Tuesday, May 08, 2007

South of Nowhere

As a farewell dinner to one of the boy's colleagues, she invited us to dine with her at a restaurant just on the other side of Ile St Louis, charmingly, and quite aptly, given the quietness of the neighborhood, Au Sud de Nulle Part (South of Nowhere).

We found that it was a small seafood oriented restaurant, decorated with modern art sculptures, which our waiter told me were on display for a limited time and were for sale by contacting the artist, whose cards were displayed at the front of the restaurant.

We were presented with the menu and a some accras, deep fried dumplings. These were greasy and over-salted and did little to whet our appetites. The menu, however, had some intriguing combinations of flavors, with more than a smattering of Asian ingredients within.

I started with the "Carpaccio de dorade rose, vinaigrette de Yuzu, remoulade de pomme verte", which was very thinly sliced raw pink dorade with a slightly odd green apple/balsamic 'salad' on top, drizzeled in a light vinaigrette. The dorade was delicious and went went well with the tart apple although I couldn't taste the Yuzu, which usually has a suble yet distinctive taste. I liked that nothing overwhelmed the taste of the delicate tasting fish.

The boy wanted the dorade as well but since I ordered it, gallantly choose the Lobster Gaspacho with iced red peppers. It looked very impressive indeed, with a large shelled claw but I felt that the lobster itself could have been fresher while the gaspacho lacked bite.

For my main, I went for the seared tuna with green tea and spices. It came in a large meaty serving with thick cut seared tuna pieces with grilled vegetables accompanied by a small dressing on the side. The tuna was cooked well, only cooked the barest 3mm or so all around, dusted with green tea powder, which was barely noticeable above the chargrilled flavors of the tuna. The vinaigrette was a little strange and consisted mainly of what seemed like sesame oil with a mere touch of soy sauce and perhaps a splash of balsamic in there. It went well but was very oily, perhaps to counteract the slight dryness of the chargrilled tuna.

The boy had the Massale de Saint Pierre fish. We're not sure if it was overcooked or that was the texture of Saint Pierre but it was rather tough and chewy for a fish.

Overall, the food itself was a bit of a let down after the relative excitement over the promissing menu. We had expected the unusual combinations to excite but instead we felt that it had not been used to highlight anything special in the dishes. Although to be fair, this may be only our own expectations.

Although not having had an unpleasant time, we opted to skip dessert in favor of walking over to Berthillon's for ice cream instead.

Entree and main with a bottle of wine between four was approximately 50 euros.

Au Sud de Nulle Part
16 Bd Saint Germain
Paris, 75005
Tel: 01 43 54 59 10


susan said...

Oh, Jess, Berthillon. I know I've raved about their cerise sorbet before - is it in season yet? What flavours did you try? Can't wait to try the chocolate sorbet; have heard a lot about it.


Sui Mai said...

Hi Susan,

I did try the cerise and... I'm sorry but I was disappointed! Perhaps it wasn't the right season. I also had their wild strawberries, which are raved about and it also didn't live up to expectation in terms of depth of flavor.

Tried the bitter chocolate - very good, pistachio and almond were very good, vine ripened peach was luscious...and, and... sorry, too many to consider now!

Not to worry, when you visit, we'll have to go everyday since it'll be so hot!

a. said...

jessie! helllooo. i finally found your blog. the photos from 404 are up now on my new blog (the old one is dying from technical issues). i had a great time that night. thanks for the invitation!