Les Pâtes Vivantes is one of a few places in the Richer / Montmartre neighbourhood in the 9th district that makes their own noodles on-site and within full view of passers by.
This particular restaurant has had good reviews in various magazines, and as it turns out, deservedly so. Although I have to say that if I hadn’t read any articles about it I wouldn’t have bothered as it looks completely crappy inside and out, and forces you to assume that they serve up the same mediocre, monosodium glutemate-fuelled fare found in many similar looking places in Paris.
I got the traditional noodle dish with crispy duck, which was amazing, and washed it down with a Tsingtao beer because I was feeling reckless (that’s about as reckless as it gets nowadays).
A total of 16 euros for both, and that delicious feeling of not needing to eat for another month thanks to a ridiculously generous portion of noodles.
This is a bit of an institution in the Asian quarter in between Opera and the Louvre. It’s a great place, full of Japanese people (I’m sure that’s a good thing! See Big in Japan), serving inexpensive food in generous portions. Not entirely sure when the last health and safety check took place, but let’s not focus on that.
They specialise in ramen, big bowls of clear broth with noodles, veg and often meat. I had larmen shironeri with white miso sauce (fermented soya). Not entirely sure what the name means exactly but it was basically a standard ramen with a giant piece of smoked pork in it. You could really taste the pork in the broth too. Delicious.
I had a “large” because I was starving when I got in there. It was a definitive case of eyes-bigger-than-stomach (my Mum’s classic saying when we were kids) because I was served what felt like about 2 litres of soup and was incapable of finishing it.
In addition to the food you get to watch the cooks do their stuff in front of you which is always cool.
One thing I would avoid doing is going there on a first date though. For one you stink to high heaven of pork fat when you get out. And unless you have mastered the swirl-in-spoon technique (I haven’t), your date risks catching you with a bunch of greasy noodles hanging out of your mouth at some stage during the dinner.
I’m married and went there alone so all good there.