Friday, December 23, 2011

paris bites: chez l'ami jean

Chez l'ami Jean
27, Rue Malar
75007 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4705 8689

Before we left for our Europe trip, we were pretty diligent in our planning. We already had in hand a number of places to visit and necessary reservations for the restaurants we wanted to dine at were all made well before we left. Chez l'ami Jean was never in the itinerary. But after dining at quite some crappy places on days we decided to "wing it", we decided to try our luck to get a table at Chez and as you are currently reading this, you guessed right. We got lucky. In fact, we got lucky twice because I went for dinner there 2 nights in a row. Yup, that's how much we liked the place.

Chef Stéphane Jego, originally from Basque, is one of those chefs who has trained in French formal kitchens, worked with top chefs and is now part of the "casual dining" movement. And honestly, I think he is doing extremely well. On both nights, the restaurant was packed. On the 2nd night I was there, the restaurant was still bustling at 11pm (I know Europeans dine late but still!).

Deep Fried Pork Fat

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

paris bites: les cocottes de christian constant

Les Cocottes de Christian Constant
135, rue Saint-Dominique (7th arrondissement)
75007 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4555 1505 (No reservations)
Opening Hours: 12pm - 3pm, 7pm - 10.30pm daily

Chef Christian Constant helmed the kitchens in Michelin Star fine dining restaurants years back but in recent times, has decided to take the route of casual dining, which is pretty much the trend everywhere these days. The return to a more laid back setting means that his restaurant is more accessible as prices are more at a reasonable range. It also means the food is simpler but by no means less delicious or impressive.

Les Cocottes is quite a special little place. Located near the Eiffel Tower, it was the perfect lunch spot after a dreadful morning of queuing to ascend the Eiffel. True to the name of the place, most dishes are served in Staub cast iron cocettes which I find a novelty since the rest of the world are using tiles and chopping boards to serve their food these days (not that I mind).

The food was delicious. We started with a Langoustine Ravioli. The broth although a tad foamy was light and extremely flavourful. There was a substantial amount of langoustines wrapped within the ravioli. An all round favourite.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

paris bites: le cinq at the four seasons

Le Cinq
Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
31 Avenue George V
75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4952 7000

I wish I took a picture of Le Cinq's dining room because words cannot describe how beautiful it is (we had to be considerate cos there were other guests in the room). Have a look at their website and you'll know what I mean. Set in classic Parisian style, it is honestly one of the prettiest dining rooms I've ever been in. It almost feels like I've been transported to a different time, just sitting in the grandness of it.

The moment we settled into our table, our table was delivered with a "little" snack - Deep Fried Calamari! I say it's "little" only because we had more than our fair share. We just couldn't resist another basket when the wait staff came over and asked us, "MORE?" We could only nod and then had to stop ourselves from ruining the meal that was about to follow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

paris bites: relais de l'entrecôte

Relais de l'Entrecôte
15, Rue Marbeuf
Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4952 0717

Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris near Champs Elysee lies a typical looking French bistro. That bistro however, starts having a long line formed outside its doors around 6pm; the crowds rushing for the first seating when the bistro opens its doors. And all of them are simply lusting for this.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

paris bites: le chateaubriand

Le Chateaubriand
129 Avenue Parmentier
Paris 75011, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 4357 4595

Le Chateaubriand was probably one of the restaurants I was most excited about visiting, if not the most. It is afterall, ranked 9th on the San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Making a rapid ascend on the San Pel list from number 40 in 2009 to 9 in 2011, one almost gets an impression that owner and chef, Inaki Aizpitarte is the "rebel" of the restaurant scene in Paris - choosing to set up his own uber cool, no frills restaurant in the city of Michelin Stars. He's been talked about on magazines, tv shows you name it. Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert seemed to love it much when they filmed an episode of No Reservations there (and I did confirm that with Tony Bourdain when I met him after the trip). The food did look good but truthfully, I wanted to check out the hype.

6 years and counting..

I only realised today that Dec 1 just came and gone. And then I counted the years that I've been writing here. 6 years and 5 days. For those who have been following, I thank you for hanging around with me although I'm not the most frequent with my updates. I may not be writing but I am still eating, I assure you. So bear with me, those places worth the mention will make it here.. eventually. Let's just wait and see if the 7 year itch will kick in a year from now. Stay tuned!