Sunday, August 9, 2009

C'est la Coree du Sud, ne pas Paris...Petit France...in name only

This is South Korea, not Paris, France. I was reminded today, as I found Petit France in Daegu. I was hoping for a surprise, for a menu that was more French than Italian. However, given the allowances for scarcity, it wasn't all bad. I try to be positive, however, I feel that a business should know a bit more about what they are trying to sell. This business needed a few lessons on French cuisine and the importance of a wine list. When I asked for a wine list, I tried to conceal my shock when handed a slip of paper that contained three choices. I did not see a single French wine on the list.

I still ordered a red wine....from Australia. However, there is one thing that must, and I mean must be told. In Korea, I have no idea why, but a majority of places will serve red wine chilled. I have only been to two places that know that red wine is served at room temperature. The waiter did not understand my disapproving look, when I saw the condensation on the bottle.
The menu is petite, like the name of the restaurant. However, the courses are laid out without the a la carte ordering. You have mini baguettes served with olives and balsamic vinegar. I have to admit, my hands where shocked by the heat of the bread...this was a surprise. Freshly baked bread in Korea is extremely rare.
Another plus, was the mozzarella cheese. I have tell you that cheese is so rare. The cheeses that are produced in Korea are of the lowest velveeta quality. It is possible that due to the absence of cheese and chocolate South Koreans will never know the obesity problems that plague the Western world. The main entree, a delightfully spicy Vongale...pasta, shellfish, and assorted vegetables that seemed to have more of an Italian flavour than French. This was a great dish, but I was trying to place this as a French dish, however it didn't seem to make it. A light lemon-lime sorbet followed to cleanse the palate, with you choice of coffee or tea.

I had to include a picture of the menu, just because I feel that my sanity needing checking. A French cafe, without French wine, and an attempt at French cuisine...without the menu to go with the name.

Wait. I just remembered something. I am in Daegu. I am in South Korea. This place would be torched in Paris, but I will be nice, and say gracefully pass on the wine.

4 comments:

Peter said...

This sent me "time traveling," for a moment-- to my childhood in Denmark, and the very rare occasions on which we'd go OUT to eat (in a country where people rarely eat out, period). Usually, it was Italian, and a sad replacement for the food we ate while living in Milano and Rome, some time earlier.

Fast forward 35 years to contemporary Copenhagen and lines of American summer tourists waiting in front of the Golden Arches... having spent half their life savings to "see Europe," yet choosing the same "McBurger" they eat at home over the local cuisine.

Marilyn said...

I couldn't agree with you more about the fast food chains. Here in Daegu, they are even open 24 hours, but the tragedy is that the youth and expats flock to these places...instead of exploring the diverse options that are available.

Tor Hershman said...

Bread gooooooooood!

Marilyn said...

oh yes...it is good...