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Good Indian In Paris?

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We have just got back from very nice walk through Indian area North of Gare du Nord on our way to Canal St-Martin. We bought good samosas and snacks but now wonder whether anyone has explored the Indian restaurants and found the best ones? We've been told that contrary to popular opinion good ones do exist in Paris.

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  1. Would like to know too. There are good simple ones all over the place, and particularly in the 10th and the Passage Grady (?). The most renowned ones I found rather disapppointing, like Indra rue Saint Philippe du Roule, Yugaraj rue Dauphine. New Balal, in the 9th next to Chaussée d'Antin (rue Taitbout?) is a good compromise, but I have yet to find a Parisian Indian that is more than good comfort food. There's always the Eurostar...

    2 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      I agree for Yugaraj: very desappointing despite all the buzz.

      My indian restaurant of choice is called Gandhi ji's (12 Rue La Fayette 75009 Paris, France +33 1 45 23 21 52). If you're used to real indian food, mention it when you order otherwise they will serve extremely mild dishes as the french people are used to.

      1. re: souphie

        Oh come on, passage Brady is disgusting and dirty. Go to Ratn for high end, Dip on bd Saint Marcel for inexpensive and good

      2. My husband and I are great fans of Indian food, and for the most part we have found that the fare at Paris Indian restaurants (Pakistani, mostly, actually) is bland, with the same items on the menu. The most authentic ones that we have found are, as you note, near the Gare du Nord and in the Passage Brady. There is a good Indian market (Velan) in the Passage, and a very good restaurant just across from it, the Pondicherry. There are several restaurants in the Passage, but that is the best one in my experience. Unlike most Indian restaurants here in France, they serve food from southern Indian, not just Northern foods.

        1. I have heard that Madras Cafe in the 10th (180, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis) is good and authentic (read: spicy) but I have yet to check it out. Am going there this week however so will report back!

          1 Reply
          1. re: galaxygee

            galaxygee, did you get to Madras Cafe? We got take out yesterday and the food is spicy but apart from that rather run-of-the-mill. We had fairly good chicken masala, so-so sag paneer and curried vegetables (both, oddly with raisins and slivered almonds). The curried veg were chopped frozen veg but covered with pleasant spicy sauce. Also onion badgi which were orange coloured and soggy. 19 euros total. As Souphi writes, Eurostar still better option. Zagat lists a Paris Indian with high rating for food but very expensive.

          2. I lived in Paris for 6 months, several years ago. My local friend introduced me to a place called Vallee du Kashmir, on Rue Odessa, near the Gare Montparnasse. I am in love with this restaurant, and it may be the best Indian food I've had, including homemade and food in India itself. I highly recommend any of the lamb dishes, the meat is so tender it will melt in your mouth. Also, the daal is like none other, and the palak paneer is rich and flavorful. The restaurant is more impressive than it looks from the outside. Check it out!

            1. I discovered a great little restaurant in Little India (metro La Chapelle). I have written a little blurb about it in my blog. I love Indian and was very impressed! The name is Ganesha and the address is 14 rue Perdonnet 75010. NOTE: It is not the take-away Ganesha on the corner, but the restaurant a couple of doors down.

              http://thepetitecoquine.blogspot.com/

              1. We just ate at Chettinand(?). It was south indian and we were vegetarian that night. The food was very bland. Service was fine, and prices very good. Will try Pondicherry tomorrow night.

                1. Do not try the Palais du Kashmir rue du Poteau 75018; rude, hot (temp), not hot (food).

                  1. i went to one of the hallowed diner-style Sri Lankan places in Little Jaffna and while it was ok, i was underwhelmed and thought it was not quite the worth the trek...

                    i was missing my fav Notting Hill place Durbur the other day and i had the same question, so i'm curious what people think...

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Simon

                      We ranged far and wide looking for good Indian when we lived in Paris. We never found it, at best it was reminiscent of the identikit high street curry of Britain in the '80's at worst it was bland and lacked spice. If desperate we headed for "Yugaraj" (rue Dauphine 6eme) which was passable.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        thanks...going to London in two weeks, so i'll hold out :)

                        1. re: Simon

                          The "Indian's" on the bottom part of the rue du Fbg St Denis are mostly Pakistani. That being, while it's true you cant't find an equivalent of Tayyabs in Whitechapel, Sheezan at 84 rue du Faubourg St Denis isn't bad. They don't serve alchol.

                          If you're in the area, the Kudish places are much more interesting. Notably Urfa Durum at no 58 on the same street, which this chowhound's been harping on about for years.

                          1. re: Simon

                            I love Krishna Bhavan near Gare du Nord. Vegetarian Sri Lankan food. I always try to combine a meal with a shopping trip to the V&S Cash and Carry on rue du Faubourg St Denis for spices and paneer to cook my own Indian meals at home.

                            Krishna Bhavan
                            24 rue Cail, 10ème, métro: Gare du Nord
                            Tel: 01 42 05 78 43
                            Open 7 days a week

                            Photos on my blog of Krishna Bhavan: http://annmah.net/2009/03/31/dining-o...

                            Of V&S Cash and Carry: http://annmah.net/2010/05/19/subconti...

                            1. re: Cookingthebooks

                              That does look like a really good bet - wish we had found it when we were there.

                              And I agree with your comment (on your blog) abut needing alternatives to French food when you live there; it is essential, especially if you have travelled far and wide and crave spice!

                              1. re: Cookingthebooks

                                I went to Krishna Bhavan in July and, while it did sort-of scratch my itch for a masala dosa, I wasn't so impressed by the food. It wasn't particularly spicy, and the best thing I ate there was not on the menu (rasam - which was nice and spicy, as it should be).

                                However rue Cail is full of Indian restaurants, I even saw a restaurant offering Mexican Indian food (a new fusion trend? :), has anyone tried out some of the other restos around there?

                                1. re: juliadevi

                                  Actually, the masala dosa is not my favorite thing there -- I prefer the idli, upma and onion dosa. But even the masala dosa is better than anything else I've found in Paris -- necessity is the mother of accepting mediocrity, I suppose! I would love to hear about your discoveries on rue Cail!

                                  Punjab sounds interesting -- does it serve food from Punjab? Totally different from southern Indian cuisine.

                                2. re: Cookingthebooks

                                  Just back from Krishna Bhavan - Delightful meal with extraordinary chutneys to boot, much better than what I cook at home, have not had Indian food this subtle since I was in Singapore, and all for less than 15 euro per head. Too bad they only have soft drinks, though, and you can't BYO. Many, many thanks for the tip.

                          2. Here's one that is really good -- the first such one I find in Paris: Punjab, rue Léon Jost. My wife and I have now tried it countless times and recommended to dozens of friends. Everybody loved it and comes back. And if you like hot, they do hot -- only if you ask.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: souphie

                              is this the Punjab, and do you still like it?

                              Villa Punjab, 15, Rue Léon Jost, in the 17th

                              1. re: RandyB

                                i quite agree Villa punjab is another very good indian restaurant in 17th, more stylish than delice de l inde, but my preference still goes to 66 rue legendre..

                              2. re: souphie

                                I just arrived in Paris this afternoon. So what will be my first restaurant? Indian! I'll be trying out your Villa Punjab at lunch tomorrow.

                                Plus making a few detours to shop for cheese and oysters, at the least.

                              3. I'm of South Indian origin (American nationality) and have been living in Paris for the last 4 years. There is not too much good Indian food to be had here, unfortunately! The French palate is largely unadventurous and does not do well with spicy food or anything beyond the range of the standard 15 or so dishes that are served in every Indian restaurant here (the same can be said of other "ethnic" cuisines too). As a result, there is virtually no place here where you can get good regional Indian food or cooking that is inventive, creative or fusion-oriented like you would find in the UK and many cities in the States. The same thing can be said in terms of ambiance/atmosphere...here, you have to choose between decent and authentic food or a nice ambiance (good wine list, lighting, cocktails, music, etc.)....its rare to find both! That being said, decent spots for a good Indian meal in Paris (though not chic by any means) are Krishna Bhavan on Rue Cail in the 10e (already mentioned by someone) and the recently opened Saravana Bhavan on Rue Faubourg St Denis. Saravana Bhavan is an international chain of South Indian, vegetarian restaurants. They just opened their Paris branch and though the prices are higher than other spots in this area and the service not quite on point yet, it is pretty good! They have an extensive menu and much more selection than other Indian spots in Paris including items you can't find elsewhere like Indo-Chinese cuisine (my favorite!). Its also considerably spicier than the other spots too. Good luck!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: ramyaviv

                                  Fascinating! I look forward to trying Saravana Bhavan -- thank you for the tip!

                                    1. re: ramyaviv

                                      I'm just back from Saravanaa Bhavan and it is quite good indeed, so thank you very much. Had a great, thin, crispy ghee masala dosa and I wouldn't mind having another one. My fingers were all smeared with delicious ghee and the sambar, dal, etc., were very tasty and fresh. The tastes are right. I hadn't had such good Indian food in Paris for ages (there used to be a time when Vishnou, near the Opéra, and Indra, at Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, were really good and spiced right. Not after the 1980s.)

                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                        Just had a meal at Saravanaa Bhavan. It was very good. Very good indeed. Some old blogger (pas moi, messieurs et medames les moderateurs, donc ne l'effacer pas, s'il vous plait) gave a much better description of it than this one, here:

                                        http://ptipois.canalblog.com/archives...

                                        1. re: vielleanglaise

                                          Heh! (thanks)
                                          My son (who would normally cringe at the mention of "vegetarian restaurant") says he daydreams about the place.
                                          And that when he's there, while ordering, he's already thinking of what he'll order the next time.

                                2. 'Delices de l'inde', rue legendre ,this is by FAr the best indian restaurant in Paris , the chef worked for many years at Hotel Meridien in New Dehli a real reference and believe me all the dishes are really really good, service and ambaince are top,been there many times with bf and family all loved it, highly recommended!!! please give feedback!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: trishkirsten

                                    And does he do Indian in the Delhi Le Meridan style which is very very modern?

                                    1. re: PhilD

                                      I lived in Asia for many years and m quite used to Indian restaurants, though i havenever been to hotel Meridien in New Delhi, but i believe it's quite a notable reference to have worked in such a prestigious establishment.the ambiance is more bollywood style than elegant, as for the food it has all the North indian range available, but never too spicy like most indian restaurant, dishes are well executed and tasty, at least to my taste, but my opinion is purely subjective. i leave it up to you to make your own opinion

                                      1. re: trishkirsten

                                        The reason for the question is that Monsoon the restaurant at Le Meriden in Delhi serves quite exciting contemporary Indian food combining the techniques of traditional Indian food with some very cutting edge cooking techniques. Not molecular but certainly some influences. I was interred to see whether he had taken these ideas with him to Paris or is he delivering pretty standard fare - which I think you have confirmed.

                                        As a tip: the best Indian chefs usually spent their apprenticeships at with the Taj or Oberoi Hotel chains in India before branching out as their training an standards are very high. Look behind a top Michelin starred Indian chef an you will usually find one of these hotels on their resume.

                                        1. re: PhilD

                                          thanks for all your comments and clarification, i ll keep them in mind,i m not an expert as i have never been to India but only lived in Asia quite some time, tried many many restaurants and have my indian connections..for this restaurant do not expect high class setting, it's got a classic range of north indian dishes it s simple but nicely done..

                                    2. re: trishkirsten

                                      I looked at their menu on La Fourchette, and it seems to be the usual offerings just like most of the other Indian places here. I don't actually see what makes it special, but I'll give it a try.

                                      1. re: henri cat

                                        i never said they are offering special dishes, what i simply mean is that it is well executed, it s classic but nicely done..perhaps someone who sbeen or lived in India will be dissappoint but in Paris, definetely one of the best, at least for me..

                                      2. When we were in Paris just after Christmas last year, we happened upon an Indian/Pakistani restaurant near the Place Maubert -- Le Partage. It had a very nice atmosphere and the service was very welcoming. The food was not great by any means, but I thought it was very good. On par with our local Indian restaurants here in the Dallas area.

                                        http://pommedeve.free.fr/lepartage/ww...

                                        Le Partage
                                        7, rue Frédéric Sauton
                                        PARIS 75005

                                        I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there, but if it's in your part of town, it's certainly worth a visit.

                                        1. A late reply - I'm a South Indian and I've spent a majority of my life growing up in the Indian subcontinent. It is unfortunate that Paris doesn't have many good, authentic Indian restaurants. Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Pakistani food are close, but not Indian.

                                          However, I can vouch for Saravana Bhavan. It's incredible that they've maintained the same flavours as their restaurants in Chennai. They're an international chain and I've eaten at Saravana Bhavans in Singapore, Australia, France, US and of course, at their 'headquarters' in Chennai, India. It is by far the most authentic Indian food you can find in Paris. It is a vegetarian restaurant, but the flavours will compensate for it. It is my go to restaurant when I'm missing home. Try the Thaali (menu), Masala dosa, Vada sambar,Kotthu Paratha (Mixed veg. Paratha) or Biriyani. Do not miss the authentic filter coffee they serve there. Delicious and the way it's supposed to be!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Indienneinparis

                                            I agree, Saaravana Bhavan is the only Indian restaurant in Paris that I like. Since they opened, though, they've been cutting on the ghee on the masala dosai. But they're still good. Awesome drinks, too. I absolutely love their badam kheer.
                                            A funny detail is that, while their plain white rice is very disappointing, their biryani is really good.

                                            1. re: Ptipois

                                              I never got to try Saaravana Bhavan in Paris. However, I did try their NYC location a couple of months ago. It was excellent. The locals I was staying with, who are big fans of Indian food, had never tried it but all like it very much.

                                              I'll have it on my list for Paris for my next trip.

                                              1. re: RandyB

                                                I am sorry to say that Saaravana Bhavan had gone seriously downhill at the time of my last visit (about 6 weeks ago). Food less tasty, carelessly cooked, spicing unbalanced (too much in places and not enough in others), service distinctly more spaced out/pouty than before, ghee in the masala dosai had almost disappeared and, worse, the place seemed to be run down with broken down toilet (1 out of 2) and the handwashing space (essential in that type of restaurant) out of order.

                                                The funny thing is that there still was the same high number of Indian families eating there, and they were eating the same thing as us, considering the general feeling of carelessness the team wouldn't bother serving two levels of quality.

                                                Clearly a case of (temporary?) dereliction from the mothership in Chennai, as if it had severed the connection. Hopefully that was only an empty moment and the restaurant has recovered by now.

                                          2. They're almost all disgusting, dirty and disappointing, especially passage Brady and rue Cail (although on rue Cail there are some great Indian/Sri Lankan food stores like VT Cash and Carry). My two faces are Dip at 5 bd. Saint Marcel (he's been there nearly 30 years, looks like any other, but is fresh and good), and Ratn, expensive Moghul palace cuisine, but excellent if you don't mind spending ...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: adrian

                                              I am sure you are right, but you already said so, but more concisely, upthread.

                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                Guess that's what happens when you read old boring threads... You forget you even participated!

                                            2. This thread is immortal. Five years later the answer is still there in the very first reply

                                              "There's always the Eurostar..."

                                              All of the Indian restaurants in Paris are a disgrace.