Café des Initiés — Paris, Louvre

3 Place Deux Ecus

75001 Paris

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This restaurant is very well located (behind the Louvre, and near the Forum des Halles) and has the advantange of very good salads. For example this one with extremely tasty smoked ham and goat cheese on toast:

And that one with some kind of strange but very good meat, I forgot what it was exactly (gizzard? liver?):

They also have the interesting concept of a hamburger with foie gras!

Very tasty ingredients and nice surroundings. Give it a try! Salads around 12 euros, dishes around 12-16 euros.

Les Pâtes vivantes — Paris, Maubert

A fairly authentic Chinese noodles restaurant in the Latin Quarter of Paris.

22 Boulevard Saint-Germain

75005 Paris

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The noodles are home made and the room where the chef makes the noodles is open to the main room (through a glass). They also have other dishes (haven’t tried them, though) but they specialty is obviously noodles, sautéed like these with vegetables and beef, 12 euros (see the small beer bottle and glass around the plate for scale — pretty substantial):

or the same with vegetables and chicken, 11 euros:

or in a spicy soup, 9.50 euros (again look at the glass for scale — that’s a large bowl!):

I wouldn’t say these are my absolute favorite Chinese dishes but as far as noodles are concerned I wouldn’t know better in Paris, especially with home made noodles. Safe choice!

Update: some more dishes from the same restaurant.

Opéra Ramen — Paris, Opéra

One of numerous Japanese noodle restaurants in the Opéra district of Paris.

23 Boulevard des Capucines

75002 Paris

Google Maps

We have our usual addresses for this kind of restaurant but we try and experiment new places, and this one is a little further north, on the Boulevard des Capucines, away from the rest of the restaurant “crowd”. The surroundings are nice, with a few tables on an interestingly placed second floor. We had a couple of noodle soups, one of which was part of a menu with a half curry rice:

The total was 17.80 euros = 9.30 (menu) + 8.50 (noodle soup).

Overall it was a very nice experience. Nothing really outstanding, but definitely slightly above the average in this district. My favorite will still be Naniwa-Ya, which I’ll be writing about in the future!

Rendez-vous au Caire — Paris, Opéra

In a district full with Japanese restaurants, a safe choice for North African cuisine.

34 rue Saint-Anne


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Nothing astonishing with this restaurant, it’s a safe bet for a casual lunch if you’re in this district and don’t want to eat Japanese. Of course we couldn’t skip on the couscous, this one is a vegetarian couscous (9.50 euros):

And I took a “Cairo plate” (assiette du Caire, 12 euros):

One thing that’s worth mentioning, I think, is that even though all that’s on the plate was really good (different types of hummus and other creamy things, the two deep fried sticks are filled with cheese), the bread on the side, served hot and fairly soft, turns cold and dry very quickly when taken out of its plastic bag and at this point it’s really just like a large cracker. Better bread would be a notable improvement.

Now I confess that I’m not familiar enough with North African food (though love it!!) to have enough reference points to compare this with, but it seems like an okay choice, nothing astonishing but a fair deal for the price.

Carnet de Voyage — Paris, Saint-Lazare

When it comes to Chinese food, Sichuan dishes usually get my votes, but here’s a pretty good restaurant with dishes from the Yunnan for a change!

4 rue de Budapest

75009 Paris

Google Maps

I didn’t actually write down the price for each dish, but total (with the dishes below, two bowls of rice – their bowls are large enough for two in my opinion – a large bottle of Chinese beer and another small bottle) we payed about 70 euros. Now the dishes.

We started with this (cold) cucumber dish:

and this was surprisingly good. The cucumber was raw but marinated in a light lemon sauce, probably with a bit of white vinegar and maybe a little bit of sugar, so that these thin slices were still deliciously crunchy, fresh and with a perfect taste. The red ones are peppers and there are also some raw sliced onions in there. Now officially one of my favorites!!

One of this restaurant’s specialties is to serve a wok on your table and keep a slight fire under it, we got the chicken one (about 20 euros):

Their shrimps are also pretty good and tender, nothing really special about them though:

Another one of my favorites from now on is their tofu, cooked in some kind of skin, fairly different from all the kinds of tofu I’ve tried until now:

We also had a dish of deep fried red beans, very interesting although maybe not a strong enough taste for me (but other people on the table loved them):

Lastly we tried a dish of sweet deep fried corn, not sure it was designed to be a desert but it’s very sweet so it’s probably a perfect desert (avoiding the usual artificial deserts to fit Western taste, like litchis or bad ice cream):

Overall a very good choice! I will definitely come back again and I’ll be sure to order the cucumbers and the tofu again!