Sunday, September 8, 2013
La Fontaine du Bonheur in Metz, France
Sudden change of plans. On Friday afternoon, I brought Dad to the doctor's office because I saw that he wasn't doing good. As it turns out, he is again a victim of pulmonary edema! Damn it, when is this ever going to stop!!! Considering how badly things went the last time, our family doctor contacted right away a cardiologist who advised us to admit Dad at the hospital yesterday morning. When you're at that moment, going through it all, there's not really time or space to process it. But now, lying in bed, alone on a Sunday morning, it's finally sinking in. It hurts. God knows how much it takes for me to put up a strong facade. Because we all have a role to play for Dad. MR is the understanding one, the one who listens, the softie. SO is the clown, putting on a show anywhere anytime, making us laugh, sharing her innocent stories from school. I am the strong one, hiding behind my mask of encouragements, I push to do beyond our limits, and I believe that someday somehow it will go back like the way it was. It's a hard role to play. No one can see my tears, no one can feel my pain, and no one can hear my sadness. Because if I crumble down, the whole house will too.
Originally, today we were supposed to be in Belgium to visit my niece. Instead, here I am in front of my laptop to write about the meal we enjoyed at La Fontaine du Bonheur in Metz, France yesterday lunch. I dropped SO at my sister's house on Friday night and admitted Dad at the hospital yesterday morning, so it was just MR and I. On our way home from the hospital, I felt like trying out this Chinese buffet, which we've been tempted to try for a couple of times now.
Resembling a lot of the typical Chinese buffets around here, this had a lot of familiar dishes and new ones too. However, this was not our favorite, far from it. That was mostly due to the service than the quality of the food.
What I did appreciate though were the rates. While the lunch, dinner, and weekend buffet rates are similar or slightly higher than other buffets, I thought that the children's rates were reasonable. I have a 5 year old daughter who eats about 4 tablespoons of fried rice, 3 fried shrimps, a spoon of mixed vegetables, and sometimes a fork of stir-fried noodles. They charge 8,00 Euros for that, just because she is aged below 10 years old and they don't have an option for 5 years and below! I think that it's outrageous! But look here at La Fontaine du Bonheur, there is that option for only 5,00 Euros which is more than reasonable. Too bad, SO wasn't with us today.
By the way, they give out free pitchers of drinking water when asked too.
We were seated at a table right next to the fish pond. Hi fishies, no worries, you won't land in my plate! :)
While the food quality was good, the service was the downer of the meal. At one point during our meal, the server seated two persons at the table beside ours. Because their table did not have a menu for drinks, the server thought it would be "right" to grab the one at our table. Imagine our surprise when he snatched our menu without any "excuse me", "may I?", or "do you still need your menu?". And unfortunately for me, I was leaning just a little too forward to eat from my spoon and had his elbow just centimeters away from my face. It happened so abruptly that he knocked over a laminated brochure right in the fish pond. I was shocked. Of course, there were no apologies, but we were left with a bittersweet and "not returning here" taste in the mouth.
This buffet table was empty. I guess this is for dinner.
Now, the food.
A lot of reviews online criticize the sushi and its freshness. Many mention it as "industrial sushi". I started with a plate of Sushi and Maki. Not bad, not particularly good. Like it is said in France, sans plus!
I had a little piece of paper and a pen to write down what was in the buffet. Here's what was served:
-Salt and Pepper Shrimp
-Spicy Squid Strips
-Beef with Onions
-Mixed Vegetables (the vegetables were really undercooked)
-Pork Nems (tasted exactly like the ones I buy in the Asian store here)
-Tuna and Seaweed Salad
-Thai Beef Salad
-Potato and Ham Salad
-Steamed Shrimp (skin was too thick)
-Siomai (filling was strangely sweet)
-Fruits (Lychees, Peaches, Pineapple)
-Many flavors of ice cream
...just to name a few! I found it kinda weird to find international dishes in a Chinese buffet.
French Fries? Potato and Ham Salad???
There was a lot of choose from, but my stomach could not take it all. But here's a little plate I prepared with the dishes I tried and loved.
-Spicy Squid Strips (very very tender!)
-Grilled Chicken (very tender and tasty)
-Fried Shrimp (plump and served very hot)
-Sate Shrimp (perfectly spicy for me)
My typical buffet dessert. Fruit Ice Cream + Fruits. This time I added a piece of Ginger Confit. But it's definite, I really don't like Ginger Confit.
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