Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Eating with friends - Itinéraires and Afaria

Update on some of the restos I've been able to hit over the last few weeks. I had previously tried to get reservations for Itinéraires the last time JD was in town but they were already fully booked by the time I rang. This time, I was luckier and managed to secure a table on a Friday night (albeit for the 2nd sitting at 10pm) - I almost lost the booking when I forgot that I needed to call back on the day before 3pm to confirm the table and luckily, remembered minutes before the deadline :) 

So was it any good? The restaurant interior is lovely and decorated in a contemporary way, quite different for most Parisian bistros. Tables are very Parisian (ie. you will have problems squeezing in if you are bigger than a size 10!!) with cute menus written on slate for every table. Not a lot of choice on the menu, 3-4 choices per course.

Overall, the food was pretty good (dessert for me was highlight, a rarity!) and my friends seemed to like it too, a nice sending off for them before they headed back to the US.  

Seafood broth - it arrived on the table with raw shrimp. You're supposed to pour the broth into the dish this would cook the shrimp, hope you like half cooked shrimp! Think the chef was trying to give the dish an Asian twist (daikon, miso, soy) but not entirely convinced it worked?

Rissotto cooked in squid ink topped with squid "a la plancha" and foam - very tasty!

Lemon meringue pie served with raspberry sorbet. Garnishes are grey meringue spears and celery julienne?? A little different but it was delicious and the whole thing worked!! :)

I then met up with a couple of chums from school last weekend and we finally made it to a bistro that has been on my friend's "hitlist" for a while, a little Basque place in the 15th called Afaria. The menu is slightly different to other places - the chef has a starter, main course and dessert all grouped under a particular theme (4 or 5 in total). The diner can decided to choose all 3 course from one theme or pick and mix from various themes. A fantastic meal there with great company as usual - would dearly love to come back and try the roast duck served with handcut chips served in a giant clog - a lot of people were ordering this so it must be good!! 
Parillada of seafood (for 2 to share) - soo good and had everything!! (clams, mussels, razor clams, crab claws, prawns, whelks, oysters)

Pork loin slow cooked with country vegetables - perfect winter dish and meat was super-tender.

Brioche with pralines roses and served with orange flower creme anglaise (for 2 to share) - probably the low point of dinner but still pretty tasty.


Anonymous said...

Hi Little Chan! I've been following your blog frequently ever since I had came upon it while researching the Anglopat program at Le Ferrandi. I had a few questions about the program and am hoping you could help me out since I applied for the Feb 2010 session.

I'm just curious to know whether you felt that the intensive program was worth every penny and if in fact a student truly leaves with the ability to possibly open a small business. Again, I'm just hoping to hear your opinion as I am also pursuing Pastry as a career change from a job in the financial world :) Please write me if you have time. Good Luck to you!!

little-chan said...

Glad you liked the blog.
Yes, the intensive program was really worth the money, especially when you compare it with the other programs that are available (ie. Cordon Bleu, Lenotre and Ritz). My class did not have much focus on how you would go about setting up your own business - most of my classmates considering this route (including myself) had our own thoughts which were not taught at school. You need to have some ideas yourself, the real eye opener for me was during my stage and being in a professional kitchen and seeing first hand what would be required when setting up your own business.

The program is being improved and modified after every session and taking into account feedback from former students - it has been running for 15 years so is already quite well-established and getting better every year.

I hope this answers some of your questions - if you have any further questions, send me another comment with your email address - I will not publish that comment with your details and then might be able to answer anything which requires a longer answer?

Best of luck to you too :)