Sésame: Freshly squeezed juice, hot chocolate, soft boiled egg and a bagel sandwich!
Ah, comfort food. I’ve been lamenting about how much I miss bagels in Paris. So I was very excited to see bagel sandwiches at Sésame’s brunch. For 22 euro, you get one hot drink, one freshly squeezed juice, soft boiled egg, bagel sandwich, baguette with butter and jam, AND dessert. Talk about a deal! It was seriously too much food. I had to stop eating the baguette to save room for the Asiago bagel sandwich.
Pecan Pie and Carrot Cake
I ordered the “Rachel” sandwich, which had chicken, avocado and honey, while my friend ordered the “Sally” sandwich, which had fresh goat cheese and veggies. For dessert, we ordered the pecan pie and carrot cake. I definitely won with my choices because the Rachel sandwich and carrot cake were delectable. Although it wasn’t the same carrot cake you find in the U.S., it was still flavorful, moist and topped with delicious cream cheese frosting. On top of that, I loved the vibe of the whole restaurant. The waiters were total hipsters. Or, maybe they just dress that way for work? We’ll never know. I felt like I was swept back to New York or even back to the Misson in San Francisco. Their lunch and dinner menu looked really good too because everything seemed fresh and simple (think salads and quiche).
I was happy Diane invited me for a low-key dinner at Happy Nouilles. Happy Nouilles is one of those small, hole in the wall Chinese restaurants that make fresh hand-cut noodles! I ordered the spicy beef noodle soup (辣牛肉面) and Diane ordered the ground pork noodles in miso soup (炸酱面). We split some stir-fried bok choy and a large Tsingtao. There is something so deeply satisfying about a giant bowl of spicy noodles with garlicky vegetables. While my soup was a little too diluted, I really enjoyed my hand-pulled noodles and the texture was perfect. Diane’s soup was definitely more complex and she ordered “hand-cut noodles” (刀削面), which were dense and filling. I’ll gladly return to Happy Nouilles whenever I’m craving Chinese food.
It was so nice to have some comfort food in Paris, especially given the extreme cold and rain we’ve been experiencing. I’ll end this blog post with a wonderful moment from this weekend– a brief respite from the gray and gloom.
An extremely rare rainbow in Paris!
The View from my Patio
I’m officially a Parisian! I moved into my new apartment in the 7th arrondissement last Sunday so it’s been exactly one week. I could not be happier. I’m in love with my new place, my neighborhood and just being in the City of Light!
Brunch at Coutume Café
After moving in, Christophe and I went to have brunch at Coutume Café. I had read reviews about Coutume in multiple blogs because all the expats have been raving about their coffee. I was quite happy with my latte and it was one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in this city. The vibe of Coutume was really cool, reminding me of Greenwich Village in New York. The brunch was solid. While nothing blew me completely away, I found the mango yogurt refreshing and I enjoyed my plate of chicken and rice with a side of sweet potatoes. Everything tasted clean and light; I didn’t feel like I was going to roll over and take a nap (which is often how I feel after brunch).
Tempura and udon at Sanukiya (top left and right); Korean rice cakes with kimchi and seafood at Dawa (bottom left); and my own Chinese cooking (bottom right)
Ironically, I had a lot of Asian food and hit up some of favorites like Sanukiya and Dawa. The first meal I made in my kitchen was Chinese food too (although I cheated because I bought that hot and sour soup).
Snow in Paris
On the Bridge by Notre Dame
It’s been an eventful week because it starting snowing this past weekend and the snow is actually sticking. As a native Californian, this is a big deal for me. I’ve been in snow when I’ve gone skiing, but I’ve never been in a major city with snow. This lead to a lot of wandering and taking pictures because this city is absolutely gorgeous in the snow.
Caramels, Hot Chocolate and Mille-Feuille at Jacques Genin
While I have been busy with school, I have escaped to Paris to enjoy some delicious meals. My classmate planned a really sweet all-girls brunch at the LaDurée on Champs-Élysées. There was a fire last year at this location and they just reopened in October. We were lucky to sit upstairs and see LaDurée in all its remodeled splendid glory.
I call the picture on the right: “The leaning tower of treats.”
For 36.50 euro, you get orange juice or grapefruit juice; fruit salad; hot chocolate, tea or coffee; three pastries; bread rolls; three macarons; yogurt; two mini sandwiches AND scrambled eggs. Talk about a ton of food! Everything was so incredibly good and I especially loved the pastries. I had a moment at the table with my almond croissant. The only thing that was lackluster (besides the not-so-great service from our waitress) were the mini sandwiches. They were dry and pre-made. But, I definitely wasn’t running short on food. I think we all rolled ourselves home after that brunch. I know LaDurée is so touristy, but I would say it’s worth going at least once and getting the brunch. It’s a real Parisian experience sitting in this gorgeous room and drinking your tea out of delicate, pastel-colored china.
Korean Food at Paris’s Dawa. Are you salivating just looking at that bibimbap?
I’ve been craving Korean food and my blogger friend, My Red Kitchen, was kind enough to introduce me to Dawa, located at 5 Rue Humblot in the 15th arrondissement. I had high hopes and Dawa met expectations. It’s a small restaurant owned by Koreans and it’s got that hole-in-the-wall feel to it. MRK and I shared hot kimchi stir-fried with thin slices of pork (also served with a cold side of tofu), japchae (stir-fried noodles with beef and vegetables) and we each ordered our own beef bibimbap (stone pot rice). I am literally obsessed with japchae and bibimbap and both dishes totally satisfied my craving. I had zero complaints about the kimchi too. We demolished our food and ate every last grain of rice and leaf of kimchi.
Bar Food at Verjus
Thinking with every single muscle in his body, Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker.”
I was glad to finally escape my room on Sunday and meet up with My Red Kitchen (MRK) for brunch. MRK and I first met in May at Bocado in Shanghai. I am so incredibly grateful for how small the world is and how there is an immediate bond with fellow bloggers. After meeting the manager at Bocado and giving him my blog business card, he introduced me to MRK who was sitting at the table next to me. A Parisian with a food blog who would be returning to Paris in June? It was a match made in heaven (by the French food gods).
Eggs & Co. in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés
Eggs & Co. is a small restaurant that specializes in– you guessed it–eggs. I was surprised that brunch is a popular meal in Paris because everything tends to be closed on Sundays (in retrospect: I don’t know why I was surprised since the French enjoy having really long meals). MRK assured me that brunch had been popular in Paris for quite a few years. At 2pm, the restaurant was still packed with people waiting aside (definitely make reservations beforehand). It’s a tiny restaurant with seating upstairs and squished tables. Don’t expect a quiet meal.
Everything is a set menu at Eggs & Co. so your meal will come with orange juice, tea or coffee, your main egg dish and then a giant pancake with fruit. The price range is around 25-30 euro. It’s a lot of food so come hungry.
I ordered the Coco meurette, English muffins with poached eggs topped with mushroom, bacon and shallots in a red wine sauce. Oeufs en meurette is one of my all-time favorite dishes and I was SO happy because the dish did not disappoint. The sauce had been reduced perfectly; it was thick and incredibly flavorful. MRK ordered oeufs à la coque, which are soft-boiled eggs that are served with mouliettes (perfectly shaped breadsticks to dip into your egg). She asked me what the translation was for oeufs à la coque in English and I realized Americans don’t really have anything like it. Yes, we have soft-boiled eggs, but no one will go through the effort to cut and toast little sticks of bread for you. I don’t know why because it’s the best idea ever. The pancakes were served with maple syrup and a fruit salad. They were OK (too thick), but my expectations weren’t high since it’s Eggs & Co. and not Pancakes & Co.
The Gardens Were Gorgeous
Rodin worked on “The Gates of Hell” for 37 years, until he died in 1917.