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Cheapish dinner ($40-50pp) for 16?

Hi everyone!

Trying to think of somewhere somewhat stylish with good food and BYO for a birthday dinner. East or city preferred but would consider inner west.

The cheap ethnic places that have nice fit outs (Chat Thai) don't do groups, the ones that do groups and have good food have daggy decor and no fun (Maya Tandoori, Din Tai Fung)....

Any thoughts? Much appreciated! :)

Le Creuset 5.5 qt. round AND and a 4.5 qt. oval - too much?

Not to get all anti-consumerist on you, but you own 5 of the things already, so there is no conceivable reason to buy another except (and this is a perfectly acceptable reason) that you WANT one. LC are as much about presentation and decoration as pure function, so if you have the money and it makes you happy go ahead and buy it! If you are going to suffer for the purchase (go into debt) forget it, as there is nothing under the sun that cannot be cooked in what you already have.

Oct 09, 2011
Cosy Cool in Cookware

Your favorite Le Creuset color

Does anyone know of a colour chart/gallery comparing the vintage and current colours? I've googled the hell out of it ...

Oct 08, 2011
Cosy Cool in Cookware

Are There No Good, Inexpensive Places In Paris?

Lunch for E7, eh? I recommend Chez Franprix!

Jun 15, 2011
Cosy Cool in France

Are There No Good, Inexpensive Places In Paris?

Absolutely agree with all of haapi's suggestions: good advice!!

Jun 15, 2011
Cosy Cool in France

Ranking your Favorite Restaurants in Paris

Hi luus,

I spend time regularly in Paris and love to eat. You don't say what your priorities (age group, preferences) are, so I may be barking up the wrong tree. We spend our time in the East (Marais, 11th, 10th, 20th) far, far away from the polished brass of the 7th and the 16th.... Anyway; I have plenty of ideas about the sub-50 Euro category.

I am no connoisseur, no gourmand, no expert: I love fresh, simple, good value food. I'd rather eat oysters from the tray at the markets on Blvd Richard Lenoir on Sundays than off a silver platter at Georges V... that's just what I enjoy!

I guess my wife and I are young(ish) and possibly care more about an enjoyable, rustic, authentic or 'fun' atmosphere that some contributors. Sometimes we want somewhere that has great (comparatively simple) food AND is a fun place to get a bit tipsy and do some great people watching. That is valid too, no?

I have no idea what the finest Michelin joints are (I have the money, I just don't necessarily enjoy the atmosphere), so I will leave that discussion to the others. But I did notice that none of MY favourites are in the lists...

Anyhow, if you want somewhere fun but good to eat in the style I have described, why not check out some of these:

Le Verre Vole: A tiny restaurant & bottle shop where all food magically appears out a kitchen the size of a rug and is prepared in a stack of toaster ovens! I cannot explain how amazing the dishes are. Heaps of 6-8 euro tasting plates plus a few mains change each day. Reservations (a week ahead) are a must for dinner but you should be able to lob in at lunch. Organic wines available by the glass.

La Patache: Great bar & restaurant with a warm tavern/ski lodge vibe. To be honest the cooked food was a bit so-so, but go for the awesome charcuterie platters (served on wooden boards) and have a few beers. Great vibe on weekend nights. This is also a good place to have a drink while you wait for your table across the street at Le Verre Vole

Derriere: Zany but wonderfully inspired hipster restaurant. Wild, drunken fun with a table-tennis table, lots of laughter and a bar in a wardrobe... The food is not incredible, but this really is a MUST go place - esp on weekends with a bit of a gang (not on your own or on a romantic date). If you're 18-40, have a few friends in Paris, this may be dinner for you.

Cafe Charlot: Really good, reliable place for lunch or dinner. Trendy fashion crowd. Friendly service. The burgers are very good as long as you order them WELL DONE (or they will arrive leaking blood on your plate). Great place for a lazy afternoon.

Le Baratin: If you Google this place you will find 1000 reviews that say it better than I can . Not exactly FUN as such: run by classic French misanthropes (yes I know he is Argentinian !!), but I will never forget my meals there!

Chez Imogene: We love Chez Imogene. An excellent creperie always full of cute boho Parisians and the food is great. It's run by two very sweet gay guys who turn out some damn fine food at great prices: At lunch you get a savoury gallette plus a sweet crepe plus salad and wine/beer for 9.50E - dinner menu 15E. C'est chouette!

Chez Omar: Although its mainly a cous cous joint, they have AWESOME grills including a killer steak au poivre.. dont get upsold to the filet (they think all English speakers want filet), just the steak - best i've ever had in Paris (yes even after going to Robert & Louise)... get there at 7.30 latest to get a table as the place is always rammed.

Hope this helps! Have a great time!!

Jun 15, 2011
Cosy Cool in France

HK: how to approach (non-vegetarian) restaurants for a vegetarian option

Hello everyone,

Thanks for all your sage advice on my previous thread and all your HK threads. I have my top 500 list ready to go!! :)

Now: my wife is a vegetarian (true vegetarian, no fish or animal products... but she's not frantic about it: if something has been cooked on a grill or in a pan next to a piece of meat that's probably fine).

I have read about the temples, the vegetarian joints etc, etc, and no doubt we will end up at some of them, but what I am hoping for is some advice on how to approach typical HK restaurants (i.e. where I want to be eating roast goose!!) in the quest for ANY vegetarian options. Are there ANY dishes (or common variations on dishes) that one might order in a typical HK restaurant that won't come back swimming in chicken stock??

It's not a health kick - she'll eat ANYTHING that's not cooked with meat... your thoughts?

Many thanks in advance!

HK: Never mind the Michelin guide: Share your best cheap/authentic/local/interesting hole-in-the-wall !

Thank you Tom!

It's on the list :)

I'll get over the BBQ thing...

HK: Never mind the Michelin guide: Share your best cheap/authentic/local/interesting hole-in-the-wall !

Hm. Those displays do look great. Although what the Chinese call "BBQ" is actually more roasting, no? When I think barbecue I mean grilled over fire (preferably charcoal). Is there such a place/cuisine in Hong Kong?

HK: Never mind the Michelin guide: Share your best cheap/authentic/local/interesting hole-in-the-wall !

Thank you Charles this is great!! I'll let you know how I go.

HK: Never mind the Michelin guide: Share your best cheap/authentic/local/interesting hole-in-the-wall !

Thanks PhilD, exactly what I was looking for!

I am not terribly familiar with HK food, but is there any kind of local BBQ speciality? Sorry, but it's my obsession :)

Also: anyone happen to know a good hunanese place in HK?

Many thanks in advance!!

HK: Never mind the Michelin guide: Share your best cheap/authentic/local/interesting hole-in-the-wall !

Hello everyone,

I have been reading and taking notes of all the great tips on the HK threads, but something I haven't found yet is a discussion of authentic, culturally interesting and cheap HK eats.

This has nothing to do with money - I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to eat wherever I like - and I love fine dining as well, but my favourite travelling food experiences are invariably some tiny hole in the wall that serves some special local morsel (especially anything BBQed!) that the guide books don't know about.

Think jerk chicken on Boston Beach in Jamaica, or smoky goat meat tacos out of a cauldron in Guadalahara, or fresh snapper BBQed over coconut shells on Geger beach in Bali, or a mountain of BBQed shellfish in garlic sauce (for $8!) on Shanghai's Shouling Road... All these delights cost under $10 somewhere off the beaten track, and apart from being delicious give you a local experience and a glimpse into the kitchen too.

Anything like this in HK?? I appreciate your advice!

Peruvian Food: Los Balcones del Peru, Mamita's and Mario's

It's not really a restaurant, but Pollo a la Brasa in Koreatown (Western & 8th) is a Peruvian rotisserie chicken joint which, in my opinion is absolutely incredible. Juicy, tender, smokey chicken drenched in green aji sauce.... all under $10. You can smell the place 2 blocks away :)

Feb 23, 2011
Cosy Cool in Los Angeles Area

Notes on a few places in Sydney

Hi PhilD,
My post was a little hasty, and I didn't mean any offense. I guess I'm just allergic to certain kinds of places (ones that overpromise and underdeliver) and find it hard to enjoy myself in certain fine dining situations. Anyway I didn't mean to hijack your thread. Happy dining and apologies!

Notes on a few places in Sydney

Hi PhilD,

Agree with all of your reviews completely, but as a Sydneysider I just can't figure out why you go to all of the most hackneyed, tourist-soaked venues (in the ROCKS of all places; somewhere NO normal Sydneysider would ever eat) and expect better than average? Do I judge SF on eats at Fisherman's Wharf? NY on Times Square?? Paris on food at the Place St Michel???

To everyone visiting Sydney: Don't expect my sympathies for wasting your time in one of the great food cities if you go to tourist traps like Tetsuyas (that man has some marketing budget... not so much $$$ for staff or decor unfortunately..) Aria (unless you want to dine with the over 60's crowd eating foams) or Rockpool (why do you think dude has been losing money on this joint for 20 years LOL) fer Chrissakes!! Bentley Bar?? Jesus, that isn't even a restaurant! Just some hipster bar charging $$$ for rubbish "tapas" (a food plague in Sydney right now..)

Why don't you try some places that REAL Sydney people love: Bourke St Bakery for the best pies, sausage rolls and breads, Onde for fun, buzzy and informal French with brilliant service. Fun, easy but brilliant Italian at Cafe Sopra in Potts Point (NOT in the Rocks for Gods sake..) or slightly more fancy at Fratelli Paradiso, or how about some genuine Pakistani for about $15 at Faheems Fast Food in Enmore, or a simple but awesome steak better than most for $25 at The Sheaf in Double Bay? Indian Thalis or Dosai better than anywhere in India (according to myself who travelled all around this beautiful country - as well as all the Indians I know) at Maya on Cleveland St, Robatayaki as good as (better than??) anywhere in Tokyo (i have spent MONTHS there) at Toko in Surry Hills... Fun, buzzy hipster dining and the best pizza anywhere at the Corner House in Bondi or Pizza e Birra in Surry Hills... Fine but unpretentious dining that will have you licking your plate? Glebe Point Diner! And Sean's at Bondi is seriously the greatest!!

Sydney has the greatest produce and some of the best food in the world (and I travel a LOT!!). It just bums me out when people judge us in our worst, most lame, touristy restaurants...

SOUTH KOREA: tips for BUSAN & GWANGJU please :P

Hi fellow Chowhounds,

I'll be spending a couple nights soon dining solo/in small groups in Gwangju and Busan. I would love some tips for cheap, local, fresh & authentic food - it's not about $100 meals for me - i am supremely happy eating simple (great) local food whilst sitting on a wooden stool as long as there's some atmosphere and it's a genuine experience.

Anyone have any hints for me??

Vegetables please!

Thanks for your suggestions everybody!

Yes, we have an apartment and go to markets and cook a lot - but we also like to eat out and "salade composee" and cheese plates for a month gets a little tired after a while.. it just strikes me that many famous French chefs (Sebastian Bras, etc) celebrate vegetables and feature them in main courses as well as entrees, but for some reason this is actually hard to find on menus in restaurants under 200euro pp....

Anyway, Maceo and Au Gourmand it is - do let me know if you think of any others please!

Dec 07, 2009
Cosy Cool in France

Vegetables please!

Oh: by the way, I did see a couple of the existing posts on vegetarians in Paris, and we will try Maceo, although L'Arpege may be a touch pricey for us... let's try to keep suggestions below, say, 60 euro pp, although if you think it's must go, let me know anyway.


Dec 06, 2009
Cosy Cool in France

Vegetables please!

Hello everybody,

My wife and I are heading to Paris in February and woud love to hear your suggestions for any bistros and restaurants that serve vegetarian meals which you have enjoyed. It could be a steakhouse for all we care, as long as there is one noteworthy vegetarian meal on the menu.

Let me explain:
Although my wife is strictly vegetarian (no seafood, cheese & eggs are OK), it is not a moral choice, but a taste thing - she simply doesn't like to eat meat. We both, however feel "ripped off" if lunch consists of biodynamic carrots and lettuce :) Generally speaking, whenever we try a "vegetarian" restaurant we both hate the whole experience (I hope I am not offending anybody here). Vegetarian restaurants, in our humble experience, tend to focus on being "healthy" and strike us as overly ascetic, joy-less and certainly tasteless! She is not worried about calories or organic certificates, she simply wants delicious food that is made of vegetables!

We have spent a fair bit of time in Paris, know the city well and are not afraid to travel around for a meal by metro, velib or taxi, so please let us know of your hidden gems wherever they may be.

Thank you in advance!

Dec 06, 2009
Cosy Cool in France