Saturday, 3 October 2009

The local Chinese

One of the returning questions from friends and relatives is “What do you really miss in France?”. Most are thinking along the lines of Dutch delicacies like raw herring, but one of the things I missed most is the ordinary Chinese-Indonesian restaurant, which you will be able to find even in a small Dutch village. Around here there are some Chinese restaurants, but most of them are originally Vietnamese, which nowadays have taken on board Chinese and Thai food. We have tried a few, in Mâcon and Chalon, but the quality of the food was, to say it kindly, not impressive. When we were renovating the house, we went regularly to Crèches-sur-Saône, because that was where the nearest building merchant was. Almost all shops close between 12 and 2 o’clock, and of course one day we forgot, and were there just past 12. However, we had seen a sign nearby, saying “La Route de Chine, buffet à volonté”, and we decided to have lunch there in stead of driving half an hour back and return around 2 o’clock. That turned out to be a very lucky gamble indeed. The buffet à volonté (eat as much as you like) offered a very good choice of proper Chinese food; the quality was good and the price was very reasonable (€ 11.00 without drinks). After that event we tried to plan our trips to the building merchant in such away, that we could have lunch in Crèches as well. But all good things come to an end, such as the renovation and hence our visits to Crèches. However, we had to go to Mâcon regularly, because Mâcon is the seat of many offices important to us: the prefecture, the health insurance, the tax office, etc. On one of our trips we noticed another sign, saying “Palais d’Asie, buffet à volonté”; thinking of our good experiences with “La Route de Chine” we decided to give this one a try as well. That was definitely the end of our visits to Crèches. The choice in Mâcon was not only bigger, but the quality of the food was even better, and the price (in those days) was € 10.00 for a lunch. Since then the prices have been raised first to € 11.00, and recently lowered to € 10.50 (prices in the evening and week-end tend to be slightly higher). To give an impression of the assortment: there are 6 warm starters, 2 kinds of suhi, 2 kinds of dim sum, 4 sauces and various types of salad available. There are 8 hot meat, fish or shell fish dishes, which can be eaten with Cantonese rice, white rice, fried noodles, vegetables and even French fries. The desserts are various fruit salads, 5 kinds of ice cream and cake. In a word, there is something for everybody. Nowadays we plan our visits strategically around lunch time. And as far as the original question is concerned; the Chinese has been scrapped off the list, and is replaced by something that is really not available in France : an ordinary Dutch snackbar!

The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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