In preparation for a business trip to Paris, I googled like crazy trying to find lists of the best places to eat dumplings but I kept coming up short. There is a Chinatown in Paris but it is pretty far from where I was staying and far from any of the sites I wanted to see. But once in Paris I discovered that in French dumplings of all types are referred to as ravioli, often with a country appellation suffix such as Ravioli Japanais, and they are pretty easy to find.
Ravioli de JUIN is a small family run Chinese dumpling house that has a counter that seats maybe 10 people and three or four small tables for another dozen diners. The dumplings are cooked in an open kitchen behind the counter. Ravioli de JUIN also sells a spicy Sichuan noodle soup and a tofu salad and a cabbage salad.
The Dumplings: Ravioli de JUIN sells Raviolis Au Porc, Raviolis Au Boeuf, Raviolis À l’Agneau et oignon (lamb and onion) , Raviolis Au Poulet (chicken) and Raviolis Végétariens. The dumplings are all cooked first in a tiny amount of oil until the bottom of the dumplings are just fractionally crispy and then water is added to the pan and they are covered and steamed. Each order includes 10 fairly large dumplings.
I tried the Raviolis Vegetariens which are listed as being filled with Chouux (cabbage), ciboulette (chives) and Vermicelle noodles. There was also, what I think was, tofu skin mixed into the filling. The dumplings alone were quite good, with a nutritious cruciferous flavor to them, but were excellent when paired with the dipping sauce. The chopped cabbage filling provided plenty of surface area for the dipping sauce to cling to, making these dumplings an excellent sauce delivery vehicle. While the chef clearly has a vision for how much frying is appropriate for his dumplings, I would have preferred them a little more crispy fried on the bottom. My French is very poor, so my efforts to find out whether the veggie dumplings were vegan were not successful.
The Dipping Sauce: Each spot at the counter has a white ceramic tub of chili paste, and matching white bottles of vinegar and soy sauce from which you concoct you own personalized dipping sauce. I found that a sauce that was a little heavier on the vinegar went really well with the vegetable dumplings.
The Location: Ravioli de JUIN is in the Bastille neighborhood of Paris at 78 rue do Charonne. If you are staying in the Bastille neighborhood and get tired of baguette, cheese, ham, crepes, cafes and bistros, Ravioli de JUIN is a good neighborhood spot for dumplings.