Category Archives: France

Les Papilles, Paris

Les Papilles is a cute bistro on Rue Gay-Lussac.

We were there on a very warm summer day. Luckily, they had a few fans going, so it was bearable.

They do a four course lunch (starter, main, cheese, dessert) for 38 Euros

Some fresh crusty bread and house red to start

For first course, we had cold cauliflower soup

Each diner gets a bowl of “bits” : cauliflower pieces, croutons, crispy bacon, a big dollop of cream, and fresh herbs

… then the giant bowl of soup arrives

You ladle the soup over your “bits”

The soup was very smooth and creamy and refreshing.

Perfect for a hot summer day.

Well, the soup was perfect for me.

It was too creamy for my darling husband. So he nibbled on the bits without touching the soup. The waitress was really concerned when she came to collect our plates, we had to repeatedly assured her not to worry about it.

After that I felt the chef was observing him, not so subtly, from the kitchen lol

Here’s a random photo of the pretty steps from downstairs.

For second course, a massive pan of beef stew

Two humongous pieces of beef, in dark rich delicious stew gravy.

It has loads of vegetables too: whole baby potatoes, chunky carrots, and mangetout.

The raw onions added a nice punch

This stew was exactly what we were hoping for. It was hearty & delicious. The kind of flavours I try to replicate at home (but not yet successful)

The meat was well braised. Tender and flaky and full of flavour.

The potato soft but firm, and goes perfectly with the gravy.

And that gravy.

That gravy.

The portion was a bit too big for two (and we are big eaters!)

We wanted to mop up all the gravy with bread & potato, we just couldn’t – knowing we had two more courses to go.

Here’s another photo of the restaurant. How pretty is this place.

Look at those tiles!

Which brings us to the third course….. the cheese course

We had blue cheese (rich, but strangely not stinky) and prunes (plump & juicy) and a drizzle of I don’t know what. All I know is they all go so well together.

My hubby doesn’t like cheese, so they kindly gave him a plate of salad lol. He said the dressing was quite yummy, but it tasted like just balsamic vinegar to me.

And now, the last course – le dessert

My non-cheese eating hubby told the waitress not to bring him any dessert because he doesn’t eat Panna Cotta.

The poor waitress looked worried again

She tried to convince him that their Panna Cotta is not like anywhere else, and maybe he wants to try a little bit? Maybe he’ll like it?

No thank you, he said. He’s quite full.

Concerns level in her eyes increased.

We told her please not to worry.

She hesitated, studied us…… then asked does he like chocolate

He told her again not to worry. He’s already full anyway.

I chimed in, yes, he likes chocolate.

She said ok, then went to the kitchen

We anticipated he’ll get chocolate buttons for dessert (this has happened before in a fine dining restaurant, where he was served a bowl of delicious chocolate buttons for dessert lol)

Instead, he got a delicious dark chocolate mouse with some biscuit crumbs. The mousse was very rich and thick – and he was a happy boy.

I had the regular panna cotta, with mango jelly with mango pieces at the bottom, and mango sauce at the top.

The panna cotta was extra light and jiggly.

It was soft and smooth, not too sweet, and goes perfectly with the mango components.

They have a big communal table downstairs (where the toilet is).

Even down here, the space is really pretty

Menu, location, etc: http://www.lespapillesparis.fr/

Sacrée Fleur, Paris

We visited Sacrée Fleur on our last Paris stuff-our-faces trip

The restaurant is in Montmarte area, a 10 min stroll from Sacré-Cœur Basilica

We had dinner here one summer evening, followed by a quick visit to the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Although, I didn’t feel too comfortable walking through the area in broad day light, so take care if you go here at night (and maybe don’t go by yourself)

It’s a very small restaurant, seats about 30-40 people.

Run by only two waiters, one speaking only French, while the other also conversed in English. Both were very friendly, polite, and accommodating.

They seem to be quite busy, so make a booking ahead of time if you want to go. We saw a lot of walk-ins who got turned away.

We ordered the 1kg Côte de boeuf (for 2 people) at 59 Euros

Unfortunately, we were too full from lunch & afternoon pastries to order any starters. The table next to us ordered frog legs with special puree, and it smelled divine. Hopefully next time!

Some bread and house wine to start

The arrival of condiments signals that our Côte de boeuf will be ready soon.

  • Blue cheese sauce (omg)
  • Onion sauce (thick, oniony, sweet)
  • Pepper sauce (delicious & peppery)
  • Salt

My hubby prefers having his meat with just a small sprinkling of salt, which means you can really taste & appreciate the meat.

Sadly for me, I grew up eating sauces & flavourings, which means every bite is slathered with sauce sauce sauce, and more sauce.

The 1kg arrived sizzling & aromatic. We ordered medium, and while this arrived a bit too bloody, the hot plate perfected it by the time it reached our plates.

A large pan of potato chips.

Are these the real french fries? haha, get it? “french” fries? 😉

These are perfect dipped in blue cheese sauce

*drools*

We ate everything (obviously).

And I was convinced we were too full for dessert

But then…. you know…. dessert menu happened

Next minute, Grand Manier was being poured onto these beauties. Lighter came out.

Kaboom!

Well, more like….. poof zzzzgshzzzzzzzzzz sizzle sizzle

It was slightly underwhelming as far as flambe-ing goes, but the crepes were deliciously soft, absorbing in all these orange syrup and the liqueur. It tasted oh so good.

We left the place full & happy

As we went strolling, hand-in-hand, up to Sacré-Cœur I thought to myself, the sun is shining, we are in Paris (not fighting this time), and we just had a delicious meal.

Level 10 happiness.

Yes, this happiness will pass, but right now….

Life is good.

Menu, location, etc: http://sacreefleur.e-monsite.com/

L’Esprit Sarlat, Sarlat-la-Caneda

We had the best food of the trip here at L’Esprit Sarlat

An elegant restaurant, lovely atmosphere, serving amazing food from local produce, at a price that won’t break your wallet.

Modern decor

Wine selection aplenty

They have a 3 course menu (good priced) and an a la carte menu.

Perigord starter platter

Duck foie grais, goose rillettes, cured duck breast, cured ham, walnuts, and salad

Amazing. All of them.

The best most amazing duck breast in the whole universe

Perfectly cooked, beautifully sliced, perfectly seasoned sauce, goes perfectly well with perfect mash potatoes

It was just perfect

The portion was massive too

I want this NOW

Duck confit

Everything is again cooked perfectly, and everything goes well together.

But nothing matters, scroll back up to see “the perfect duck breast”

Fish, which I believe might have been deemed delicious

I was obviously too busy being in love with my duck breast

Are we too full for dessert?

Yes

Are we a bunch of gluttons?

Yes

Let’s see the dessert menu….

Oven baked banana – soft & gooey & custardy

Served with desiccated coconut, ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and chocolate sauce

Chocolate fondant cake

Served with ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and raspberry coulis

Deconstructed vacherin

with berry sorbet and fresh whipped cream

Mixed nut cake

with chocolate sauce, crème anglaise, and whipped cream.

We left the restaurant very full & happy

Menu, location, etc: https://www.facebook.com/Restaurant-lesprit-sarlat-508455322622647/

Meet the Meat, Toulouse

Meet the meat is an awesome place serving awesome meat.

It’s got the steak house feel, and the waitresses are super cool.

I mean, they’re French, so they’re cool by default, but I had a small girl crush on them. Like, I want to be cool like them.

They were quite busy when we got there, so we couldn’t get a table inside. It was getting quite cold, we weren’t so sure about sitting outside, but we were also hungry.

Did we risk getting a cold just to eat good steak?

Yep, we did.

Here’s the menu

The waitress must’ve listed & translated the steak sauces to us about 5 times lol

“What was the third one again?”

“No, sorry, I mean, what was the second one?”

“Not that one, what was the fourth one?”

I don’t know how she did it, or why she put up with us.

But she did.

Salade d’émincés de Gésiers de Canard

Salad of cured duck gizzards. Tasty.

Salade de Ravioles fraîches au parmesan et Basilic de “Chez Betty”

Chez Betty’s salad with parmesan raviolis

Those deep fried raviolis are amazeballs

Meet them meats

Cuts & done-ness to your liking

They have Entrecote of various weights

They also do beef tartare (which we did not order)

All the steaks are served with this amazing potato gratin dauphinois

I initially had a why-is-my-gratin-pile-smaller-than-yours moment when comparing my pile to my friends’ piles

Then half way through, it became clear there was just too much food

I was struggling to finish my steak!

By this time, it was quite late – and it was getting a lot colder than before. We did not have proper jackets with us.

“Shall we get the bill?”

“Yes, let’s get the bill.”

“Excuse me…. hi, could we see the dessert menu please”

Chocolate marquise with liqueur custard

 

Pistachio ice cream with raspberry sauce and biscuits

Complimentary liqueur shots.

I knocked mine over, spilling everywhere. Nothing new there.

Menu, location, etc: http://www.meetthemeat.fr/

Chateau D’Agassac, Ludon-Médoc

Romantic dinner in a Chateau in France? Does it get any more romantic than that? Probably. But this was pretty damn romantic for me!

We dined at Chateau D’Agassac in Ludon-Médoc during our trip to Bordeaux.

Just check out how pretty the place is…

I mean… LOOK!

Ahhhhhh….. now….. for the food….

No, before we get to the food…. let’s check out the gorgeous dining room….

LOOK AT THAT!!!

I’ll admit though… half way through dinner I went to the bathroom…. which is upstairs….. it’s a modern bathroom, but nobody was there, and I have a very active imagination. All the horror movies I’ve never watched are playing in my head. Let’s just say I’ve never gone to the toilet so fast in my life. I was practically running (gracefully of course) down the steps back into the dining room.

ok…. now food!

We opted for the 3 course menu with wine pairing.

The waiting staff didn’t speak much English (and why should they!) – and we didn’t speak much French… but it didn’t matter…. well it never really does with food!

Everything we had here was truly amazing – every tastes so fresh, and pack full with flavour.

Tomato gazpacho.

Well-balanced seasoning. Not too tomato-ey. Perfect perfect perfect.

Some kind of seafood dish.

We basically died and went to heaven with this one.

Truffle risotto

It was so good, I ate both portions.

Ok, well, here’s a thing. My hubby doesn’t like much any cream/butter/cheese. Most people would probably tell the restaurant that they’re lactose intolerant, but my hubby just lets the evening ride…. for 2 reasons: 1) he doesn’t want to bother the kitchen with his preference. He just hopes that the meal will be not too buttery (hello, we’re in France) and he’ll be ok with it, 2) He LOVES creamy dessert (chocolate cake, ice cream, mousse, etc.) and doesn’t want to miss out on these if they are on the menu.

DUCK. AMAZING. DUCK.

So tender, so flavourful, so so so good

I did taste a bit of chinese-ness in this dish though – and on the way out, I took a peek at the kitchen, and just as I expected – an Oriental guy was assembling the duck. Ha!

Mango cheesecake.

Yup, I ate both portions.

Other bits & bobs from dinner

Lovely evening and very very much worth it.

Menu, location, etc: http://tabledagassac.com/

 

Le Relais Gascon, Paris

We often hear that people go to Paris and feel disappointed when they see the actual Eiffel tower. A lot of people find it underwhelimg. A lot of our friends find it…. just meh. Same goes with seeing the Mona Lisa.

I love the Eiffel tower. I think it’s a pretty cool structure.

Did you know that the Eiffel tower was meant as a temporary structure, with the original plan of tearing it down after a few years of its construction? What a pretty temporary structure it is!

We did two walking tours the first time we went to Paris. The first one covers the usual Paris sights – the Lourve, Champs-Elysées, Notre Dame, and the many bridges on River Seine. The second walking tour was specifically for the Montmarte area where we saw the Moulin Rouge, listened to stories of famous artists like Picasso and Van Gogh, and saw the most gorgeous Basilica Sacré Coeur.

At the end of Montmarte tour, we asked the tour guide to recommend us a dinner place. Up to this point of our trip we had nothing but disappointing meals. We just picked all the places that look “local” but turn out to be just another tourist trap. Getting to try local food (with some rice meals in between) is one of our travel highlights. You see me depressed and literally deflated after a crap meal.

So the tour guide, who’s a petite French lady, told us she knows of a great salad place. We both laughed out loud, and said no, we want a proper meal. No salads.

She said non non non, their salad is not just vegetables. Their salads come with boiled egg, chicken, bacon, and potato chips.

We’re still not convinced, but noted down the place anyway.

The tour finished quite late, and we were starving. I also got a really bad headache and just wanted to eat something and go back to the hotel to rest. Fortunately this “salad” restaurant was close to where the tour finished. So we decided to go and try it out.

So we sat down, and we ordered. No, we could not bring ourselves to order from the salad menu.

I ordered confit duck leg, because I’ve been craving it.

My hubby doesn’t like cheese, so his options were quite limited. He ended up ordering Cassoulet (baked beans in rich tomato sauce with sausages & confit duck leg)

As we were waiting for our dinner to arrive, we saw the waitress walked pass with their salads, and our jaws dropped. Basically, what you see is a massive bowl, piled high with potato chips and crispy bacon bits. Not a single green leaf in sight (they’re all hidden under the pile of potato chips). Too late now, we would just have to order it next time.

The Cassoulet was amazing – rich, tomatoey, full of beans (not ideal for date night), and has lots of bacon bits in it. Also under that mountain of beans are delicious sausages and confit duck leg. Yum!

My duck? Not as amazing. It was dry and in need of some kind of sauce.

We left hankering for their salads….

Fast forward one year later…

We were back in Paris again on a small Europe trip with my mum in-law, and this restaurant is on our itinerary!

This time, I ordered their salad…..

See what I mean? This, is my kind of salad!

Hubby still ordered Cassoulet (still delicious), and my mum in-law ordered beef bourguignon (amazing)

We were full, but hubby insisted I should order the creme brulee, because I’ve been craving it. I crave for creme brulee on the following occasions: when I’m in a France, when I’m in a French restaurant, when I see a kitchen blowtorch, and when I see it on the menu. Not very often at all.

This creme brulee was beautiful – and we left the restaurant very happy.

The next time you’re in Paris, and if you find yourself near Montmarte at dinner time, go to Le Relais Gascon. Note: this is NOT a romantic dinner restaurant.

Menu, location, etc: http://www.lerelaisgascon.fr/

Les Terrasses de Lyon, Lyon

What do you do when you’re in the food capital of France? You eat!

Les Terrasses de Lyon is a michelin star restaurant, located half way up between the old town and the gorgeous Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The restaurant is part of the Relais & Châteaux luxury hotels & restaurants chain.

Six of us were seated on the covered terrace, with gorgeous view of Lyon. Unfortunately it was a gloomy overcast day, but it’s not hard to imagine how amazing it would be if it was a bright blue sky day, and even more stunning at night.

So we sat down and took in the view.

After about 15 mins of waiting, a waiter came along with the menu. We’re still not sure what happened here, what’s the cause of the long wait, is it their custom, was it to ensure we take in the view before we’re distracted by the food? We’ll never know.

So we studied the menu, then one of the boys mentioned his analysis on which menu would get you more bang for buck.

The girls were puzzled. How much? What price? Where are you getting the price from?

From the menu! Here! , replied the boys.

My menu doesn’t have the price! No, neither does mine! said the confused girls.

As it turns out, there are two versions of the menu. Ones with price, for the gentlemen. For the ladies? No price. How clever.

We all decided to go for the 49 Euros set menu

  • Tiny waffle cones with truffle tapenade mousse and pine nut mousse
  • Orange tomatoes with soft cheese and pesto

  •  Salt & pepper, with a cool brass chef statue
  • Beetroot with fresh tuna, wasabi sesame seeds, fancy pod vegetables, fancy green stalks, and a whole lot more beetroot. Too much beetroot for me.

  • THE MOST AMAZING STEAK I’VE EVER TASTED IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. SO TENDER, MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH, WITH AMAZING SAUCE. AHHHHHHHHHHHH I WANT MORE NOW.
  • Fish, grilled to perfection, served on a bed of flavourful mash potatoes and curry sauce. I’m not normally a fan of fish cooked the non-asian way, but this, this is how a piece of fish should be served. Amazing.

  • Chocolate macaron (a massive one), layered with raspberry jam, lots of fresh raspberries, tempered chocolate disc, and raspberry sorbet. To die for.
  • Petit fours: peanut butter chocolate candy, blueberry macaron, pistachio profiterole, and the prettiest looking raspberry mini tart. Oh so good.

I would go back here just for that piece of steak. I would.

Menu, location, etc: http://www.villaflorentine.com/restaurant/944/restaurant-gastronomique-lyon-fourviere