mardi 28 avril 2009

Bo Bun, Bipimbap and Bling

I'm having an existential crisis.  Really, I am.

This is serious stuff.

Thing is, Paris has so many great eating options that I never want to eat at the same place twice.  But I have my well trodden path now and find it hard to get away from the places that I love.  

I keep promising that I will find new places to eat, but I never do.  It's turning into a crisis, as everytime I get a visitor, or go out for dinner with a date, I always end up at the same places.  I'm going to tell you my favourites in a minute, but please, dear readers, please tell me of other great spots in Paris to eat.  

For Japanese and Korean food, I love Japkora near the Theatre du Chatelet.  Their Bipimbap takes some beating.  The only time I've ever had better Bipimbap was in Business Class on Korean Airlines flying to Fiji.  Yes, I know.  That's as weird as it sounds.  

If it's a revolving sushi conveyor, then the Matsuri chain gets my vote - especially the branch at the rue du Bac.  Really great mid-shopping treat and the biggest toilet seat I've ever seen..  

For Vietnamese, then it's hard to beat the seedy, down at heel Dong Huong in Belleville.  A favourite for years now, this place does the best Bo Bun in the city.  For 8 euros, I'm not complaining.  Even when they send you to sit in the sandwich shop next door and bring your order up the street with a teatowel covering it.

For a romantic dinner à deux, then you'll go hard to beat the dark lighting and good food at le Réconfort on the rue du Poitou, just next door to the Christian Lacroix designed Hotel du Petit Moulin in the Marais (where else?).  The food is fine, the ambience is so romantic and the lighting is very, very forgiving.  What more does a boy need?  A big wallet.  It's not cheap.

And then my all time favourite place to get dinner, lunch on the run, a good plate of charcuterie or cheese, a decent mojito or just a smile from a cute waiter has to be the Café Crème on the rue du Birague, off the Place des Vosges.  Not only is the location excellent (and a ten minute walk from home) but their souris d'agneau is to die for.  Everyone who has visited me has been and eaten here with me.  No-one has died.  Yet.

I have a couple of others, but these are my favourites.  My real favourites.

In a city of great food and amazing restaurants, these are all places that stand out as being a bit special - if not for the food, then for the setting.  If not for the food or the setting then for the lovely waiting staff and the great cocktails.

So.  You've been to Paris.  Where did you eat?  What did you drink?  How did you get rid of him in the morning?  he he.

Tell me your secrets.  If not Paris, then tell me about your home town favourites.  Let's make it a big-old-all-food-love-in.  

I'm hungry.

20 commentaires:

laurie a dit…

the first time i went to europe, so many years ago that Travelling But Not In Love was not yet a gleam in Mama Love's eyes, i spent three days in Amsterdam.

the first night, we found a little cafe around the corner from our hotel--Cafe Suisse. it was quiet and homey. the pretty young waitress brought us free appetizers that her parents made in the kitchen. a cat wound in and out of the table legs.

the menu was in another language; swiss? i asked her to translate. she spoke hesitantly, pointing to each word. "Thees ees a meetball. Theese one, well, that's another meetball. And theese one, well, that's a meetball too."

it was the most charming place i'd ever been in my life. i was 24 years old, in europe for the first time with a handsome dark-haired man, and i saw no reason to change a thing. so the next night, when dinner time came, we ate at the Cafe Suisse. And our last night--well, we ate at the Cafe Suisse.

you can tell from that just how adventurous i was later, in Paris.

Lola a dit…

I adore the idea that TBNIL's mother is called Mama Love!

Anyway, if you read my Oxford posts recently (why would you?) you'll have seen that in Oxford for a weekend we ate three times at a tiny Japanese restaurant that only seats about 30, called Edamame.

Leamington Spa - I used to write about this all the time, but we haven't been out for ages because of being so poor, but if we could? Eleven (French proprietor), Wilde's wine bar (but you can't book a table now it's so popular), Oscar's (another French proprietor), and the Cricketers pub, for location and staff attitude if not for the quality of the food.

In London, Lola II uses all the time - that might be a way to find new places, if something similar operates in Paris? You might get a few duds, but at least you'll be seeing new waiters.

Not forgetting Hare and Tortoise and Okawari in Ealing, which are the conditions under which I deign to visit Lola II.

Lola a dit…

Here's a coincidence: right next to your post in my reader is this:
Purveyor of the finest Japanese food and sake in the heart of ParisThere are restaurant suggestions at the end if you're not interested in the ingredients.

Henry North London a dit…

In London I invariably end up at Joe Allens on 13 Exeter st

They always have a table for me especially if its just for an hour or so

I tend not to eat out anywhere else..

Is that sad?

In Paris c'est n'importe quoi

Anonyme a dit…

Wales has become a real foodie paradise, for excellent local and any cuisine you want -its lovely.
I love the Armless Dragon in Cardiff, Cafe Mina - that's Lebanese and great.The Mango House in Cardiff , best Indian I have ever had. Go into Cardiff Bay where now there are so many good restaurants to eat at from all sorts of taste. The Bell at Skenfrith , wonderful well cooked food, The Room which has just has Michelin Stars, that's just outside Builth.The Felin Fach Griffin.Finnegan s in Porthcawl best Fish and Chips ever The Canteen in Clifton St Cardiff - now I am hungry

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Laurie, sounds, erm, adventurous... I worry about the meatballs.

Lola, japanese is just my favourite. And Korean. And Thai. And Vietnamese. I'm kind of easy where food is concerned...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lola, I'm onto that site now...yum!

Henry - I love Joe Allen! Especially the bloody mary at sunday brunchtime. Perfect hangover cure....We have a Joe Allen here in paree you know...

VM - the things I miss about the UK are good inidan restaurants and fish and chip shops. And here you are making me incredibly jealous! And hungry too....

Anonyme a dit…

I am getting old and tired. My first thought was how much I love a home cooked roast leg of lamb.

Anonyme a dit…

I have the same problem with Rotterdam. I'm having lunch with a friend at Open on Friday, I'll let you know what it's like.

The last time I went to Paris was 11 years ago and I've only been there twice (once 2 days, the second time it was only 1 day) so I don't really have any advice to give.

Anonyme a dit…

Ah shit, theres a pool of saliva on the table. Haha my teacher just asked me why I have a far away look in my eyes. I'm hardly going to say I'm hungry to him.

Anyway, being a teen, I don't have much money to eat out, but if I fancy food from every continent, of good quality and quantity, I go to Red Hot. Depending on the time of day it's around £15 a person (£12.90 something for food, the rest for drinks). The great about it being a buffet is you can eat as little or much.

And it's luush.

Myopic Psychotic a dit…

There's a French place in Dublin called L'Gueuleton ( Give me a shout next time you are in Dublin ;)

The Pixy Princess a dit…

The T Dot is simply the best place to find ALL SORTS of yummy world cuisine. From fish n chips to falafel.... we have it all! My favs:
Taste of China Seafood Palace in Chinatown. The very best after hours spot where a wink and a nod will get you a pot of "special" tea. I've never ever been here in the day time ... or sober for that matter, but I do know that its a great place to unwind after a big night out on the town.

Pho Hung Restaurant - 200 Bloor St. West, Downtown Toronto
Tiny little place in the heart of the UofT Annexe. Best Pho around for a cheap cheap price, and amazing quantities.

Frederick's - Bellamy/ Ellesmere, Scarborough
Just minutes from my house and the best Indian-Chinese food outside of the Motherland! Mixed pakoras are amazing!

But if you're looking for some real good Indian cooking - nothing beats Mama's kitchen for Goan dishes like Chicken Xacuti or Prawn Curry and Pork Vindaloo. All bloggers welcome! ;)

aims a dit…

I'm thinking I need to hook up with Daryl and the two of us will come for a visit. You can squire us around to these great places as long as you check beforehand that they have something for me to eat. You know - no flour,barley,rye,oats....arghhhhh!

We'll stay at your place. :0)

Daryl a dit…

Alas I have not been in/to Paris forever ... but I have to admit I do the same thing .. there are places I just know will be perfect every time .. and then they close .. it doesnt pay to get attached to a restaurant because no matter how good they are, once the first blush (here as soon as something opens you cannot get a reservation for weeks)is off the bloom they lose patrons and end up closing ...

cb a dit…

Yes, you had best be doing research. I want options when I visit!!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

12oti - leg of lamb at home sounds good to me...except my miniscule parisien kitchen wouldn't cope...

Marjolein, Rotterdam is a great place to it (as you know)

Poser - red hot sounds good to me...and your teacher sounds like he needs to leave you alone to get on with your blogging, he he.

MP, I'm most definitely going to do that!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Pixy, they all sound great to me. I want that Goan curry now though....NOW I say!

Aims, Parisiens have enough trouble with les vegetarians....that said, I'd give it a go for you...he he

Daryl, paris is less about fashionable new places and more about being seen in the right old places. Maybe that's a new world vs old world thing? And get over here to try some for yourself!

CB - I'm researching much seedier sides of Paris for your pending (looming?) visit, dear Sir. Much excitement...

Swearing Mother a dit…

I love Dartmouth in Devon because it's a foody paradise - Alf Rescoe's for breakfast, fantastic pasties from Presto for lunch if you've still got room and dinner at the New Carved Angel if you're minted. If not, try a curry at The Spice Bazaar - they even impressed us Brummies, which is really something since we come from the curry capital of the UK.

Henry North London a dit…

Dartmouth is a bugger to park in

I used to have to do a clinic there and the parking was insane.

That and the fact that the streets are narrow and windy Dartmouth has a charm of its own. However going to Sharpham and getting the cheeses from the Vineyard,and the wine Oh to die for stuff I have a bottle of the Bacchus... For a special occasion

Daisy a dit…

Great subject!! Le garde-robe on rue de l’arbre sec near Louvre Rivoli is my favourite wine and cheese and charcuterie place – completely tiny but delicious and always seems to be full of interesting looking people. Also tiny but delicious for romantic dinners or evenings with a couple of friends is Le Timbre on rue Sainte Beuve in the 6th, it’s the most perfect typical French food, but the wonderful chef-owner is Mancunian! Also le brunch at Le Fumoir at Louvre Rivoli is the best in town on Sundays.