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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


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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