Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fresh fish: Foujita

The Japanese restaurant Foujita has been around for more than three decades. Located in the Japanese quarter in Paris, where you find real estate ads exclusively in Japanese, groceries with unpronounceable products and many more exotic things, this restaurant is where I have lunch every other Saturday or so.

The place is anything but fancy, cool and design. It is more like a canteen. But the quality is indisputable, the service is quick and prices are ok. I like to sit in the bar and watch the guys prepare the dishes: sushi, sashimi, nuta, yakimono, natto, wagarashi, sunomono, makisushi, ippin ryouri, gohan/wan, yokan, ogura rice... My husband loves the chirashi whilst I generally opt for the sakedon. As it is often crowded, be early or book a table.

41 rue Saint Roch
75001 PARIS
Métro Pyramides (line 7 and 14)
01 42 61 69 39

Blissful bakery: Des gâteaux et du pain

Paris is exceptionally spoiled with wonderful bakeries. Bread is an utterly important element of the French cuisine: It is simply unthinkable to serve a meal without bread. Of course French bakeries sell the famous baguette - and all its varieties like my favorite called "le rustique" - but they come up with so incredibly much more... and it is really worth trying.

Each year, an award is given to the best bakery in Paris. The lucky - and well deserving - winner gets the privilege of becoming the official bread supplier to l`Elysée (the President´s residence). You can imagine yourself how the turnover soars, not only due to the President`s appetite for bread... Parisians do not mind walking a few minutes extra in the evening if at the end of the walk there is some fabulously well made bread to accompany their dinner.

As far as I know "Des gâteaux et du pain" is yet to become the best bakery in town (competition is stiff!), but it is one of my preferred addresses. They make a divine country bread called Polka, but they definitely know how to prepare other kinds of bread too, not to mention cakes or home-made marshmallows with a taste of orange flower.

Have a look at their website where all products are clearly exposed.

Des gâteaux et du pain
63 Boulevard Pasteur
75015 PARIS
Métro Pasteur (line 6 and 12)
Closed on Tuesdays

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Life is sweet: Käramell

We all know that the French are extremely gifted for making good food and wine. They excel in everything from appetizers to miniardises. It is indeed a fabulous country to live in! Nevertheless, although the French make maybe the finest chocolate in Europe, there is one culinary domain where they still can make significant progress: "Les bonbons".

I dear to say that there is no real culture for sweets in France. Of course, you find delicious specialities like calissons, fondants and caramels au beurre salé. However, if you want to buy some winegums at the movies, some marshmallows at the supermarket or some fruit gums at the bakery, you are often left with boring and chemical-tasting Haribo.

For sweets that taste more natural, that are more delicate - yes, simply better, I strongly recommend the shop Käramell run by Lena, a Swedish sweet tooth. Lena`s shop is cosy and colourful and the variety of sweets is unrivaled in Paris. Most of the produce is imported from Sweden and tastes way better than what you can find elsewhere in town. Lena also sells some nice accessories and products reflecting where she has her roots.

15 rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris

Métro Notre Dame de Lorette (line 12)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Christian Constant`s tasty street

In rue Saint Dominique Christian Constant displays three nice restaurants.

While Le Violon d`Ingrès is the stylish, all-white place, Les Cocottes is the more relaxed one where the dish of the day is often enjoyed at the counter. Both places serve excellent food, and the service is impeccable. At Le Violon d`Ingrès it is wise to book a table in advance. Les Cocottes, however, does not take reservations. I recommend showing up early (12.15 for lunch and 19.15 for dinner) to avoid standing in line. The third one, Café Constant, is a traditional café with more rustic food that I do not know as well as the two others.

Christian Constant is not a modest man calling one of his desserts at Les Cocottes "La fabuleuse tarte au chocolat de Christian Constant". He is honest, though. The chocolate cake is fabulous and very different from any other I have tasted. It is simply the best. It tastes divine and litterarly melts in your mouth. A must for any meal at Les Cocottes...

135-139 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris

Métro Ecole Militaire (line 8)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A charming, old fashioned grocery: Epicerie Lion

Epicerie Lion is the perfect place for buying nice and original gifts that will not end up in a drawer or on a dusty shelf. If you know the place already, I am sure you have noticed their charming food kits. What a great idea for a gift! All the ingredients required for a given recipe are piled up in a small and delicate plastic wrapping. The kit for the rice pudding with cinnamon tea and tatin apples, for instance, contains a layer of rice, another one of sugar, a small bag of tatin apples and the required amount of cinnamon tea. Everything you need (except milk!) to make your succulent dessert, or to offer an original, tasty and playful gift to a friend. The kits come in salt versions as well. Who wouldn’t care for a risotto with chanterelle and almonds..?

On the wooden shelves you find well chosen products in a wide range of categories: spices, olive oils, premium quality fruit juices (try the summery strawberry-apple), mustards, pasta, sauces, chocolates, biscuits, sweets (do not miss the fabulous marshmallow sticks with great, natural flavours like vanilla, strawberry, anise, orange blossom…), herbal tea and so on.

For the ones that like to tender their own garden, Epicerie Lion sells seedcorn for growing old-fashioned carrots, tomatoes and radish. In the green corner of the shop, you can also find bulbs for four-leaved clovers – allowing you to cultivate good luck. For yourself and for your loved ones.

The staff is friendly and happy to offer advice.

7 rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris
Métro: Abbesses (line 12)

Fabulous lunch, no ruin: Relais Louis XIII

Relais Louis XIII is my absolute favourite address for lunch in Paris.

On weekdays, this 2 stars restaurant offers a lunch menu that represents exceptional value for money: For 50 euros you can enjoy an exquisite and generous meal: appetizer, starter, main course, cheese, dessert and mignardises.

As an illustration, I paste the menu suggested on 26 Jan 2010:

Terrine de coquilles Saint-Jacques à la ciboulette /Œuf mollet et émulsion d’asperges vertes /Coquillages juste cuit en coque, persil et jus de Bellota

Pêche de ligne du jour " suivant arrivage"/ Confit de joue et aiguillette de bœuf saignante,pommes de terre dorées au poivre noir /Cuisse de volaille de Bresse façon demi-deuil, légumes oubliés

Sélection de fromages frais et affinés

Chiboust à la vanille et pomme/Chocolat et praliné façon Paris-brest/Soupe de coco-ananas, sorbet à la mangue

Service is discreet, friendly and efficient in this place where time stands still.

8 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris
Métro Saint-Michel (line 4)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Send me an angel: La Boutique des Anges

Although the shop is open all year, December is clearly the best month for visiting La Boutique des Anges at Montmartre.

The store is tiny and crowded with angels (and often with people as well). Sacred music gets you in the mood and optimises the chances that you fall for a angel figurine, an angelic postcard, a puny pocket angel (to watch over you wherever you go), an angel soap, a book or some other angelic item.

The old-fashioned place is really unique. And irresistible in December.

2, rue Yvonne le Tac 75018 Paris
Métro Abbesses (line 12)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wallpaper with soul: Farrow & Ball

The most beautiful wallpapers in Paris. I am particularly fond of the ones with bold stripes.

So British, so chic! Need I say more?

50 Rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris
Métro rue du bac (line 12)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The queen of details: Nadine Delepine

Nadine Delepine's boutique is one of my favourites. The shop is located in a street called "rue princesse" (really!) and its front is painted with mild, inviting colours.

Inside you find Nadine's lovely jewellery creations as well as chic accessories selected by her. The latter comprises porte-monnaies, umbrellas, gloves and hats. She makes some accessories herself too, namely some charming shopping bags, porte-monnaies and the like. There are also some clothes to be found in the boutique. I think Nadine is the creator of those as well. Key adjectives for all the items are "romatic" and "nostalgic".

My only regret is that I did not know about this shop when I was a 10-year old girl. It would have been the perfect place to go to with my Mum on a Saturday for cultivating the already quite developped dream of being a princess... :-)

Nadine Delepine, 14, Rue Princesse, 75006 Paris
Métro Mabillon (line 10)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great lunch value: Krua Thai

When I started this blog, I did not intend to write about restaurants. Obviously I have changed my mind! I will, however, only include restaurants I return to, i.e. the ones that are part of "my Paris". Krua Thai is one of them. It is a simple restaurant with a family-ambiance; the owners' sweet daughter is often playing at a table at the back of the restaurant.

The service is friendly and the food truly tasty. At lunch they serve a special menu (ask for the lunch menu if you do not get it spontaneously) that I usually opt for. You can choose between two or three starters/maindishes/desserts for 10 euros. I always go for the crispy spring rolls and the coconut-curry-chicken with sticky rice. A delight!

41, Rue du Montparnasse 75014 Paris. Telephone: 01 43 21 90 53
Métro Montparnasse (line 4, 6, 12, 13)