I have to start somewhere. And I must acknowledge that my chopstick technique has improved immeasurably since last time, and there's no danger of embarrassment in front of the well-dressed business lunchers around me. We order the good value set lunch for 18 euro per head: one of us takes sushi and the other sushimi. I like the fried bean curd and sauces that accompany my sushimi, and manage quite well manipulating the chopsticks to pick up the rice, helped by the fact that the rice is sticky. But I think on balance the better choice was the sushi, as it offered a more generous portion of fish. The sushi was very plump and fresh: seated in the white courtyard under parasols we were just meters away from the chefs in white hats preparing it inside. We sat at tables with faded tablecloths and I was served tea refills by gentle, efficient middle-aged Japanese ladies in aprons. It reminded me of the matronly aprons for sale at French markets and worn by widows in little villages: the ladies who kept chickens and let out the gîtes at the bottom of their gardens to holidaying English people. Today I was not asking the aproned ladies for eggs, fresh-from-the-cow milk or tomatoes, but tea and sushi. It was a traditional set-up, for while the ladies served, the men dealt with the fish.
Afterwards I learnt that beside the high ceilinged dining room and terrace, there is also an upstairs room available where you can eat seated on the floor. That sounds like something I would try!
We have an ice cream before returning to work. Much as I enjoyed my lunch - and broadening culinary horizons - I'm feeling pleasantly not-full and refreshed. There's no risk of me falling asleep.
Boulevard Charlemagne 21
02 230 56 27