I may be exaggerating since I have not tried every Chinese restaurant in Paris. And I’m sure there’s some amazing Chinese/French chef doing some Cirque Du Soleil Michelin stuff somewhere in Paris, but for “affordable, delicious, you can’t stop thinking about it” Chinese, this is definitely the place. Take the metro to the Belleville stop. Look for “La Vielleuse” and walk up the hill on that side of the street. It will be packed full of people, and if you are lucky to get in, you will sit next to many happy people enjoying their Chinese delicacies.
For tourists, the menu is available in pictorial form, so you can point and order. I speak enough French (and I can read a little Mandarin), so I went in fearless and ordered from the menu. The seating is super tight. I salivated looking at the “raviolis” (the French word for dumpling) and pastas that were being eaten next to me.
The first item to come out was the duck soup with noodles (it came out in less than 5 minutes). It was spectacular. Umami poured out of every spoonful. Some of the sliced duck was on the bone, so that you could suck on it and get all the delicious connective tissues. The noodles, definitely hand made. Wowza!
Suddenly the rest of our feast arrived. Delicious pan fried pork & vegetable dumplings. Fresh, juicy, and hot. Antonio and I politely offered each other the last one (secretly wishing the other would leave it on the plate).
Fried rice, known as Cantonese rice had none of the soy sauce we’re used to in the US. This did not make it flavorless. I was not able to discern the type of oil used, but damn, this was some killer fried rice.
We also got some meatballs. Again, they were juicy, steamy, and flavorful. They came in a slightly creamy beef broth. I kept thinking how good they’d be in a sandwich.
We asked for the rest of our food to be packed to go and paid our bill…Wenzhou is cash only, so make sure to have some Euros on you.
The verdict? Go! I was expecting a bout of MSG to bloat up my hands minutes after leaving, but the feeling never came. Instead I walked out happy, sated, and with a full wallet. The leftovers were fantastic a few hours later. Oh – get dessert. I didn’t and they looked delicious. Miam Miam!
Wenzhou is located at 24 Rue de Belleville in Paris France.