Les Saveurs d'Asie

31, Place Maubert

Métro: Maubert Mutualité

We always find it a challenge to find a relatively light lunch in Paris. This Vietnamese restaurant is our answer.  We eat lunch here at least once and sometimes a couple of times each week.

There are actually two restaurants here side by side.  As you face the restaurants the Saveurs d'Asie is to the left at 31 Place Maubert and Kim Lien is to the right at 33 Place Maubert.  Both restaurants are owned by the same family, both share the same kitchen and both have practically the same menu except that the one on the left has round tables and the one on the right has square tables, and the prices at the one on the right are slightly higher.  We have eaten at both but generally chose the one on the left with the round tables because the food and service is indistinguishable and it is less expensive.  

There is a morning outdoor market in the Place Maubert on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (Saturday is the best day because there are many more vendors on that day; Tuesday seems to be the worst).  Spend a little time at the market and then cross the street for lunch.

Both restaurants have outdoor tables where it is delightful to eat on all but the coldest days.  Plan to arrive between 12:15 and 12:30.  Anytime before that and the restaurant will be empty; at 12:30 the outdoor tables begin to fill up and you may have to wait. 

Usually the outside square tables for the restaurant to the right have reserved signs on them.  This doesn't seem to mean very much; if you want to sit there rather than at the round tables to the left, just tell someone and they will usually remove the reserved sign and tell you to sit down.

Irrespective of which side you choose, try the "bo bun avec nem" for lunch.  This is by far the favorite of most people that eat here and what we always order.   It is a large bowl of rice noodles and small pieces of beef, with various herbs; the "nem" are fried egg rolls that are cut up and added to the bowl.  If you want more than this, everything else is also good.

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