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shakti2's Profile

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Best value 3* or 2* lunch in Paris

A heads-up on Meurice : I'm a fan but the style is ingredient-driven and restrained. Someone who wants to be bowled over by excess or great value would probably do better elsewhere.

Here's some current-looking info on lunch packages :

http://www.luxeat.com/blog/3-michelin...

2 days ago
shakti2 in France

Kagurazaka Ishikawa reservations

Most regular patrons of this type of restaurant make reservations for their next meal at the conclusion of their current one, and I'd find it unsurprising that some of these arrangements pre-empt the 'formal' opening of the establishment's reservation calendar.

2 days ago
shakti2 in Japan

Fewer "I am coming to Paris" posts recently

A bit off the board's scope but I'd be surprised if US visitorship is down given favourable exchange rates. Certainly my personal observation is that biz arrivals into Europe seem to be doing well enough. Spain especially.

2 days ago
shakti2 in France

Restaurant with private room around Akasaka?

I've written off that Shibuya branch too - the last straw was an ankimo nabe which arrived as a single large piece of vaguely liver-flavoured rubber adrift all by its lonesome in a large clay pot.

Feb 26, 2015
shakti2 in Japan

a very specific Paris food search

Attaching Ptipois' very useful chicken guide which I've bookmarked and relied on (many thanks !!) The guide is in the upper half of the comments and there is a recipe for roasting somewhere in the lower half.

For southern-Chinese style poached preparations, a fatty Landais bird does indeed deliver a textbook silky outcome along with plenty of fat for the accompanying rice and condiments, but my bone-grawing breast-ignoring family actually prefers a more-flavourful coucou-type bird for roasting.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/866307

Feb 25, 2015
shakti2 in France
2

Please help figure out foodie destinations in France (take 2)!

I'm with Onzième in terms of rating Dijon over Beaune but can see the latter being a better pick for some travellers (older, affluent, conservative expectations of French dining). Stacking the 2 up as follows :

Dijon
- Frequent daily trains from Paris
- Lively town centre with a nice mix of locals/ visitors and sights/ businesses, a daily covered market, anchored by a beautiful main square which functions like the town's living room
- Better dining-out options ie. more representative of what locals want eat and are prepared to pay
- If your excursion falls on one of May's public holidays, you'll have a better chance of managing around visitors and patchy business openings in bigger Dijon vs. smaller Beaune.

Beaune
- Only a handful of direct trains to/ from Paris daily I think
- Highly prettified town centre with one very good visit (the hospice), can sometimes feel a bit over-run by visitors. Dining is definitely tourist-oriented but this is not necessarily a problem for 1 - 2 meals especially if you are keen to round up all the regional specials (snails, beef/ chicken in red wine etc).
- Very compact small town, easy to pick up a rental car/ bicycle and head straight into wine country (whereas Dijon is more of a hassle to get out of, even though the distances to vineyards are not big)

Btw given your constraints, do consider a coach/ minivan tour of the Côte d'Or vineyards as a more efficient use of time over futzing about with picking up/ dropping off a rental car, looking for parking, petrol stations etc etc.

Either of the tourist offices of Dijon or Beaune will provide plenty of options for half-day or full-day excursions, with/ without organised tasting, with/ without stopping for walkabouts or picture-taking in villages and vineyards. Their web-sites will have all the specifics.

Feb 23, 2015
shakti2 in France

Knives for a Paris rental kitchen

You can see how many carbon fans just on this thread and at the market stall in the Morvan where I got my sole carbon #8, they were the only available option.

I use both but actually find carbon easier to maintain than SS in the kitchen (sharpening is a breeze) but then I skip the oiling business. I acquired some mineral oil along with my carbon knives but have since learned to live fast and loose like Mangeur. Regular use plus wiping dry seems good enough to keep 'em nice.

Feb 17, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Chez Etienne in Marseille-Hit The Spot-In Spite of Feeling Like the Elephant Man

The wandering eye I can handle but this restaurant is going to the top of my list for its tact in isolating characters of such dubious moral and social accomplishment from the other customers :)

Knives for a Paris rental kitchen

Sadly, the knife in question was corroded badly enough to have nicks in the blade after being washed, dried and put away for a couple of weeks.

But if you're thinking about a carbon-steel kitchen knife, regular use may be enough to head off issues. Mine don't typically go more than a few days without use and/ or sharpening, and have been fine for years.

Feb 16, 2015
shakti2 in France

Knives for a Paris rental kitchen

Ya I knew all this and was skipping the oiling in the absence of handy pork products. Carbon steel may just be too finicky for occasional-use picnic knives, at least in my current life ...

Feb 16, 2015
shakti2 in France

Why is "the best" so important

There are many ways of initiating the second discussion without invoking the word 'best'. One merit of this thread to draw attention to the impression you may be giving other folks if your idea is for something subjective, subtle and nuanced, but your way of expressing yourself is to say 'the best'.

For many of us, the eyes glaze over, as Parigi nicely puts it.

Feb 15, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Knives for a Paris rental kitchen

I must be missing something when caring for a carbon-steel Opinel - my #8 has been migrated to non-kitchen jobs after showing corrosion within a month or so of very light use, notwithstanding wiping and drying after each wash. No problems with the stainless steel ones (or with Japanese carbon-steel for that matter).

Feb 15, 2015
shakti2 in France

A Noste from a Curmudgeonly Minority Perspective

'What the group often says about French food in The States'

Am pretty sure if France board locals took to US boards to opine about French food in the US and critique its practitioners based on what they read on-line, the reception would be similar to the one you get here. Just sayin'.

Feb 13, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

a very specific Paris food search

Repaire de Cartouche in the 11eme does a good and funky-flavoured game one which can be bought by weight to take home, but I think availability varies throughout the year.

Feb 11, 2015
shakti2 in France

a very specific Paris food search

The pan-fried business sounds great Pti n Phil but I've never had a croque like that in a French cafe - usually just cheese grilled atop an arrangement of bread, ham and maybe more cheese. But then I order one maybe once a year, so what do I know ...

Feb 11, 2015
shakti2 in France

Five Parisian questions

For 1, Coinstot Vino is a nice wine bar just up the way from passage 53 is open until midnight, short cheerful blackboard menu at dinner time, but although it may be just pork products and cheese later. They have a caviste business on the side and should certainly be able to rustle up some Alsace, focus is on natural wines though. And its location inside an atmospheric covered passage is definitely not 'could be anywhere'.

Jan 18, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Need a recipe to impress my landlord in Napoli

'either "food" or "something exotic"'

This is also overwhelmingly my experience with Italian friends and professional contacts whom I suspect already tend towards a less-conservative demographic (travel for work, deal with foreign clients etc). They don't dislike the exotic but on the second night of a trip to say Tokyo or Hong Kong, will opt out of stellar sushi or Canto for less-good Italian.

Jan 15, 2015
shakti2 in Italy

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

"The loss of the vibrant working class culture ... but such changes are hardly uniquely parisien. London, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Berlin, San Francisco etc have shared the same fate."

Actually Parn, the battle to retain working/ artisan class residents is long over in most of the other cities you name. It's now the middle class vs. the hedge-fund tech-entrepreneur international-oligarch class. In Paris at least, planning priorities and zoning rules do far more to keep neighbourhoods 'neighbourhoodly' in the face of preferences by developers and landlords.

Jan 15, 2015
shakti2 in France

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

Dear mangeur, may I please be you when I grow up ?

Jan 14, 2015
shakti2 in France

In response to avoiding "Pesky Americans!" (Yankees)

Sorry to hear that the city's changes seem to have left you behind, but do please be assured that there are some of us, also merely visitors, who love Paris as it is, today, warts, sadnesses and all.

Just curious though : how do you reconcile your need to communicate only in your own language with your quest for authenticity ?

Jan 12, 2015
shakti2 in France
3

[Kuala Lumpur] Best Nyonya Food in Town at Chung Ling Alumni Association

I really rate this place too - all the flavours are what they should be - but sadly some aspect of their food prep seems not to agree with my digestion.

But in what way off the beaten track ? This is just off a major highway, in a well-established suburban area, much more salubrious than some of the places adventurous visiting hounds get to (Chow Kit and the like). Off the beaten track would be this place, taxi directions and all :

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9976...

REMINISCENSE OF BYGONE PARISIAN DINING-THE ERA OF ELEGANCE

I actually think it's rather wonderful that French cuisine is no longer attached to rich sauces, elaborate presentations and dressy aura that OP mentions (if indeed it ever was).

Jan 05, 2015
shakti2 in France
1

Looking for a special occasion restaurant in Paris, Le Grand Colbert?

Véfour or Colbert ? The former strikes me as rather more ambitious than a brasserie, even if loosely interpreted ...

Jan 05, 2015
shakti2 in France

Burgundy on a Budget

I pass through Beaune maybe annually enroute a friend's home and have the same impression of a well-groomed show for conservative affluent visitors with many repetitive restaurant 'specials' of snails + something in wine sauce + something in epoisses sauce, regardless of season, at substantially higher prices than nearby Dijon which is far more geared to what locals want to eat and are prepared to pay. On a sunny Saturday this last past October, the ratio of visitors to locals must have been 10 to 1, truly approaching Disney proportions.

But for OP, it's worth a mention that Beaune is a good destination if you want to arrive by direct train fr Paris, collect a car at the station and navigate easily past minimal town traffic into wine country and elsewhere.

Jan 05, 2015
shakti2 in France

Burgundy on a Budget

I infer from your mention of expensive restaurants, Hess etc that you are visiting the Beaune area specifically rather than Burgundy in general. I would nevertheless recommend Dijon, which is a 20 - 25 train ride away and whose dining scene is much more oriented to locals.

Dijon's central covered market is open daily except Monday and is an excellent option for all sorts of food-buying, as are the many shops in the streets immediately around the market. I especially like la Comte de Bourgogne on rue Godrans for well-priced and carefully-aged Comte.

Also around the market are a number of local bistros with nicely-priced menus for lunch (16 - 20 euros) and dinner (25 - 30 euros). Most are fairly traditional/ meat-oriented and in that sense closer to the kind of restaurants you may have read about - try Bistrot des Halles or Chez Leon. My own favourite DZ'Envies on rue Odebert is more modern, although they also cover the local specials with a 'I Love Bourgogne' menu with snails and beef cheeks bourguignon.

I also really like So on rue l'Amiral Roussin and go back pretty much every time I pass through town. Similar prices as above but a very tightly-edited menu and somewhat prone to shutting down for private wine-trade dinners.

As to wine, both DZ'Envies and So have thoughtful wine lists - So has the pricier options from the prime growing zone whereas DZ'Envies is a good place to try cheaper alternatives by the glass ie. Burgundian but outside the prime zone. I also really like Chez Bruno - a caviste/ wine bar with a serious selection, nice-looking local crowd, good advice and terrific hospitality by the very flirty proprietor, evenings only. For really really cheap, there's a buvette at the market - haven't tried it but may be a good place to sample entry-level locals.

Dec 23, 2014
shakti2 in France

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

And I'll add that Popelini sells its choux puffs from a chilled case, so I'd hesitate to assume they can travel without an icepack or some such. Also the chilling does nothing for the texture of the pastry (sadly soggy).

Dec 15, 2014
shakti2 in France

Chinese desserts/'tong sui' in Hong Kong - Last updated Dec 15 2014

Try Xiao Tian Gu (小甜谷) whose original branch in Tai Hang is walkable from Causeway Bay (or take the metro 1 stop away to Tin Hau). I pretty much only have the 'stewed milk', a warm custard which was their original hit, but their menu has since expanded to include iced/ fruity numbers and quality seems to reasonable for these too.

If searching for others, Open Rice will probably generate more useful results than Google.

Please (oh please) review/comment on our hurriedly cobbled list....

Try Le Rubis on rue Leopold Bellan in your general neighbourhood for a low-fuss mid-afternoon walk-in.

I've only had snacks and drinks (serious natural wine list, interesting and well-priced choices by the glass) but everything was thoughtfully put together and the carte looked good - short, flexible and with veggie-friendly options. I recall the opening hours seemed a bit eccentric - continuous hours during the day but patchy opening hours in the evening.

Dec 11, 2014
shakti2 in France

Please help finalize Bangkok destinations (researched!!)

Agree with Curt the Soi Hound. I'd make the trip to Yaowarat for the special street foods (kuay jap, the oyster omelette etc) and eat seafood some place else where the cooking isn't quite so rough. Some reliable places for Thai-Chinese seafood would be Laem Charoen (a handy branch at Central World) or any of the Jek Ngor outlets (the Sathorn branch is handy for me but there are probably others which work better for a sight-seeing itinerary). But these will all be meals best had as a group, not solo.

Late February trip to Paris

'smallish but sensationally buttressed'

This sounds like something a person might go for in a dinner dress.

Dec 04, 2014
shakti2 in France