Nuffnang Ads

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Paris: Nepalese fare @ Buddha Restaurant, Gobelins

Having dinner out on Saturday is a big thing and its no different in Paris.  With no bookings, you can forget about walk-ins even at 9pm.  After getting rejected by one of the more popular bistro’s, we were quite lost.  But considering how windy and cool it was that night,  we decided to go for a curry meal at Restaurant Buddha just round the corner. 

I have to say, we were quite lucky because a few patrons had just left leaving us with a couple of tables around.  I was salivating when I saw the menu.  The food was typically Indian/Nepalese with all the usual suspects.  You get the lovely Momo dumplings, Chilli Chicken, Vindaloos, and Briyanis.

Eventually we decided to share and called many different dishes.  I believe we had the Chilli Chicken, the Momo, a Briyani and a Lamb Korma.  Also as the food came out a little slow, Buddha restaurant very kindly served us some Aloo Naan or stuffed naan.  
Could not be happier at 9.30pm.  We literally devoured it the moment it hit the table.  That was how hungry we were!

Our platter of Momo’s which is a traditional Nepalese dumpling.  I had it before at Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant in Perth and these were equally tasty!

The Chilli Chicken was the highlight of the night.  Tender chicken pieces coated in a spicy, sticky sauce that was also mildly sweet.  It was very flavoursome.
My meal at Buddha Restaurant was every bit satisfying.  We ordered a lot and we were absolutely stuffed.  With four mains, several naans and drinks for the table, we paid €25 per person which is considered pretty decent in this side of France.  The service was a little slow but it never lacked courtesy for one moment.  Buddha restaurant was easily a delicious meal in Paris and I would thoroughly recommend it if you are looking for something beyond the norms of a Parisian bistro.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Paris: Amazing Sorbet @ Berthillon Ice Ceam, Île Saint-Louis

Walking the canals and relaxing by one is a great way to enjoy the relaxed Parisian lifestyle.  After a great meal at L’Avant Comptoir, I continued my journey to the Notre Dame Cathedral.  Needless to say I was not convinced that the many hours of long queue to see the iconic church from the inside was worth my time.  So after quickly snapping a few photos from the outside, I was off to pick up a cone from the famous Berthillon Ice Creamery kiosk.
This amazing ice cream shop has been operation for tens of years and rightfully so considering the amazing ice creams they make.  While I have been saying a lot of the word “ice cream”, their specialty is actually the amazing sorbet they make.

I could not resist getting two scoops that afternoon.  The scoop on top was the passionfruit sorbet while the bottom one was a ripe berry sorbet.  Both flavours packed some serious fruit flavours.  Like Anthony Bourdain puts it, biting into a Berthillon sorbet feels as though you are biting into the frozen fruit itself.  That statement I find very accurate as the fruity flavours were really intense!


Several of my friends opted for the chocolate ones and thought that it was only “OK”, so it really depends on what you like I believe.  But go with the sorbet and you should do just ok!  So remember if you are in the Île Saint-Louis area, definitely come-by Berthillon for a scoop of amazing sorbet!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris: Fine Tapas @ L'Avant Comptoir, Odeón

After an absolutely rubbish steak by a random restaurant at Eiffel tower the night before, I was more determined than ever to have a proper meal.  My research game was strong and brought me to a little tapas bar in town called L'Avant Comptoir in Odeón.  

Hidden behind a takeaway Creperie, this is a stand only tapas place and strictly no reservations.  How to order?  L'Avant Comptoir’s standard menu is hung from the ceiling with a price and picture while everything seasonal is written in chalk on a small blackboard.  

Note that L'Avant Comptoir only has one sommelier, maître d and waiter so its a one man show at the counter.  He (Mr Eric) remembers everyone better than you do, so if you feel ignored it is because someone else is waiting before you.
This rule applies no matter how sure you are that you were the first in line lol.

Bread, butter and condiments are communal (and seriously good too) so do not freak out should someone reach over your shoulder to take a slice of bread or smear butter from your tray haha.  

The tapas at L'Avant Comptoir is simple, interesting and extremely flavourful.  My first dish was a bowl of super sweet shell fish right which was a seasonal special off the black board. 

Cooked in a tomato based sauce with wine and finished with a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley, the shell fish was faultless.  Sweet, juicy and mildly briny, this was a great finger food.

The second dish I got was a classic favourite for the table, creamy potato croquettes with bits of yummy ham.

Creamy potato on the inside, crisp on the outside makes the croquette a tapas that is hard to beat.   Its seasoning too was balanced and really quite tasty!

The Jamon de Paris at L'Avant Comptoir to share with paprika and horseradish.

Its hard to explain how a humble ham can make an good lunch become an amazing lunch.  But if you appreciate your ham slightly juicy but not wet, mildly salted and intense in flavour, then you will enjoy this a lot!  A pinch of horseradish drops a load of kick so do not put too much! 

My fancy pants attempt at L'Avant Comptoir before dessert was a Foie Gras Meringue with Citrus Jam.  

Creamy, fragrant and a sweet altogether in one bite.  What can I say?  Wow.  It will be overwhelming for those who dislike the richer things in life but this was a seriously interesting morsel.  If I had one criticism, it would be that the macaron could be a little thicker!  I think there was more Foie Gras than Meringue in this dish haha.

There is no better way to end a great meal but with a sweet ending and when in Paris, eat Burnt Cream or Creme Brûlée.

The twist?  Creme Brûlée at L'Avant Comptoir is not a really sweet dessert but instead is velvety smooth and simply fragrant.  You could smell the burnt sugar the moment the dessert hits the table.  After hearing the beautiful crust break, its time to explore the beautiful cream.  Spiked with a little coffee, the cream has an aromatic kick that paired perfectly with the burnt sugar.   An amazing dessert over all. 

The wines were pretty good too according to the boys.  I thought it was OK but nothing life changing.  No discrimination of prices between per glass and per bottle, so do not hesitate to try all the different wines L'Avant Comptoir has to offer :)!

The L'Avant Comptoir was packed at 1pm and several patrons who waited to get in were visibly frustrated by the lack or service or rather no service.  So be sure to come 5-10 minute before they open at 12 or risk having to wait.  The more popular sitting restaurant next door L'Comptoir St Germain Bistro had people waiting in line since 11.30am!!  Paris is a big city with plenty of good food.  But it has plenty of people too.  So queues are a norm and bookings essential where possible.