France – Jour 13 – Part 2

Dinner at Chez Mao, Tours

We were staying at a beautiful B&B called La Maison Jules – and when we asked for a restaurant recommendation, our lovely host, Alex, encouraged us to try Chez Mao – especially after we said that maybe we would have a change from French food and maybe go Asian.  We were happy to go especially since we’d almost exclusively eaten French for the last 6 days…

Chez Mao claims to be a Thai restaurant – but strangely enough it has lots of Chinese references, including these lovely statuettes of the Chairman himself…

When the waiter asked if we would like an aperitif – Andrew asked what the bitterest beer available was (he was really missing his VB).  The waiter recommended Kirin Ichiban – a Japanese beer…

I had a cocktail called “China Doll” – a mixture of orange juice and banana liquer.  So far, no Thai influence in sight…

The menu however, written in French, was very much Thai inspired… so as Andrew cheerfully put it – Here we were, two Aussies, sitting in a Chinese inspired Thai restaurant, trying to interpret a menu written in French – drinking Japanese beers and a China doll cocktail… it was very diverse!

Myam Kay Cep – Salade de la région de Bangkok – légèrement épicée et composée de croustillantes lamelles de poulet tiède relevée au basilic Thaï, coriander et oignons rouge.

Hmmm…. my French translation was a little off – I was expecting this to be a chicken spring roll salad.  Apparently it was lightly spiced crispy slivers of cold chicken with a salad of Thai basil, coriander and red onions!  It was a beautiful salad – although a bit aromatic for Andrew – and certainly wasn’t the spring roll he was hoping for. D’oh… 

BTW – apologies for the strange lighting in these pics.  We were being bathed in green light from an overhead lampshade…

Pa Dib – Tartare de thon façon Thaï – coriandre, combawa, basilic thaï, échalottes

I decided to go light and ordered a tuna tartare done thai style. This also came out as a salad – which was unexpected!  Not that there was anything wrong with it – it’s just that the proportions seemed a bit out of whack when I was expecting a dish of mainly tuna.  Again, the salad was aromatic and spicy – and was lovely and refreshing!

Sieu-Lan-Aïe – Filet Boeuf Thaï – Très tendre filet de beouf Charolais, accompagné d’une sauce légèrement épicée, chitaké, et cuit sur plaque Teppanyaki

OK… I was pretty sure I knew what this mean – surely!! Fillet beef in a spicy sauce, which had been cooked on a Teppanyaki grill.  It had Andrew written all over it!  Sure – it had mushrooms – but I was sure I could claim those!  And – yes – it turned out pretty much as I interpreted!  Andrew was very happy – the beef was tender (as promised) and the spices were good.

Phet – Filet de canard – Accompagné d’une iégère sauce au Curry rouge légèrement relevée et accompagné de ses pâtes Thaïlandaises

Mmmm…. Duck – red curry.  That’s all I needed to know.  However, when it came out – again it was very different to what I expected.  It was more fine dining style – the red curry sauce was very light, and it was served with some noodles (apparently pâtes is noodles in French!).  It was delicious!

So – you could say that we enjoyed a very diverse night in Tours.  We had a brilliant night there – helped in many ways by our very friendly waiter Ben – who loved Australia and couldn’t stop talking to us about it (…and did we know a Mexican restaurant in St Kilda where his friend Jessica was working? I’m still stumped…. )

On the way home, Andrew couldn’t help but take this photo of the beautiful town hall in Tours.  A lovely way to finish our night…

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