Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated. Quoting Lamartine may be the best way to introduce our new line of articles about closed restaurants.
When you pass by rue Philibert Lucot, in Paris, you’ll notice quite a few Vietnamese restaurants where Parisian love to go when they’re craving for authentic specialties. We used to stop by La Tonkinoise. The storefront looked very common to say the least, some would say ungracious. Inside, the decoration was even worse , with a huge aquarium in the middle of the dining room. The owner, an old Vietnamese mama was incredibly warm, though the rest of the staff was not particularly helpful. But the food was really flavorful: la Tonkinoise offered good Vietnamese classics at low prices.
My friend used to order the shrimp spring rolls, they were crispy as hell and the fatty sensation was here too but in a lovely discrete way. Inside, the shrimp filling was flavourful [It’s the first time I ‘m crying while writing a post].
But we cannot make an obituary about La Tonkinoise without mentioning the pork Banh Cuon, not the best in Paris but still worth a detour with its amazing jelly-like texture.
My only real disappointment was with the Bo Bun, which was surprisingly below average but I couldn’t help it: the huge amount of glutamate reminded me of my Grandma’s Bo Bun. I miss the time when every time I had lunch with her, I would feel a huge abdomen pain by the end of the meal because of glutamate.
You’ve got it, we lived a hate/love relationship with La Tonkinoise and we’re going to miss it though we’ve never had our best Vietnamese meals ever over there.
If you’re looking for a solid Vietnamese restaurant in Paris, our current favorite is Entre Deux Rives, near Opéra Garnier, they make an incredible Nem Chua, aka Vietnamese fermented ham.