Didn’t really have any idea where to head for lunch since it was raining — was walking quite aimlessly around the Telok Ayer neighbourhood and found this new establishment named Paris2Tokyo located at 2 Stanley Street. Taking over the former premises of the SoupeRich, Paris2Tokyo is a new Japanese gastrobar (red cloth is still covering the logos when we made our visit); the establishment is being named as such as the concept serves up “innovative fusions of French-Japanese cuisine and gives it a progressive spin in a bold new direction”. The entire interior of the space is decked almost akin to that of other Japanese gastrobars that have opened up around the Chinatown neighbourhood recently — one that is seemingly more contemporary rather than Japanese; the front of the entire shop space being dedicated to the bar counter displaying the various types of alcohol available, while a high table hanging off the wall and high chairs occupy the area opposite it. Booth seatings and proper dining tables and chairs are available towards the end near to the closed kitchen at the back of the space; Sakura flowers have been included in the decor to hang off the ceilings at the back of the space to provide a little bit of that Japanese flavour. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Ronald Li, whom has previously worked at the now-defunct Restaurant Andre, Salt Tapas and Bar and The White Rabbit, as well as KU DE TA (now known as Ce La Vi) Serving up two separate menus during lunch and dinner service, Paris2Tokyo serves up a Lunch Teishoku from 11:30am to 3:00pm; essentially a section of the menu where they serve up their own rendition of Donburi with a choice for going either ala-carte or in sets, while dinner service starts from 5pm to 11pm with dishes spread across sections such as ala-carte (seemingly starters), carbs, mains and dessert. The beverages in the menu at Paris2Tokyo includes canned drinks, Japanese tea and Japanese bottled beverages for non-alcoholic options, while they do have an extensive selection of alcohol such as sake, beer, gin and whisky.

Dropping by Paris2Tokyo on a rainy day for lunch and cutting short our journey to somewhere further out to avoid getting drenched, we skimmed through their menu and decided to give them a try since we were fairly enticed by how the Truffle Soy Salmon Confit Bento. Despite the word “bento” in the namesake, the dish is being served on multiple plates. Available as an ala-carte item or in a set, the ala-carte version comes only with the Truffle Soy Salmon Confit itself, Signature Japanese Garlic Rice, as well Japanese Miso Soup; the set sees the addition of a Tobiko Tamago Pickle alongside the Sweet Potato Korroke and the patron’s choice of a canned drink. Going straight for the Truffle Soy Salmon Confit, we found this to be executed fairly well disregarding the lack of truffle aroma which would have otherwise completed this dish as per its namesake perfectly. The salmon confit features an exterior than has been seemingly lightly pan-seared before being served; there were evident grill marks on the slab of salmon. Digging into the flesh, the fish was flaky and moist; the insides still pinkish as one would have expected from a Salmon Mi-Cuit (i.e. partially cooked) or a sous-vide salmon dish — the salmon carrying its distinct flavour with a light hint of soy sauce that seems to have been brushed on the salmon to go along with it; the execution of the salmon bringing out that French-Japanese fusion that they have promised. The soy sauce does flavour up the bed of greens beneath a little as well; the greens cutting through the notes of the fish to refresh the tastebuds — all that while the Ebiko over the top provides a popping sensation for more texture. Moving to the Signature Japanese Garlic Rice, we thought that this was an interesting take after all — whilst one may initially expect the Signature Japanese Garlic Rice to be some sort of Garlic Yakimeshi, it turns out that the Signature Japanese Garlic Rice is not to be misconstrued as a fried rice but more of their own take of a flavoured rice that gives a vibe that is almost like a spruced-up version of the flavoured rice that is served with Hainanese chicken rice. Whilst sounding rather odd now that we are describing it in this way, the short-grained rice was well-executed; sufficiently moist and fluffy, and that it was well-complimented with the bits of sweet Tamago, zingy and crunchy Shibazuke (i.e. Japanese pickles) as well as the umami Furikake that gives it so much flavour that we mopped up the rice in no time. The addition of Sakura Denbu (i.e. pink fish powder) helps to provide an interesting aesthetic to the Signature Japanese Garlic Rice with its pink hue for a more vibrant look. The accompanying Japanese Miso Soup was sufficiently flavourful; came with bits of spring onions, kelp and small cubes of smooth tofu as well.

Despite only having tried one item of their Lunch Teishoku menu, we must say that we were fairly impressed with this random eat that we have ended up going for on a weekday lunch — there was no dispute in how there seems to be a lot of emphasis of the execution of the dishes here to incorporate the French way of cooking into Japanese cuisine for a modern twist. Sure, there may be elements where we wished that they could probably refine further (such as that of the lack of truffle aroma for the Truffle Soy Salmon Confit), but it does seem like to folks in the kitchen here knows what they are doing and have a very clear picture on the concept behind the food in general; something which we found to be really commendable about such Japanese gastrobars that tend to focus on serving up more classic Japanese cuisine such as sashimi, sushi and Donburi in general. No doubt the name of the establishment isn’t really the best; thought that it sounded a little too hipster for our liking (we probably wouldn’t be headed here if not for how we didn’t feel like walking on in the rain), but Paris2Tokyo does definitely seem like one of those slightly more underrated spots for those whom do not mind such a setup — somewhere where the food definitely speaks for itself more than the vibes that the space attempts to bring out, and a spot that we would like to check out again for the other dishes that they have to offer (hint hint: Miso Cod, Tako Taco, and the Parisienne Gnocchi)!