I was yet again in Paris this week for work (for those starting to lose track, it’s the third time this year). Streets in Paris around the office are starting to become familiar and I know a lot about the cafes and hotels in the near vicinity. And just like last time, there was no shortage of new places. I think there was one day where I didn’t go to someplace new? The eating out part is where I always tend to find a new place.
On this trip, we were staying over the weekend because Monday was Thanksgiving, so we were working in Paris the following Monday instead. A weekend in Paris to do whatever we wanted, food and accommodation paid for! On Saturday, Chloe and I went to Petit Palais (a museum and event space) and Galeries Lafayette (a department store). In the evening we met up with one of Chloe’s childhood friends who lives in Paris for dinner.
Place #42: Fondue ChongQing, 145 Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris, France
Fondue ChongQing is a very popular hot pot restaurant chain from China, or so I’m told. It was very busy in the restaurant when we got there. Chloe’s friend beat us there, and had ordered some food to get us started. There’s a big pot of soup broth in the middle of the table with a burner under it to keep it hot. In this particular instance, the pot was divided in two, so you can have two different types of broth. We had a very spicy broth (just at the upper limits of my tolerance for spicy) and a tomato broth. You order things like meat, noodles, and veggies to put in the pot to cook. Then you eat it!
There was no hesitation from Chloe and her friend to order the craziest things on the menu. And I’ve probably never had a stranger meal. Here’s a picture with some of the things we ordered (and ate):
We also had liver, throat, and good ol’ beef. I was a little hesitant to try some of it, mainly the brain, but once you get past what it is, it’s all just meat. And it tastes great. The scalp was my favourite. The thing that surprised me the most was how the brain looked. I’ve seen real brain before, but it’s been in formaldehyde or otherwise preserved. I was shocked at how accurate all the pictures of brain look. It’s very cartoonish.
For some reason, the restaurant had some birds in cages near the front door, which I had various thoughts about, including but not limited to: food safety with live animals, are birds on the menu?, and those are cute.
It was a really good meal, but part of me is still in shock about the whole thing. It made for some interesting conversations back in the office on Monday 🙂