Sunday, November 22, 2009

Don't make me go to the Kitchen Galerie bis!

For once, I've been purposely avoiding a newly opened restaurant. It's painful. Especially when it's from a chef you like and admire, and that every blogging Tom, Dick and Harry is reporting back from the gastronomic battle lines telling you how great it is, pushing all those iPhotos in your face as if to say: I'm here first. I did it before you. I rule the Paris gourmet vanguard. Not . You.

Yesterday I finally ceded after having allowed the KGB or Kitchen Galerie bis to mature a little and find its footing (also to be able to garner a table reservation!). It was a last minute thing, but the amiable Jerome, who I know from William Ledeuil's mother ship restaurant was able to fit me in.

The place was pretty much as I expected, a toned down version of the one star Michelin Ze Kitchen Galerie just down the street, offering a more humble, gentler on the wallet French/asian fusion cuisine from a young Israeli chef, Yariv Berrebi, who staged with Ledeuil and also worked with Yannick Alleno at the three-star Meurice. I was surprised to hear that a great may of the new "bobo" diners hadn"t even heard of the original restaurant, such as the bulldozer of gastro-media buzz deafens everything around it, paving its way to the next hot table. The staff itself wasn't even prepared for the onslaught of attention brought by the local food press and especially those contributing to the blagosphere.

I won't say much here that hasn't already been said: the menu starts of with "ze hors d'oeuvres" , which funnily enough were my favourite part of the meal (deep fried lamb balls, duck consommé with foie gras, pork belly ravioli, etc etc ) , followed by a sort of Thai pot au feu of pasta and spices, then the marmite of scallops, litchi and wasabi. The white chocolate and wasabi soup was a bit underwhelming, as were the wines I tried ( it was a 2007 burgundy, so a bit young anyway..) , and they need to figure out the annoying glitchy soundproofing (lack of?) , but all in all lots of fun, but are they dangerously close to being a flash in the pan as an esteemed client and fellow gourmet told me ?

Zes tapas Thai

Scallops, litchi, wasabi

Guinea fowl , fondant, delicious

A little underwhelming white chocolate and wasabi soup

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christopher Hache New Chef at Les Ambassadeurs

Crillon gets the "axe"

After months of speculation, cuisinerenligne scoops the new chef of the Hotel Crillon's Les Ambassadeurs, the 28 year old former second of the Bristol's Eric Frechon , Christopher Hache. Hache worked most recently at the one star Grande Cascade under the tutelage of Frédéric Robert, former chef at the Lucas Carton under Alain Senderens.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Memo to the Heinz people - Pittsburgh ends in 'h'

Funny how such a simple thing such as, GASP, fact-checking can get overlooked by a multibillion dollar company such as Heinz.

Yes, people, Pittsburgh is spelled with a 'h' at the end....

...just not on the millions of 140 year commemorative bottles that just hit the shelves.

And yes, I will consult for money.... ;)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

La Branda


Lamb Mixed grill

Pumpkin with homemade yoghurt

Sometimes you come across a place in the neighborhood that is pleasant, affordable and unknown, and just right for a perfectly satisfying eating experience. I've walked past this unassuming Turkish restaurant for the past three years or so not giving it a second thought, and through a series of mishaps, ended up dining there last night.

The decoration is pretty nonexistant, although they do highlight local artists, sometimes Turk, on their walls, and the service is warm and welcoming.

The cuisine is Ottoman, primarily grilled meat and fish, and the family who owns the restaurant hail from Izmir, the name Labranda coming from the name of a small town on the city's outskirts.

The food was perfectly acceptable, from the starter of nine mezze (aubergine, egglant, spinach, hummus, blettes, tzatziki, eggs, topped by two golden, flaky cheese filled rolls) , followed by the lamb mixed grill, perfectly cooked to juicy perfection, and a grilled pumpkin dessert with fresh homemade yogurt.

The bill came to be about 25€ per person, including a half bottle of okay Turkish wine. A nice change from the local kebab house.

Restaurant La Branda
18 rue Louis Blanc, 10th
+33 1 40 36 29 76