Julien Duboué, the young chef at Afaria, has transformed the peaceful neighbourhood café Dans les Landes into a noisy and welcoming tapas bar. It’s hugely disorganised – you’ll be lucky if reserving ahead guarantess you a table on arrival – but patience will be rewarded as soon as the food starts to arrive (you just have to hope it hasn’t been mixed up with your neighbour’s).
The confusion is perhaps understandable given the number of dishes listed on the slate menu, mostly inspired by Basque cooking, but with various Asian touches (foie gras maki or prawns in a creamy Thai sauce). Some dishes will come to you on wooden boards, others on slates or even in a (clean, hopefully) wooden clog; this is a place for sharing, not selfish appetites. Among the best things that we tried were slices of pork with barbecue sauce, fried squid with sweet peppers, a pot of boudin (blood sausage) with apples, sucrines (tiny mouthfuls of salad), stuffed peppers, and prawns with grapefruit. Only the flash-fried ‘butcher’s surprise’ disappointed.
Despite its service problems, it’s easy to understand why this venue is so overrun, especially in this area, which lacks a good range of restaurants.
|Venue name:||Dans les Landes||Contact:|
119 bis rue Monge
|Opening hours:||Daily noon-11pm|
|Transport:||Métro : Les Gobelins, Place Monge ou Censier-Daubenton|