It’s hard to lose weight in Paris, so I never understand why French women are so skinny, and there’s books dedicated to explaining their diet. I have spoken to a French girl before about this phenomenon and she tells me they are very disciplined eaters – they don’t overeat, nor snack between meals and believe in eating everything in moderation. And they will drink but where’s that fatty tummy that comes with alcohol? Oh well, for me, my tummy always gets rounder and larger after stuffing all that French gastronomic food, wine and desserts in one trip.
This trip, as always, when I am in Paris, I have to make a visit to Laduree (as touristy as it is) because I love the Tarte Tatin (apple tart) – it’s really very good. Personally, I don’t care so much for their famous macarons, and find their typical breakfast way overpriced. I usually head to their location at Rue Royale for breakfast, just a stone’s throw from Castille Hotel, my fav hotel, and my favourite shops.
Continuing on my obsession with apples, yes I do love anything with apples especially apple pastries, you have to make a visit to Poilane on the left bank, the original store in St Germain District at 8 Rue Du Cherche-Midi,a bakery which started in 1932. They are known for their rye, sourdough breads, but what I love are their open-faced apple tarts that are to die for, and gets sold out fast. When I went there just 2 days before Christmas, there was quite a crowd forming, and lucky most of them were buying the standard loaves of bread. My advice is to get these a day before your departure if Paris is your last stop before heading home, because they taste great for 3 days in the fridge, just pop it in the toaster and it’s simply scrumptious! It’s a great little way to extend that taste of Paris.
One of the most memorable dinners was Le Chardenoux which YL highly recommended, and I have to thank her for that. Located in the 11th arrondisement, it was a small but elegant bistro with classic Parisian interiors – beautiful ceilings especially. The menu is very small but yet we found ourselves taking very long to decide as everything on that tiny menu sounded so yummy. And a full 3 course for only 39 euros? That’s ridiculously reasonable for the quality of food.
So in the end, we found at least half the table having the Cardenoux Burger, which oh my I have to say was so good! The patty was juicy, tasty with the perfect doneness, with soft burger buns and the fries was so good, I pretty much cleaned up every single fry left on the plate. I had to end the dessert with my favourite french toast, which in this case they served with diced pears and a large dollop of vanilla ice cream and a beautiful caramel sauce drizzled over it. It was a perfect ending to the burger for sure. The food here is simple but done very well, and always makes me want to come back for it again. Another place that has this effect on me is Le Dauphin, simple small plates modern bistro. I am glad I found another of this place in my tummy with Le Chardenoux. Just don’t go to their sister restaurant Le Chardenoux Des Pres in the 6th arrondisement, as I heard it’s not so good.
Without fail, when I am in Paris, I need to have Vietnamese food, as I can’t find Viet food of such good quality in Singapore. If you didn’t already know, they are very authentic and as good as eating in Vietnam. I have been to Pho 13 in Paris quite close to the Chinatown area, which is not bad but this time, we decided to head out to the Belleville area which is also home to many cultures – Asians, Arabs, Jews and many Vietnamese restaurants are prevalent in this area. We read about this place called Tin Tin in many food reviews and thought of trying it. I always love the dried style vermicelli, and glad that the one here did not disappoint. Their beef pho noodle soup was not so good – Pho 13 wins, but wow the dried style really packed some punch – with lots of tender beef slices and crispy spring rolls, right well-balanced seasoning, makes me want more of it!
Only advice is getting a cab here after your meal can be quite challenging as with all these rather far located restaurants, and hence it’s good to call for a cab before hand if you don’t want to take a metro. Even some of the car service apps don’t have cars that frequent this area, so it is best to get your hotel to call in advance.
I can’t wait to be back in Paris again in less than 2 weeks. Till then, am just gonna rest well to garner all that energy!