Paris Spots: NENI Paris, 25Hours Hotel

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It seems that my trips to Paris aren’t complete without finding another great place to eat, last time it was Balagan, which FYI if you haven’t tried yet – do, it is fabulous, and this time it was all about the fusion of Persian, Arabic, German and French influences of NENI Paris, located in the hustle and bustle of the Gare du Nord neighbourhood within my new favourite hotel chain, 25Hours Hotel.

NENI Paris is the culinary vision of Haya Molcho, who is influenced by the traditions of her native Israel, mainly the concept of family-style, with small mezze dishes, with the idea of trying a little of everything, which is a pretty good way of getting to try as many of the incredible dishes of this restaurant from the delicious hummus to falafel, various vegetarian options, seafood, and meat dishes.

The best way to enjoy NENI has to be ‘Best of NENI’ set menu, described as a “Balagan style ramble” with starters, main courses and desserts for 45 euros per person, where you get to try lots of the dishes off the menu. Your table will become a colourful exposure of different styles, many of which you probably wouldn’t have picked, but you will be wowed by every course.

We did the tasting menu in the evening, which meant a couple of hours of eating as much food as possible, as each dish that came out from the kitchen was so delicious. I love the idea of trying new things, the fact that the majority of it was vegetarian, and what great value for money it was. Just one tip, make sure you leave room for dessert, as the best really is left until last!!!

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It all starts with the Mezze. Served as though it was an afternoon tea, all stacked on top of one another, at the bottom, a layer of hummus drizzled with a spicy oil served with the fluffiest pita bread I’d ever eaten, in the middle, marinated wild prawns with cucumber, dill, yoghurt garlic cream and harissa oil, and on top, NENI’s signature falafels.

The starters don’t end there, we were also served a vibrant and juicy tomato ricotta salad with marinated berries and crunchy sourdough bread croutons, which has changed the way I think about salads strawberries should be added to everything.

There was also a shot of corn soup with chilli, ginger, crispy corn and harissa, which tasted just as good dipped with the pita bread.

NENI Paris – a fusion of Persian, Arabic, German and French influences

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The starters were incredible but the mains really served up all the influences of the menu, especially the Hamshuka, with more hummus, minced beef and lamb, and more of that delicious pita bread. This was one of my husband’s favourite dishes, closely followed by grilled sea bass, served with wild broccoli, pomegranate, roasted almonds and a citrus vinaigrette, which was cooked to perfection.

The final main was Morrocan-infused sweet and spicy tomato cooked salad with deep-fried polenta, Har Bracha tahini and shredded green beans, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t really share this one it was so good.

Make sure you leave room for dessert when having dinner at NENI Paris

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I’m generally the person who looks at the dessert menu first when deciding on a restaurant and with the ‘Best of Neni’ you get a trio of desserts to try, and these aren’t tasters, they are full-sized desserts so make sure you leave room.

My favourite out of the three had to be the restaurant’s signature NENI’s New York Cheesecake, it was light, fluffy and full of flavour, I devoured every last bit of this incredible dessert, while my husband went for the Tiramisu, which he described as one of the best he’d ever tasted.

The third dessert, kind of the wild card was Knafeh, a Jerusalem speciality, where Kadayif is filled with mozzarella and ricotta, served with chopped pistachios and homemade yoghurt ice cream. It might not be the most instagrammable of desserts but it is different and delicious, worth trying just for the yoghurt-style ice cream.

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What I loved most about NENI Paris, other than the food, the incredible vegetarian options which is sometimes lacking in Paris, had to be the atmosphere, the restaurant has created a relaxing oasis right in the middle of the chaotic Gard du Nord area, which you literally look out onto while eating.

The relaxed feel to the restaurant does mean that you might be waiting a little between courses, or even to order, like we did, the service wasn’t the best which was a shame, but I’ll be honest all will be forgiven as soon as you taste the hummus and pita bread.

NENI Paris, 25Hours Hotel, Terminus Nord, 12 Boulevard de Denain 75010 Paris

Disclaimer: While I did get a free night stay in 25Hours Hotel, see the review here, I did pay for my meal at NENI Paris.

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