The Chinese New Year, the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, marks the start of the spring holiday. It falls on a different day each year, based on scholarly calculations, and is an occasion for festivities during several days (up to 8 in China). Not going to be in China? Well, you can all the same rejoice in the Chinese Year the way it's supposed to be: in Paris! Celebrated in the French capital by a large Chinese community, all you have to do is choose a good restaurant and let the festive ambience take you along for the ride!
Shang Palace, China, recognised by the Michelin guide
Shang Place is located in the prestigious hotel Shangri-La, near Trocadéro. With one star in the Michelin Guide, the talent of chef Samuel Lee turns traditional Cantonese dishes into true gourmet meals. The menu includes over 60 dishes. Between meat, fish and soups, you'll be spoiled for choice. Here's our recommendation: their Peking duck is without a doubt the best in Paris, don't miss it.
10, avenue d'Iéna
Tel : +33 (0)1 53 67 19 92
Menu: about 70 EUR
Empire Céleste or "Sunday ravioli"
In this family restaurant, a stone's throw away from the Jardin du Luxembourg, recipes have been passed down for three generations. In a simple and pleasant atmosphere, you'll have a lot to choose from as the menu is rich and diverse. Be sure to taste their appetizer soups which really bring out the flavours of the main courses. Our favourite is the asparagus and crab soup, seasoned to taste. Among the main dishes, you'll find all the "classics" of Chinese cuisine. If you want to swim against the tide, try the cuttlefish with vegetables, a real treat. And the little extra? Empire Céleste is known for its "Sunday ravioli", grilled ravioli with pork which the locals rush to savour on Sundays.
5, rue Royer-Collard
Tel : +33 (0)1 43 26 80 49
Menu: about 20 EUR
TaoKan, a place for dim sum lovers
TaoKan's slogan, "contemporary Chinese cuisine" sets the tone of your encounter with this Paris fixture. Chinese cuisine which combines quality, creativity and talent. Contemporary indeed: both on your plate and in the dining room, where the clientèle is just like the dim sum, modern and refined. Dumpling with foie gras, ginger and chicken, the star of the menu will make your mouth water. The other house speciality is the teppanyaki, a Japanese cooking style where food is prepared on a hot plate. Test it out: you can choose from among caramelised chicken strips, beef files or duck breast. All three are absolutely delicious, so you can't go wrong. TaoKan is so successful that there are already two locations in Paris.
8, rue du Sabot
Tel : +33 (0)1 42 84 18 36
1, rue du Mont Thabor
Tel : +33 (0)1 42 61 97 88
Menu: about 45 EUR
Lao Tseu, a Chinese philosopher, but much more than that...
Behind thick curtains, this establishment welcomes the chic clientèle of the left bank. The denizens of Saint-Germain-des-Prés have lunch here before they go shopping in the boutiques on Rue du Bac or strolling in the Grande Épicerie. This elegant and refined "cafeteria" offers a traditional menu with dishes which are a great value for the money. Try their braised dish: a bamboo leaf stuffed with sticky rice and poultry. This place is sure to please, whether you're looking at your own food or your neighbour's (you might see someone you know).
209, boulevard Saint-Germain
Tel : +33 (0)1 45 48 30 06
Menu: about 43 EUR
Mirama, the Chinese cafeteria in the heart of the Latin Quarter.
Students and Latin Quarter enthusiasts enjoy going to this Chinese restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. Start with Won Ton soup, the version with shrimp ravioli is the bomb! For your main course, try the famous Peking duck (a hit!) or pork spare ribs with a surprising black bean sauce. If you want a bit more of a family-style experience, order a few different specialities and share. You'll be in perfect harmony with the oh so warm and friendly ambience Mirama boasts.
17, rue Saint-Jacques
Tel : +33 (0)1 43 54 71 77
Menu: about 25 EUR
Lili, the Cantonese girl
Lili is the imaginary character in Chinese culture who symbolises femininity. In the walls of the luxurious hotel Peninsula, Lili has made her mark over the years as the master of Cantonese cuisine in Paris. Chef Ma Wing Tak takes the orders in the kitchen. Passionate about cooking since his youth, he focuses on fish and seafood while preserving the flavours of traditional Cantonese cooking. The scallops with coriander and pepper or turbot fillet with black mushrooms and cordyceps will keep your eyes on the prize: gourmet food. For meat lovers, don't miss the Szechuan style beef fillet.
During Chinese New Year, this restaurant offers a traditional dance show for your dining entertainment. When it comes to the food, the chef will dream up a special menu consisting of eight dishes.
19, avenue Kléber
Tel : +33 (0)1 58 12 67 50
Menu: about 150 EUR
Chez Vong, travel to China, from decor to dish
Tucked away in an old building in Les Halles, Chez Vong will take you on a journey to another world. The decor, rich in colours, plants and objects taken from Asian culture lends your meal an almost surreal touch. In this intimate, exotic setting, you'll savour Cantonese and Vietnamese specialities. Chef Vai Kuan Vong selects the best French products, turning them into traditional culinary masterpieces. The house specialities: five spice duck or scallops with cocoa sauce.
10, rue de la Grande Truanderie
Tel : +33 (0)1 40 26 09 36
Menu: about 47 EUR
Huabu, a street food experience in the heart of Paris
At Huabu, you'll wait while watching the cooks working behind their ovens to prepare fast and tasty food just for you. The menu is simple and a great value for the money. Be sure to try the baozi, with pork or aubergines. These stuffed dumplings, THE Chinese speciality, are a real hit!
67, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière
Tel : +33 (0)1 45 89 16 94
Menu: about 18 EUR
Focly, a refuge from the skyscrapers of La Défense
A stone's throw away from Porte Maillot, Focly welcomes the businessmen of La Défense and the regulars of chic Neuilly. The three small rooms are connected and will draw you into an intimate and confidential ambience. This restaurant features traditional, yet surprising and enhanced Asian cuisine. Try the scallops with yellow curry and pumpkin or sautéed salmon medallions with ginger and black soy beans. For dessert, end your meal on a sweet note with cold mango soup. The true secret of this restaurant is on the appetizers menu: crispy shrimp roles, created and prepared by Focly since 1976. The restaurant's secret has been jealously guarded for forty years now...
79, avenue Charles-de-Gaulle
Tel : +33 (0)1 46 24 43 36
Menu: about 45 EUR
Shan Goût, an unobtrusive setting for excellent cuisine
A few blocks away from Gare de Lyon station, Shan Goût's store front is so discrete, you'd barely notice it. Inside, despite some ornaments, the decor is just as Spartan. And yet, this anything but pretentious restaurant boasts excellent food. While there aren't too many dishes to choose from, this is a sign of quality. Every chef's suggestion is a true success, so just follow your instincts. We recommend the pork ravioli, grilled to perfection, or steamed aubergines, the house speciality.
22, rue Hector Malot
Menu: about 26 EUR