A Great Cheap Chinese in Beaubourg

August 4, 2008

To give credit where it’s due, it was my friend Richard who discovered Restaurant Ba-Shu. As he explained to me, all of the Chinese hoteliers who’ve come to town on business recently invariably end up eating with him at this very simple little place not far from the Centre Pompidou in the Beaubourg neighborhood. And it’s true that this little hole in the wall is nothing to look at, but this didn’t stop our group of four from having a truly delicious and wonderfully inexpensive feast here last Sunday.

Since it was a nice day, we sat at a table outside–the decor indoors is a bit daunting, think a Chinese luncheonette–and then we opened fire on the menu. We ordered until our heart’s content–easy to do here, since almost no dish costs more than 10 Euros, and the banquet that followed was absolutely wonderful, which made it no surprise whatsoever that all of the other customers were Chinese. Among the dishes we decided to try were chopped pork ribs with salt and pepper, grilled Shanghai style dumplings, “soupe de ravioli,” Szechuan style vegetables (pickled Kimchee style), “Aubergine a la sauce YuXiang,” “Porc a l’ancienne,” cold Szechuan noodles, and Fish with pickled cabbage.

Then there was a pause, and I jumped in. What about all of the abats? (innards and gizzards, which the menu also has in abundance). It seemed to me that we’d be chickening out if we did push our limits a bit. My suggestion was meet with a determined silence. “Do you really want to eat sauteed pork liver and kidneys, Alec?” queried Jerome, rather sardonically. Everyone laughed. “Well, why not?” I said, to a round of nervous giggles. So I ordered eels with hot pepper and pork tripe, both of which were delicious. In fact, these dishes, which I’d never seen on a Chinese menu in Paris before, were the stars of a meal in which there wasn’t one dish that was outstanding.

Though the servers spoke wobbly French, they were very friendly, and a very decent bottle of Cotes de Provence rose ran a good-deal 10.80 Euros. Our total bill, for enough food to feed an army and two bottles of wine, came in a 25 Euros a person, a great buy indeed. They also have set price lunch menus from 6.90 Euros to 15.90 Euros, which makes this a terrific address for lunch for anyone who is going to the Centre Pompidou, and they’ll be open the whole month of August. I can’t wait to eat my way through the rest of the menu, too.

Restaurant Ba-Shu, 170 rue Saint Martin, 3rd, 01-48-87-87-38. Metro: Rambuteau. 

  • Mike Defoe

    Hey Alec,

    You rock! Can’t believe you found this place–it’s one of our all-time favorites. Hope you tried to sauteed pork liver (you didn’t say)–it’s great. Later, Mike