Monday, August 30, 2010

Amorino - France - Paris - Review

Name: Amorino
Address: 42 rue Cler
75007 Paris

Tel : 06 16 17 36 45

Food: Italian, Sweets
Average price: $5Euro+.They charge by the size of the cup or cone, not by the number of flavours.

Complimentary: Tap water.
We ordered:

L'Inimitabile, Frutto del la Passione 

If you like creamy icecream, even those that are fruit flavoured, then you will love these. The chocolate was luscious but not super rich, it had a wonderful creamy texture and wasn't too sweet. The passionfruit had a great amount of tang and tasted fairly genuine in flavour. I should note that they are known for their cones, which when filled with icecream are sculpted to look like an edible rose.

Mango, Lampone, Cioccolato amorino

R loved them all, I personally found his chocolate not chocolate-y enough for me and a little too creamy. The mango was also super creamy and too sweet for me but the raspberry was nicely tart.

Cost: $10Euro for two cups.

Service: Takeaway - quick and to the point.

Atmosphere: Relaxed streetside. The decor was shades of chocolate with a small interior dominated by the glass ice cream case and some tables outside.

Parking: Forget about it. Parking in France is a nightmare (and sometimes laughable at how ridiculous it is, we saw an instance where are car was so pinned in, both cars next to it were touching its bumpers). Do yourself a favour and take the Metro (trains every 3mins) or a bus.


Hours: Daily from 12pm - midnight

Would I return: Yes - if I happen to be walking past and craving an ice cream.

Friday, August 20, 2010

L'arpege - Paris - France - Review

Name: L'arpege
84 Rue de Varenne,
Paris - 75007
01 47 05 09 06

Food: French, Modern French
Average price: - $34Euro -  $320Euro

Complimentary: Lots of bread and butter.

Butter (Bordier?) was divine - smooth and salty and creamy.

We ordered:

Tartlettes des Legumes
potato with carrot and sweet sour vinegar sauce

This was nice. Salt was the last flavour to hit my palate - the potato chip was very crisp and the veggies full of flavour.

Second chip with diced veg - main taste was celery, it was also nice but not as much depth as the first.
Potato chip with cherry tomato.

Fresh tomatoes

There's nothing like a fresh tomato - sweet and salty and juicy and fresh - very yummy (and from Alain Passards garden where much of the produce is from).


Fines ravioles potagères; consommé végétal  - beet, smoked vegetable ravioli in broth

Absolutely divine; the pasta itself was perfect - soft, delicate and melt-your-mouth - the best pasta I have had
Favourite filling was the smoked vegetables - an absolute taste sensation.

R: You wouldn't think this dish would be spectacular, but don't let the picture fool you. Perfectly cooked with such simple flavours that melt in your mouth.

Oeuf a la coque
quatre epices

The egg was nice with a runny yolk and a slight sweetness from the maple and saltiness from the fleur de sel that pared well with the rich egg. R marvelled at how well the shell was cut.

Yellow tomato gazpacho with mustard ice cream

The mustard was very strong (which is why this was the weakest dish for R) but a tiny amount of it helped to bring out the flavour of the tomato.

couleur saveur, parfum et dessin du jardin, cueillette ephemere
Sweet and sour pinot vinaigrette with beets and raspberries 

Sweet with a tangy element, interesting.

Bouquet de homard de Chaussey au miel du Jardin
vinaigre des xeres

Lobster with honey sherry sauce 

R said this was awesome and was trying to shovel the sauce into my mouth.

Potato with purple basil and candied lemon

Oh my goodness this was AMAZING. The lemon elevated this dish to something unique and spectacular. The potato was perfectly cooked and buttery creamy and perfectly seasoned. I still talk about this dish and am eager to try to replicate the flavours.

Cooked tomatoes 

Sherry vinegar and butter gave these beauties another dimension. Yet again something I will try myself.

I will always remember getting this plate in front of me and thinking "is that it? We are paying 300 euro and we are just getting cherry tomatoes". Boy did I eat my words, or my thoughts I should say.
Best tasting tomatoes ever, with bursting flavour with every bite. Amazing.

Green beans with peach and basil emulsion -

The sauce was smooth yet coated the beans well. The beans were tender but crispy and  the peach added a nice sweet and tart element.

Tomato with zucchini and garlic 

The garlic tied the dish together perfectly - everything was balanced and overall it was a nice light dish

Peas with black currants and onion

The currants added sharpness to the sweet peas which weren't mushy at all. A livened up version of a pea side dish.

Turbot du bretagne au Cotes du Jura
Belles de Fontenay fumees au vieux chene

monkfish with wine sauce and smoked potato 

R is not much of a fish person but still liked it.

Canard de Challans á l’Hibiscus
Betterave coucher de soleil et marc d’orange
Duck with hibiscus, orange and olive oil emulsion, carrot. beet and onion

R's favourite dish of his life - he was in heaven.  He keeps telling everyone about his love of this dish.

R: I will always remember this dish. I did not want the dish to finish. I wish I was stuck in ground-hog day on the day I had this dish! Its hard to describe the flavours, but there is something about the hibiscus that just cut through the dish and made me moan with pleasure. Sex on a plate might be the best way to describe it.

Veggies with smoked eggplant and cous cous 

This was OK. Everything was cooked nice and flavours went well but it was one of the weaker dishes of the night.

cheese plate

We tried the Comte, goats cheese and some Camembert . I loved them all but my favourite was the Comte.

Grapefruit sorbet

A little grainy and acidic (and not very visually appealing.) I also might have tasted fennel?

tomato macron, sesame and spinach, beet

These were ok, my favourite was the sesame and spinach - perfect shells and crunch.

Veggie cake and candied beetroot 

Raspberry, currant and white gooseberry? in hibiscus soup

This had a  tangy depth of flavour with a floral sweetness  - great berry dish, very refreshing. although I was hoping for a sweeter, more solid dessert.

Cost: $615EURO for one vegetarian ($250e) and one meat ($320e) 16 course degustation (Cuisine Choisie) with two bottles of Evian ($15e).

Service: Fantastic. We happened to arrive at the same time as Alain Passard, after a quick chat he offered us the chef's table and from the minute we sat down we couldn't have received better service. The maîtresse d’hôtel was superb, she balanced humour, professionalism and efficiency like a pro. We were left wanting for nothing as far as service goes.

Atmosphere: Spacious but dated. We sat in the corner by the kitchen doors underneath a painting of Mrs Passard herself, from our position we could see the entire restaurant. The restaurant itself is quite small so there aren't many tables. The decor is a blend of mustard yellow, checker red and light oak (pearwood?) lacquered walls. It doesn't have that sophisticated, trendy feel - there are fresh produce such as tomatoes and squash on each table that gives the restaurant a more 'homely and welcoming' vibe - which is how Mr Passard describes his restaurant, upon leaving he told us to think of this place as 'home' and to come back and visit the 'family'. The candlelight gave it a romantic touch. The noise level was only moderate when full.

Parking: Forget about it. Parking in France is a nightmare (and sometimes laughable at how ridiculous it is, we saw an instance where are car was so pinned in, both cars next to it were touching its bumpers). Do yourself a favour and take the Metro (trains every 3mins) or a bus.


Hours: Mon-Fri 12-2:30pm, 8-10pm

Would I return: Yes. It was our favourite restaurant in France.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Le Clos des Gourmets - Paris - France - Review

Name: Le Clos des Gourmets

16, ave Rapp, Champ de Mars, Tour Eiffel,
Paris, France 75007

01 45 51 75 61

Food: French, Modern French
Average price: Entrée - $9.50-19Euro, Mains - $18-33Euro, Desserts - $7.50Euro, 3 course dinner - $35Euro

Complimentary: 4 slices of cold bread.

We ordered:
Map of Season Dinner 35 € uros

Drinks: Orange juice- $5.70

R liked the pulp and freshness, I found it a touch too sweet.

Velouté glacé de courgette et roquette, crumble au Parmesan Reggiano et poudre de tomates séchées
Iced Cream of zucchini and arugula crumble, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and dried tomato powder

Nice but mellow in flavour. The eggplant soup was cold and smooth with only a hint of zucchini. The tomato powder gave slight zing but other than that pretty subdued but a generous serve. It was pleasant but I wouldn't order it again.

Décortiqué de tourteau au crémeux de corail, Cappucino léger à l'anis étoilé
Shelled crab in creamy coral, Cappucino Light Star Anise

R liked this a lot and said it had oodles of crab flavour, he particularly liked the foam and tried to get me to have some. The only incident was a small fragment of shell, luckily no tooth was chipped.

Wok de légumes du moment à la verveine fraîche
Stir fried seasonal vegetables with fresh verbena

I was thrilled with the presentation of the vibrant colours in a black based wok-style bowl, really gorgeous. The veggies were cooked perfectly with a lovely lick (or perhaps a dunk) of butter and seasoning, the selection worked well together with a special mention to the mushrooms - a delicious bowl of veggies.

Tête de cochon croustillante, vinaigrette d’herbes fraîches pommes Ratte écrasées au beurre demi-sel
Crispy pig's head, fresh herb vinaigrette, Ratte potato mashed with butter salted

This was the dish that suffered from the speediness of the service. It was very soft - absolutely no crispness. There was a lot of rendered fat and not much meat and therefore not much flavour. On a positive note, the potatoes were nice.

Pèche pochée au romarin, granité safran et sablés au mascarpone
Peach poached in rosemary, saffron and granita biscuits with mascarpone

I was a bit dismayed at presentation only because it wasn't what I was expecting (otherwise I loved the bowl and plate). It was ice cold, even the peaches. The peaches texture was spot on, perfectly poached whilst the sorbet was very subtle. I felt the dish needed more textural difference, the crunch of the biscuits was lovely, but I needed more than three as they ran out fast. The mascarpone was a little too light (more like a whipped cream) and was washed away by the sorbet and peach. I couldn't taste the rosemary but found overall, whilst I liked it, it needed a little more flavour and textural balancing.

Feuillantine pralinée au chocolat de St Domingue, glace à la fleur de thym
Praline chocolate puff of Santo Domingo, ice thyme

I quite enjoyed this. The chocolate was light, sweet and sticky. The thyme ice cream went wonderfully, and gave the dish a great herbal note. The thyme was the initial flavour which once dissipated, allowed the chocolate to come through, muting some of its sweetness.

It wasn't choclaty enough for R who felt the thyme made it too herby.

Cost: $80.70Euro for 2 entrees, 2 mains, 2 desserts, 1 orange juice and 1 bottle of Evian Pure.

Service: The fastest service I have ever experienced in my life. The waiters spoke English and gave us a translated menu to read. They also gave me a stool to place my camera on. As soon as we ordered our entrees arrived in four minutes. The entire meal was served and removed within 30mins with our water always topped up. Despite their extreme efficiency I did feel the service was a little cold, perhaps due to our speaking a different language.

Atmosphere: Relaxed elegance. The front of the restaurants opens up so that you are looking out onto the street able to feel the breeze. The decor is dark reds and browns with white tablecloths and panelling separated by large mirrors accented by steel with a bar at the back dressed with fresh flowers. The chairs are comfortable with a maroon printed cloth. The design was lovely and the restaurant had a quite, reserved energy.

Parking: Forget about it. Parking in France is a nightmare (and sometimes laughable at how ridiculous it is, we saw an instance where are car was so pinned in, both cars next to it were touching its bumpers). Do yourself a favour and take the Metro (trains every 3mins) or a bus.


Hours: Open Tue-Sat 12:15pm-11pm

Would I return: Yes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Berthillon - France - Paris - Review

Name: Berthillon

Address: 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile
75004 Paris, France

01 43 54 31 61

Food: French, Sweets
Average price: 2 euros for one scoop; 3 euros for two scoops; 4 euros for three scoops


We ordered:

Cassis - blackcurrant

My absolute favourite. It was bursting with flavour and sharp and deep like the currant - so divine on a Summer's day.

Rhubarbe - rhubarb

Not as tart as I had hoped, definitely swung more to the sweeter side. It had a softer texture, akin to a stewed rhubarb but without the stringiness.

Nougat au miel - honey nougat

R's second favourite flavour. Very creamy and honey sweet with a crunchy, sticky praline. Great creamy consistency.

Chocolat noir - dark chocolate

Richly dense and fudgy with a deep chocolate taste - the texture was velvety smooth. My husband went gaga over this.

Fraise - strawberry

This was quite sweet and a touch like bubblegum.

Poire - pear 

This was probably the weakest flavour in terms of strength. It was very subtle but had that grainy texture you expect of a pear.

Cost: $8Euro approx for 6 scoops.

Service: N/A (The main store was not open - we purchased from two local cafes selling a few flavours).

Atmosphere: N/A.

Parking: Forget about it. Parking in France is a nightmare (and sometimes laughable at how ridiculous it is, we saw an instance where are car was so pinned in, both cars next to it were touching its bumpers). Do yourself a favour and take the Metro (trains every 3mins) or a bus.


Hours: Open Wed-Sun 10am-8pm
The boutique will close from 17 July until 01 September 2005 for their annual six week vacation (unfortunately for us, this was when we were in Paris.)

Would I return: Yes. So many more flavours to try.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pierre Herme - Paris - France - Review

Name: Pierre Herme

72, rue Bonaparte,  
75006 Paris, France 

01 43 54 47 77

Food: French, Sweets
Average price: $1.50 - $85Euro

Complimentary: Nothing - boxes cost more.

We ordered:

Eden  - cream in yellow peach and saffron, chunks of sweet apricots - $1.50Euro

Very subtle and quite sweet. Didn't appeal to me that much. What must be said for all following macarons is that the texture and biscuit-to-cream ratio is perfect, they couldn't be executed better, the technique and form is faultless.

Mogador - passionfruit and milk chocolate

In its banana-speckled pyjamas this was the cutest macaron in the cabinet and what a macaron it turned out to be! Even my husband who has never liked macarons, LOVED this. The texture was perfect with a crisp shell (although they aren't super crisp as many of these began to crush within 2mins walking from the shop) and soft interior - that perfect amount of 'toothness'. The passion fruit was tart and bursting with freshness whilst the soft, creamy milk chocolate tempered its acidity beautiful. Well balanced and delicious.


I love florals, and rose is perhaps my favourite floral. But I was a little let down. It was too sweetly creamy for me. The rose was there but it was overpowered by the sweetness of the cream.

Mosaic - pistachio, cinnamon, vanilla and cherry

The cherry really is what made this flavour combination. Without the deep tartness of the cherry in the middle the pistachio and vanilla are too subtle.


More like sugary vanilla. Only a hint of that Jasmine floral depth with a ton of sweetness.

Infiniment Caramel

I am a sucker for salted caramel - I love the salty sweet combination. This, however, was burnt. The macaroon only tasted bitter and hardly salty. Very disappointed as this was the macaron that I came for.

Isaphan - lychee rose and raspberry - $6.60EURO

There was lots of rose, perhaps a touch too much to allow the other flavours to shine. The fresh raspberries would offer bursts of tang to cut through the heady rose but the lychee was lost completely in the floral overthrow. I was hoping for a balance of three great flavours but all I got was a rose tyranny with raspberries as its second in command - perhaps my hopes were set a little too high. (And in case you are like my husband, do not try to eat the small label, it is not made out of rice paper, it is made out of cardboard...)

plasirs sucres - dacquoise biscuit with croquant nuts, praline feuillete, fine chocolate leaves, chocolate chantilly cream - $6.20EURO

The chocolate snapped beautifully and melted instantly on the tongue. The Chantilly cream was of similar greatness, the weak link was the dacquoise which was a touch tasteless and stale. Otherwise, on a whole, it was a lovely slice of delectable chocolate .

Cost: $25.13Euro approx for 8 macarons and two desserts.

Service: Super professional and curt. The staff were all dressed impeccably in black and white. They were sharp and to the point, not inclined to wait for lengthy decisions, so try to have everything you want to order ready to go when they ask. A little French helps also as some of the servers don't speak much English. They also don't like photographs to be taken inside the store.

Atmosphere: Jewellery-store chic rabbit hole. The way to spot this shop is by the line going halfway down the street. The windows showcasing the goods on street level reminded me of Cartier and Bvlgari. The interior is dark with polished wood -the glass cabinet takes up most of the space with everyone peering in as if picking out a diamond. There is also a bookshelf on the back wall stocked with products. This is a takeaway only shop - luckily there's a beautiful fountain with benches a few metres away to taste your bounty.

Parking: Forget about it. Parking in France is a nightmare (and sometimes laughable at how ridiculous it is, we saw an instance where are car was so pinned in, both cars next to it were touching its bumpers). Do yourself a favour and take the Metro (trains every 3mins) or a bus.


Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am to 7pm
Saturday, open to 7:30 PM

Would I return: Maybe - but only for the Mogador.