Gennadius grabs a quick bite at Yong Kang Street Dumpling and Noodle House.
Yong Kang Street – Dumpling & Noodle House is a place I had meant to get to for a couple of years now. It is located inside Paris, at the entrance to Le Boulevard from the casino, and occupies part of the space that Le Café Ile St. Louis used to occupy. While the café retained the casino facing portion of their setup, the Le Boulevard facing area was remodeled to have decor that looked more like an open air street side restaurant in China. This is appropriate as the restaurant is named after a famous street in Taiwan, which is known for the many restaurants and street food vendors that line it.
I had been told several times by my host, over the course of multiple trips, that it was very good and that we should check it out. Up until this point, the schedules of my trips had not worked out in such a way that I had been able to get there. Luckily, this time, everything timed up perfectly, and my brother and I were able to join my host for a quick meal.
Walking up to the entrance, I can see that the design is very well done. It really makes you feel like you are entering a street side establishment, and this is further enhanced by the fact that it sits right off the entrance to Le Boulevard, which is designed to look like a street. The seating is broken up into two main sections, a patio-like open area, and a second space set off by arches, that has tables set up against a wall. All of the seating is functional and quite tightly spaced, but the all have sight lines out to Le Boulevard, which continues to build the illusion that one is sitting outside of a building, along a street.
After we had been seated, we started looking over the menu, and there was quite a variety of choices. Their food features a large selection of dumplings, many different types of noodle soup dishes featuring a large variety of meats, Taiwanese noodles that can be served hot or cold, several fried rice dishes, as well as some barbecue and roasted meat that can be ordered on their own or served over rice.
Beyond those menu items, there were a couple of dim sum carts that were making the rounds in between the tables, always looking to try to sell their wares. These carts would have many different dishes, and you or your table would simply look at each one as the server lifted the lid to offer it to you, and you would decide whether you wanted it or not. If you did, it was put on your table, and you could start eating right away. We had actually just placed our orders off the menu right as a dim sum cart came by, and we eagerly looked through the options and chose a couple to tide us over until our food came.
At this point, I’m going to apologize. I usually am the type of person that will take a bunch of pictures, even if I’m not writing something up, but in this case, most likely because I was so hungry and the food was so good, I did not take many at all. With that out of the way, the two dim sum dishes we ordered were Shrimp and Pork Shu Mai and Shrimp Har Gow. Both were fresh and of very high quality. The kitchen is open, just beyond the entrance and off the seating areas, and a quick walk by saw them making the dim sum and noodles by hand, so it wasn’t a surprise that the food tasted so good. Our main dishes were all noodle soups, with one being a Japanese tonkatsu ramen with pork, and the other two being the barbecue pork and roast duck noodle. We all got what was essentially a mid-level of spiciness, and there was hot mustard, chili paste, and soy sauce available on the table for us to be able to customize things further as we saw fit.
The main dishes were equally as good as the dim sum, with the meat being extremely tender and with a hint of smoke in the barbecue. The noodles and the vegetables were cooked just right, and the broth both brought everything together, as well as gained some of its flavors from all the other ingredients. It was so good; we could have simply drank the broth if we were really put to the test about it. As it was, there is quite a lot of meat, noodles, and vegetables provided in the soup, such that we were all full after finishing about 2/3 of the bowls. We continued to eat a bit more because it all tasted so good, but could not finish it all.
The service was very attentive and quick, the dim sum carts would come by every so often, and if you wanted more, you could easily get their attention. The time from ordering our food to getting our main dishes out was fairly short but long enough to allow us to enjoy our dim sum selections. The rest of the tables were fairly busy, especially given that we were eating at the fairly odd time of mid-afternoon. I have heard that it has been very busy, so I was curious as to whether or not they were planning on expanding. As we were leaving, I did manage to poke my head behind a construction curtain or two that was adjoining the restaurant heading further into Le Boulevard. While it isn’t an expansion, it appears that their sister restaurant, Sekushi, is almost done and actually may be open by the time I write this article. Owned and operated by the same company that runs Yong Kang Street, this restaurant will be based on Japanese cuisine, with a focus on their raw bar offerings, including sushi and sashimi.
Overall, it was a great experience at Yong Kang Street, and I would highly recommend that people stop by to try both the dim sum as well as the items off the menu. All of us had a great experience there, and I for one will definitely be going back for more as soon as I can. Additionally, if Sekushi holds to the same standards of quality and flavor that Yong Kang Street does, that will be worth checking out as well and will make that “restaurant row” area of Le Boulevard in Paris something much more impressive than what it was only a few years ago.