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If you’re looking for good authentic Chinese food in Paris, you’re not in luck. Besides a few rare exceptions, there are two basic categories under which most Chinese restaurants in the city fall: overpriced and decent (at best) or underpriced and inedible. Does this mean Chinese food is not good? Hardly. Just ask yourselves, have I seen a Chinese person eating at any of these places? Of course you haven’t, there eating in Chinatown. The problem is, none of us care really bear with the chaotic, industrial and pretty much unpleasant atmosphere of the restaurants there…no matter how good the food is.
Now if you’re anything like me, you’d trek across a hot desert if you were sure there’d be an amazing restaurant at the end of the journey. #foodie But don’t fret, I won’t ask you to share that experience with me today. No no, today I’m going to let you in on a little secret called Yikou that may very well be the answer to this dilemma.
Literally meaning “little mouthful” in Chinese, Yikou is a gem. And you won’t have to cross a desert to get there…only venture out to Stalingrad in the 10th district.
Everything is made in situ by their master chef, not supplied by outsiders with unknown recipes like so many other restaurants do (you’d be surprised by the number of hip restaurants who do this). So yes we do know exactly who made these dumplings, and yes we know exactly what’s inside them.
Start off your culinary journey with Hei Charlie, dumplings with Lapsang Souchong-marinated salmon, celery and squid ink, and Jackie Tsai with scallops, shrimp, vegetables and Dijon ginger cake. Continue on with Baobao Truffes, small buns filled with savory free-range chicken, water chestnuts and Saumur black truffle. To end your travels on a sweet note: Madame Sago, gingerbread-infused coconut mousse with mango in three textures.
So much more than just another Chinese-Thai-Vietnamese restaurant that serves anything and everything remotely “Asian,” Yikou offers true authenticity when it comes to their food and a unique dining experience in a warm trendy atmosphere. It doesn’t get much better than this…
Many thanks to Yikou for their warm welcome and sharing the passion they have for fine quality and delicious creativity in contemporary Chinese cuisine.
Anna Wu-Chauvineau / Instagram @parisforepicureans