Les gourmandises internationaux

Last year we went to a couple of restaurants with Gergö’s colleagues. Everybody got to chose either a restaurant of their home cuisine or, lacking an Austrian option, we went to a German restaurant once. That’s why we have tried a Hungarian restaurant in Paris and a Ukranian one. In the same street of the Ukranian restaurant, I noticed an Uyghur restaurant. I’d never been, so we visited that too.

In German Hungary, Ukraine and Uyghur all begin with a U, so jokingly Gergö and I said we’d try all restaurants from countries starting with U. So, last week we tried an Uzbek restaurant. I had what the french call ravioli, the Austrians would call Kasnudeln and the Uzbek call manti. Steamed dough filled with meat or spinach, very spicy and really good.

I mostly included this rather fuzzy picture because of the plates.

I mostly included this rather fuzzy picture because of the plates.

I really liked the food, but I adore the names: Gergö had atchik-tchutchuk, a salad. For dessert there was something referred to as Uzbek nougat. It’s called tchak-tchak and consists of honey and nuts. It was served with spicy tea in pretty bowls.

tchak tchak

Next up we have to see if we can find a Urugayan and a Ugandan restaurant in Paris.

This week we stayed in Palaiseau, though, and tried the second best rated restaurant of Palaiseau, according to tripadvisor. They have a very small menu including frog legs. Frog legs are a huge cliché Austrians have of French people, at least that’s what I remember from my childhood. It’s up there with berets and baguettes. And I was curious about the frog legs, but I’d only ever seen them in Asian restaurants in France.

This time I dared order them. They were served with risotto and steamed vegetables. I was surprised that they were so big. (And I caught myself being a little suprised that they’re not green, silly me).

frog legs

They tasted okay – very soft, white meat. The bones are tiny. While I was eating I wondered what happens to the rest of the frog. Now that I read the Wikipedia entry on frogs as food, I know that the rest is thrown away (in Franche, at least). It certainly was an interesting experience, but ethically and environmentally doubtful, since they are imported from Asia and so much of them is wasted.

One thing I miss here in Palaiseau is ice cream – there is no ice cream parlour in Palaiseau. There are a few places selling ice cream in Paris, but by far not as many and not as fancy ones as in Vienna. There is the place making ice cream with liquid nitrogen close to Centre Pompidou. And there’s one that makes the ice cream cones look like flowers on Rue Mouffetard. Last time we were at the Hungarian restaurant, we discovered a fancy ice cream place that has original ice cream names and flavours, which in French are called parfums. I tried green velvet, which is coffee and cardamom and a flavour whose name I forgot which consisted of vodka, lemon, and basil. Gergö wanted to try “Highway to ale” but it’s no longer available. I really miss our ice cream maker.


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