Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

Paris: Hello (Again), Jacques Genin!

Now that I’ve discovered Jacques Genin, every trip to Paris means at least one afternoon session at his tea salon in Marais~

133 Rue de Turenne, Paris

The made-to-order millefeuille is a MUST!

Vanilla-raspberry flavour this time : )

How about a tarte au citron?

Nice, but the killer version I had from Joel Robuchon in Tokyo is still unbeatable, imo.

Found another new favourite here!

Plain and simple it may be, this is the best chocolate éclair I’ve ever tried so far, with perfect choux pastry enveloping a cloud of light chocolate pastry cream that’s not too sweet~

I can easily eat two at one go, haha.

See you soon, JG!

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Christian Constant has a mini empire of restaurants down in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. 3, to be exact. There’s traditional bistro-style Café Constant, classy Le Violon d’Ingres and last but not least, chic yet casual Les Cocottes de Christian Constant with a fun concept: all the food, from starters to mains to desserts, is served in different shapes and sizes of Staub, the beautifully versatile cast iron casseroles famous for retaining heat and flavour!

I showed up 5 minutes before opening time and boy, there’s already a queue outside the door! Not a long one, but still, I was 4th in line.

135 rue Saint-Dominique, Paris

The door opened promptly at 7pm and I was ushered to the counter seat by the smiling waitresses. Service here was very good and attentive. They know the menu well, speak English (always a plus point in Paris) and there’s no hard selling, which I appreciated.

Dinner that night was satisfying! I went for the starter of the day: a combination of mackerel and scallop in a tangy tomato sauce. Fresh seafood cooked competently, and the horseshoe-shaped puff pastry on the side was a nice surprise. It’s so light and the whole thing just crumbled in the mouth! For main, an amazingly flavourful langoustine ravioli in a foamy artichoke mousseline. It’s super rich and creamy, so a little goes a long way!

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Paris: Breizh Cafe

With a good book in hand, I often head to Breizh Cafe alone for a little “me” time. This is my favourite crêperie in Paris; not only are the crêpes delicious, the service is very friendly too!

109 Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris

The menu is English- and Japanese-friendly. Staying true to its roots, you see, since the first Breizh Cafe was actually started in Tokyo!

I usually order off the menu (just ask nicely, haha), and one of my all-time comfort food crêpes is what you see below. Smoked salmon, perfectly cooked sunny side up with a runny yolk, tender artichoke bottoms from Brittany; basically everything I like on a thin and crisp buckwheat galette!

Cider is a must with crêpes.. Take your pick from the long list in the menu. For me, I always stick to a cup of the house special (easiest choice, hee) and this month, it’s a light and refreshing Coat-Albret cider!

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Paris: Pozzetto Again!

How time flies.. It’s been 10 months since my first (and last) visit to Pozzetto! Back in February, I made a (very) short comment about how the marron glace was not so good and Paolo, owner of Pozzetto, sent me an open invitation to taste marron glace version 2.2 if I happen to be in Paris again. And so there I was a couple of weeks ago, yay!

39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, Paris

Paolo lives in Italy so he arranged for Maura, his co-partner, to meet me. But alas, I dropped by a day later and didn’t have the chance to meet her in person. Instead, Micaela, the lovely lady manning the shop, took great care of me, and even phoned Maura to let me talk to her!

My first taste of true French hospitality 🙂

Micaela let me sample all the flavours available that day and after some internal dilemma (many of the flavours like lemonpear, dark chocolate, yogurt, hazelnut etc etc are soooo good!), I chose my top 4 choices:

Pistachio at Pozzetto is a must-try and must-have; it’s as wonderfully nutty as I remember.

Fig itself is highly seasonal and not commonly consumed in Singapore. And it’s even harder (if not impossible) to find a black fig gelato made with the real fruit here. I always get my fix in Italy whenever possible so it’s such a rare treat to taste this refreshing late summer classic flavour in Paris during winter!

When Paolo told me that there’s gonna be pumpkin gelato in the house this time, I was thrilled. Imagine, pumpkin gelato! But after tasting it, I’m still undecided after getting over the “it’s interesting cuz it’s my first time” factor. After checking with Paolo, it turned out that the pumpkins they sourced for this times were not as tasty as the previous ones. Guess that’s why I found it too mild and bland~

And now, please let me rave about the marron glace! It’s freaking brilliant. Using a balanced mixture of real chestnuts and chestnut paste, version 2.2 was a huge success! The intensity is spot on, and the many bits of chestnuts in it add some fantastic texture to the otherwise smooth gelato. I really love it; this may very well beat pistachio and be my favourite here!

I literally wiped out those 4 huge scoops, my biggest and best compliment to the chef people who believe in making seriously awesome gelato.

Thank you, Paolo, Maura and Micaela! 🙂

P.S. I love this pic, especially the look in their eyes as they gazed at the gelato. I suppose all gelato lovers will have the same “I can’t wait to eat that” look in their eyes?

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Paris: Cuisine de Bar

On days when I feel like having something light for lunch, I’ll head to Cuisine de Bar, the cafe arm of renowned Poilâne bakery, for some utterly French open-faced sandwiches, a.k.a. tartines.

8 rue Cherche-Midi, Paris

Sit in front of the “bar” and watch your tartines being freshly made in front of you!

This time, I had a lovely crayfish and guacamole tartine, served on the famous Poilâne sourdough bread, of course!

Remember to pop by Poilâne bakery (right next door) and get an apple tart for dessert!

Trust me, it’ll be the highlight of lunch.

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Paris: Le Comptoir du Relais

Can you spot my lunch destination in the distance?

I’ve read that securing a dinner reservation at Le Comptoir du Relais is as difficult as striking the lottery since it seems like everyone in town wants a taste of celebrity chef Yves Camdeborde‘s cooking! Fear not, lunch takes no reservation so it’s first-come-first-served. I arrived 10 mins after noon and the small bistro is already full! Can you believe that, argh.

9 Carrefour de l’Odeon (Relais St. Germain Hotel), Paris

No choice but to dine alfresco on the sidewalk. So Parisian, you say? Err, it’s winter. Thank God Camdeborde for providing blankets and huge heaters.

Ordering was tough. The menu is in French; the staff speaks minimal English.

Heck, I just pointed to the table next to mine, “I’ll have what she’s eating :)”, cuz it looked good and the smell made my mouth water, whatever that was.

Heh, turned out that it’s a gratinated brandade (salt cod) and potato dish! Whipped till smooth, and baked till golden brown. Creamy and rich, it’s a nice comfort food on such a cold day!

Even the “salad” was delicious! No wonder seats here are highly sought-after. So learn from my mistake ok?


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Paris: Jacques Genin

After Pierre Hermé, Jacques Genin is my favourite all-time pâtissier-chocolatier-caramelier (I invented that last word myself, haha)!

The interior of his tastefully designed boutique in Marais is a world of different from the exterior. I actually walked past the stucco building twice before realising that that’s the place I was looking for cuz there’s no obvious signboard or anything that gives a hint of the lovely paradise within.

133 Rue de Turenne, Paris

If there’s only one thing you order, you must must MUST get the legendary made-to-order vanilla mille-feuille!

It’s the best I’ve ever had. Ever.

Because it’s assembled a la minute in the kitchen upstairs, it’s no soggy pastry you will have. The layers of golden puff pastry are so incredibly thin, crisp and delicate; the carefully piped vanilla-scented cream light as a dream.

A killer, flawless, perfect combination!

Complimentary mint and coffee pralines 🙂

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Paris: La Pâtisserie des Rêves

La Pâtisserie des Rêves is the kind of pastry shop that we’ll never find in Singapore. Oops, I’ve got nothing against patisseries here; it’s just that they are so boring safe. It’s always French-inspired this or Japanese-style that; where’s the creativity and Uniquely Singapore?


Rêves by Philippe Conticini is a one-of-a-kind boutique. It’s fancy without that annoying intimidating vibe, a little whimsical, and so futuristic-looking!

93 rue du Bac, Paris

Even from the outside, the cute-ish window display beckons!

Stepping in, you will be greeted by glass domes hanging from the ceiling, under which are art-gallery-worthy pastries and cakes!

How neat is that?

Walking around, one of the first things you will see is a giant brioche feuillete!

This is also the logo of Rêves if you notice.

Don’t worry, there’s manageable “petite” versions if the giant brioche is too much.

Now let’s take a closer look at the main attraction.. I see tarte citron, chocolate éclair, Saint-Honoré, Mont Blanc

I always say that research is important. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to choose anything since I’ll want EVERYTHING, lol.

My never-fail policy is to always get the signature stuff first, the rest can wait. And that has to be the Paris-Brest this time, which is (according to Le Figaro) the best Paris-Brest in Paris!

As its name implies, Paris-Brest was created to celebrate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race more than 100 years ago. Traditionally, the “wheel” is a ring of choux pastry with a praline-flavored cream filling.

Yes, it’s a very calorie-laden “snack” cuz the race is 1200km! Those poor racers need the energy, people.

Rêves’ Paris-Brest is an old-fashioned French classic with a new twist.. Instead of one “wheel”, there’s 6 mini “wheels”, which I think is a brilliant idea since it makes eating/sharing so much easier and less messy. And hidden within each ball of cream is a semi-liquid chocolate-hazelnut core.

Clever, aye?

Initially, I thought this will be a cream overkill type of cream puff (which is basically what a Paris-Brest is) but this is quite irresistible. Granted, the choux pastry is rather underwhelming (kind of chewy and flat-tasting), but the rich smooth cream (I’m guessing it contains roasted hazelnuts) is intensely nutty (nothing Nutella about this) and addictive, I like!

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This is Rue Bonaparte, a street in the 6th arrondissement I’ll walk down at least twice on every trip to Paris.

Because my favourite Pierre Hermé is here!

72 Rue Bonaparte, Paris

You may only think of macarons, cakes and pastries when Pierre Hermé comes to mind, but he’s definitely more than that.

I want to show you his special ispahan croissant today!

Doesn’t it have that please-eat-me-NOW look?

Buttery and flaky exterior covered with candied rose petals, filled with a stunning rose-almond pâte.

A beautiful piece of edible art, this is.

Never before have I seen such a sophisticated bandung-style viennoiserie! And guess what, being more than 10 times bigger in size, it’s cheaper than a macaron! Cheap thrill, haha.

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Paris: Gérard Mulot

“Mulot is a master pâtissier, boulanger and chocolatier. And he ranks among Paris’s best in all three crafts.” –Choco Paris

My my, such lavish praise. Which makes me curious. Just exactly how talented Gérard Mulot is?

Very talented, it seems, from what I read from online articles and blogs.

Hence, a trip there is inevitable.

76 Rue de Seine, Paris

Even before you step in, there’s already a visual feast in the windows waiting to be savoured. Cakes, tarts, petit-fours, chocolates, eclairs, pies, breads… Beautiful, just beautiful.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), his amazing shop in Paris’s 6th arrondissement is very close to my favourite Pierre Hermé’s boutique in the St Germain des Prés area. I’ve already had the stunning chocolate cake and vanilla tart moments ago and couldn’t bear the thought of having yet another cake and tart (yes, I do have my limit! ;)).

Still, I couldn’t walk away without getting something (otherwise, I’ll probably be sleepless that night). That something turns out to be a splendid sour cherry clafouti, Mulot’s simplest tart that sells out consistently. Everything is perfect, from the crisp crust to the tart cherries embedded within the slightly eggy baked custard

This is it, I’m definitely coming back. Not just for the clafouti, but for the croissants and lemon tarts, which I hear are pretty out of this world too!

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