Paris eats – new discoveries in Spring

Visiting Paris in Spring (29 - 31 March 2014)
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Escaping to Paris from London is always so easy, in 2 hours and 15 mins, I get from being in one my favourite cities to another, totally love the convenience London has with the rest of Europe. We headed up just for the weekend from Sat-Mon with MC and LL who flew in from Norway. Well, yes I was just up in Paris with Y in December but oh I am glad we decided to come here this time of the year, as the weather was lovely, it was truly spring time compared to London weather! Only unfortunate thing was Y and I got so sick with fever and stomach flu on the last day, we felt paralysed to the ground. Good thing we managed to do most of the things on the weekend.

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View from Castille Hotel balcony

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Beautiful skies at Place Vendome

We strolled down our favourite Rue Saint Honore and Avenue Montaigne streets this Saturday, being very careful with not over shopping, yes it’s hard when we are in Paris – temptation city! We decided to head into Maison Michel just few doors down from Castille Hotel as Y just can’t get over those bear ears headband, excuse being “it’s great for a costume party!” Lo and behold, we spotted Naomi Campbell coming out of the shop, and zipped quickly into a black SUV, she still looked amazing. Thank goodness they had the bear headband and I couldn’t resist trying to wear it, too bad it’s too small for my big head.

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Who wears it better? Bear ears

We popped into our favourite Moynat shop to get Y’s initials engraved on her Moynat Cabas bag which she brought along. It’s always lovely seeing Lisa Marie who remembered us and was happy to help us get this done. Just can’t wait to see the finished product! I love how Moynat does the customisation initials, they have a lot more

interesting depth and variety to the ones that Goyard and Louis Vuitton does for their bags.

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Lisa Marie processing the paperwork for the bag customisation.

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Decision decisions… hard to decide which type of style and color.

Next on the list was dinners, lunches, more in between desserts… yes the list goes on. Here’s a quick hit list of places you must check out in Paris!

1. L’Ecume Saint Honore (6 Rue du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France, Tel:+33 1 42 61 93 87)

Tucked away on a street just further down from Balenciaga on Rue Du Faubourg Saint Honore, it’s easy to miss this restaurant that specialises in chilled seafood and oysters. It’s a great location and easy place to stop by for a quick seafood platter with wine before doing some more shopping. However, it ain’t cheap, my platter below plus 2 servings of scallop sashimi (so so good) cost me around 90 over euros but so so fresh. I would only suggest to give the sea urchin a miss, it’s still better eating it in Japan. Plus don’t come here if you want to eat hot or cooked food, there’s none.

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2. L’Ami Jean (27 Rue Malar, 75007 Paris, France, Tel:+33 1 47 05 86 89, Open Tues – Sat, Lunch 12 – 2.30 pm, Dinner 7 pm to midnight)

A cosy unassuming bistro with rather tight tables and minimal leg room (yes MC kept complaining the whole night , there’s cons to being so tall too), seems a quintessential requirement for the good french bistros we have been to, plus quirky cartoony impressions of the chef adorn some of the walls. I have to apologise for the poor pictures below, was still figuring out how to adjust the settings on my new Leica C camera. Serving fantastic rustic comfort food, am glad it didn’t disappoint – from the slow cooked pork to the grilled squid and even pot of rustic vegetables that we had everything was very good. The quirky sense of humour of the staff to the shouting we hear in the kitchen of chef Stephane Jego, just seemed to add to the atmosphere of the place. And you cannot walk out of this place without trying their famous rice pudding, served in a huge bowl with accompanying praline and meringue, it’s a heart stopper, yes you are hearing this from me where I hate rice puddings. Don’t come here if you are on a diet.

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Grilled squid

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MC’s order of scallops!

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The ultimate ending to the dinner – the famous Rice Pudding!

2. Eggs and Co (11 Rue Bernard, Palissy, 75006 Paris, Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm)

Y and I have been wanting to try this place and finally managed to make it down here on Sunday morning. Lucky we got here early with the gals as the crowd really started to come in around 11 plus to noon. A really cute quirky place, its menu works basically as eggs benedict style (served on muffins) with different type of toppings you can choose from served with orange juice, and pancakes at the end. The pancakes were rather disappointing and flat in flavour but their eggs and muffin combo was so good, I shared with Y the spinach, bacon and egg combo, otherwise the classic smoked salmon, egg and spinach combo is great as well. This a great choice for a weekend morning breakfast before heading down to the nearby Saint Germain area to walk around.

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3. David Toutain (29 rue Surcouf, 75007, Tel: +33 1 45 51 11 10. Closed Saturday and Sunday; Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner. Best to call few weeks in advance.)

This much acclaimed chef who brought a lot of hype to Agape Substance, recently opened his own restaurant finally. Serving up modern conceptual cuisine, with key focus on the seasonal produce, I can only imagine how much tastier the meal would have tasted if Y and I were fully well. MC and us had the Hogweed 4- course lunch at 42 euros as we couldn’t eat anything more and thoroughly enjoyed this meal although we were battling a stomach flu. I liked how he featured vegetables a lot in almost every course and managed to bring delight in otherwise very boring root vegetables like parsnip, carrots and even incorporating cauliflower in a ice cream like pre dessert.  I would love to go back and go for his full degustation dinner the next time.

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On Sundays in Paris, I love walking around in the Le Marais area as there’s a nice relaxed vibe to it most of the shops and cafes are open and is nice to just walk around and relax. So glad we discovered some new finds in this area, be sure to visit them when you are there.

1. Le Eclair De Genie (14 Rue Pavée, 75004 Paris, France, Tel: +33 1 42 77 85 11)

MC and us were first attracted to the queue outside, and realised it was a eclair dessert shop, oh my, though we were still very full from lunch, we decided to queue and take away some eclairs. And they were heavenly!!! From flavours like salted caramel, to grand cru chocolate to passion raspberry, the variety is amazing! A definite must for all you sweet tooths and eclair lovers, this is one of the best places to have an eclair.

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2. Jacques Genin (133 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France, Tel:+33 1 45 77 29 01)

Another must have for chocolate lovers, Jacques Genin shop is amazing – chocolate wizadry at its finest – from chocolate shaped bears to dinosaurs and exquisite hand crafted little hens with watercolors, the craftsmanship of chocolate art here is astounding. Have tea in here if you can otherwise just buy back some nice truffles and chocolates as a memento.

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3. La Cambre Aux Confitures (9 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris 09, Tel+33 1 71 73 43 77)

And last but not least, for those of you who love your jams with anything, this is one not to be missed. I fell in love with this place after coming here with Y and R in December. Pure artisanal ingredients with no colorants or preservatives here, you wouldn’t want to buy supermarket jams after you taste this. You can find quince, kumquat, elderberry, cranberry or rhubarb – mixing with more classic flavours like cherry, blackberry, apricot and plum. Plus there’s also chocolate spreads, pastes more like quince and other exotic flavours to go with cheese. The shopping process here is so fun as there are tasting samples for every flavour. My favourite is the Framboise and Champagne, Poire and Vanilla. I brought MC here and she went on a spree buying gifts for her mum and auntie.

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Yes and that ends my long list of Paris eats in Spring. Hope I can return to Paris in spring again next year.

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