Monday, April 30, 2007

Yum Yum Sup Sup Paris

I’ve been slack and it’s been a while since I was tagged by Tigerfish. I actually don’t eat out that much either, and when I do, I prefer Asian cuisine to Western cuisine as well.

However regardless of cuisine, I like places that basically have a good ambiance, somewhere where you can feel comfortable, where the service is not threatening (ie. they don’t hover over you constantly or do the complete opposite and snub you off), and the price helps as well.

In a huge urban sprawl like Paris, it’s possible to find food to fit any taste and budget, however, it’s best to avoid the more touristy areas when looking for food as the restaurants and cafés there tend to be out to take your euros without providing you with much substance! There are so many restaurants, cafés and brasseries in Paris that it’s probably possible to eat in a different place everyday for a few years (no, I haven’t tried that yet! Maybe when I win the lotto, and then I still have to think about my weight!).

Either way, you won’t find any expensive numerous-Michelin hat type restaurants in my top 5 favourite Parisian list. I like my comfort eating and my comfort food!

My Top 5 Paris

1. Japanese, Japanese and more Japanese! I love my rice, and the unassuming Kunitoraya serves donburi, deep bowls of round grain rice with a variety of tasty toppings such as katsudon, gyudon and tendon. It’s VERY comfort food. This is just the tip of the iceberg rice bowl. If you feel like soba or udon noodles in a rich broth, you can also choose from a wide selection of dishes such as …… Sit at the counter on the ground floor and watch the sweaty cooks at work or in the white-washed basement which gets extremely warm during summer. Prices lean towards the expensive side (9-13EUR for a main dish) but it’s so worth it!Needless to say, this is a popular place so show up early for lunch or extremely late if you don’t want to wait.
Kunitoraya, 39 rue Sainte-Anne

2. With a well-established Japanese community in Paris, and hordes of Japanese business men passing through, rue Sainte-Anne is well-served with several decent Japanese eateries as well as grocery stores. If you’re still on rue Sainte-Anne and you feel like sushi and sashimi, head to Korin, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-extremely-small-hole-in-the-wall sushi bar with even less seating space (if possible) than Kunitoraya. The nigiri here is superlicious (no, it’s not really a word but YUM just doesn’t cut it), with perfectly bite-sized shaped morsels of fresh firm fish delicately sitting on equally perfectly shaped oval portions of packed rice. As with most Japanese restaurants in Paris, several menus comprising of a soup, a salad and a main dish are available.
Korin, 58bis rue Sainte-Anne

3. Say you’re visiting Paris, doing the tourist thing and want a quick but tasty meal for under 10euros. Well, hopefully you’re in the Marais (4th arrondissement) as that’s where you find L’as du Felafel (The Ace of Falafels). These falafels are served in a pocket pita filled with fried chickpea balls and heaped full of salad and sauces. While there is (very limited) seating space, most people opt for the takeaway which results in super long queues on weekends (not sure what it’s like during weekdays). In the streets as you approach the little eatery, you’ll encounter hordes of people wandering around with their freshly deep-fried falafel in overflowing pita pockets, wrapped in foil, with a little plastic fork stuck in the abundant salad. It’s open late for those after-hours munchies. Just don’t forget the wet wipes and tissues to wipe all that hummus off your cheeks and pants (the sauce drips!).
L’as du falafel, 34 rue des Rosiers

4. What would a Top 5 in Paris be if it didn’t actually include a traditional Parisian brasserie with traditional French dishes such as confit de canard (preserved duck), steak tartar (seasoned raw minced meat), pavé de rumsteak (chunk of grilled steak) and salade de chèvre chaud (hot goats’ cheese salad). One of my favourite Parisian brasseries for both eating and drinking is the extremely well-situated (we lived just around the corner) La Chope Daguerre on the pedestrian rue Daguerre in the 14th arrondissement. With friendly waiters (which can sometimes be rare in Paris) and a nice outdoor terrace, drinking here with friends on hot summer evenings is one of those things that I love about Paris. Foodwise, La Chope Daguerre does great traditional French food, and great patates risolées (little bits of diced golden fried potatoes) that sometimes accompany the dishes. I love the chèvre chaud which is usually accompanied with a sweet honey-based dressing that perfectly offsets the saltiness of the goats’ cheese. YUM.
La Chope Daguerre, 17 rue Daguerre

5. With so much for choice in Paris, it was hard to pick just 5 places so I went for another local-just-around-the-corner choice. I love crêpes both sweet and savoury, also known as galettes (buckwheat crêpes) and had to include this place. You could probably find another Parisian restaurant that does better crêpes, but hidden away on rue Daguerre, with a large open-air terrace and creeping vines on sides of the exterior walls, La Belle Ronde Crêperie is another summer evening favourite. I love the simple galettes which can be filled with a number of combinations of ingredients such as ham, salmon, spinach, goats’ cheese, tuna, mushrooms, various types of cheeses (eg. Gruyere, emmental), onions, tuna, chicken, salami, eggs and a whole lot more that I can’t remember right now. If that’s not healthy enough for you, these galettes come topped with salad. As for the dessert crêpes…don’t even get me started ! Just think of any sweet filling and you could probably get it there. Plus, the best thing about it is that after your buckwheat galette, you feel like you’ve had a pretty healthy meal and therefore can allow yourself a hellishly decadent dessert crêpe with chocolate, chantilly (sweetened whipped cream), ice-cream, rum and strawberries or bananas! NB. Don’t forget the cider with your meal!
La belle ronde crêperie, 19, Rue Daguerre

I could go on and on but I’m just making myself hungry and homesick for Paris! Where ever you are, don’t hesitate to share your favourite local haunts!

  1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the state and country you’re in.

    Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
    velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
    LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
    eastcoastlife (East Coast, Singapore)
    Tigerfish of Teczcape (California, USA)
    WokandSpoon (Paris, France…or Frankfurt, Germany)

  2. List your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

  3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) ..and let them know they’ve been tagged

    I’d like to tag (no pressure guys!):

    I’ve been to Lille but I never know what else to eat apart from moules frites!

    thebuddingcook (California (I think), USA)
    Having been to California and absolutely loved it, I want to go back! In fact, I liked the US in general, nice people and huge meal portions!)

    Lia from Spices Corner (Abu Dhabi, Emirates)
    I’ve never been to the Middle East!

    Lily from Lily's Wai Sek Hong (Denver, USA)
    I’d love to visit Denver, especially in the winter. I’m guessing it’s not just cowboys and rodeos!

    Sharmi from neivedyam (somewhere in the USA)
    Like I said, I love the US!

Anyone else, feel free to share as well, just let me know so that I can drool over your top 5 as well!


  1. OMG OMG my mouth is watering for confit de canard and steak tartar and pave de rumstead, galettes!!

    thanks for doing the tag!! VERY WELL DONE!!! sounds so yum!!!!

  2. Ah... Paris... la la la... I love the sound of it..

    I can't wait to land my hands on the Steak tartar. Hehehehe....

    Thanks for doing the meme :D

  3. Nicole and Velverse - it was fun doing the meme - and even more fun reading your blogs!

  4. Thanks for doing the tag, despite being so "on the move" right now.:D
    Hey, if you are coming to CA, must visit me too.
    And I'm so glad you shared...see...we get insider tips on the "hidden" treasures. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for tagging me, but you're right, Lille is so dull I'd be hard-pressed to find 5 places I like! :) I'll try to when I get back, though! Sorry! I have trouble adapting to a qwerty keyboard so don't spend a lot of time online while here in s'pore...

  6. hi am Lia thanks to visit my blog in spices-corner. i got ur taggged, i will let u know soon, thanks

  7. Tigerfish: I would love to go to CA again! I had a great time there when I visited...about 10 years ago now!

    Shilpa: You know what, I never adapted to a AZERTY keyboard. Even at work, I would change the keyboard to a QWERTY keyboard - my workmates used to complain all the time when they then had to use my machine.

    Lia: Hi! Thanks for dropping by!

  8. wokandspoon

    winter is upon us already. you are welcome to come and visit. we are only 1 - 2 hrs away from the world's greatest ski slopes


Thanks for dropping by!

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