Tag Archives: China

Slurp Your Noodles at Chez Van

Chez Van looks a bit more than a hole in the wall in the 13th arrondissement of Paris (bordering the 5th), but inside one finds a heaven of regional Lanzhou food (north-western corner of China).

Secrets behind this popular restaurant are numerous. Madame Van hand-pulls the noodles in the kitchen and if you get a table at the rear end you may get a glimpse of her. Lunch menu costs 10€. At dinner you pay 2€ more. A la carte options are available, too, but most customers opt for these delicious unlimited meals. Chez Van, ParisWe have visited Chez Van twice in the past month and both dinners have been delicious. Everything is quite speed. At first the vegetarian nems arrive, followed by delicious “mini pizzas” (beef, pork or vegetarian). I think my favorite is mini pizza of beef, which has leek in it. So yummy, so original! mini pizza Chez Van After the nems and the pizzas, a huge plate of raviolis is served. Again, the choice is between pork, beef and vegetarian. I really like the raviolis because they taste homemade and light (I really dislike when food soaks in oil). The meat tastes of good quality.

Excited and hungry, we are getting explanations from the manager about the sauces and what goes with which dish.raviolis at Chez Van The famous noodles come in the end. Sauteed or soup; beef, pork, chicken or seafood, these are the questions. Everything looks really tasty. So far we have tasted three types of noodles and my favorite is noodles with sesame sauce and cucumber. My husband has had noodles with beef with carrot, and noodles with shrimp, both excellent. Noodles at Chez Van We have never been able to order additional food but you do have a right to eat as much as you like –just don’t leave anything on your plate as you may be charged for it!


  • Eating at Chez Van is a lot of fun –and messy (do not wear a white shirt)! It is a lovely addition to the Parisian restaurant scene and I believe that the 10/12€ menus are the best deals one can get in Paris for food this delicious. So, hurry up before everyone hears about this place and Madame Van doubles her prices.
  • Reserve or arrive very early.
  • If you do not get a table, then order take away.
  • The wine list has nice choices, including many organic wines. We opted for a pichet of rosé from Var, south of France, and thought it paired very well with what we ate.

CHEZ VAN: 65 Boulevard Saint-Marcel, 75013 Paris. Tel. 01 43 37 05 97. Metro: Les Gobelins.

Review by Le Fooding: http://lefooding.com/en/restaurants/restaurant-chez-van-paris

Impérial Choisy: affordable Cantonese food

We have not had Chinese food since the Lunar New Year when we ate at Shan Goût: not your usual Chinese restaurant, so it was about time! We found Impérial Choisy on the Internet and decided –once again– to follow the recommendations of Le Fooding and Michelin. The latter has given Impérial Choisy a Bib Gourmand recognition.

Impérial Choisy is located in the southern part of the 13th arrondissement. It is a modern, super clean cantine (small, unpretentious restaurant), where tables fill up fast. A great part of customers consists of Chinese families. Imperial ChoisyWe arrived just before 9 p.m. and got a table right away.  The menu is very extensive and it took us a long time to make our final choices: jellyfish salad, spring rolls, sauteed chicken, shrimp-stuffed eggplants and crispy noodles. Imperial ChoisyOur feeling in the end of the meal was a mixed bag. We liked the shrimp nems. The shrimp and vegetable noodles was very tasty. The jellyfish salad (served with pickled tomatoes, ginger and eggs) was delicious; probably the best of all dishes. Chinese jellyfish saladSauteed chicken came with black mushrooms and bamboos, and yet the mushrooms were very tasty, something was missing. We kept adding chili sauce…

However, what mostly disappointed us was the eggplant dish. Ok, to be fair, we almost never eat fried food, so maybe this explain something. The eggplants were very greasy, the dish had no particular taste, and the size of the prawn stuffed inside the eggplant was not in proportion to the rest. Unfortunately, all we could taste was flour and oil. But maybe it was our fault –we should have known not to order anything fried!eggplants stuffed with shrimpsThis said, the bill arrived and it was 55€ (we also had a 1/2 liter of red house wine). Taking the price into account, we estimated that Impérial Choisy was worth our money. Some dished we loved, some less so.

To answer the big question “Would we return”, I have to say that maybe (but I would pick something completely different). Or, alternatively, maybe I will continue to search for that perfect Chinese restaurant that doesn’t seem to exist in Paris…

Impérial Choisy: 32 Avenue de Choisy, 75013 Paris. Tel. 01-45864240

Le Fooding review: http://lefooding.com/en/restaurants/restaurant-imperial-choisy-paris

Michelin review: http://restaurant.michelin.fr/restaurant/france/75013-paris-13/imperial-choisy/2eqxz1n

Shan Goût: not your usual Chinese restaurant

To celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Horse, we ate at Shan Goût yesterday. This small restaurant near the Marché d’Aligre is recommended by Le Fooding and since our criterion was to find something a bit upscale, the choice seemed perfect. We reserved one week in advance.Shan GoûtUpon arrival, we were given a table sort of in the middle of everyone: there was a group of guys a few centimeters to our left and a bigger group to our right. It felt like sitting in the middle of a corridor. And it surely did not seem fair that reserving one week ahead does not guarantee a nice table. 

Second negative-ish point. No champagne by glass. Ok, call me a snob but we are in Paris. And champagne belongs to the new year…


One has to order a fix menu, and we opted for two starters and two main courses (22€ per person plus 3€ extra per person because of the dishes we chose).

We begun with steamed cabbage with crab meat and a taro soup. Cabbage had a refined taste but did not compare to the taro soup, which was divine and velvety. taro soupeShan Goût

For the main course we opted for a duck leg served with lentils and greens. It did not taste particularly Asian, and came in a gelatin-like sauce. It was not bad, not at all, but it was not at all what we expected either. Very fusion, to say the least.Shan GoûtThe second main course we shared was sea bass. It reminded us of tastes of Laos, Malaysia…. and it was fantastic!!! Shan Goût


We had a carafe of red wine from the Avignon region but my husband liked less than I did. Otherwise, the wine list seemed interesting: for example, Maison Casez from Languedoc-Roussillon makes excellent natural and even biodynamic wine, and would be our next choice should we return to Shan Goût.

This said, yes, I am still puzzled as to what to think. 50% of what we ate was delicious, but the other half left us a bit empty. There was the issue with our table. The service was not particularly friendly. Not rude, but nothing too smiley either. Hmmm. The restaurant aims high: Shan Goût is considered high-end and the price proves it (almost 100€ for two), but I would suggest they work a bit more on the presentation and the service.

Will I return –probably yes because I don’t like having puzzled feelings about something!

Le Fooding review: http://lefooding.com/fr/restaurants/restaurant-shan-gout-paris

Wine: http://www.cazes-rivesaltes.com/vente-vins-de-rivesaltes-muscat-rivesaltes-rivesaltes/?page=shop_home