I was wandering around the 9ème, heading down Rue de Richelieu towards the Louvre for one last afternoon of getting hopelessly lost in the museum. Guess what catches my eye?
An Asian woman walking toward me with a drink in a clear plastic cup.
Not just any drink. A pearl tapioca drink! Complete with giant straw.
By the time I got over the shock, she had already passed me and I didn't feel like chasing her down to ask here where she got it. I figured the shop wouldn't be very far, as I wasn't near a Metro station and the drink was still full.
So I peeked down side streets and alleys, going by sheer instinct. My tapioca sense was tingling. A mere two blocks later, I spotted Zen Zoo (which means tapioca or pearls in Mandarin) on the corner.
This is the first time I've seen tapioca drinks offered here in Paris. I haven't even seen it on multiple trips to Chinatown- and it's been open since 2003. Who knew?
I leisurely perused the menu and was pleasantly surprised to see that they offered Taiwanese snacks and lunch as well. A peek into the shop showed it to be a hip little café, complete with TV panels that showcase Taiwanese-themed videos during afternoon tea.
They have an extremely useful website in English, French, Chinese, and Japanese, complete with menu and prices. A glance at my map showed that I was only a block away from Rue Sainte-Anne. I can't believe I used to live this close to the place without even knowing it.
They also have Wi-Fi and air conditioning- a combination both rare and much appreciated in Paris. (Don't know if the Wi-Fi is free though.)
Unfortunately, lunch was still sitting solidly in my stomach, and I didn't sample anything. I'll try to go back before I leave Paris to at least give you my impression of their drinks. I like tapioca drinks but rarely crave it, but for those Asians (and other tapioca fiends) who need to get their fix even when in Paris, this might be a nice solution!
13, rue Chabanais
Tel. 01 42 96 27 28
Open 11-10PM everyday except Sundays
Metro: Pyramides or Quatre Septembre