Wed 1 Aug 2012
4, rue Sauval, in the 1st Arrondissement.
01 40 26 08 07. Closed Mon–Tues.
In China, “yam cha” is the morning gathering when families share dim sums over a cup of tea. In Paris, Yam’Tcha is an exquisite fusion restaurant opened by Adeline Grattard when she came back from Hong Kong in 2009.
Nestled on a quiet street near the bustling Les Halles, Grattard’s boutique restaurant offers a very intimate atmosphere—it seats only 20—and makes for a perfect escape for Parisians who want a little taste of China.
Grattard runs Yam’Tcha with her husband, Chiwah Chan. She cooks delicacies from her tiny two-meters-square kitchen while he devises tea pairings to rhyme with her creations.
Ever since 2010, when they received their first Michelin star, it’s been difficult to get a table without booking a few weeks in advance. But patience is worth the pleasure to come.
Grattard riffs on French cuisine with the best of Chinese techniques: sharp cooking, neat flavors and, above all, masterful textures—a unique take on Asian cuisine, in my experience.
Every day is a surprise. The menu changes daily according to Grattard’s market finds.
Some recent surprises: Crunchy Mozambique shrimp in XO sauce (a spicy seafood sauce used in Chinese cuisine) with dried prawns on a bed of grated potatoes. Foie gras with asparagus under a shower of Chinese tangerine drops. Bigorre pork with Thai eggplant in a delicate Asian-inspired sauce (our guess is soy, garlic and ginger). Sweet blanc-manger in mango with raspberries, passionfruit seeds and brown sugar.
If you’re tired of the average fusion food you can find elsewhere in Paris, you will enjoy your escape to Yam’Tcha.
In a nutshell: Yam’Tcha is a little gem in the heart of Paris beloved by fans of delicate and subtle fusion food.
Price check: Allow 50 euros for the surprise lunch menu (two first courses, a main and a choice of cheese or dessert) and 85 euros on weekends or for dinner.
If you like the sound of Yam’Tcha but would prefer Thai to Chinese fusion, try Baan Boran:
43, rue Montpensier, in the 1st. 01 40 15 90 45.
Closed Sat lunch and all day Sunday.
Editor’s note: For a gourmet walking trip, check out our DIY downloadable Paris trips.