Dec 12th, 2018, 02:00 PM

A Hidden Gem in Paris: Paradise Kitchen

By Salma El Sabban
Namitcheishvili Mamuka (left) & Maisuradze Shota (right). Image credit: Sali Cheishvili
The Georgian Restaurant you never knew you needed.

Located in one of Paris’s most quintessential neighborhoods, the 7th arrondissement. Paradise Kitchen is more than just your next door restaurant, it is a home away from home, especially if you are from Georgia. Sitting with one of the two managers, Maisuradze Shota expressed “this is a place where everyone is our guest, just like they would be in our home. We are focused on Georgian traditions of hospitality.” Run by Shota and Namitcheishvili Mamuka, Paradise Kitchen is a quality oriented, comfortable and affordable restaurant welcoming everyone, from locals to tourists.

Getting their start unexpectedly, Shota explains that it is thanks to Association Pierre Claver that they are where they are. Association Pierre Claver “assists displaced persons, who have been forced to leave their home country and seek refuge in France with special emphasis on asylum seekers, they offer refugees the knowledge and experience needed to start a life in France.” After completing their French education, Shota and Mamuka were contacted regarding a collaborative business opportunity with the association, and soon thereafter, Paradise Kitchen was born.

Activities organized by Association Pierre Claver. Image credit: Salma El Sabban 

Upon entering the restaurant you’re immediately transported to your grandma’s house, as the smell of deliciously home cooked food triggers years of sentimental attachment, forgotten until entering Paradise Kitchen and being engulfed by the pleasantly nostalgic aromas. The feeling of being in a familiar, homey environment is further accentuated by the decor. A collection of well-worn, dog-eared books line the dining area, making one feel as though they were in their own childhood living room. This impression is aided by the life of the place. The foyer and dining room are lined with plants and vines that creep up the restaurant’s walls beside the joie de vivre of a foosball championship. Inside, the pictures of the various activities hosted by the Association Pierre Claver give one the impression of accessibility, belonging, and above all: community.

Interior of Paradise Kitchen. Image credit: Salma El Sabban 

Favoring a simpler, more memorable name for their restaurant, the word paradise “is positive and heavenly, not so different to Georgia or it’s cuisine” Shota remarks. Paradise Kitchen, like the country of Georgia, holds its cultural traditions in high esteem, this is evident in their choice of ingredients and the way they prepare their food. The basis of Paradise Kitchen’s culinary ethos is the Georgian traditional feast called “Supra”. This is a traditional feast filled with “local dishes and endless pours of homemade wine, accompanied by nostalgic and heartfelt toasts.”

Wanting to relate to their French customer base, however, Paradise Kitchen follows a ‘Menu du Jour’ concept, where the set menu is ever-changing, each day serving a different spread. Offering Khachapuri for 1€ a slice, it is their most sought-after dish, it is a “combination of fluffy homemade bread, with multiple kinds of cheeses in the center.” For the low price of 10€, the set menu is composed of an entree, main course and dessert, beer and wine can be purchased for 1€ a bottle/glass. Paradise Kitchen not only accommodates for those on a low budget but also for vegans every Wednesday and Friday.

Menu du Jour. Image credit: Salma El Sabban

Situated on 28 bis Rue de Bourgogne, the restaurant is non-descript, bordering on clandestine. Paradise Kitchen is deliberately only active on Instagram and identifies itself only through two small signs on the building’s exterior. According to Shota, “we wanted to offer people something authentic, something we are passionate about. The best way to advertise is through word of mouth. If our guests enjoy their experience and the friendly environment we offer, they will come back and bring their friends.”

Khinkali, traditional Georgian dumplings. Image credit Sali Cheishvili

Fixated on enhancing Paradise Kitchen's mellow atmosphere, Shota doesn't foresee an expansion on the business. Stating that the future is as unpredictable as it was at the restaurant's creation, Shota understands the risk involved in taking such step, "expanding is a different responsibility, we'll see how things go." 

Address: 28 bis rue de Bourgogne 75007
Contact: 0769214946
Hours: Monday to Friday 12:30-14:30 and 20:30-23:00