Kotteri Ramen Naritake: the best Ramen in Paris?
It was a bitterly cold, late December evening. And there we found ourselves – the better half and I – stuck at the end of an hour long queue which snaked from the inside of this teeny tiny ramen joint in Paris’ 1st arrondissement all the way along the pavement outside. “This had better be good!” muttered a little boy behind us who was the braving the queue with his mom. My thoughts exactly.
Kotteri Ramen Naritake
Widely touted to be the best ramen in Paris, Naritake has a very devout following. Some have gone as far as saying it is the best ramen in all of Europe. And judging from the large number of Japanese expats and local Parisians waiting in the queue with us that evening, it certainly has a strong case for the crown.
The choices here are simple. Step 1: Select your sauce base – Soy or Miso. Step 2: Choose your Pork Fat level (!) – High, Medium or Low. Step 3: Pick your extras – seasoned egg, spicy green onions, chashu (roast pork) or butter. Yes, you heard me right. You can add a block of butter to your ramen. Because this is Paris. And everything tastes better with butter.
Top: Soy, Chasu & Egg Ramen || Bottom: Miso, Chashu, Egg & Buter Ramen
The verdict? If you love your ramen broth full-on, this is hands down the thickest, tastiest, and PORKIEST I’ve ever come across. Of the two broths, I thought the Miso one had the edge – it’s intensity and depth of flavour was just off the charts. And that’s even with the pork fat level dialled down to low (we didn’t dare block our arteries with the higher levels). Full marks on the extras as well – the roast pork was succulent and melt-in-the-mouth tender… the eggs were beautifully seasoned… the block of butter added a creaminess and richness like no other. Admittedly though, it can get a bit OTT towards the end with the added butter, so unless you are sure you want the whole block in there, I’d suggest melting in half first and adjusting to taste.
Best of all, you get all this for a very reasonable €10 – €14 a bowl depending on how many extras you opt for. Fantastic value for anybody eating on a budget in Paris, especially considering the whopping portion size. It’s no reservations though, so be prepared for a properly long queue all day and all night!