While many Parisian restaurants pride themselves on the subtlety of their quality ingredients, the cuisine at Le Souk Saint-Germain, bursting with flavor and exotic spices, dances on the palate. The contemporary yet cozy dining room, decorated in subdued colors and dark wood, holding not more than a dozen tables, is located at 5, rue Bernard Palissy, on a small side street just off St Germain des Pres. The menu, all in French, offers a limited selection of smaller tastes to start and an assortment of couscous and tagine dishes, making it relatively easy to negotiate even for non-French speakers. A select list of Moroccan wines is available along with a few French choices.
To start we had the farandole for two consisting of five vegetable based spreads served with bread, each one a unique combination of flavors – a mild rich eggplant, sweet lemony carrots, Berber tomato and onion, an acidic eggplant, and my favorite, tomato confit – bold and sweet with great tomato acid and a long finish.
For mains we tasted the tagine de poisson à la chermoula – fish cooked and served in a ceramic tagine with flavors of lemon, onion, cilantro and Moroccan spices; and the tagine d’agneau aux pruneaux et amandes – a hearty morsel of lamb, fall off the bone tender, served in a succulent stew of prunes, apricots and almonds, so rich and satisfying desert would be redundant.
Opening in the fall of 2012, Le Souk already has 133 reviews on La Fourchette, the French online booking site similar to Open Table in the States, with an impressive 8.4 food rating. However, the restaurant has just 2 reviews on Tripadvisor, making it new discovery on the English speaking tourist scene.
Starters are priced at 9-16 Euros with mains priced at 18-22 Euros. At the time of writing the restaurant was offering a killer deal of 30 percent off during the week and 20 percent on weekends for bookings made online through La Fourchette.