Tripping the Light Gastronomique – Part VIII – Not Très Populaire – Novotel Café, Créteil, Paris

So here we are at last: the final meal in Paris – for the time being. With our plans for a big sit-down meal with the rest of the group having gone out the window after we had gone to watch the rugby at the Frog XVI, we weren’t really feeling like eating again. Well, we thought that anyway. But once me, Connor and James had gotten back to the room we started perusing the hotel’s menu, and it was actually making us pretty hungry. So of course we went down to the hotel’s restaurant to eat.

The disappointing thing about this whole trip was we really did get a sense of how xenophobic the French were. The waiter who served us instantly took a disliking to us as he put us to our table, and deliberately took a long time to come back to take our drink orders, and then again for the food order. I really wasn’t impressed, but I had been branded a racist on a number of occasions myself whilst staying in Paris this week so I held my tongue.

Pavé de Saumon served with mashed potatoes and Hollandaise sauce

Pavé de Saumon served with mashed potatoes and Hollandaise sauce

So anyway, having already had a meat dish today, I thought I would have fish this time: Pavé de Saumon (see pictured). A chargrilled fillet of fish served with Hollandaise sauce and mashed potatoes. The fish was gorgeously crispy on the outside, happily concealing lovely pink flesh underneath. The mash, decorated neatly with a lovely singular sun-dried tomato, was more butter than potato I think – you couldn’t eat it on its own; it would have been too rich and stodgy. But of course, to that effect, they give you tonnes more potato than they do fish, so one is forced to battle through the buttery-ness and eat it. Actually in hindsight, having eaten a big meal earlier on as well, I don’t think I finished the potatoes.

BEEF BURGER served under crêpes with chips

Beef Burger served under crêpes with chips

Connor and James went for, probably a more substantial, beef burger. And as you’ll see from the neighbouring image, they were served not in buns, but between crêpes (see pictured). For a few minutes we did debate what they were because of course here in England, all burgers are served in buns. And because the only crêpes I have ever seen have had sweet fillings, it was the last thing I was expecting to see. But look at that meat there in the picture. A proper burger – eat your heart out, McDonalds.
The Novotel Café is capable of quality if nothing else. It’s just such a shame about their fastidious clientele and rather unfriendly staff.

So now for our last night, it’s time to get smashed – well I thought Dean and I were spending the night in and getting smashed in the hotel’s cocktail bar – a plan we had made before even leaving for France. We figured we did enough clubbing at home in Southampton to need to do it in Paris. But as he did in his blog to me, I will convey my disappointment in Dean in that he changed his mind without telling me, and I had given away all of my Metro tickets so I couldn’t go clubbing either.

Retrospectively of course I think I could have afforded a single ticket to the capital, but never mind; I ended up getting drunk in my room with the others until they left. I was happy enough.

So ends my series on Paris – probably the only foreign travel and food series I will do this year. However in the next few weeks I have reviews in Wimbledon, Southampton, Poole and Christchurch to do. So watch this space.

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