Thursday, October 16, 2008

Feeding Ourselves at Place St Michel

From the Ile de la Cite where Notre Dame was, our game plan was to walk across one of the bridges over to the Left Bank. Our antennae told us that there might be food there at St. Michel's Square (Place St. Michel) & Boulevard St. Germain.

This was the most obvious landmark at St Michel Square. If you see this great, big, violent triumphant-good-over-evil, fountain-statue of St. Michel (it was originally proposed to be Napolean), you know you're there.

St Michel's Square literally had dozens of restaurants, but most of them were either Greek or Italian. But you see, we were in Paris, & being in Paris meant eating French food. Greek & Italian just didn't sound right. It'd be like eating Chinese food in Paris, after you fly thousands of miles, all the way from the other side of the world.

After walking the whole length of Boulevard St Germain, well, ALMOST the whole length, cos that stretch was one heck of a boulevard (It seemed like it didn't have any beginning nor end), we decided to go back to St Michel, to this little lane called Rue de la Huchette.

You can't miss this little place cos the moment you see people walking out with food in their mouths, you know you've come to the right place.

Rue de la Hutchette is a very small lane, packed with restaurants, & it felt like a little small food village. Everybody was eating something.

I've said it before, & I'll say it again, finding good food in Paris is a game of chance. It's like buying Toto Jackpot, except that the probability of getting bad food is less cos you either get a Good, So-so, or Bad. So we decided to roll the dice on this place.

Most of the 3-course lunch set costs around 15.90 - 16.90 Euros per person. One thing that you shouldn't do in Paris is to convert the prices to Ringgit. If you did that, you'd starve to death.

The place looked pretty decent except that it was empty.

We figured that was because it was already quite late into the afternoon & everybody had already left. In contrast, most Parisians hang out in the cafes the whole day, & nobody seems to be working. So we hoped we were right & that the empty tables didn't mean that we've just entered a sucky-food trap & would not be able to get out now.

This was our friendly waiter, who spoke very good English, & was very polite. Most waiters in Paris are male, & are very experienced. Most of them can crack jokes to the point of putting up a one-man entertainment show. I wouldn't be surprised if they started juggling knives or doing fire-eating stunts. But for the time being, he just wiped the table for us.

For 16.90 euros, you get to chose ONE each from the following choices of 7 entrees, 9 main courses (Plats) & 4 desserts.

Look, I know we're in Paris, & we should be tasting the wine, but this is lunch okay, & we didn't want to have to go back to the hotel to sleep after this.

The baguettes were free flow & I was just glad that there were no aunties with us, you know, the ones who would stuff food into their huge handbags.

This was my ultimate favourite entree - Feuillette Au Chevre Chaud or in a language more understandable to us, Hot Goat's Cheese.

Nee's entree - Chiffonade of Ham on a bed of Salad.

This was Canard Confit (Duck) which wasn't on the menu but Nee asked for it & she got it.

Rump Steak with Roquefort Sauce

My Dessert - Parisian Ice Cream (Coupe Parisienne). Strange, but they actually put whipped cream on ice cream.

Nee's dessert - Creme Brulee Maison.

The Verdict: You can say that we hit the jackpot cos everything was excellent to the 't'. Overall, French cuisine do tend to be a bit on the salty side but you could still tell when something is really good. We highly ecommend this accidental place should you have an opportunity to visit Paris one day. Bon apetit!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seine: The Most Romantic River in the World

The Seine River basically cuts Paris into two halves - the left bank & the right bank. And to be able to enjoy Paris, you'd need to know what is on which side. Obviously. Duh.

We stayed on the right bank where The Louvre & other major tourist sights were situated. But usually all that does not matter to Female Asian tourists. All they need to know is one thing & one thing only - that the LOUIS VUITTON HQ store is also situated on that bank, & all hell will break loose.

The Notre Dame sits strangely on a small island in between both banks, while the famous Eiffel Tower is situated on the left.

This is the River Seine.

This is the place where countless number of Hollywood romantic scenes have been immortalised forever onto celluloid. Elizabeth Taylor dated (make out/ pak toh/ do projek) here in one of her movie scenes.

This is also the place where the rat in Ratatouille was released by the young apprentice cook.

Apparently, the River Seine is a very popular place for suicides, & also the dumping of dead bodies. It's easy to see why. Within Paris itself, there are about 36 bridges. And outside of the city, there are dozens more.

Nee & I would have loved to be here at night to do projek, but we were just afraid that there might be muggers just as keen to do theirs.

On Top Of Notre Dame

The climb up Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the most dizzying moments for Nee, not because of the height, but because of the never ending, winding steep steps. It took us about 10-15 minutes, with pauses in between to catch our breath, to reach the top & it felt like forever. But of course when we got up there, the view was really worth the climb.

The Hunchback must have had really big lungs. And small feet.

These are the small doors that lead to the bell in the South Tower. Nee couldn't be bothered to enter in anticipation of another possible climb.

The bell was hoisted up with ropes & installed in 1682 & has been there ever since. The bell weighs a whopping 13,000 kg. Based on my current weight, it'd be equivalent to 180 of me.

WARNING: Camwhoring approaching...

The Hunchback of Kuching in Notre Dame

The Foochow Esmerelda of Cookery

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