Aug 22, 2010

Galettes et crêpes bretonnes

Today's menu: galettes and crêpes!

Theses two are specialties of the Bretagne region. Galettes are made with buckwheat flour served with salty ingredients (as main dishes). Crêpes are made with wheat flour and served with sweet things inside (as desserts). You eat them with cider served in a little cup-mug.

Lots of cafés would set up stalls in front of their door during the summer to sell crêpes, especially near the tourist attractions. Don't think that they're just thin pancakes! They are commonly too thick, spongy and greasy. It's really difficult to find a place to eat real ones.
The best ones I've eaten are of course in a restaurant well hidden in a little town near the Quiberon shore. But sadly, the place's owner retired, sold the place to some other guy, and it became a total mess.

So, not long ago, I finally found this place "Le Cap Breton", just a bit off the main avenue of Opéra, where both kinds of galettes and crêpes are good. It's the best I've tried in Paris so far. The menu list is not very long but they keep the basics and change 2,3 items along the seasons. And I guess that's how they manage to have fair prices for the area.

The place is tiny, there are about 25 seats on the main floor, I think they also have a tiny mezzanine but I've never been up there.
Therefore, on weekdays, at lunch hours, I'd not even try to get here unless you can come before noon.

My main was the "Brunchy" = bacon, egg, potatoes and cheese.

Dessert was the basic butter and sugar.

I think that sampling the more basic thing in the menu is always the best way to judge. I find it particularly true when testing Chinese restaurant. I'd always try their fried rice and I would fairly know how I'd like or not the place. So here, for a crêperie, the basic "beurre-sucre" should be done properly.
There wasn't too much butter so it'd become oily, sugar was a bit on the plus side, but overall, it was good enough. The galette was also nice, the pancake itself had a perfect texture, not too thick, and was grilled just enough to get it crispy and not burned. The different ingredients inside were well balanced, no one flavor took over the other ones. I'd like the egg more runny though but that's just my personal preference.
I do make them sometime myself at home. And I realized the difficulty lies in how to measure the right heat and cooking time so that the pancake and the ingredients inside are cooked perfectly. And of course, depending on the ingredients you put in, cooking time of each one is different. So let's not look at these as simple French pancakes anymore! ;)

Aug 13, 2010

Musée du Quai Branly

I've been telling myself I should go visit this museum since it opened. (That was in 2006.) But then time went by, busy living everyday life . . . So here I share a little recap of my first visit to Quai Branly.

Quai Branly displays indigenous art and culture from Asia, Africa, Oceania and America. The building has been designed by Architect Jean Nouvel. It's right next to the Eiffel Tower at the left. To get to the museum, I'd recommend to get off at Iéna station (line 9). It's about a 5 min walk and on the way, you can get some nice angles of the Eiffel Towel.

Follow directions to exit the station, then you should go strait down on the same sidewalk. Take the stairs down at your right 100m later. (There, you can get glimpses of the tower already.) At the end of the alley, on your left, there's the underground path to cross the busy road. Then cross the Passerelle Debilly, the entrance is straight ahead.

I liked the garden with mainly bamboos and high grasses; it convey a kind of wilderness that matches the museum's theme. There is a restaurant in the garden. Just took a peek at the menu so I can't tell you the quality of the food. There were large salads, pasta, grilled salmon, prices are around 12€.

Inside, you begin to walk up a "river". Then you get to the main collections area. The architecture is very pleasant, it's basically a large open space but where you walk through the different continents. The path is very intuitive, it goes gently up and down in elevation. You flow around the globe from Oceania, Asia, Africa and America. There's almost no sharp angles, walls are curvy, you won't get lost between different separate rooms like in most museums. 

I took too many pictures so obviously I won't put them all up in one post or you'll get really tired scrolling. So here's a recap, all photos can be found on my yumesan picasa log if you want to have a closer look.

This one is my personal favorite!

And this is the bonus!
Even my shots are blurry, I still wanted to show you these. They are so funny, completely opposite all the other objets. These are masks from Ammasslik, Greenland. Most of them had a twisted nose or mouth. I wonder what's the idea behind this . . .
read more about these here

Aug 4, 2010

C'est l'été chez Hermé

Haven't tried them yet...