Sunday, December 28, 2008
Ahhh Paris. The backdrop of a thousand food lovers' fantasies. I'd never go so far as to call myself a foodie but the lure of the bread, the butter and the cheese has already made an impact on my waistline, and I've only been here five days. So far most of my meals have consisted of ham and cheese sandwiches - I'm easily pleased - but two days ago we made a day-trek to Le Marais to check out the vintage stores. While there we decided to sample the local Jewish fare; felafels, pita and hummus.
After a fifteen minute standing wait we finally got a table at Chez Marianne; rumoured to sell the best felafels in the area. For 26 euros we ordered a selection of 10 elements (hummus, felafels, olives, mushrooms, pastrami, pita etc).
Desert came in the form of baklava and specialty Jewish donuts. Well I assume that's what they were, their shape was donutesque and they were covered in icing sugar.
After lunch we met up with our friend, Zambesi Man designer and fellow New Zealander Dayne Johnston. He's here for an extended holiday but will also be attending the Mode a Paris menswear shows at the end of January. He buys the European imported menswear labels stocked at Zambesi. Dayne took us to a tea house named Le Loir dans la Theiere, said to be Elisabeth Findlay's favourite and regular haunt when she comes to Paris.
Despite receiving abysmal service from the waiter, who bore a striking resemblance to Toby Jones, (he told Jordan she'd have to leave if she didn't want to order anything despite the other three people at the table ordering), the cakes were too much of a temptation to let the bad service spoil our visit. And after all this is Paris; the home of the snobby server.
I ordered a hot chocolate which tasted as if they'd melted a block of the good stuff and added milk; Jordan got green tea served in a quaint silver pot; Dayne ordered a bottle of coke and a slice of the spicy nut cake - the slice turned out to be about the size of a small loaf of bread; but Anouk's order blew us all out of the water. Hers was one serving of the citron tart, topped with a monumental tower of meringue. But towering doesn't do this cake justice. I can't even think of a word to describe how gargantuan that piece of cake was. I've never seen anything like it in my whole life.
Fifteen minutes later and all four of us still hadn't managed to put a dent in it. Our simple request for a doggy bag was met with a stern shake of the head, a 'mais non!' and a sneer of disgust from our waiter. Ah well. Can't say we didn't try.
These cute stuffed toys were hanging by our table.
On the way home this petit boulangerie's colourful marshmallows called our name. We couldn't help but help ourselves.