I was going to go to Clotilde's evening rendezvous, but arrived quite early and was feeling way too shy to stick around and talk to a bunch of strangers. Sorry, Clotilde and anyone else I missed... I will definitely come next time, when I have been a member of the food blogging community for more than a week.
Friday night, I elected to go out to the nearby Chinatown in the 13th. I wandered north along Avenue de Choisy until I found a restaurant that looked good. I settled on Restaurant Hao Hao, whose brightly lit interior looked especially appealing in the drizzle.
I did not want to eat anything exciting. I wanted comfort food. Specifically, fried rice like I always get during finals week at home; with rich egg, sweet onion, the wonderful texture of shrimp, grease everywhere, and carbs to last me a week. So, I ordered riz aux gambas caramelisees. I did not get what I was expecting.
I didn't bring my camera, so I don't have any pictures, but there was some sliced cucumber and carrot, a scoop of rice with a drizzle tasty shrimp-based sauce, and OH MY GOD TWO HUGE PRAWNS. Like six inches long, with eyes and legs and guts and everything. I had to tear them apart with my fingers (splashed shrimp juice all over my dress trying to manage the fork and knife first), but they pretty much baffled me. Is there supposed to be any more meat in there besides the tail? I was only able to extract about as much meat as you would find in a pair of normal-sized shrimp, and I know that those are not that big, even whole.
They tasted good, though. That was the last thing I did before I started this blog... I realized just how far I've come to be able to tackle food like that. I'll be back, but next time I'll order a piece of the lacquered ducks that hang in a window over the kitchen.