Saturday, 17 September 2011

Some like it hot

Sue had recreated a dish which was one of our favourites when we still lived in the Netherlands; a fiery dish with chicken livers spiced up with Madam Janet, a very hot small bell shaped pepper which is very popular in Surinamese cuisine. It is something which is not available in France, at least not around here. Around dinner time one could smell a very strong smell of something extremely hot: that was the smell of cooking a dish with Madam Janet in it. The taste was as hot as the smell did suggest. It was actually so hot, that Sue had difficulty eating it. Sheer luck she had taken the seeds out before cooking!
When we talk about hot food, the conversation always ends with remarks about the quality of Indian restaurants in the neighbourhood. Sometime ago we received through Facebook a suggestion for a good Indian in Chalon. We followed this suggestion up, and had indulged in a buffet, which seemed to be a good way to sample the available dishes. Of course, there were no hot dishes available at the buffet, because that would most certainly scare off their French clientele. The verdict was, not bad, but also not very exciting. And because we had to go to Chalon today, with the taste of Madam Janet still burning on our lips, we decided to give the place a second try, this time ordering à la carte.
We had to go to Chalon for a financial problem. We were, incorrectly, charged to pay € 7.00 for some medical care in Chalon. The Michelin road planner told us that petrol cost for a trip up and down to Chalon would be around € 8.00; so whether the trip was economically sound is debatable. But no excuse is weak enough for a good lunch, so off we went.
My knowledge of Indian cuisine is based on my three years stay in Singapore, and Sue knows Indian cooking from the UK and from India itself. In most English Indian restaurants Vindaloo is top of the range when it comes to spiciness, although some restaurants offer Phal, which is hotter still. On the menu of Bollywood the rating was different. The hot curries ranged from bottom end Madras to Vindaloo, with Jalfrezi at the top end. I was a bit surprised to find a whole range of beef curries on the menu, but I have eaten Malaysian beef curry in the past, and of course Muslims would have no problem eating beef, as opposed to their Hindu compatriots. So I ordered a boeuf Jalfrezi for a change, and although not as hot as Sue’s dish the day before, this curry certainly deserved the designation “very hot”.
The beef had the consistency of a beef stew; pointing at is with a fork already made the meat disintegrate. All in all a good choice.
For those readers who are hesitating to go to Burgundy, because they will miss their local Indian too much: forget your fear, and eat out in Chalon. The same holds by the way for good Chinese food, with an excellent Chinese (buffet) restaurant in Mâcon. Chalon as well as Mâcon offer now suitable substitutes for Indian / Chinese food addicts! The only thing we are still missing is an Indonsian restaurant. For an Indonesian take-away meal we will have to wait until one of our regular gite guests brings one from the Netherlands!

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