Restaurant Reviews

Paris’ Best Indian Restaurants from Bollywood Kitchen Chef Sanjee

by Rooksana Hossenally

Indian Restaurants in Paris' La Chapelle area for Indian thali meals.

Thali – Nalas Appakadai

Following our last post on Parisian Indian Chef Sanjee of Bollywood Kitchen when we visited her apartment in the very yummy-mummy 17ème arrondissement, she confirmed her frustration at the lack of good all-round Indian restaurants in the French capital. Despite a multitude of not-so-great restaurants, four spots have managed to hold her attention (and palate). She shares them with us below.

Indian Restaurants in Paris with Bollywood Kitchen's Sanjee and the chefs at Nalas restaurant in La Chapelle.

The best Indian Restaurants in Paris, including chic Marcel on the Canal Saint Martin with its brass features and brown distressed leather armchairs.

Sanjee at Nalas Appakadai; Marcel

In first place is Nalas Appakadai, located in the Indian neighborhood of La Chapelle in northern Paris. While most restaurants in this area tend to resemble one another, Nalas, which is more of a canteen and doesn’t seem to have broken the bank updating its decor, has top-notch cuisine that comes at great value (about 15 euros for two courses). The Tali meals, where dollops of different curries are dished out atop a serving of rice perched perfectly on a banana leaf, are the best in town according to Sanjee. Nalas also specializes in South Indian food, like idlli, dosai, and appam, which is an upside-down pancake that can be eaten with curry or chocolate sauce and was entirely new to us.

Nalas Appakadai – 54 rue Louis Blanc, Paris 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 05 50 50

Where to go for the best Indian food in Paris, like this paneer and pepper chilli curry with rice.

Sanjee from Bollywood Kitchen tells us where to go for the best Indian food in Paris (left). MG Road Indian restaurant in Paris and a picture of Ganesh on the counter (right).

Nalas Appakadai; Chef Sanjee & MG Road

Second on Sanjee’s list is the more upmarket Marcel on the very trendy and bohemian Canal Saint Martin strip. Not to be confused with the French restaurant of the same name in Montmartre, Marcel has views of the canal, sleek décor, comfortable couches, and cosy low lighting, along with discreet Indian touches, like painted portraits that dress the walls. The team at Marcel serves beautifully presented Indian fare that has been slightly adapted to European palates flavor-wise. Notwithstanding that adjustment, the food is extremely tasty and also comes at affordable prices (25 euros for two courses). Marcel gets quite crowded in the evenings, so it’s always a good idea to book a table to avoid a long wait.

Marcel – 90 quai de Jemmapes, Paris 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 03 57 20

One of the best Indian Restaurants in Paris, is Marcel on the Canal Saint Martin, with its distressed decor and low lighting.

Top Indian restaurant on the Canal Saint Martin in Paris is Marcel, with its distressed decor and leather armchairs (left). At Marcel restaurant in Paris, there are fringed lamps giving it a 20s feel (right).

Marcel

Next up is the dimly-lit Jaipur Café, which is more suitable for an informal dinner than lunch. With its pinkish veiling across the ceiling and reddish walls, it’s a step up from Nalas in the décor department. The food is delicious and reasonably priced (count about 20 euros for two courses). Located on a back street of the 10th arrondissement, the restaurant has a mostly intimate atmosphere that is only slightly diminished by the large flat screen television hanging on the wall in the main space. With muted Bollywood films playing in the background, one could even argue the ambiance is closer to authentic restaurant scenes so often found in the motherland.

Jaipur Café – 15-17 rue des Messageries, Paris 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 48 01 06 00/(0)6 87 75 96 59

One of the best Indian restaurants in Paris is the Jaipur Café in the 10th arrondissement with its red walls (left) and moodily-lit Marcel on the Canal Saint Martin (right).

Inside top Paris Indian restaurant, the Jaipur Cafe, with its white table cloths and red walls.

Jaipur Café & Marcel; Jaipur Café

Last but not least is the newly opened and very bobo MG Road in the 3rd arrondissement, named after the venerable Mahatma Gandhi Road, a common address in India. The décor is based on Persian-run Bombay cafés that became a central part of Bombay social life towards the end of the XIX century. Founded by India enthusiast Stéphanie de Saint Simon, it is London chef Manoj Sharma, formerly of Cinnamon Club, who holds the reigns in the kitchen. While the fresh, high-quality fare is very tasty, it is worth noting that the portions could be more generous and the prices more affordable (expect to pay 30 euros for two courses). However, along with Marcel, MG Road is a great place to go on a date, for a meal with friends, or for a more formal occasion.

MG Road – 205 rue Saint Martin, Paris 75003. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 76 04 32

Top Paris restaurant for contemporary Indian food, MG Road has shabby chic interiors with colorful low-hanging lights hanging above the counter.

Where to go for the best Indian food in Paris, like at MG Road with its shabby chic decor of brass fixtures and exposed plaster walls.

MG Road

Related links:

MG Road is one of the best restaurants in Paris for Indian food and has a shabby chic style with Indian artefacts like these brass pots and contemporary Indian recipe books.

 MG Road

Written by Rooksana Hossenally for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Palmyre Roigt. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Rooksana Hossenally

Originally from London, Rooksana moved to Paris for what was supposed to be six months - it's now been 12 years. A freelance journalist, she's contributed to many publications from the New York Times, Forbes, and BBC Travel to Condé Nast Traveller and the Guardian. She's headed up several print and online travel and culture magazines, and has worked with brands from L'Oréal to Glamour Magazine optimizing their online platforms. When not working, Rooksana's scouring the city for new creative pockets, hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurants, and procrastinating about the book she's meant to be writing. View Rooksana Hossenally's Website
Photos By

Palmyre Roigt

View Palmyre Roigt's Website

4 comments on “Paris’ Best Indian Restaurants from Bollywood Kitchen Chef Sanjee

nishtha choudhary

Hey this was a great insight about indian food in Paris, still i was wondering, if you think Paris still needs more and an innovative concept of indian food in its own gastronomy form?

Nice Indian Restaurants

I will have to have Indian food in Paris next time. I have to try Marcel, I recall walking by it last time. Thanks so much.

Leftbankgirl.blogspot.com

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