It’s been 6 months since we left Paris and although I’m loving the KL life of glorious food and sunshine, from time to time I do crave and reminisce for the charming, quaint Parisian bistros and the delicious gourmet ‘tables’. So for those who will one day venture to Paris, looking for the best restaurants or off-the-beaten-path bistros, look no further to my top 10 (in no particular order). As it’s not possible for me to add more as I would love to – I’d appreciate you folks adding your favourite eateries in the City of Lights.
Rating: $= Won’t break your bank balance. $$= Perfect to celebrate your promotion. $$$= Call your banker to explain!
1. Les Tontons: ($)
Known for the most amazing array of variations of steak tartare: from the raw classical steak tartare to the allez-retours (semi raw, flash pan-grilled). This was so worth to go to that we drove from North to South of Paris just to eat here.
My usual: Steak tartare allez-retour made with melted camembert and honey inside.
Address: 38 rue Raymond Losserand, 75014 Paris. tel : 01 43 21 69 45
2. Chez Georges: ($)
Famous for its charming ambiance and serves traditional French comfort food. Packed at lunch and dinner especially during Fashion Week. Definitely book ahead.
My usual: salade de lentilles followed by steak au poivre.
Address: 1 rue du Mail, 75002 Paris. Tel: 01 42 60 07 11
3. La Tour d’Argent: ($$$)
Chic, luxurious gourmet restaurant, famous for 2 things – the panoramic Parisian view by the River Seine and the duck. On the wall, hang all the photographs of famous people who have traipsed through from presidents to actresses.
My choice: Coquilles Saint-Jacques starter followed by Caneton Tour d’Argent (their most famous duck).
Address: 15, Quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris. Tel: 01 43 54 23 31
4. Les Pieds dan l’Eau: ($)
Cute restaurant beside the river in Neuilly-sur-Seine (very chic neighborhood just outside Paris) on an island called Ile de la Jatte. My in-laws favorite regular restaurant.
My usual: Terrine de foies de volaille au foie gras et oignons confits followed by Sole meunière au gratin de blettes.
Address: 39, Boulevard du Parc, 92200 Neuilly-Sur-Seine. Tel: 01 47 47 64 07
5. Chez Benoit: ($$)
Very traditional French cuisine, belonging to the Alain Ducasse group (It was the restaurant that Princess Diana was supposed to go before she died). Delicious, charming and the same waiters have been there for the last 15 years (they still recognize me).
My usual: escargots (in its yummy garlic, butter oil and parsley) followed by carre d’agneau.
Address: 20, rue St Martin, 75004 Paris. Tel: 01 42 72 25 76
6. Le Voltaire: ($$)
One of my favorites ever in Paris. Also found out from Jean Todt that it’s his favorite too! Classic, quaint small restaurant (often see Carole Bouquet and Gerard Depardieu) with great service. Located next to the Quai de Voltaire, River Seine, not far from Musee Quai d’Orsay.
My usual: salade de lentilles followed by carre d’agneau.
Address: 27 Quai Voltaire, 75007 Paris. Tel: 01 42 61 17 49
7. Aux Lyonnais: ($)
Belonging to the Alain Ducasse group, Aux Lyonnais serves heart-warming fare using innovative techniques, fresh produce and such Lyonnaise (from Lyon) staples as pike, and cheese from Isère.
My usual: quenelles (pike) in creamy sauce.
Address: 32 Rue Saint-Marc, 75002 Paris. Tel: 01 42 96 65 04
8. Lapérouse: ($$$)
Very charming, beautiful restaurant in the old-fashioned style. Emile Zola, George Sand, and Victor Hugo were regulars here. Was introduced to this place by Frog for my birthday as a surprise, and reserved the private salon. Very romantic!
My choice: monkfish cassoulet.
Address: 51 quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris. Tel: 01 56 79 24 31
9. Relais de l’Entrecote: ($)
If you’re craving for the best French steak-frites, then look no further to Relais de l’Entrecote. There are several branches in Paris but the one I love is in Saint Germain (below). They only serve steak and fries with a delicious sauce. There’s no booking so be prepared to queue for an hour! But boy is it worth it!
Address: 20 rue Saint-Benoit, 75006 Paris. Tel: 01 45 49 16 00
10. Le Hide: ($)
Pronounced Le “Ee-day”. This was one of our latest most frequented bistros. It’s tiny but serving affordable, delicious traditional French fare. We discovered this one from the referential guide Le Figaroscope.
My usual: escargots on toast, followed by a giant steak.
Address: 10, Rue du Général Lanrezac, 75017 Paris. Tel: 01 45 74 15 81
Happy fooding mes chers amis!