Last week we took a long trip to Provence. Naturally, much of the lead-up was spent dreaming of fabulous cuisine and the regional delights of the south of France: chevre, red wine, locally made saucisson. So on our very first night, still reeling from the meandering route we had taken from England to Avignon, we went out for…sushi.
Yes. You read that correctly. Sushi. From a place called Sushi Shop. Specifically: chain restaurant sushi with a takeaway counter. Doubtless, some of you just recoiled from the screen in horror. But there’s a dearth of sushi in our part of Yorkshire, and we thought it would be fun to look at the menu. We were delighted to find that it was sushi with a decidedly French twist: figs, chevre, sun-dried tomatoes, and foie gras were liberally used alongside traditional roe, rolls, and sashimi.
In a nutshell: we went crazy ordering; the list we presented to the waitress had to be written down so we would be sure that we could remember to order everything we wanted. We regular old tekka maki for our three-year-old, but once she got a look at the incredible variety on display, she wasn’t interested. We slowly worked through the rolls, enjoying spicy lobster and bowls of fresh fruit. The chevre and sun-dried tomato rolls were phenomenal–the textures balanced each other beautifully. And then…oh. Oh yes. Then there was the tartare.
Ahi tuna, tossed with foie gras, onions, French bread croutons, and truffle oil. It was a French reworking of a dish I originally ate in Hawaii called poke, and it was out of this world. It had all the familiar hallmarks of poke (which I ate as often as I could when we lived there) but with new, exotic flavors and a very different tactile experience.
So if you happen to be in Avignon and you think you might like a departure from the usual French fare for lunch, definitely try out Sushi Shop. It’s a lighter option that you can take with you as you wander the city, absorbing all of the creative flair that France has to offer.