Remember my Asian food post? Today I’m going to blog about the crazy huge French food feast we had on Christmas Day – the one which left us so full we couldn’t sleep and provoked K’s rebellion the next morning.
That’s not to say it wasn’t a great meal – it really was ! Just that they were way too generous with the portions but it was so yummy we forced it all down (as much as we could), hence the serious indigestion.
When researching for a place to have our Christmas Dinner, I took pains to find a more rustic, authentic French restaurant and Au Petit Marguery looked like a really safe bet with lots of rave reviews about their great, no-frills French fare.
It looked just like what I imagined – retro, Parisian, unfussy, full of old world charm, and overflowing with locals.
Okay now that I’m done with the rambling – here’s the food !
We each picked the three course menu, which consisted of a starter, a main and a dessert, pretty standard stuff.
K ordered the oysters, and I … ordered the bone marrow.
Tame stuff first, the oysters.
Oh, the oysters ! Can I just say I have never had an oyster in Paris which wasn’t bursting with briny, bracing freshness? These were just lovely – served the French way, with the seawater still in them ( I know, heady stuff ). The first taste is always shock – the seawater took some getting used to, chased by incredibly creamy and smooth oyster flesh. Topped with their red dressing (above) and a squeeze of lemon, they were a real joy to eat. K gets real queasy about those served in Singapore but he slurped these with gusto.
Now my own, significantly less conventional starter – Roasted Bone Marrow.
First of, know this – Roasted Bone Marrow has a texture like no other. It’s soft, unctuous, slightly wobbly, and just .. 100 per cent pure fat. And in my case, it didn’t come dug out for me. Nope, it came BONE IN. Literally.
Small girl, huge bone. None of the other diners expected me to order this – you should have seen their expressions when it was brought to my table. “Crazy Asian Girl got some chutzpah” was the general sentiment.
I quivered a little, my husband took a photo of me, and I dug in bravely. It was one more item off my bucket list. I am a girl who hasn’t even tried sup tulang (tiny lamb marrow) in Singapore, and here I was, in Paris, attacking a dinosaur.
Eaten alone, it was buttery, soooo fatty and meaty it was almost too much to take if not for the crusty top. A sprinkle of salt added a great sharp counterpart and together with the toast, it was just heaven.
Because it was roasted in the bone, I think there was also a nice umami nutty flavour – and a girl’s gotta scrape marrow out once in her life and live to tell the tale, right?
K was in awe of me that night. And he liked it too.
Here’s when we started freaking out a little, cos our starter portions were huge and we were already half full. Then, our even larger mains arrived.
Here’s K, paling a little at the sight of his giant, perfectly cooked filet mignon topped with foie gras (I’m surprised we didn’t just keel over from a heart attack that night).
My husband bravely tackled the meat, and rightly so, because it was done just right, pink on the inside and smoky charred on the outside. He had a little of the foie gras, and finished those delicious white asparagus. Speaking of foie gras, I have decided to stop eating it as much as possible after watching a video about ‘gavage’, or force feeding of ducks. It’s been banned in many countries but the French still insist on making it only in such a cruel way (preserving heritage, apparently). But it’s a terrible thing to watch, and I cannot in good conscience keep consuming it knowing how it’s made. 😦 There are many other equally delicious dishes out there which are made humanely.
I REALLY loved my main. It was like a combination of all my favourite things and just as yummy as I thought it would be when I saw it on the menu 🙂
Here it is :
Risotto in a pumpkin veloute (cream sauce KILL ME NAO) surrounded by six plump, fresh, perfectly seared scallops.
I finished all of it, despite the loud protestations from my overstuffed tummy. The rice was aldente, but so sweet and tasty from the smooth, sunny pumpkin veloute. The scallops would have easily passed muster in Hell’s Kitchen and the dish was just so .. complete. I hope I get to have this again, at least once more in my life.
Their Grand Marnier Souffle is the signature at Au Petit, and every diner was ordering it so we were dying to try it too ! Like everything else there, it was.. huge. Bigger than my face.
K couldn’t stomach it, he ordered the tarte tartin (apple pie) with a lovely caramel ice cream.
The souffle was wonderful. It was crusty on top, rose like a beauty, custardy, cloud fluffy within, and the hit of Grand Marnier on top made it sooo easy to polish off the entire thing. Definitely another item you guys should add to your bucket lists too ( TICKED OFF MINE: EAT ONE PERFECT SOUFFLE BEFORE I DIE)
Everything was flushed down with glasses of their delightful moscato, light, sweet and flirty.
I don’t even know how we made it home that night. I remember having problems putting on my coat and then the both of us stumbling down the streets like oversized snowballs. Then I remember groaning in pain all night as my belly fought to digest the equivalent of six times what I usually eat.
But it was good. It was an adventure. It was something we’d never done before. A lot like the rest of our trip – crazy days out at an ulu Chateau, tea at a museum, chomping our way through Christmas markets. And so much fun.
Au Petit Marguery
9 Boulevard de Port-Royal, 75013 Paris, France
I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT FOR ITALY IN MAY ! We’re hitting Florence and Venice again, but also Milan for some shopping and Verona just because.
And before that, LA and SF with my family. It’s looking to be an epic holi-year !