Tunisian-Jewish specialities served up at new Paris restaurant

Japanese tourists and North African Muslims are among the clientèle of a new kosher-style restaurant in Paris. Mabrouk offers Tunisian-Jewish specialities without the usual kitsch surroundings. JTA reports (with thanks: Nancy):

PARIS (JTA) — As children in Paris, Alexandre David and Alexis Memmi looked forward to summer every year when they would relocate to their grandmothers’ homes in Tunisia.

Summers there meant frolicking on the beach under the hot sun, playing on the streets of the Jewish quarter of the capital Tunis, where their families lived — and plenty of glorious Sephardic dishes that those grandmothers made with recipes handed down and perfected over generations.

There, the childhood friends made a vow.

“We said that as soon as we grow up we’d open a restaurant together and serve those dishes in the center of Paris,” David, 35, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

It took a little longer than they expected, but that childhood dream is finally a reality at Mabrouk, a kosher-style restaurant they opened in 2019 that aims to make Sephardic Tunisian dishes accessible to the modern Parisian diner.

Mabrouk, which has received glowing reviews in major publications, including Elle magazine and Nouvelles Gastronomiques, is part of a growing trend of North African cuisine in France. While couscous and merguez have been available in immigrant communities and niche eateries since immigration from North Africa first swelled in the 1950s, the new generation of restaurants offer a wider array of dishes, aimed at a broader cross-section of eaters.

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