06 October 2009

My Guilty, Greasy Pleasure in Paris

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!

Useful Tips:

  • 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.


Anonymous said...


I have been waiting for your new post with great expectation and I am not disapointed !
Looks interestingly yummy the greasy crispy duckies ... I should check it out in the 11th in the Belleville district where a new Tang Gourmet has opened last year I heard. Some streets out there are also exclusively asians. It is there the chinese orginated from the Wenzhou region (400 km south of Shanghai)and they arrived there at the end of the 19th century. Whereas the chinese of the 13th district (a minority of the asians since there are mainly coming from Vietnam and Cambodge)come from the region of Qingdao (like the Tsingtao beer, to the north near the yellow sea). Consequently the chinese of the 2 districts don't really appreciate each other.

The Happy Spectator said...

Wow, thank you for the info on Belleville. Seems like you should try starting a blog as well! Keep on reading!

Anonymous said...

oh THS, i liking your post very abundantly. please post a picture of your sweentess. i am in great expectations. the pohoto of your fingers causes trembles in my belly. you must taste deliscious like the ice cream you indulge

Tricia Matoto-DeSanto said...

more like no sit ups allowed in this fatty food district. sounds like my kind of neighborhood. can it do the trick like gloria can? nobody does like the maris! can't wait for xmas sis!!!!!!!!!!!!! enjoyable read by the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi THS .... love your latest postings .... as usual .... love everything about you !!!!
Monsieur DePotPot

Pilly Willy said...

see...even I was thinking if it was better than gloria marz. :D yum!!! i love it when you talk about food in PARIS!!! :)

The Happy Spectator said...

thanks for your comments! don't we all love MSG-inese food and it's great how we still need our fix no matter which part of the world we are at.