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Paris -- staying in the 9th for two weeks November

Parigi's the expert in her 'hood but just wanted to put in a word for Caillebotte where I've had a couple of good inexpensive lunches, imaginative combinations, nicely-cooked, including a particularly tasty chorizo-stuffed quail. The only thing that's turned me off attempting dinner is the double seatings (more effort than I'd want to make) but maybe that's changed since the buzz has come off the boil.

2 days ago
shakti2 in France
2

SF hound to KL, Penang, then Singapore

A couple of comments :

Lunch is probably a much better bet than dinner at Visalatchi. Many restaurants of its type don't do a good dinner business (leftover curries supplemented by a fresh round of rice and/ or breads) and given the general level of hygiene at Visalatchi, I'd avoid anything not clearly freshly-cooked myself. Actually I'd avoid it altogether but don't let that stop you :)

A good nearby alternative would be Annalakshmi, the veggie house restaurant of the Indian cultural complex Temple of Fine Arts. Less nearby but if your interest is in regional indian cuisine would be May and Mike's off Jalan Gasing (Malayalee home cooking). Either of these would be more interesting than the international chain Saravana Bhavan.

You are missing Malay food, a bit odd when visiting Malaysia. Some suggestions in KL : Pinang Masak in Bukit Tunku (closed Sun), Anis Putri in Pantai Dalam (lunch only, closed Fridays), Ikan Bakar Gerai 3 in Jalan Bellamy (lunch only, avoid Fridays).

You can google for specifics on their cuisine but at Anis, I especially recommend the gulai itik (duck stew), the ulam (salad herbs) and the fried chicken if they have the free-range ones that day, and at Jln Bellamy, the grilled ray, the grilled squid, the grilled terubok if you can handle fine fish bones (an increasingly uncommon oily fatty fish) and the salads. You'll need a taxi out of downtown to reach them but they are in less challenging neighbourhoods than Chow Kit (Anis Putri should also be reach-able on the commuter train).

It's rainy season at the moment - heavy downpours pretty much every afternoon. Try to avoid being stranded in heavy rain within Taman Negara and be prepared for leaches and much mud on the trails.

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Your palate is as precise as your writing, Carole !

I last had Bones' fixed-menu in 2013 when it was a hot new opening and had fairly similar experiences as you (except that on one occasion my companions skipped the bread basket and filled up on extra orders of roast-pork sandwiches from the bar instead).

But I was getting very tempted to give it another go, on the back of a couple of recent glowing comments from others on this board, plus good experiences at the bar (excellent small plates at a late hour when it can be hard to find real food). Thanks for taking yet another for the team ...

Oct 22, 2014
shakti2 in France

Budget dining in Paris?

This thread is an excellent resource for thinking outside the box for eating well in Paris : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8711...

Some of the suggestions are very centrally-located for sight-seeing : Song Heng in the 3rd, Hamadi in the 5th, Nioumre in Chateau Rouge (not too big a detour if you're already at the Sacre Coeur).

You already say you're deferring some stuff for a future trip - dining in more conventionally 'French' places could be one of those deferrals, but good food need not be.

Oct 21, 2014
shakti2 in France

our list/your opinion-- we've done our homework (i think!)

+1 for Parn's rec le Meurice although not - gulp - a fashionista.

But it may be worth knowing that your splurge euros will go a lot further in San Seb than in Paris. My last meal at Meurice ran to 300-ish euros at lunch and while my recollection of our spend at Etxebarri is fuzzy, I'm pretty sure it was south of 150.

Oct 14, 2014
shakti2 in France

our list/your opinion-- we've done our homework (i think!)

'Raw mandolin-sliced root vegetables'

Must confess I do rather love these, especially if lightly-pickled. But I can imagine their presence in place of actual chunks of the same veg must do wonders for the resto's bottom line.

Oct 14, 2014
shakti2 in France

our list/your opinion-- we've done our homework (i think!)

Different view to Phil : the only tough reservations mentioned so far seem to be Spring, Toutain, Clown Bar, and Bones if you want to go for the fixed-menu dinner (my own experience has been better with its more-casual no-reservation bar menu). I'd suggest sorting yourself out for the weekend where good places do get hectic, have a couple of no-resa back-ups in your pocket (Pierre Sang Boyer in Oberkampf is likely to be a good add for you) and then post again if you're in town and in need of ideas.

Better to be in the moment wherever you're currently honeymooning rather than having kittens over next week's dinner plans. Paris isn't like Rome - the bench of desirable restaurants is very deep and wide, there WILL be alternatives for whatever XYZ unavailable resto.

Oct 13, 2014
shakti2 in France
2

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I've had that Bones lamb shoulder, shredded and sandwiched, good stuff. They've done suckling pig too, also terrific. Looking forward to Carole's review, am assuming it'll be for the main floor.

Oct 11, 2014
shakti2 in France

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

+1 for Jia Jia where I have a weakness for the crab-only buns, not really trad and extortionately-priced, but irresistible anyway.

On Nanxiang Mantou (guessing that's where Pti ate in the Yuyuan), the Shanghainese part of my family would say those are Nanjing soup buns, not xiaolongbao.

Oct 11, 2014
shakti2 in France

PARIS IN OCTOBER -- MUST EATS

My god. I've gotten hired and hitched with the respective counterparties having significantly less info than this ...

Oct 10, 2014
shakti2 in France

Mirazur in Menton

Happily noting your views too and Parigi's too. I've not generally been a fan of the posher options on the coast but M. Colagreco's cuisine looks like a very different thing.

Oct 08, 2014
shakti2 in France

Mirazur in Menton

Thanks for the lovely review and pics Laidback. What glorious views (the marine one and the edible ones).

I'm finalising plans to go with friends and family later this year, on the strength of some very trusted recommendations, and am still wondering if it's the right call for a party whose attendees are on the record with their varying levels of dislike for 'molecular' and 'stars'. Your endorsement is reassuring, to say the least.

Oct 08, 2014
shakti2 in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Not bad at all for a wet Monday !

Oct 07, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

Best Bistros in Paris (Chez Denise, L'ami Louis or Aux Lyonnais)

Ah I see. Was mostly baffled by what the addition of tablecloths could do for a room whose main decorative element seems to be cartoon pigs :)

Is Camdeborde's really a model to aspire to ? Heaven knows when a local last ate dinner there given the need to buy a room-night to get a spot in the dining room. Whereas having a spot where he can be hands-on in the kitchen and generous with friends, family and fans seems important to Jego, who presumably could have monetised his following a long while back.

Oct 07, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

Eric Briffard leaving Le Cinq

Parn is probably right. I know the Geneva property and its dining options don't stretch to the same aspirations as a Parisien 3-star palace, just an ok-ish modern Italian place and a somewhat less-than-ok Japanese fusion one.

Oct 07, 2014
shakti2 in France

Unagi LUNCH set in Tokyo with atmosphere/history

Sorry but I didn't at all say that Nodaiwa is indistinguishable from Hatsuogawa and Tamai. It is a very much more upscale restaurant, suitable for business entertaining, at which the multi-course kaiseki options are at least as popular as the single-box eel orders ie. starters, sashimi, nimono, eel/ rice, dessert.

Whereas the other 2 really only serve eel and rice plus related sides (fried bones, miso soup with the eel's liver etc) and are much more suitable if you are looking to drop in, eat and be on your way.

Oct 07, 2014
shakti2 in Japan

Best Bistros in Paris (Chez Denise, L'ami Louis or Aux Lyonnais)

Phil, just curious, you've mentioned the tablecloths at l'Ami Jean a few times when citing your interest in their new format. What is the significance of the tablecloths ?

Oct 06, 2014
shakti2 in France

Unagi LUNCH set in Tokyo with atmosphere/history

Here is an old but relevant article given your specific interest in specific places (sorry if you've already read and are trying to cross-check further).

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2005...

My own 2 cents : Hatsuogawa and Tamai are very cute old-school places serving simple 1-course meals at lunch. Nodaiwa can be a much longer and fussier affair, even at lunch, so not really a comparable experience. I prefer my eel without sweet sauce (shioyaki) but would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the unaju/ kabayaki options - it all seems like eel with rice to me.

I don't really get the concern that Nodaiwa may be 'over-rated' ... by whom ? If it's by a visitor who may not have eaten all that much eel in Japan, then it's probably not so relevant. You do you.

Oct 06, 2014
shakti2 in Japan
1

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Lamenting as well. My last meal at Septime featured bite-sized morsels of roasted belly pork that surpassed anything I've had in those bastions of roast porkery HK and Spain. The room was happy and diverse - locals, visitors, a venerable wine-maker, an impeccably-behaved little girl with a colouring book. The team in the kitchen was humming under M. Grebaut's calm supervision, and I remember thinking 'that's a huge number out back in relation to the size of the establishment' and 'this restaurant is going to go on and on'.

Oh well least I'll have the memories !

And thank you Carole, a thoroughly useful and thoughtful review, what very high standards you're setting :) A bit late but an interesting place to check out near la Chapelle is En Vrac, a wine retailer which sells its very drinkable house wines inexpensively out of steel tanks into re-usable containers, with more bottles and some nice deli goods on the side, and which was putting out an excellent and generous Sunday brunch to a jolly crowd at the time I went.

Oct 01, 2014
shakti2 in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Another plus at lunch is that virtually no one attempts to enforce 2 seatings, a particularly big advantage over dinner at restaurants whose typical format is a multi-course fixed menu.

Adding my data-points on Pirouette : had good lunches in May and July but also noted some price creep with one meal coming up to 75-ish euros a head, at which price point there are lots of other options ...

Oct 01, 2014
shakti2 in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Yikes ! Between this and Pirouette, you've definitely taken a couple for the team. And their prices seem to march ever upward - boo.

Oct 01, 2014
shakti2 in France

Pate To Go

Oh and have a great trip !

Sep 29, 2014
shakti2 in France

Pate To Go

I'll confess to being quite happy to buy tinned pate and its relation rillette in a convenient supermarket - it's seldom anything less than tasty. But if it's not too big a detour, I like Pierre Oteiza's shops for an enormous selection of fatty porky and ducky stuffs in tins (one location near the Madeleine and another in St. Germain I think). Also G.Detou which gets a lot of love on this board carries Duperier, tinned products from a well-regarded foie gras producer in the Landes, at very modest prices unless you're buying foie in large chunks.

Sep 29, 2014
shakti2 in France

Must get Right, Paris 3 days/nights in Nov.

Sadly, Sergent Recruteur isn't going to come in at your budget. But Arago's suggestion of Sur le Fil will and probably does conform with most folks' idea of 'traditional classical French'. Others of the same sort which you may want to look at : Pramil and Ober-Sale, both kind of walkable from Etienne Marcel or at least a couple of metro stops away; l'Assiette in the 14th, also kind of walkable to/ from Closerie des Lilas.

ps. kind of walkable = do-able but not particularly pretty walks.

Sep 29, 2014
shakti2 in France

Jancis Robinson On Wine Shops In Paris

Actually the entire weekend mag is a rather nice special on food in Paris, in case that's an inducement to pick up a one-off copy of the paper.

Sep 26, 2014
shakti2 in France

What do dirt-poor French people eat?

Ah ok sorry, over-thinking.

Sep 26, 2014
shakti2 in France

What do dirt-poor French people eat?

For this French speaker at least, some explanation is more baffling than none ... I do see the insulting potential of invoking heads of poor beasts but but ... how do Parisiens differ from Parigots and what do dogs and calves have to do with one and not the other ?

Or is this a mystery of the same degree of impenetrability as M. le President's glamourous harem ?

Sep 26, 2014
shakti2 in France

What do dirt-poor French people eat?

Actually I love stale and chewy without the benefit of toasting. On the other hand, the purported masculine charms of M. Hollande merely mystify me.

Sep 26, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

Paris trip report & thoughts for those going next

'Funny how all these resources have made it harder, not easier.'

It could be that the problem is that the extra internet-enabled resources set unrealistic expectations, from which the most likely outcome is disappointment.

Specifically, is it realistic to visit a place for the first time and expect to successfully identify and experience the best of the best, appreciating all the nuances and being embraced in the same way as a cherished regular ? Clearly not. At home, I do far better at getting the best out of my favourite restaurants than a random first-timer. I know the cuisine, I bypass issues with languages, obscure locations, absence of printed menus and so on, I am likely to have been going to these places for years, sometimes even in the fortunate company of my mother, the world's most diligent distributor of Chinese New Year 'good wishes' to her service-providers (aka cash in red envelopes).

Likewise, when I am elsewhere on a fly-by visit, I don't begrudge the local regulars their comfort and confidence in place of my well-researched but language-mangling menu-bungling confusion. I hope for a hospitable welcome and something tasty, but if a particular meal is uninspiring, well then, it is a small snafu ranking somewhere in between a nasty hotel and a delayed flight.

For Parn, Parigi and Dr. T though, your batting average for recommendations has been terrific, for this follower at least. Many thanks ... and do admit, the occasional mishaps provide comic relief, as in the case of the Las Vegas visitor and his religious attachment to his phone while sight-seeing around Paris.

Sep 25, 2014
shakti2 in France

La Table d'Eugene

Or, lunch at Table d'Eugene, followed by shopping for wax printed cotton in the little shops off rue Dejean in the Goutte d'Or. Dazzling designs and choices. I can't do shopping followed by lunch, because too heavily-laden to do anything other than tumble into a taxi and head for home.

Sep 23, 2014
shakti2 in France