From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.


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Street Art Exhibition in Malakoff: Le Grand 8 – L’infiniment Vivant

I know, I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything! I don’t have a very good excuse either, apart from the fact that I’ve felt very little motivation lately due to a combination of work being more stressful than usual and summer having finally arrived (and therefore going out a lot more to combat the stress of work)! Luckily, I found some inspiration recently in Malakoff, a suburb just South of Paris that is connected by Métro line 13. I don’t often venture outside of the comfort of my lovely Paris, but when I heard about a crazy street art exposition in an abandoned warehouse, I knew I had to cross the Périph and check it out!
le grand 8_malakoff_entranceLe Grand 8 – L’infiniment Vivant is located in La Réserve and my first impression: Wow! The courtyard itself is full of color and beauty and it reminded me of the warehouses in Berlin that have been turned into bars/clubs and that are covered in amazing works of art. Once inside there is a small bar to the left, but the bf and I decided to pay our 3 euro entry fee and start the tour directly. The exposition is presented as a succession of installations (created by an artist or group of artists) that follow one after the other and that are arranged in a figure 8. There were WAY too many exceptional works of street art to describe them all, so here are a few pictures of my favorites…to give you a small taste of what this place has to offer!le grand 8_malakoff_mr chatThe first installation we saw was by Jana & JS called “I’ll be Around to Guide you”. In the background you can see M. Chat’s famous “Le Chat”, grinning above the entrance as it does all around Paris!le grand 8_malakoff_interiorIn the middle of the 8 there is an open space where everyone is taking pictures and deciding which direction to go next…like an intersection on the street art highway! The large green, yellow and blue geometric panel is by Seize Happywallmaker and is entitled “Magnetiko-Glyphe”.le grand 8_malafoff_anisThis installation by Anis, entitled “L’Arbre enchanté” was one of my favorites! I loved the bright colors, the beautiful organic imagery and the playfulness of this piece. It has almost a magical, fairy tale feel to it, with a little door and a tunnel leading you to the next space.le grand 8_malafoff_moskoThis dark room (“L’Antre de Mosko”) was illuminated by glowing wild animals (painted by Mosko) that reflect through each other and disappear or reappear as you move throughout the space. le grand_8_photographéeAnother one of my favorites, entitled “Histoire du Cube”, is a collaborative project done by a group of artists called Photographée! Each of the four walls is covered in a beautiful work of art that starts with a paper print of a photo by Alex Perret and that is then transformed with spray paint and talent into a larger more complex work of street art. I love the idea of mixing graffiti with photography so that the two mediums merge into one! Powerful and breathtaking!le grand 8_malakoff_iza zaro2Finally, the bright and girly pop-art installation of Iza Zaro, called “L’identité d’une blonde” really caught my eye! Stencils, texts, prints and colors combine! Especially loved the cheerful daisies that blossomed on the walls and the ceiling!le grand 8_malakoff_cyclopsAfter finishing the tour, we grabbed a soft drink (1 Euro) and sat outside in the sun. I flopped down onto one of the really cool poufs made from an old tire and customized by Le Cyklop, the well-known street artist that has put eyeballs onto many of the street poles in Paris. le grand 8_malakoff_barFamilies and friends chilled in this welcoming environment and I could imagine us happily spending the rest of the day there. Drinks are cheap and there is plenty of space for everyone. We admired the street art that surrounded us in the courtyard and only wished that this wasn’t a temporary exhibit. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Make sure to take a quick trip to Malakoff before the end of October (don’t worry it’s easy to find)! You’ll be happy you did!

Details:

Le Grand 8: L’Infiniment Vivant

la Réserve Malakoff

7, rue Paul Bert

92 240 Malakoff

Open Tuesday-Sunday

Runs until the 30th of October, 2016

http://www.expo-legrand8.com


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Paris Brunch Spots: Hardware Société

It’s Saturday morning and I am obviously already thinking about one of my favorite weekend activities: brunch! Two weeks ago I had the most amazing brunch at the new and very talked about Hardware Société, so I just have to tell you all about it. Located at the bottom of the steps that lead to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, I can’t think of a nicer place for this Australian café to set have up their second shop in Paris (their first being in Melbourne). hardware society_paris_brunchI was prepared for a huge wait and lots of tourists, as it was a Saturday in Montmartre, but to my surprise when my friend K and I arrived at about 1pm, we were shown to our seats in only 2 minutes! Score! We walked past a wall covered in a burst of colorful butterflies and were shown to a little table in the slightly elevated seating area at the back of the room. I made a quick stop to the bathroom and was captivated by a little window that offered a whimsical view over the rooftops of Montmartre. hardware society_paris_interiorBack in my seat I took a look around and admired the stained glass doors attached on a wall and the pretty marble tables. The room was cheerful and full of sunlight and everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I immediately ordered a matcha latté, because it’s rare a find in a Parisian café, then took a look at the mouthwatering list of menu items.hardware society_paris_menuhardware society_paris_matcha latteBeing a huge fan of eggs Benedict and of lobster I chose the lobster Benedict, served on a black sesame seed covered bun with a small salad (18, 50 Euros). K ordered the scallop and langoustine poached eggs on a smoked sourdough bun with light potato salad, leaks and dill (17,50 Euros). Both were delicious and beautifully presented, although I have to admit that the lobster Benedict was a little light on the lobster meat. My matcha latté was equally visually appealing: a graceful swan floating in a radiant yellow cup of creamy matcha green tea, placed on a bright blue saucer.hardware society_paris_lobster bennedict hardware society_paris_scallops and eggsAs you are quite close to your neighbours here, it allowed us to drool over the French toast dish that the two girls beside us had ordered. We hesitated for a moment but in the end both agreed that we needed to share the sweet special of the day: French toast with passion fruit curd, whipped cream, raspberries, kiwis, fresh passion fruit and adorned with meringue kisses and a sprinkling of icing sugar. HEAVEN on a plate! I could have eaten the whole thing myself, no problem!hardware society_paris_sweet specialSo, I think that I have accurately conveyed just how much I enjoyed my brunch here! The waitress that served us had a lovely Australian accent and we honestly felt like we were on holiday, somewhere far away from Paris. I loved the decor, including the wall covered in pretty floral tea cups by the bar, and I loved the overall laid-back, friendly atmosphere. The only down side is that the dishes are a little pricey, but the quality is definitely there. So if you’re a true foodie, then you need to give Hardware Société a try! Why not today? I know I can’t wait to come back for a second visit! hardware society_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

10 Rue Lamarck

75018, Paris

+33 (0)1 42 51 69 03

Rating:

4 cheery Australian accents out of 5


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Paris Restaurant Review: La Cave de L’Os à Moelle

The wet and cloudy weather is back in Paris, making me long for some tasty and warm home cooking. As I unfortunately do not have a nice French family to cook for me, I have had to look for other alternatives and La Cave de L’Os à Moelle is definitely a winner. Located in the middle of nowhere (or to be more exact, in the South of Paris by Métro station Balard!) and therefore undiscovered by most Parisians and tourists, this cozy wine bar/restaurant gives you a taste of simple French country cooking in a welcoming hideaway. The dining experience offered here is very unique, and when I was first introduced to the place with friends over four years ago I was pretty blown away. It consists of an all you can eat buffet of entrées, main courses and desserts for only 25 euros! Have I got your attention yet?cave de los a moelle_paris_tableThe brick walled room is small with only a few large wooden tables at the back and walls of crockery and bottles of wine proudly displayed for all to admire. The table is set when you arrive and already covered with various bowls of salads and terrines (or patés) along with crusty loaves of bread. These large dishes can be passed around your table and are often traded between tables, which makes it all the more fun. As soon as I sat down I immediately started loading my plate with a grated carrot and beetroot salad seasoned with a light mustard dressing. I’m not a big fan of patés but I tried a little of the terrine de campagne (country paté made from pork with onions and various herbs) before my other friends grabbed it away from me.cave de los a moelle_paris_ovenNext we moved on to the old fashioned stove top at the very back of the room where casseroles and cast iron pots filled with tasty dishes are kept warm. The menu changes every night but this time included a shepherd’s pie made with tender pork, a vegetable pot-au-feu (stew), roasted baby potatoes, pork cheeks and tripe! As you can see, they are rather rustic traditional recipes that you don’t often encounter in other Parisian restaurants and, apart from the tripe which I didn’t try (sorry, it’s just not my thing), everything was very nice.cave de los a moelle_paris_dinnerMy favorite part of dinner, however, involves the long dessert bar that literally stretches the entire length of the room. This dessert buffet features many comforting favorites such as creamy rice pudding (took a big scoop of that), homemade apple sauce (yes please), warm apple crumble (love it), various cakes (added a thick slice of chocolate cake to my plate) and île flottante (or floating island, which is basically meringue floating on a sea of custard). There is also what looks like a little chicken cage filled with various French cheeses that you can also add to your plate. At this point, although you start to feel full, the urge to return and get seconds is just too strong. Your mind says no but your tummy says yes…or atleast that’s how it went for me!cave de los a moelle_paris_apple crumblecave de los a moelle_paris_dessert plateSo if you want to gather around a rustic table with family and friends and enjoy some simple French cooking then this is your place! It’s definitely not classy fine dining, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and they have an amazing (i.e. huge) selection of wine…something you probably wouldn’t find at your Auntie Hugette’s place! I should mention that just across the street there is L’Os à Moelle, their more elegant restaurant serving fancier dishes (I’ve never been, but I’m sure it is good). For La Cave à l’Os à Moelle, I suggest making a reservation, especially for large groups, as once you are settled you can spend the entire evening there with whoever you may call family.

cave de los a moelle_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

181 rue Lourmel

75015 PARIS

+33 (0)1 45 57 28 28

http://osamoelle-restaurant.com/index.php

Rating:

4 huge terrines out of 5


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Fast food, Fast Review: SAaM

Although I have a cold that won’t go away, I am currently in good spirits as my friend S from Canada is visiting me in Paris this week! Both of us share a love for good food, so when we randomly stumbled upon SAaM, a little Korean eatery near Canal Saint-Martin, we were more than thankful for our discovery!saam_Paris_our lunchWe were actually on our way to a craft fair in the area when S suddenly stopped and said, “Hey, Korean food!”, as we passed the small wooden exterior of SAaM. It wasn’t yet open so we couldn’t really see inside but we studied the menu, which consisted of Gua baos (or steamed Taiwanese buns) filled with Korean ingredients, and decided that this was where we were going to come back for lunch!saam_paris_interiorWe returned at around 1 pm and the place was packed, but we were seated in about 15 minutes, and by that time already knew what we were going to order. Inside, the place was super cute with a real mix and match decor that included an unfinished blank wall with a strip of pretty ceramic tiles in the middle, a pastel colored geometric design on the other wall, lots of dangling paper, bamboo and glass lamps as well as funky mirrors and plants. Adorable!saam_paris_kitchenWe ordered the lunch special of two buns and salad for 12 Euros (14,50 in the evenings and weekends) and I added a cup of jasmine green tea, to soothe my cough. From our seats we could admire the efficiency and energy of the Korean chefs in the open kitchen, silently preparing the buns with care in a sort of assembly line. The excitement for our meal only escalated as plates of food exited from the bustling kitchen.Saam_paris_carteOnce the colorful dishes had arrived and we had taken the necessary amount of food pics (I was not the only one at the table with my camera out!), we grabbed our chopsticks and dug in! I had chosen the pork belly and Dak (fried chicken) buns, while S had the Dak and the Boulkogi (marinated Black Angus beef) buns. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the accompaniments were more than just a salad; they consisted of pickled carrots and daikon, an arugula salad with a soya sauce-type dressing, two deep fried gyozas (not sure if there’s a Korean name for them, but I didn’t ask) and some seasoned, crispy potatoes. Saam_paris_gyozaThen we took a bite of our Dak buns: the little steamed buns were packed with a  nice piece of ginger breaded deep fried chicken, kochujang sauce, wild sesame, peanuts, apple slaw and pickled white radishes. The combination of flavors was amazingly good! My pork belly bun was next and it did not disappoint either as the tender and fatty pork came with sisho sauce, salted plum, spicy cucumbers, pickled red onions and was garnished with cilantro. They were finger-licking good (literally!! get the napkins ready and beware of the sauce that drips at the end)! saam_paris_bao chicken and porkI tried a bite of the fragrantly spiced beef from the Boulkogi bun and can confirm that the Korean marinade used was out of this world! Both of us found our lunch to be filling enough, but if you’re someone with a huge appetite you can always add another bun to your meal, or one of their accompaniments (such as the kimchi balls for 7 Euros, that looked super good) or desserts (like yuzu cheesecake, 5 Euros). saam_paris_bao chicken and beefSo, I think I have fully conveyed the fact that I loved my lunch at SAaM! They have very friendly service and the most tasty bao bun sandwiches. S and I have already decided to go back this week to try the fish and tofu buns before she leaves! That’s one huge stamp of approval from two Canadians!

Restaurant Details:

61 Rue de Lancry

75010, Paris

+33 (0)9 83 50 84 94

My rating:

5 kimchi balls out of 5!


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Paris exhibits: Helena Almeida – Corpus

So before I start I’m going to be completely honest: I am not an art connoisseur, far from it, actually. I may live in Paris, where there are some of the most amazing art galleries and museums in the world, but I have not taken any courses in fine arts or art history. I enjoy wandering around a museum or checking out an exhibit from time to time but I do not know much about the various styles and techniques used by artists or what a canvas painted entirely blue could possibly symbolize (besides someone who wanted to test the color out or practice smooth brush strokes before painting their wall). I know what I like (and what touches me) and I know what I don’t, but that’s about it! I do, however, have huge respect for anyone who speaks and lives through their art. helena almeida_paris_exhibitionSo, here is my rather naive review of the Helena Almeida exhibition currently at the Jeu de Paume gallery. The exhibit is named Corpus, which either refers to the Portuguese artist’s body of work (spanning over almost 50 years) or the fact that her body is featured in almost all of her creations. I had seen the poster advertising this event for several weeks in the metro stations, but it wasn’t until last week when I was walking through the Tuileries Garden and my corpus told me that I had to go pee, that I decided to enter the gallery and check it out. Seriously, you can never find a public toilet in Paris when you need one!helena almeida_paris_exhibition 2
Surprisingly (because usually it is not the case), I was allowed to take photos, which will help me to briefly describe what I saw. Most of her work involves photos to which paint or another material is introduced, giving you the feeling that the image is coming to life and that Almeida herself is in a state of action. I loved her collection of work entitled Pinturas habitadas (inhabited paintings), that feature a splash or a layer of blue paint that can obscure her face, be handled and put in her pocket, or be inhaled like some sort of blue jelly. She comes to life in these photos with the blue paint being an extension of her feelings and her gestures.helena almeida_paris_exhibition 3There were other pieces that I found interesting too where she uses string made from horse hair in order for the line traced by her pen to become three-dimensional. Again, what she draws in the first image appears to become palpable to her touch in the next. helena almeida_paris_exhibition 4Another series of photos entitled ouve-me (“hear me” in English) depict the artist’s mouth with the words drawn across her lips. It is rather powerful to see the progression of the photos where the lips seem sealed shut in the majority of the shots and then a few where the mouth is open and we can imagine her screaming through the frame, trying to speak to us…so that we hear her message. The performance art video by the same name didn’t touch me as much, as it looked like someone trapped and trying to disentangle themselves from a bed sheet…but I have to admit that I don’t often understand performance art films. A second film, in which the name gives you no clue of what it represents (Sem titulo or no title…geez, thanks), films Almeida tying her right leg to the left leg of a man (her husband) with some sort of wire and then watching them painfully drag their feet as they walk together across her studio floor, to the wall and back, for what seems like an eternity. I kept waiting for something to happen but eventually lost interest and skipped off to the other side of the room. I hope there wasn’t some crazy twist at the end that I missed! In any case, I had a rather cynical interpretation of what she might be trying to say about a long-term relationships, but maybe the message was completely lost on me, once again.helena almeida_paris_exhibition 6My favorite work of Helena’s (we’re on a first name basis now, I guess) was a beautiful black and white photo of herself with her back to the camera, one of her black pumps laying on its side, and the sole of her foot painted with a thick brush stroke of red paint. It made me think of a fashion shot showcasing a pair of gorgeous Christian Louboutins and the movement captured in the photo is truly beautiful.helena almeida_paris_exhibition 5So there you have it: Corpus is a collection that is sure to delight, disturb, confuse and surprise as various mediums collide in some very expressive art. The exhibit runs until May 22nd, 2016, so I definitely recommend checking it out and then wandering around the Jardin des Tuileries, where you can take your own series of pretty pictures!jeu de paume_paris_view1

Details:

Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume

1 Place de la Concorde

75008 Paris

+33 (0)1 47 03 12 50

http://www.jeudepaume.org/

Closed Monday


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Paris Cocktail Bars: Sunset

I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again: I love my neighborhood! So when I hear about a new restaurant or bar opening nearby I have got to check it out. Sunset opened last November, but it wasn’t until last week that I finally got a chance to visit this trendy cocktail bar with a friend.sunset_paris_foodFrom the outside, the first thing you see is a long and inviting heated terrace. It was a cold night and by the time that we had arrived it was already invaded by trendy looking clients. We went immediately inside, where we were greeted with a smile from a barman standing behind the glowing bar, followed by one of the very pretty waitresses. When we said we wanted to have a drink and eat something,  she escorted us to the back room. While the front area around the bar is lively and modern, the back room has more of a lounge vibe with comfy armchairs, candlelight, a red carpet and walls painted blue with an unusual pattern (that looks like they went crazy with a chisel and gauged out tons of small holes) that contrast with a yellow geometric pattern on the ceiling. A little busy and not really my style but it definitely grabs your attention.sunset_paris_interiorWe started with a cocktail and I naturally tried the “Red Sunset” (8 Euros), which I found to be quite nice but a little too fruity. The waitress was very friendly and when she heard my non-French accent (I can’t seem to lose it…considering a voice coach!), she immediately started speaking to us in English.sunset_Paris_cocktailsunset_paris_menuWe took a glance at the menu and each dish (6-10 Euros) sounded better than the next. We finally chose the following: roasted pumpkin (with smoked ricotta cheese, sunflower seeds and Parmesan shavings…beyond delicious!), hanger steak (cooked in whisky and served with pureed carrots, béarnaise sauce, herring eggs and sautéed potato cubes…divine!), and a spiced chicken burger (kind of a pulled pork-like texture to the chicken, which was combined with homemade guacamole and a mini side salad…pretty tasty!). The photos I took are not the best due to the dim lighting, but I think they’re enough to get you drooling a little, no?sunset_paris_squash and ricottasunset_paris_beefsunset_paris_chicken burgerOverall, we found that the food was amazing and satisfying, even if the plates were a little small. Then again, at these kind of cocktail/tapas bars you don’t expect huge portions. Intrigued by the dessert menu (and still a little hungry), we ordered a dessert: cheesecake with citrus fruits from the Amalfi coast and a side of limoncello and yuzu flavored shaved ice (6 Euros). A light, creamy and tangy treat.sunset_paris_cheesecakeNext time I go I will try to sit in the front of the bar, as it seemed to have more of a fun and relaxed vibe. I have to admit that the back room felt a little stuffy and posh. Or perhaps it was just the crowd that night, which I found to be a little too pretentious and “bobo”. Overall though, Sunset is a classy addition to the neighborhood and a great place to take a date or business client you want to impress. I’ll definitely be back for the food!sunset_paris_exteriorContact Details:
100 rue Ordener
75018, Paris
+33(0)1 71 28 99 33

Rating: 

3.5 red sunsets out of 5


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Paris Restaurant Review: Le Ruisseau

Although I live close by, I had not heard about the burger joint, Le Ruisseau, until I saw that it had been voted as Timeout’s best café/restaurant in the 18th arrondissement. At first I was embarrassed by the fact that I did not know of its existence, but then I quickly realized that I can’t know every restaurant in Paris and decided to get there as quickly as possible. My expectations were pretty high and I was worried that I would be disappointed, but I am happy to report that I, like many others, am now a huge fan of the place!
Le Ruisseau_Paris_burger and friesI convinced the bf to eat lunch with me on Sunday, knowing that it would probably be packed with the brunch crowd. Luckily, there were two spots at the bar that had just opened up and we took them without hesitation, as the wait for an actual table was 50 minutes! Settled on our bar stools we immediately started looking at the menu.Le Ruisseau_Paris_Burger menuThey had a long list of mouthwatering burgers to choose from ranging from 12-14 euros each. I chose the cheddar burger (with additional bacon, of course) and he chose the Tom burger (with delicious Tomme cheese). I also added a glass of their homemade iced tea and the waitress was sweet enough to point out that I should go with their brunch burger special (17 Euros), as for the same price it included an extra hot drink!Le Ruisseau_Paris_DrinksSatisfied with our choices, we took a look around and soon noted how loud and crowded the place was, but this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The grinding of the coffee machine and sound of ice cubes rattling in a cocktail shaker blended with the soft hip-hop music playing overhead and the overall liveliness of Le Ruisseau. My iced tea arrived: it was a perfectly sweetened and very refreshing mint tea. Soon after came our plates of burgers served with a side salad and a large bowl of homemade fries to share.Le Ruisseau_Paris_interior It didn’t take me long to fall in love with my burger. The bread was soft and fluffy (baked on-site), the meat was tender and juicy, the cheese was gooey and warm and the pickles, fried onions, iceberg lettuce and tangy sauce all came together perfectly in every bite. I looked over at his burger that had Tomme cheese oozing out the side and the little piece I tasted was out of this world! I should also mention that their fries are equally good (they come with a thousand island type dipping sauce with a hint of dill) and the side salad was tossed in a tasty vinaigrette.Le Ruisseau_Paris_Cheddar burgerLe Ruisseau_Paris_Tom burgerWhile eating, we noticed one of the waiters preparing several desserts (cheesecake and tiramisu) and think that I will have to give them a try next time! There was still line up of people waiting to be seated when we left, only confirming the fact that this place has quite the following. Although it may take a while to be seated when it’s busy, I know that I will definitely be back soon! The burgers are worth it!Le Ruisseau_Paris_dessertsLe Ruisseau_Paris_exteriorContact Details:
65, rue du Ruisseau

75018, Paris

+33(0)142 23 31 23

Rating: 

5 bottles of American mustard out of 5!

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