Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ballon et Coquillages in Paris, France

Crab and Shrimp

This was a little 12-seater raw bar (71 Boulevard Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, 1-45-74-17-98) serving local French seafood from the restaurant next door. There was no kitchen in here; just one round shaped bar. The single staff servicing the place in fact had to keep walking outside to the restaurant in order to shuttle food and drinks back in here. Either way, it was fresh and tasty; that crab (presumably similar to Irish brown crab?) was full of good back fat to scoop onto some crusty baguette. The headfat in the prawns was not as savory as the ones that I recall from Spain, but was more rich and buttery. The mayonnaise that they provided was a rather tasty too.

Au Pied de Cochon in Paris, France

Os à Moelle

Here's another institution in Paris, but this time it is on the Eater 38 list, particularly for its pig foot (6 Rue Coquillière, 1-40-13-77-00). We were only here for an afternoon snack, so I went for the bone marrow above; it still came with little bits of pig foot on a slice of toasted bread. Yep, it oozed of deliciousness. The French onion soup here wasn't as deep nor sweet as the one at Angelina, but I also kinda liked how it was a lot saltier and cheesier, even if it felt more crude. Anyway, this 24 hour shop is pretty cool, and presumably has no relation to the similarly-named shop in Montréal.

Berthillion Glacier on Paris' Île Saint-Louis

Gianduja Orange

What's better than some ice cream to beat the heat of the past few days? We were told that this shop (29-31 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 1-43-54-31-61) was known for both its high quality and unique flavors. And it was pretty impressive, with their strawberry ice cream bursting with fresh fruit taste. The cone I had above was made with praline-flavored chocolate and orange; it was rather sweet, but nonetheless wasn't a combination that you'd find elsewhere. I was surprised that they were only charging €3 (US$4.75) a cone too.

L'Escargot Montorgueil in Paris, France

Foie Gras Escargot

Our taxi driver in Paris recommended this very old place (38 Rue Montorgueil, 1-42-36-83-51) for their escargot. They had a lot of interesting variations on;the menu, like that foie gras version above, as well as even a gaudy 24 karat gold-leaf version.

We passed on the latter, while the former merely tasted like a bit of foie gras was added to the usual butter recipe. It was fine, but nothing that I wanted more of. I didn't like the other stuff that we got either, in particular the steak tartare, as our waiter put way too much mustard and bits of gerkin in there.

This place was filled with tourists too. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Peter Luger in New York: an old school place with some history but more of a tourist spot now, with food isn't anything that I'd want to go back for.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chez Georges in Paris, France

Sole Meunière

That probably looks a bit messy above, but it was after my waiter had filleted the sole meunière that initially came out whole. I liked how the fish was thin yet firm, and how neither the butter nor lemon dominated it. If anything, it was very delicately balanced with an occasional bit of parsley or even fatty skin to keep it exciting. One couldn't complain about the buttery mashed potatoes that came on the side either.

For €41 (US$47), this wasn't cheap, nor was it very filling, even after devouring that basket of bread. But I still left this place (273 Boulevard Pereire, 01-45-74-31-00) stuffed thanks to a baba al rhum dessert, which was a big piece of cake soaked in syrup and rum. And when I say soaked in rum, I mean sitting in a small puddle of the stuff, especially since they gave you a bottle to drizzle more over it if you wanted it. Nice.

Le Relais de l'Entrecôte in Paris, France

This small local chain of steak-frites shops is an offshoot of the original Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte. There was no menu: just tell them how you want your meat done, and the salad, bread, and fries come along with it.

The green sauce obviously was central to all of this, especially since the meat was surprisingly lean, and thus needed the huge assist provided by the butter. The fries were better: fried crispy and full of potato-ey taste. I liked the edginess of the dijon mustard that they used in the salad dressing too.

I'm still a bit baffled by that lean cut of meat though: I wonder if other shops will use a better cut. It might also be worth going back to L'Entrecote back in Singapore again to make a comparison too; I haven't been there in a while.

Au Rocher de Cancale in Paris, France


I needed a bit more food after work tonight, and fortunately a lot of late night places north of Les Halles were just a short walk away. I got a dozen oysters from this shop (78 Rue Montorgueil, 01-42-33-50-29), and they turned out to be wonderfully briny. But perhaps more exciting for me was the entire culture of sitting in one of those quintessentially small streetside tables nibbling on a bit of food and wine with a view of passers-by along the cobblestone road, especially when the weather was so nice tonight. It made me realize how I've been missing out on France all of this time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Angelina in Paris, France


This old tea house in Paris was recommended by a friend. And it was only a block or so from where we were at, so we stopped in (226 Rue de Rivoli, 1-42-60-82-00). They're famous for things like their hot chocolate, which was thick and slightly gritty, as well as pastries like those macarons above. We liked everything that we had, including a naturally sweet and earthy French onion soup. But had we known in advance that these guys already have two outlets in Singapore, we probably would've gone somewhere else. Well, I guess it's still interesting to visit the original outlet.

Monday, June 18, 2018

La Cabane Gourmande in Paris, France

Savoyarde Galette

We needed lunch near our hotel in District 17 today. So I hopped onto Google Maps and found this crêperie (1 Rue Lebon, 01-40-55-97-79), which looked interesting primarily because of a user comment that said that they didn't speak any English. Except that when we arrived, they did indeed speak English, and even had an English menu available. Well, it didn't matter in the end, as we were happy with the food, and the staff was super friendly too. Granted, it wasn't so unique that I will come running back either, but it was fresh, simple, and did the job.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bakso Cak Masrur from Kangen Cafe in Batam, Indonesia

Bakso Cak Masrur

I can't figure out how unique this is, nor if that is that is even the right name. But this small chain here in Batam was serving this gigantic bakso meatball that encased several smaller meatballs (think of one of those Russian stacking/nesting dolls and you get the idea). It was actually a bit too much meat in the end. But the soup was savory and punctuated with some pepper and celery leaves, and having some potent sambal on the side never hurt. Next time I should remember to try some of their fish or duck that they covered in green chilies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Onigiri-ya by Inaho on Duxton Road, Singapore

Set B

This place is hidden up on the second floor of a shophouse (60 Duxton Road, 6222-0852). And as the name suggests, they sell onigiri for lunch. The menu is basically a long list of different kinds of onigiri, which they make to order with the rice still warm. The quality was fine, the service was fast, and it certainly was healthy. What will perhaps be more interesting will be to see what this place is like in the evenings, when it transforms into Inaho's Kitchen Bar. There was plenty of alcohol lining the walls.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Du Hsiao Yueh at Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan

Jiachuan Rouzhaofan

I'm not sure if I missed it last time I was at the airport, but the basement food court fortunately now has a local store (as opposed to Starbucks) open in the mornings. And it's decorated like a little hut with cute little bamboo stools, complete with a chef squatting down in front of the stall to assemble your food. Danzi mian seems to be their specialty, but for breakfast they were serving this rouzhaofan. It wasn't as sweet nor fatty as luroufan, but this mildly salty bowl was still delicious. I'd eat this for breakfast quite a bit if only they had one of these near my hotel in the city.