I’ve been in Paris for eight whole months now and during that time I haven’t been able to find a single great Chinese restaurant. Yes, really. For someone that is half Chinese and eats Asian food at home a lot, this was a real disappointment, but I have finally tried the “best noodles in Paris” and can wholeheartedly agree with this statement.
Trois Fois Plus de Piment is an amazing little Chinese eatery whose outstanding reputation is evident from the long queue that you’ll usually find outside its door. It’s usually in my top 5 recommendations when people ask me where to eat in Paris.
I arrived at around 12pm on a Saturday afternoon and was second in line in the queue but I still had to wait a good 15-20 minutes before I was welcomed into the bustling restaurant. It’s a good thing that I arrived when I did because by the time I was seated in the restaurant, the queue extended several metres down the road. This is not the sort of place you can run to when you want a quick bite to eat and if you don’t want to waste much time queueing then I’d recommend going at off-peak times.
As you can see from the picture above, the menu isn’t particularly extensive nor detailed, but that’s what’s so great about this place. No frills, just really good food. You’ll be happy to hear that despite the queue that goes out the door, once you’re in the food arrives really quickly after ordering. Seriously, a steaming hot bowl of noodles arrived in front of my nose within 5-10 minutes of ordering which is really impressive for a busy restaurant in Paris.
I ordered the “Nouilles Boeuf Sichuannaise (avec soupe pimenté)” (Sichuan Beef Noodles (with spicy soup)). Much like at Nandos, you can pick the level of spiciness of your dish on a scale from 1-5. I opted for 2 and even this had me reaching for the water jug after every other mouthful so I’d definitely recommend going lower rather than higher if you’re not sure. Sichuan is a region in China known for its incredibly spicy food so proceed with caution. (NB Trois Fois Plus de Piment literally means “Three times more spice”).
The noodles were round and thick with a consistency that was much closer to spaghetti than the thin noodles I’m used to. This made the whole dish so much more filling, which was excellent. The noodles were topped with chunks of the most succulent and soft beef I have ever tasted and I’ve never really understood what people meant when they described meat as “melt in the mouth” until now.
My friend ordered the “Nouilles Boeuf avec soupe sans piment” (Beef noodle soup without spice). Whilst this dish is still yummy, it is rather plain and the beef was much tougher than that which was in my dish. I’d definitely recommend picking one of the ‘spicy’ things on the menu, even if you have to specifically ask for it to be much less spicy than usual, as there is a huge difference in how the beef is cooked in different dishes and mine was so, so much better.
The dumplings took a little longer to arrive but they were well worth the wait. I’ve been to China numerous times in my life and my mum makes dumplings all the time at home but I’d still rank these dumplings as some of the best I’ve ever tasted. It was really the sauce that made these dumplings taste incredible and it seems to be some sort of mix of spice and sesame, which was delicious.
As this restaurant was so busy I didn’t feel like it was the sort of place I could sit down and hang out around in for ages after I’d finished my meal like I do in most Parisian restaurants. My friend and I were seated side by side on the table connected to the kitchen so I felt like we needed to clear off as soon as we were done but perhaps if we’d been seated at one of the proper tables instead this would not have been the case.
Trois Fois Plus de Piment is a real Chinese restaurant run by real Chinese people. You’ll find no sweet and sour pork here, just hot, spicy Si Chuan noodles. There’s no better place in Paris where you can find authentic Chinese noodles and what’s more the beef was cooked perfectly in my dish and the dumplings are to die for.
The decorations inside the restaurant are all typically Chinese as well and this adds to the authentic Chinese atmosphere of the restaurant. If you’re looking for a taste of China in Paris, Trois Fois Plus de Piment is the place for you.
184 Rue Saint-Martin
12-3pm, 7-11pm everyday, except Monday
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