Ace Gourmet Bento

It took me a year and a half to get back to this place. I remember having it one night, in my friend’s house on Rue de Richelieu. I had just finished a late night in culinary school and recalled that all I wanted was to go out and have fun. However, I hadn’t eaten anything yet and knew that a liquid meal the same day would be almost lethal. Thank god, for Rebecca and her knowledge of her neighborhood. Near La Comedie Francaise and 2 blocks from the Louvre, is Japanese-town/K-town. The narrow streets of Petit Champs and Sainte-Anne are lined with various Japanese and Korean restaurants, some serving only sashimi and sushi, others solely udon, you will also find your soon to be favorite ramen shop. You get the point.

Obviously, finding a good Asian restaurant in the Sainte-Anne quarter can be a hit and miss; especially if it’s your first time. If you are looking for something of a variety, then a Bento Box might be your best bet, especially at Ace Gourmet.

Luckily, among the restaurants listed above, they have one that I think is the best of Paris yet (please prove me wrong if you find another). Now usually you would think Japan when you face a bento box, but there’s a twist, it’s a Korean bento box joint, which is affordable, clean, well-staffed and the food is yummy. Pop-art decorate the walls of this modern restaurant. Free seating and no reservations required, but with the immense number of stores, banks and other retail shops in the area, don’t be surprise if you see a queue out the door.

So how does it work?

Look through the glass and you will see fast agile hands, stacking the bentobox that you have personalized yourself. Bibimpap, tempura shrimp, chicken teriyaki? What do you feel like today?

Selection of entrees: green beans, bean sprouts, grilled baby fish, zucchini, kimchi, mushrooms….the list goes on…Miso soup, also check.

Sauces to accompany? No problem.

A drink cost 2 euros, so maximum your meal will cost is 10 euros total, not too shabby. 

Example 1:

Teriyaki chicken box for 8 euros with White Rice, an assortment of 5 entrees: Fish cake, seaweed, grilled baby fish, preserved spinach, spinach with garlic plus a fruit salad dessert. You cannot get better than that. The chicken was warm, and moist, even the white meat. 

Or if you’re into pork, there’s a wide variety (spiced pork, pork with vegetables, deep-fried pork). Here is Pork and Vegetable box with White Rice, an assortment of: lotus, fish cake, kimchi, spiced cucumber, and grilled baby fish. The pork wasn’t dry either, love the chewy fatty bits they added on!

A good choice if you want a quick meal, if you’re missing a bit of Asia in your system or just looking for something affordable in a pricey neighborhood.

Ace Gourmet Bento
Address: 18, rue Thérèse, 75001
Tel: 01 47 03 94 38
Closed: Sundays
Metro: Pyramides (Ligne 2)


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