I don’t even remember when the tradition of going to dim sum on Christmas with my pals started, but it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without them or it.
So to honor our pals in Seattle, going to Dim Sum without us, we decided that there’d be nothing better than hanging with what Jews and Chinese we could find in Paris. Thank goodness for the Internet because finding the small tiny Chinatown in Aggrondisment 13 would have been difficult otherwise. It’s not like it was in any of the guidebooks we brought along.
I guess it should come as no surprise that one of the first links you’ll see if you search for Dim Sum is the ex-pat David Lebovitz’s blog. After cooking several dishes out of his newest cookbook, I’ve grown to trust him and so followed his lead to Tricontin (though several foods he made sound ubiquitous in Paris that I was ready to eat, we never saw!).
It should come as no surprise that Dim Sum is a bit confusing in Paris. Find your favorites by looking for the Cuisine à la vapeur, but know that some of the dishes you might know like, for example, “humbao,” did nothing but draw a blank look from our waitress. Also, for Christmas Day, the Tribe was notably just not there. It was busy, but you’d never assume it was one of the Jewish National Holidays like it is back home.
I’d point you to David’s blog for more specifics on Tricotin. While the Chinatown around the 13th isn’t much to look at, we wandered into a grocery store next door. “Well, we can live in Paris.”, I told Victor while eyeing the Thai curries and vegetables. It’s true, I am a bit of a food snob and am used to variety, which was one of the reasons I found Buenos Aries such a tedious place after a month— it just lacks the variety of food I’m used to being able to source.
Nothing like a nice long walk after stuffing yourself on Christmas Dim Sum, so we caught a streetcar that just happened to be rolling by, which, as it turned out, followed the first ring around Paris all the way to the river. From there, we had a riverside stroll to the Eiffel Tower. Having been once, on my only day in Paris, it was something I was totally going to skip, but it was fun to see the huge holiday crowds there. We watched a couple get married on the quay with no witnesses beyond the photographer, so we clapped and wished them well.
Christmas in Paris: definitely not what I was expecting, but a lovely day nonetheless filled with good thoughts of our pals back in Seattle.