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Diep: Chinese Food Enjoyment in Paris
Every time we come to Paris, my wife talks about Diep. She believes that Diep is the best Chinese restaurant in the city. And here we are again, after all this time, enjoying one of Paris' best Chinese places, recommended by many, including the Michelin guide.
Established in 1985 by the Diep family, the restaurant bearing the same name is located just off the most beautiful avenue in the world and over the years has succeeded in carving out a great reputation for itself in the Parisian restaurant scene. Diep specializes in a combination of Chinese and Thai cuisine, executed with finesse and delicacy. A wealth of eastern flavors awaits your palate, and you can choose between the subtleties of Chinese cooking on the one hand and the spicier aromatics of Thai cuisine on the other. Just a few meters away from the Champs Élysées, Diep is a small place nestled on Pierre Charond Street. Inside is a dimmed ambiance enchanted by calm Chinese music and decorated with some fine Chinese art.
The menu looks simple, printed on a pink nylon paper and offers hundreds of choices:
- Vegetable dishes
- Thailand's specialties
- Hors d’oeuvres
- Vietnamese specialties
- Chinese specialties
- Steamed specialties
- Hors d’oeuvres
- Fish and seafood
- Noodles and rice
- The floor is all covered with dark carpet which is pleasant to walk on.
- Dinner is served on the ground floor as well as on the first floor.
- The walls are painted red and decorated with golden designs.
- Relaxing chairs covered in burgundy fabrics fill in the space.
- The tables are covered in pure white tablecloths and setup the fine dining way.
- Silver cutlery, fine China plates and wooden chopsticks add a touch of finesse.
- Silver utensil stands that they pose the cutlery on are a signature of the restaurant.
- It all creates a warm ambiance with equally warm lighting.
The details I like:
- The menu is large and a pleasure to browse.
- Lots of round tables fill in the space, as well as some square ones.
- A calm place where everything is treated with professionalism and style.
- The ceiling is low and painted in light green.
We were invited to the first floor where a few square tables were professionally set up. I enjoyed the space between the tables, unlike most restaurants in the capital where you feel like you're dining on the same table as you neighbors. Gentle and smiling waiters welcomed us. We enjoyed the time to appreciate the fine china plates and cutlery on display - blue porcelain plates, silver cutlery, wooden chopsticks, cloth napkins all neatly placed on a white tablecloth.
Dinner started with two plates of sauces, one for each of us. We started with appetizers, spring rolls with crunchy soya beans. A thick and big roll that we both enjoyed. Steamed ravioli followed: Six square pieces topped with steamed soya beans. This order contained too much vinegar and needed additional sauce.
Wet towels were then offered to refresh us before moving to the main course.
The duck is a must try. Three plates land on the table, one of sliced duck with its fried skin on the side, another of sauce and onions. These fully loaded pancakes are not to be missed. This order is heavy but tasty, perfectly prepared, a tasty sauce with a bit of sweetness, crunchy skin full of fat and oil. A must try.
The rice was a bit dry. It is tasty, but should be mixed with a sauce.
Chicken caramel presented in a bowl, sweet and slightly spicy. Caramel, crunchy borders around a juicy chicken makes you want to lick your lips after every bite. A subtle, salty sparkle erupts at the end making you smile quietly.
Shrimps sizzling in a boiling sauce are called crevettes joyeuses, or happy shrimps. Yum!
- The waiters have manners, and show details of finesse and professionalism like turning the bottle's logos toward you when placing them on the table.
- Everyone is continuously smiling.
- The waiters run to change your plates.
Some say it's a restaurant for tourists, nevertheless, I like it and visit it at least once a year. I believe you should, too.