|The lantern-lit interior of Lily Wang|
We had almost given up hope of finding an outstanding French-Asian restaurant in Paris, when we came across “Lily Wang” - a name that evokes a mythical character.
This restaurant in the city's seventh arrondissement, near Les Invalides, has a classy interior, softly playing jazz music and, more important, memorable dishes at affordable prices. A fish main course costs about 25 euros.
There is no "Ms. Wang". Manager Patricia Finot said the name is an invention, as the idea was to create an image of glamour in the minds of potential clients.
With a Cambodian chef, the restaurant offers fusion cuisine - a mix of East and West that mostly impresses with its fineness. One can have dim sum as a starter before moving to “larmes de tigre” (grilled beef), marinated in an Armagnac-based sauce.
The three-year-old eatery attracts a very Parisian clientele, with some diners coming from the world of cinema and fashion. Here, one can have a private conversation without fear of being overheard as there is comfortable space between the tables. The voice of Nina Simone, or another jazz legend, also warmly cloaks the chatter.
Finot, a trained legal expert, has taken the reins from her farther who has been a restaurateur for 40 years, starting in Saint Tropez. She is usually on hand to greet clients, while her staff of elegant servers stay attentive throughout the meal.
Our favorite dish was the bream baked in banana leaf. But a must-try is the chocolate "spring rolls" - a dessert of warm chocolate wrapped in pastry and served with a banana sauce. Having said all this, our additional advice is to dine in the evening, as the lunchtime menu can vary in quality. - Tasshon.
Lily Wang: 40, avenue Duquesne, 75007 Paris. Telephone: (+33) 01 53 86 09 09.