On my last trip to the French capital, I had the chance to visit the acclaimed The Peninsula Paris, which opened only two years ago. It is the first Peninsula Hotel to open in Europe, bringing to the region one of the highest service standards in the hotel industry.
ABOUT THE PENINSULA PARIS
The hotel is one of the city’s best locations, just 400 metres from the Arch of Triumph, on Avenue Kléber, close to many cultural attractions. The Peninsula Paris has 200 well-appointed rooms and 34 suites, as well as a 1,800sq metre Spa and Wellness Centre with gym and a swimming pool – something extremely rare in Paris.
To top that up, the hotel has several bars and restaurants, including L’Oiseau Blanc, with 360-degree views over Paris, and Lili, a gourmet Chinese restaurant where I had one of this year’s best meals.
DINING AT LILI
Lili is probably the best gourmet Chinese restaurant in Paris and is named after a famous Chinese opera singer from the 1920’s. The restaurant décor combines aspects of Chinese and French operas. It is very luxurious and the dim lighting helps create a very cosy ambience.
I was given a round table overlooking the main area of the restaurant, with high wooden rests and comfy cushions. I would definitely recommend that table for a romantic occasion. My seat also allowed me to take in the whole atmosphere and to have a semi-panoramic view of the whole restaurant.
I was greeted by Sophie, who looked after my friend and me that evening, and suggested a few dishes. While we checked the menu, sommelier Damien offered us some rosé champagne and suggested some wines, based on our food preferences.
The menu, by chef Tang Chi Keung, offers the best of Cantonese cuisine prepared with the best quality French ingredients.
As a starter, we ordered chilled scallops with coriander and chili and minced chicken and jellyfish with melon in sesame sauce.
Our main courses were Bi Feng Tang style prawns and duo of sliced barbecued Iberico pork glazed with malt sugar & roasted duck Cantonese-style with stir-fried glutinous rice with diced Chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms.
We couldn’t be more satisfied with our choices and selecting one single dessert was a giant task. So much so, that I ended up ordering two different ones just for myself: first I had a chilled mango cream with pomelo and sago – I loved the combination of different textures and tastes.
Next, I had the black sesame and peanut glutinous rice balls.
I had very high expectations for my dinner at The Peninsula Paris and my experience at Lili definitely exceeded them. What can be better than great creative cuisine combined with a sophisticated and discreet environment, topped up by excellent service?
Lili also offers a special table, the so called “Chef’s Table”. It’s a special seating from where you can watch your food being prepared and all the buzz of a busy hotel kitchen.
Address: The Peninsula Paris, 19 Avenue Kléber, Paris 75116
Note: I was a guest at The Peninsula Paris, but all opinions – and long sentences – are my own.