Paris is a vegetarian’s nightmare. Having now graced the interiors of several vegetarian restaurants in Paris, I have concluded that the French are unnaturally uninspired when it comes to constructing meals with the absence of meat.
In today’s visit to a local vegetarian restaurant, I was presented by what they called “l’assiette indienne”, roughly translated to “Indian Platter”. This “Indian Platter”, an overpriced insipid blend of 3 extraordinarily bright colours, was constructed from the rudimentary spices of turmeric, coriander and cumin (the entire month’s ration of cumin!). Apart from this dull unification of spices, the dish as much resembled an “Indian Platter” as I resemble an iceberg in the cave of a fire-breathing dragon; that is to say, it looked nothing like a curry.
The first colour, bright mustard yellow, drowned the rice and various scraps of overly bouncy tofu (I think it was tofu) soaked in a viscous fluid. This unsavoury combination was accompanied by a virgin white bog of yogurt, and lastly, a very un-Indian tomato salsa, bright red of course.
This unholy combination of colours dulled any inkling of flavour in the dish and left us gasping for some of the freshly pressed sour-as-hell orange juice. Sure it was pure orange juice, but there’s just something not right about paying 4.50 euros for an orange juice the size of a mini-brandy glass. It felt like we had just paid 4.50 euros for the 1 orange that the juice came from.
I need to start eating meat.