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 I wanted to try while I was here in France. 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, 1-4260-8200). 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, 01-4055-9779), 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.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Raohe Street Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan

Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun

I went over to Raohe Street Night Market because they have three different Michelin Bib Gourmand stalls. The first one, Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun, was easy to spot: it was right at the front gate and had a long line. They basically make these fist-sized meat-filled buns and shove them into some tandoor-like ovens, giving it a rather hard and chewy outside. It was certainly unique, but I don't think I'll get it again.

Shi Boss Spicy Tofu

Then I found the other stall, Shi Boss Spicy Tofu, only to realize upon getting there that the mala tofu was also stinky tofu, and in soup form with duck blood cakes below too. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but it ended up being well balanced enough to finish the entire thing off.

Raohe Street Night Market

I didn't bother with the third stall though, as the medicinal herb pork soup just didn't seem appealing at the time. Moreover, I ate this all in a rather gloomy mood, as the news about Bourdain broke just an hour earlier. I met him once at a banquet in Singapore many years ago, and he was a really friendly and cheerful guy. Very sad.

Quan Alley Hotpot in Taipei, Taiwan


I've just found my new favorite hot pot place in Taipei. It's actually a small chain, but a rather upscale one at that, including not just a very posh décor but also plating that made something as simple as cabbage look elegant without being tacky.

It's not just the looks though: the quality of the ingredients could hold its own too, especially that broth above. Both the white pork soup on the left and the spicy one on the right were silky smooth, making it go nicely with the marbled beef and pork in our set.

Granted, the broth could've been just a tad spicier, but I thought this was just the right balance. It's too bad that the drink selection was pretty lousy though, and one couldn't order sliced lamb a la carte either. I'd still rather come here than Ding Wang.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Dongqu Hong Mianxian in Taipei, Taiwan

Oyster Meesua

After clearing my step count for the evening, I realized that I needed just a little more food before going back to the hotel. I didn't want a full meal, and yet I wasn't going to settle for something from 7-Eleven either. So I decided to just stop at the very first street stall I could find, and that happened to be this shop selling local Taiwanese oyster mee sua (3 Zhongxiao East Road Section 4 Lane 181 Alley 7, 2751-0129). The chili sauce wasn't anywhere as fragrant as Ay Chung, but otherwise the bowl was fine, and in fact was quite tasty with thin cuts of large intestine in there (think: fat lining). And it was all only NT$45 (US$1.50).

Stinky Tofu as a Drinking Snack in Taipei, Taiwan

Stinky Tofu

During a team karaoke outing tonight, someone decided to order this stinky tofu topped with kimchi. It may sound like a lot of fermentation on one plate, but there was actually hardly any smell at all. It basically just tasted like normal fried tofu, which is actually a favorite of mine.