I have to say, any book which describes Paris’s 13e arrondissement as the Mecca for Chinese products, and sends you to minuscule grocery shops to find “typically” Vietnamese supplies is… not that well informed?
(you can find Chinese products in the 13e arrondissement, but the vast majority of things on the shelves is Vietnamese or Thai, and there are loads of Vietnamese doing their shopping in the big 13e arrondissement supermarkets. If it’s Chinese and not particularly used in Southeast Asian cusine–unlike, say, oyster sauce or hoisin sauce–you’re going to have a heck of a time looking for it in most of the food shops. Case in point, fermented bean paste).
So… probably not a good idea to believe the book when it tackles Lebanese food or Mexican stuff in Paris, then.
Current mood: vastly sarcastic and/or disappointed. Not sure yet.