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London 2015 Planning

MiT, thank you for the suggestions. Returning to the Chowhound UK and Europe boards generated much nostalgia.

Life is much different on the other side of the pond. Fortunately, Japan and Hong Kong are close but cost of fine dining and standards do not quite match the UK.

Based on your suggestion, I have made a reservation at Fera. I will update the board following our vacation.

Nov 12, 2014
blownd in U.K./Ireland

London 2015 Planning

Thanks for the tip, Zuriga. The menu certainly looks interesting and the price point excellent for the Carte Blanche or Degustation Menu. A switch with Hibiscus is certainly to be considered.

Nov 12, 2014
blownd in U.K./Ireland

London 2015 Planning

Dear Chowhounds:
It has been awhile since I last posted on the UK board since relocating from Europe to Asia. I am also terribly out of touch with the London dining scene and could use your guidance. ManinTransit and PhilD - your feedback in particular would be greatly appreciated.

For the sake of completeness, we have previously dined at The Ledbury, Marcus Wareing and The Square. This time, we hope to close off on Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road, Ducasse at the Dorchester, Dinner, Le Gavroche and one other restaurant. We have successfully secured reservations to Dinner and Ramsay; regrettably, Le Gavroche is fully booked until February and Ducasse remains to be seen. I could use 2 other suggestions – Hedone seems to generate mixed feedback, and we are certainly open to a return to The Ledbury after stellar meals there. However, other suggestions would be invaluable assuming we have no luck securing reservations.

Many thanks, a Chowhound in S. Korea

Nov 03, 2014
blownd in U.K./Ireland

4 Days in Amsterdam w/ food obsessed family

Fress - as surprising as it sounds, I suggest "sui kow" (large soup dumplings as opposed to won tons) at New King Restaurant in China Town, Amsterdam (~7 min stroll from Ams Central Station). Jokes aside, these dumplings are as good as the best that you would find in Hong Kong.

Sep 14, 2014
blownd in Europe

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Oliver:

My wife and I went to Chukasoba on the advice of RobbieS. We enjoyed the noodles so much, we went back twice! On the first trip, as we do not speak Japanese we were fortunate that there were other diners and managed to get on by with some sign language.

It was only when we were departing, that we noticed that there were photographs on top of the door! Doh! You should not have a problem ordering by pointing to the pictures.

On a separate note - RobbieS, I never got the chance to thank you for the feedback that I extracted on your many posts. You made our first trip to Japan last year memorable. We're heading back to Japan again for vacation and I'd love to buy you a beer.

Sep 14, 2014
blownd in Japan
1

Tin Lung Heen v Lung King Heen - which is best for a dim sum splurge?

I have to disagree, Charles. Hands down, Yan Toh Heen takes the cake for best dim sum in Hong Kong.

Natasha if you have set your heart on choosing between Tin Lung Heen and Lung King Heen, I would recommend Lung King Heen. We found the dim sum at Tin Lung Heen disappointing comparing it against Lung King Heen, Ming Court and Yan Toh Heen.

Aug 27, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

French hound coming to Seoul - Need a few insights

Rio - Congdu and Poom are more affordable than Jung Sik. If I had to choose one of the above in addition to Jung Sik Dang, it would be Poom.

If I recall correctly, prices at Congdu and Poom were comparable for lunch ~ US$45 for a set meal.

Jun 30, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

michelin star lunch in the netherlands

Its been awhile since we departed the Hague, however I would pass on Niven and Han Ting.

Instead, I would select between Callas and Seinpost which are solid 1* restaurants.

Jun 29, 2014
blownd in Europe

French hound coming to Seoul - Need a few insights

Rio - I hope these suggestions are timely in advance of your Seoul vacation.

I regrettably am unable to advise on local Korean fare; having been here for a year and a half, my yearning is more for European continental fare.

I strongly advise dining at Jung Sik Dang, if you can temper your expectations on the restaurant setting, i.e. the restaurant is a little old, the food will delight you. It is at a minimum, comparable to the quality you would get at a Bib Gourmand in Europe. The food is creative, playful and imaginative.

Another good recommendation for more traditional Korean is Poom (3/F Daewon-Jeongsa Building, 358-17 Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu www.poomseoul.com

)

In addition to the above, my wife enjoyed Congdu (Congdu Restaurant, 116-1 Deoksu Palace-gil Jungu. T: +82 2 722 7002 http://congdu.com/main/ko/index.html)

Jun 29, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Best Hyderabadi-style Biryani in Town?

Klyeoh, the branch at Solaris Dutamas is also good.

Jun 01, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

New addition to Hong Kong dining scene - L'Altro, a solid Michelin 1* Italian Restaurant

Phil, Charles - many thanks for the feedback. I have been remiss and not contributed much to the China & Southeast Asia section following my return from Europe. I'll be certain to update following my vacation to HK shortly.

At the risk of digressing from the original subject - still planning one final set dinner and am stumped between T'ang Court, Sung Tung Lok and Man Wah. Any suggestions? Many thanks

Apr 05, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

New addition to Hong Kong dining scene - L'Altro, a solid Michelin 1* Italian Restaurant

Charles, I would be grateful for your advice following your meal at L'Altro. I noted that there were mixed reviews on the restaurant in general.

Would you advise on L'Altro or Il Milione? Many thanks

Mar 30, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Hong Kong questions

I concur with Charles on LKH, and would throw in Yan Toh Heen into the dim sum mix. It impressed even more than LKH and Ming Court

Mar 30, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Les Amis, Singapore

Bu Pun Su, the wife and I were in Singapore for vacation recently and agree that our lunch at Les Amis was satisfying. The new team is excellent, and it would be a solid 1* by Michelin, Europe standards.

Mar 05, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's Top 50 Restaurants (2014)

Charles, to be fair presentation is not a main stay for Italian fine dining. Trying to assess Italian cuisine against the Michelin ratings presents an immense challenge!

After a recent vacation to Singapore, I find it even more bizarre that Iggy's is on the list and that it rates even higher than Les Amis!

Mar 05, 2014
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur - Capital Nasi Dagang at Damansara Uptown

klyeoh, how can I get in contact with you via e-mail? Am heading back to KL for a vacation; the first in several years and would like some recommendations. Thank you

Aug 20, 2013
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Really? No place good to eat in Wan Chai that is an easy walk?

klyeoh: Cepage is closing down. The last operation date was 25 June 2013.

Jul 30, 2013
blownd in China & Southeast Asia

Brugge 1* Restaurants

Sans Cravate: Amuse 1 - home made olives and fetta cheese ... ho hum. Amuse 2 - pumpkin cornetto with foie gras, now we're talking. Amuse 3 - sea weed waffle with sour cheese, tasty but average. Amuse 4 - salad of couscous, smoked eel and carrot puree - excellent. Amuse 5 - mushroom soup and quial egg - very good. Starter - tartare of wild salmon, salmon ice cream, salmon mousse and radish. Excellent, high in originality and harmonious. Main - guinea fowl, pear, endives, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Dessert - vanilla icre cream. A solid 1* restaurant. Would I go back? Yes, and the service was excellent.

Gouden Harynck: Amuse 1 - codfish ... nothing fancy and a little over salted. A poor version of bacalhau not the best way to start a meal. Amuse 2 - salmon gravallate with a sorrel dressing. Starter 3 - tuna cerviche with egg plant puree and carrot. Main - pheasant with saffron, chutney and parsnip puree. This was very good, especially the smokiness of the puree and the combination the flavors. Dessert - trio of chocolates. Would I go back? No, once is enough.

De Jonkman - Amuse1 - chips of red onion and leek which my wife kindly left me only 1 of each to sample *grumbles* Amuse 2 - quail egg with powder of ham - excellent! Amuse 3 - cauliflower, foie gras and cofee - another outstanding amuse and what a combination! Amuse 4 - cake of green olives and zeeland shrimp. Amuse 5 - Nordsee crab and home made nut bread with green apple. Amuse 6 - squid with charone sauce and oil of parsley - excellent! Amuse 7 - toast with eggplant puree and bone marrow whichw as outstanding.

Need to find my notes and will update this post!

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in Europe

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Le Diane - the nearest metro is George V where the restaurant is a minute walk away.Service was excellent, I was offered newspapers and magazines as I was dining alone! Apologies Chowhounds as I could not recall Amuse 1. Amuse 2 - king prawn and gazpacho. Now that's a good amuse. 3 types of butter and the seaweed butter while not as good as Oud Sluis rivalled where I had been offered at other 2* establishments. Starter - black truffle and fowl oyster with light quail egg cream and foie gras shavings. A 1* dish, my wife would have very embarassingly asked for seconds despite the large portion size! Main - milk fed lamb, candied aubergine and green harissa. A good dish. Pre-dessert - mine icre cream on a cacao jelly. Dessert - poached pear, orange linzer shortbread biscuit with fromage frais sorbet with gingerbread powder. A disappointment after the brilliant starter and almost equal main. Would I go back? Yes, especially like Sola it was at a great price point.

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Hiramatsu - The nearest metro is Boisoniere where the restaurant is a 2 minute walk away. Amuse - mackerel withe vegetables, chicken with mayonnaise, cheese puff and beetroot mousse.The cheese puff was excellent. Starter 1 - green asparagus gazpacho with a white chestnut mousse. Simple but excellent. Starter 2 - scallop, mussels, caviar with a lemon and fish sauce. The fish sauce was incredible and the dish harmonious - a 1* dish. Starter 3 - crayfish with vegetables, mango, passion fruit and an Alsace sauce. Excellent, another 1* dish. Main 1 - foie gras, pan fried fish with turnips, mushroom in a consomme. The chef was on a roll, this was another 1* dish. The consomme was fabulous and who would have paired foie gras with a fish? Main 2 - john dory, mussels, green asparagus with a saffron sauce. The cooking was technically flawless, quality of produce exceedingly high and there is something about Japanese chefs in particular that promote such clean flavors. Main 3 - saddle of lamb, anchovies with potatoes and truffle with komatsu. A great dish! Pre-dessert - pear caramelized with lemon juice and sugar pop-pops. Playful and entertaining, it brought a smile to my face reminiscing about my childhood. Dessert 1 - meringue on a mascarpone ice cream, yoghurt and clementine. The pastry chef is certainly earning his or her keep! Dessert 2 - vanilla icre cream, chestnut mousse, biscuit with a hot chocolate and whisky sauce ... so good. Dessert 3 - petit fours. Would I come back? You betcha!

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Le Pergolese - The nearest metro is Argentine where the restaurant is a 2 minute walk away. 3 types of bread was offerred all served warm! Amuse - a royale of foie gras with apple and cream which was very good. Starter - half pigeon, roasted breast and leg stuffed with foie gras, fuji apple carpaccio and a meat jus vinagrette dressing - very good. Main - pan fried dover sole stuffed with mushroom duxelle - again very good. Pre-dessert - chocolate macaroons and pralines. Dessert - caramelized pear souffle which looked outstanding but was too thin. Would I come back again? Yes, a solid 1* restaurant.

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

La Truffiere - the nearest metro is Place Monge where the restaurant is a 2 minute walk away. The restaurant is large spanning 2 floors. Service was very quick, and perhaps the meal could have used more pacing; wine by the glass was a very generous pour. Apologies as I could not recall the amuses. After a terrible day in the office, I decided to splurge on the truffle menu. Starter was the vialone risotto with black truffle. Presentation was a little messy from the shaving of the truffle, but that was an obscene amount of truffle which accounted for the extravagant price. Flawless execution and one of the best risotto I have ever had - low in originality but high in harmony and quality. The main was an oxtail stew with truffled mashed potatoes and black truffle. A very good dish indeed. The portions may initially appear small, but with bread trust me that it was the right amount. Petit fours - creamy caramel, dark chocolate and an unbelievable truffle macaroon! Would I come back again? No, once is enough especially at the price point.

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Akrame - the nearest metro is Charles de Gaule Etoile where the restaurant is a 5 minute walk away. It is a small restaurant with ~ 9 tables of 24 covers, mainly French patrons. The Menu Gourmand of 6 dishes cost 80 Euros. Amuse 1 - brioche and smoked herring. Amuse 2 - lime, avocado and apple tart which was good; salmon roe tart and a cheese tart which was interesting. Dish 1 - smoked potatoes and a julienne of potatoes. Good but its potatoes ... Dish 2 - passion fruit, celery and crab an intriguing dish. Dish 3 - Normandy cockles with a julienne of lettuce - a good dish. Dish 4 - polenta gnocchi, milk mousse and white fish; another good dish. Dish 5 - oyster with some jelly. Five dishes and still no meat?! Dish 6 - Andrizo, potato and land cress - an excellent dish. Dish 7 - quail, leek, prunes with a side of vegetables and licorice. Not the biggest fan of licorice, but the sauce was brilliant. The quail was a tad overcooked for my preference. Cheese - a 42 month Compte - a sense of balance has been restored after the late appearance of the meat! To conclude, a trio of desserts - white chocolate, chantilly cream and olive; apple mousse and caramel which was good and a canneloni of mango. Akrame puzzles,there were lows and highs ... would I return? Hmmm ... possibly.

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Restaurant Kei - The nearest metro is Louvre-Rivoli where the restaurant is less than a 5 minute walk away. Kei is a small, cosy but modern restaurant with ~ 10 tables. I took the Composition 1 menu for 95 Euros. Amuse - salted cake with Iberico ham; macaroon with foie gras and passion fruit; cookie with seaweed; and a granita of lime and ginger. Starter - radish, apple and smoked salmon with hazelnuts and horseradish dressing. Not bad, not bad at all. Dish 2 - crispy sea bass with miso and lemon. A 1* dish - creative technique, great quality, original and good presentation. You could hear the crunch of the skin crackling when you bit into the fish. Dish 3 - Brittany lobster, japanese pancake, chocolate with a lobster emulsion and a lobster sauce - a very good dish. Dish 4 - slow cooked pork, leek and aubergine with spices in a pork jus - very good. Dish 5 - cheese platter with a small portion of young Comte. Dish 6 - honey lime, yuzu sorbet, yuzu, grape fruit and meringue - very interesting dessert except the yuzu sorbet perhaps overpowered the rest of the dessert. Dish 7 - white chocolate in different temperatures with vanilla ice cream and caramelized biscuits - very good! Petit fours - salted caramel biscuits, assortment of chocolates and molecular earl grey tea. Conclusion - go to Kei, one of the finest 1* in Paris, although a little high for the price point.

Mar 11, 2013
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Le Violon d'Ingres - Nearest metro is Ecole Militaire, where is the restaurant is a 10 minute walk away. Amuse - variety of cheese tarts and roasted almonds - average. Starter - foie gras pan seared with ginger bread, carrots glazed with acacia honey ... they ran out of carrots and replaced this with quince and I was uninformed until served. Definitely, not a good start to the meal - who runs out of carrots? To make things worse, there was no ginger bread and there was a discernible layer of oil separating from the foie gras. I do not expect a 1* restaurant to butcher the foie gras - a poor dish. Main - a saddle of lamb marinated in red wine and a chestnut ragout. Perhaps, it was an off night for the chef or that the restaurant was packed but this was a dismal experience. It pains me to consider the glowing endorsements some Chowhounds possess on this restaurant. Would I go back? Absolutely not, in fact give me my money back.

Le Lumiere - The nearest metro is Opera where the restaurant is less than a 2 minutes walk away. Amuse - pumpkin soup, cinnamon and macadamia nuts - good. Starter - the chef's signature dish of black pudding with sauteed potatoes, trumpet mushrooms and fried quails eggs. This was a 1* dish - original, harmonious and at a great price! If I had to nit pick the quails eggs were perhaps a touch over cooked and presentation was a little awkward as the dish kept shifting on the plate that it was served on. Main - fillet of venison, breaded shoulder stewed in wine, jerusalem artichoke and potimarron pumpkin. Technically excellent, well seasoned but conservative as you would expect of a hotel restaurant. Would I go back? Once is enough.

Jan 11, 2013
blownd in France

30th bday dinner in paris (2 or 3 star meal)

Some great feedbaci from Delucacheesemonger and Brian Gilligan. I have only been to3 of the 3* - Guy Savoy, L'Ambroisie and Ledoyen. L'Arpege is scheduled later in December.

In terms of stuffiness of service it is L'Ambroisie without a doubt. The last time I was there several months ago, I remembered an unfortunate patron who was clearly uncomfortable. He sat as our American friends would describe " with a poker up his ass" and had forgotten to unbutton his suit. The room was deathly silent despite it being almost full; service was competent and the only real engagement with the waiter came at the conclusion when when I took the mickey out of the waiter after he passed me the check and said "Sil vous plait" and did the same to my wife. At least he appreciated the humour behind the joke.

When it comes to food, I think its a toss up between Ledoyen and Guy Savoy. Perhaps we were fortunate, but we had a flawless meal at both the restaurants. I would give the edge to Ledoyen because of the perfection achieved over a larger number of courses in the Degustation Menu over the Internet Special.

Nov 26, 2012
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Jean – Nearest Metro is Notre Dame de Lorette, where the restaurant is an approximate 2 minutes walk away. I particularly loved the setting for Jean, it reminded me of my childhood and when you were taken to a special restaurant as a treat; it is old and intimate – wooden paneling, tiled, mosaic floors, a large oak (?) counter bar, and brocade and velvet seats. It was also the first restaurant where the diners were predominantly French. I had the Degustation 4 course menu with 3 wines for 95 Euros. Amuse – mushroom and chorizo veloute with parmesan cheese – tasty. Entrée’ – apricot puree, cottage cheese, morels and mushroom. The presentation was a lovely but as it was served in a high glass and the seat was low, it was awkward trying to eat this. I enjoyed the combination of the morels against the sweet apricot – a good dish. 2 dish – Scallops, razor clam, butter nut squash and water cress puree. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the razor clam added to the textural differences, but the watercress puree did not add much due to under seasoning – an average dish. Main – fillet of pork with julienne black mushrooms and chestnuts. I understand the challenges involved with making a good sauce, and this was a good sauce and the black mushrooms … yum – a good dish. Dessert was apple jelly, nuts and a lime sorbet – average. Service was a little slow and my host Jean-Frederic came by several times to check on how I was doing, shoot the breeze and apologize for the time it took to bring my bill, accompanied by a digestif of cognac on the house. It was a pleasant evening despite the wait to settle my bill. In conclusion, Jean is decent 1* lower down that the others but higher than La Fables de la Fontaine. Would I go back? No, once is enough.

Sola – Nearest metro is St. Michel, where the restaurant is an approximate 5 minutes walk. It has an interesting setting, industrial chic (concrete, wood, brick) with a combination of French and Japanese staff. There is only a Discovery Menu available to diners where you do not have a choice of selection for 88 Euros if I recall correctly. Amuse – lobster, parsnip and lobster emulsion … drool, good big chunks of lobster perfectly cooked - a very, very good amuse the best of all the restaurants so far. Entrée - the Signature dish of the restaurant – foie gras marinated with miso and white wine, carmarlized with brown sugar on polenta with a piece of corn. Beautiful presentation, a good myriad of textures and the flavors of miso and white wine coming through the lovely foie not to mention the nice flavor from the burnt corn – a 1* dish! Dish 2 – salmon, salmon roe, mascarpone, apples and balsamic vinegar. Another beautifully presented dish, that was extremely balanced with clean flavors – very good. Dish 3 – whelk with something (apologies Chow Hounds as I had a little difficult task of translating my waiter’s heavy Japanese accent). A good dish with the whelk providing great texture against the sweet ginger and coriander. Dish 4 – Scallops, cauliflower in a cauliflower puree. Well seasoned and I enjoyed the cauliflower puree but this dish did not do it for me, I suspect because it was under seasoned – average. Dish 5 – Chicken tartar, chicken broth, white fish and spinach. The broth was lovely, light but flavorful and the crispy onions mixed with the chicken tartar and fish accentuated the difference in textures and provided good smokiness – a very good dish. Dish 6 – Turbot, lardo, mini leek and capers – this dish did not cut it – average. Dish 7 – Veal, sweet bread, purple lettuce, cep mushrooms and parsnip puree. A dish that was beautifully presented, combined unbelievably well (the purple lettuce was incredible) and it had a great sauce. If I was extremely particular, the one thing that prevented this dish from being perfect was the sear on the veal but was yet another 1* dish. Pre-dessert – passion fruit sorbet, apricot, apricot candy, passion fruit and mascarpone – a 1* dish. Who’s the patisserie chef?! Dessert – cookies, marone (spelling?), cream of marone and vanilla ice cream – a 1* dish. Give the patisserie chef a raise damn it. My neighbors, 2 Parisian women who had stepped out for a cigarette before the pre-dessert arrived flashed me the thumbs up as an inquiry to the pre-dessert – they had clearly, enjoyed the meal. The waiters were intrigued by the foreigner scribbling notes throughout the course of the meal and as compliments brought out some gifts from the patisserie chef – a soy cloud and a green tea pastry .. both were very good. In conclusion, Sola is the best 1* restaurant I have ever been to so far – it was fun, relaxed and the food despite some misses was excellent at that price point. Would I go back? Yes, in fact I was thinking of taking my wife with me as she surely would have enjoyed it.

Nov 17, 2012
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Verjus – Nearest metro – there are several of them, but we stopped at Bourse where the restaurant was less than 10 minutes walk away. Chow Hounds beware of directions as the restaurant is actually in an internal lane off Rue de Richelieu. The Degustation Menu is 60 Euros. Dish 1 – confiture de bacon, eschalotes marine ciboulette – average. Dish 2 – foie gras rape, epinard, noisettes confits, raisin, marines champignons de mais. A good dish that contained a multitude of textures and was harmonious but I have a preference for my mushrooms cooked. The nuts were a great touch to both the textures and flavor but being at the bottom of the plate was difficult to mix with the rest of dish. Dish 3 – Margret des pomarez ravioli de oignon, rouge orange carvi, celery rave fume – average. Dish 4 – bouef du pays, Basque chanterelles, grilles carottes, ancienne cardamom noire, armande et miso a tasty but average dish. Dish 5 – Mousse au beurre de cacahuetes ganache, au chocolate noir, biscuits crème fouettee cacahuetes grilles – tasty but average dish. Dish 6 – Gateau de potimarron mascarpone, carotte confit meringue de noix glacee de the chai. In summary, there is something inexplicably American in the originality and produce of the dishes. Also, service was good and friendly. The food was delicious but there were no specific highlights. Would I go back? No, once is enough.

Le Tablettes de JL Nomicos – Nearest metro is Victor Hugo, where the restaurant is less than a 3 minutes walk away. The Discovery Menu is 80 Euros (3 courses with 2 glasses of wine inclusive). The setting is very modern and fashionable, I was extremely taken by the wall and ceiling of weaved panels. There was less space between tables unlike Frederic Simonin but certainly more than the other restaurants. You are provided with an Ipad to view a video on the special of the day (macaroni with foie gras and truffles) and the wine list. Canapes – seabass and goat cheese – ho hum. Amuse – sweet onions, pumpkin and ginger veloute with parmesan – attractive and delicious but where was the ginger? Entrée’ beetroot confit served 4 ways. This was a dish that you were either going to love or hate. I noticed in the party of 4 seated across me that the gentleman clearly was not a big fan of the dish. While aesthetically pleasing in the presentation, it was regretful that there was not enough of the comte cheese cubes in the dish – in the few mouthfuls where there was sufficient together with the beetroot – this was a great dish. Main – scallops, ceps, chestnut puree in a pumpkin sauce. A dish that was technically flawless, containing a harmonious combination greatly enabled by the chestnut puree – a good dish. I must have looked hungry because my courteous waitress cam by thrice to offer me bread! Main – fillet of beef with foie gras, carrot ravioli and lettuce wrapped braised beef (cheek?) with a side of mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were clearly nowhere close to what I ate at Frederic Simonin. The carrot ravioli had great flavor but was unfortunately a little over cooked. A tasty dish, but I think there was too much on in the plate. Dessert – Chestnut veloute with a tangerine sorbet – an outstanding dessert. In conclusion, a solid 1*, but lower down the list that Ze Kitchen Galerie and Frederic Simonin but definitely better than Les Fables de la Fontaine. As a matter of personal preference, I would have rather dined at Spring or Agape Substance (except for price point). Would I go back? No, once is enough.

Nov 17, 2012
blownd in France

Paris Business Travel -Michelin 1* and Other Notable Restaurants

Les Fables de la Fontaine - Nearest metro is Ecole Militaire where the restaurant is less than 5 minutes walk away. The setting is small with no more than 25 covers. As I was dining alone, I sat at the counter. The menu is small but I expect this works to the kitchen’s benefit of being able to produce food quickly and of quality. As the tasting menu was priced at 120 Euros, I selected an entree and a main a’la carte and held off on dessert depending on the food. By the way, wine by the glass was a generous pour. Amuse was salmon in a white bean veloute, tasty but nothing special. My starter was crab ravioli with ginger flavored vegetables served in a lemongrass broth. You could smell the broth but it was a case of a louder bark than a bite. Where was the lemongrass? Nonetheless, the 2 large raviolis were cooked al dente perfectly. Main was skate with mozzarella, capers, and herbs with a side of green lentils with foie gras in a smoked bacon emulsion. The fish was cooked well, a mistake many lesser restaurants commit but the mozzarella was extraneous and added little to the dish. The highlight was the side of lentils, bacon and foie gras which was excellent. Service was a little slow, but understandable as it was a full house and they flipped many tables twice. In summary, a good restaurant serving bistro fare but in my view undeserving of a 1* especially for that price point - Ze Kitchen Galerie offers far better food at that value. I left Les Fables de la Fontaine not reflecting on the food, but the disconcerting experience of seated at the counter facing the large pane mirror as passer bys stared intrigued by what I was eating. Would I go back? Absolutely not.

Frederic Simonin – Nearest Metro is Ternes and the restaurant is located less than 5 minutes walk away. The setting is extremely modern with ample space between tables where you could have a conversation without your neighbors accidentally eaves dropping; exiting was easy without the need for the entire table to be moved. This was the 1st 1* restaurant in Paris that served a varied selection of bread served warm with butter! This made an immediately favorable impression on my wife who likes her bread warm with butter! Amuse was a port with foie gras and parmesan. My wife who avoids foie gras considered asking for seconds a no mean feat. As only the Degustation Menu was available for dinner at 135 Euros, we opted for 2 courses a’la carte. Starter 1 – crab with avocado and lime juice. Gorgeous presentation and we were informed that Frederic obtained the egg-shaped plates based on his previous relationship with a Japanese supplier to Robuchon. The starter while not original was well seasoned and balanced. Starter 2 – foie gras with fig marmalade and wine jelly. The presentation was immaculate, they painted the bloody plate with gold dust in the shape of a duck/ goose head! Again nothing revolutionary, but the foie gras was delicately cooked, smooth, creamy and bursting with flavor. After our starter we remembered seeing on the menu Frederic’s homage to the Robuchon mashed potatoes, and we could not resist the desire to see how good this was. Main 1 – pork braised in coconut milk and tandoori spices. My wife and I have never had pork cooked so delicately before, a good dish. Main 2 - Le Lievre – hare wrapped in blood sausage in a blood sauce with a side truffle macaroni. The sauce was perfect, and I was highly impressed glossy, of a good consistency and almost dark chocolate in color. This was a solid 1* dish as was the side of truffle macaroni; suffice to say, I barely had a taste as my wife chose to scoff most of it. And the mashed potatoes … the mashed potatoes, I can only do it the ultimate compliment by informing that my wife contemplated not ordering dessert for another bowl of the mashed potatoes. The texture, the consistency, the balance … Jesus wept, pardon my sacrilege. We shared a dessert – orange soufflé with a yuzu sorbet again very good. I have seen some comments from Chow Hounds that there is little soul in Frederic’s food – but it is undeniably good. Service was also immaculate. Would I come back, definitely! I would go so far as to say that it tops the list of the 1* restaurants that I have been to so far.

Next update – Verjus, Le Tablettes de JL Nomicos, Jean, Sola and L’Arome.

Nov 16, 2012
blownd in France

Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, L'Abeille, Kei, Sola, La Truffiere, Le Diane, Le39V, Le Lumiere, Cobea, Le Quinzieme-Cyril Lignac, Arkrame, Shang Palace, Les Tablettes de JL Nomicos - any reports

And John, great call on L'Hedoniste - my wife and I had a great dinner there.

Would you know how I can change the tile of a post - I would like to give back to the CH community in the same way that so many have helped with the great suggestions.?

Oct 29, 2012
blownd in France