A Thai Gem

baan lekBaan-Lek is a small Thai restaurant in the Marais near my apartment. The card says “Cuisine de Siam,” so one would think the food is authentic. Yes, it is and having eaten there a few times now, it has become one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Paris.

We went on a Friday afternoon at about 12 and pretty much had the place to ourselves. The interior with two side-by-side dining rooms is modern but warm and the wall behind us was made to look like a abstract painting. The formule (prix fixe menu) is 13.50 euros for three courses. shrimp soup baan lekThe choices were limited to two dishes for the entrees and plats , and one for dessert. I chose the clear vermicelli noodles with chicken, yam woon sen kai, and my companion Lynn chose the spicy seafood soup, poh taek (pictured). Mine was fresh and fragrant and the slivered chicken bits were moist and tender. Lynn’s soup had a nice tang of lemongrass along with good, solid vegetables including baby corn and big mushrooms and and a few large plump shrimp. Lynn wasn’t too crazy about her salmon curry with fresh basil and coconut milk, chuchee pla,  and she found the sauce too rich and creamy. I liked the curried pork, moo phat prik,which was simpler with earthy flavors. I liked the fact that the dishes came with rice which usually costs extra at Thai restaurants. Grapefruit and mango sorbet were most refreshing and welcome after our spicy dishes and served in a lovely jade colored bowl on a stand, which I was tempted to swipe. Service was pleasant and low-key.

7 rue de Jarente, 4th arr., Metro: St. Paul, 01 42 77 49 35, Open 7 days

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