Thursday, September 29, 2016


4 Rue Beethoven
75016 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 50 84 40
Cuisine: French
$$$$ ($50+)
Fri, 09/09/2016, 8:15pm reservation
     (5 Piglets)

L'Astrance is Chef Pascal Barbot's masterpiece. The restaurant is currently ranked 57th best restaurant in the world along with 3 Michelin stars. This was the restaurant I was most excited about trying during my visit to Paris. There are only 25 seats, so reservations are hard to come by (hence, why we booked 3 months in advance). At 230 euros per person without wine pairing, it better be good...

Upon entering, my cousin and I felt at ease when we were greeted by the hostess. We managed to sit upstairs where they only allow two tables with an awesome view of the dining room. The decor was minimal, simple and almost like stepping into a modern Manhattan apartment. It wasn't pretentious, which I totally am all about. Bright accent colors stand out amongst the gray walls. It makes you feel like you're going to be witnessing art when dining. Oh, and forget the silverware. There is none on the table...only placed with the correct food item being served.

The interior
We were welcomed with delicious champagne
Place setting
We began with an amuse bouche: One was an almond and praline sandwich which was amazing. A little sweet with a savory touch that was so light, it made your mouth water for more. The other was a green apple and green bean tart that was delicious and fresh with the perfect amount of acidity. 
A closer look at the apple and green bean
Then we were given the menu
With a nice little note to take us on an authentic voyage

The Europeans, specifically, the French, place their forks facing down to show the design and make of where the silverware usually comes from. 
COURSE ONE: Zucchini Tart. The zucchini tart was made with zucchini and feta accompanied by tomato and rose. This was light and delicious. It wasn't heavy. The feta was subtle, creamy and not overpowering. It was delicious. 
COURSE TWO: Roll With Ginger, Apple, and Basil. This dish was very light and airy. It was awesome and I normally don't like ginger. The flavors meshed well together. 
COURSE THREE: Ceviche of Mussels and Celeriac. This was absolutely delicious. The balance of acidity was spot on and the mussels were fresh and completed the crunchiness of the herbs. The textures were amazing and this one probably one of my favorite dishes. 

COURSE FOUR: TURBOT WITH ZUCCHINI AND CUCUMBER. This fish was soft, with a medium texture and very succulent. It was moist and not at all dry. The sauce that accompanied the fish was made out of white raisins, tamarind and geraniums. It was good and delicious. 
Delicious wine
The wine we ordered
COURSE FIVE: Pork with Chorizo and White Bean. I actually really loved this dish. The pork was juicy and cooked perfectly. The white beans were delicate and had a great texture. The sauce was slightly spicy and had an enormous amount of flavor. When eaten together, it was a cohesive dish. 
COURSE SIX: Duck with Japanese Chilli and Olive Oil with Coffee Flavor. I think duck was in season cause this was our second night eating duck (not that I was complaining). If I was comparing this duck with Frenchies, this was by far, my favorite. It was so succulent and moist, I was in heaven. I loved the sauce and the chilli. Everything went well together. 
COURSE SIX: Part of Course Six: Liver and Toast. This was delicious but kinda heavy. At this point, I was getting stuffed and really full. The liver was delicate and the toast was yummy. 
COURSE SEVEN: The Surprise. This was a dish where you had to guess what was in it before they told you. It was freakin so good. It was a subtle "cheese" course. It had vanilla, thyme, goat cheese, and potato. Imagine a delicious soup-like mousse that was transformed using cheese and this is what you get. Marvellous!
COURSE EIGHT: Biscuit with Peach and Plum and Mousse. This was delicious. It was a light bite and super refreshing. It wasn't heavy, which I appreciated after eating a number of dishes. The biscuit was super crunchy and the mousse was velvety.
COURSE NINE: Mousse with Sorbet and Fig. This was one of my favorite dishes. The mousse was made out of the cocoa flower that the chef brought back with him from Mexico. The sorbet was nice and smooth like ice cream and the fig was sweet, adding texture to the dish. It was lovely.
MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE TEN: Egg Milk and Sugar with Jasmine. This was simply divine. It's a drink you can't find anywhere else and never tasted, but in a good, delicious way. The egg, milk and sugar are shaken with a hint of jasmine. It was so delightful. I wanted a big galloon to drink of it. It's their specialty and I can see why.
COURSE ELEVEN: Chestnut Madelines. I actually loved these little cakes. They reminded me of some delicious financiers. It was moist with subtle flavors. It would be delicious with tea or coffee. 
COURSE ELEVEN: Fresh Fruit of the Season. At this point, we were so full. We probably only ate a few of the fruit offered. The raspberry was super sour though and I didn't think it was in season. The fruit plate was beautiful nonetheless. 
This fruit, the gooseberry, was super delicious and sweet. It was my favorite out of all of them. 

Overall, this was one of the most memorable and delicious meals that I've ever had. The three Michelin stars were well deserved and I can understand why. The service was impeccable and the food was downright lovely! It wasn't overly gastronomic like other places or other three Michelin starred restaurants (ahem Alinea). They served dishes that were meant to bring the ingredients to stand out on its own, which I totally appreciate. It is quite pricey, but I think it was well worth it. Be sure to make it an evening on its own cause we ate for 3-3.5 hours! 

Notable Dishes: Mousse with Sorbet and Fig, Ceviche of Mussels and Celeriac, and Egg, Milk and Jasmine drink

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Josephine Chez Dumonet
117 Rue du Churche-Midi
75006 Paris
Josephine Chez Dumonet
Tel: +33 1 45 48 52 40
Cuisine: French
$$$ ($30-$45)
Fri, 09/09/2016, 1:00pm reservation
     (4.5 Piglets)

Two years ago, I attempted to dine at Josephine Chez Dumonet for lunch and was turned away (they were fully booked). This time around, I did the same exact thing but called the restaurant a few hours earlier to see if they had an availability for lunch. I was in luck and on the train to dine at this restaurant. I was told this would be the place to have the best souffle and I needed to try it. 

Josephine Chez Dumonet is a simple and traditional French bistro located in the 6th arrondissement in Paris. There are seats outside where you can dine al fresco, one of the best things I personally love about Paris. Upon arrival, you are greeted with a glass of wine and a menu that is strictly in French to keep the French restaurant French and not American-French (although many diners tend to be tourists unfortunately). I wanted to order dishes that this place was known for...the beef and the soufflĂ© and maybe throw in a bit of foie gras while I was at it.

The interior
A glass of wine as a welcome drink. Refreshing and delicious! 
SPECIAL DIP SERVED WITH BREAD. This was good and definitely a bit on the heavier end. It's like a pate but made with fish. It was a good starter dish. 

FOIE GRAS DE CANARD FRAIS MAISON ( LE DEMI: 18 EUROS). This is one of the reasons why I love French food so much. Foie gras is one of my favorites and this was good. The foie gras was slightly delicate, but definitely better than Frenchie's restaurant. It's simple, plain, with some pepper to bring out the flavor. This is normally how I get it served. It would've been nice to have a bit of compote and a small salad to go with it, but it was good nonetheless. 
BOEUF BOURGUIGNON AUX TAGLIATELLES (LE DEMI: 20 EUROS). This was a lot of food for a half order and for lunch (considering I was planning to head to L'Astrance for dinner). The beef was super tender and the sauce was thick and flavorful, almost gravy like. You can tell there was a lot of time and effort put into creating this dish. It was accompanied with tagliatelle, which was nestled with some butter. It was a perfect balance to the whole dish. I thought it was darn good. 
Look at the beef! 
The noodles were delicious! Perfectly al dente and perfectly cooked! 
I was able to put together my dish and this is how it looked. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. SOUFFLE AU GRAND MARNIER SERVI AVEC SON PETIT VERRE (18 EUROS).  This dish was absolutely amazing. When I first saw it, I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. The gigantic souffle stood on its own, with a crispy exterior and a warm, airy and light interior. It's served with Grand Marnier and all I had to do was break into this scrumptious dessert and pour the alcohol. It's good on its own, but the alcohol added even more flavor. I loved every bite and I seriously would come back here just for this dish.  
Overall, Josephine Chez Dumonet was pretty darn good. It was a lot of food for me to eat during lunch and quite heavy as well. I'm glad I was able to finish it off with something light and the best dish of the day: the souffle. The staff were impeccable. They all spoke English, which again, catered to the tourists. It can be a bit pricey for lunch, depending on how much and what you order. Even with the half orders, it was pricey but a lot of food to fill up your tummy. There are still so many other dishes that looked amazing that I want to try, including a tableside beef tartare and a pigeon dish. I'm definitely glad I tried this place and I wouldn't mind going back if I'm in the area. 

The video of the souffle: 

Look at how happy I am with the souffle: 

Notable Dishes: Grand Marnier Souffle and Boeuf Bourguignon aux Tagliatelles

Friday, September 23, 2016


5 Rue du Nil
75002 Paris
Tel: +33 (0) 140399619
Cuisine: French
$$$$ ($50+)
Thurs, 09/08/2016, 7:00pm reservation
    (4 piglets)

Frenchie seems to be a popular restaurant amongst travellers. My cousin, who is a French native, has never even heard of this restaurant but she was willing to give this place a try (or maybe I dragged her with me). Upon arrival, I realized this place was super small, with maybe only 20 seats. Across the way is their bar and their take away "Frenchie To Go."  

Frenchie Bar
Frenchie To Go
Tucked in a quaint alleyway, Frenchie is an intimate restaurant with a simple interior. The menu is pretty much non-existent: you are given the chef's choice of what they want to serve to you. It's a fixed menu with a fixed price. The staff speak English and most of the diners surrounding us seemed to be American. But I guess it doesn't matter who was dining since we were here for the food...

The interior

The interior
MY FAVORITE DISH. AMUSE BOUCHE: Bacon Popover. This was amazing. I realize that it simply is an amuse bouche, but it just happened to be my favorite dish of the night. It was sweet, salty with a great texture. The bacon was subtle and wasn't overpowering. The popover had maple syrup as well. It's basically breakfast in a bite! 
AMUSE BOUCHE: Radish with Butter. This was a good dish. The radish was fresh with a nice crunch. The butter added a creamy texture. 
COURSE ONE: FOIE GRAS. I was super excited to get this dish. I couldn't wait to try the foie gras. The foie gras was cooked in grapes and melon. I personally thought the melon with the foie gras did not complement the dish. It didn't bring out the flavor and actually tasted unbalanced. The foie gras itself was good, but a bit too soft to my liking. 
COURSE TWO: GNOCCHI WITH PUMPKIN AND KALE CHIPS. The gnocchi was sweet from the punpkin with a delicate texture. It was almost difficult to find underneath the ingredients piled high. The kale chips were delicious and super crunchy. It was a good dish but my cousin thought it was a bit too sweet for her. 
COURSE THREE: Pollack with Olive Puree and Fig and Mushroom. The fish was cooked well but was a bit bland. The fig and mushrooms were fresh and the olive puree added a nice touch. The dish included falafel as well, which was definitely interesting. I don't think they balanced well together. 
COURSE FOUR: DUCK FILET. This dish was quite good and one of the better dishes. The duck was moist and was complemented by fresh corn and popcorn. Popcorn? Yes, popcorn! Who would've thought it actually would taste well together. The tomato was good as well. 
COURSE FIVE: Chocolate Sorbet with Coffee Meringue. Parts of this dish was amazing and some parts, not so much. The sorbet was delicious and I almost didn't realize it was a sorbet. The texture was like ice cream. The coffee meringue was delicious. There was this other chocolate concoction on the dish that had an odd texture to it. Overall, it was a successful dish. 
Overall, Frenchie is pretty solid. I wouldn't say it was the best meal I've had if you're comparing food in France. It probably would be amazing if this restaurant was situated in the States, but you're competing against all these amazing restaurants in Paris. Though the restaurant is in a cute little area in Paris, I almost felt like I was back in LA having been surrounded by everyone American. Nonetheless, the restaurant is pretty popular amongst tourists and the best thing to do is either grab a seat at the Frenchie bar or book a res online months in advance. With a glass of wine and a meal for a party of two, it came out to approximately 200 euros. I guess that's not bad considering that we ate for 2+ hours. 

Notable Dishes: Bacon Popover and the Chocolate Sorbet with Coffee Meringue