The Faubourg Saint-Antoine area has been making waves on the food scene for quite a while: Rue de Cotte, Rue Trousseau, the Marché d’Aligre and lots of other little streets offer an excellent range of good things to eat, and since the Rue Charonne's latest makeover, the area is more than ever on the up.
A large wooden bar, stools, suspended lighting and a menu which promises to offer you ‘the four corners of Asia on a plate’ that being Japanese katsu chicken, Korean bibimbaps, Vietnamese boa buns and Thai pad thais. A mix of cuisine that a few people may find a little disconcerting, but that doesn’t really matter because we’ve come to Goku for one only excellent reason: the burger, voted as the best in France at the most recent French burger awards.
We think you'll like Francis La Butte a lot. Why? Because the already large terrace always has a little space free and it offers an apéro in full sun. And apéro is what they do well. The happy hour menus - either a pint of Grolsch, plus basket of homemade chips, or a glass of wine and slices of saucisson - are amazing value at €5.
The system at Le Cambodge is simple: you write your order on a piece of paper, including preferences such as 'no coriander', 'no peanuts' or 'extra rice', and after a short wait the dishes appear. Two favourites are the bobun spécial, a hot and cold mix of sautéed beef, noodles, salad, bean sprouts and imperial rolls, and banhoy, a selection of the same ingredients to be wrapped in lettuce and mint leaves and dipped in a sauce.
We headed to Le Grand Bain on a Sunday night, and found behind a steel façade, a party in full swing. We were immediately welcomed into the throng of younger generations. The waiters around the island bar gave us a wave, passed us the menu and let us settle in. It was explained that they were celebrating the end of their first week open.