Tucked away on an off-street behind the rue de l’Olive is a real no-frills, authentic Thai place. La Maison Thai.
It would be a rather unremarkable shopfront were it not for the queue out the door during the lunch rush. It’s one of these places that I like to keep under my cap – as do the other regulars it would seem – because it’s genuine and cheap!
Today, having just got back from a long weekend in Brussels, I didn’t feel like cooking and yet I wanted something spicy. Avoid the masses and get there either around midday when the restaurant opens or at 1.45pm, as I did this afternoon.
It’s a cramped space but don’t let that bother you. There are 8 wooden chairs unceremoniously scattered around a handful of tables. If you’re lucky enough to be able to bag one, you’ll be treated to unlimited free tea. Most people take away and, on this occasion, I too retreated back to my desk and continued tackling the pile of emails that had accumulated during my absence.
For just 4.50 euros, you get two dishes and a generous helping of rice. There is no menu – it’s whatever takes your fancy. Everything has been pre-packaged and can be quickly heated up in the microwave, even if you’re taking to-go. There is a full range of chicken, fish and vegetables… some spicy, very spicy and some not at all… I usually go for the Hor Mok (steamed fish with coconut milk curry) which is unfortunately not in the lunch deal, but is well worth the extra euro. This time, though, I plumped for a spicy red curry chicken with courgettes, and a chicken-coconut-and-pumpkin dish.
For fresh, tasty, genuine – and did I mention it’s CHEAP – Thai food in Paris, this is surely the best in the arrondissement.
Address: 2-4 rue de l’Evangile, 75018
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday noon til 6pm. Occasionally open on Saturdays for lunch too but it seems rather irregular.
Reservations: not taken.
If you can’t get in or it happens to be closed on that particular day, try any of the Chinese restaurants on the rue de Torcy. Hauky’s normally pretty good.