And today, we have got some big news! Rudy and Joël Lainé – siblings behind the concept – are coming to Quai de Valmy, a stone’s throw from the Canal Saint-Martin, with a “real-life” restaurant: New Soul Food - Le Maquis. And since their food truck has been an award-winning restaurant – including best food truck 2017 – we bet this new address will quickly delight foodies in Paris 10th arrondissement and around.
Building from their experience in the food universe – one of the brother – pastry chef and cook – has trained at Fauchon, Restaurant Laurent and Grand Véfour; as the other is also a pastry chef – the New Soul Food team – coming from Guadeloupe and Cameroun – offers in this African neo-canteen a cuisine that is both traditional and contemporary, drawing inspiration from the West Indies, Africa and Europe as well.
As a result, plates are filled with African-European street food you can exclusively enjoy on site or takeout.
As for us, we have decided to go all out and eat on site, the place being absolutely charming: patio doors open onto the Canal Saint-Martin, big mural, lovely African printed fabric cushions, and soul playlists to sing and dance on the table.
And to cool off as it is 35°C (95°F) outside today, we treat ourselves to some white hibiscus, ginger and passion juice, and have a look at the menu. From there, two choices are available: you can go for New Soul Food classics, or you can create your very own dish with meat, a side, and some sauce to choose.
Just to make sure we can taste everything; we go for the African-European chicken braised with Mediterranean herbs served with attieke and African-European yassa sauce. And if you have never heard about attieke before, it is super light cassava-based semolina, not too-filling, and twisted with many herbs and sundried tomatoes.
Oh, right, there is something about New Soul Food we have not told you yet, braising over charcoal is THE favorite technique, and we can say they really master it. Braised chicken is coated in crispy rub flavored with herbs. And inside, it is super tender. It is simple: it melts, it is generous, and it is tasty: how perfect!
For more discoveries, you can ask for the African-Caribbean version with braised chicken and West Indian curry, the African-Sub-Saharan version with Penja-pepper braised chicken, or the African vegan version with braised gombo instead of chicken. Allow €12 for the takeout dish, and €14 for the dish on site; €15/€17 including a drink; €19/21 including a drink and a dessert.
On the other side of the table, we have some custom-made food. On the menu, we choose between 4 options: Afrobassa M’Bongo Tchobi shrimp skewers; Afrokankan lamb chops with Kankan spices; Afrocreole fish of the moment and sauce chien, and Afrohaoussa soya skewers, aka marinated beef.
And this is this very meat that eyes at us, and we have with a side of attieke again. But if you prefer basmati rice with plantains, or African-Caribbean sweet potatoes, it is up to you!
You thought you made it to the end? Not at all, you still have to choose your sauce, and you have many sauces to discover: peanut sauce with Cameroun spices; coconut-vanilla sauce with spices, Creole sauce chien or African-European yassa sauce with onions, lime and old-fashioned mustard (!) for the European touch.
In two words: we loved our meal at New Soul Food. Flavors are unique, spices make us travel, meat is perfectly cooked, music is great and the team is very thorough.
Before we leave, we decide to give a go to the minute-churned ice cream. And that day’s flavor was coconut-verbena with tonka caramel – as light as a cloud – as well as iced cocktails – pineapple, hibiscus, rum.
In other words, if you feel like discovering new flavors and make your taste buds travel without leaving Paris, head to New Soul Food - Le Maquis!
Dates and Opening Time
Starts 17 August 2020
New Soul Food - Le Maquis
177 Quai de Valmy
75010 Paris 10