I had been waiting to try it.
Ribouldingue was renowned for serving up innards. And I love innards. It could be the Chinese in me but after eating innards for as long as I can remember in noodle soups and the like, it does not faze me in the slightest. I never made any dishes containing innards but this was mostly due to my incompetency in cooking rather than any squeamishness.
But when Susan arrived, I knew this was the place for her. This is a woman who ate turkey balls in front of her boyfriend, although hopefully not stabbing at them viciously, knowing how men seem to hunch over at the slightest hint of pain to their nether regions.
And so we went. I even convinced the boy to go. He was willing, especially after the aperitif of absinthe he delighted in finding on the menu.
The menu is priced at 27 euros for three courses with additional costs for some of the selections. I debated between the rognons blanc and the ravioles de queues de boeuf but when for the beef tail ravioli when the boy chose the white kidneys. Susan went for the lamb's brains, which turned out to be perfectly pan fried with a lovely crust.
My beef tail ravioli were beautifully presented but I felt they were a bit boring and not as intense as they could have been, assuming they were cooked whole with the bone in so as to extract as much flavor as possible. I may also be biased, given my father's ox-tail stew is legendary with complex flavors that linger in the mouth. The boy's veal kidneys were tender and delicate and I have yet to find out what animal it came from.
For my main, I dithered between the ox tongue (continuing on the tip to top theme) and the tripes but on the recommendation of the waitress, went with the ox tongue. Again, I was a touch disappointed. My favorite, and most ghetto way of eating ox tongue is on spaghetti. Tomato sauce spaghetti the Chinese way in Cha Chan Tengs... with lots of Tabasco. So I was expecting a different preparation. Don't get me wrong, the tongue was tender and beautifully prepared to maintain the texture but the sauce was bland and a touch plain. I was expecting something a little bit different rather than chopped root vegetables. Susan's lamb sweetbreads were very rich and creamy while the boy's onglet was finished before I could snag a taste.
For dessert I chose a chocolate and ginger mousse with mango coulis and shaved young coconut paired with an airy meringue. I love all the flavors separately but together it was too much and didn't work altogether.
It seemed much like a disappointing meal but I was not in fact disappointed. I think my expectations were high due to the innards I had eaten before. I came expecting to eat innards prepared differently but found that the French preparation lacks the punch of the Chinese way. I enjoyed my meal and liked the restaurant itself. For adventurous eaters, this is a good option. For the Chinese, I say wait until you get home, much like I will!
10 rue St Julien le Pauvre
Tel: 01 46 33 98 80