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vietnamese food in paris

degustazione May 31, 2010 04:49 PM

Any good new (or old) places? Thanks

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  1. John Talbott RE: degustazione Jun 1, 2010 05:47 AM

    Having had real Viet Namese food I'm a bit turned off by the Paris versions but here is a report of my most successful recent meal:
    3.0 Le Dan Bau, 18, rue des Trois Freres in the 18th,, never closed.
    As my loyal and not-so-loyal readers know, I don’t report/review ethnic places in Paris because unless I’m here for a year plus, I’m perfectly happy sampling new and old French places. But, but, but, I decided today (actually last week) to eat tonite at a Viet Namese place in the nabe because I was bushed after a flight across the seas, my regular 1st dinner rotisserie standby was closed and Richard Nahem of Parisist, a relatively new site that promotes itself as run by ex-New Yorkers, raved about it. What my readers don’t usually know, however, is that for Viet Namese cooking I have very high, impossibly high standards – having eaten out and had a cook-in chef in Viet Nam. Oh sure, I ate at Viet Namese places in Paris as a student, hey, they were cheap, good (what did I know about authentic ethnic cooking then?) and convenient. In any case, to my meal. Located on a “happening” street, just away from tourist central on Montmartre (La Famille par exemple) it’s only got 27 covers and has surprisingly terrific wall-art. The menu (carte) looks not much different from any other Viet place in Paris; but the food, the food? I started with the pork nems and couldn’t have been happier - crisp, great mint and lettuce leaves, too hot in temperature, but hey. Then I had the Pho, my sustaining breakfast in Viet Nam; bland but with perfectly undercooked (eg raw) beef (albeit a poor cut) and noodles and interesting lemon grass, etc, but wait, what’s that beside it; what my culinary guiding family (we term them Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il) call “Big Red,” except that in Viet Nam there are legions of such sauces. That was it! With wine (1/2 bottle or 50 cl, it didn’t matter = 8.50 €.) My bill = 20 €. I challenge you on that. And they were turning people away. A downside – Don’t go if you’re subject to light-flashing induced seizures from light string fixtures – wow.
    Should one go? If one is on Montmartre, in need of ethnic food and not seizure-prone, definitely!

    6 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott
      vielleanglaise RE: John Talbott Jun 1, 2010 09:15 AM

      It's not new (I've been going there for longer than I care to remember), and not having been to 'Nam, I can't vouch for its authenticity, but I love Minh Chau, 10 rue de la Verrerie, in the 4th behind the BHV.

      It's tiny (you have to ask for the key forthe toilet which is in the courtyard of a neighbouring building) but great value, and delicious.

      1. re: John Talbott
        juliadevi RE: John Talbott Oct 17, 2010 09:43 AM

        based on this rec and craving viet food, i went to dan bau this july (i live in the south of france, where there is no good viet food). i grew up near little saigon in CA, i love viet food.

        however i was disappointed at dan bau.

        next time i go to paris, i will try out some of the places on blvd d'ivry, they looked promising, as well as the restos in rue volta (near the bahn mi place) - small, not at all chic, but completely packed full of asians, not a frog in sight... ;)

        1. re: juliadevi
          monchique RE: juliadevi Oct 17, 2010 11:23 AM

          Merci pour le frog! French Chow Hounds will appreciate your comment. If you live in the South of France, where Vietnamese restaurants have been plenty since1954 (I think when we, the French, lost Indochine), there used to be a fantastic one, family run, in the casino in Bandol (this is between Marseille and Toulon) . Might be worth checking if it is still there. Unfortunately most of the original exiles from that time who opened restaurants are now dead or retired, their place taken by different cultures.

        2. re: John Talbott
          Dapuma RE: John Talbott Oct 26, 2010 09:40 AM

          have you/anyone been to Kim Anh - it got 2 stars in frommers for paris this year, wanted to know if that was authentic or not, the mrs is vietnamese and we eat authentic all the time, so if it isnt the real deal she will know right away

          1. re: Dapuma
            Simon RE: Dapuma Mar 27, 2011 02:13 PM

            i thought it was decent and authentic...not a destination place, but the outdoor seating is nice on a warm night

          2. re: John Talbott
            moonbach RE: John Talbott Jan 8, 2012 10:08 PM

            Can anyone provide a picture of their menu please? I stayed in Paris for 3 nights and had all of 3 dinners at this restaurant, Le Dan Bau. I can vouch for its authenticity since I'm from Hanoi myself and havent been away from Vietnam long enough to forget what it should look and taste like.

            I'm trying to make one of the dessert I had there but forgot the name. If anyone could provide a picture of the menu, that would be greatly appreciated!

            Thanks a lot.

          3. p
            purpleceline RE: degustazione Jun 1, 2010 03:56 PM

            I don't think it's new, but Tin TIn (Louis Bonnet & rue de la presentation, metro belleville) has a particularly good Pho Sate.

            1. menton1 RE: degustazione Jun 2, 2010 10:42 AM

              A really good but tiny place is in the 6th, at 21 rue des Grands Augustins. (Just a few doors down from Ze Kitchen Galerie). Food is quite good, husband in the front serving the tables, wife cooking in the back.

              Here's another good list:


              3 Replies
              1. re: menton1
                Parigi RE: menton1 Jun 2, 2010 11:31 AM

                Menton, that webpage seems to have the strangest wrongly paired resto names and addresses.

                Paris Restaurant – Le Dan Bau – Montmartre
                * Tel: +33 1 44 78 09 19
                · Location: 8 rue de la Bastille, 75004 Paris
                * Type of Cuisine : Vietnamese Restaurant – Paris

                Paris Restaurant – Le Petit Bofinger – Bastille
                * Tel: +33 1 45 85 81 31
                · Location: 15 Avenue de Choisy, 75013 Paris
                * Type of Cuisine : Vietnamese Restaurant – Paris

                What's that about?

                1. re: Parigi
                  menton1 RE: Parigi Jun 2, 2010 01:19 PM

                  Maybe it's a misprint. Most of the others all look like accurate listings. You might want to click on that "contact us" link on that site to let them know...

                  1. re: Parigi
                    ulvi69 RE: Parigi Aug 2, 2010 04:22 PM

                    Thanks for feedback ... You may check it out again... Paris4Travel

                2. o
                  Oakglen RE: degustazione Jun 2, 2010 03:10 PM

                  I know that Tan Dinh is officially a Viet place, but they have few of the traditional dishes. The vin carte is extensive, and can be grossly expensive. I once ordered an old Sauvignon Blanc, and the owner/chef refused to sell it to me; rather, he brought me a similar wine at half the price. It was superb. But I definitely felt like an ignorant tourist. No pressure to order a full meal here, at least for lunch.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Oakglen
                    MOREKASHA RE: Oakglen Jun 2, 2010 08:13 PM

                    Ate @ TD years ago and had a bad experience. So so food, very expensive and the wine we ordered was clearly off. They argued with us, implying that we didn't know what we were talking about. We were 2 Americans and a French woman from Burgundy. Not worth a detour.

                    1. re: Oakglen
                      Fuffy RE: Oakglen Jun 3, 2010 09:53 AM

                      I agree with Morekasha. Tan Dinh is expensive and on our one visit two of our three dishes were not good. I also think it is generally thought of as French/Vietnamese rather than Vietnamese.

                      1. re: Fuffy
                        Oakglen RE: Fuffy Jun 3, 2010 12:37 PM

                        I forgot to mention Aux Saveurs d'Indchine, rue Dante, super cheap and decent.

                    2. p
                      Ptipois RE: degustazione Aug 3, 2010 01:32 AM

                      There are excellent Vietnamese restaurants in Paris. They are generally packed at mealtimes and even at other times. Their interior is modest (avoid the Tan Dinhs and other posh places) but sometimes more stylish or at least decorated.
                      Not being an authority on Belleville Vietnamese joints (though I know there are good ones), I will focus on the South Chinatown (the XIIIe) which I know better.

                      Pho Bida Vietnam on rue Nationale,
                      Le Bambou on rue Baudricourt,
                      Indochina on avenue de Choisy,
                      Pho 14 on avenue de Choisy (just pho and banh cuon, etc.)
                      There used to be the wonderful Pho Bida Saigon (tucked in a covered arcade) but it closed a few months ago.
                      (To be completed.)

                      23 Replies
                      1. re: Ptipois
                        souphie RE: Ptipois Aug 3, 2010 10:40 AM

                        I'd add Co Tu, on rue Croix-Nivert, and Lac Hong ($$$$) on rue Lauriston.

                        Indochine has the best nems (springrolls) I ever had. There really are plenty of lovely small vietnamese joints, and I wouldn't pretend to know them all.

                        1. re: souphie
                          Ptipois RE: souphie Aug 4, 2010 04:58 AM

                          I confirm, Indochine has scrumptious nems. And other good things too.

                          1. re: Ptipois
                            mangeur RE: Ptipois Oct 4, 2012 07:58 AM

                            Bumping this great thread: does anyone have a (preferably central) address for spring rolls (not deep fried nems)? Am looking for a lunch option, similar to the now famous banh mi shop on Volta. Looking for grilled pork or grilled chicken options, not prawn, which is common and available at most Asian traiteurs.

                            1. re: mangeur
                              Parigi RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 08:00 AM

                              Could you explain "spring rolls (not deep fried nems)" ?

                              1. re: Parigi
                                mangeur RE: Parigi Oct 4, 2012 08:05 AM

                                The 8" log of noodles, carrots, radish, cilantro, mint and meat wrapped in moist rice paper, to dip in fish or peanut based sauce.

                                Perhaps aka goi cuon?


                                1. re: mangeur
                                  aliettedb RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 08:41 AM

                                  You mean anything wrapped in rice paper? (gỏi cuốn is the most famous option, it's salad, shrimp and pork and rice noodles and assorted herbs), but you also have nem nướng (grilled pork) and tôm bò lui (shrimps wrapped in beef), and chạo tôm (shrimp on sugar cane).
                                  Comme au Vietnam 134 rue de Tolbiac, mentioned elsewhere in this thread, serves nem nướng and tôm bò lui. Pho 67, rue Galande, serves chạo tôm (and maybe good gỏi cuốn, but I've never tried them there).
                                  I tend to make my own gỏi cuốn at home so have never eaten them in a restaurant, sorry...

                                  1. re: aliettedb
                                    mangeur RE: aliettedb Oct 4, 2012 09:58 AM

                                    Rue Galande is certainly central and will try here first. Then on to Tolbiac, certainly doable but a bit of a stretch for a snatch and grab lunch. Many thanks for these.

                                    We've a wonderful source at home and maybe shouldn't push our luck in Paris, but they are such a good light, healthy and delicious lunch.

                                    ETA, I just pulled up your website, Aliette. You are one interesting lady!

                                    1. re: mangeur
                                      Parigi RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 10:12 AM

                                      Indeed !
                                      And great advice.

                                      1. re: Parigi
                                        vielleanglaise RE: Parigi Oct 4, 2012 12:59 PM

                                        Central, I like the spring rolls, and everything else infact, at Ming Chau rue de la Verrerie, just behind the BHV.

                                        1. re: vielleanglaise
                                          mangeur RE: vielleanglaise Oct 4, 2012 01:15 PM

                                          This has been our usual stop for Vietnamese for a number of years. The spring rolls are the fried rather than fresh/moist variety. To quote myself, it is "different" from what we eat in SF, a little more dense, flavors more assertive, a little heavier. Maybe the California influence here?

                                          1. re: mangeur
                                            vielleanglaise RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 01:18 PM

                                            No. The "pâté imperial" served at Minh Chau l are indeed fried. Their spring rolls though "rouleaux de printemps" are of the fresh variety. They serve them with a gloopy sweet sauce.

                                            1. re: vielleanglaise
                                              mangeur RE: vielleanglaise Oct 4, 2012 01:32 PM

                                              Thanks. Can/would they substitute nước chấm? Or is the sweet sauce their only style.

                                              1. re: mangeur
                                                vielleanglaise RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                They've always been very accomodating. They once gave my wife a bicycle after her's was stolen, so I'm sure they'd see their way to giving you some fish sauce.

                                            2. re: mangeur
                                              Ptipois RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 01:42 PM

                                              Excellent fried cha gio at Lao Viet, boulevard Massena.

                                              I confess my ignorance of reliable places for the moist/raw/rice filled rolls, never having been a fan or them.

                                        2. re: mangeur
                                          aliettedb RE: mangeur Oct 4, 2012 10:26 PM

                                          hahaha, thank you!

                                          1. re: aliettedb
                                            Ptipois RE: aliettedb Oct 5, 2012 02:09 AM

                                            On the other hand, I'm still game for top-quality banh cuon.

                                            1. re: Ptipois
                                              aliettedb RE: Ptipois Oct 5, 2012 07:09 AM

                                              Those at Comme au Vietnam are very good, though they're more in the format of a Hội An white rose (ie they don't lie flat).

                                              1. re: aliettedb
                                                Ptipois RE: aliettedb Oct 5, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                Now you've got me interested.
                                                Those at Pho Bida Saigon were unmatched. Now I'm looking for their brothers.

                              2. re: souphie
                                sderham RE: souphie Nov 26, 2011 01:51 AM

                                I ate at Co Tu a few weeks ago with a French friend. The meal was totally unacceptable. The place smelled like disinfectant, the water tasted of chlorine, the nems were hard and tasteless. The waitress knew almost nothing about the dishes, except that the restaurant did not make most of their nems. My shrimp dish was ok.

                                I do know something about Vietnamese food, having lived around San Francisco for 30 years, and studying Vietnamese cuisine in Vietnam with the CIA--Culinary Inst Amer, St Helena.)

                                1. re: sderham
                                  souphie RE: sderham Dec 1, 2011 11:27 AM

                                  I'm sure you do, and I'm sorry you had a bad meal. This raises an issue that applies to most cheap Asian joints in this town, and frankly to most cheap joints in this town, which is that owners and chefs change quickly. Thus Yong, on rue de la Colonie, has been wonderful for a year or two, and while the restaurant is still there, it is not nearly as good anymore. Same with Apsara céleste, whose ownership seems to change every year for the last twenty years. In that ever changing landscape, Pho 14, Likafo, Shandong are islands of stability.

                                  1. re: souphie
                                    Ptipois RE: souphie Dec 2, 2011 12:45 AM

                                    The difference lies in the type of management: family-owned restaurants are not the same thing as family-run restaurants. That is precisely what explains the reliability of places like Likafo, Lao Thai, Lao Viet or Tricotin. The staff includes family members, both in dining-room and kitchen. The presence of a resident head chef also does help: Aux Délices de Shan Dong shines from the intense presence of its chef-owner.

                                  2. re: sderham
                                    aliettedb RE: sderham Oct 4, 2012 09:05 AM

                                    Like many places, Co Tu is nice for some things, and not for others (and I highly suspect most Vietnamese restaurants don't make their nems, the amount of work involved is just too insane...). The two times I've been I found the food good but not extraordinary; I suspect soups are just not their things, but my husband liked his duck dish very much.
                                    Insofar as I know, it's a family-owned and family-run joint though.

                                    (I would, though, reiterate the caution that Vietnamese-American food, Vietnamese-French food and Vietnamese food are related but by no means equivalent)

                                2. re: Ptipois
                                  bclevy RE: Ptipois Oct 12, 2010 04:25 PM

                                  In the same neighborhood as le Bambou and Pho 14, I would add
                                  La Mangue Verte (Avenue d'Ivry). It serves both Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
                                  I had dinner there last year during a trip to Paris. The spring rolls were good,
                                  and its bon bo hue was decent (by Paris standards). I had it with a bottle
                                  of Chinon which they served at the proper cool temperature for a cab franc.
                                  It hit the spot on a hot summer day.

                                  I was not as impressed by Pho14 as some of the other posters. Compared to
                                  most northern CA pho restaurants, it was unimpressive, but I agree that it is
                                  the best of a sad bunch of pho restaurants in the same neighborhood.

                                3. t
                                  tarteaucitron RE: degustazione Aug 4, 2010 06:13 AM

                                  I have not been to 'Nam but did have the experience and pleasure of many excellent pho, nem and other home-cooked delicacies from a seriously good Vietnamese cook, and so I have already learned to drastically lower the expectations when I go to a restaurant to satisfy my cravings for Vietnamese dishes.

                                  I have had two recent Viet food experiences in Paris. One was Pho 14 at Ave. de Choisy, the other was that popular one that all the guidebooks recommend in Belleville (the name escapes me). I was happy that the nem was served lip-burning hot and with a decent mix of green herbs and lettuce. But as for the pho, in both places, they said they have no lime to go with it, when the plate of lemon slices was delivered to the table. At the latter place, the server even asked me, with a curious expression, what the lime was for.

                                  For me, that alone was enough to say that neither passes my basic test, even though both were very busy when we were there.

                                  I hope I have a chance soon, to try the other places recommended upthread, such as Indochine and Le Dan Bau.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: tarteaucitron
                                    Parigi RE: tarteaucitron Aug 4, 2010 08:09 AM

                                    Strange. When I go to Pho 14, the pho always comes with a side dish of slices of onion and lime.
                                    Ceci dit, the lime is a condiment for the pho and not the pho itself.

                                    1. re: Parigi
                                      tarteaucitron RE: Parigi Aug 5, 2010 01:29 AM

                                      Agree, the lime is a condiment but an important one. I don't know how authentic it is but that, along with the Hoisin sauce, were introduced to me as part of the pho dish many years ago (by a Vietnamese family). It is just not the same without it, or with anything else.

                                      I hope I do not sound like a pho-snob, but the proper condiments help make typical restaurant quality pho soup resemble the versions that I am used to.

                                      1. re: Parigi
                                        Ptipois RE: Parigi Aug 5, 2010 01:37 AM

                                        Every time I have been to Pho 14 they were offering a slice of lemon, not lime, with the pho. Many other pho joints offer lime, not lemon, so if Pho 14 serves lemon it must be intentional. They know what lime is, and lime is readily available. Otherwise, the pho at Pho14 is quite decent, though you notice irregularities in the quality of the broth throughout the year.

                                        The best pho in Paris was, by far, served at the Pho Bida Saigon and they did offer a lot of lime with their delicious brew. Unfortunately the restaurant has disappeared.

                                        I would not say that the lime slice is consubstantial to pho (the pho can be quite good without a slice of anything) but it does give a nice flavor which lemon fails to do. As for the hoisin sauce, and a touch of Sriracha mixed with it, I think they are mandatory. Every pho places serves them, whether you have to ask for them or not.

                                        To me, what makes a good pho is primarily the tastiness of the broth, the presence of beef tendons in it (definitely a rare thing), the freshness of the finely sliced brisket (some serve it rather stale) and the raw meat really added at the last second so that it is does not stew in the broth. Add to that a good choice of clean herbs and bean sprouts and some raw onion, and that's about it. Lime or lemon is anecdotic I believe.

                                        1. re: Ptipois
                                          tarteaucitron RE: Ptipois Aug 5, 2010 05:30 AM

                                          After reading all of this, I now crave for a nice bowl of pho! Too bad about Pho Bida Saigon.

                                          I agree mostly with your last two paragraphs, although I would say the broth is the most important component for me. A good bowl of it would invite me to drink it up all the way to the bottom, which I rarely do in restaurants knowing the possible MSG content in it.

                                          There are simply so many things involved that has to be done right, to make that perfect bowl of pho!

                                          1. re: tarteaucitron
                                            Parigi RE: tarteaucitron Aug 5, 2010 05:51 AM

                                            "the broth is the most important component for me."
                                            Amen. But good beef counts a lot for making a good broth.
                                            At Pho 14, patrons often order an extra bowl of broth.
                                            Extra bowl of tripes too (I do; my hubby boo thinks it's a perversion).

                                          2. re: Ptipois
                                            chicagoparis RE: Ptipois Mar 25, 2011 09:12 AM

                                            what is it with those lemons there? I bring my own limes...and napkins.

                                        2. re: tarteaucitron
                                          John Talbott RE: tarteaucitron Aug 4, 2010 09:51 AM

                                          "I have not been to 'Nam"
                                          Well, you didn't miss anything, at least during combat, except exceptionally fresh fish and prawns, the likes of which I haven't re-experienced in Paris.

                                          1. re: John Talbott
                                            tarteaucitron RE: John Talbott Aug 5, 2010 01:37 AM

                                            Well, even that is a lot to miss! I read about how their cuisines involve pairing the fresh ingredients with fresh herbs and spices, and together with the craving to try the local breeds of seafood that cannot be found on this side of the ocean, I am always looking forward to going there one day!

                                        3. mangeur RE: degustazione Oct 10, 2010 02:32 PM

                                          Four of us went to Le Bambou last month. It came highly recommended but for the life of me I can't remember by whom or what. We are all 4 from San Francisco and are used to rather good Viet food. Le Bambou was a major disappointment. Compared to what we are familiar with, it was greasy and heavy. The leafy accompaniments were coarse. It was cheap: around 65€ for 5 dishes and 4 drinks. The food was plentiful. And the dining room was jamb-packed. We were seated at the first available table after a 15 minute wait past our reserved time.

                                          I am excited about going back to the area (Avenue de Choisy and surrounds), where there is a restaurant every 10 meters, but not to Le Bambou.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: mangeur
                                            Parigi RE: mangeur Oct 10, 2010 02:54 PM

                                            Saturday we had a great banh mi picnic - from the 7 rue de Volta place recommended by Anglaise. I even managed to drag with me two posh hounds who usually only do fine dining. We ate the barbecue pork (1 non-spicy, 1 spicy), beef (1 non-spicy, 1 spicy) banh mi in the nearby lovely secret Jardin Anne Franck.
                                            I highly recommend the banh mi as well as the Jardin Anne Frank.
                                            Of course we are talking about a nice-weather-only option here. -- Every weekend we think it is the last beautiful summer day of Paris. And we are deep into October now…

                                            1. re: Parigi
                                              vielleanglaise RE: Parigi Oct 10, 2010 03:07 PM

                                              It's funny, I picnicked there too for lunch yesterday, though she'd run out of bbq pork.

                                              Where is the Jardin Anne Frank (you know, there's a wig boutique specialised in real hair on the bd de Strasbourg called Anne Franck.)?

                                              A footnote. I bought some rice crackers from supermarket around the corner from the banh mi place. I've attached a photo of the packet because I need to share.

                                              1. re: vielleanglaise
                                                Parigi RE: vielleanglaise Oct 10, 2010 03:15 PM

                                                "t's funny, I picnicked there too for lunch yesterday, though she'd run out of bbq pork."

                                                We ate yours ! To add cruelty to injury, Anglaise, I would like you to know it was esp good. Last but not least, the great baguette was so fresh it was still warm.

                                                "Where is the Jardin Anne Frank"

                                                The former Jardin de l'Hotel de St Aignan, quiet lovely park half a block from the Centre Pompidou. You'd never guess.

                                                The rice cracker is hilarious.

                                                1. re: Parigi
                                                  vielleanglaise RE: Parigi Oct 10, 2010 03:20 PM

                                                  Thank you! I'll check it out.

                                                  In the same vein as the crackers, I also have a packet of milk chews that lists as one of the ingredients, "cat fibre".

                                              2. re: Parigi
                                                mangeur RE: Parigi Oct 10, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                Alright! Many thanks to you and Anglaise for this address. We're always looking for simple lunches, and banh mi are one of my husband's favorites.

                                                1. re: mangeur
                                                  Laidback RE: mangeur Oct 13, 2010 12:17 AM

                                                  Here is a photo of the tiny Banh Mi shop that Parigi directed us to. No name that I could ascertain so the black front is an aid in spotting it. And what a haven of peace is the Anne Frank Garden which is within spitting distance of the garishly busy Pompideau Center; walk through the 1st 2 little divisions, as Parigi showed us, to the last section which has a little potager planted by children with tomatos, squash, zucchini, etc.

                                                  If you walk towards the river on Rue Beaubourg about 200 meters it is on your left just before you reach Rue Rambuteau

                                            2. k
                                              khornstein RE: degustazione Oct 19, 2010 04:41 AM

                                              my vote is for song huong, on the avenue de choisy, right next to the more well-known pho 14. song huong is a family place; the bo bun is the best i've had in the city and soup #12 is amazing! a spicy, pork-based broth called "soupe de tourane."

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: khornstein
                                                trishkirsten RE: khornstein Nov 23, 2011 02:40 AM

                                                i totally agree with you, 'Song Huong 'is excellent, but my first vote is for 'Pho Bida' on rue nationale, song huong comes to a close 2nd place in XIII district!!!

                                                1. re: trishkirsten
                                                  xigua RE: trishkirsten Dec 1, 2011 08:49 AM

                                                  I've never eaten at Song Huong but my in-laws who ate through the pho shops on Ave de Choisy preferred Le Kok (next to Song Huong) to the former. The soup is pretty good and I suspect it was the heaping pile of meaty beef bones Le Kok serves that tipped the balance. What are your thoughts?
                                                  Also, I realized Song Heng on Rue Volta is missing on this list. Its imo the best pho I've had so far, very clean and flavorful broth sans msg, good meat. The bun is excellent too.

                                                  blog post on Song Heng: http://lafemmemange.wordpress.com/201...

                                                  1. re: xigua
                                                    trishkirsten RE: xigua Dec 2, 2011 02:38 AM

                                                    thanks, i spotted this restaurant whixch looks very good, thanks for your tip, but to be honest i only tried their noodles never their pho, so i cannot tell you, but next time i go to 'Le kok'..hihi

                                                    1. re: trishkirsten
                                                      khornstein RE: trishkirsten Jan 22, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                      My personal favorite is Song Huong on Avenue de Choisy. Without fail, I order either #12 (Soupe de Tourane: rice noodles, spicy red pork broth: make sure to order it with "beaucoup de boullion) or #9, their bo-bun: i order this with pork instead of beef.

                                                      1. re: khornstein
                                                        croissantaimecafe RE: khornstein Feb 2, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                        An Indian-Vietnamese taxi driver and (former pastry chef) readily mentioned that his favorite places for Vietnamese grub were Song Huong and Dong Tam. He said to try the poisson au caramel and soupe au tamarin crevette....

                                                    2. re: xigua
                                                      Parigi RE: xigua Apr 29, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                      Had a very enjoyable quick lunch at Song Heng yesterday. Love, love the Vietnamese Mama who took over our ordering in the most hilarious way, decreeing that I, as an Asian, should have the Bo Bun (intimating that the two big soups should be left to my two Caucasian ogre friends?).
                                                      It was Bo Bun heaven.
                                                      The pho has great broth and even great meat balls. Good meat balls are just about unheard of. I must admit that I prefer the broth-shock taste, the impact of good stock + onion + raw beef, t Pho 14, that is, when Pho 14 is on the high curve. Pho 14 tends to be good once, then bad the next time, then back to good, then notso hotso, etc. etc.
                                                      Other things I miss from Pho 14 are
                                                      - the tripes,
                                                      - the nem
                                                      - and especially the black murky drink Qing Bu Liang (actually a beverage favored by Chinese of southern China and Indochese Chinatowns) that DH has nicknamed l'eau du Canal St Martin.

                                                      Also at Song Heng, seeing the long queue outside, we just did not have the heart to linger, and we paid and got out of there immediately after finishing. Pho 14 in comparison is a paragon of leisure.
                                                      But I'll certainly go back to Song Heng.

                                                2. aliettedb RE: degustazione Feb 28, 2012 02:57 AM

                                                  The best places to eat Vietnamese in Paris are in the XIIIe around Ivry and Choisy, which is the meeting point for Paris' Viet Khieu community--the place we regularly go to get our bowl of pho and our weekly groceries.

                                                  Pho 14 is the most popular of the pho joints, even though the queues are so long that it can be discouraging. My mom and I both found the Bamboo overpriced and disappointing: head for "Comme au Vietnam", 134 rue de Tolbiac, where the food is pretty good if you know what to try (skip the banh xeo, which are only so-so, and go for their goi salads, their banh cuon, their pho, their nem nuong and tom bui. Their three colour che is also nice).
                                                  Two addresses not in the XIIIe: Pho 67, 59 rue Galande, right between Notre Dame and Saint Michel, makes good pho (obviously), as well as good chao tom. And Aux Délices de Saigon, 213 rue de Charenton, apparently has stupendous food (mom's recommendation. I haven't tried it. I'm told it's very small).

                                                  (having glanced at the rest of this thread... just a note that having tried all three--I grew up on French-Vietnamese food, tried a few Viet restaurants when I was in the US, and have gone back to Vietnam a bunch of times--Vietnamese-French food, Vietnamese-American food and Vietnamese food are all different, and sometimes at odds with each other. It's best to think of them like brothers and sisters: there are similarities, but they're not identical. I'm not going to go into a history or anything, but the food in Vietnam now is also different from the one they served in my mother's or grandmother's generation. If you go into a French Vietnamese food joint expecting anything like they serve in San Francisco, you're going to be disappointed, but it doesn't mean it's not authentic)

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: aliettedb
                                                    Parigi RE: aliettedb Feb 28, 2012 04:07 AM

                                                    One of the most enlightening posts on this thread. Thank you.

                                                    1. re: Parigi
                                                      aliettedb RE: Parigi Feb 29, 2012 04:24 AM

                                                      You're welcome!

                                                    2. re: aliettedb
                                                      Fuffy RE: aliettedb Apr 11, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                      Aliettedb, We have just looked for Delice de Vietnam and could find only Delice de Charonton. Could that be it? We brought home a shrimp, ravioli, noodle soup which was a little above average. A stir fried chicken dish and a broccoli dish. These two were disappointingly bland with no specific Vietnamese flavours. If it is the same place with same ownership, I wonder which dishes your mother loved.

                                                      1. re: Fuffy
                                                        aliettedb RE: Fuffy Apr 11, 2012 05:18 AM

                                                        That doesn't sound right... Mom gave me their calling card (my memory's been very fuzzy, and I don't have it on me, but it definitely wasn't Délice de Charenton). I know she's been there very recently, like a week ago or so; I also know it's small and somewhat scruffy.
                                                        Are you sure this was near the Dugommier metro? (Au Délice de Charenton looks like it's much higher up the street, near number 70 or so, and it also looks like one of those generic Sino-Viet-Thai places that you go to when desperate).
                                                        I know Mom eats the bánh cuốn and the phở, and I've had both and liked them very much (their hủ tiếu also smells scrumptious, from watching her eat).

                                                        1. re: aliettedb
                                                          Fuffy RE: aliettedb Apr 12, 2012 12:31 AM

                                                          Thanks a lot. We must have gone to the wrong place as we didn't remember the number. We'll try again.

                                                          1. re: Fuffy
                                                            Fuffy RE: Fuffy Apr 29, 2012 06:41 AM

                                                            We got to Aux Delices de Vietnam yesterday (233 not 213 Rue Charenton). We had dumplings, a "Vietnamese" (their name) soup with shrimp and chicken , a ravioli soup, and we brought home a pho and "Vietnamese" (their name) salad. The soup broths were peppery and above average. There is a counter with dishes in lots of sauce, but we were sorry there wasn't a wider variety and we would have liked more salads. Thanks for the recommendation.

                                                      2. re: aliettedb
                                                        akated RE: aliettedb Apr 29, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                        Thanks aliettedb for pointing out pho67! My partner and i had an enjoyable Vietnamese meal in St Michel, after walking back from Notre Dame and chancing upon the restaurant last november; we stupidly did not note down the name of the restaurant. Judging from the photos of the exterior of the establishment from Google, I think this may have been it!

                                                        1. re: akated
                                                          aliettedb RE: akated Jun 2, 2012 02:46 AM

                                                          You're welcome (and you're making me hungry in the morning, too :) )

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