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Good asian in Paris tonight?

h
heinous Sep 21, 2009 07:53 AM

Hi there! I've been traveling in Europe for a week, and I'm starting to get antsy for some Asian food. I've searched the boards, but couldn't really find a specific place to go. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or Vietnamese would all be great. Any suggestions? I'm from Southern California, so something fairly authentic would be great.

Thanks! :)

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  1. t
    tmso RE: heinous Sep 21, 2009 08:46 AM

    I've become quite fond of Le Pacifique, 35 rue de Belleville. Steamed noodles, lotus sticky rice, etc., are correct. The quality varies a bit more than I'd like, though. Overall it's quite solid cantonese food.

    1. John Talbott RE: heinous Sep 21, 2009 09:24 AM

      Shan Gout
      22, rue Hector Malo, 12th (Metro: Gare de Lyon)
      T: 01.43.40.62.14
      Closed Mondays
      A la carte about 30 €

      Lao Lane Xang 2
      102, Ave d’Ivry, 13th (Metro: Tolbiac)
      T: 01 58 89 00 00
      Closed Wednesdays
      Lunch menu 10,80 €, 20–25 € à la carte

      John Talbott (descriptions of the above at:
      http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...)

      2 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott
        h
        heinous RE: John Talbott Sep 21, 2009 09:33 AM

        OK, so now I'm feeling guilty for being here in Paris and wanting Asian food that I can get in LA every single day. I'm here with a friend who has never been here before, and I would love for her to have a great Parisian experience. We went to Le Dome last night, which was lovely, serious French seafood - but we're looking for something lighter tonight, which is why I was originally thinking of Asian food. I've searched through the boards here, and frankly, I'm a little overwhelmed by all the choices!

        Something tasty, fun and lively would be great, and under 100 E per person. Thanks for any help you can give! :)

        1. re: heinous
          ChefJune RE: heinous Sep 22, 2009 07:25 AM

          I wouldn't take someone who has never been to Paris before for Asian food. If you want lighter, what about someplace like Maceo which has some lovely vegetarian options that are not heavy? It is still a seriously Parisian place.

      2. souphie RE: heinous Sep 21, 2009 11:44 PM

        Likafo for Cantonese, Yong for Szechuan, Lac Hong for high end Vietnamese, Sukothai for thai, Okamé for takeout Japanee

        Fancy Parisian Chinese are also interesting options in my opinion, but if you're looking for "authenticity", whatever that means, forget them (Chen, Tsé Yang, Tong Yen, Vong, Passy Mandarin)

        1. l
          LotsC RE: heinous Sep 22, 2009 08:05 AM

          Hi went to a brilliant vietnamese in Paris the other week. Absolutely delicious food in 5e and ridiculously cheap. I cant remember what it was called there was a restaurant and a pho bar next door and you could sit outside. Totally delicious and I can't remember what it was called vv rrustrating near the Rue Dante and you approached it coming from Rue de Grand Degres. Worth going to and absolutley fab and very authentic

          1 Reply
          1. re: LotsC
            o
            Oakglen RE: LotsC Oct 3, 2009 01:34 PM

            You might be referring to Aux Saveurs d'Indochine, on rue Dante, a tiny Viet spot. Quite decent, with low prices; "how do they pay the rent", I remember thinking.

          2. menton1 RE: heinous Sep 28, 2009 10:37 AM

            WE've talked before here about Le Pagodon in the 6th. There is no atmosphere here, but the food is quality Asian. the husband waits in the front, the wife cooks in the back. A fusion of Vietmamese and Chinese. Food is great, pricing low.

            21, Rue Grands Augustins
            75006 Paris, France
            +33 1 43 26 55 16

            1. b
              brianV RE: heinous Oct 2, 2009 08:29 PM

              I hesitate to chime in, since I have never been anything but a tourist, but I think Le Palanquin, on the hard to find Rue de la Princesses in 6ieme, near the Rue Danton metro stop, and the marche st germain, is to my mind one of the very best vietnamese restaurants I have been to anywhere. In a very french, mediaeval cellar stone arched sort of bulding with very friendly staff. Have the raviolis vietnamiennes; other things are good too

              17 Replies
              1. re: brianV
                Parigi RE: brianV Oct 3, 2009 04:18 AM

                Both the Chinese embassy and the Taiwanese delegation stake out au Mandarin, 1 rue de Berri. The Sichuanese-Shanghainese place is also a nifty place to go in the restaurant wasteland of Champs Elysées. Tip: those sneaky fellahs in the kitchen keep a couple of hors-carte dishes for regulars like Chinese diplomats (and Michael Chang who with mom dad and grannies always ate there during Roland Garros). Do ask the maître D for the hors-carte goodies.
                It is also one of very few good Chinese restaurants that also have a nice cadre.

                1. re: Parigi
                  souphie RE: Parigi Oct 3, 2009 05:57 AM

                  It's amazing the number of very few good Asian there in this town...

                  1. re: souphie
                    zuriga1 RE: souphie Oct 3, 2009 06:41 AM

                    And why does London so close by have so many??

                    1. re: zuriga1
                      John Talbott RE: zuriga1 Oct 3, 2009 08:44 AM

                      Couldn't be the legacy of the Empire could it?
                      Ever noticed that the BBC has lots of news on their ex-colonies and France ditto on RFI.
                      The French ran SouthEast Asia and the Viet Namese and Laotion and Cambodian restos are here and in the case of VN, have been here for many years.

                      1. re: zuriga1
                        PhilD RE: zuriga1 Oct 3, 2009 01:58 PM

                        I am not certain that is true. True there are lots of Chinese restaurants in London, but the percentage that are very good is very low. I would say the same about Paris for Vietnamese, and the US for Italian.

                        John's point about the legacy of empire is true as far as it goes. I would postulate that whilst the empire legacy results in lots of immigration from former colonies, the immigrants themselves are economically challenged, thus they open cheap restaurants/cafes for their compatriots and less well off locals. They, then adapt the cuisine for local tastes as they need to make it accessible in order to get punters through the door, this "adaption" often neuters a cuisine and we end up with "chicken chow mein" or "chicken tikka massala" or "Chicago deep pan pizza" (I know the US immigration model is not colonial). This model self reinforces as success takes hold, but the problem is the restaurants end up a long way from the intrinsic qualities of the original cuisine, and thus you get "few good Asians" in Paris.

                        The good news is that it does change. People travel more, and thus demand better food, a few (often second or third generation) restauranteurs see the opportunity and up the quality, often going back to the fundamentals of the original food. Alan Yau is an example in London (he founded Wagamama, sold it, then opened two very good chinese restaurants, sold them, and is now on his third or fourth idea). I wonder if there is an equivalent young entrepreneur in Paris?

                        1. re: PhilD
                          menton1 RE: PhilD Oct 3, 2009 02:10 PM

                          I couldn't help but be reminded by this discussion of Keisuke Matsushima, but of course he's down in Nice, not Paris...

                          1. re: PhilD
                            zuriga1 RE: PhilD Oct 5, 2009 05:34 AM

                            C'mon, Phil. How can you generalize about the U.S. not having very good Italian restaurants? It used to be very southern Italy influenced for obvious reasons, but this is not true in larger cities with informed diners. And one can get a heck of a good southern Italian meal all over the country. Things have definitely changed for the better, even in what were awful restaurant towns like Phila.

                            1. re: zuriga1
                              menton1 RE: zuriga1 Oct 5, 2009 07:37 AM

                              Sorry to break this to you, zuriga1, but for anybody with a knowledge of Italian regions and the cuisine in Italy itself, "southern Italian" cuisine is just a meaningless word. There are about 6 well-defined regions south of Rome, and then there's Sicily, and nothing served in those regions resembles anything served in US "Italian" restaurants. All these regions have distinct ingredients, preparations, herbs and spices. "Northern Italian" is just as meaningless a term.

                              1. re: menton1
                                zuriga1 RE: menton1 Oct 5, 2009 11:14 AM

                                I suppose all the Italian immigrants to America just invented new dishes when they landed on those shores. And I'm sure you've been to all the US 'Italian' restaurants to know none of them serve food that would be recognized in the southern regions of Italy, including Sicily. And I *have* been to Italy and my geography is quite good, thank you.

                                1. re: zuriga1
                                  menton1 RE: zuriga1 Oct 5, 2009 04:49 PM

                                  Yes, they brought the pasta, but that's about it... The "Italian-American" restaurants that are ubiquitous in the US have nothing resembling anything available across Italy. Where in the US could you find...

                                  Ribbolita: Bread soup available in every restaurant in Tuscany...
                                  Coglioni di Mulo: Umbrian dish.
                                  Incapriata: Puglia
                                  Majatiche: Calabria
                                  Arrosticini: Abruzzo

                                  If you've traveled around southern Italy, zuriga, you'll recognize these dishes, and realize that they are just about nowhere to be found at US "Italian" restos, even if they use the vacuous term "Southern Italian".

                                  1. re: menton1
                                    zuriga1 RE: menton1 Oct 5, 2009 11:04 PM

                                    There are some high-end Italian restaurants in the U.S. that do serve delicious Tuscan, Fruili.... and other regional dishes. I guess we can agree to disagree as I am wondering if you are an American or have been to New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis or others to numerous to mention.

                              2. re: zuriga1
                                PhilD RE: zuriga1 Oct 5, 2009 12:59 PM

                                June, obviously it is a generalisation, but as you say you need to be an informed diner in a large city. My guess is that 1% are good, 99% serve pasta's and other dishes served smothered in poor tomato sauces. For me good Italian food, is represented by simple, very high quality ingredient led dishes, and I think that is rare.

                                I make he same generalisation about "Asian" food in Paris, again for me good "Asian" food allows high quality ingredients to shine through, and spicing etc needs definition and balance. I am certain there are one or two good example in Paris, but given the number of "Asian" restaurants and traiteurs (take aways) in Paris this seems a very low proportion. From what I read there are young chefs who are improving things. But interestingly there doesn't seem to be the modern "Indochine" movement in restaurants you see in some other cities (i.e. Singapore).

                                You could also contrast that with the success of North African food in Paris where the food been embedded in local culture more strongly and there are quite a number of good mainstream restaurants. It is quite an interesting contrast between the two old French colonial blocks. Why has North African food become so embedded (and in many cases very good) whilst Indochine food is so patchy.

                                1. re: PhilD
                                  zuriga1 RE: PhilD Oct 5, 2009 02:21 PM

                                  Phil, maybe it just comes down to better chefs from North Africa now working in Paris. Perhaps the best Indochine chefs have not travelled to France but went elsewhere.

                                  1. re: PhilD
                                    menton1 RE: PhilD Oct 6, 2009 01:25 PM

                                    I lived in NYC for 30 years. You still haven't explained to me the meaning of the term "southern Italian" or Northern Italian" when it comes to Italian-american restaurants. And not just "high end" ones.

                                    1. re: menton1
                                      zuriga1 RE: menton1 Oct 6, 2009 11:10 PM

                                      Saying you lived in NYC for 30 years is like me saying I lived in Phila. for 25. My 25 was over 40 years ago. :-) Maybe your 30 was before there were some good options for 'Italian' food from any region.... Lupa comes to mind.. They specialize in dishes found in Rome.. Lidia Bastianich and family have so many restaurants featuring different Italian regions that I can't remember all the names, and there is Babbo (an everchanging menu based on one region or another).

                                      So don't say there is only mediocre 'Italian' food (southern, northern - what's the difference) in the U.S.

                              3. re: zuriga1
                                Parigi RE: zuriga1 Oct 3, 2009 02:34 PM

                                I think it is because for a while London got a lot of immigrants from the New Territories of Hong Kong, when the latter was a colony. A serious foodie ethnic group if ever there was one…
                                To this day, very authentic Hakka cuisine can be found in London Chinatown.

                                1. re: Parigi
                                  v
                                  vielleanglaise RE: Parigi Oct 4, 2009 05:02 AM

                                  A few of my cheap and cheerful favourites.

                                  For Laotian, I love Minh Chau on the rue de la Verrerie, behind the BHV department store.
                                  For Vietnamese sandwiches, any of the little Vietnamese "traiteurs" around the rue de l'Orilion in Belleville.
                                  In the same neighbourhood, on the rue de Belleville, Lao Siam for Thai.
                                  For Noodles, Les Pates Vivantes on the rue du Fbg Montmartre.
                                  Sichuan, The Chengdu, on the Boulevard de Strasbourg,
                                  For dead cheap Cambodian, the little hole in the wall (literally) on the corner of Fbg St Denis and Petits Ecuries.

                                  I think you can get decent "Asian" (a word that needs inverted commas, if ever there was one) or Parisian-Asian cuisine. It will be different though from London-Asian, New York-Asian, San Fransisco-Asian...If you're looking for those cuisines, it's in these cities that you'll find it...

                        2. John Talbott RE: heinous Nov 29, 2009 11:27 AM

                          Too late now, but for the record, check http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669034

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