Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
We ventured out toward the Gare du Nord in search of South Indian Vegetarian food, the sort of thing you do in a long sojourn in Paris, remembering our pangs for another ethnic area, Brick Lane in East London. We had read about this restaurant right on the east side of the station.
It turns out to be part of a worldwide chain of vegetarian southern restaurants. If only MacDo’s were so proper! We had never seen so much unknown food on the menu, things we knew nothing of, all so elegantly and sparklingly served on stainless steel. We shared everything. The paper-thin masala dosa of lentil flour with potato puree inside, the light and fluffy uthappam with vegetables scorched into its top, all with their chutneys and sauces. Then something we had never seen before, a malai kofta, a ball of Indian cheese and potato in a cashew sauce.
We talked with our neighbour, a man from Sri Lanka, whose daughter lived in Milton Keynes in Britain, who was eating very simply – a plate of chick-peas with paratha. The freshness of taste was amazing, the colours, the lightness, the lack of weight. SC