Monster Munching California Asian, need I say more...the epitome of good eating! Here's another one to put on your list of must consult everyday...it just all looks so delicious and yes, indeed, someway, someday I'm going to go and have lunch in Sunny SoCal.
Chow Times This is so, so good! and it's Asian too. So in keeping with tradition that means good photos, lots of info and most especially good food! I can't believe I've only just discovered this fab blog.
Chubbypanda - The Epicurious Wanderer Interesting, informative and thought provoking. Excellent photos (and lots of them too), restaurant reviews and some excellent recipes as well. This is a fairly new blog just started in August and has a decidely Asian (my favorite) flavor.
mmm-yoso!!! Asian food blogs are the best and Kirk's blog is just outstanding. Based in San Diego this blog has lots of delicious photos and is an entertaining read as well; one of my favorites. Can't wait to get to San Diego. Bravo!
And here to start things off, because I just can't wait until Sunday, is a link to the very interesting Chinatown Paris site and some really nice things that I bought today at Tang Freres (Tang Brothers - link in English) in Belleville on my way home from work. And please if you have the time check this out as well it's the Yellow River Concerto!
A really nice lunch of roast duck, mixed vegetables and noodles for only 5.50 euros.
One half of a roast duck with soy sauce for 7.50 euros. Very tasty.
Here is the styrofoam container it came in with the duck motif.
And I''ve been trying to increase my fruit and veg intake (5 per day for good health and a long life) so here is the very delicious, wonderfully juicy orange I had for dessert.
Tomorrow I will be going to the first of the Chinese New Years parades starting at the Hotel de Ville in central Paris at 2 pm. Let's all pray for nice weather.
First we went to the movies at MK2 where we saw Into the Wild - I'm still deciding whether I liked it or not. It was kind of depressing - tragic waste of a life, etc....and the pop pyschologyphilosophy bits (the sister voice overs) were rather annoyingly trite but there were some good moments too.
And of course, you can't go the movies without -
Popcorn and candy (really expensive - the popcorn, kitkat balls, iced tea, and one soda came to over 11 euros...and the movie was expensive too 9,90 euros for one adult ticket, my daughter's tickets were 7,70 because they are students).
MK2 is located on the Bassin de la Villette in the 19th (link to wiki in French - some good photos) and the closest metro is Stalingrad. There is a movie theater on either side of the canal and a little boat goes between the two. It's fun.
After the movie we decided to have a late lunch at the Malaysian in La Chapelle (the South Indian neighborhood in the 10th arrondissement of Paris). I saw this place last weekend and we decided to give it a try.
We started off with samosas and rolls. (check out the link for a complete history of the samosa!)
And I had the Mee Goreng Udang which was also 7 euros. Very tasty.
We also ordered an onion parotha because we'd never had one before and we were curious. It was very good.
And here is the desert the offered us at the end of the meal - a coconut jelly. It was refreshing after all the spicy food we'd eaten.
Malaysian is located 15, rue de Cail - 75010 Paris. The closest metro is La Chapelle. The service is friendly, the food is good, and it's inexpensive. Our meal came to 22.50 for everything above plus an iced tea and a regular tea.
I've had a tip that I should check out Krishna Bhavan (also rue de Cail) a South Indian vegetarian restaurant. I walked by today and it looks interesting so perhaps next weekend I'll give it a try. Until then...
I'm still trying to figure this out. I really want to keep this three column layout but I am so not sure about the butterfly and I'd really like a warmer red....(if you typepad people are listening could you please offer a larger choice of templates).
Anyway, today we went for Sunday lunch in La Chapelle (metro station La Chapelle). There is a large Tamil population leaving in this area and I've posted about it before but since I've decided to go to India this summer I'm going to go frequently to get accustomed.
We had lunch here at Café Bharath (67, rue Louis Blanc - no site). It's a really nice place, lots of Indians eating there, service is good and the music was nice too.
MIxed pakora. Unfortunately all the seats by the window were taken so these photos are not the best (the flash was too bright).
Shrimp Vindaloo with rice. I've been doing my research and apparently Vindaloo is a Goan dish but I wanted to try it and it was really spicy (the waiter did warn me beforehand which was kind of him).
My daughter had the Chilly Chicken which was served with a cheese nan. Most of the Indian people eating there seemed to have ordered the Biryani, which looked excellent, so perhaps next time we will try that.
Wandering around the neighborhood after lunch I noticed this cool flower shop where they sell flower garlands. And I also noticed a lot of new excellent looking restaurants that I cannot wait to try out. I'm going to try and get back there next weekend.
On a positive note, one of the benefits of my new workplace is that I can leave for lunch early on Wednesdays and go to the outdoor market which is right across the street from the new offices.
This is our street food here in Paris. And here is a LINK in English for the addresses and days of all the markets in Paris. My market is the President Wilson one.
A nice bag full of clementines...the weather was weird today, I managed to take this picture in the sun but it just kept coming in and out so some of the market pictures are rather dark as I suppose befits Paris in January...
Here is where I buy my fruit every week, delicious mangos, papayas, and clementines.
And I can't resist another photos of the clementines, they are so good!
You can buy plants and flowers in the market.
As well as fish and seafood,
and even sanwiches, there is a little sandwich stand in our market and that is where I bought my lunch today.
Anyway, I'll try to get back to the market. It's interesting because it changes with the seasons. Today I was a little shy about taking photos. It's weird because when I'm visiting foreign countries or off into the countryside for a weekend I'm a tourist and I don't care but somehow just leaving the office to take photos of the market across the street intimidates me...I will work on this.
And, I also want to work on getting my links up to date. Several people have linked to me and I've not linked back. Not because I don't want to it's just that I'm trying to get a useful link organization system set up and it's really difficult.
What I would like to do is set it up by country in one long list, for example:
Australia (this would be the title in bold or whatever but would not be a lien)
and here would logically follow a clickable list to the various sites I like in that country.. such a
First of all, Happy New Year and Bonne Année 2008, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Today I went to Belleville to have some soup,
This is a Soupe Phnom Penh and costs 5.80 euros. It was pretty good but I think I still prefer pho (which they also serve) - soup is much more fun when served with a bunch of greeenery and sprouts to mix in.
I got the soup here at Da Lat. I've been eating here for years. And then, after my soup I was wandering around and discovered:
Tang Gourmet in Belleville! Hurray, I will no longer have to go all the way to the 13th arrondissement. Now Tang Gourmet is only two metro stops away. There is a lot of take out stuff and they also have tables inside where you can have a very inexpensive lunch. Sandwich (banh mi) fries and a beverage for 4.20 euros. That is cheap for Paris and there are a bunch of other different combos that won't cost you more than 6 euros.
Here are some of the interesting things I bought:
Mini nems - 10 for a euro. I've never seen mini nems before and these we really cute and delicious.
Check out the size - this 10 cent euro coin is 19.75 millemetres in diameter.
I also got this white radish paté. I'd never tried or even seen this before. This slice cost 0.60 euros.
Here is the inside, and it was really pretty good. I just think perhaps it should have been accompanied by something. Next time I will ask for suggestions on what to serve it with.
Here is the lotus flower cake which cost 2.10 euros. I had to take the photo while it was still in the bag because it was a fragile thing and somehow started to come apart during the metro ride home.
This is a close up and I'm sure it is some kind of fried pastry because it reminded me of those Swedish rosettes my grammy made...mmmm. I'll try to get another one sometime and I'll be more careful bringing it home because it was a beautiful thing.
And so all was going well and I was getting along quite inexpensively until I saw the barbecue counter...and so I splurged for 500 grams of échine de porc (pork something - the cuts are different here).
Delicious, succulent, and much much better than salad. The 500 grams cost 6.50 euros and it was well worth it. So I suggest that you check out Tang Gourmet the next time you are in Paris. Nice friendly service, good food, and the price is right.
First of all, Ramadan Mubarak, a joyous and blessed holiday to all my Moslem friends and visitors!
And now for today's lunch (which was prepared with a halal chicken from my neighborhood Islamic butcher shop...quality meat and reasonable prices). As I stated in my last post, I've decided to do a recipe for every flag that appears on my sidebar. Today's recipe is from Malaysia, a very delicious Laksa.
I got the recipe here at www.soupsong.com. If you want to follow along you can get today's recipe precisely here: soupsong Laksa recipe. An excellent site and a must for you soup lovers out there. Also, there is an extensive collection of international soup recipes, enough to keep me busy making soup for many weekends to come!
I actually made three trips to the supermarket for this recipe and here are some of the ingredients (the easy ones).
This is where I ran into difficulty. There are just so many Asian herbs...is this Laksa leaf? It's the very essential ingredient and so I did not want to make a mistake.
Or is this Laksa leaf? The recipe calls for "Asian basil"...I live in Paris and everything has a different French name, even Asian herbs. The first herb was labelled rau ram in the Asian grocey store and the second was labelled "Thai basilic" who's to know? In the end I went to www.asiafood.org where the Laksa leaf entry refers to "Vietnamese mint" and I chose the first green herb pictured above...what a lovely smell it has.
This recipe has several steps to it:
First you must have cooked chicken and four cups of stock (I suggest you make your own it's so much nicer),
Secondly you must make a spice paste for the flavor,
Thirdly you must cook some noodles and prepare everything for the final soup, and
Finally you put the soup together and make the garnish plate.
Since I would be needing cooked chicken and stock, the first thing to do was make both. I decided to follow my instincts on this one and so I made my stock using some of my green herbs (I bought lots of different kinds), fresh ginger slices and scallions.
This is the start of the spice paste: lemon grass (only the tender hearts), galangal (like ginger but milder), shrimp paste, garlic, scallions, and some red hot peppers.
This goes into the food processor and the recipe says it should look like "a speckled mush" well, perhaps.
Then once that is done, you add some chopped coriander, some tamarind paste, some sugar and some tumeric.
And I put the food processor back in the cupboard and get out my trusty morter and pestle...the food processor makes everything just too watery and this is supposed to be a "paste".
Here is the cooked chicken (from the chicken I used to make the stock with) and the cooked rice noodles.
Here is the sauce that I made by frying the spice paste in two tablespoons of peanut oil until lightly colored, then adding four cups of my homeade stock plus a mix of 1/4 cup chopped coriander and 1/4 cup chopped laksa leaf and then adding a can of coconut milk.
And here is the final Laksa lunch. First I put some of the noodles into a bowl, then I added some chicken, and then I ladled some of the sauce on top. Serve with a plate of various greenery and condimets...really delicious and your kitchen will indeed smell wonderful if you make this.
Just a bowl of Laksa.
Wow, what an adventure but I still have so many questions. I liked this dish and my daughters liked it too but...was this really Laksa and did I pick the right leaves? I would really appreciate any comments, criticism, or suggestions on how to make an even better Laksa! What a fun afternoon cooking.
So, next weekend I think we will head to Mexico and I am going to spend the week searching for a most traditional Mexican dish. In the meantime I will be posting my usual sandwiches and various other things from the office...
I'm just home from my Arabic class (hopefully we'll be going to Syria for summer vacation next year) and my head is exploding...Arabic is not easy. But anyway, I've got photos to post from last weekend so here goes.
On Sunday, Aisha and I went to "Maison de Wenzhou" in Belleville. We've been there before and as I mentioned in a recent post this is my new favorite Chinese place.
And as you may be able to guess we ordered the barbecue. This was so fun because I'd never done Chinese barbecue before, wow, what a blast!
Barbecue is on the Chinese menu only. The first time we went to Maison de Wenzhou I saw Asian people eating things that did not seem to be on the menu (and they looked really delicious too), so I asked the waiter what these things were and he explained that they did indeed have a special Chinese only menu...
This time we were smart.
Maison de Wenzhou is not a fancy place but the waiter who works there on Sunday afternoons is really helpful and friendly, after all he did let us in on the secret Chinese menu... he explained that we had to start with the cabbage.
And then we should add the beef.
And even some onions. There was lots of good sauce too. One for the cabbage and another one with peanuts to dip the beef in. yum!
It was all really delicious. The beef barbecue at Maison de Wenzhou costs 35 EUR but it is easily enough for three people and so much fun. Considering Paris prices it's an excellent deal, there is really a lot of meat and very fresh too.
It was really cute because not only did the waiter patiently explain exactly how to do the barbecue (and also did not complain when I managed to send several pieces of cabbage and onion off the table and on to the floor, sorry gotta work on chopstick dexterity...) he also spontaneously offered to take our photo when he saw that I was taking photos of the lunch (I didn't look particularly fab but I think Aisha looks radiant).
So, what a lovely lunch and we gave our chopstick skills a good workout too. They also do a seafood barbecue so perhaps we'll have to go back and try that someday soon...
Eating in Bangkok is just such a pleasure. The food is excellent, there is a huge variety of stuff to try, and it's affordable.
This was my first ever meal in Bangkok on the day I arrived. After 25 hours of travelling, I got to the guesthouse, dropped off my luggage, and then went out to get some lunch (it was 4 pm so a late lunch...). This delicious pad thai cost 35 baht and that included the bottle of water. Street food is the best.
Close up on the pad thai.
After the street food my second favorite thing was the mall food. This is a lunch I had at the MBK fifth avenue food thing. It's supposed to be Korean.
This was a really inexpensive meal, probably around 3 or 4 dollars and it was good. MBK shopping center has two food areas, this is the more upscale one with fltered lighting and a lovely seating area with a lot of room between the tables so you don't feel claustrophobic.
I also had lunch at the Fuji restaurant in the Paragon shopping mall. The shopping in Bangkok is incredible. Much better than Paris and better than NYC too. There is a huge variety of stuff from the very, very cheap to the incredibly expensive. The shopping malls are all air conditioned and have all kinds of convenience things like restaurants, movie theaters, clean toilets. I was very impressed.
And here is some shrimp tempura that I had as well. It's been a long time since I've been able to eat Japanese. The prices in Paris are ridiculously high so this was really fun.
I spent a week in Luang Prabang and so I managed to have quite a few lunches there. It's a lovely little town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well.
Here is what happens sometimes when you're an adventerous eater. You get weird stuff. I picked the "creaky pork" and "fried seaweed" from the menu. They were pretty tasty as beer snacks but not quite what I would call a real lunch.
This on the other hand was very delicious. It's Luang Prabang fish stew, a traditional dish.
The annual boat races were on when I was there and I was lucky enough to find a restaurant right on the Nam Khan where I could watch.
The stir fry chicken was kind of bland but the beer was cold and of course the view was just excellent.
Inside the restaurant surrounded by beautiful green vegetation on one side and the river on the other, it was so peaceful.
I had these delicious egg rolls while watching the races. I've never had egg rolls like these before, the skin was very thin and crunchy.
Here is a sign showing the cheapest beer prices I found in Luang Prabang - 70 cents for a big bottle. The airfare to Laos may be expensive but you more than make up for it on hotel and restaurant expenses. My room at the Sok Dee Guesthouse in a very nice part of Luang Prabang was only 8 USD/night. I had a TV with HBO, hot shower (actually luke warm...) and a comfortable bed and it was clean too. Add to that the fact that meals run around 3 to 4 dollars at most places and you can live quite nicely on 20 USD/day. You can also spend much less if you're willing to sacrifice some comfort. My whole 3 weeks in Laos cost less than the 6 days I spent in NYC last year.
So, that's it for Laos. On Monday I'll post some Bangkok lunches and I've also got photos of all my airplane meals so perhaps I'll put those on too. Have a nice weekend!
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos and it's located on the Mekong so of course one of the things I was looking forward to was a cold Beer Lao on the banks of the Mekong...
They gave me a glass with ice in it. I guess this a traditional Lao way to drink beer?
There are food stalls set up all along the Mekong in Vientiane. This photo was taken in the evening and on the other side of the river is Thailand.
It's a pretty simple set up but the food is excellent. Everything is really fresh and you get a nice mix of both tourists and locals.
Here is the first thing I ordered in Vientiane. Grilled fish, sticky rice and a beer. I think this cost about 3.50 and as you can plainly see I did drink my beer with ice, tasted good too. I got so addicted to these outdoor food stalls that I didn't eat anywhere else, and when I was not ordering fish, I ordered
Spare ribs and more spare ribs. We can't get spareribs in easily in Paris so I really took advantage
The best food in Vientiane and I recommend that you check out these food stalls if you are ever there. I'm going to miss those spare ribs...