There's something of the trendy pop-up about this gem of a restaurant. It has the industrial interior (all tungsten lightbulbs, stripped wood, iron and concrete) and there is no formal signage - just "Soya" and directions to the front door, handwritten on the window from the inside. It could all have been unbearably 'hipster' but somehow it wasn't.
I was warmly greeted by a waiter who showed me two areas to sit - the room you enter by, next to the bar and kitchen, and another which is reached by crossing a dark passageway. I chose the latter room, which, though still quiet, had a comfortable atmosphere, with tealights on the table and a stove in the corner. I wasn't the only lone diner and the place soon filled up and started to buzz. The clientele seemed to be mostly Parisians rather than tourists, which I think is a good sign.
I skipped the starter and went straight to the main course, choosing the Grand Mezze. The menu is all vegetarian and mostly vegan; the non-vegan dishes were clearly marked. Older reviews state that there is no English translation given but this is no longer the case. The waitress was obviously well acquainted with gluten intolerance, food waste issues etc because she checked I actually wanted bread before bringing it. The platter was simply delicious; fresh, high quality ingredients beautifully and simply prepared. There were several different vegetable dishes, plus humous with roasted nuts, two other dips and some thinly sliced tofu. The wholemeal bread was excellent. I had a glass of Pinot Noir, which was light but went well with the meal. For dessert, I had a selection of three sorbets, which were really tasty.
The Grand Mezze was €19.50, the sorbet €7.80 and the glass of wine was €5.40; total €32.70. So, it was relatively pricey but I didn't really mind because it's the best food I've had so far in Paris.
The service was a little uneven; I think I got forgotten about once or twice. However, the staff were nice. They kept responding to my French in English, which was well-meant but a bit annoying when I was trying to practise! I suspect those visitors who have found the staff don't speak English have not made the gesture of attempting a few words of French.
Cons: Relatively pricey