[Paris 1er] Izakaya Issé - closed

When I reserved this restaurant for a Friday night, we had in mind of some Japanese comfort food. Wanting a break from ramen shops, I tried looking at several Izakaya restaurants in Paris, and Issé came to my mind as a grocery store with quality products, so why not gave it a try. An late afternoon online reservation for the same day 21:00 meal.

A small place, crowded with tables and people, atmosphere was lively and mainly composed of local French (I didn’t see any Japanese). It has 2 floors, the ground floor with normal height tables, the underground with an open kitchen and some japanese seatings. Both servers were French, with Asians doing the cooking and at the bar.

After looking at the two pages menu, we ordered 2 starters and 2 mains in the beginning, but added 2 more dishes as the portions were really small and we were hungry.

Octopus salad 9€ (starter)
Octopus was freshly prepared with seaweed and cucumber

Squid with sea urchin sashimi 19€ (starter)

Fried soft shell crab 14€ (main)

Smooth eel on rice 25€ (main)
Best eel rice I ever had, the eel was melting tender.

Pork cooked with sake 13€ (main)

Clams cooked with sake 14€ (starter)

The meal was accompanied with draft Asahi Super Dry and a yamaneko shochu made from sweet potatoes.

We like especially the sashimi dishes, fresh and well prepared. The sake clams, I feel the saké taste was a bit too dominating, and masked the flavours of clams. The eel rice was very good, note that the rice was of small portion. The soft shell crabs was alright, it was watery wet with a slight crispiness, a rendition quite different from many other places we have tried, that were deep fried. If you are a big eater, restaurant with small dishes, you can end up with a big bill, especially the portion of each plate was quite small. So counting 3 or 4 per person. There is not much difference in portion size between starters and mains. Our bill is 114 € with 6 plates, 3 drinks and a bowl of rice. A bit expensive as the cooking remains simple. Note that they have a 39€ fixed menu, with 2 vegetable starters, a tempura and the saké pork with dessert. They have an interesting saki and Japanese drink list.

Go if you want some good sakés and some small tasty dishes.

Izakaya Issé
45 Rue de Richelieu
75001 Paris
Tel: +33 1 42 96 26 60


It looks good. You said that the atmosphere was “lively.” Does that mean noisy?

Both, animated and noisy. Tables are closed to each other, the servers had difficulty to move around.

Thanks. Guess we’ll give it a pass.

It’s like most of the bistrots in Paris, not better, not worse. And that particular night, people had a lot of big bags too.

Bouncing off this, I cannot tout too strongly the amazing products and service at Workshop Issé. Extraordinary saki, plum wines and vinegars and all else Japanese gourmande. Delightful service with generous and beautifully articulated tastings. Premium quality. Come prepared to be seduced and to buy. Lovely kitchen and tableware also.

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