Category Archives: Bistro

Pirouette – Paris, France

We finally arrived in Paris, the last stop of our trip!  As our apartment was near Les Halles, we quickly dropped off our bags and headed to Pirouette, right before their lunch service ended.

Pirouette was mentioned a lot on Chowhound and rightly justified!bright, modern, airy interior..

My friend and I each ordered the lunch deal for 20 euros…. broccoli soup with bacon bits…

pork option…. surprisingly the pork was tender…fish option…we ordered an extra dessert because it sounded so good: chocolate ganache, coffee icecream and clove….  unfortunately, the coffee ice-cream was too bitter and overpowered the whole dessert…

After lunch, I went to the Musée de l’Orangerie to look at Monet’s Les Nymphéas.Monet’s water-lilies…

Bonjour Paris!



5 Rue Mondétour, 75001 Paris, France

Phone:+33 1 40 26 47 81

Eating in Avignon – France

Our next base in Provence was Avignon.  Avignon is famous in history as the place where the Popes fled to during the corruption of Rome in the 14th century.

Seven Popes lived in the Palais des Papes during the Avignon Papacy (1309 to 1377).

The city is also famous for the French nursery rhyme about dancing on the bridge of Avignon…

Sur le Pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse, l’on y danse
Sur le Pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tous en rond

The bridge is actually called Pont St. Bénézet and it is such a big tourist attraction that there’s an admission fee.  Like many other tourists, I also sang the song on the bridge!

We also had really good meals in Avignon…

First off, crêpes! We found a crêpe cafe near our apartment and the prices were decent too.

This was the first time I saw a crêpe-making machine and it’s so efficient!

tomato and pesto crêpe with orange juice…..they actually left out the pesto…

Nutella crêpe with orange and strawberry juice….

We also had ice-cream at the Place de l’Horloge, the main square of Avignon…pistachio and hazelnut ice-cream

For dinner, we ate at Le Petit Gourmand twice… cause it was THAT GOOD. Velouté et foie gras… yummmmmm… mushroom soup with a perfectly piece of pan-fried foie-gras…..  the most-stand out dish of foie gras on the trip..

Tartare terre et mer….. smoked salmon and smoked duck breast marinated in sesame sauce….. very Asian like…

La secca d’entrevaux.. this is their special.. thin slices of beef tenderloin that has been dried for months in spices, covered with pesto and parmesan cheese…

Saint Jacques sauvages poêlées, risotto aux asperges vertes, émulsion aux pignons de pin….  another scallop risotto dish.. this was less flavourful than San Telmo but this has most scallops…

Tagliatelles fraîches à la truffle de Vaucluse et sauce crémeuse à la truffle….. this truffle pasta was sooooo aromatic and had a very strong truffle taste…

Macaron au chocolat noir, crème Anglaise, glace vanille…. soooo delicious.. all my favourite things put together….

For breakfast, we headed to the market place, Les Halles..The market is so big and clean…. when compared to the wet markets in Asia..

a stall just for potatos!

we had coffee at the bar… authentic!pain au chocolat from the boulangerie…

We arrived and  also departed Avignon from the TGV station..

The train station is a relatively large hub so it has shops and an Eric Kayser bakery and cafe!

Eric Kayser is one of my favourite boulangeries and I was so happy to grab breakfast there.

I tried the double baked almond croissant… love it!



Rue de la République, 84000 Avignon, France

Regal Glace

2 Rue du Changé, 84000 Avignon, France

Le Petit Gourmand

37 Rue Vieux Sextier, 84000 Avignon, France
+33 4 88 07 84 94

Marché les Halles d’Avignon

18 Place Pie, 84000 Avignon, France

Eric Kayser

Gare d’Avignon TGV

Eating in Nice – France

After Cinque Terre, we headed to the French Rivera.  We made Nice our base for three nights and from there, made day trips to other towns in the Côte d’Azur.

In Nice, we ended up eating mainly at the touristy Cours Saleya.  In the morning, it’s a market for flowers and produce; at night, it’s a famous spot for tourist dining.

the sweetest strawberries….. not kidding.. even sweeter than the Japanese strawberries…

The first night, we ate at Le Safari.. which apparently is one of the most-famous choice at Cours Saleya.Linguini aux vongoles…..

Raviolis à la Niçoise Maison.. this was too watery…

The next day was pouring rain and we didn’t have an umbrella.  We took refuge at Bistro Romain, one of the few restaurants that have continued service in the afternoon , and had an early dinner at 4pm.ordered moules-frites, which came with a glass of wine… This was the biggest portion of mussels on the trip…. it took me 30 minutes to finish it.  The fries were the best too! It’s the crispy McDonald’s kind.. it was crispy even at the end of the meal!

The next night, we went to another random restaurant…and once again, I ordered moules-frites!

We also stopped by the boulangerie near the market for more food. tarte au citron and millefeuille

pain au chocolat….

In France, there’s not a lot of public toilets, so if you have to go to the washroom, people usually stop at a cafe for a coffee/toilet break.

Instead of buying coffee, I ordered crepe! made to order crepe with nutella… yummmm


Nice, France

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro – Vancouver

My friend and I planned to have dinner in Kitsilano and I yelped to see what’s good.. and it turns out the Oakwood is ranked #3!  I pass Oakwood almost daily and didn’t realize it existed!

It’s a gastropub and has the small plates concept…

warm kale salad, cauliflower, sprouts, lemon parmesan dressing, buttermilk onions…. Loved the warm kale.. and the baked cauliflower!  This was so good I tried to make it at home!

tuna raw, blueberry soy albacore, puffed rice, horseradish aioli, sesame snow…this was really good.. heavy Asian influence… the sesame snow is so good.. it’s made by solidifying sesame oil.. yummy but unhealthy!

Salt Spring mussels, lemon, garlic, white wine butter broth, smoke essence…. plump mussels…. loved the sauce

kept dipping the bread into the sauce!

The dinner at Oakwood blew me away and I kept raving to everyone about the food!  Kinda pricey… but worth it!


The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

2741 W 4th Ave  Vancouver, BC V6K 1P9
(604) 558-1965

Le Comptoir du Relais – Paris, France

Le Comptoir du Relais is another restaurant that’s highly recommended by all the foodies and also by Anthony Bourdain.  It’s also Paris’ hottest reservation because it has only 20 seats!!!

Chef Yves Camdeborde used to work with Christan Constant and like Constant, he decided to open his own bistro, La Régalade.  La Régalade was the first to serve haute cuisine at unprecedentedly low bistro prices and thus started the new bistro trend.  Chef Camdeborde sold La Régalade and opened Le Comptoir.. his new restaurant and hotel.

On weeknights, there’s a 50 Euros 5 course dinner that needs reservations months in advance.  For lunch and weekends, there’s a brasserie menu but reservations aren’t excepted.  We originally wanted to try the set menu but unfortunately in August, Chef Camdeborde was on vacation so only the brasserie menu was offered.

I’ve been told about the outrageous lineups (more than an hour long) so we decided to go after the lunch rush.. at 3pm!

@ 33:26

Oeufs mayonnaise…. cheapest on the menu for 5 euros and it was raved by Anthony Bourdain’s dining partner on No Reservations… He said it’s the best in the world and comes to Le Comptoir to eat this dish every day.  This version is simply a more sophisticated version of boiled eggs.. because the sauce was really good.. kind of tangy and vinegar-y….

terrine de foie gras on toast….the sprinkled salt made it kind of salty…but still uber delicious!

croque monsieur….


lobster bisque… not thick and really smooth.. even though there’s no lobster meat, there’s a really strong lobster flavour…


beer in a cute le comptoir glass!

It was really hot (38 degrees) so we didn’t have much of an appetite to try the heavier dishes (like the famed bread-crusted pork)..but the “simple” food we ordered were done really well…


Le Comptoir du Relais

9 Carrefour de l’Odéon  75006 Paris, France
01 44 27 07 97

Café Constant – Paris, France

August is seriously a bad month for travelling and eating.  I wanted to try Spring, Frenchie, La Régalade, Bistro Volnay, Auberge Bressane, L’Affriolé etc… but they were all closed!!!  The only highly recommended foodie places that are opened in August and Sundays are the trio of restaurants owned by Chef Christian Constant.  Chef Constant was an executive chef at Hotel Crillon’s 2-star Michelin restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs, but decided to branch out on his own.  He now has 3 restaurants located in the the 7th arrondissement (very near to the Eiffel Tower): Le Violon d’Ingres (most expensive), Les Cocottes and Café Constant (least expensive).  They’re all on the same block but serve different types of food, each with an unique experience.

Café Constant serves traditional French comfort food and a good value.. hence it’s popularity.  It opens at 7pm and doesn’t take reservations.  We got there before 7 and already there were people standing outside. When the clock struck 7.. it was chaos!  The people who were drinking at the bar were seated first and then everyone outside tried to rush in to get a table… it was all push and shove….  not very Parisian…. Because the meal we had the 1st night was so good, we actually came back for another dinner and lunch!  The 2nd night, we went at around 9:30pm and there was still a short lineup!

We sat on the 2nd floor and it was soooooo hot!  Packed tables, no aircon and a 35+ degree weather……  1st floor would be a better choice cause there’s aircon!

So this is a summary of what we ate during our 3 visits.. we tried most of the regular menu and the chef’s special! :

effiloché de crabe, pommes Ratte en salade au persil plat (crab and potato salad)… very refreshing..

raviole de homard à la crème légère de crustacés (lobster ravioli with light shellfish sauce)… soooo delicious.. very strong lobster taste..

Poelée d’encornets au chorizo, artichauts poivrades au lard (sautéed squid with choirzo sausage, violet artichokes and bacon)…… the sauce was so good to dip the bread with...

Gaspacho de tomates andalou, mousseline d’avocats et gambas marinées (Gazpacho with grilled shrimp)... this was spicy…

tartare de saumon, huitres et bar au gingembre (salmon, oyster and sea bass tatare)….

terrine de foie gras de canard maison, pain de mie toasté (toast with foie gras).this was slightly gamey

Gambas entières grillées à la plancha, riz thai safrané (whole king prawns grilled with saffron Thai rice)… This was so good that we ordered it all 3 times! The prawns and the rice were so flavourful!

rice with a strong grilled prawn taste!

Carré de porcelet roti à la fleur de thym, jus à l’ail et galette de darphin (roast piglet chop with thymn and garlic, potatoes).. very tender.

filet de daurade royale au pistou grillé à la palncha, ratatouille niçoise (grilled sea bream with ratatouille) .. the skin was slightly crispy!  It seems like the French like to pair fish with ratatouille (zucchini, peppers, eggplant) .. which I love!

tartare de langoustines aller-retour, croustillant de légumes (Langoustine tatare easy-over, crispy vegetable tempura)…. so delicious.. it’s like lobster-cake!

Escalope de veau Cordon-Bleu comme l’aiment nos enfants (fried veal with cheese)… quite juicy!

and it came with a pasta side dish. which was soo creamy…

grilled prawns with tomatoes…this was a lunch special…

profiteroles maison, sauce au chocolat chaud (ice cream puff with hot chocolate sauce)… hot & cold & rich! yumm!

The food here can be a good price (11 Euros for appetizers, 16 Euros for mains, 7 Euros for dessert) but the chef specials are a lot more expensive (up to 17 Euros for appetizers and 28 Euros for mains).  For the quality of food, it’s totally worth it and it became our most visited restaurant in Paris!


Café Constant

139 Rue Saint-Dominique  75007 Paris, France
01 47 53 73 34

Chez André – Paris, France

I’ll tell you a little secret… the last time we were in France, we spent 2 weeks in Paris, Provence and Côte d’Azure and never had a French meal! Not kidding! So this time, I made sure that we  had French cuisine for every meal.

We checked into the hotel and the concierge recommended Chez André, a French bistro, which was near the hotel and was opened on a national holiday.

Chez André has been around since 1936 and many stars have eaten there before, as there’re many autographed pictures of celebrities from different decades hanging on the walls.

Loved the classic bistro atmosphere.. the red seats and jammed packed tables!

We ordered..

escargots… for some reason, I still think Jimmy’s Kitchen have the best escargots.. this wasn’t garlic-y enough

scallops and sea bream marinated in lime…. This portion is quite big..

Wednesday special: whole sea bass stuffed with crushed tomatoes and provençal vegetables… Unlike the sea bass entreés we have in North America, this dish came with a WHOLE sea bass and then they debone it for you… The sea bass was kind of bland so by pairing it with the provençal vegetables, it became a lot tastier….

Chez André traditional gourmet hamburger

Pretty good food… slightly expensive at 80 Euros for lunch.. but then again, it’s in the Champs Élysées!


Chez André

12 Rue Marbeuf  75008 Paris, France
01 47 20 59 57