In 2008, nobody knew what I talked about when I said “pate chaud“ (pronounced |pah-teh-sho|), unless that person was Vietnamese. Not even Wikipedia. But it’s French, how can wikipedia not know about a french pastry, I felt desperate. Now Wikipedia has a page for it, first created on Nov 3, 2011. So it came from an obsolete French word for hot (chaud) meat pie (pâté), but the pastry itself is far from obsolete.
Until now, the only place where I can get patechaud has been Vietnamese sandwich shops, which Berkeley doesn’t have. Then UCafe opened, and one day, I saw the patechauds at the counter. UCafe also has banh mi. Although I’ve been to the new Sheng Kee Bakery on Telegraph that everybody raves about, although Sheng Kee does have an artificial-tasting but really satisfying taro bubble tea, and although UCafe doesn’t have taro bubble tea (yet), I’ll be loyal to UCafe.
The nitty gritty: UCafe labels it “puff chicken” on the receipt. I don’t know what they call it per se because they’re not Vietnamese and I do the classic point-and-get thing. The filling: pretty different from the normal Vietnamese ground pork meatball filling, this one has chicken, woodear mushroom and some kind of fatty yellow mush that my best guest is something of plant origin (potato or bean paste?) soaked in gravy, or maybe it’s just gravy. But it’s satisfying, like all things with salt and fat. Worth its $1.50 and I don’t remember getting sick last time I ate it, so I got it again today. 😉