Paris Eats - Chinese Style!

For our first Parisian weekend in 2012, Copain and I decided to try a new restaurant that we've had on our radar since last year: l'Orient d'Or. We happened upon it when we were searching for a restaurant before a one-man show performance at Théâtre Trévise , but they were packed and we couldn't get a table. We promised ourselves that we would go back, and on Saturday night, we did.

This time, we made reservations so that we were sure to get a spot - I highly recommend reservations! I was impressed with the menu, which was actually a book - very hip, I say. Inside were stories about the chef and about the Hunan region. The traditional cooking style from Hunan is this particular restaurant's specialty.

Fancy menu

There was A LOT to choose from - so much that we had a hard time deciding, especially since we don't know Chinese food very well. As we looked around the restaurant, we noticed that most tables were eating family style, with lots of sharing going on. In the end (and in an effort to blend!), we ordered two starters to share: the bouchée maison and the nems au porc (pork nems).

Bouchée Maison with pine nuts and mushrooms

Nems au porc (there were four but we gobbled up two of them before we could take the photo!)

Each starter cost about 5 Euros, which seemed very reasonable. They were tasty too!  However, I was less impressed with the main dishes that we chose.  I ordered the porc aigre douce (sweet and sour pork) and Copain chose the boeuf sechée avec piments et poireaux (dried beef with peppers and leeks).  I wanted to get the pork with the "sauce Mao", but you have to order one day before your dinner reservation - next time!

Even though the boeuf sechée had only one little pepper next to it on the menu, indicating its "spicy level", the dish was über- spicy. I can only imagine what three peppers tastes like! Kapow!  Take heed when they tell you that the dish is spicy :-)

Piment a-go-go

Fried rice and sweet and sour pork dish

L'Orient d'Or didn't offer wine sold by the glass, and as I result, I ordered the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu (but more expensive than a pichet! - pitcher).    It was only 8 Euros for half a bottle and it was probably the worst wine I've ever tasted. Unfortunately, Copain was the one who did the taste test, being the man and all, and he okayed it!  I wasn't even upset when I knocked over my glass and spilled the entire thing on the floor.

Bad wine.

The dessert menu didn't seem like the restaurant's strong point, so we skipped it (it was the usual Chinese restaurant fare - lychees, some obscure coconut thing and your typical French ice creams and sorbets). Our total bill came to 44 Euros for two people and we left feeling full and happy. 

I would definitely go back to this restaurant, but I think I would try a large combination of starters or ask the server for his/her opinion next time.  We were certainly the minority in the room - most patrons were Chinese - so I think we've found a reputable Chinese restaurant. However, I wasn't as blown away as I thought I'd be... perhaps I need to take our Chinese friend with us next time...

On a more positive note, les toilettes were clean with soap and TP :-) Parisian luxuries!

Having a craving for authentic Chinese food? 

L'Orient d'Or
22 rue de Trévise
75009 Paris
Tel: 01 48 00 07 73
Metro: Cadet (line 7), Grands Boulevards (line 9)

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