Going to this restaurant in Upper Marais, don’t expect to find an old Chinese “mama” seated on her pans filled with delicious preparations, soups and other wonders… Because Chez Mamie, the restaurant is a tribute from the master of the place Jacky Teng to a very famous and eponymous street-food chain in China.
Let’s talk about street-food, shall we. He’s been inspired by this popular food served in the street to create his menu, filled with pretty unknown dishes in France, but he was under duress to keep some unmissable items from the Cantonese, Sichuanese, Pekinese and Shanghai food, to meet some local die-hard bobos. And even some Vietnamese standards.
“When we opened, the menu included only authentic dishes from Chinese provinces you can never find in Paris. But there was not a single shift – especially with the lunch locals – during we were not asked about spring rolls, loc-lac beef, bo-bun and other egg rolls. So, we added them to the menu precising to patrons every time that these dishes were not Chinese! And in our next menu, they’ll be placed in an exclusive category named “Les incontournables du reste de l’Asie” [The unmissable from the rest of Asia]” Jacky Teng explains with an almost vengeful smile.
Because we told you so, it’s all about authenticity, as the patrons of the house show since most of them are Chinese and… delighted to find here – with a certain nostalgia – some dishes emblematic of the Celest Empire, such as xiao long bao (€5.20), these famous steamed dumplings from the village of Nanxiang in the Huangpu district, Shanghai. They are very tasty and filled with a delicate broth, locked in pulled pork stuffing and a fine layer of dough. So good.
Another and original starter: cold chicken with spicy sauce (€7.50). Actually, it should have been named “with super-extra-mega spicy sauce”, the three little chili peppers drawn on the menu next to the name of the dish are not enough to tell how spicy it is!
When it’s time to move to main courses, we have found some “musts” of the house such as pan-fried razor shell clams with soy sauce and chives (€14.80), squids cooked on a hot plate (€12.80), the tofu, shrimp and eggplant “hot pot” (€12.80) and even pan-fried duck cooked on a hot plate (€12.50).
But the boldest ones will surely try the delicious braised beef with soy sauce (€7.50), beef tripe with (very!) spicy red oil (€7.50), duck blood with chili sauce (€15.80), spicy pork blood (€9.80) or even duck tongs with salt and pepper (€10.80). We also really loved the hong shao rou, a dish based on slowly stewed pork belly filled with slightly sweetened soy sauce and rumor has it that it was Mao Zedong’s favorite dish.
As many dishes we can gladly enjoy with delicious garlic pan-fried water spinach (€8.50) or eggplants with YuXiang sauce (€7.50) instead of the usual bowl of white rice.
Note that as an appetizer, Chez Mamie also serves a list of grilled skewers flavored with cumin (but very, very spicy as well!), sold by the piece (between €1.20 and €2), out of which we’ve made a top three: the cauliflower and cumin skewer (€1.20 each), the lotus root skewer (€1.20 each) and the lamb skewer (€1.50 each).
And for your next night out with friends (up to 12 people), the house can provide you with the basement room with a large and oval table and an open-karaoke and this will only count an extra 20% on the final bill.
18 Rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare
75003 Paris 3
Métro : Rambuteau ou Arts & Métiers ou Etienne marcel
Menu Déjeuner: €11.8
Carte (env.): €25