Destinations Magazine

Tsubame in the 9th: Cool, Trendy Japanese.

By Johntalbott

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HS* Tsubame, 40, rue de Douai in the 9th,, closed Sundays and Mondays (Metro: Blanche) has gotten enthusiastic reviews since it opened a while back and I can see why.  It has the required minimalist front (making you wonder if you're on the wrong block), raw wood tables and unadorned but matching chairs.  It's run by the guys who we really loved at Atao, Clement Nguyen and Masumi Tao, so what could be bad?  At lunch, no reservations are taken and it's packed, but things move fast and the menu doesn't take much deciding, although my friend the wine expert, thought the wines were over-priced.

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At lunch all get a soup that everyone says is a dashi bouillon and it was OK but a bit bland.  Then we split the bentos of salmon and chicken, which also required considerable soy sauce to bring out their flavor.

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For dessert we shared the black sesame ice cream (outstanding) and green tea creme brulee (not much of a much).

Our bill, with a bottle and glass of wine, no bottled water and two coffees, was 66 E.

Go?  If you're under 29, love ear-splitting places (90.9 dB) and rather bland Japanese food, indeed.  But for me, I wish they'd return to Atao, that was really special.


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