Trip to Rungis International Market and lunch at Ze Kitchen Galerie
Friday, December 9, 2011

On Tuesday early morning, at 4am, we met outside Bon Marché for another field trip to Rungis International Market, the largest wholesale food market in the world. It’s located about 10km South of Paris. The market is open from 1am – 7am, Tuesday to Saturday, and covers over 500 acres!

Everyday, there are restaurants, market vendors, and large food distributers who come in with huge trucks to pick up produce. We took a tour of the seafood, meat, cheese, flower, vegetable and fruit warehouses. To move from one warehouse to another, we had to get back on the bus because they were quite a distance apart.

Before we go to the visuals, just a note to vegetarians and those with weak stomachs, you might want to skip reading this post.

Inside the seafood warehouse. All of the food warehouses are about the size of Costco. We weren't allowed in all the buildings as some are reserved only for distributors and mass quantity buyers.

And now for some pictures of the goods sold.

Awkwardly long and skinny fish.

This fish looked almost like a cartoon fish with its huge, clear (fresh!) eyes.

Giant Saint-Jacques (scallops). It reminded me of this some really good ones I had at the Regalade restaurant.

This one's got wings!

More fish. I really noticed how clear their eyes were which shows how fresh they are.

Poor squid, he thought he could disguise himself in all that ink.

And now onto the meat warehouse.

I wonder why they leave just the fur on the head and tail? Christmas presents?

Rabbits.

I'm not sure what kind of game meat this one is.

Again, I wonder why they leave the fur on just the head?

This one just looks sad, like they're about to be guillotined!

I’m definitely a lot more comfortable seeing raw meat without much resemblance to their natural form.

Cow tongues. Don't they sort of look like hanging stockings?

Endless rows of slaughtered pigs.

Some prize-winning piglets.

And now onto the cheese warehouse where they sold wheels of cheese almost as tall as me!

Now what would I do with this much cheese?

Huge wheels of comte. I wonder if aging it in huge wheels compromises its tastes?

And then the flower warehouse. Nothing too interesting here.

They had roses in almost every single colour. I liked these orange ones.

Then, onto the vegetable warehouse.

Cepes (or porcini), my favourite mushrooms. I had them for the first time in Italy a few summers ago and I've never forgotten how tasty they are especially when fresh.

Some cute mini bell peppers which I've never seen before.

After the visit to Rungis, we got back to Paris around 10am. I went back to Weebite’s place to nap until our late lunch at Ze Kitchen Galerie, a 1-Michelin star restaurant located along the Seine in the 6th arrondissement. There is a bit of asian and french-fusion in some of their dishes. Overall, I enjoyed my meal and I thought the flavours were very vibrant, the food well prepared, and the plating beautiful. However, there wasn’t one dish that left me wanting more, if you know what I mean.  So I think this one visit will suffice.

Bressaola (air-dried, salted) tuna, pesto pasta, and thai broth foam. The vibrant flavours of this dish really awakened my palate, which is what entrees are for. However, after eating more, I found the pesto too salty which ruined my enjoyment of the dish a bit.

My main: grilled scallops, miso, and bergamot vinaigrette. The scallops were fresh, but could've been slightly more raw (transparent) in the centre. The miso was quite faint but that's okay. I do wish this dish was accompanied by something else, a vegetables maybe?

Wasabi ice cream on a bed of graham crumbs, black sesame sauce, and jasmin tea foam. I loved everything about this dish except the graham crumbs. It was a bit sugary and grainy tasting.

Peanut butter ice cream (very good) next to a velvety smooth chocolate mousse on top of a brownie.

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!