Archive for the ‘french’ tag
Join my Facebook page!
La Maison du Macaron
Address: 966 Changle Road, near Wulumuqi Road 长乐路966号, 近乌鲁木齐路
Tel: 6209 4060
Hours: 10:00am – 7:00pm (closed on Mondays)
Price: 7 RMB/macaron, 18 RMB/cake or tart, 15~20 RMB/drink
La Maison du Macaron is a small French patisserie on the Changle Rd/Wulumuqi Rd intersection, and is the only patisserie in town that specializes in macarons as far as I know. The owner is a Shanghainese local who holds a diploma of pastry arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and her macarons – while not in the same rank as those exquisite creations at Ladurée or Pierre Hermé - are priced at only 7 RMB a piece and are well worth the money.
La Maison du Macaron
We tried salted caramel, passion fruit, and lemon (7 RMB each). All were quite good, but salted caramel seemed to be the winner – its thin crust breaks easily at the teeth to reveal a soft and chewy cookie and a smooth, ganache-like firm filling. I’d be interested in going back to try pistachio, chocolate, or any new flavor that happens to be in store that day.
Add: 4/F, Three on the Bund, 17 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
. 广东路17号, 外滩三号4楼, 近中山东一路
Tel: 6321 7733
Hours: [lunch] 11:30am~2:30pm [dinner] 6:00pm~11:00pm
Price: [lunch] 218 RMB/set+ 10% [dinner] 668~1458 RMB/set + 10%
After meeting Jean-Georges Vongerichten in person at his cooking demonstration and luncheon, I went back to his namesake restaurant on the Bund for a tasting of his classic repertoire. Ambience pictures have been posted last time, so let’s get to the food. For 218 RMB, you get fresh juice, pastries, and the signature brunch plate – a quartet of smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, French toast, and pancakes. You can also order from their very likable 3-course lunch menu (even better value than the brunch set, in my opinion), also priced at 218 RMB. Just be sure to call ahead early to reserve the window seats, which get snatched up very, very quickly.
Bread and butter at Jean Georges, lovely as always
The brunch set began with a trio of pastries – almond, chocolate, and plain croissant – and accompanying chocolate hazelnut sauce, strawberry jam, and apple sauce. The dainty little pastries were served warm, flaky, buttery…a most delightful start.
Pastries and jams
Then came the brunch plate itself, a quartet of egg Benedict, French toast, smoked salmon atop crispy potato gallette, and pancake with fruits – just the typical brunch items, but everything beautifully done. I especially enjoyed the french toast, which was crispy on the outside but supremely light and moist on the inside, with an eggy flavor that is delicious with or without the accompanying caramel vanilla sauce.
Egg Benedict, French toast, smoked salmon, pancake
For the lunch set appetizer, I chose the Jean Georges classic Foie Gras Brûlée, Dried Sour Cherries & Candied Pistachios, served on a brioche with white port wine gelée. It was an elegant combination of sweet, sour, savory, crunchy, velvety, and chewy. Try it and you shall not be disappointed.
Address: 8/F, 35 Shanxi Nan Lu, near Changle Lu / 陕西南路35号8楼, 近长乐路
Tel: 6215 8777
Hours: [La Table] 5:30-10:30pm, [Studio Bar] 11:30am-11:00pm
Price: [La Table] 700 RMB+/person, [Studio Bar] 300 RMB/person
Please note that this is an arranged tasting, so my experience is possibly more positive than a regular visit.
Jacques and Laurent Pourcel’s newest venture, Maison Pourcel, is a sleek, starkly elegant restaurant with spectacular vista of the French Concession area in Shanghai. The setting is luxurious, the service is smooth, but there is one major problem with this place, and that is deciding what to eat. When faced with a choice between “compressed lobster and vegetable terrine with duck ham and mango” and “duck liver and cepes ravioli with puree of baby pumpkin and foamy porcini mushroom soup”, ordering can take a very, very long time.
Jacques & Laurent Pourcel greet guests with a whimsical video on the 8th floor of Maison Pourcel
But before I get started on the food, let’s talk about the twins and their newest venue choice. After launching the 3 Michelin starred Le Jardin des Sens back in France at the age of 24, the Pourcel twins have since expanded their culinary empire to Bangkok, Tokyo, Casablanca, Geneva, Marrakech, Algiers and Dubai. For the recent opening in Shanghai, they chose the historical Red House, which was home to the most celebrated Western restaurant back in the 1930s. The refurbished dining room is posh, elegant, delightful during the day with ample natural light, and equally charming after dark with sparkling French Concession as its backdrop.
Maison Pourcel in day light
Maison Pourcel in day light
Christofle silverware, naturally
Maison Pourcel as the sun sets
Maison Pourcel as the sun sets
Join my Facebook page!
VVG Bistro 好樣餐廳
Address: 20, Alley 40, Lane 181, Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 4, Taipei 台北市106忠孝東路四段181巷40弄20號
Tel: (02) 8773 3533
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 12:00pm~11:00pm [Sun] 12:00pm~8:00pm
Price: [Brunch] 600 NTD, [Pasta] 280~380 NTD, [Drinks] 120~380 NTD
The brunch plate at VVG Bistro is sunny and bright like a Van Gogh sunflower. Roasted golden potato and tomato with bois boudran sauce, kumquat & pomelo green papaya salad in champagne vinaigrette, egg benedict drizzled with caviar Hollandaise, pistachio with honey and raspberry yogurt…Enjoy the (not so French but delicious) dishes at the lush outdoor patio on a balmy day, or retreat to the adorable interior space furbished with eclectic decorations and mismatched furnitures.
VVG, very very good.
A small but lush garden
The indoor space is fun and quirky, but gets quite rowdy as the crowd settles in on weekends.
Pink fridge and grinning dogs
With my low tolerance for noise, I opted for the outdoor seats despite the slightly chilly weather. The waiter thoughtfully turned on the heat lamp for us and promptly served complimentary cups of star anise-flavored longan ginger tea.
Star anise-flavored longan ginger tea
I went straight for the brunch set, a plate colorful enough to brighten up even the most sour of moods. From the toasted walnut bread to the egg benedict with caviar Hollandaise sauce to the pistachio with honey and raspberry yogurt, every dish was thoughtfully put together and sprinkled with a pinch of creativity here and there. French? Not really. Delicious? Yes!
Brunch set, 600 NTD
The walnut bread came dressed in a cute bundle and was served warm, soft, and chewy.
Walnut bread 香烤核桃麵包
Assorted vegetables with roasted golden potato and tomato served with bois boudran sauce
Mr & Mrs Bund
Add: 6/F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu 中山东一路18号6楼, 近南京东路
Tel: 6323 9898
Hours: [lunch] Mon-Fri 11.30am-2pm, [dinner] Tue-Sat 6.30pm-4am, Sun-Mon 6.30pm-10.30pm
Price: [Lunch] 200~250RMB [Dinner] 400+RMB
Mr & Mrs Bund has been on my list for a while. This modern French eatery by Paul Pairet was recommended to me by a number of food lovers and has also garnered extremely positive reviews on SmartShanghai and the likes. I arrived outside its bright red and green door on a warm day during CNY holiday, rang the door bell (yes there’s a door bell), and was ushered right in.
Mr & Mrs Bund
We were promptly served a bread basket (very fresh, crispy exterior and chewy interior) and the amuse bouche, which consisted of toasted thins, a tuna mousse, and butter. The tuna mousse, whimsically served in a peeled-back tuna can, was ethereally airy and full of peppery tuna flavor – delightful.
Butter, toasted thins, tuna mousse
Our first appetizer, foie gras light crumble (110 RMB), was an exquisite contrast of crunchy fruity topping of raisins and hazelnuts with velvety smooth foie gras pâté underneath. Served with a thick cut of toasted bread and slices of fresh green apple, the portion was generous enough to feed two people. Oh, the beautiful blend of flavors and textures…simply divine. Though I’m the kind of person who tries different things on a second visit, this is a dish that I will order again without hesitation.
Foie Gras Light Crumble:
Light Duck Foie Gras Mousse, Raisin Hazelnut Crumble
Came with toasted bread and green apple slices
In comparison, the beef carpaccio (125 RMB) was less impressive. The cuts were thicker than the typical thin slices, which was interesting in terms of texture but also made the meat a bit too chewy for my liking.
Beef Carpaccio: Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Pesto, Arugula, Parmigiano
The black cod in bag (240 RMB), recommended as a Paul Pairet specialty, actually did come in a bag. Our waiter then proceeded to cut open the heat-proof pouch, poured the Cantonese sauce into a bowl of rice, then placed the fish on top. Perhaps because I’ve had plenty of very tasty fish dishes in Chinese restaurants, the cod itself did not stand out too much (though it was certainly very nicely done).
“Black Cod in the Bag”: Black Cod Fish Simmered in Heat Proof Bag with Cantonese Sauce
Quintessence レストラン カンテサンス
Address: 1F “Barbizon 25″ building, 5-4-7 Shirokanedai, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 108-0071
. 〒108-0071 東京都港区白金台5-4-7 バルビゾン25 1F
Tel: [Reservation] 03-5791-3715, [Information] 03-5791-3711
Hours: [Lunch] 12:00-15:00, [Dinner] 18:30-23:00
Price*: [Lunch] ¥7,875+10%/person, [Dinner] ¥16,800+10%/person
Did you know that Tokyo has more Michelin stars than Paris? With so many fine restaurants in the city, choosing a few for a short visit becomes an almost impossible affair. Luckily, a foodie friend who spent her college years in Tokyo dropped me some names, and Quintessence, a Michelin three star restaurant serving modern French cuisine, was on top of her list. Why choose a French restaurant when in Japan, you may ask? The Japanese are known to have an obsessed admiration and appreciation for French cuisine not found in any other country except for France itself. The chef at Quintessence himself has worked as the sous chef at L’Astrance in Paris, and brought back with him all that he has acquired at the Michelin three star establishment.
Quintessence is tucked away like a boutique on a beautiful little residential street in Shirokanedai, an area where rich ladies often gather for fancy afternoon tea. Apparently you should call at least 2 months in advance for dinner reservations, but lunch spots are much easier to get. Also, don’t be surprised if the line never gets through, as there is a large number of callers everyday.
A rather unobtrusive store front
The interior of the restaurant is sleek, simple, and sophisticated. My only complaint is that there are no windows in this restaurant, allowing no natural light even during lunch time. We were seated in the private room which was extremely fortunate, as they don’t seem to permit photography in the main dining room.
Different types of marble stones for each guest
Quintessence offers no prefix menus. The dishes change everyday based on seasonal products that are available on the market, and never does the restaurant use yesterday’s materials for today’s meal. Having read about this from other restaurant reviews, I was taken by surprise when the waiter asked whether we wanted Japanese or English menus. Wait…you actually have menus for me to read?
Upon closer inspection, the menu actually only describes the concept of the restaurant but doesn’t tell you exactly what you will be served.
Address: 30 Donghu Lu, near Xinle Lu / 东湖路30号, 近新乐路
Tel: 5403 8906
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 11:00am-midnight, [Sun] 11:00am-6pm
Price: [Brunch] 100 RMB/person, [Dinner] 200 RMB/person
Dakota is an American bistro located on Donghu Lu close to Sushi Oyama and El Willy. Lunch and dinner seem to be overpriced, but come here for a comfortable brunch featuring classic items such eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, omelettes, Croque Madame, seafood chowder, and the likes. It’s simple, and it’s good.
The wood-paneled and black leather chair interior is rather dark and not my usual favorite vibe for brunch, but to occasionally diverge from the typical ‘sunny patio brunch’ path doesn’t sound like a horrible idea either.
Other than the items mentioned above, you’ll also see shrimp and grits, brisket hash, frittata, egg salad tartine, apple crepes, etc. If you come with a big group, there are some big plates to share as well: “roast leg of lamb served with bone marrow butter, salad, and duck fat frites”, and the “bone-in ribeye served with frisée salad, duck fat roasted potatoes, and béarnaise”.
We started with the seafood chowder (50 RMB), which was thick and creamy with chunks of salmon and other unidentifiable seafood. The sourdough bread bowl was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. A good start.
Seafood Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowl, 50 RMB
Here’s an Omelette with Smoked Ham, Salami, Gruyére, and Mushroom Sherry Sauce (55 RMB). Didn’t get to try.
Omelette with Smoked Ham, Salami, Gruyére, and Mushroom Sherry Sauce, 55 RMB
Then came the crab benedict (65 RMB). The eggs are perfectly poached, the Hollandaise sauce is rich and buttery with a mild tang added by a sprinkle of lemon juice, and the English muffin rightfully spongy. My only suggestion is to volume up on the crab salad, which got lost between its neighboring layers.