The legendary owner with her perfect blow-out parades around this Vietnamese restaurant’s small and not overly kitsch dining room that’s been blowing up clichés for the past 15 years now. More Butte-aux-Cailles than Chinatown, the minimalist menu features half a dozen specialties from Hanoi, and Madame Xuan never compromises on the quality of her menus. The other night the one for €22 featured: fresh and tangy mango salad sprinkled with peanuts and (two) shrimp – or ultra-crispy spring rolls that are also worth a taste; a novel soft-shell crab with a spicy crab stuffing – or impeccably marinated loc lac beef. And for dessert, there’s green tea and coconut milk cake or a banana flambé tart…. Worth knowing: the lunch menu is also quite good, featuring a noteworthy bun bo xao and a very good pho soup. // A.B.
FEELING THIRSTY? Saigon beer (€5 for 330 ml) plus a few organic bottles: a Côtes-de-Bourg red from the Château Escalette (€26 a bottle), or a Pays-d’Oc white from Mas La Chevalière (€28).
PRICE: Menus €14-17 (lunch) and €22-27 (dinner), à la carte €25-52.