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fresh_a

Good Indian restaurants in Paris

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I love good indian cuisine, and despite trying all of the top establishments in Paris (Indra, Annapurna,Chez Gandhi,etc) , have been disappointed every time. Anyone else?

One I like, and which is consistently good (and is full pretty much every night) is called "Dip" , on the boulevard Saint Marcel in the 13eme (not far from Les Gobelins and the Jardin des Plantes). Nanda, the owner is actually Sri Lankan, and makes sure everything is fresh and delicious.

Their website is Dip Indian Restaurant


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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fresh,

it's really difficult. my first advice to most people who want Indian is to send them to London. i haven't found anything in Paris that can compare to what's on offer in London, especially in the high-end category.

i took a look at the Dip site. if you want something casual, with the usual fare, try this place: L'Etoile du Kashmir, 63, rue de Charonne.

the service is good, the food is good, and the area is cool to walk around and go out. there is a lot happening on the rue de Charonne and vicinity. i went to a Hookah bar afterwards...can't remember the name or address..but a fun way to let your indian dinner digest.

for really good indian...i think it's still london. have you ever eaten at any of the places in Passage Brady? I think that's the Indian Street in Paris.

Cheers

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A Pakistani gourmet we know who lives in Paris is absolutely adamant that there are no Indian restaurants there worth eating in and that the French in general are completely cluleess when it comes to Indian food. She doesn't think its worth eating any non-French food in Paris but if you must eat "ethnic" you should stick to North African.

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A Pakistani gourmet we know who lives in Paris is absolutely adamant that there are no Indian restaurants there worth eating in and that the French in general are completely cluleess when it comes to Indian food. She doesn't think its worth eating any non-French food in Paris but if you must eat "ethnic" you should stick to North African.

Unless you go to 15, Rue Alfred Dehodeneq (i.e invited to the Indian Ambassador's party)


anil

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She has cooked for the Indian Ambassador :raz: .

Hmm!! I know of folks from the academia, in Paris who are invited to various swarees which also involve food. I wonder if show did those occasions too :hmmm:


anil

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Yugaraj? Isn't that the name of the Indian place all the guide books write up? I've never been there, but I always notice it. The other ethnic place I always notice but have never gone to is the Greek restaurant Mavromatis.But at least I have stood in front of that place and eyed the menu.

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Couple of points of clarification:

It's not the French who are clueless about Indian food. The only people working in the Indian and Pakistani restaurants are Indian or Pakistani.

Why wouldn't you want to eat ethnic food in France? Those of us who live here like variety as I'm sure you do in London, New York or wherever. I would fall off my chair laughing if you told me the only thing worth eating in London was British food. :biggrin: We have an amazing amount of variety here when it comes to cuisine. I've tried to push this point before, so I won't harp on it.

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It's not the French who are clueless about Indian food.  The only people working in the Indian and Pakistani restaurants are Indian or Pakistani.

But they're not cooking for Indians and Pakistanis or a white population that is really beginning to get to grips with Indian cuisine. It's got nothing to do with who's working in the restaurants. It's to do with customer expectation and demand.. There are a lot of crap Indian restaurants in the UK, but there are a fair number that shine above the rest and anything that can be found in Paris, because there is a very large community from the sub-continent here and they demand a degree of authenticity and regionalism that you wouldn't find if you didn't have to cater for them.

Secondly, in the UK there is an emerging Asian middle class with disposable income to spend in restaurants who are now demanding up-market Indian restaurant dining experiences and from whom ambitious chefs are just beginning to trickle through.

Thirdly, trained professional chefs from the sub-continent speak English not French and are setting up restaurants and doing stages here.

Fourthly, because British cuisine is not particularly in demand, Indian cuisine is the default cuisine of choice for many Brits. and they are familiar with it and are now demanding more of it in terms of quality and cutting edge development.

The French cook wonderful food but they are clueless about spicing and the use of spice masalas. Apart from black pepper is there a spice that the French understand?

As for variety, Paris has NOTHING LIKE the variety of London. If you believe it has then you obviously haven't spent enough time comparing the culinary scene in both cities.


Edited by Tonyfinch (log)

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There is loads of great ethnic cuisine in Paris. More then anywhere I know of in the world except the U.S. and London. The U.S. is unique when it comes to ethnic cuisine because there are an abundance of choices from three other continents and central America. London and Paris feature the choices of two continents and in the case of Paris, North Africa.

As between Paris and London, it's kind of split 60/40 in Londons favor. London is great beginning with Turkey, going through the Middle East, all the way through the Indian sub-continent. Paris is good in the middle east, and with the exception of Chinese cuisine, is better in Asia east of the sub-continent. But then Paris has great north African cuisine.

The thing is, it seems like ethnic restaurants are more prevelent in London. One, there are probably more of them. But more importantly, it plays a bigger role in the daily lives of tourists and possibly the locals. When I spend a week in London, between 3-5 dinners will probably be ethnic. But for a week in Paris, the French food is so good I would probably have only 1or 2 ethnic meals.

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Paris is good in the middle east, and with the exception of Chinese cuisine, is better in Asia east of the sub-continent. But then Paris has great north African cuisine.

What Paris is better than London for Thai, Korean Japanese and and Malaysian/Indonesian? I don't think so. I don't know but I've heard it said that even Vietnamese is better in London.

Paris and London are probably on a par with the Middle East. I'll concede North Africa to Paris but then again does Paris have a restaurant as good of its type and as influential as Moro?

London also has a incredibly highly developed Italian restaurant scene, a growing Spanish scene, and the best examples in Europe of Central and Eastern European cuisine and Greek cuisine.


Edited by Tonyfinch (log)

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I agree that London has the edge on Indian cuisine for whatever cultural reasons...too bad there isn't just ONE good one in Paris. Yugaraj , was, as well, a disappointment to me. Overpriced and underquality...


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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We are always on the lookout for a new Indian restaurant in Toulouse because none of the ones still operating has been worth a second visit. (We did find one we really liked, run by a Pakistani, but when we went back it was gone.) In one of them we told the waiter to make it hotter than usual because we weren't French. He replied that he'd already noted on the order that we were English -- he said in the kitchen they serve English customers the version the staff eats!

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Actually, Yugaraj just sent me their press release, and their menu looks really interesting: classic Indian cuisine using excellent French products (volaille de Bresse,etc). I'll give it a try soon..


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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David, sorry for this extremely tardy response, but, no, I haven't tried the restaurants in the Passage Brady , but do know the area.


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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Ganesha Corner, on rue Perdonnet in the tenth near the La Chapelle métro, is an excellent address for southern Indian cuisine. So good, I hate to tell anyone about it...

Nothing fancy: authentic, cantine-style (most people eat with their hands, though forks are provided), but subtly spiced and delicious. And cheap -- 4 to 8 euros for a full meal with beer. And 1000x better than anything I've had elsewhere in Paris.

I've been told that Shireen Mahal, on rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, also in the 10th and also an authentic cantine-style restaurant, does very good Punjabi cuisine. I haven't tried; I haven't needed to yet -- Ganesha Corner is addictively good.

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The subject of Indian cuisine being discussedhere made me realise that I hadn't been to an Indian restaurant in a while.

I have been to Dishny twice and thought it was just okay, maybe I just didn't order right.

I would love to find something worth eating in the Passage Brady, but no luck so far.

Anything to recommend that hasn't been listed?


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Dishny, as was discussed in another thread, is nice but not outstanding.

Again I'll mention the very nice little vegetarian restaurant right in front of Dishny. (Always full.)

I'm sure there are other interesting places in the La Chapelle-Faubourg Saint-Denis area, but I know only few of them. Ganesha Corner is still a very nice place.

It's fun to read the old posts of this thread... Sounds like centuries ago. No good ethnic restaurants in Paris except North African? Vietnamese better in London? :biggrin:

I have to agree with fresh_a that the situation of Indian-Pakistani restaurants in Paris is dire. I never understood all the fuss about Yugaraj, volaille de Bresse or not. Every time I ate there it was just as bad as anywhere else. When I want good Indian food in Paris, I cook it myself, or I go to La Chapelle (where the food is South Indian or Sri Lankan).

There were a few decent eateries in passage Brady years ago, including a very nice South Indian snack shop, but I think they all have given way to touristy, crappy joints that churn up fluorescent tandoori chicken and post relentless waiters outside to lure people in. When you enter the passage from boulevard de Sébastopol to get to the Velan grocery market, you practically have to walk over a dozen of them before you can reach the store.

Again, I believe that if you really like Indian food and live in Paris, you have to learn Indian cooking.

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I don't like the places on passage Brady (although Velan is a great place for ingredients to make it yourself at home). As Ptipois mentioned, La Chapelle is a good place to go for South Indian food, but I have found good North Indian cuisine at Aarchana in the 20th. I discovered them at Galeries Lafayette Gourmet during the Bollywood festival a while back. The mattar paneer was excellent - real homemade paneer. My husband liked the lamb with spinach. Prices are a bit steep for what you get, but at least it's the real thing and not just some crap. They even deliver, but I wouldn't recommend it because it can take up to two hours!

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Thank you very much for all of the recommendations. I will definitely try a few and will report back :smile:


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I'm borrowing a friend's flat at the moment, in the heart of the Sri Lankan neighborhood round La Chappelle/Gare du Nord - Ganesha Corner is about 50 metres from their front door.

We're currently homeless (sounds melodramatic...cue sitars) while looking for a new flat. This has had the unforseen advantage of getting us more acquainted with different neighborhoods while we move from hotel to holiday let to friends flat to hotel again (repeat cycle. add another dose of washing powder to brighten up dossier).

The funny thing is the first time we stayed in this patch, I thought THIS is where we want to live! All those shops playing Indian pop music, smelling of incense, and selling boxes of mangos (including the small hard green ones), four different types of aubergine, proper fresh okra, unidentifiable leafy plants with a passing resemblance to spinach, etc etc. I couldn't resist the urge to snack on samosas and dosas either, and wondered how my friends resisted doing the same.

Now, however, I'm not so enamoured anymore. The food shops are great for ingredients but I find the cooked stuff incredibly greasy and disappointing. Who wants dal swimming in fat? Ganesha corner is fun and good value but you have to go and lie down in a quiet place after eating there. I know this is all simple street food and it's not pretending to be anything fancier, but it would be a whole lot tastier without all the (sometimes rancid) oil. Also every restaurant offers exactly the same dishes. From the large numbers of Sri Lankans who eat in the restaurants here you'd assume this is the one place where the community is cooking for itself, rather than bobo 'tourists' who've velib'ed over from the Canal St Martin. But then, I haven't had much previous contact with Sri Lankan food so perhaps they're partial to grease?...( hard to believe.) I know Indians love cooking with spinachey type vegetables but there's nothing ever remotely green on the menus round here which I also find sad.

But then, given Sri Lanka is such an important tea growing region, you'd also expect to find good quality teas in the shops here too, rather than the ubiquitous farings dust PG Tips (not that I'm complaining, being a Brit brought up on farings dust. Just something I'm curious about.)

This is a rambling way of asking why can't you get decent ethnic food in a neighborhood where 90% of the local population seems to come from the same country? The normal 'ah, the French prefer it if we introduce a lot of cream, and if all the vegetable dishes are equally brown and pureed' argument surely shouldn't wash.

Re the Passage Brady: I've only ever eaten in one restaurant there and that was enough to put me off all of them.

Finally, I refuse to wholly subscribe to the idea that the 'cheese course' type Indian meal is really what the French want even though that's what everyone always says. (This panders to annoying stereotyping of French culinary narrow mindedness as much as the other equally annoying myth about the superiority of day to day food in France) If genuine food enthusiasts only had the opportunity to taste really good (or even just respectable) Indian food, how could they not think it was delicious and appreciate it for what it was? I mean, if you're honest, and open minded, and like great flavours, what's not to like?! You don't even have to eat the really hot stuff. (Or do these people only reside in the republic of egullet? And if so, any idea about how to rent a flat there?)

One final thing - lime pickle always seems to be good however. Oh how I love lime pickle.

Apologies for the late night ramble.

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(This panders to annoying stereotyping of French culinary narrow mindedness as much as the other equally annoying myth about the superiority of day to day food in France)

Dans mes bras ! :wub:

Seriously I think the problem with the overall quality of the La Chapelle-gare du Nord South Indian/Srilankan food is simply that it is not made by very good cooks.

For instance excellent rasgullas are (were?) made in the lower part of rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, in a Pakistani joint that (so friends tell me — I have to go check) no longer exists. I could not find one rasgulla in the upper part of the street that was even remotely half good as those.

The neighborhood is particularly good for food shopping (goat meat, endless rows of pickle jars, bananas cut from the stalk, turmeric face cream...) and not that great for eating out.

I tend to stick to meat rolls, idli and sambar, ghee roti at Ganesha Corner, potato dosa at Dishny. But, sorry if I repeat myself: did you try the vegetarian place facing Dishny on rue Cail?

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Apologies for the late night ramble.

Thanks for the ramble Druckenbrodt, I hope you have more of them and wish you luck with the flat.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Now, however, I'm not so enamoured anymore. The food shops are great for ingredients but I find the cooked stuff incredibly greasy and disappointing. Who wants dal swimming in fat? Ganesha corner is fun and good value but you have to go and lie down in a quiet place after eating there.  I know this is all simple street food and it's not pretending to be anything fancier, but it would be a whole lot tastier without all the (sometimes rancid) oil. Also every restaurant offers exactly the same dishes. From the large numbers of Sri Lankans who eat in the restaurants here you'd assume this is the one place where the community is cooking for itself, rather than bobo 'tourists' who've velib'ed over from the Canal St Martin. But then, I haven't had much previous contact with Sri Lankan food so perhaps they're partial to grease?...( hard to believe.)

I don't know about Sri Lanka, but in Pakistan it is very common to find vegetables and lentils swimming in grease. And cooked to a tasteless brown mush. Maybe that's the problem with the restaurants you tried - too authentic?! My favourite places have always been those which strike a balance between totally authentic and totally Westernised. That's why I like the Indian food in London - it's aimed at people with Western tastes, but knowledgeable about Indian food, so you can't pass off any old crap to them but at the same time they expect a slightly higher quality of food than what one would get back home!

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(This panders to annoying stereotyping of French culinary narrow mindedness as much as the other equally annoying myth about the superiority of day to day food in France)

Dans mes bras ! :wub:

Seriously I think the problem with the overall quality of the La Chapelle-gare du Nord South Indian/Srilankan food is simply that it is not made by very good cooks.

For instance excellent rasgullas are (were?) made in the lower part of rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, in a Pakistani joint that (so friends tell me — I have to go check) no longer exists. I could not find one rasgulla in the upper part of the street that was even remotely half good as those.

The neighborhood is particularly good for food shopping (goat meat, endless rows of pickle jars, bananas cut from the stalk, turmeric face cream...) and not that great for eating out.

I tend to stick to meat rolls, idli and sambar, ghee roti at Ganesha Corner, potato dosa at Dishny. But, sorry if I repeat myself: did you try the vegetarian place facing Dishny on rue Cail?

can't find the appropriate smiley to go with your post!... I'm not sure if I have tried the vegetarian place opposite Dishny... may wander over there later today...

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