I've always want to avoid Chinese food in Paris, I found them uninventive, poor product, too much MSG... but when I get nostaglic...these are the places worth visiting...
For roasted meat - like barbecued pork, roasted pork or roasted duck (those hanging in the window) . I would recommend Mirama in Paris 5, rue Saint Jacques. Also, their dumpling with noodle soup is quite ok. I remembered once ordering a steamed fish with ginger, it was fresh and very tasty. But most of the dishes are disappointing, especially the vegetable dishes.
For northern chinese food -
Les Pâtes Vivantes (paris 9) is good price ratio small restaurant. What I enjoy there is they make their own noodle, the portion is big and they are delicious. Their menu is simple but somehow unique from most Chinese restaurants in Paris. As for the side dishes, I would say there are a lot ups and downs, depending a lot if it's a busy day, or the mood of the chef. I like the jelly fish with cucumber. It can be a bit stressful when waiting to be seated, since the place is small, and all the people are lining up inside the room, and with the waiters passing.
Another Chinese restaurant we tried once, and I found it quite interesting is called La Cuisine de Chez Moi (Rue Richer, 75009). It's a tiny restaurant, husband cooking in the kitchen and the wife serving, the couple is from Beijing, I believe. I think it takes reservation. Most of the dishes are prepared with care and quite tasty, they are authentic northern cooking: moderately or very spicy. I think if you can't eat spicy food, don't try risking your life...I'm not joking. Some interesting dishes are fried pork intestine.
I've tried Shan Gout once, I enjoyed the cooking, I would say in Paris, this restaurant is superior to most restaurant we have tried, I read somewhere the chef has worked in Chen. The product are fresh and simply prepared. Yet, I found the portion of each dish too small, from entries to the main dishes, we have the same feeling. So if you are very hungry, you can easily ended up with a somewhat overpriced bill.
I read many recommendations on Li Ka Fo (Paris 13), I tried twice, both times I was disappointed. We ordered fried soft shell crabs and crispy duck... They simply tasted like they have been forgotten in the freezer for a long time... I was wondering maybe I was unlucky the first time, but I went again just a few weeks ago, some impression, some dishes are tasteless, others are just average. They offer some more rare dishes like duck tongues. But I don't believe the remark that they are equivalent of Chez L'Ame Jean for Chinese food in Paris. Far from that....
I would like to find good dim sum restaurant too in Paris... I haven't tried Tricotin yet. Most Dim Sum places we tried are just reheating frozen dim sum (I guess you can buy the same yourself from the chinese supermarket and reheat yourself).
Chen sounds good, especially their peking duck... I'm not sure I would want to try it though, because the budget I have for Chen, in my annual trip to Hong Kong, this budget allows me a far superior meal.
I would say that the Chinese cooking is catching up especially starting from last year. The new smaller restaurants offer some varieties and different regional dishes. I hope this trend will still continue...
Edited by naf, 06 May 2009 - 06:54 AM.