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Taiwanese restaurant wins over French model with bubble tea

Stylish restaurant's fried chicken and bubble tea become hits with Parisians

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Taiwanese restaurant made high-end fashion model Ivanka Smilenko's top three. (Facebook, Le 37 m2. Opera photo)

Taiwanese restaurant made high-end fashion model Ivanka Smilenko's top three. (Facebook, Le 37 m2. Opera photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — French fashion model Ivanka Smilenko has selected Taiwanese restaurant Le 37m2 as one of her favorite eateries.

The Chanel and Vivienne Westwood model, who recently graced the August edition of Elle, told Le Fooding, a French website for gourmets, that her top three restaurants in the world are Racines and Le 37m2 in Paris and Katz's Delicatessen in New York.

Le 37m2 was founded by a Taiwanese man named Chen Jie-yuan (陳介元) in 2010. He first set foot in Paris to study art, but his and his fellow students' homesickness motivated him to open the restaurant, according to the Liberty Times.

"French cuisine is prestigiously delicious, and you can try a lot of food from other countries in France, but the French tend to maintain a wait-and-see attitude when seeing something new," said Chen. Therefore, he chose bubble tea as an icebreaker and added ingredients that locals would be familiar with.

Aimed at promoting Taiwanese cuisine to Parisians, the restaurant's signature items include pearl milk tea, fried chicken, and sweet-and-sour fried chicken, according to a press release.

Since the first restaurant launched 10 years ago, more have opened near the Palais Garnier and the Galeries Lafayette. Tripadvisor users have rated Le 37m2 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Taiwanese restaurant wins over French model with bubble tea
(Le Fooding website screenshot)

Taiwanese restaurant wins over French model with bubble tea
Le 37m2's most popular bentos (Facebook, Le 37 m2. Opera photo)