Category Archives: Paris

Paris, France: La Régalade Saint-Honoré

La Régalade first opened in the 14th arrondissement but lucky for the throngs of tourists who visit Paris every year, it opened a joint on rue Saint-Honoré just opposite the Louvre which makes it super duper convenient to pop in for a great meal after absorbing in all that art. Although, given its awesome location means one has got to be highly disciplined at making a reservation way in advance. Lucky for us, our very kind host D made the reservation for us about 1.5 weeks in advance while we toured Germany. You also need to be super punctual because 10 minutes past our reservation, they called to ask if we were on the way and said they would give up our slot if we weren’t there in the next 5 minutes. Well, thank goodness we made it.

Typical of Parisian restaurants, La Régalade was very small and we were cramped shoulder to shoulder with other patrons. We were the first to arrive and witnessed at least five parties who were turned down because as the front of house lady said smugly to one disappointed dude,  “You always need to make a reservation here.”

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After we made our orders for the 35 euro set dinner (which we thought was extremely worth it), this gorgeous loaf of chicken and pork terrine was plonked on our table with a mini basket of baguette and a jar of pickled onions and gerkhins. Yes, you get to eat all the terrine you want until they come with your starter. Pretty damn awesome yes?

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The hubbs started with an organic egg with champignon veloute, jamon and a bread stick . This was a light, airy veloute with intense flavours. Outstanding stuff.

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I went with the Saint Jacques scallops with parmesan cheese, spring onions and olive oil. This was merely alright. I much preferred A’s starter.

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For mains we had, poitrine de cochon which is essentially pork belly served on a bed of green lentils. The crackling and all of the sides of the rectangular block was crazy crispy, almost like it was flash fried before it was served. Usually I avoid crackling or only allow myself a tiny bit, but I could resist eating at least half of the top layer and this was on a 3/4 full stomach from lunch!

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Either I had serious food envy or A was ordering all the right things that night. His main was white fish with its skin grilled to a crisp, on a bed of fregola and chorizo bits in a light parsley emulsion. We polished this one off with no problems.

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I’m a strong believable that food tastes slightly better when one is hungry. I would also like to reiterate that we were both really, really stuffed from lunch and so when I say this Granny’s vanilla rice pudding with caramel sauce was to die for, you know I’m not exaggerating. The pudding, which was recommended by the lady who took our orders, came chilled in a not-that-little jar, complete with a wooden spatula to dish it out with.

Honestly, we both didn’t have great impressions of rice puddings. We had a warm rice pudding on our first visit to Paris and that was ho-hum (we ate only half the portion). But this, my friends, this deserves a standing ovation. The pudding is specked with vanilla seeds and in my humble opinion,  I think serving this chilled was a bloody stroke of genius. I’m a sucker for salted caramel so that hit the right spot too. In retrospect, however, we didn’t even drizzle too much caramel on the pudding because we really enjoyed its subtle flavours.

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We also had the Grand Marnier souffle which we couldn’t find any fault with. Tall, airy and crisp at the top. We would have been won over by this had we not had the rice pudding.

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At the end of it, we were presented with the bill and a warm toasty madeleine each. Needless to say, we rolled out of the doors with two blessed tummies. La Régalade is highly recommended and please remember to make a reservation and be on time.

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La Régalade Saint-Honoré
123 rue Saint-Honoré
1st arrondissement, Paris
01 42 21 92 40
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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Paris, France: Les Cocottes – An unplanned memorable meal

I made a whirlwind virgin trip to London and Paris in late May. Before the trip, I had already psyched myself up for a lot of good food in London. For Paris, my tummy was psyched for those beautiful delicate macarons from Pierre Herme. Well, I did collect some Michelin stars in London and Pierre Herme did have me at his feet in Paris but what really blew us away was a restaurant, which our host persuaded us to try for the first time with him. We only had two dinners in Paris and I must admit, I was a little reluctant to abandon my list of researched places. But, oh, thank goodness I decided to just trust our host who had been living in Paris for only a few months but had been doing his homework on food places in French no less.

Les Cocottes, as its name might have given you a hint, cooks and serves all its mains in a Staub – the cast iron enamel oven-to-table casseroles. The casual diner, which was voted “Le Meilleur Comptoir 2007” by Figaroscope (info courtesy of my dear host, D, who swears by the weekly magazine insert to give him the latest must-dos and must-eats in town), is helmed by Christian Constant. The place was already almost packed when we got there. Customers were either seated at high tables or like us, shown to counter seats. We didn’t quite mind, since we were looking to have a post-dinner drink elsewhere anyway.
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