All the expatriates I meet in Paris ask me this question. Even if I offer an entirely different spectrum of topics to converse, people will maneuver the conversation skilfully to ask me this question - the best Indian restaurant in town. Yesterday, I was with a group of British expatriates. You may be wondering what I was doing in that group. Well, I have the same question to some of the others attendees - namely the Germans, the Polish, the French, the Ghanaians. As you have rightly guessed, there were very few British. It may have been the whiff of England in the air. Everyone was asking me about the best "curry" place. I have never been to London. So I really do not know what kind of food they serve over there in the name of Indian food.
I always ask the person if he/she like to have good food or a good dining experience. I go to places where the service is bad but the food is good. I am not sure if this is okay with the person who is posing the question. The next step is setting up the expectation. If you are looking for authentic North Indian food, there is only one place I liked so far. That place will easily blow a hole in your pocket. So, unless and until you are ready to open wallet real wide, there is no point! And if you are ready to do that, the place is Gandhiji near Opera. There are two restaurants there - Gandhi and Gandhiji. If you are looking for good food, the two letters, j and i, make a world of difference.
Paris offers better choices in South Indian cuisine; thanks to the huge population of Sri-Lankan Tamils. For vegetarian, we have Saravanaa Bhavan near Gare du Nord which never ceases to amaze me. How can they ensure the same taste across the globe? I have been to 4 outlets in the world, 1 in California, 2 in New Delhi and 1 in Paris. Out of the four, the one in New Delhi located in the Connaught Place is the only one which disappointed me. Every time I go to the local Saravanaa Bhavan in Paris, I also plan to visit the nearby sweets shop named "Bhai Bhai". Bhai Bhai never happens after Saravanaa Bhavan.
For meat lovers, there is Dishny near Metro La Chappelle. The service is poor but the spice factor is high. After the first visit with my westernized friend, he vowed never to come back here because the waiter was lost in his own little world. The next week, my westernized friend insisted on returning to this same restaurant. He was willing to be humiliated for tasty food.
Both Saravanna Bhavan and Dishny are crowded all the time. There are fellow diners talking in loud voices and waiters shouting orders into the kitchen. You can also hear the noises from the kitchen too. But the food is so tasty that you forget all your worries. These are the places I go to. In case you are looking for an Indian restaurant in Paris, please feel to try this out. Hope you like these places just like me. If you do, we share similar tastes and you know whom to call next time when you are going out for dinner.