Sunday, February 27, 2005

Kuidaore in Paris


Kuidaore - passing out from eating - is a Japanese word that sums up my experience in Paris...

I finally have some time to myself to write and reflect on my experiences in Paris.

My first meal (lunch) in Paris was at the cafe right by the Arc de Triumph. It was super convenient, since my hunger-ometer was at an all-time empty when we got into Paris. I was on a calorie-deficit program prior to my trip, and I had deemed the calories from the air plane food to be unworthy of fulfilling my deficit - so, yes, in other words, I was starving and kept myself starving so I could eat with reckless abandon in Paris. I was so very happy with Cafe Lateral when I finally had my duck confit and cafe creme, which is my first picture you see on the first Paris post.


My travel partner (my roommate) also loved his ginger duck - which had a sweet and savory sauce with enough duck fat melted into it to make him ooze duck essence for the rest of the day. As with any other dish with that much duck fat, the sauce was fabulous. The flavors reminded me of Japanese Worcestershire sauce (usta- sauce, which is really nothing like authentic Worcestershire sauce) and pineapples.


My travel partner and I liked this place so much that we ended up having our last meal of the trip there too. We had cafe au lait and a huge thing of 'toast', which was really a baguette with enough butter to feed all of Japan slathered in the middle. This 'toast' was eaten with apricot preserves, and it reminded me how I loved butter as a child in Japan. I used to snack on butter cubes, but I'd somehow managed to forget how much I loved butter. Perhaps it was a good thing that I forgot and not such a good thing that I am now cognizant of my long-lost love for butter... I give the cafe creme an upper hand over the cafe au lait there, because the creamy tenderness of the cafe creme enveloped me with a happiness that the cafe au lait just didn't have... But then again, it might have been because I was absolutely starving for calories on that first day in Paris.


Anyway, our first day in Paris was our most successful day for our epicurean adventure - lunch, afternoon break, and dinner were all excellent. The creme brulee and croustillant at Bistrot Victoires were both excellent. Dinner at Brasserie Wepler finished the first day off on such a wonderful note of gastronomic satisfaction. The bouillabaisse was not at all what I had before as bouillabaisse in the US, since I think what I was having as bouillabaisse was more like a cioppino than a bouillabaisse. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I thought bouillabaisse had tomatoes in it... Well, part of traveling is learning, and learn I did. The spices in the bouillabaisse was having a lot of fun with me, since I couldn't quite make out each distinct flavor at all, but was overwhelmed by the harmony in my bowl. The smell was so mesmerizing that I ate the half of the dish in some dream-like haze before I realized that I had forgotten to take a picture of it. But my roommate was had his untouched plate, so here's a nice picture of his scallop dinner:


The scallops were very fresh and done just right, but I've gotta be honest - by this time, I'd had enough butter and fat, that I just couldn't handle the richness of the sauce... We had cheese and creme brulee to finish off dinner, though, so I guess I still had more room for creamy pleasures after all.

And off to bed we went... only to wake up and continue our training to become the best foie gras ourselves...

No comments: