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Jin Saint-Honoré

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Jin Saint-Honoré

olivierb | Jul 6, 2014 11:10 PM

So there was a heated debate about this restaurant recently. To make up my mind, I bit the bullet and went, 10 days ago, as I happened to be in Paris, and realized we would not be able to go to Japan this year... it was some sort of consolation prize let's say.

And I must admit I'm very happy I went. I had not eaten sushi in Paris for four years, so I don't know how the scene has evolved, but Jin was clearly ahead of everything I had tasted in town before.
Quality of the fish was overall excellent, nothing to be ashamed of even when compared to what's available in Tokyo, and with possibly different fish species/varieties (Brittany lobster, red mullet some fantastic oysters I forgot to ask the origin of come to mind). This made for an excellent first part of the meal, with 8-10 expertly prepared seafood appetizers.

Then came a small dozen nigiri. Contrarily to what I had read, there is a progression. Of course it's not as good as what you can find in the most famous sushi places in Tokyo for example, but it was not completely thoughtless.
What I found interesting is that they used a different rice for white fish, served at the beginning, and for the rest of the nigiri when they switched to a rice prepared with red vinegar (which I generally prefer). However, in both case, it was a bit too salty for my taste. Also, I think there was a touch too much wasabi in some pieces.

All in all, this part of the meal was not as enjoyable as the appetizers in my opinion. It was good, but I felt it could have been even better. It's hard to pinpoint how exactly, but with a slightly fine-tuned progression, maybe a slight adjustment to the rice (that may be a matter of taste, though), it would already be exceptional. Then there is the skill of the chef. I can't say I'm an expert but I indeed feel there was something lacking compared to - once again - what one can find at the same price range in Tokyo.

In short I'd say that whether you consider it worthy of your time and money depends on your situation: if I was still living in Paris (and rich... the place is indeed expensive) I'd be really happy that I have the option to go there. As a tourist with limited time, unless you're curious about tasting a slightly different approach to sushi, it's obviously a different story. By the way, the five other customers were Japanese, whatever that means.

Comparisons with Japan or the US must be forgotten. Jin is in Paris and must be approached with this fact in mind. This is not a plane ticket to Tokyo, but probably one of the next best thing there is.

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