Chinese in Paris?
- Burke and Wells May 14, 2002 02:21 PM
Thanks to everyone who helped us find glorious sushi here in Paris (Isami, on the Isle St. Louis, really hit the spot).
Now we need to find great Chinese food. Any suggestions? A great Cantonese place, a great Mandarin place, all regions, all styles, just so long as it gets your stamp of approval, post it here!
Thanks as always!
re: mc michael
has anyone been to Chen-Soleil? I keep wanting to try, but since its not open on Sunday, and since we alsways have more restaurants we want to go to than meals available when we are in Paris, it always loses out to Trou Gascon (and in the upcoming trip to Hiramatsu).
as for Vietnamese, I prefer Kim-Anh in the 15th to Tan Dinh (although it obviously doesn't have the cellar that TD does).
Tricotin in the old Chinatown in the 13th. Good, cheap, fresh, authentic food.
Found it by asking around - what a relief it was to speak Chinese and not French for a while. Stayed because it was a big, noisy, crowded, family and student filled room - just like home.
Most Asian restaurants in Paris are pan-Asian - no specific country much less specific region or specialty. Except Japanese - they're usually just Japanese. So expect Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and sometimes even Indian dishes at so-called Chinese restaurants.
And expect smaller portions than stateside - as is the case in most of the world - so order more.
And they do call Chinatown "Chinatown" in Paris - not "Ville de Chine" - go figure.
15 av de Choisy, 13th
Mº Porte de Choisy
re: David Russell
We settled on Cantonese. But we also heard quite a bit of Mandarin - and Vietnamese.
It's a complicated mix of languages and dialects out there these days. Not like when I was growing up in Chicago, when you saw an Asian face in Chinatown, more than likely they spoke Cantonese.
Now I have to throw out a sampler of Cantonese and Mandarin and sometimes get something I understand back but not always. It's funny how no matter where we are in the world, the default language even amonst Asians is often English.
And I believe you are the perfect person to comment on Tan Dinh. Do they have any Chinese dishes there or just Vietnamese? Though I believe you've already thoroughly depleted their legendary wine cellar, n'est-ce pas?
Have you ever heard of Mirama? It's a little hole-in-the-wall kind of place on the Rue St. Jacques--just up from the river. It doesn't look like much from the outside, and the decor sure won't win any international design competitions. But the food!! Some of the best Chinese I've ever had, and at bargain prices. I recommend it very highly.
i have been to Mirama, it was awful. Like you i grew up in HK and am on an eternal search for a decent chinese restaurant in paris, i have tried many but none decent, the majority are chinese + thai + vietnamese + japanese without anything authentic from any of the countries. if anyone has any other suggestions i am really homesick and crave some decent yum cha!
Pretty much sums it up. This ain't the US or London. I've been looking for a decent dim sum place or Cantonese seafood house in Paris for years. I am hoping some decent Chinese chefs who want to give it a go in Paris will heed my call. But please no 8 euro buffets. We want the real stuff with decent ingredients and some talent in the kitchen. Maybe, I need to head deep into Ivry to find something. At least, I can buy all the right ingredients at Tang Freres and Paris Store.
I agree with Mirama. It is probably the only decent place in the 5th. It may not be a place for a grand dinner, but their noodle of all types, dumplings, Chinese BBQ are quite good. Their other dishes are comparable to many similar places in SF. And one won't run into the Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese pan Asian menus of it's neighbors.
Four years too late to help B&W, but since this thread just started bubbling again, I'll throw this useful link into the pot.
I'd be most intrigued by the Salon de Thé Wenzhou. The isolated coastal city of Wenzhou has a peculiar "French Connnection" (in food and otherwise) that's been noted even in the Chinese media:
For fantastic family style Cantonese - head to:
39 AVENUE DE CHOISY 75013 PARIS
01 45 84 20 45
They speak both Mandarin and Cantonese.
I can highly recommend TANG's in the 16th district. It's a very refined Chinese restaurant and Charlie Tang, the owner, and his wife, are simply the best. It is pricey though - 150 Euro for two, including a good wine.
Chen came highly recommended from a Michelin exec. I have also heard others say very good things about it. However I have not yet has the pleasure myself.
It's very rare (impossible) to find a passable Chinese restaurant outside of the 13th or Belleville. (I've had mediocre luck at the one on rue St Jaques mentioned above). As noted they usually "specialize" in Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Cambodian, all at once...
I've found an excellent indicator of quality is to check the menu for meduse (jellyfish), pattes de poulet (chicken feet) and langues de canard (duck tongues). A restaurant with those items will be chinese and not an amalgam.
Best bet for familial informal chinese is Fleur de Mai on Avenue Choisy in the 13th.
Better selection and relatively good quality is Sinorama.
There is actually a dim sum restaurant that has carts in the 1th (New Nouilleville). But the two times I was there there were so few people there that there were practically no carts, and those that did circulate just had the same stuff you could get in any traiteur asiatique.
Someone mentioned Tricotin. Just behind it in the courtyard are aquartet of restaurants. I prefer the New Hoa Khan to Tricitin, less crowded and more Chinese than French who prefer the Tricotin.
BTW, when in a restaurant in Paris and you don't want food toned down for french palates,you have to ask for the food to be prepared "comme chez vous". And repeat it a couple of times. it's the only way I've been able to get a passable Indian or Thai meal.