Restaurants & Bars 4

L'Orient d'Or - Authentic, yes but... - Chinese Restaurant - Paris - Report

Rio Yeti | Apr 11, 201203:01 AM

The quantity of "Asian" restaurants offering "Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai" food in Paris makes me sad. I don't need to tell chowhounders how just Chinese cuisine can be so different depending on the regions...

A "Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai" place sounds to me like a "French, Spanish, Italian" restaurant... absurd.

When I saw that l'Orient d'Or is specialized in Hunan and Szechuan cuisine, things were looking good.

My mistake was probably to choose "non spicy" dishes... I know that Hunan and Szechuan food is usually very hot, and I probably should have tried the dishes marked with (one, two or three) little red peppers on the menu, to witness the chef's thing. But this night my stomach felt like it wanted to be pampered, not attacked, even though my taste-buds suffered the consequences...

I shared with a friend two dim sum dishes.
The mushroom and pine nuts siu mai had a floury texture. The dough was thinner than anything I had in France and the dumplings hold their shape nicely, but they left this weird dry and sandy texture in the mouth which was unpleasant...

The chicken Jiaozi (similar to Japanese Gyoza) had a firm dough, but the filling was fragrant and moist. Nothing new in the land of Chinese dumplings, but it worked.

The "crispy duck" was served with a spring onion julienne, thin steamed crepes (try saying that three times, really fast !) and Hoisin sauce (a thick and sweet sauce). The duck was unfortunately too dry and the crepes had the same weird texture as the mushroom dumplings, the sauce tried to rescue the situation but hardly managed...

The chef clearly tries hard, and if the numerous medals and golden chopsticks over the aquarium are not in plastic, quite a few people are already convinced by his skills. But this night he probably wasn't at his best because this duck could have been soft and juicy, with a crackling crispy skin. Wrapped in a light crepe with two slices of spring onions and a bit of sauce it could have sung a salty-sweet, crispy-tender harmony. But this duck was sad with his flesh too dry and his skin to soft, its vocal cords were tired and its singing was quacking.

When I asked our server which dish was the chef's specialty, he answered, dry as a duck: "Everything is the specialty, you choose". I chose, maybe poorly, but I tried nonetheless. If I ever go back, I'll try some of the "hot" dishes to give l'Orient d'Or a chance to play the music of its region.

The cost was around 20€ per person (without drinks).

If you wish to see a few shamelessly altered photos and the review in french, you can check out http://www.chezfood.com/2012/04/08/lo...

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