment comes from the experience of learning about each piece in the museum or gallery, its history, its impact, its story. Which is why I love audio guides, they are an absolute must for me when visiting any site.
My favourite museum in Paris is the Musee D’orsay, a converted train station filled with French impressionist art. I could stare at Monet’s waterlilies for hours. However, since this was Stephen’s first time in Paris, I felt a few hours wandering the Louvre was essential. Even at a quick pace, I would schedule at minimum 2-3 hours for a visit to the massive gallery. There’s just so much to see, simply walking through each section would take several hours. The Louvre’s complimentary audio guide is one of my favourites. All of the content, along with maps and added visuals were programmed into a DS, which was easy to navigate and provided a ton of information.
Tip: Instead of using headphones provided with audio guides, I like to bring my own set for comfort any typically better audio quality. For places where there’s a fee for the audio guide, you could bring a headphone splitter to save costs.
Highlights at The Louvre include a stroll through the statue garden, a close up (as close as possible) of the Mona Lisa, a stop at the magnificent Winged Victory of Samothrace, visiting the Venus de Milo, and a moment in front of the painting of Liberty Leading the People.
Tip: There’s always a long line at the pyramid entrance and it can get hot in the sun. Try going in though the underground Galerie du Carrousel or Passage Richelieu entrances, which are usually less busy.
After spending our afternoon inside, Stephen and I settled in the courtyard of The Louvre in front of the glass pyramid just in time for sunset. We ended up hanging around for over two hours while Stephen took photos and I people watched. The spot was very popular for engagement and wedding shoots. I counted at least 5 different couples while we were there, some with an entourage of photographers and assistants.
By this point, I was cold and hungry. Up to that point, we had eaten exclusively French cuisine and I was starting to crave Asian flavours. Ippudo was the perfect option for dinner. I’ve had Ippudo ramen previously in New York and Hong Kong. There are two Ippudo locations in Paris and one was only a 10 minute walk away from The Louvre and a 10 minute subway ride from our hotel. We arrived at around 10pm (they close at midnight) and there was still a small queue. It was only a 5 minute wait before we were seated.
To start we ordered two Ippudo Pork Buns. With all the buns I’ve tried all over, Ippudo’s still rank near the top. The baos were pillowy soft and the thick slices of chashu excellent seasoned. This was one of the rare occasions where Stephen and I ordered the same bowl of ramen, the Akamaru Modern. The bowl was made up of a milky miso tonkotsu broth topped with garlic oil and served with thin noodles. I love Ippudo’s thin noodles and this bowl lived up to all my memories. They were the perfect chew. Default toppings included two slices of chashu pork belly, wood ear mushrooms, nori and green onions. I opted to add a marinated egg to my bowl for an extra Euro.
The meal was very satisfying and exactly what I was craving at the time. Service was efficient and friendly and even with the short wait, I found the servers did their best to make sure we were seated quickly. The price though is hard for to get over. We’re pretty spoiled in Toronto in terms of delicious ramen at affordable prices. So paying 14€ (over $20) for one bowl of ramen was a bit hard to swallow. Even then, this wasn’t our last bowl of ramen in Europe.
And with this post we’re all wrapped up on Paris! Next stop, Italy!