Our Sunday started pleasantly enough with an invitation from an old friend to go out for coffee. He wanted to try the new mall outlet of what is probably the most Instagrammed joint on The Island, La Vie Parisienne.
The “Parisian café” kiosk, done up in mint green, white and blonde woods, was what I would imagine to be a kawaii effort in interpretation of the theme and a sharp departure from the more rustic look of the primarily outdoor flagship location. Regular and high Louis The Indeterminate chairs and corresponding tables in the same colorway filled the raised platform space. Realistic faux-wax candle lamps glowed atop squat candle stands, adding to the draw. A glass display chiller held cheeses and cakes and an open counter displayed breads and other baked items to a currently steady stream of browsers. Hello, droplet spray contamination and thank you, highly resilient Third World immune system. A standalone ice cream booth in the style of an ornate food cart held the focal point on the far end.
I actually loved the place but when the heywaitaminutes came up they did pretty strong. Macario ordered a cappuccino and I asked for my default Americano. Coming in straight from The PussyKat’s apartment on a power outage, the mall air-conditioning took a while to take effect so I ordered mine iced. So it did. In. A. Coffee. Cup. While the drink itself was Lavazza and quite okay, inappropriate serving ware was just unacceptable here. I’d drink from a dog bowl if I had to but the Parisian ways have never been survivalist. Well, except for the times when the commoners had to bear the brunt of the excesses of royalty and the war where they all had to live on pests, pets and the Paris Zoo. Already clouded with distaste, I couldn’t even bring myself to sample the plateful of baked carbohydrates that Max got as placeholders. I absentmindedly chewed on a piece The PussyKat popped into my mouth mid-conversation. Flaky. Sweet. It was good that the long catch-up session provided much satisfaction.
All throughout, I kept eyeing the long list of ice creams. Carrot and jackfruit stood out among the usual hohums. Knowing me too well, The PussyKat pushed me to try one when I asked her if she wanted any. I may have already become too predictable for this kitty. Ugh.
Considering the more exotic, I asked for carrot and the attendant fired up an industrial-type processor. He popped in what looked like ice-candy, some carrot pieces and put all of his ninety-pound weight on the lever to extrude the product. In a scene similar to less than an hour after gorging on bad oysters at a cheap seafood buffet, the “ice cream” exploded in terrible sequence into the cup. “Your carrot ice cream, sir!”, he said, beaming. He jumped on my apparent disappointment by pointing out the ice cream base. It felt a lot like the time I found out Suzy, of Sustagen’s Suzy and Geno duo, was, literally deep down inside her, actually a man.
I like carrots. I even eat these raw. Yes, Bugs Bunny had a lot to do with that but growing up, my appreciation for the flavor of carrots went beyond identifying with the cartoon character. Glaringly veg but possessing a sweetness that is almost fruity, it has a flavor profile which I would say is quite similar to our local mangoes. That said, I might as well have eaten frozen carrot baby food by Gerber than this ice-candy and chopped carrot blend.
I was quite bummed but I wouldn’t swear off this joint. It does have its charm and the cheese display begged for consideration. I will be back and maybe I’ll show them how a carrot ice (cream) is done. Stay tuned for my next post: Betta’ Carotene.