Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Le Nouveau Siecle at Nancy, France
Red Hanging Lamps. Buffet table in the form of a mini-temple. Strong Herb-y Scent. Soft melodies of familiar tunes. Today, I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and I almost felt like I was back home. Riding the Tram transport system in Nancy today, the yellow, blue, and red writing on the restaurant Le Nouveau Siecle in Nancy, France felt like they were calling out my name and asking me to come inside. And that plea was hard to resist!
Although it is predominantly Chinese-influenced in the decoration and music played, the buffet boasted of Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean cuisine. For 10.50€ per person for lunch (dinner is at 15.50€ per person), I thought the buffet was reasonably priced considering the number and quality of the dishes presented. As much as I miss this cuisine, I wouldn't spend a single euro for a mediocre buffet! In France, the restaurants are obliged in providing for a Caraffe d'Eau / Pitcher of Water for free when asked. I asked for a pitcher of water and I paid for just my buffet.
The scent of the food drove me near crazy! I attacked the buffet right away, which I did starting with the salads. In my first plate, you see a Rouleau de Printemps / Fresh Spring Roll, Japanese Salad (Crabstick Salad), Corn and Tomato Salad, Thai Salad (Red and Green Peppers Salad), a Steamed Siomai, a Fried Crab Leg, and a Calamares. I did not try all the salads in the buffet as I wanted to save space for the rest of the meal.
The second part of the meal was even more exciting! Two choices of rice were available at the buffet: Thai Fried Rice and Riz Cantonais (Canton Fried Rice). I got a little of both, but preferred the Thai Fried Rice because it was a bit spicy and had pieces of diced red and green bell peppers. There were many choices of fried items in the buffet, but I don't particularly like fried food a lot. I got a Fried Spring Roll and a piece of lettuce to wrap it with (it was excellent, dipped in a special sauce) and Calamares / Fried Squid Rings (these were deliciously fried and not too oily)! For the steamed items, I got a Ravioli de Crevette / Steamed Shrimp Hakao since I had already gotten a Steamed Siomai with my first plate. These were good, but not the best I've had. For the saucier items, there were Korean Meatballs, Salt and Pepper Shrimps, Teriyaki Chicken (meat taken from chicken thigh), and Sauteed Sliced Pork.
I'm not used to eat as much as I used to eat back in the Philippines, but I felt two plates was just not enough. I forced myself with a third plate, which I managed to finish without getting sick. I figured it would be a while before I come back here again. For my third plate, I got most of my favorite dishes in the buffet - Thai Fried Rice, Fried Spring Roll, Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Steamed Siomai, Chicken Teriyaki, and Sauteed Sliced Pork with Green Peas and Chinese Mushroom. The only thing I added to my faves was the Fish Fillet in a Spicy Sauce, which was good too. I have to admit these are just some of the many dishes served, but I just couldn't try them all and I wanted to stick with my favorites.
A selection of desserts was also available in the buffet. I am not a big dessert eater when I eat buffet-style, but I grabbed a couple of fruits (Orange, Lychee, and Peach) and a bowl of Strawberry ice cream. Honestly, this was to pass up time as I was still pretty early for my job interview. There were Chinese traditional sweet delicacies too, but I just didn't have the stomach space. He he he. The walk to the interview place sure helped digest my lunch!
Le Nouveau Siecle is a restaurant in Nancy that I will definitely keep in mind. Not just because it serves Asian cuisine, but because of its convenient location (just a few steps away from the Tram), its reasonably priced buffet, and efficient service. I was afraid that I would be the only diner in the place, but I couldn't help but notice the number of French diners happily eating and embracing Asian food.
For restaurant contact details, click here.