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Paris - Taillevent

Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean.

Hello, I am back from Paris! As always, God is good, blessing me with relatively good weather, no unfortunate incidents, a great travel companion, a gracious host (Umami and her family), and of course, quite a bit of delicious food.

As you would have expected, riding up to the trip, I was online researching extensively on the things to eat in Paris. Armed with my self-made guide, DimSumDolly ("DSD") and I, we trekked all over the city of love, in the name of gluttony. Our "no-agenda" agenda gave us the luxury of taking our own sweet time exploring the different streets of Paris, absorbing as much of the city as possible. But believe it or not, we never got to meet up with Mona.

On our 2nd day in Paris, we splurged on a lunch at Taillevent, a 2-star Michelin restaurant (recently demoted from 3). It was a truly wonderful experience. Our 3 hours past rather quickly, with us taking our time, chatting about men, drooling at the cute sommeliers and waiters, spinning stories about the other diners in the restaurant. Totally worth the 70Euros.

The surreal experience started off with us at the main reception. There, a lady took our coats, then an awaiting male waiter showed the way to our table. When I got into the dining room, I was highly amused by the theatrical seating where all the diners are seated in series, along the squarish circumference of the room. The centre of the room was used as a service station. Hence, our waiter had to pull out our table, have us seated inside, then push the table back in.

Honestly, my first thought was "Uh oh, now I cannot go to the toilet as and when I please."

Anyway, shortly, we were served a platter of cheese puffs to be tasted *immediately*. Yes, literally. The waiter using a pair of tongs handed us one each to eat, before leaving the remaining puffs on the table for us to enjoy at our own pace, while he went off to get the menu and wine list. Warm and cheesy, the puff collapsed in my mouth without much efforts.

Soon afterplacing our orders, the amuse bouche was served. It was a gazpacho, a cold soup that uses tomato as a base, served with a dollop of cold mustard ice-cream and basil oil. It was a wonderful starter. The slightly tangy soup paired well with the little hint of spicyness from the mustard. I knew we were off on a good start.

Then, the bread man came by, offering us a choice of mini baguette or pain au levain roll. The rolls were warm and that was half the battle won, at least to me. The crispy crust was thin while the innards were sufficiently dense, yet remained fluffy. That bread roll kept me entertained while waiting for the first course.

Which was an interesting sounding prawn risotto with curry. The portion could have been a main, and when I saw the presentation, I knew it could only taste good. OMG, and I was right! Sadly, I cannot fully convey how amazing the taste was to you. But the risotto was perfectly cooked, prawns were large, fresh and crunchy and the curry sauce, not the spicy type, flavoured and pulled together the whole dish most perfectly. But we all know fat tastes good. I had to keep stirring up the rice so the oil would remain in suspension and not separate out and give my heart an attack. But as it was so good, I still used my bread to mop up any remaining sauce in my plate. "Embarass" is not in my vocab list.

After that heavy first course, I had an even larger portion of Scottish salmon. Taillevent-style, the fish was perfectly rare in the middle and the soft, natural taste of the flesh was greatly enhanced by the accompanying vegetables - girolles, a type of mushroom, and potatoes. I was eating really slowing because it was too really too much food but it was too good to let it go to waste.

That was followed by an equally heavy cheese course. We had a scoop of blue cheese whipped and lightened with cream, served alongside with a heavily candied fig and its sauce. While each on their own would be too heavy and too sweet respectively, eating them both together created an expectional pleasure.

Good thing I kept dessert light, opting for the mango instead of the chocolate. But I must admit, there was nothing spectacular about my dessert, while the chocolate one was turned out to be much better. DSD was enjoying it.

Lastly, we were served a platter of petit fours each. Every single piece tasted good.

Yes, we finished every bit of the food. I guess no one can fault us for not feeling too hungry even after four hours of strolling later.

15 rue Lammenais, 75008 Paris
Mondays to Fridays only


alicia said…
Welcome back! I read a book about Taillevent but can't recall the title. The whole book is about a man's experience in Taillevent. It started off with the reason why he wanted to go and what really goes on in the famed restaurant. You must go read it.
Will definitely pay Taillevent a visit after your glowing review. :)
mia said…
Thanks alicia!
You must be referring to Andrew Todhunter's "A meal observed". I read that book; that is also partially why I chose Taillevent as my first Parisian dining experience :) Hope you get to do it too!

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