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shakti2's Profile

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Appropriate Dress in Paris

Agree the lack of gratitude is deplorable. Maybe try Iraq or Afghanistan where American intervention may be fresher in the locals' minds ?

about 13 hours ago
shakti2 in France
1

Fill in the blanks...

Glad it's all working out !

about 14 hours ago
shakti2 in Japan

Après ballet

I like Coinstot Vino in the passage des Panoramas after the ballet, provided weather is ok and my shoes aren't too glamourous for a comfortable 10-min walk. Serves until midnight all days except Sunday, moderate cost, a low-key vibe which would be cosy for a solo diner.

Le BAT's a nice option for pre-Garnier because it serves real food at an early hour but I have a vague impression that mid-week closure may be earlier than midnight.

about 14 hours ago
shakti2 in France

10 Day trip from Barcelona to Paris. Once in a lifetime meal.

Thursday 8 May is a holiday and there will be smaller businesses which close on Friday and Saturday to make a long weekend of it ('faire le pont'), which could be why you are having problems with reservations.

But if your heart is set on Septime, I would definitely recommend calling. Not all their spots go on their website I think - certainly the case for 2nd seatings in the evening. Roseval only opens up for reservations 15 days before, Bones 14 days and Pierre Sang is no reservations at all. Many of these places also restrict when they will pick up the phone and will want a contact number. Perhaps try to get all the info together before your relative starts calling.

I often get my office or concierge to make bookings and these small cool places in the eastern part of the city are by far the most trouble ... they can't understand why I can't go with the lovely restaurant in the 7th/ 8th/ 16th they've picked.

about 16 hours ago
shakti2 in France

Paris: Inexpensive, French, Pescetarian, and Really, Really good

Take a look at la Fourchette, the counterpart of Open Table for on-line reservations and occasional discounts. Its coverage isn't comprehensive but sometimes something may fit your interests eg. Parigi's rec in the Republique area Chameleon can be booked for dinner with a 30% discount at the moment, at least according to their marketing spam in my mailbox.

And if you are going to look around on-line, see if you can book Septime for lunch on their web-site. It's a tough booking given short notice and the holiday week, but their 28-euro lunch has always been 'really really good' for me and you will almost definitely have veggie and fish options on that menu.

I can't agree with PhilD's recommendation to raise your budget to fit in a sit-down dinner in a restaurant. You will still end up at the same level of restaurant for 100 euros at dinner as you get at 50 euros for lunch (certainly I think this will be the case for many of the places suggested here). You may get a slightly upgraded experience in the evening (or not), but it's not going to be in a different ball-park in terms of ingredient quality or ambition in the kitchen.

There are plenty of things to do in Paris in the evenings apart from sitting down to a 3-course meal, so absolutely on need to blow your budget on that count (and many folks on this board opt for their big daily meal at lunch by preference, not by budget constraint).

If you are looking to spend more, the options only start to get more interesting at 60-ish euro per person when you can think about some of the cool young places in the 11th/ 12th for dinner (Septime, Roseval, Bones etc are fixed-menu-only at 50 - 60 euro before drinks and will accommodate your no-meat requirement with advance notice). But even then, you could be just as happy for the same money by opting for somewhere more grown-up in the 7th/ 8th/ 16th at lunch time (les Climats comes up a lot for example).

Apr 15, 2014
shakti2 in France

Paris: Inexpensive, French, Pescetarian, and Really, Really good

Not a great part of town for a visitor on a budget but try le 122, Laiterie St.-Clotilde and Chez Graff behind the national assembly, which I recall as having nicely-priced limited-choice lunch menus. You should be able to get out at 50 euro for 2 if you're careful about drinks and supplements, leaving the rest of your budget for coffee at a café and a picnic for dinner. The only hard part will be guaranteeing enough fish options with a limited-choice menu.

Le 122 is probably the most traditional and the other 2 share an owner. I don't know about 'really really good' but these should all deliver enjoyable modern bistro cooking with a bit of style. You'll need a booking for lunch - these well-priced places are deservedly popular with the working crowd in this area.

Apr 15, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

10 Day trip from Barcelona to Paris. Once in a lifetime meal.

There's a bit of a sub-genre of Paris restaurant with a young team, fixed-menu usually 45 - 65 euro, tiny rooms located in the eastern neighbourhoods, often quite media-savvy, sometimes idiosyncratic hours eg. closed on weekends.

I'm thinking Roseval, le Galopin, Pierre-Sang Boyer, Bones, Rino which I know for sure are fixed-menu only in the evenings, Chatomat and Têtes dans les Olives maybe, Chateaubriand and Septime very well-known by everyone these days (but you will be able to search for any of these here or else where on the net).

These are not by any means the equivalent of a set meal at a kaiseki/ kappo/ specialist restaurant in Japan, but are enough of a 'thing' that they probably fit into your idea of having an 'exemplar' experience and pretty handy to your hotel location too.

Apr 10, 2014
shakti2 in France

Rome dining on a piazza

Pierluigi on piazza de Ricci, seafood, reasonable take on classic dishes like spaghetti vongole, beautiful intimate square with limited vehicle traffic (missing a fountain though). Suggest asking your hotel to request an outside table at the time of booking - this resto has a lot of local regulars who are likely to get priority on the outside tables in nice weather.

Apr 09, 2014
shakti2 in Italy

Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

L'Autruche on rue Dulau in Arles, le Millefeuille on rue Rifle-Rafle in Aix, both bistro format at lunch, but with a nice degree of polish.

Apr 09, 2014
shakti2 in France

Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

Rabanel is an obvious option in Arles, right in the town centre. Only one lunch visit, a few years ago, but indeed an epic tasting menu, with many beautiful and beautifully-handled veggies.

Agree with the stars-schmars sentiment but would expect that this resto does indeed have some stars, given the ambition of the cuisine and service.

Apr 09, 2014
shakti2 in France

Paris in May- 4 days, 3 people, 2 first timers, and a budget….

May I add :
7/ Heavy traffic at rush hour, regular weekend road closures in the scenic bits, and many many traffic lights in the central districts otherwise ...

Apr 08, 2014
shakti2 in France

Lunch at Le Bristol and other suggestions

Not to confuse you further but I've had a couple of really wonderful meals at le Meurice recently. There's a new management team and the style of cuisine has lightened up, incorporating some Japanese and new Nordic ideas, including more veg-based courses, but at a very very refined level.

I'm not usually a fan of palace restaurants and seldom eat in one except for work, but will happily return to this one when next in town w family. There are a couple of reviews in English (Lobrano, Lebovitz) - at least take a look at the pics to see if this might suit you.

Apr 07, 2014
shakti2 in France

SoPi recomendations

I don't think anyone is disputing that some intelligent homework and effort are good ideas. In fact, there's obviously a lot of pleasure in comparing notes about good eats with like-minded folks, off- and on-line, hence Chow.

What I'm finding striking are the expressions of forlorn desolation 'feeling personal insult' 'galling' etc etc - presumably this is after a traveller has already made their pick from the best of their 'carefully curated list from knowledgeable people'.

Also the numerous posts seeking to validate restaurant choices months in advance of a planned visit - how do you optimise pleasure when you can't react to the weather, the day's other activities, your mood, and that of your companions ?

These feelings are what I understand Parigi to mean when she says 'crusade vs. enjoyment' and for me anyway, they would be incompatible with travel for pleasure.

Apr 07, 2014
shakti2 in France

SoPi recomendations

'Even then its galling to find the place just around the corner is the one with the great reputation.'

See, this is where some of us differ completely. If I had eaten well at a sensible price at the 'wrong' place, I'd be delighted at the serendipity. Reputations and 'reading between the lines' of well-written reviews is all very well but I would be sad if they limited my ability to fully enjoy my own experience, on the spot, in the moment.

Apr 06, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

SoPi recomendations

There are plenty of very well-established competitions and awards in the French food industry for recognizing 'the best' in everything from poultry to baked goods to workers/ artisans. Maybe it isn't that surprising that the average NYT-toting visitor with a casual interest in eating well while in Paris mistakes these rankings for visit-planning tools.

No disagreement though about the general sentiment that a mandatory checklist of 'bests' is a horrible way to travel.

Apr 06, 2014
shakti2 in France

Bangkok's Top Restaurants Guide 2014

Actually the same magazine has good lists for mid-range Thai places and street food as well :

http://bk.asia-city.com/restaurants/article/best-thai-mid-range-restaurants-bangkok

http://bk.asia-city.com/restaurants/a...

Apr 05, 2014
shakti2 in China & Southeast Asia

Restaurant Ober-Sale on Rue Oberkampf

Done ! But I'll need to do something about my current husband first :)

Apr 02, 2014
shakti2 in France

Restaurant Ober-Sale on Rue Oberkampf

Actually Parnassien, you are more like a 1-man symphony orchestra with a successful after-hours gig as a rock band, given the frequency, thoughtfulness and diversity of your contributions.

Mar 31, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

Eating "sensibly" in Paris

Agree with mangeur that small and of-the-moment being the problematic reservations. But also keep an eye out for the public holidays - May has a few of them occurring on a Thursday when some smaller/ owner-operated places will take the Friday as well.

Mar 26, 2014
shakti2 in France
1

Paris Friday lunch

I've had an unexpectedly nice lunch at the new-ish Roca on rue Guillaume Tell when stranded at the Champerret exhibition hall. Cuisine is in the light modern good simple Au Passage-ish style, friendly folks, no reservation required at least when we were there and our lunch came in comfortably within your price range.

It may be 'near yet far' from Batignolles though, not quite walkable, changes possibly required on the metro.

Mar 26, 2014
shakti2 in France

A few questions re. Kyoto food itinerary

'Are Japanese breakfasts served at ryokans typically very filling?'

Yes. Expect fish, tofu, rice, pickles and at a place like Hiragiya, multiple courses.

Mar 26, 2014
shakti2 in Japan
1

Solo Diner Reservations

You may want to take a look at the website La Fourchette where you can make restaurant bookings on-line, similar to Open Table in the US. It may not have every resto you want and you will need internet access, but it is a handy resource and it does have an English-language option.

Mar 26, 2014
shakti2 in France

Alsatian resto's with deep wine list

I like his blog for its ample photos of the meal described in the text, which I find quite helpful for figuring out the style and ambition of the restaurant being reviewed (a lot of other French restaurant reviews are accompanied only by a [management-provided] pic of the empty resto). The blog also very generous with its old/ new/ regional content, to the point that I've never felt the need to buy his books (I'm fine to read in French). Do try it out - there's probably more updated info on Alsace than what's in your 2008/ 9 book.

On the minus side, you will need to be calibrate your expectations against the fact that these are not anonymous reviews - Pudlo himself is very recognizable in France and is identified as and treated like a celebrity in many restaurants he reviews. I also find he skews conservative in the style of place he tends to review eg. in Paris, lots of coverage of the 8th and 16th, rarer to find coverage of the 11th and 12th.

Mar 25, 2014
shakti2 in France

Bad Experience at La Regalade Conservatoire

Yes, better-grade canned seafood definitely a luxury product. Spanish supermarkets usually carry them in locked cases, including sardines, including in Barcelona (Catalonia).

Mar 15, 2014
shakti2 in France

Fill in the blanks...

Happy to help ! Maru reliably has a properly-translated English version of its daily menu, specials included, if that's of relevance. Nakamura doesn't always, although the staff can usually sort something out if you know a bit of menu Japanese.

Mar 15, 2014
shakti2 in Japan

Fill in the blanks...

Yes, I quite like the 'yotsuya sho' style of sushi as a an occasional change of pace from a regular series of nigiri, and the clincher at Shingo is a nice convivial room with a particularly hospitable host.

Other recommendations : Maru or Nakamura, both located between Shibuya/ Omotesando, for a-la-carte washoku meal (I assume all your others will be set meals ?) or Code Kurkku in Yoyogi, for modern Italian with local ingredients.

Mar 15, 2014
shakti2 in Japan

Tanjung Tualang, Malaysia - Incredible freshwater prawns at Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)

'NEVER published or mentioned by local media here'

Penang Rojak, I don't know that this statement is true. Do you ? By all media, in all languages, over the last 30 years, since that's how long the aquaculture business has existed in Tualang ? And if it is indeed NEVER mentioned in Malaysia's local media, what difference does this make ? You yourself don't seem to think very highly of Malaysian reporting.

'More info from you'

I've already posted what I've heard and answered a question on my friend's likely source of knowledge. Yes, it is all pretty informal, which is why I posted my original question.

Mar 15, 2014
shakti2 in China & Southeast Asia

Tanjung Tualang, Malaysia - Incredible freshwater prawns at Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)

'we locals definitely have not heard of this chemical (genetically-modified?) prawns'

All the folks from whom I've heard this comment about intensive use of chemicals are Malaysian, as am I. The chef's parents used to work in the Tualang prawn business.

You've mentioned GM twice, I didn't actually bring it up. I think you can relax about it - it would be extremely surprising to find it in a cottage industry like the one in question.

Mar 15, 2014
shakti2 in China & Southeast Asia

Tanjung Tualang, Malaysia - Incredible freshwater prawns at Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)

But Penang Rojak, if I had definitive information from a properly-identified source, I would simply have posted it here, instead of asking if there's anyone ELSE who can comment reliably ...

Mar 15, 2014
shakti2 in China & Southeast Asia

Tanjung Tualang, Malaysia - Incredible freshwater prawns at Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)

I wonder if anyone is able to comment reliably about the intensity (or otherwise) of chemical usage in the Tanjong Tualang industry ?

I ask because I've known of folks who refuse eat the Tualang prawns because they are 'full of chemicals', and these folks include a chef who grew up in that part of the world and a friend with an aquaculture business who certainly wouldn't blink at normal levels of permitted additives in his industry.

Mar 14, 2014
shakti2 in China & Southeast Asia