Has anyone been to this newish Jewish Tunisian place?
Never heard of it. And the local tom-toms don’t give many clues other than it has a younger hip vibe (not unexpected in the Arts-et-Métiers quartier), “pas mal” but not exceptional quality.
I am not sure what prompted you to single out Mabrouk among the hundreds of Tunisian restos in Paris, but maybe the start of an interesting discussion.
I’ve looked at the menu of Mabrouk and it seems rather standard Tunisien, rather than “Jewish-Tunisian”. I’m no expert though. I have only been to one now closed Tunisien-Jewish resto in the 17th for my dentist’s birthday. (A BTW, lots of dentists in Paris seem to have Tunisian-Jewish roots). To me the food served there, promoted as trad Tunisien-Jewish fare, was indistinguishable from the Tunisian cuisine I had sampled in Tunisia and Paris. Only one dish, featuring artichokes, was unfamiliar and probably reflects the strong Italian and Italian Jewish presence in Tunisia for much of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. But I’m just guessing.
Of course, much of what is now Israeli cuisine seems to have been borrowed intact or is a variation of Tunisian/ North African, Levantine, etc food.
I read about it in a Jewish paper, so it seemed like a good place to start. Heading that way in April w/my family. My son is 12 and loves cous, so… My wife and I have been to Paris tons of times yet it’s been ages since I’ve had any North African in Paris so am searching for a tasty place.
Thanks. Never heard of it, but as @morekasha states, it’s newish. Looks enticing and all cheerful and pretty, with a typical Tunisian blue-and-white color code, and pics of the food don’t look bad at all. The briks look crispy enough, the merguez looks spicy enough, the couscous looks couscoussy enough — you can feel that the place is trying to convey a certain sense of modernity without tampering with the traditional recipes too much. (I can hear them from as far as Tunis or rue Richer, “what have you done to my mother’s chakchouka”, etc.)
‘Sidi Bowl Saïd’ made my day. In a way, it seems to make fun of the Ottolenghi hype, and I like that.
To me, it looks definitely Jewish-Tunisian (the presence of pkaila literally screams it), even if the overall impression it gives is of a basic Tunisian menu with a little Tune (Jewish Tunisian) thrown in, but I’m not sure the distinction is pertinent here. It is a feature of the Tunisian approach to food that community traditions happily overlap, under the principle that if it’s good, then everybody wants to eat it and to hell with overmarking your identity. In that respect, you’re right Parn, it doesn’t feel very different from the other Jewish-Tunisian or just Tunisian-Tunisian restaurants in Paris; you’ll find a little more poutargue here, a little more mloukhia there, no big deal really, Tunisian cuisine is very multifaceted as all Maghrebi cuisines are. In the case of Tunisia, it’s a big mix of Berbere, Ottoman, Italian, Jewish, French, and in case one should believe that Morocco is the quintessential couscous country (I know some visitors to France who, when they think of North African cuisine, assume that Morocco covers it all), it should be reminded that Tunisians claim to have at least one couscous recipe for each day of the year (and I’m sure they would be ready to fact-check that).
Mabrouk looks interesting, It’s a place that I wouldn’t mind trying one day, only to check whether it’s as good as it claims to be. One thing that’s for sure, it looks very, very Tunisian. The approach reminds me of Yoni Saada, but closer to a casual, relaxed, traditional place.