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Asian Street Food and Asian-Fusion Restaurants With a Seasoning of Paris



When I have a taste for Asian food, there are two neighborhoods I head to in Paris : Chinatown and Little Japan Town.

To satisfy cravings of Japanese food, I love to wander along rue St. Anne just off of Avenue de l’Opéra. This little neighborhood is chock full of noodle shops, yakitori restaurants and a few sushi restaurants. Though indeed some are better than others, on the  whole you really can’t go wrong just wandering into any of these restaurants for a quick meal. This neighborhood also now features the cult London fave Korean street food restaurant, On The Bab.  Not too far from here, in the Grands Boulevards district there is a Thai Street Food restaurant called Yaii Thai who takes its name from the Thai word for 'grandma' hence its authentic cuisine and welcoming, fun atmosphere. 

For Chinese and Vietnamese food cravings, I usually head to the 13th arrondissement (Metro Olympiades) where there is a whole street lined with Chinese diners. Here you can see people shoveling mouthfuls of sticky rice and spoonfuls of aromatic broth and noodles into their mouths. The street is anchored by Tang Frères, the Chinese grocery store emporium (a delight with a fantastic takeaway counter, too). However,  a smaller China Town exists in the Upper Marais near the museum Arts & Metiers where you can find dimsum parlors and noodle shops and where you can watch cooks kneading the noodles in the window as you walk by.

For really spectacular dining, and in a few cases gastronomic Chinese and Japanese cuisine, I have gathered together here on this list several Paris addresses that are truly outstanding. In the world of food there is an established link between the cultures of French and Japanese chefs. Perhaps it’s the commonality of the strive for excellence and mastery of savoir-faire ? At any rate, some of the best, most authentic Asian food you’ll find anywhere on the planet is here in Paris. 


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10
10éme Arrondissement


Now with three locations plus an outpost in the tres chichi BHV in the Marais, this asian-fusion bistro offers more than just good food. It offers a lunch time escape to Asia. The successful culmination of three French guys' imaginations (ok, one of them is half Ozzy) John Weng blends the best of Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine with French culinary sensibility. This is hands down one of the best lunch deals in town and the packed house every day of the week is testament to this. The secret to their success? Dishes are not just tasty but also served up in the traditional Asian bamboo baskets and small tasting dishes that you see when you travel to exotic places like Bangkok and Saigon. The food is not too spicy. Their consulting executive chef is an accomplished Thai chef who spot checks the kitchen's output regularly.

Recommended for Asian because: Expect a swarm of diners at lunch time who know only too well the lunch specials here are copious, delicious and served quickly.

Paige's expert tip: Lunch is one of the best deals in town. You get four full plates of food, including two appetizers, a main and a dessert. The downstairs seating fills up by noon but don't despair because you can sometimes still find a seat in their fire red dragon dedor upstairs by no later than 12:30. To order a la carte is an equal delight and offers things such as coconut juice marinated ceviche. Miam! (Yum in French).

Read more about John Weng →


9
8éme Arrondissement


Quality sushi in Paris is something that you may not expect. But Sushi Shop, the hipster sushi bar that made itself into a local chain eatery, delivers up straight-from-the-ocean caught fish and handcrafted sushi. It has been so successful that it's now celebrating its 20 years. In a big way, too. The shop's packaging has always been a standout for creativity and catchy designs, and for the 20th anniversary they've put together a very generous portion of assorted sushi pieces with a tin of Aquitaine caviar tucked inside. It's perfect for an evening with friends as a main course or to accompany "apero" the French traditional version of our happy hour. Most of the Sushi Shops in Paris and throughout France (89 int total) also have a stellar delivery service. So whether you are enjoying the sunset on the banks of the Seine, or expecting friends to drop by to share a bottle of bubbly, you can have your top quality sushi delivered right to you.

Recommended for Asian because: There are locations all around town of this high-quality sushi where you can eat in or takeaway - or place an order for a party.

Paige's expert tip: The Box Caviar is the special box of sushi pieces that includes a free tin of Sturia caviar. The sushi pieces are limited editions and include the Russian California (made with beets), the Hokkaido Tulip, the Mango and Crab Gunkan and also a portion of Spicy Tuna Tartare. It's enough to share between 3 to 4 people generously.

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8
3rd Arondissement - Marais


From the street view when you walk by along rue Charlot, this looks like a lunch time takeout counter. But what Kaori Endo and her partner, the eponymous Lionel Bensemoun, have expertly left for discovery, is that this restaurant actually spans the length of the entire block. That's to say, this isn't just your mama's bento box takeout lunch spot. Each plate, no matter what you order, is bursting with vegetables, mostly raw. Brown rice also has a featured role. As you make your way along the long counter in the entry room, you come onto several smaller interconnected dining areas until you finally reach the other side of the block. For dinner there are a few more choices made available and the portions are larger. It's also quieter and can even afford intimate dining. The décor is minimal but still stylish in a Formica table, unassuming way.

Recommended for Asian because: I can't think of another place that marries the authentic Japanese Bento Box as well with a Parisian vibe.

Paige's expert tip: Fresh vegetables, whole roasted or steamed, and grains such as bulgur, brown rice, azuki beans and couscous round out the Bento boxes. The Bentos come in a choice of vegetables, fish or beef. And the salad of the day is usually some form of cabbage, shredded with a delicious umami-drenched house dressing. The eatery is as popular a place for takeaway as it is to dine in. And the healthy fresh vegetables and whole grains are wellness sustaining.

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7
17éme Arrondissement
Chez Ly 17éme
Photo courtesy of Chez Ly


This location is the original one and it's the more intimate one. The food is of the same high quality and hands down it is the best Chinese restaurant where to enjoy pressed duck and spicy Pekinoise soup in Paris. The humble exterior belies the cozy atmosphere you'll find inside where the generously proportioned tables comfortably seat parties of two, four and more. The plates are also of generous proportions and one order is enough to share among two to four people. The restaurant is particularly well-known for its fish but the duck, pressed or in a honey-ginger sauce is a favorite of regulars, too. This restaurant is owned and operated by a husband and wife team and the care they take in service and choice of quality products shows.

Recommended for Asian because: With the recent glossy gastronomic Chinese restaurants popping up here in Paris, this restaurant remains authentic, high-quality and warmly welcoming.

Paige's expert tip: Lunch does a brisk business with regulars and business folk from the nearby Étoile, Place Ternes and Porte Maillot. This location is smaller than their newer location just off the Champs, but what you sacrifice in space, you gain in cozy intimate comfort. This restaurant is husband and wife owned.

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6
4th Arondissement - Beaubourg an


Where but in Paris could you find Italian-Asian fusion cuisine prepared masterfully by a Thai-Italian chef? Sounds exotic? It is and it isn't since most of the dishes Chef Davide Galloni whips up taste more like aromatic and flavorful comfort food. The Chef and his restaurateur partner, Alex Kogan, are both graduates from the esteemed culinary school here in Paris, Le Cordon Bleu. They lucked out finding this location in central Marais a couple years ago which turns out to be more fortuitous than perhaps even they imagined - right next door to them the huge complex, Eataly, just opened. Brunch has become popular, but lunch and dinner remain something of a favorite with the local crowd. That they are right in the heart of Marais shopping, just a few steps away in fact from the famed BHV department store, make this a delicious and easy choice for dining.

Recommended for Asian because: Thai-Italian fusion is a one-of-a-kind even here in Paris. Chef Davide Galloni masterfully pulls off these subtle, delicate flavorings that marry surprisingly well.

Paige's expert tip: The decor is relaxed yet elegant, like the food, best described as 'acessible gastronomy.' It's a standout even here in Paris that a Thai-Italian chef will be whipping up original dishes that draw from both his Asian and Italian heritage. Also, the restaurateur-Chef owner team are constantly traveling and tasting in other European capitals, keeping their inspirations fresh and original. Lunch, dinner or brunch, this is a sure bet. And their Marais location is a stunning bull's eye.

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5
16éme Arrondissement


When this restaurant opened at the exquisite Shangri-la Hotel several years ago, it was with much fanfare as Paris's first haute-cuisine Chinese restaurant. It has lived up every inch to its reputation since then. The restaurant is in the bottom level of this Napoleon IIIrd mansion that was refurbished as a Palace Hotel and is furnished in Sino-Franco elegance throughout. The menu is faithful to authentic Chinese cuisine as you would find in the provinces, with little to no Western re-interpretation. The tea menu is extensive and one of the chef's passions is to imagine pairings with the rarest of Chinese teas. If you've never had Chinese haute-cuisine, authentically prepared with genuine ingredients, this is worth trying. And the setting's luxuriousness offers a welcoming atmosphere.

Recommended for Asian because: Chinese haute cuisine with a dedication to authenticity makes this a unique dining choice in Paris.

Paige's expert tip: Shang Palace is Paris's only Michelin-starred Chinese fine dining restaurant. (It has been awarded one star so far.) For a quick lunch try their Dim Sum menu.

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This brand-new gastronomic Vietnamese restaurant by My Nguyen took the place of the long-standing Nabuchodonosor. Hence, a more distinguished location in the 7th arrondissement, just near the Eiffel Tower, is hard to find. The concept of gastronomic Vietnamese is a cutting-edge one in Paris. With so many Vietnamese mom-and-pop diners here in the city, it was about time that we were introduced to the fineness of this Asian cuisine with its 100+ years of French finesse and influence. Soft woody tones of purple and ochre greet as you are seated and gaze at the handpainted silk wall tapestries. The weekday lunch menu is a deal and for under 20euros you have a crab and mango salad served with steamed dumplings and mini spring rolls. But if you really want a treat, go for the soft shell crab, very simply flash fried and then served with salt and pepper.

Recommended for Asian because: The concept of gastronomic Vietnamese is a cutting-edge one in Paris. And La Table du Vietnam's convenient location puts it near the Eiffel Tower.

Paige's expert tip: People, not just me, rave about the house made candied ginger served as one of the desserts.

Read more about La Table du Vietnam →


3
2éme Arrondissement


This theme decorated Thai restaurant is located in the Grands Boulevards district of Paris, where it's surrounded by theaters and shopping. You can enjoy platters of skewered marinated chicken served with peanut sauce, spring rolls and shrimp tempura served with a dipping sauce. This is just for starters to go with your signature cocktails like the Hua Hin made with Sambuca, gin, mango, cranberry and fresh mint. They have a good selection of flavorful, coconut milk based Thai soups as well as Pad Thai fried noodles which you can get with vegetables, chicken, beef or shrimp. For dessert, the house specialty is fresh mango with coconut cream sweetened sticky rice. There has been a new wave of stylish, upper-scale Asian eateries - Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Fusion - that have taken root in the past decade and which are doing very well offering both authentic cuisine and thematic atmosphere.

Recommended for Asian because: Here, with the stylish decor, you'll find not just delicious Thai Street Food, but also an entertaining atmosphere.

Paige's expert tip: In the warmer months, this is a perfect stop before the theater or after shopping where you can relax while you sip your fresh juice cocktail (with or without alcohol).accompanied by a plate of small bites of crispy spring rolls and chicken kebabs with peanut sauce The word 'yaai' in Thai means 'grandma' and that's the logic behind how this Thai Street Food tastes so authentically Thai. The staff here is warm and friendly and welcoming, such as you would expect from 'Granny's' house.

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2
2éme Arrondissement


Korean street food is what this London-imported sensation touts itself as. Mind you, it is 100% Korean and the owner, herself, first started in the business wheeling a street stand and selling Bulgogi beef hirata buns in Seoul. That was more than 30 years ago now and for the past several decades since, she has called London home. Her street food concept of traditional small plates and typical Korean drinks, a form of eating known as 'anju' in Korea, has helped make Korean food the new sensational cuisine de jour. For the record, I will definitely be back for the brick red colored chili flavored fish and squid stew known as soondubu jjigae. Other things I will be back for are the crispy fried chicken morsels. These are lightly spiced and slightly sweetened batter fried bite-sized pieces of chicken that pair excellently with the seaweed salad and wash down perfectly with a cold beer. The cuisine here has been described as Korean 'tapas' but there is nothing small plates about these portions.

Recommended for Asian because: This is when a fun night out includes a good dinner and cocktails in a lively vibe and it's all in one hip location.

Paige's expert tip: This Korean 'street food' concept restaurant is located in the heart of Japan town near Paris' upscale Avenue de l'Opera. They don't take reservations, so come early or plan to wait in line. The steamed rice buns look like thick white tacos folded over huge doses of Bulgogi beef and shredded cabbage doused with their own secret sauce. Another popular dish is the rice and veggie bowl topped with a perfectly crispy fried sunny side up runny yellow yolk egg. Ordering drinks here is kind of a must since it completes the 'anju' style of Korean eating that first inspired this restaurateur.

Read more about On The Bab →


1
8éme Arrondissement
Toru Okuda
Photo courtesy of Okuda Paris copyright 2014


Chef Toru Okuda's first restaurant opening outside of Japan was here in Paris in the fall of 2013. He has already been awarded with his first Michelin star here. In Japan he has two and three stars already between his two Tokyo restaurants. He is considered a master of Kaiseki cuisine, Japan's highest culinary art that originates from Kyoto. This means that the meal is always a set menu based on what the chef proposes that day. You can expect appetizers, soup, sashimi, three main courses and dessert. This holds true for lunch and dinner. Another talisman of Kaiseki cuisine is that the food is cooked on woodchip stoves or by steam, never by fire. The chef uses inspired condiments such as fresh wasabi and nori soaked in sak�. Count on between 160 to 200 euro per person for lunch or dinner.

Recommended for Asian because: This is outstanding Japanese cuisine that usually you can find only in Japan.

Paige's expert tip: Appetizers and desserts are Chef Okuda's forte. His restaurants in Japan sport Michelin stars. Expect haut-cuisine Japanese dining here made with nothing but the very best sourced ingredients.

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Meet Paige Donner

Paige's latest book, The Romantic Couple's Guide To The City of Love, Sexy Paris follows her earlier guidebook Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light and her acclaimed...  More About Paige

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