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13… A Baker’s Dozen

The trouble with Paris is there are way too many delicious spots for me to make the round. Each week I add yet another couple of places to try to my ever-growing list, so there’s never any moment where I thought “I have nowhere else new to check out anymore”. If anything, I wish I have a bigger eating out budget…

13 A Baker's Dozen

13 A Baker's Dozen

13 A Baker’s Dozen is a charming spot which has been hiding not-so-quietly in the Cour des Saints Pères. After being there with C recently, I can attest that while the high praises raised expectations, Laurel and her team surpassed them. Very easily at that too. A warm welcome greeted us to this packed dining room on a Saturday afternoon, and looking around, my stomach started to grumble and I couldn’t wait to dig into the “Fancy Brunch” I’ve been eyeing.

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SAaM: gua bao with a twist

My memory of large banquet dinners while growing up: they were noisy affairs, with a menu that was pretty much the same from one dinner to another, in large multi-purpose halls that were too stuffy for a crowd of several hundred, most of whom I did not know nor recognise but they’d all inevitably identified me as my great-grandparents’ great-granddaughter, or my grandparents’ granddaughter. (Ah yes, I was never my own person back then…) One of the messier dish to eat would be braised pig’s trotter, served with pacman-like buns on the side, and we were supposed to make our own bun sandwiches by stuffing the braised meat – or fat, if you were too slow on the uptake – then chomped away.

SAaM buns

SAaM buns

It was an upgraded version of these gua bao which awaited us at SAaM when my friends and I popped over recently for a food- and gab-fest. Five versions of buns were served in this small but quaint eatery, not overly crowded for a Saturday lunch, with four staff holding the fort between the front house and the open kitchen. Each has been given a Korean twist, although still as messy to eat as I remember from all the years gone by. ;)

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Hero: Korean fried chicken and cocktails

The mercury climbed past 33°C and the air was still. If I could have gone to work in tank top and shorts, I would have – hey, we don’t have air-conditioning in the office – but since that wasn’t an option, a summer frock was my best bet although it may have pushed the limit on “workplace-appropriate attire”… ;)

Hero Paris

Hero Paris

I was out with Vivian and her friend, B, for a catch-up session and to check out Hero, a recent addition to the dining scene in Paris. The restaurant was not as busy as we thought it’d be, but in that heat, most people were probably (illegally) dipping their feet in one of the many fountains around the city. That, and I guess quite a few people would have also left for the summer vacation?

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Siseng

It appears I’ve been flitting in and out several “hip” eating places lately, and Siseng Asian Food Bar is one of them. Each time, I feel just as awkward as ever besides the stylish folks (although I do question the decision of a man stepping in with a bathrobe from a hotel as his coat – F was there too so he can attest to this!) until the food was set in front of me. Then, all else was forgotten and my taste-buds got to monopolise my thoughts.

Siseng

Siseng

After New York, London and Hong Kong, bao burger has landed in Paris, thanks to Siseng. White, pillowy steamed buns replace the traditional sesame burger buns, and two different versions are available: bao burger kaï – marinated chicken burger with coleslaw, red pepper confit and a sauce of basil and coconut milk, or bao burger 5 épices – 5 spiced-marinated beef steak with rocket, spinach, onion confit, onion rings and a sauce of caramelised tamarind. They were juicy and the Asian-fusion flavour combination hit the right spots for me personally. The mid-week lunch menu comes with a serving of sweet potato fries, which makes a nice change from the usual french fries, and housedrink of the day for €15.

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Ellsworth

It seems la rentrée is not the only time of the year when we ponder which among the many new restaurants to eat in; there has been a spate of openings of late and by the Palais Royal, Ellsworth popped up on the ground floor of a building that’s currently under works (I thought I’ve got the address wrong when I first noticed the scaffolds) just steps away from its sister restaurant, Verjus, and helmed by Hannah Kowalenko, formerly a sous-chef at the latter.

Ellsworth

It was A’s birthday and as a treat, together with a couple of friends, we headed over for a celebratory lunch. The menu was small (just what I like in places I eat) with three options per course, and priced at an affordable €18 for 2-course and €24 for 3-course meal. FYI, in the evening, Ellsworth transforms into a tapas place with small plates to share, and come Sunday, there’s even brunch to be had. Could this be some kind of square peg for the city?

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La Chambre aux Oiseaux

A cosy canteen with a touch of vintage chic, that’s how I’d describe La Chambre aux Oiseaux. Upon S’s suggestion and initiative on making the reservation a couple of weeks in advance, we met on a slightly overcast Saturday afternoon for brunch in this café just off the Canal St Martin. They run two seatings for brunch, at 11.30am and at 1.30pm, and they were busy during both services. Clearly a favourite among many of the crowd of very fashionably dressed Parisians – yours truly not included given how carelessly my wardrobe is put together… – and for good reasons: the service is friendly, the food is delicious, and the ambiance is homey.

La chambre aux oiseaux

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Gwon’s Dining

For anyone looking for a good and classy Korean restaurant in Paris, with a menu that has more than bibimbap or garlicky fried chicken – don’t get me wrong, those are good Korean staple dishes, but don’t you want to try something new? – search no more. You should book a table at Gwon’s. It’s perfect for a date night. ;)

Gwong's

Gwong's

Truth be told, we’d meant to eat here for a while now. Located mere minutes walk from home, there was no good excuse not to, especially since each time we peered through their windows, the place was busy and filled with Korean diners. However, its upmarket setting means it carries a price tag that says “for a splurge”, so we’ve been saving it for an occasion which finally arrived: the completion of the Paris Semi Marathon.

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La Cuillière en Bois

We used to go to a particular crêperie at least once a month, and we brought just about every one of our visitors there, who loved it too. We were therefore fairly sad when the brother-and-sister team decided to sell their business. While we had been back there under the new ownership, things were just not the same anymore.

La Cuillière en Bois

La Cuillière en Bois

We started to test a few other crêperies near us but failed to find one that we really like. Incredulous, in a manner of speaking, since we lived near Montparnasse – the veritable neighbourhood filled with crêperies! We found some of the more famous ones served something very average, and horror, even pre-cooked galette. A crime, if you ask me.

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Dining Izakaya – 6036

Last year, Chef Haruka Casters – formerly of Abri, where I had great meals with family and friends but a nightmare to get into nowadays – striked out on her own and opened up a small, 14-seats izakaya in Belleville. Its name 6036 represents the distance, in miles, separating Paris and Tokyo, but here, the two food cultures are closely wed to make an interesting Franco-Japanese meal, tapas style.

Izakaya 6036

Izakaya 6036

The menu here changes regularly but there are seemingly some staples (onigiri, cold cuts of Galice and Belotta, St Nectaire or Comté, macha crème brûlée), others rotated and appear every so often, and some depending on the season. A good mix, I would say, for a menu of approximately 10-12 items: 7-9 savoury, 1 cheese and 2 desserts. On the late November night we were there with a few friends, we tasted 10 of the 12 items possible, skipping out on the soup and the carbonara.

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Neige d’Été

When I stumbled across an article recently that pointed to a new praiseworthy restaurant in my neighbourhood (mere 5 minutes walk from home is a bonus!) it’s a no-brainer that I should check it out. Taking advantage of the fact that we have visitors to entertain over the new year period, we need no further excuse to try snagging a table. What’s nice – for once, we were not working so we could even opt for the more budget-friendly lunch menu.

Neige d'Été

Neige d'Été

Neige d’Été (a somewhat whimsical “summer snow”) is discreetly located, with nary a sign pointing to its existence, until you’re right at the entrance and see the name palely etched across the glass of the door. Its interior – work of Japanese architect Shinku Noda – of minimalist features with shades of white is punctuated by occasional colours from the bouquet of fresh flower near the door and earthy tones of the settees. It felt a tad delicate to step in. Even the cutleries were hidden from sight – check the drawer in front of you but be careful not to spill everything onto your lap!

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Not your average traiteur: Jin Xin Lou

When I was a young visitor to Paris who barely spoke French donkey years ago, the first time I noticed the sign “traiteur” while walking around town, I wondered out loud “how could a Chinese takeaway be a traitor” (yes, it’s usually outside a Chinese restaurant/ takeaway that you’ll see the sign). My friend chuckled. “Nobody’s a ‘traitor’; the word traditionally stems from giving yourself a treat at home – i.e. dine in but don’t cook. However, today, it simply means a caterer or a takeaway.”

Anyway, I digress.

The recommendation of a friend of a friend brought us to my old neighbourhood of Cité U to check out a restaurant within a restaurant. Or more accurately, a French restaurant within a Chinese traiteur. Tucked away on a street at the edge of 13ème, bordering the 14ème and near the périph, you’d easily walk past without even noticing it. There’s not much to shout home about the decor and this is not a place for a romantic dinner à deux either. Yet, at 7.30pm, on a Saturday night when the streets were eerily quiet in this corner of the city, the place was bustling. If you had not made a reservation ahead, you’d be out of luck.

Jin Xin Lou

Jin Xin Lou

Once seated, ask for the French menu; a small and regularly changed, but not the single-menu variety (like many of the trendy new openings), there are 2-3 options per course. Seasonal ingredients were prominently featured. But, first thing first, a small basket of prawn crackers appeared at the table. I got munching away, and perhaps enjoying too many pieces of them, that F confiscated them away in case I ruined my appetite. As if! :p

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Dining in Lu.C.C.A. – L’Imbuto

It is no secret that F and I like eating in single menu – or no menu, depending how you see it – restaurants. We like to be surprised with something different, something that pushes our (usual) palate boundary, and more importantly, something that the chef creates based on what’s fresh and in season from the market. Even better combination, for us, would be a meal that’s creative yet home-y at the same time.

You may have noticed the lack of planning to our Italian trip thus far, relying mainly on serendipitous wandering around town for sightseeing, food, and gelati. Apart from knowing where we would be sleeping on any particular night, everything could happen. L’Imbuto (i.e. The Funnel) was the sole restaurant that I’d pencilled onto our itinerary, having seen it mentioned in an article about Lucca and got me all curious.

L'Imbuto

L'Imbuto

It was a tough self-debate if we should seek out Cristiano Tomei’s contemporary restaurant, or head to one of the local favourites which serves more traditional fares. We eventually decided an evening of out-of-the-ordinary meal over two weeks of traditional Italian could be a good culinary break. Our B&B host did make us doubt our decision for a moment, with his constant mention of how “special” this restaurant is, according to his friends.

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Lunch at La Ciboulette

The rain just wouldn’t let up. We were supposed to roam the famous market that lined the streets of the old town and canals of Annecy, but we ended up staying in for a grasse mat’ and read in bed. Eventually, we had to brave the weather and headed out, since we had a lunch reservation at La Ciboulette. We took the long way round so we could at least catch a glimpse of the market.

La Ciboulette, Annecy

La Ciboulette, Annecy

Slightly drenched after our walk, we stepped into a visibly posh restaurant with opulent interior, charming paintings, antique decorative pieces, and actual silver salt-and-pepper shakers and butter dish awaited us at the table which we were assigned. The couple at our neighbouring table were clearly in celebratory mood: a bottle of champagne with two long-stem flutes had just been brought over by the sommelier.

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Dinner at Frenchie

Just shortly before our 7pm reservation, I strolled up rue du Nil, spied Gregory Marchand in his office attached to Frenchie To Go, and gaped in amazement to see the excitable queue outside Frenchie Bar à Vins rushing in as soon as the door slid open. Luckily, I had secured a table at Frenchie restaurant a couple of months ahead (yup, that long) on La Fourchette, but what, or rather, whom, I was missing was my dinner companion. F had left his office a little later than planned, but on his way nonetheless.

Frenchie

Frenchie

Decided I’d be polite and not deemed as a no-show, I popped in quickly to let the staff know that I was here but would prefer to wait outside for F. It was all therefore very strange when she told me that if he was not here before 7.15pm, the table would be given away. Surely my level of French wasn’t that bad that mentioning a wait outside would be misunderstood as I planned to pull a disappearing act because F was late? I decided not to dwell on it and stepped outside anyway, and sure enough, F hurried along to greet me shortly thereafter. We even had five minutes to spare.

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Le Mary Celeste

Now that daylight saving has finally kicked in, at last, I could write a little show-and-tell about Le Mary Celeste, although the spotlight would be more on the French-Asian fusion cuisine and less on the interesting cocktails. (We’re terrible drinkers, really.) Up until now, the somber winter had rendered it quite difficult to photograph the dishes – the menu changed daily – in the dim interior, so we’d whole-heartedly piled our attention on the food that tickled our tastebuds.

Le Mary Celeste

Le Mary Celeste

Situated in the Marais, this is undoubtedly a place where many of the chic and the stylish hang out. I’m not quite that cool, so you won’t catch me perching on one of the bar stools and chatting casually to the bartenders. Instead, I tuck myself into a corner table with F or my friends, eye the menu hungrily, and mentally ponder how to persuade all at the table that we should order one of every item there is on the menu. Not that a lot of convincing was ever needed. ;)

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La Table d’Aki

F and I marked our anniversary with a small splurge – dinner at La Table d’Aki. Promptly at 8pm, the window cover was raised, and we stepped into a dining room about the size of the living room in our cosy Parisian apartment. Definitely minimalist in decor, monochromic palate of white (except the draft-blocking curtain and the low wall, both in red, by the door), as we were seated, I whispered to F: “16 covers only!”

Dinner @ La Table d'Aki

Dinner @ La Table d'Aki

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Tasty surprises at Pierre Sang Boyer

Having read many good things about Pierre Sang Boyer, bolstered by the image that I had of the chef from watching him on the French Top Chef Season 2 (ah, my first months in Paris and watching TC2 was, ahem, “a way to improve my French”), F and I recently found ourselves queueing for dinner in his restaurant in Oberkampf. Not once, but twice, in as many months.

A no-reservation policy (unless party of 6 or more – used to be strictly none) was the main factor that put us off for a long time from dining here, but now that the early days buzz had calmed down somewhat, we found that by arriving a few minutes ahead of opening time got us our table without any problem. Just as well, given the winter weather is not particularly suited for long wait outside.

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

So here’s the concept of eating at PSB: He’s a champion of the ethics of locavore as well as sustainable fishing. He works with local producers and sources what’s fresh and available according to the market and the season. The menu therefore changes day-to-day, sometimes even within the service if something runs out. This simplifies thing (and cooking), and fret not, guests are enquired shortly after being seated if there are any food restrictions or allergies.

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Les Pipelettes, café-épicerie

While breakfast meeting is a rare occurence for me, I found myself at Les Pipelettes, bright and early, to brainstorm with fellow volunteers of a scientific outreach programme on this year’s activities that promote collaborative works between high school students in Paris and in Turin. How apt, that we met in a café which name means the chatterboxes, since we chatted for a good couple of hours before wrapping it all up.

Our breakfast was very French, with most of us ordering a “get out of the bed” menu that consisted of a hot drink (hot chocolate with salted caramel for me please!), tartine with beurre Bordier and a basil-based jam (surprisingly good mix of sweet and savoury), and a juice (a combo of carrot, apple and ginger). The service was efficient and friendly, and we felt very much at ease, as if we were working from the home of a friend.

Les Pipelettes

Les Pipelettes

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10 first bites

It is no secret that I love to eat and I always prioritise things that seem unusual when picking from the menu. Sometimes, when there are more options than I can manage on my own, I throw the puppy eyes at my dining companion in hope he/she picks up on my inner plea to order one of them… ;)

Last year, in writing the list of 101 goals, I added “10 things I’ve never tried before” and hope it’ll make food discovery more interesting. However, actually having dishes in front of me often translates to “busy eating, no time to think or take photos” and therefore writing this post had taken a little longer than expected.

10 new food

1. Courgette flower: semi-hidden here between a slice of chorizo and a cherry tomato, the courgette flower is bright to look at and delicate to taste. They don’t transport well nor last beyond a few hours after picking, so it’s not something that can be easily found in Paris (much easier in south of France though). It tasted like, well, courgette, but a “lighter” version. The flower also has a soft velvelty texture, like most edible flowers really.

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A feast at Bali Asli

I wanted F’s first trip to Southeast Asia be a memorable one, so I put in considerable effort in planning our holiday. Not a rigid hour-by-hour schedule, mind, but enough to have a good idea what we could do each day and what were the alternatives should we fancy a change. It was during this research phase that I came to know about Bali Asli.

“Asli” refers to something genuine or authentic, and Bali Asli strives to promote the food tradition of East Bali by using own-grown or locally sourced fresh produce for its constantly changing menu. Not only the ingredients used are indigenous to the region, the cooking method is also preserved (wood-fired mud brick stoves!) so to showcase the best East Bali has to offer. More significantly, Bali Asli serves a menu that is based on the concept of megibung, where food and drink are presented as communal platters to be shared, a tradition that harks back a few centuries ago where the King of Karangasem would sit down with his soldiers for their daily meals.

This was the restaurant we “dropped a cool half million for lunch” ;)

Bali Asli

Bali Asli

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Lunch at Le Jardin des Plumes

If anyone tells me right now that he/she will be visiting Giverny, my immediate response is “Call Le Jardin des Plumes, book a table in their restaurant and treat yourself to a wonderful meal”. It may only be a few months old, but at its helm is Chef Joackim Salliot, who interprets the vision of Michelin-starred Chef Eric Guérin, and a warm welcome from the maitresse de maison, Nadia Socheleau, awaits all. Seriously – Just. Do. It.

Le Jardin des Plumes

Le Jardin des Plumes

Tucked hidden away from the main village on rue du Millieu but mere handful few minutes walk away from the Musée des Impressionnismes, the restaurant is part of an elegant boutique hotel surrounded by the calm of the countryside. Few visitors of the village explore beyond rue Claude Monet, so this is, for now, truly off the beaten track.

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Guy Savoy’s Les Bouquinistes

A couple of weeks ago I managed to not only renew my carte de séjour but to also change the visa type to vie privée et familiale. It went well, except for the part where I forgot to bring my current carte de séjour with me and had to go home to retrieve it, oops.

Frédéric attended the appointment with me – a requirement given the change of visa type – and even though we arrived 15 minutes ahead of our appointment, we were attended to immediately. After about an hour wait while someone reviewed the file, we were informed that the application has been approved and a relevant récépissé for me was duly issued.

Les Bouquinistes

Menu of the day

We celebrated this paperwork victory with a lovely lunch at Les Bouquinistes. The choice was an impromptu one. Initially we were going to go our favourite creperie near Odéon but when we passed by Les Bouquinistes, I couldn’t help but paused to take a peek at their lunch menu. The next you know, Frédéric walked in the door to ask if a table for two is available.

Choosing what we would eat couldn’t have been easier. The daily lunch menu consisted of two options for each of the courses: starter, main, dessert. Yup, you’ve guessed it, we both ordered the different items and promised to swap a few bites during the meal. Drink-wise, a glass of apricot juice for me, and a glass of white wine for Frédéric.

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A taste of Indonesia

Visiting friends always make the best excuse to eat in new restaurants (well, new to us anyway) and we took advantage of it recently to check out an Indonesian restaurant not far from our place. Restaurant Indonesia – I know, not the most imaginative of name but does the job perfectly – is just steps away from Luxembourg Garden, thus location-wise, it’s central and a walk in Luco after lunch would have been a good option. When it is not raining, that is.

The restaurant is long and narrow, and upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by the sole server(!) waiting on all the tables in the dining room. On a Saturday afternoon in a restaurant full of diners, that was an impressive feat. She left us to peruse the menu at our leisure – a small basket of prawn crackers was also deposited in the centre of the table so we can snack in the mean time – and we decided to go for the rijstafel (i.e. rice table – a Dutch word in origin, bearing in mind Indonesia was formerly a Dutch colony) where we would have a selection of dishes to share between us instead of restricting ourselves to just a handful few main dishes.

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Oh yes, do go to Abri

Barely a couple of weeks following its opening, Nico’s brother suggested that we met for lunch at “a sandwicherie near Poissonnière”. It was all rather mysterious and upon arrival, I was confused by the name City Café Sandwich but something clicked – I have just glanced through a café-bistrot recommendation a few days earlier and this was the place! Gourmet sandwicherie on Mondays and Saturdays, and restaurant serving fixed-menus from Tuesday to Friday, there is already quite a buzz surrounding this venture by Japanese chef Katsuaki “Katsy” Okiyama, formerly of Robuchon and l’Agapé.

Despite arriving at noon (it opens on Saturday at 12.30pm, although many articles I’ve seen stated Saturday opening hour at 10am or noon), a queue has started gathering outside Abri and when it came to our turn to be seated, there simply wasn’t a table available for 5 pax. There were only a couple of potential tables for 5-6, except they have been split to accommodate groups of 3-4. The rest which remained were tables for two.

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Nordic dining: DILL Restaurant

On the eve before our departure for Reykjavík, I had the good fortune to across an article that talked about the emergence of Nordic cuisine, led by René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen. As I read through the article, my attention was steered immediately to the mention of DILL Restaurant, conveniently located in the city where I’d be visiting right the next day. I immediately sent an email to them, hoping to snare a table for LT and me with such short notice. We struck gold – they booked us in for Saturday night, hurrah!

Kitchen of DILL Restaurant

Arriving back from the Golden Circle Tour, we hastily made ourselves presentable and requested the front desk for a taxi to drive us over. We were not far from the restaurant, but after the wet and windy day, we needed more comfort than ever. At least the rain seemed to have abated. I wasn’t sure my coat would be happy to get another dose of soaking!

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Grillið Restaurant

When it comes to the monetary aspect, Iceland is not for the faint-hearted. Food in particular don’t come cheap. Bearing that in mind, LT and I thought, why not splurge a little? Instead of paying dearly for supposed budget eats, we would indulge in higher-end dining that would actually be comparable in price to that in Paris. This way, we won’t feel like we’ve paid too much for what we can get cheaper in Paris; instead, we will get fine dining at the “regular” price. Another plus point – we will experience Icelandic dining at the top level.

Grillið Restaurant

Chefs

We had our first evening meal at Grillið Restaurant, situated on the 8th floor of our hotel. As we were there very early, the place was practically empty and we scored a table next to the windows, affording us some impressive panoramic view despite the falling rain and setting fogs. Chef milled about in the kitchen that can be openly observed via see-through glass panelling. I find the interior decor a little tacky though, featuring the signs of the zodiac.

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Day 243: Pierogi

The quest for international food hunt continues. Granted, I have already went to a Peruvian restaurant to make it for the “P” entry, but since I have not yet tried Polish food in this city, well, there is no good reason to not go. Besides, it’s food. And this place serves barszcz, and I was hankering for some delicious beetroot-based goodness. Off to Cracovia on rue Moufftard so.

Pierogi, considered Polish national dish, are essentially dumplings. As Cracovia serves pierogi with a number of different types of filing, and I had difficulty choosing one over the others, I went for the easy option – pierogi mixtes. I was given pierogi with groud meat, cabbage and mushroom, and white cheese and potatoes. Of the three, the dumplings containing ground meat were the ones I liked best. You should try it sometimes if you could. Just ask for pierogi z miesem.

Day 225: Lunch, al fresco

I’ve always had this idea that I’d like to visit Luxembourg, not that I know what’s there to see when anyone asked me “why?”. Errr, just because? When the opportunity presented itself a couple of days ago (major reduction on train tickets) I decided to take advantage of it and play tourist for a couple of days. With very little preparation made, it really is a weekend where I’d be winging it.

One of the magics of a little me-time means treating myself to an al fresco lunch at Les Caves Gourmands, which has been awarded “Bib Gourmand” by the folks from the food bible of Michelin. Without paying much attention to the menu (I was more intent on scanning the tourist guide for things to do in Luxembourg Ville) I ordered the set menu of the day. I was served “caviar” of aubergine to snack with some bread, beautifully cooked calamari with warm tomato salsa and olive oil drizzle that was packed with a Mediterranean-punch of flavour as my starter, roast chicken and crayfish with potato and summer greens for main course (the poor crayfish was left uneaten since I didn’t have any anti-histamine pills with me – such a pity, but I didn’t want to spend any time at the hospital either) and greengage with ice cream to sweeten up the meal.

Having eaten well, I was all ready to explore the city more. The day had began with a visit to Casemates du Bock and Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg and after lunch, a walking tour was swiftly organised. I also managed to squeeze in Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’Art Contemporain after the walking tour. And no pastry? Of course not! Oberweis got a visit, courtesy of recommendation by Cait.

Day 15: Kitchen hands

Question: How can one have an enjoyable evening when the day has been extremely windy and quite wet on top of it?
Answer: Attend an Indian-themed dinner party; eat, drink and be merry, and meeting a lot of new people. Once one decides to brave the weather of course. ;)

Mo and Kathleen hosted this dinner party over in Ranelagh but when I arrived, I was quite the lone soldier. Nary a familiar face except those of my hosts and a few friends I know would not arrive till much later. Fret not. Through the course of the evening, over tasty and well-spiced Indian food, luscious desserts and mango lassi, I’ve met and spoke to some very interesting people. (It also felt like a preview of what’s to come in my upcoming big move, where I’ll play the new girl and try to build a whole new social circle.)

During the first hour though, I found comfort to be near the kitchen, observing the cooking (and be one of the first to get something to my plate when they were cooked) and learning a few things about Indian food. I love Indian food, but for some reason, have never really added them to my repertoir of dishes to cook. It must be remedied.


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