Royal Touch: Inside Reyna, Erica Paredes' Parisian Restaurant With Filipino Roots And a Nomad's Soul - Food & Travel

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Nothing compared to Erica Paredes’ excitement when her Parisian restaurant Reyna’s sign lit up on its opening night.

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The chaos of that first night, which coincided with her birthday weekend, was unmatched.

Paredes’ crew had to make do with inductions and no gas, a single day to learn the ordering system, and their service fridges not arriving on time.

She was unperturbed, and showed that she could take the heat. Having accomplished countless trials and recipe tests, she was prepared for anything.

Erica Paredes

Staying power

“I’ve been a cook for the past six years. It was just the next step. I wanted my own permanent space after years of doing pop-ups and residencies,” Paredes tells Lifestyle Asia.

She has found a niche market with her menu that at any given time has 10 to 12 shared dishes and a couple of desserts.

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A post shared by Erica Paredes (@ericaparedes)

Her bestsellers like the entrecote with Maranao rendang sauce, vegan Kare-Kare, fried chicken, and Hainan burrata will likely stay on the menu. Meanwhile, other items will be replaced every few weeks or depending on what produce is available.

Presently, no one in the game is doing it like Reyna, with has the mantra “Filipino roots, nomad soul.”

Adobo fried chicken

“I already have a clientele that I am happy and excited to welcome in my own permanent space and I expect more local foodies and expats to discover the place. That’s been my usual market so I guess it will continue,” Paredes adds.

Settling down

Reyna is located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. The exterior is unmistakably simple: a pink lightbox with its logo and concrete facade.

Inside, the 75-square-meter space has a high table with high chairs and a banquette made of dark wood and pink tweed fabric.

“I like that the front of the resto is concrete and gold and the back is actually pink like my bedroom growing up,” Paredes details.

Additionally, it has LED lights running through an arched ceiling and spotlights as well.

Overall, Paredes describes the atmosphere as “cozy, convivial, warm, and fun.”

A little detail of Reyna


The eponymous “Reyna” (queen in Filipino), however, had to deal with a much more humble and unassuming space before the restaurant got to where it is today.

“It was already a bistro before but very outdated and run down, so I had them change almost everything about it,” Paredes recalls.

A week before opening, an old man even insulted the place while the team was finishing arrangements in the kitchen.

Paredes and her colleagues persisted, shrugging off the attack along with any number of setbacks they’ve already faced.

“I really like contrasts so it’s a mix of old and new. I really like brutalist, but pink is also my favorite color. So we did a concrete-pink color palette with touches of gold. We also repurposed the tables that were already there and sanded and varnished them ourselves. Our chairs are also vintage but we also have some things that are made to measure,” Paredes explains.

Ready to serve

Adapt or die is the mindset they’ve applied, and that’s how Reyna has gotten to where it is today.

Paredes says that as they search for their rhythm between kitchen and front-of-house, she is ultimately proud of their team for pulling off a great opening weekend despite the challenges.

“My team and I are learning to work together and that’s the most important thing. Temporary setbacks will not bring us down,” Paredes asserts.

She invites new clientele to personally visit them and try their menu of Filipino-inspired cuisine.

Hainan burrata

“Hope to feed you soon!”

Photos via Erica Paredes

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