November 17, 2023

The French triangle day 8: from Ministers to McDo

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I woke up to clearer skies this morning, which put me in a good mood. It's my third and last day in Paris, and I really wanted to see some blue skies before I left France. Once again I stuck around in my hotel room and didn't get myself any breakfast, because I had been sternly warned that the portions at lunch today would be humongous.

And blue sky it was! I didn't have a ton of time before lunch to walk around, but I did stroll to the river bank to catch a glimpse of the Assemblée Nationale as well as the Pont de la Concorde.

Café des Ministères came highly recommended by two friends, one of whom would join me today. The name is appropriate, I suppose, as it's located right smack in the middle of a number of government ministries. Jean and Roxane Sevegnes run the well-regarded restaurant, and I'm lucky to be able to visit on such short notice.

Chou de Pontoise farci - this is not something one finds easily in restaurants these days, and we were pretty excited to see this. In fact, Jean Sevegnes was crowned the French national champion of "chou farci" in 2022.

Of course this could not be a complete dish without some crème fraîche!

This thing was nothing short of FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. Not surprisingly, this was a tad salty for this Asian palate, but that means the seasoning is on the more traditional French side. The giant meatball came with lots of chunks of pork as well as sausages. Really, really happy that I got to take down one quarter of this. Actually, a little more. Maybe around one-third...

Vol au vent ris de veau, homard breton, epinards, jus truffe - BABY, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR! This was what my friends had recommended - and warned me about in terms of size. HOWEVER, they now offer a “petit" version, which was what I took. I did add on the supplemental half lobster to make it a truly luxe version...

Yes, I really did enjoy this... all by myself! I found it interesting that the chicken was seasoned with black pepper and salt, and reminded me of mom's steamed chicken thigh. If I had to make one complaint, it would be that the pastry was a tad small...

Blanquette de veau, riz basmati - I honestly can't remember the last time I had this dish... must have been at someone's home. Really happy to be able to taste this classic again, and the veal was certainly very tender and moist. The story behind how the restaurant came to serve this dish was pretty interesting, as told by Jean to my friend in an interview after our lunch.

Profiterole, glace vanille, sauce au chocolat de Nicolas Berger - I was pretty full by now, but I knew we couldn't leave without ordering this... and watching that hot chocolate sauce in action!

It's been so long since I had a "proper" profiterole, and this was so satisfying!

Pavlova aux figues de chez Baud, glace yaourt chataigne - this came with chestnut ice cream and marmalade. Pretty nice.

I was very happy, and grateful that my friends could make this lunch possible. I decided I needed to walk off a few calories, so I headed in the direction of a shop they had recommended for some last-minute shopping.

Lastre Sans Apostrophe is a traiteur which specializes in pâté en croûte, and this is the season for it! They offered quite a few versions with different stuffings, so I bought a few slices of each to bring home. They would be good gifts for friends who would appreciate this kind of thing.

I made one more stop back at L'Étiquette to see Hervé, and presented him with a slice of pâté en croûte I had just purchased so that he can share it with Elaine. With that, I headed back to my hotel before the early dinner I had planned for myself.

Except... I hadn't done my homework! I didn't realize the restaurants which I had wanted to dine in near the hotel didn't open until 7:30 p.m. That would be too late for me. So my plans to check out Amarante Restaurant or Le Restaurant Passerini fell through. Feeling defeated, I walked around the area looking for some place interesting, but found none. I grabbed my luggage and headed to the airport instead.

After checking-in, I headed to McDonald's at the end of the terminal. After the experience on my flight in, I was no longer curious about the food being served on Air Chance. I'd rather have McDo!

I got myself a meal with WavyFries, which isn't available in Hong Kong.

The burger itself was Big Tasty Grand Format with 2 patties, plus a slice of Emmental. This was pretty satisfying.

And that, boys and girls, was my last meal in France... on a trip where my first meal was at Château Cheval Blanc! It's been a wonderful spending time with old friends and new, and I look forward to being back sooner than later with Foursheets.

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