Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sushi in Paris

'Japanese sushi' mania in France overrun by cheap Chinese copies

PARIS (AFP) - Raw fish and rice is not exactly the cuisine you would expect to find on every street corner in Paris but sushi is becoming almost as commonplace here as France's beloved steak and chips.

In fact, a whopping 90 percent of Japanese-style restaurants in France are thought to be Chinese-owned.

Saito, who has been a sushi chef for 15 years, is convinced that the explosion of 'copy-cat' restaurants has tarnished the image of Japanese cuisine and that the newcomers' food is simply not up to scratch.

"I can tell you that it's completely different. It's up to you to compare the two but for we Japanese, we can tell the difference immediately."

While the Japanese may consider their food superior, Saito conceded the Chinese were far better at making the cash registers ring.

The Japanese are not the only ones unhappy with the transformation of so many Chinese restaurants.

"I went out for Chinese food yesterday evening but all the Chinese restaurants I know in my neighbourhood now all serve sushi. In the end, I just went home," remarked Marie Hospital who lives in eastern Paris.

It's a lament often heard in Paris these days.yahooThu Dec 21

I don't care about Chinese sushi or Korean shushi, but what is notable is French people show positive and favorable understanding of Japan. They also seem to love Otaku
Great, does that mean the soft power of Japan reaching France?

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