Some cravings never change. Just like the ones I get every time I am hungover, anxious or in self-destruction mode, and hence need the greasiest of the greasy, comfiest of the comforting Chinese food!! I thought bad habits would veer to happy transformations especially after being married for 2 years and as an inhabitant of a city with a penchant for clean, healthy living.
But no, no, no!
Quite frankly, it's a joy that I still have my MSG-infused happiness in a bowl here in Paris and don't need to dream about dim-sum Sunday lunches at Gloria Maris or Zong.
Opening scene. The Happy Spectator (THS) wakes up with a hangover, parched throat and hungry stomach.
Mad fireworks sparkle in her head , magically spelling out CHINATOWN!
THS with her husband in tow hops in the bus, leading them straight to their latest discovery in the 13th arrondissment along Avenue de Choisy.
Mental checklist ongoing : wallet with some cash, shades for tired eyes and camera!
TANG GOURMET. The Chinese fast food's red and white signage puts a smile on THS' face and awakens the growling stomach.
Menu Inspection: Hong Kong style noodles, roast duck rice bowl, or sweet/crunchy pork in a bowl?
Collateral Damage. THS is surprised to find out how cheap everything is. She thinks she could be back home in Manila. (6.50 each for canard laquee + rice and pork laque + rice)
Diners and servers. Yes, black-haired vendors = Asians! AAh, I am home sweet home.
The Taste test. MMMMmmm. the crunchy, fatty skin of the roast duck reminds THS of lechon. She is comforted by the rice and sweet soy sauce--perfect!--but thinks that Mang Tomas still rocks.
Roast pork and crunchy pork
Overall feedback. The greatest quick fix for a hangover when you don't have your Purefood's Corned Beef or Sugared SPAM.
Next problem ecountered--THS needs her bed!
- It's best that you bring cash when you hop over to this district. Most shops and fastfood joints like Tang Gourmet either don't accept credit cards or have a 'problem' with their card-reader machines.
my preferred Chinese pastry shop along Ave. de Choisy where they also sell siaopao
- Just as we do, digest your meal and walk along avenue Choisy to discover its bakeries, shops and parks.
uh, you are not allowed to lie down?
my galette de soja coco and some other pastry which tastes like pinoy macaroons
- There are other restaurants to choose from along the avenue which garner just as many loyal diners as Tang Gourmet. There is an 'always-full' Vietnamese one which we have yet to try.
Vietnamese guilty pleasure
- While you are at the 13th arrondissement, might as well pass by an Asian grocery like Tang Freres which has all the 'exotic' ingredients and produce from Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea etc..It is open from Tue-Sunday , 9am-7:30pm. Address: 48 Avenue d'IvryParis. Total price of shopping in these supermarkets is very LOW. Oh, and if you are dumpling fanatic, the selection of frozen yummy goods like kimchi vegetable ravioli is heavenly.
- For some trivia, it is in this quartier where you have the most residential high-rise buildings which in the past provided low-cost housing for Asian immigrants. (Even I get that happy feeling of being in Hong Kong when I am walking aimlessly in this district.) Apparently, in the early 70s the local government disallowed the construction of these apartments in order to maintain and untaint the skyline of Paris.