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La Muraille du Phénix, 75005

La Muraille du Phénix, 75005

6 euros for a three course meal in central Paris?? Impossible, I would have told you. Not so.

Situated on boulevard Saint Jacques, a good walk away from the nearest métro, Cluny-La-Sorbonne, but not far away from Luxembourg RER, this little restaurant is very easy to walk past if you didn't know it was there. (In fact I did actually walk a couple of paces past it, until my friend called me back.)

Run by a husband and wife team, this place has been going for years and has an established clientèle based solely on word of mouth recommendations.

We arrived at shortly at 8pm on a Saturday evening, no reservation, The restaurant was already packed - but we only had to wait five minutes for a table to become available.

Spring rolls, then sweet and sour pork, including rice, and lychees for dessert - yum! I would have happily paid at least 12 euros for that meal.

The next best thing about this restaurant is that this isn't just a cheapy, greasy Chinese as you might be thinking it is. Their 6 euro menu is the cheapest but they also have three other formula-menus each with a slight increase in price and complexity as well as a vast range 'a la carte' including Thai and Vietnamese specialities.

Another plus that shouldn't be overlooked is the very friendly service - quite something in Paris! I'm sure the only way they're able to stay in business given the cheap prices are the number of people they get through the door and the quick turnover of tables. However, the staff were always smiling, obliging and we didn't feel at all rushed and as we were leaving, the husband of the husband-and-wife-team had time to say a few friendly words.

You go because of its cheap goodness. I certainly wouldn't recommend this place if you want an intimate, cosy table for two, but as long as you don't mind being occasionally subjected to your neighbour's conversation and even more occasionally said neighbour's gesticulations when their conversation gets heated, it's a great find.

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