Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Sunken Chip: fish 'n' (c)hipsters

Fish and fucking chips have finally made it to Paris. Proper chips, that is, not frites or even fries. Proper chips look like this:

and they taste great.

The English-run Sunken Chip serves up great versions of all your chipshop favourites: fish, chips, peas, even battered sausage and pickled onions. There's Sarson's malt vinegar on the table for sprinkling on your proper chips. There are sweeties for pudding.

The restaurant (yes, restaurant) itself is significantly nicer than the chipshops of my youth. It's all long shared tables and pristine white tiles, rather than faded posters advertising the health-giving properties of fried potatoes. There's even a really nice toilet. Nice toilets matter.

My only complaint is that the mushy peas aren't mushy peas, but crushed 'normal' peas. Still tasty, but not mushy peas. I don't think the French are quite ready for processed marrowfat peas, but I am.

The Sunken Chip
39 Rue des Vinaigriers (har har)
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent (line 5) or République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Le Grenier de Notre Dame

Le Grenier de Notre Dame is Paris' oldest vegetarian restaurant, as this little snippet in their menu proves:

The restaurant serves up classic, health food-y vegetarian and vegan food right near Notre Dame. The place itself is cute as a button, with a couple of tables outside, and plants everywhere.

Food-wise, most of the dishes are nice enough, if not cutting edge. There's an emphasis on macrobiotic food, as well as salads and vegetarianised French classics. In true macrobiotic style, le Grenier used to serve fish, but has since stopped. Even in France, some people are beginning to realise that vegetarians don't eat fish. Better late than never.

Want some dodgy phone photos? Yes you do. Here's the macrobiotic plate in all its healthy glory:

And here's the couscous, featuring a rather strange skewer of seitan and onions encased in a pastry thing that makes it look like a chicken leg:

Juicing fans will like the Grenier: they'll juice pretty much anything for you before your very eyes, so you can wash down all that healthy food with a healthy beverage.

Le Grenier de Notre Dame
18 Rue de la Bûcherie
Métro: Saint-Michel (line 4, RER B, RER C) or Maubert-Mutualité (line 10).

Agrandir le plan

Friday, 2 August 2013

Loving Hut Paris

Loving Hut is not a restaurant for the cynical, the jaded, or the grumpy. Those of us with these characteristics will have a hard time dealing with the revoltingly perky waitresses, the annoying (albeit muted) screens broadcasting Supreme Master TV, and the complete and utter lack of alcohol.

For Loving Hut is run by the cult which follows the teachings of Supreme Master Ching Hai, whatever they may be. One of them is veganism. Another one might be smiling so hard I want to hit you.

If we can look beyond these cult-based annoyances, some of the food is pretty good. The menu is a slightly odd mix of Asian classics like spring and summer rolls, pho, and stir-fries, and western classics like spaghetti bolognese (don't order that) and a veggie burger. There are a couple of French-inspired dishes too: a creamy mushroom-stuffed crêpe and a quiche, both served with salad.

The bo bun (or vermicelles du paradis, because this is Loving Hut and they are so uncynical that 'paradise vermicelli' sounds fine to them) is actually very good. There's plenty of lemongrass-scented mock beef hiding under the spring rolls in this photo:

The veggie burger is fine. A seitan patty which is slightly tomato-heavy comes on a good, warmed bun with all the trimmings. Chips are extra though. Only jaded people need chips with their veggie burger, apparently. And only the cynical could possibly want a beer to wash it down with.

Some of the desserts are rather nice. Here's the very fudgy chocolate cake:

And here's the latest dessert du jour: coconut balls.

Not sure the Supreme Master would approve of my plating there.

Loving Hut also has a small grocery section, with vegan cheeses and some of the mock meat products that appear on the menu. Also croissants, but they're dreadful: avoid.

Loving Hut Paris
92 Boulevard Beaumarchais
75011 Paris
Métro: St Sébastien Froissart (line 8) or Richard Lenoir (line 5)
Closed Sundays

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