Lili: Cantonese Delights in The Peninsula Hotel, Paris

Lili is an authentic Cantonese Restaurant and is considered one of the best Chinese restaurants in Paris. It is the ideal place to indulge yourself with a fantastic dining experience, convenient to many of the most popular attractions in this historic city. 

Location: The Peninsula Paris, 19 Avenue Kléber Paris, France (6th arrondissement). Less than a ten-minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe and the fabulous Champ Elysees, and about 20 minutes from the Eiffel Tower and the storied Seine River, Lili, and the ornate Peninsula Hotel are in the middle of all the action.

Menu: Starters include tender dim sum filled with shrimp, langoustine, shrimp, pork and vegetables. Traditional dishes like Peking Duck, Kung Pao Chicken, and Barbecued Kintoa pork loin glazed with honey are expertly prepared.

Seafood specialties, delicate noodles, and a variety of barbequed meats are all impeccable. Vegetable selections, like the Shanghai Cabbage, Lotus Leaf, and Chinese Pickles are served with homemade chili sauce, Oyster sauce, and other flavorful condiments.

Thoughts: The whole wonderful experience started when my wife and I first entered the front door of The Peninsula Hotel. We had walked the short ten minutes from the Arc de Triomphe and were really hungry after a morning of sight-seeing in Paris. We asked for directions to Lili when we got to the front desk in the beautiful lobby, filled with white marble, glistening chandeliers, and spotless glass.

Entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the lovely hostess dressed in traditional Chinese garb. Even the hostess stand had an elegance about it, with Chinese dresses of reds, blues, and gold emblazoned with dragons and butterflies. The dining room is decorated to create a setting as “the restaurant plays a culinary performance in an impressive opera setting.”

Decorative curtains and drapes, ivory wall hangings, oriental artwork, and gorgeous chandeliers all contribute to an elegant ambiance, setting the stage for the impeccable food, drink, and service. The hostess, the waitstaff, and the outstanding sommelier were all friendly, personable, knowledgeable, and patient.

My wife and I started with a refreshing Meursault and some caramelized pecans. I could have made a meal out of these, they were so good. Dim Sum came next, with three different types. My favorite was the carrot dumpling stuffed with langoustines and topped with roe. Delicious! For the main course, we had the fantastic Cashew Chicken with fresh asparagus, black mushrooms, peppers, along with delicious fried rice with tender shrimp and vegetables.

Chef Dicky To brings his artistic and culinary magic to Lili after building a stellar reputation in Asia, including award-winning stints at the Peninsula Hotels in Shanghai and Tokyo. Chef To now oversees the sophisticated preparation and service of what many consider to be the top Chinese restaurant in Paris. 

I highly recommend Lili for that special lunch or dinner when visiting the city of lights. It’s more than just a meal. While the staff was very attentive, we felt unrushed and comfortable during our hour and a half here. We took our time eating, asking questions of the waitress and sommelier. We were even introduced to a 2016 Rangen Grand Cru Riesling that was not sweet, but was light and refreshing and a wonderful complement to our meal.

Eating at Lili is a 5-Star experience that will be one of the highlights of your trip to Paris, one you will be sure to remember. 

Prices: Expect to pay 60-100 Euro or more for one of the best Cantonese restaurants in Paris in an elegant setting with impeccable service.  

Disclosure: The author was hosted by Lili for a complimentary meal.

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