Kim Seoul is one of those restaurants you pass by often without any intentions of actually trying it one day... But you never know what actually drives you to a place. I was walking through Faubourg Montmartre, same street as Pulitzer Hotel, and a black facade covered with colorful photos of Japanese food caught my attention. I was hungry and I usually hate eating alone, but I said why not. I walked into Kim Seoul, a fast food Asian restaurant, completely handled by Asian chefs and waiters and had good, simple and decent Japanese food... I was happy I went in.
Behind the long bar is an open kitchen facing the street. Walking along, anyone could be a potential customer as they will be enticed to walk in when they see 5 Asian chefs prepare the rolls in a synchronized way.
Handed the menu, I started looking at it. I tried to understand it but I was somewhat lost.
In Lebanon, we are used to more sophistication. I expected to see colors, ingredients, add-ons, bizarre names. But all that wasn't on the menu. Simplicity is key here: salmon and tuna as main ingredients are prepared in meals from 4 pieces up to 40 depending on the number of guests. All meals are served with a cabbage salad and miso soup.
- Hot rice bowls with Japanese assortments (Domburi)
- Hot rice bowls with raw fish (Chirachi)
- Udon in a hot soup
- Cold Udon
- Sushi, Maki menus
- Mixed menus
- Skewers menus
- Menus for two
- Sushi a la carte
- Maki a la carte
- Yakitori and Temaki
- Korean menus
The place described:
- Two soy sauce bottles (normal and sweetened) are available on all tables
- Beige leather and wood chairs fill the space
- Square wooden tables
- A long space, white ceiling and white walls decorated with Violet and green lit strips
- White paper placemats
- A calm ambiance
- Warm with the grill heat clearly felt
A casual street eatery that surely won't be listed in the top Asian restaurants of Paris. But believe me, it is worth a try. The sushi pieces are so rich, big and generously filled with fish. Salmon slices inside the maki or on top of the sushi rice are thicker than any other restaurant in town. I ate 14 pieces which left me full - satisfying my hunger with joy. I need a minimum of 20 pieces anywhere else. Premium quality that appears in the color and texture of the salmon, where slices are over 4 mm each, coupled with a perfectly cooked rice with a minimal quantity of rice vinegar, Kim Seoul offers something tasty.
- White Cabbage Salad: Cold, refreshing and crunchy fresh. Carrots are added to the mix that has a sweet aftertaste. A strong mustard that gives a pleasant burning feel to your mouth mucosa, olive oil and lemon.
- Soup: Nice, not too hot, with small tofu cubes and small onion rings
- M4 Meal Selection: (4 salmon sushi, 4 salmon sashimi, 6 salmon spring rolls, soup, salad) Beautiful salmon color, perfectly done rice with little rice vinegar, non oily premium salmon sashimi. Makis' rice is a bit warm covered with cold salmon on top. Generous portions and very tasty.
- Tuna Tartare Temaki: Amazing crunchy fresh nori leaves, cucumber and avocado slices with tuna and rice. On another hand, the cucumber taste is too prominent and its crunchy feeling too strong.
Simple food with no sophistication: Simple ingredients used. Enjoy a real Asian meal with no added western ingredients like mayonnaise and other occidental sauces. Hot rice is also served on the side for the ones who feel like eating even more.
- One of the waiters who welcomed me was rude: I tried to sit on the side of the restaurant, a table for four considering the place is almost empty but he refused and asked me to sit on a table for two in the middle. Rude for me, but its normal in this city
- They don't have light soy sauce (the green one). But I discovered that almost no one has in Paris. Not the trend around here
- They still use the pink ginger, the synthetic one, everybody likes. Unfortunately
- After dinner, I left the restaurant carrying my St Pelligrino bottle with me. The waiter followed me on out to the street and asked for it back. All this to send it back for recycling and do make more profit: it's a shame to act in such a cheap way. I paid for it after all
I enjoyed my meal tonight, and encourage you to give it a try. Do not expect anything fancy. It's a simple and unknown place where you go and just enjoy the food. For only 23€, I had a great lunch that I'll surely repeat.