Just a few summers ago, the few Chinese restaurants in Annecy served less than authentic food, including omelettes and stir-fries using tasteless, pre-cut, frozen vegetables. Some were called ‘Asiastique’ restaurants, serving everything from Thai to Japanese — the authenticity watered down with ever country added. In the past few years, things have improved! Not only are there better Chinese options in Annecy, but sushi and Thai food options have improved too. Here are my top three:
1. Sushi Shop (13 Rue de la Poste, Annecy)
This place opened in late 2011 with the involvement of one of the judges of the French version of TV show Top Chef. It’s a chain sushi restaurant, and I love it because there is so much choice for vegetarians. You’d normally expect a fish restaurant to have the least options, but here in Haute Savoie, it’s the opposite. No diot sausages or lardons in sight. Service is professional and helpful.
2. Le Petit Shanghai (Grand Epagny shopping village, about five shops after Espace Montagne, outskirts of Annecy)
In the middle of a huge outdoor shopping village, Le Petit Shanghai opened just a few months ago in early 2012. The Cantonese dishes are authentic, varied, tasty and cheap, allowing a group to share an abundance of dishes without over-spending. Service is friendly and fast.
3. Lan-Som-Tam (33 Avenue des Romains, Annecy)
I wrote about this place when I discovered it in January this year. Decent Thai food in a cute little restaurant a ten-minute walk from the Courier shopping centre in a residential area. The plates are a little small, but the taste is fantastic. Service is friendly and welcoming.
Sushi in particular has exploded in Annecy. A friend tells me that O Sushi near the Palais de Justice has been running for years and is very tasty, while another friend raves about a new place called Sushi Express in the old town. There’s also Bingo Sushi in the Carrefour Centre but I rarely seem to be there when it’s open or when I’ve got time to stop. It looks like I have some more ‘research’ to do. If anyone wants to add to this list, please add yours in a comment below.
UPDATE JULY 2014: Sadly, Le Petit Shanghai has suffered the same fate as the great Lebanese restaurant in the big Carrefour centre. Both have been replaced with thriving creperies. The Tuk-Tuk Thai restaurant does offer decent Thai food, and a Chinese restaurant next to the Asian supermarket just off the roundabout near the train station also offers decent Chinese food.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2014: Wok in Rue St Claire (just after Place St Claire as you head away from town) does amazing Pad Thai. Friendly staff, fast service, and cooked right in front of you. Extremely popular already and easy to see why! Meanwhile, Sushi Shop have done massive cost cutting, so it’s now more self-service and no table service, plus plastic takeaway dishes even if you eat in. The menu seems to have Frenched up further (less traditional Japanese ingredients and more French flavours).