Sunday, April 3, 2011

ze kitchen galerie

A few weeks ago we went to Ze Kitchen Galerie in the 6th arrondissements because of the consistently fabulous reviews given by John Talbott, opinionated and well-respected food blogger in the parisian anglo online food community. “Never disapoints” is how he put it but this restaurant not only disapointed, it offended. I was shocked by the all around low level of quality . There are so many problems with this place i dont even know where to begin.

The concept is french asian fusion flavours in a minimalist contemporary art setting as the name suggests. The ambiance was extremely cold and kind of awkward actually. I instantly disliked the space but I tried really hard to give the food a chance and not judge preemptively.

All the entrees were priced at twenty something euros and the mains on average went for 37.

Pigeon (I'm not even gonna say what it looked like...)

The service was deplorable for any restaurant, but especially for a michelin star rated establishment. The waiters lived up to the parisian stereotype and acted as though they couldn’t be bothered to look at you, they were unattentive and blasé, a little snotty and just generally careless. They were more interested in chatting with their colleagues in the kitchen which was exposed behind a glass wall at the back of the restaurant then by serving their clients. One would expect professional behaviour from the cooks if they are on display for all the patrons to see. And hear. The conversations we were overhearing and their work method was simply unprofessional and downright tacky.

Raviolis (4 to be precise, drowned by the sauce, very forgettable)

When my mother asked the waitress about the wine we had picked she looked a little annoyingly at the bottle and tried to find the info to answer her question on the back of the bottle and then gave up. “Je ne saurais vous le dire” was the best she could come up with.

They didn’t even have a sommelier and for this price point, in Paris, you would expect knowedgable courteous taff.

St-jacques. (decent scallops, chewy squid)

The menu was uninspired, mostly boring sounding dishes with ginger glaze vinaigrette.

These people should be ashamed of themeselves. It also makes me wonder what level of standards people in this city have as the place was packed. Perhaps, like me, they were induced by John Talbotts and other reviewers' praise which i truly am completely baffled by! These famous food bloggers guide visitors on their culinary adventures in a city where good food is abundant. This was by far the worst food experience I've had in Paris.

Cod (actually they got the name of the fish wrong, they couldn't even tell us what it really was)

No one in this restaurant seemed to care. The young waiter barely knew what was on the menu and he wasn’t embarassed by his lack of knowledge either.

Anyone with any sense could see right through this joke of a restaurant. There was no passion, it lacked innovativeness and especially the quality that the high prices demanded. It makes you wonder if certain prominent food bloggers and reviewers are being paid off... it was that bad.

From the uncourteous and unprofessional waitstaff to the bland over-priced food, this restaurant was an all around disaster.

Save your money. You’re better off at any random brasserie.

Salty treats and tea salons

Le Sévigné
So the first time I walked by this charming resto in the Marais, the tartes salées on display in the vitrines caught my eye, particularly the spinach one that was two inches high with a MASSIVE slice of melted goat cheese on top. I had to try it.

So I came here with my parents on a sunny sunday afternoon, sat on the terrasse which gives out onto the quiet street next to a children's playground and ordered some wine and the spinach tarte. The pie was simple and hearty just as I had hoped it would be. And so my obsession with tartes salées began.

Salons de thé (tea shops) are some of my favorite places in Paris and I can't help but order these salty treats instead of pastries. I'm just not that into sweets. Except for fleur d'orangers macarons. Those are awesome.

Here are some of my favorite tea shops/places to eat tartes salées.

Mamie Gateaux (6e)
On rue du cherche-midi. I like this street. It's quiet and pretty and a little bit fancy. The tea shop is the same. Elegant but friendly and the tartes here are more delicate and refined. Sooooo delicious. Renata's favorite.

La fourmi (9e)
Not actually a tea salon, more like a bar. Always packed and at night there are tons of cool kids smoking on the sidewalks but surprisingly the tartes salées here were really good!! Did not expect that at all. Love coming here with Eliza.

Le loir sur la théiere(3e)
Super crowded, line-ups all the time. Lots of different variety and also quite good but they run out fast. Bric a brac furniture setup makes for a laidback, quirky atmosphere. This is where I go with Daniel.

That's it for now
More to come!!