Les Pâtes Vivantes: A fiery trip to China

UPDATE April 2014: The boulevard Saint-Germain location is no longer run by the same people, and as I haven't yet tried it I cannot attest to the quality. It's business as usual at the Faubourg-Montmartre location however.

I was hungry for Asian and something fiery so settled into a window table at the small, casual Les Pâtes Vivantes on  the Boulevard Saint Germain. The satisfying and amazingly long, alabaster handpulled noodles are prepared right in front of  you, and one can even follow  the action from the street, thanks to a screen with live video hanging in front of the shop. There’s tons to offer here, but we headed straight for the heat, their spicy “crevettes touchant la ciel,” a giant bowl of  soothing wheat noodles teamed up with squares of soft tofu, Chinese cabbage, shrimp in the shell, and plenty of Sichwan peppercorns (photo). All that, shared and unfinished, for 12.50 euros.  I was in seventh heaven!

  A great starter here is their mustard green salad, bathed in a sesame oil dressing, plenty of garlic, and whole almonds. And this is one of the few places in Paris where a  “doggy bag” is not only allowed, but offered!  (There is a second shop on 46, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, Paris 9, Tel: +33 1 45 23 10 21. Métro: Le Peletier.) 

Les Pates Vivantes, 22, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 5 . Tel: +33 1 40 46 84 33. Métro: Maubert-Mutualité. Closed Sunday.