are our favorite addresses. Some are in other neighborhoods, but
are worth checking.
The Ratanawan brothers aka Tang, came to France
from Laos. They have built in this former French railways warehouse,
Europe's largest Asian produce market. Their annual sales are over
1 billion francs and 10,000 people come to their Chinese supermarket
each day, almost as much as the Pompidou Center. The smells from everywhere
will overwhelm you. It is a real experience. 48, ave d'Ivry. 75013.
Tel: 01 45 70 80 00. Tues-Sun, 9am-7:30pm. Métro: Porte d'Ivry.
Chez Tang. This huge Chinese restaurant , property of
the Tang brothers, of course, is always full at lunch time and that's
part of the fun. The food is OK and prices reasonable. The sautéed
noodles with shrimps and vegetables are good. 44, ave d'Ivry. 75013.
Tel: 01 45 86 88 79. Daily until 10pm. Metro: Porte d'Ivry.
AO-TA. Take the escalator at #44 ave d'Ivry. It will
lead you to the ugly Olympiades shopping mall. Once inside, make a
right at the BNP bank. AO-TA (Tues-Sun) sells Vietnamese "ready to
wear", but mostly wonderful fabric.
La Mer de Chine. Cantonese cuisine. This is the real
thing and some consider it the best Chinese restaurant in the city.
It makes no effort to attract non Chinese speaking customers: parts
of its menu are not even translated into French. The "specialité"
is sautéed duck tongue, but you can have fried soft shell crabs
if you feel less adventurous. 159, rue Château des Rentiers.
75013. Tel: 01 45 84 22 49
Le Sichuan panda. Szechuan cuisine is rare in Paris.
It is the most elaborate and the spiciest. A few weeks ago this restaurant
opened its door. Its "Szechuan fondue" and its cold noodles are excellent.
(Not in Chinatown). 16, blvd de Strasbourg. 75010 Tel: 01 40 18 56
37. Metro: Strasbourg Saint Denis.
Lys d'Or. Mr. Chen has three restaurants in the same neighborhood,
but this one is the nicest. The chef has several times earned top
prize at the Dalian International Food Festival. 210, rue de Charenton.
75012. Tel: 01 44 68 90 00. Metro: Dugommier
de Thé Wenzhou. Don't even think for a minute this is a
tea salon. It is not. It is a restaurant in the heart of Belleville,
Chinatown 2, where hundreds of Chinese come for lunch. It is cheap
and everything is good: the crab and tofu soup, fried raviolis, wonderful
little sautéed eels. Only drawback: the service is not very
friendly. 24, rue de Belleville. 75020. 01 46 36 56 33. Mo Belleville.
Dofa. An unpretentious and inexpensive little restaurant.
Not a huge menu but everything is homemade and the quality is excellent.
Try the din xin, Chinese tapas. Try also the noodles: ja jiang, a
house's special, and the lo-ba rice. 77, rue Diderot. 75014. Tel:
01 45 40 52 50
Chou Chen. This a restaurant with a history. Chou Chen
was opened in 1929 by a Chinese student and is the oldest Chinese
restaurant in the city. In the late 60's it was bought by a "Chinese
from Corsica", Tony Bertucci. Not the best Chinese restaurant in the
city but some nice specials like the "raviolis grilles" and the ginger
lobster. 3, rue de Cluny. 75006. Tel: 01 43 54 99 85. Metro: Maubert-Mutualite.
Chen. This one made history when it became the first
Chinese restaurant to receive a star by the Michelin guide. The location
is ugly, surrounded by concrete buildings, leftovers from another
scandalous urban renewal of the Pompidou years. Chen is expensive,
but always full. It is a good idea to reserve. Chen Fung-Ching, who
left Shanghai during the Great Leap Forward and apprenticed in Hong
Kong, is the greatest Chinese chef in France. 15, rue du Théatre.
75015. Tel: 01 45 79 34 34.
Fusion. This is the new Chinese cuisine and also a new
version of the Chinese restaurant. Thankfully, it does not look like
one. Very Zen and delicious. The lunchtime menu is very good: vegetarian
raviolis, clams with Chinese prunes. In the evening, count 100F. 9,
rue Molière. 75001. Tel: 01 47 03 98 28.
Yun Long. The cheapest Chinese restaurant in what was,
earlier in the century, the first Chinese neighborhood, around the
gare de Lyon. Chinese (and Vietnamese) immigrants would arrive by
boat in Marseille and take the train to Paris. They would settle around
the train station. Opened over 20 years ago by Mr. Li whose noodles
are the very best in the capital. All kinds of noodles for 3 euros.
44, rue Diderot. 75012. Tel: 01 46 28 95 77. Metro: Gare de Lyon.
culture is present in other parts of the city.
Musée Cernuschi: It is one of the city's little
treasures. In 1896, the fabulously wealthy financier Henri Cernuschi
gave his town house in the parc Monceau and its splendid collection
of Chinese antiquities to the city. It is worth visiting it as much
for the special atmosphere as for the collection. Closed on Mon. Open
10am-5:40pm. Free on Sun. 7, ave. Velasquez. 75008. Metro: Villiers
Musée d'Ennery. This one deserves the title of
most unknown museum in Paris, hands down. Located on the Avenue Foch,
the most prestigious Paris address, in a Napoleon III "hotel particulier",
it is a stunning place. Objects are presented in extravagant "vitrines"
made by French "ebenistes" with wood and mother of pearl brought from
Asia in the 1870's. Madame d'Ennery is married to a successful theater
playwright and she decides to dedicate herself to collecting Chinese
and Japanese art. In less than 20 years, she accumulates over 7,000
objects. The contrast between the very bourgeois interior and the
art shown, is delightful. In their will, the d'Ennerys asked that
the collection be open to the public at no charge forever. Hôtel
d'Ennery. 59, ave Foch. 75016. Tel: 01 45 53 57 96. Thu, Sun and holidays,
2pm-6pm. Metro: Porte Dauphine or Victor Hugo.
C.T. Loo & Cie. This amazing four story red pagoda in the heart
of the most bourgeois neighborhood (around the parc Monceau), was
built in 1926 by a French architect for Ching Tsai Loo. At the end
of the 19th century, this young Chinese was sent to Paris by his family,
to learn about trade and commerce. He became a world famous antiques
dealer. He died in 1957 and since then, his heirs have taken over
the family's business. Don't be afraid to go in and look at every
piece which is unique. Also try the elevator: a beauty made with painted
wood. 48, rue de Courcelles. 75008. Tel: 01 45 62 53 15. Tues-Sat.,
10:30am-12:30/ 2:30pm-6:30pm. Metro: Saint-Philippe du Roule.
Musée Guimet. The museum is one of the world's
most comprehensive. It covers every part of Asia from China to Korea,
from Japan to Laos and Vietnam. It is so exhaustive that visitors
can chose among 200 themes for their guided visits. It also has a
huge library, a film collection and a photo collection. 6, place d'Iena.
75016. Tel: 01 56 52 53 00. Metro: Iena.
these adventures have left you thirsty, go to the Buddha bar. It is
a flashy and spectacular version of Buddha, with a huge statue of
Buddha in the center of this vast restaurant/bar. Loud, expensive,
overcrowded with beautiful people, but worth seeing. 8, rue Boissy
d'Anglas. 75008. Tel: 01 53 05 90 00.