Sunday, 1 March 2009

L'Entredgeu + Le Pain Quotidien + Happy Nouilles + L'Ardoise + Lao Lane Xang = return of Fatty Chan!

This weekend was a marathon of eating, mainly due to having company (JD) in town, so lovely being able to spend some time together! Before JD arrived on Friday night, I met up with his ex-colleague, "François" and E, who were visiting Paris for the weekend for a lovely dinner at L'Entredgeu, a "neo bistro" in the 17th. This was my 2nd time at L'Entredgeu (first was a couple of years ago with JD, on the recommendation of François) and the food did not disappoint. I started off with a starter of rich langoustine bisque, a sense of déjà vu when it arrived as it was the same thing I ordered last time! I followed this with échine de cochon, melt-in-the-mouth rib of suckling pig served on a bed of buttery mash and finished off with a feuilletes de poire (due to my pastry chef curiosity tendencies). A lovely meal with some lovely company - made note to self to order the roast pigeon (François' choice) next time despite the 15 yoyo supplement. My only minor criticism was that service could be a tad better but thats not enough to put me off yet :)

JD and I met up with François and E on Saturday morning for a spot of brekkie at Le Pain Quotidien. We had first discovered this bakery chain during a long weekend in Brussels (where it originated) and have been hooked since (there are outposts in London, Paris and NYC). Breakfast is probably the best time to go (also the most popular!) as they have an extensive menu for a veritable spread.

After a wander around Marché Président Wilson and yet another failed attempt at climbing the Eiffel Tower (we'll get to the top one of these days!), JD and I had some lunch at Happy Nouilles, a noodle shop in the 3rd which I had walked past last week and vowed to return and try out. We both had a large bowl of the house special "hand pulled noodles", mine was in soup topped with 5-spice duck, JD plumped for what our neighbours were having, "zhajiang mian" (noodles topped with spicy pork mince sauce). Both were very good, I don't think zhajiang mian is actually on the menu so you'll have to ask the waiter for this - a return trip beckons!

Saturday afternoon was spent holed up in Kitty O'Sheas having minor heart attacks (at the game and being charged close to 5 yoyos for mineral water!) whilst watching Ireland v England in the 6 Nations. It was too close for comfort, 14-13 (could've been less so had "red-head" ROG kicked all of his missed 11 points, char!) but a win is still a win (props to BOD for single-handedly leading Ireland to a win despite playing concussed for half the game) and the Grand Slam is still a possibility.

We then went for dinner at L'Ardoise, another "neo bistro", this time in the 1st and on the recommendation of Joan Pan. In the words of Craig Revel Horwood, the food here was A-MA-ZING! I had a seafood feast of langoustine ravioli in shellfish jus - whole plump langoustine enveloped in silky pasta, and roasted scallops in herb butter, 5 sweet morsels of scallop meat with some little roast spuds, mucho delish! My dessert was "ballon de banane et caramel" - a generous ramekin of banana and caramel crème brûlée, with small chunks of banana and oozing caramel throughout and topped with a mini-scoop of banana sorbet. As a budding pastry chef, special mention has to go to JD's dessert, "feuilletine de pistache et nutella" - I have never tasted such thin and crispy millefeuille, it was light years ahead compared to my feuilletes de poire at L'Entredgeu! I think L'Ardoise has definitely become my new favourite bistro.

Our eating marathon reached a climax this afternoon at JD's choice, Lao Lane Xang (usually known as Rouammit in guide books), a popular Laotian restaurant in the 13th. We arrived relatively early to snag a table for lunch - a mixed meat platter, red chicken curry and pad thai. It was also the first time we tried out the desserts, JD went for Tofu Hua with ginger syrup (didn't realise they eat this in Laos, OK but could've been a little smoother) and I was presented with a gargatuan portion of mango and coconut sticky rice, yum!

Since arriving in Paris, I have actually been losing weight (despite taking a pastry course, bizarre!) but after this weekend, I believe that Fatty Chan might be making a return appearance, ho-hum! :)  

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