Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flying Back from Paris to Bangkok

Then, it's time for us to fly back to Bangkok, Thailand (From Paris -- Charles De Gaulle Airpor departure at 1pm) ... Therefore, there was enough time to enjoy our last proper meal in Paris -- Breakfast at our lovely hotel (Hotel Britannique) in small lovely dining room including a cup of tea in lovely living room. It's a small hotel (no chain) with old design & furnished which has been here in Paris for more than 30 years ... it was in the middle of everything in Chatelet Area.

Hotel Britannique
20, Avenue Victoria
75001, Paris
Tel : 01 42 33 74 59

Then, it's time to fly back with Thai Airways again -- actually I did not expect much about food on Thai Airways. However, something strange & amazing happened ... The food quality was excellent (even the bread & croissant) including the service (from the flight attendances) -- It's such big different from what we had when we departed from Bangkok.

Starting with Cold Refreshment with peanuts ... followed by Lunch which were "Caribbean Salad, Fresh Fruit, Sauteed Chicken with Cream Green Pepper Sauce Linguini Pasta, Buttered Zucchini (wow so tasty with a natural sweet of zucchini), Soft Bread Roll, Butter, Cheese, Crackers, Chocolate Cake (so yummy with sticky chocolate), Tea & Coffee"

Then, there were also Sandwich served after 4-5 hours of flying. Then, before landing about 1 hour, another meal was served with "Herb Omelet (amazing that still soft & partly liquid inside), Sauteed Button Mushrooms, Fried Potatoes, Grilled Pork, Croissant, Baby Bread, Butter, Jam, Coffee & Tea"

Just a questions to Thai Airways that "Why the food quality and service quality are not the same ??? From Paris flight is much better than From Bangkok"

I think Thai Airways has headquarter in Bangkok ... Khun Ka , please explain ?!?!?

Lex Deux Magots in St-Germain-des-Pres

When mention about hanging out in Paris, one could mean sitting in the cafe ... This is because you can pay only 2 or 3 Euro for coffee (normally espresso) and sit with small table as long as you want (without any waiter or waitress to ask you to move or order more).

Therefore, it is a must for Parisian to choose a café with an interesting view to sit back, relax, and see or take everything that goes by. However, there are some people who read or work on a laptop computer, which are not wrong for being in cafe. Cafe prices vary from area to area depends on proportion to the number of tourists since some of famous cafe means the one that tourists really need to go even coffee is more expensive than other places (I count at more than 3Euro per cup mean expensive) ... Just like Les Deux Magots in St German des Pres

But we went to Les Deux Magots ourselves ... once in a life time ... need to take this great opportunity (as tourists) -- since I don't know when I will be in Paris again.

Les Deux Magots name came from the two wooden statues of Chinese commercial agents (magots) that adorn one of the pillars of the cafe. This place has a reputation of meeting place of the city's literary & intellectual elite, philosophers including artists or writers such as Ernest Hemingway.

Another famous thing about Les Deux Magots is old-fashioned hot chocolate ... Here was the look ... Chocolat Chaud (7 Euro) and coffee (4.40Euro) - Both were served in small jug with price that more expensive than other cafes (but more delicious - thicker of chocolate but no after taste or dry out while coffee was so aromatic).

Les Deux Magots
6 Pl St-Germain-des-Pres 75006
Tel : 01 45 48 55 25

However, there were also another famous cafes in this area such as :

1) Cafe de Flore (172 Blvd St-Germain 75006) : The classic Art Deco interior with all red seating, mahogany, and mirror. Also another place that used to be for French intellectuals and Philosopher such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.

2) Brasserie Lipp (151 Blvd St-Germain 75006 - just opposite to cafe de Flore) : This place was opened in late 19th century combines Alsatian beer, sauerkraut and sausages with excellent coffee. The interior is bright with ceramic tiles of parrots and cranes. Visitors were mostly French politicians and fashion gurus.

Cafe Le Zimmer since 1896

This is one of the old cafe in Paris, France called 'Cafe Le Zimmer'. It located in a kind of upscale crowded of locals & tourists but with the good location since it was facing to fountain and across river Seine to see St, Chappelle and far sight Notre Dame.

Cafe Le Zimmer could be counted as one of the historic cafe/brasserie in Paris since it was here since 1896 in Chatelet area. Outside look the same as the other cafe, however, when stepping inside, we could see the astonishingly beautiful ceiling and grand decoration.

We went there one night for a cup of tea and a cup of Creme Brulee. In French it means for "burnt cream" ... It's made from a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, created by caramelizing sugar under a kind of blowtorch or intense heat to make it brownish and crispiness. It normally flavoured with just vanilla custard. However, at Cafe Le Zimmer, the vanilla came from Madagascar (as it said on the menu) ... I found out that this type of vanilla was commonly known as "Madagascar-Bourbon" vanilla, which is produced in a small region of the East African nation of Madagascar (the world's largest producer).

Actually, coming to Paris, we should go for Souffle Desserts instead of this crem brulee. However, as soon as I saw Creme Brulee on menu, I forgot about Souffle since Creme Brulee is an amazing enjoyment for me - it's so light, crisp, and delicious.

Look at how Creme Brulee was served in Cafe Le Zimmer ... it was in a flat bowl (with this flat we can enjoy more of the sugar crispiness as much as we can -- compared to some of the shop in Thailand, they always put in the tall shape cup or bowl). Ask me about the taste -- I think they have a secret of making this ... the smell of milk and eggs were so aromatic together with vanilla aroma. The sweetness was just right even though there was a thick layer of caramelized sugar on !!!

and yes, it went well with Tea -- Darjeeling Tea (of course, in France, it must be Mariage Freres -- the Mariage Family who know the French art of Tea and selling more than 500 high quality tea in 35 different countries)

Cafe Le Zimmer
1, place du Chatelet, Paris 75001
Tel: 01 42 36 74 03

Dinner Place in Paris on Sunnday -- Pasta Ricca

It was really a trouble for Paris visitors to find eating place on Sunday since most of the shop are closed on Sunday (even the cafe, it's closed by mostly 1pm in the afternoon).

Therefore, one place that we can recommend for an easy dining place which is Situated in the heart of the historic Les Halles and Chatelet area on rue de la Reynie (just off Blvd De Sebastopol - near Square Des Innocants). A lot of people shopped and ate in the these area after we noticed that other area nearby was closed.

There are a lots of restaurant & sandwiches bar -- in terms of restaurant, I noticed that there were a lot of Italian & Pizza Restaurant. Again, it could come up as Dinner Set which consisted of 2 course plus a glass of wine or 1 dish plus a glass of wine at price 10Euro something (depends).

However, our pick was one Italian Restaurant named Pasta Ricca Restaurant. It was a simple Italian Restaurant where we selected type of pasta and selected again the topping sauce or type of cooking needed.

Here were our order ... Spagetthi Provencale (black olive tapenade, eggplant, red & green peppers, fresh tomatoes, fried with olive oil) and Tagliatelle Saumon Fume (smoked salmon with dilled perfume creme sauce)

Even we ordered only 1 dish each, we have spent time there for more than 1.5hour. But when we read through the menu again, it said "All our meals are freshly prepared to order and are therefore subject to availability. During busy period, some items may take a little longer (but will be worth to wait) !!!"

Then we waited, but as soon as we had the first bite, we agreed that it's worth waiting for this meal --- the pasta was cooked well (al dente -- has been cooked so as to be firm but not hard) and the way it was cooked just perfect like having it in Italy not Paris !!!

In addition, the size of each dish was so HUGE !!! @10.50Euro and we could not finished it ...

Pasta Ricca Restaurant

25 reu de la Reynie - 75001 Paris
Tel : 01-40-26-65-34

Restaurant L' atlantide during Rue Mouffetard Market Visit

As mentioned earlier that within Rue Moufeetard Market Street, there were also a lot of small cafes and restaurants including food stand (stalls) such as sandwiches (or even sushi bar).

Here was the one that we selected 'Restaurant L'atlantide'... we was not be recommended by the book or anyone else but the reason we selected was that it was in the small alley (not like other restaurants which were in the main walking street). Therefore, it was not crowded (at the time we arrived) ...

It was famous for restaurant to come up with lunch set in France -- it was normally a 3 courses meal with the price that more reasonable than a-lar-cart dish. Therefore, we had 3-4 choices among each Entrees (Starters), Les Plats gamis (Dishes), and Desserts. Below were our selection ... with a basket of baguette to accompany with meal !!!

A 11 Euros Course consisted of : Filet de Hareng pomme a Chuile (Herring Potato Green Salad), Truite grille au barbecue (Grilled Trout served with baked potato and cheese -- the whole fresh body of trout !!! look at the pinky colour of it ...), Glace au chocolat (Chocolate Ice-cream)

A 14 Euros Course consisted of : Soupe a l'oignon (Onion Soup - big bowl full with thick soup & cheese), Poulet basquaise (Basquaise Chicken -- Grilled chicken with bell peppers & tomato), Poire au vin (Wined Pear -- Fresh pear that was soaked in red wine; Umm ... full of wine but less alcohol ... my favourite fruit desserts !!!)

It's a must that we need to try Typical French Onion Soup in Paris -- it can easily find in any brasseries or restaurant. The French Onion Soup was first created by King Louis XV of France. It was when late one night when he wanted a snack, he could only find onions, butter and champagne in the kitchen at his hunting lodge. Then, the cooking happened; after a bit of chopping he mixed them all together ...

Market of Paris -- Rue Mouffetard

When I travel abroad, one thing that I won't miss is to go to the market of each place. After I have read one book 'Markets of Paris' by Dixon and Ruthanne Long, I have planned for a trip to Paris Market.

Here's the one that we went to 'Rue Mouffetard' by metro which got off at station 'Censier Daubenton' -- as they said in the book that "some people say they're not really in Paris until they're back in Rue Mouffetard, the cobblestone surface, the gentle turns as the street weaves down the hill behind the Pantheon, and the narrowness of the street combine to give Mouffetard its somewhat medieval aspect. No structure is much over six or seven stories high. There's been an effort to clean, paint, and repair, but many buildings still have the peeling facades that give the place its venerable appearance" -- even though it's sometimes overwhelmed by tourists (like us) ...

This place was full with fresh produced from farm, fishmonkers, bakeries, patisseries, Italian grocery (that sells fresh made pasta), small restaurants, wine shops (with taster stand outside), coffee store that you can order to drink outside, asian grocery (that sell even sushi, spring rolls, and other asian salads) together with small plants & flower shop.

Rue Mouffetard

Market Street
From Rue Thouin to Rue Edouard Quenu and Rue Censier Arr.
Open : Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 6 pm / Sunday Morning