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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Fast Food, Fast Review: James Bun

So…the holidays are officially over! I was in Greece (which I will try to write about soon), and I must admit that it has been hard getting back into the rhythm of work and city life after lying on tranquil and gorgeous beaches for 2 weeks. One of the things that got me through these past few weeks at work has been thinking about what I’ll eat for lunch, so I thought I’d share with you a little eatery I recently discovered called James Bun, perfect for a tasty, quick lunch and open 7 days a week!James bun_Paris_interiorWalking into this restaurant, located right by Place de Clichy, you are greeted by the most lovely smell coming out of the kitchen! The cooks are all dressed in brightly colored patterned shirts and you can watch them expertly toss ingredients in large woks from where you are seated. The walls are covered in shelves filled with cups, sauces, and Asian food products, giving you the feeling of being far away from the European continent. James bun_Paris_MenuOn the menu are typical Vietnamese dishes, but with a French touch: pho, bo bun and bahn mi! My friend and I decided to go for one of their bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches that I love, but have not yet tried in Paris), as I wasn’t in the mood for noodles that day. We ordered one chicken (8.50 Euros) and one beef (9.50 Euros) bahn mi, so that we could try a bit of both! We also ordered a James-T each, an iced green tea with lime, ginger and fresh mint (4 Euros).James bun_paris_iced teaSoon we had two tall glasses of iced tea placed on the metal table in front of us, and I immediately fell in love with the floral paper straws! Seriously, how cute are they? The tea was very refreshing and perfectly sweetened, and soon after the sandwiches arrived. The French baguettes were crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, the organic shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers gave a nice crunch, and the beef and chicken were exploding with fragrant flavors and cooked perfectly. I also really appreciated the large bunch of cilantro which I either stuffed into my sandwich or devoured on the spot. For those of you who don’t like cilantro (like my sister), it’s nice that it comes on the side, allowing you to quickly pass it on to someone who loves it (like me)! I should mention that there is also a veggie bahn mi, made with tofu, mushrooms and edamame. They have really thought of everyone when preparing the menu! James bun_paris_chicken bahn miJames bun_paris_beef bahn miAlthough I didn’t get a chance to try their pho or their bo buns this time, I did see a bowl or two on my way out and I can say that the portions are generous and that they look equally delicious. They have special nem rolls too, filled with organic quinoa, edamame, cilantro and “vache qui rit” (a spreadable cream cheese). Definitely need to try some of those next time!James bun_paris_tableJames bun_paris_exteriorJames Bun is open for lunch and dinner and, if that wasn’t enough, they even deliver via http://www.deliveroo.fr. The young and vibrant team is sure to impress you with their energy and good service! So make sure to check out this fun, creative and ecologically friendly restaurant as soon as possible. It is sure to put you and your tummy in a good mood!

Restaurant Details: 

10, bd des Batignolles
Paris, 75017
+33 (0)1 43 87 90 13
Rating:
4.5 bunches of cilantro 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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Restaurant Review: Siseng

Okay, so I am hella late on this one! Siseng has been the talk of Paris for a while now and although it was on my list to try, it wasn’t until my friend M told me she had been to the trendy Asian fusion food bar located on the Canal Saint-Martin (and gushed about how amazing it was!), that I decided I had to get over there ASAP! Luckily, it didn’t take much convincing to get her to come back with me last Wednesday night.

Siseng_Paris_beef bao burgerWe arrived at around 8 pm and there was already a line-up of people waiting outside. No surprise there, because like Hansel, this place is so hot right now (sorry…Zoolander reference)! Although I don’t usually like waiting (they don’t take reservations), it wasn’t too cold out and there was no way we were going to leave without trying one of their specialties: the Bao Burger (I will explain what this is in a second). One of the waiters came outside to check how many groups were to be seated and surprise, surprise, he turned out to be a friend of M’s from school. We asked him if we could order a drink to help us pass the time, and he promptly agreed and brought us the menu to look at.

Siseng_Paris_carteI was immediately impressed with their selection of exotic and creative cocktails. I chose a cocktail named after the restaurant (10 Euros), and M chose to skip the alcohol and ordered a Kaffir lime, ginger ale, and lemon leaf syrup flavored green tea (5 Euros). My Siseng cocktail was delicious and refreshing with a generous amount of halved kumquats and coriander leaves floating in a mix of gin, lemon, ginger ale and grapefruit juice.

Siseng_Paris_cocktailBefore we knew it (okay…it was about a 30 minute wait) we were shown to a seat at the long bar lining the wall. The décor was perfect in my eyes: unfinished wood panels and exposed bricks, a spiral staircase in the center of the room, a bar stocked with saké and other drinks, dangling light bulbs throughout, and the most gorgeous light fixture of what looked like entwined birch roots or branches. I also really liked the elaborate graphic art featured on their menus and on one of the walls, designed by Soba (Sophia Babari). The space has a very natural loft feel, and is filled with Parisian hipsters!

Siseng_Paris_interior

Siseng_Paris_decorThe wait outside had worked up our appetite so luckily the food arrived relatively quickly! We both ordered bao burgers (10 Euros) which feature a baozi (a white and fluffy steamed Chinese bun) as the bread. M ordered the Kai Bao Burger (a breaded chicken filet with a basil coconut milk sauce, red pepper confit, a light coleslaw and fresh basil) and I chose the 5 Spice Bao Burger (beef patty marinated with 5 spices, tamarind and caramel sauce, tempura onion rings, onion confit, and spinach and arugula leaves). We also ordered a side of sweet potato fries each (4 Euros), which were just the right thickness and were accompanied by their deliciously sweet caramel and tamarind sauce.

Siseng_Paris_chicken bao burgerThe burgers looked like little clouds floating on the Japanese ceramic plates and biting into them was heavenly! At first, the taste of my burger reminded me a little of the traditional cha siu baos, or BBQ pork buns (that I used to eat all the time back home in Vancouver), but due to the fusion with the other ingredients, they had an amazing and individual flavor. I tried some of M’s burger and it was equally good, but lighter and less sweet. I admit that I slightly preferred it to mine.

Siseng_Paris_beef burgerSurprisingly, I was actually very full after finishing, which often isn’t a usual occurrence at trendy eateries. The beef burger is definitely more filling than the chicken, probably due to the sweetness of the sauce. It wasn’t too long before we felt like we were being watched…and we were: there was still a steady line-up of sad people outside staring longingly into the window. So we promptly asked for the bill and left our seats. There was no need to prolong their suffering!

Siseng_Paris_exteriorIf you don’t mind a wait, then this place is definitely worth a try for a burger unlike any other in Paris. They equally have a range of other dishes, such as a bo bun or a bento, but right now it’s all about the bao burger! I’ll definitely be back this summer to enjoy a burger and a glass of their watermelon juice (or another of their yummy cocktails) along the Canal Saint-Martin! Yes, they do take-out! Can’t wait!

Restaurant Details:

82 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris

+33 (0)1 42 06 62 54

http://www.siseng.fr/

My Rating:

4 kumquats out of 5