Category Archives: French

Guy Savoy – Paris, France

The GRAND FINALE meal of this trip was lunch at Guy Savoy, one of Paris’ most famous restaurant.

The restaurant recently relocated to the top floor of Monnaie de Paris, with views of the Seine.  I actually thought a lot about whether or not to eat at Savoy since I had a plane to catch right after.  I didn’t want to pay an exorbitant and felt rushed to leave.. but I was so glad I ended up lunching at Savoy.

I made my reservation a month in advance and requested the “internet special,” a special 3 course meal for 110 euros that is offered for one table during lunchtime. That is such a deal because Savoy doesn’t have any lunch menu option, so a typical meal is over 300 euros.   From the menu, I could choose an appetizer, main and dessert and menu had a lot of options (5 appetizers, 9 entrees and 9 dessert)!

Unlike other celebrity chef restaurant I’ve been too, the chef was there greeting every table! I was star-struck when I saw Guy Savoy!

Amuse-bouche: foie gras terrine and toast…..

Amuse-bouche: vegetable soup with…..

  Celery mousse tart….

Amuse-bouche: radish butter and crispy tart flake???….

close up.. it had a heavy radish taste…

bread….

For the appetizer, they offered me two choices, with half a portion each… which I preferred because I get to taste more dishes!

Tout petit pois: myriad of young peas..

This dish is pretty simple, peas and egg, but it looks so pretty!

 It also came with a piece of toast…

and the second appetizer…. Artichoke and black truffle soup, layered brioche with mushrooms and truffles

This is one of Savoy’s most famous dish…. It was pretty good but nothing too amazing.. it just had a lot of truffle taste to it…

however, the brioche was so good… warm, buttery and there’s truffle!!!

For the main course, I picked Chef’s choice of fish recipe: John Dory fish with green curry, shrimps, strawberries…  Both flavour and texture were very light… The strawberry was an interesting addition and it tasted like pineapples instead…

When I ordered, I mentioned that I had a plane to catch and they said I could finish the meal in under 2 hours and could leave by 2pm. However, by 1:45pm the dessert still hasn’t come…. I ended up having to finish the dessert in record time…

 

Mille-feuille pastry with vanilla pod made to order…. By the time dessert came along, I was stuffed.  I have never been that stuffed before.. to the point when I didn’t want to finish the dessert.  The pastry was so buttery and crispy..and the custard was so vanilla-y and not too sweet, I ended up finishing it.

extra custard!

But that’s not the end of it….Floating island with citrus sauce and hazenut praline…..

earl grey sorbet…. I think this was supposed to be the palate cleanser before the dessert but for some reason, this came out later than the dessert….

Afterwards, I got a tour of the kitchen and took a picture with Guy Savoy himeself!

Because I had no time to spare, I missed out on the famous dessert cart and just grabbed a macaron…..

There was also a take away snack! apricot brioche????? It was still very good after a 15 hour flight!

I think the internet special is a really good deal and there’s so much food! The service was top notch and not pretentious.  I would definitely return next time when I don’t have to catch a flight!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Guy Savoy

Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris, France

Phone:+33 1 43 80 40 61
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Au Passage – Paris, France

It was so hard to pick a place for our grand finale dinner because it was on a Monday.  We ended up going to Au Passage due to the many positive reviews on Chowhound, blogs, Paris by Mouth and Anthony Bourdain.

I unfortunately made a reservation for the wrong day and they said they were fully booked.  We were offered a seat at the bar but luckily, there was a cancellation and we got moved to a table.  The menu of the day is written on the chalkboard (in French only!) and changes daily.  We got there early and heard the head chef (He’s British) explain the dishes to the French  servers in English.  Good translation!  With high expectations, we ordered 5 dishes to share….

Crabe, saucornes, poireaux… this isn’t a picture of the salad half-eaten.. this was the entire portion! so small.. anyways.. you couldn’t taste the crab.. the salad dressing overtakes the taste…

Soupe de choufleu, foie gras… this was probably my favourite dish of the night…. decent cream soup but the foie gras was kind of small compared to Le Petit Gourmand…

Salt cod, aïoli au safran, roquette... another really small dish…  I like this aïoli more because there’s less mustard but the cod was extremely salty…..

Cochon, oreille, blackbean… another passable dish…The pork wasn’t tender enough and the skin was soggy instead of crispy.  There’s also pork ear… which I didn’t touch…

Asperges, bacon, oeuf… very simple dish but was pretty good… I think this is a very easy dish to attempt at home…

I really don’t understand the hype at Au Passage… the food wasn’t spectacular (although the prices were decent) and there were mostly tourists eating there…

Au Passage

1bis Passage Saint-Sébastien, 75011 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 43 55 07 52

David Toutain – Paris, France

One of my most anticipated meals was lunch at Paris’ hottest restaurant, David Toutain.   Toutain had trained in many famous kitchens and had made a name for himself at Agapé Substance.  In 2013, Toutain opened his eponymous restaurant and has already earned one Michelin star.

The dining area is bright and airy, with a modern yet earthy decor..

I got seated upstairs beside a bookshelf filled with biographies and cookbooks of famous chefs.  Throughout the meal, I read David Toutain’s book to learn about how he came about with opening his own restaurant.  I felt like all meals should be accompanied by the chef’s autobiography!

the menu….. I picked the lunch menu at 45 euros..

Toutain’s own bottled water….

amuse-bouche: crispy tube made of beetroot and stuffed with beetroot cream…  very interesting… I took one bite of the crispy outside layer and out bursted the smoky beetroot cream… I wonder how they make this….

another amuse-bouche duo….

Poached egg ,onion, lemon verbena…. very light dish, both in flavour and texture-wise… reminds me of spring time…

Lemon verbena sponge cake…. to pair with the egg.. this was also very light..

bread… very interesting presentation…. it feels very nature-y…

White asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan sauce…..  Because there’s so many different flavours in this dish, it feels like you’re eating more than just 2 asparagus.                                                                                                                                                  Cod with Macadamia nuts, potato and leek, beans, onions , mint……. it looks a bit bland but surprising wasn’t…. and the cod was extremely tender…

more bread…

White chocolate, cauliflower, coconut ice-cream…. this was soooooooo good… very rich, creamy, refreshing… and healthy too (cauliflower!).. there is a slight cauliflower taste mixed with coconut… very inventive!

Citron tart with meringue and marjoram ice-cream…. the plating is so interesting….a modern take on the classic citron tart….

petit four.. there’s a piece of chocolate in the “soil”…. I actually dug around looking for more chocolate.. but sadly no..

how fitting… I saw this on their chalkboard when leaving.. The phrase, which means I’m hungry, is also a phrase on my blog!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

David Toutain

29 Rue Surcouf, 75007 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 45 50 11 10

A Revisit of Café Constant – Paris, France

The last time we were in Paris, we ate at Café Constant three times cause it was that good.  This time in Paris, I also went back to Café Constant with high expectations.

We got there could immediately see the difference, apart from the slight exterior renovation, THERE’S NO LINE UP!! Apparently the kitchen doesn’t close in the afternoon so there’s continuous service.

expensive Orangina….. 4 euros!

It turns out the menu hasn’t changed and I got to order my fav dishes!

raviole de homard à la crème légère de crustacés (lobster ravioli with light shellfish sauce) …. my friend ordered this but didn’t like it.. but I thought it tasted as delicious as it did 3 years ago….terrine de foie gras de canard maison, pain de mie toasté (toast with foie gras).. an extra piece of foie, which was accompanied by a price increase!

Gambas entières grillées à la plancha, riz thai safrané (whole king prawns grilled with saffron Thai rice)…  This was my favourite dish from last time so I had very high expectations…. and was majorly let down.   This was not the jumbo king prawns we had last time.. this was the normal type of prawns…

I was a bit disappointed this time since I had very high expectations….

After dinner, we went to see Paris at night! gorgeous flowers by Jeff Leatham at FS Paris…

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Café Constant

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

 

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!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Pirouette

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…..so 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…..so 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!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Crep’Café

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 Grasse – France

From Cannes, we took the bus to Grasse, the perfume capital of Provence.

breakfast before touring Fragonard’s perfume museum…..

We had a free tour of Fragonard’s perfume museum was actually quite informative.. and there was perfume shopping at the end!

For lunch, I picked a restaurant that served traditional Provençal cuisine. 

Lou Pignatoun has decent lunch deals starting from 10.5 euros for one main dish…aïoli (supplementary 2 euros)this is actually the name of the sauce made of garlic, olive oil, egg, lemon and mustard…   It was a bit too mustardy for my liking…

steak…..

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Lou Pignatoun

 13 Rue de l’Oratoire, 06130 Grasse, France
Phone:+33 4 93 36 11 80