The best place to eat frogs legs in my area of France is our local Chinese restaurant. What? I hear you say disapprovingly. Mais oui, I say right back to you. They may be a French delicacy but those nice Chinese people have it down pat. I must, however, interrupt myself here to say that this is not your standard deep fried never-been-seen-in-China Chinese food. Oh no, this is the real Jackie Chan.
But I shall begin this dynastic blog piece from the beginning, not the beginning of the Ming dynasty, but of June. Hey, we all have to start somewhere. And I am starting with the arrival of spring / summer. Finally. And about bloody time. I did not move to the south of France to have 8 months of winter!! My parents arrived from South Africa to 30C on the 28th of April and on the 4th of May it snowed in the next village. C’est n’est pas possible!
Fortunately, the summer weather arrived just in time to greet my aunty Wendles and uncle Peter from England in the second week of June. The weather wasn’t always perfect, but we could at least throw off the wool blankets, switch off the electric blankets and sip gin and tonics. Very reasonable.
But let us forget the weather and talk about my divine aunt and uncle. They have that fantastic black English sense of humour, so that we spent most of the time in hysterics. I was going to add one of the many funny anecdotes / stories / funny incidents, but I am suffering from CRAFT right now (can’t remember a f… thing) so you will just have to believe me. With my increasing age (39 to be precise…), I seem more able to remember things from the past, like the time Peter bought me an ice cream on a beach walk at -4C in 1992 (I was still in diapers). Hey, you didn’t have to worry about it melting!
I am including this photo of us in front of the Auch Cathedral – you can’t see much of the cathedral but you can see that I am laughing and both men are practicing various film rolls. You get to decide which. The second photo is more sensible and I took it because of the pigeon…
They have also introduced us to the magnificent/dodgy idea of having tinned spaghetti for breakfast... I had no idea such an item existed, but my uncle informed us that it grows on trees in England. Well then, it must be healthy and good… I have as yet to find said product in France so this delicious breakfast photo is taken in England by said fab rellies.
Seeing as we had no tinned spaghetti, they took us out for lunch (on many occasions -THANK YOU!) instead and on one such occasion we went to this stunning Chinese buffet. I wanted them to try the frogs legs but on this particular day they didn’t have any. Fortunately, they still bought us lunch and it is a spectacular lunch.
There is sushi, fresh salads and spring rolls as part of the starter buffet (see first pic);
then there’s dim sum of fried stuff (I don’t normally eat this, but the samosas are to die for)
and a large selection of warm main course “stuff”. I’ll be more specific shall I?
The main course buffet has beef with onions, green-lipped mussels as big as a hand, bbq pork, chicken with peppers, fish in a lovely sauce, vegetable stir fry, fried rice, noodles, soya sprouts and more. I always have to try everything – what can I say, I have to do it for this blog even if Jörg is mortified by how much I can fit onto a plate (or two).
But stop! It is not over! There is also a dessert buffet with fruit tinned and fresh, dates, candied dinger, nut brittle, Turkish delights (that’s what we call that wobbly jelly-like square praline sweet thingy) and a huge selection of ice cream.
It’s a wonderful buffet of very high quality. After travelling through Canada for 3 months and eating the standard Chinese buffet for far too many meals than I care to remember, I am joyous that this restaurant does more justice to what we Europeans consider Chinese food. The standard is very high and very consistent – we’ve never had a bad meal there and this was not our first or our last visit. We found the restaurant a little hard to find the first time, but now the car finds its own way there.
There is also a massive Asian supermarket right next door so you can enjoy the meal and then go and buy the ingredients to make it yourself. So the next time you’re in Toulouse, pop in there and tell them you’ve come because of me (The one who can fill her plate so much).
Menu price: €12.30 for the buffet with drinks extra
Le Soleil Rouge
1, Impasse Andre Marestan