Paris: David Toutain

Dining at David Toutain is something I've been looking forward to. I've seen many a photos of his work and was feeling really excited to try them out myself - even more excited than I was with Pavillon Ledoyen!

The ambience is more casual, airy and minimalist. We were handed the single-page menu, which contains about 3 sentences in it - carte blanche with options of 5 or 7 courses, and with or without wine pairing.

Just the previous day we lunched at Pavillon Ledoyen, and after sitting through a 3.5 hour meal, I was tempted to go for the 5-course meal instead of 7. But we were bowled over by the first couple of items brought out, that we changed to 7 courses (€105).

Amuse bouche of carpaccio with hibiscus leaves -

The theme here - what you see is NOT what you get! We were told to eat with our fingers - I loved how realistic they made the carpaccio look like strawberries, complete with dirt (a sort of biscuit crumble). It passed the taste test with flying colours too, so yummy and fresh! Perfect for starters.

Then just as soon as we finished with the carpaccio, this crispy beetroot with an onion cream and beetroot filling was brought for us.

It completely blew our minds, we both rated this very highly. We were supposed to take it all in one mouthful and the burst of a most delicious creamy filling, coupled with its crispy exterior .... wow.

Fancy cutleries and ambiguous ornaments were placed on our table - what we thought were coasters turned out to be little plates for bread. It is a meal of constant second-guessing, I have to say!

A DT signature of egg with cumin and caramel served with corn bread .

The top was frothy and light, this was most enjoyable.

It felt like a mad rush at the start of our meal - suddenly our table was piled with plates, brioche, ambiguous cutlery, bread and butter... thankfully it gradually descended to a more comfortable level. You'll see that we had more than 7 courses, some small items in between but all of them must have required plenty of preparation.

Shrimp tagliatelle with fresh almond and almond milk 

I absolutely loved this - shrimp flavours incorporated into the tagliatelle, done al dente, fresh almond contrasting texture nicely with the tagliatell... just little things that made a lot of difference and brought this dish together perfectly!

Carrot in black tempura with caviar salt with a green (?) dip.

Can you spot which is edible and which isn't? :)

Discount the little blocks of darkened wood, and what's left sticking on a twig is our harmless carrot, coated in black tempura and deep fried, served with caviar salt and a dip that I can't remember what it was. I took a bite, the smooth bright orange of the carrot contrasts beautifully with the rough, bumpy surface of the tempura. Taste-wise it wasn't that exciting but visually, too pretty!!

Our next dish is just as pretty - Zucchini salad with an unknown dressing and quinoa.

In Ledoyen, we had zucchini as well, with burrata and that had a richer flavour. At DT, the salad was simpler, but just as good. Loved the crunch of the quinoa in the salad.

Cod fish in argan oil, cherry tomatoes with lemon basil dressing.

Fish perfectly cooked, and went very nicely with the lemon basil dressing.

Lamb with sweet bread and chopped green beans.

Small serving that packs a punch. I'll let the picture do the talking.

Another signature of DT: Smoked eel with black sesame and green apple.

This. Is. The. Bomb. Completely stunned. Heavy in Japanese flavours, the smoked eel was divine; the black sesame thick and gooey; the tartness of the green apple balances the richness of the black sesame. Beautifully executed, I can't stop fawning over this!

Spring chick with green peas and fenebais (or something that sounded like that).

This ranks as one of the most tender chickens I've had - and I've had some really excellent ones, done the Hainanese way (pak zham kai) but this is different. 

To cleanse the palate, we were served with  cauliflower and coconut ice cream with white chocolate.

Cauliflower? Well, yes. The cauliflower cream I could detect, but it does not overwhelm. As strange as it sounds, it works really well with coconut and white chocolate. Now, who would have thought to use a vegetable for dessert? 

Milk foam with Madagascar onions 

This fragile little thing was about 3 inches lengthwise. Everything just crumbles and melts in your mouth - amazing. And no, I'm not sure exactly what Madagascar onions taste like! This was more of a caramelized form of it.

There was another last dessert, strawberry with rhubarb foam and meringue but the photo turned out blurry ;/ Well I suppose you'll have to use your imagination and that was another beautiful, excellent dish by David Toutain.

Absolutely loved, loved, loved everything set in front of us - this was a whole new level of dining experience for me. Every dish has been a stimulation not only for the tastebuds, but visually as well. The extent of labour gone into making everything is absolutely mind-blowing.

David Toutain
29 Rue Surcouf
75007 Paris
+33 (0) 145 50 11 10
Nearest Metro Invalides RERC 

Paris: Sacha Finkelsztajn

A very short post to please the V-man, cos he thinks Sacha Finkelsztajn deserves an honorary mention.

Not that I am arguing against that, they were lovely sandwiches.... but Vinnie thinks they are orgasmicly superior sandwiches. But here goes, this won't take more than 5 mins! 

Located in the Jewish community, it's easy to spot the bright yellow bakery.

They serve a wide array of pastry, savoury tarts and of course, sandwiches.

V picked the fillings, salami, pickles, various ham and a secret dressing concoction:

The bagel sandwich that Vinnie so worshipped.

They were delicious, no doubt. But I think I was already fatigued by sandwiches that I can't quite say which is better or worse.

(We were also tempted to go back for another round of bagel sandwiches, but we didn't have enough time nor stomach space...)

Sacha Finkelsztajn
27 Rue des Rosiers
75004 Paris
+33 (0) 142 72 78 91

Paris: Benoit by Alain Ducasse (1☆ Michelin)

My first Michelin star experience!

I made reservations through their website, which was easy enough and received confirmation shortly. Smack in the middle of the city, it is relatively breezy to locate the restaurant (I let Vinnie navigate... :) I know better than to let myself do it!)

Service was friendly, the manager a cheerful man in his 40s who seemed delighted when I ordered escargots for starters. His enthusiasm peaked when I chose a "cockerel's cookscomb" as my main course, "It's my favourite!!" ... Jeez, calm down, mister.

While waiting, we were served cheese buns. Oh my, they were soft and fluffy and just whet our appetite! V even asked for more because they were so addictive (he later confessed the cheese buns filled him up and he couldn't enjoy the later dishes, heh).

The interior is warm and more relaxed than a fine dining restaurant - a bistro, if you like, which is great. Tables are arranged close to another, you could hear your neighbours' conversations (which got really awkward at another restaurant when a couple was breaking up).

9 snails garlic butter and herbs €22

It's been a while since I've had escargots, and what better time and place than now? I was disappointed they weren't covered in a cheesy sauce (which is the best part of the dish!), but instead in butter and herbs. Still, they were absolutely delicious - I even offered some to Vinnie but that stubborn man just clamped and refused completely. Boring!! ;P 

V's starter arrived in this cute little package:

Our pâté en croûte, lettuce leaves with walnut oil and capons in garlic €27

I had a little taste, very yummy! And then moving on to the main course:

Sauteed gourmet casserole of sweetbreads, cookscomb and kidneys of cockerel, foie gras and truffled jus €45

It was delicious! It soon became a game of trying to tell apart the cockerel's cookscomb, the kidney and the foie gras (cookscomb is a bit chewy, kidney doesn't taste pleasant, foie gras is oooh melt in my mouth). The combination of them all lent rich and fatty flavours to the dish... which became a tad too much and I couldn't finish.

V ordered the seasonal Roasted ‘prés-salés’ du Mont Saint-Michel’lamb, boulangère potatoes, cooking jus - only available till July. Usually served to a minimum of 2 pax, but they relaxed that rule and said it was okay to just serve one of us.

Not a big fan of stews, the grains on the meat becomes more pronounced with prolonged cooking. Soft and tender, yes, but a little stringy too

We were stuffed to the gills but there's always room for dessert! (in the meantime, let me just unzip this other stomach...) 

And this divine dessert to wrap up another wonderful meal

Crunchy praline and chocolate* delight, hazelnut ice cream €15
(I don't know what the asterisk is for)

Loved the ice-cream, thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Although we both had to be wheelbarrowed back to the hotel. Well, actually no, now that I come to think of it. We managed to drag our heavy asses out and managed to cycle back with the city bikes, me in my dress and heels :)

20 Rue Saint Martin
75004 Paris
+33 (0) 158 00 22 05
Open daily

Paris: Frenchie...To Go

Before our trip to Paris, I buried myself in articles, reviews and travel tips.... with a large focus on food. A name that kept popping up was Frenchie and the more I read about it, the more determined I am to pop in for a taste. My short affair with Frenchie was a lot like swimming in muck. The harder I try to swim, the more I seem to sink.

First, Frenchie is notorious for its difficulty in securing a reservation. I tried calling, and true enough - nobody seemed to pick up, the call gets an answering machine, or I get a busy tone. So I swam with a little more rigour - and finally someone picked up! I got a reservation! 

But that was in May. Then our trip was postponed so Frenchie did not happen. A month before our trip in July, I called Frenchie again - and after multiple insistent calls, my call was intercepted. Tried to book a table but they were full. Asked for a different date - they are closed for the whole of August. Wuaaaahhhhh!!!

And because we didn't make it to Frenchie, we visited its sister, Frenchie To Go. FTG is a wine bar, and they serve bistro munches in the day - no reservation required. Which shall my my consolation... or not.

The chef used to work for Jamie Oliver, and he was given the nickname Frenchie - which stuck. 

Getting there wasn't easy - we circled around and only managed to find FTG after we'd asked for directions (and yes, V initiated it - he must be hungry).

I badly wanted to try their lobster roll (because it looks promisingly delish!), but with just my luck - they obviously ran out of lobsters. Damn it, Frenchie.

I ordered the pulled pork sandwich instead .... 

Which I thought was over-rated. The sauces soaked the buns and made them soggy. Pulled pork was okay, although I don't think it went well with the buns. I reckon the sandwich could use with a bit of an overhaul and more fillings preferably!

I do like the ginger ale, though, especially as it is served with a paper straw. The paper straw idea is great - at least that's recyclable. Can you imagine the number of plastic straws discarded after a single use every time? 

Vinnie's order of pastrami rye was much better, although the beets also soaked the bread. Perhaps the bread needs more butter? Or less beetroot? Maybe the placement of the beet should have been between the pastrami? Question, and more questions that we did not get answered at Frenchie To Go...

Frenchie To Go
9 Rue du Nil
75002 Paris
+33 (0) 140 39 96 19

Paris: La Cuisine de Philippe

When I couldn't get a reservation in Frenchie, I started to focus on a lesser known but highly reviewed restaurant. I'm glad I did as I uncovered other gems of Paris restaurants. 

One of such gem is Cuisine de la Philippe. The interwebz sang praises for his soufflé. Oh, and much, much easier to confirm a reservation too! All it took was one phone call, a couple of rings and Philippe himself picks up, confirms my reservation, done and dusted. Feckin Frenchie....

La Cuisine de Philippe is one of the few restaurants open on a Saturday, which was one of the reasons we chose to go. It is small, quaint and very -  for a lack of word - French. We were led to the back of the restaurant and seated beside an Asian family. Umm.... 'kay. Whatever that means.

V ordered the lobster soufflé for starters, while I chose a foie gras with a blueberry sauce (this is all pretty much based from memory as I think the menus were in French!). By then it was almost 8 and the place started filling up. Reservation is a definite here!

Foie gras - mmmm, decadent! It goes really well with the toasted fresh baguette, and blueberry sauce. I am a huge fan of foie gras, as unethical as it is, but the rich, fatty flavour is out of this world! 

I stole a bite of V's lobster soufflé too.. wow, they are amazingly light and fluffy, I can understand why people fawn over them now, the chef is the master of Soufflé  (just like how Chef Yannick is the Jelly King...).

Check out the golden sheen on V's lobster soufflé. A little soft poke and it just falls apart, it is so light!

For main, I ordered a duck dish with baked potatoes and came in a medley of greens.

My, my. It is easily the best duck I've ever tried. Paired with a sweet gravy, some cheese, mushroom and cranberry, the duck is to die for. 

V's main course was a braised beed, which I forgot to take a photo of and I thought was less than stellar. It didn't impress me, I thought it was boring.

And a pistachio and chocolate soufflé to finish it off... Vinnie liked this one, although I personally did not because it had a strong almond-y taste, so we swapped plates, and I took his raspberry one, hehe. The texture was as good as the earlier soufflé, soft and airy.

After our dinner, Chef Philippe himself came out and introduce himself to us - a nice touch that wraps up our meal with warmth and gave it a personal touch. If you're ever in town, I'd say the soufflés and the duck is a must try!

La Cuisine de Philippe
25 Rue Servandoni
75006 Paris
Nearest Metro St Sulpice
+33 (0) 143297637
Opens Mon - Sat 
12:00 pm - 2:15 pm
7:00 pm - 10:15 pm

Paris: Abri's Sandwiches

We walked through great distances to get to Abri's. First, we navigated our way to the address in Rue du Faubourg - but we only could see rows and rows of luxury boutiques. Then it hit us, we are in Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, and Abri is in the Rue du Faubourg Poissonnere. Bloody Rues, why can't they be more specific?! This was the day when my feet got so badly chafed and blistered from all that walking that, er, I had to get new shoes.


Abri's coveted sandwiches are only available on Mondays and Saturdays - other days are regular sit and order from the menu kind of days. V has been raving about their sandwiches and insists that we must go and try.

Further out from downtown Paris, but not particularly hard to find..... well, because we gave up walking. We were both starving and hopped on to a cab to whisk us there.

Abri himself behind the counter.

There is only one type of sandwich on Sandwich Days - Pork tonkatsu seductively pressed between perfectly toasted bread with crunchy purple cabbage, cheese, a Japanese-style omelette and various sauces with a hint of Dijon mustard. €13 for this plus a drink - not bad considering Paris' inflated prices and Abri's popularity.

Behold! V was crazy over them and even ordered a second serving, hehe. Yum. It was absolutely delicious, each mouthful a burst of texture and flavours.  Damn, I'm salivating thinking about it now!

92 Rue du Faubourg Poissonniere
75010 10th Arrondisement
+33 (0) 183 97 00 00
Opens Mon-Sat 1000-1900
Nearest Metro Poissonniere

Paris: Pavillon Ledoyen (3☆ Michelin)

One of the things we know we absolutely have to do while in Paris is to dine in a 3-Michelin star restaurant. We tossed idea around and after some deliberation, decided to go for Pavillon Ledoyen.

Reservation was easy enough, clickety click through La Fourchette. I'm pretty sure you can call them and reserve a table too; but after a gazilion calls to Frenchie and finally not being able to make it, I'll stick to online booking whenever I can.

Our strategy was to have lunch instead of dinner at upscale Michelin restaurants and go for a more relaxed bistro for night - this is because the price disparity between lunch and dinner could sometimes double!

We arrived bright and early for our 12pm lunch. We made a mistake of having one of those delicious baked cheese and ham baguette for breakfast and was trying to walk it off in the cool morning without much success. We should have been raging in hunger for this epic meal!

About 5 people greeted us at the door and perhaps 7-8 more when we were ushered into the restaurant upstairs. Wow. Vinnie idly commented that each "Bonjour" costs $10, hehe.

A small, fussy stool was whisked to my side for my handbag to lounge upon and an elegant chair pulled back while I lowered my big fat ass. You know how it is when you sit in a fancy restaurant, the kind that puts you on your best behaviour - second guessing cutleries to use, cringing everytime my fork clanked loudly against the plate - but really, it's all in the head.

Just as we were seated, the chef came over and shook hands with us! It was Chef Yannick Alleno himself - I don't know about you but it's pretty surreal to meet someone after you'd know abou them!

 We were handed the menus and a few times, our waiter came to us to check if we needed any help or explanation. It's pretty straightforward for fixed menus (which we'd come for) and you decide between a 4-course meal or a 7-course meal.

A fixed 4-course meal is €135 and a 7-course meal at €295, with wine pairing is close to €100 extra, I think. If it had been for dinner, a 7-course meal damage would have been €700 or so!

Our lunch started with a delightful amuse bouche, placed on a bright green sponge. Bite-sized pieces of pumpkin puree, a kind of onion cream filling with hibiscus leaves (?) and a third one which I can't remember now!

The waiter gave us specific instructions how to eat them "Start with the pumpkin, followed by the middle and finish with the last, The spinach sponge is not for eating", Hehe.

(1) Iberico Ham Jelly
     Fermented rye bread mousse and Kalamata olives

Iberico pork is one of the nicest type of pork I've tasted. Bred and fed with acorns, the marbling of the meat is similar to that of wagyu beef. Here served as jamon, dried, along with a jelly, mousse and a sprinkle of olives :) The serving may be small but the flavours are rich and luxurious. 

(2) Plain Poached Langoustine
     Bitter almond mousse
     Tomato and parsley oil broth

The langoustines (or Norwegian lobster, or small lobster) were perfectly cooked, the dark green parsley broth has a most curious taste - in a good way. The almond mousse only barely tinged the tastebuds, they were subtle but beautifully executed.

(3) Zucchinis Melted in Pepper Oil and Rolled with Burrata 
     Folded flowers, celery jelly with fresh almonds

The ensemble looks so very pretty! Burrata, which is semi soft Italian cheese from mozzarella and cream (can you tell that I googled it? Hehe) went really well with the zucchini, flowers and crunchy almond. It's only in France that I've first tried fresh almonds and I love them. They're not as hard as roasted almond that we usually get back home so the bite is just right. And of course, celery jelly. At this point, we speculated that Chef Yannick must be a jelly expert because every other dish includes some form of jelly.

(4)Poached White Turbot
     Orange blossom warm jelly
     Celery purée and sweet onions

Probably my least favourite of them all was unsurprisingly the fish. It came in a rich sauce (with orange blossom jelly, heh). We were told to take a bit of fish, and then to take some of the sweet onions puree - served in a different bowl. The fish was a bit meh for me, but I do like the onion puree though, they were fragrant, creamy and rich.

(5)Wagyu Beef "Gunma" Grade "4"
     Potatoes from Noirmoutier with fried milk
     Iodized condiments

Overall every serving has been very rich meals and by the time they served the mouth-watering steak, I was pretty stuffed. But it is. The. Best. Steak. Ever. Cooked medium,  the crust was perfectly seared, the wagyu sooooo tender and juicy, the marbled fat just bursting in mouth..... I am in gastronomy heaven. Even the humble potatoes were deliciously crispy. Absolutely wowed.

It may also be worthy to note that they do not serve tap water (cos it's for the common people, eww who would want tap water?!) and each 1L bottle costs €10 :) Dollar-to-dollar it's still a much better deal than an Italian restaurant we dined in KL - their bottled water, supposedly from dragon's tears, costs RM30, those bloodsuckers.

After the last main, we were served with a palate cleanser. No, scratch that. 3-Michelin starred restaurants don't serve a sorbet for palate cleanser, they serve THREE different types of them.

A tea-infused jelly (hehe), another type of soft gel item and of course, a sorbet.

The next exciting chapter starts - desserts!

(6) Black Sesame Meringue with Strawberries
     Shiso Chlorophyll

This one was acutally served for Vinnie, but because his black sesame ice-cream had a funky face to it, I wanted that one for the photo. This one is a winner - black sesame, meringue, berries, all my favourites.

And after almost 3 hours at the table, our 7th course arrives in style.

(7) Sea Salt Sablé with Creamy Dark Chocolate
     Tahitian vanilla ice cream

There are gold leaves on my dessert, for crying out loud! Needless to say, everything was divine, gold leaves inclusive (and no, they don't quite have flavour to them).

Overall, it was a bloody expensive meal, but I'm glad we did it at least once in this lifetime. The amount of effort put into each dish is mind-blowing. We were even given some sweet pastry in a box for takeaway after we'd told them that we are filled to our throats (and my god, those pastries are superbly delicious!). The service, the level of attention to detail is spectacular. There's a waitress who ONLY offers bread; when I rose to go to the ladies', I was actually escorted by a staff all the way; each time any of us leaves the table, our napkins are discarded and they gave us new ones when we came back! It was a truly regal meal  but it was hard to sit through another 3.5 hour meal like that again.

Pavillon Ledoyen
1 Avenue Dutuit,
75008 (8th Arrondisement)
+33 (0) 153 05 10 00

Bonjour, Paris!

Ah, the City of Lights, the City of Love - or whatever euphemism you have in mind, Paris is one of the most vibrant and intriguing cities I've been to.

In preparation for the trip, I'd attempted to refresh my memories from past French classes to some insignificant degree of success :) Which really isn't a big deal as many Parisiens are able to speak English (if you ask nicely!). The metro is a maze of network and confusing even to try and use the machines to buy tickets! 

Weather wise, we were lucky. Smack in the mid of summer time and it wasn't too warm even with the heat wave sweeping through Europe. It was fairly pleasant on the first two days we were there- flip flops and shorts kind of weather. After a couple of weeks when we came back, it started to get cooler - windy and bit nippy at temperatures hovering around 12-15 C. 

I absolutely loved the city - brimming with energy, full of character, and plenty to see and do. The beautiful buildings are tastefully designed, quirky signs and art add colour to the drab of a city. 

After Paris, going to a neighbourhood in Singapore (concrete slabs!) is going to be an absolute bore! Don't get me wrong though, it's not quite rose-tinted glasses, the subways in Paris are filthy and stink of pee, garbage littered all over, dog poop on the pavement... but it IS a city - that's that you would expect to see .... unless you're in Singapore.

Graffiti covers pretty much all exposed walls,  some really cool stuff, some juvenile spray-ons.

Day 1 we were there and hunting for breakfast - we were already awed by the most delicious baguette (with toppings) we've ever tasted. A delightful crunch on the outside, and soft on the inside. The cheese was fantastic, the meats were incredible, and the coffee was..... errrr, drinkable.

We did the usual touristy trail - started off towards the Iles (islands) smack in the middle of Paris, and then to Notre Dame, which we did NOT get in ;( , the queue covered from the front of the building and through the entire side of it! As much as I'd like to see the famous statues, an hour long wait is too much time to be wasted standing in a line! 

Paris is a huge city, and getting around by foot took a while. We were walking like I've never walked before. It became excruciatingly painful for me to continue as my sandals started rubbing against my toes and chafing my front soles. I started to whine and V brought me to the Galerie Lafayette aka marketplace! There are even queues to enter Chanel and a large resting area which seated 99% Chinese - these are mega shopaholics! Digressing, on the way out of Europe and getting our tax refunds, we eyed a number of Chinese with a chockful of receipts while we clutch onto a measly few, hehe.

We only figured out the next best thing to do is to get on the city bikes scattered all over the city.

Which is easy enough - wherever you see this bicycle station lined with city bikes, go to the "meter" and navigate the options from there (English available!). You'll need a credit card to get the registration done, and it spits out a receipt with your booking number on it. You'll need this number everytime you want to take a bike out.

At only 1.70 with a validity of 24 hours, it's a handy system for getting around the city. There's a catch though: each time a bicycle is taken out, it is free for 30 minutes. If you exceed that time limit, an extra charge of approx 1 is billed for every hour extended.

The famous Berthillon ice-cream in the Île de la Cité, one of the must-dos in Paris. Perfect by mid-day as it started to get warmer.

They do look very appetising in the photos, don't you think? It wasn't all that fantastic or mouth-wateringly epiphanic ice-cream. I had vanilla ice cream and berry sorbet on cone, because the mighty interwebz sang praises for their sorbet. They were nice, but not fall-to-my-knees-and-worship nice.

I can completely understand the culture of sipping coffee by the pavement and watch the world go by. People-watching is actually interesting in Paris. The spectrum of individual characteristics is broad, from the tattooed, pierced Goth to the fashionably chic. I could do it for hours (except that the coffee is pretty meh here....)!

Another obvious itinerary while in Paris is to visit the museums. But the idea of being cooped indoors when it's a beautiful day out just doesn't appeal to me. Still, we are talking about the Louvre here and that in itself is an exception to the rule.

First thing we saw as we approached the Louvre: crowds of people (each one of them taking photos of themselves pinching the tip of the Louvre - very original), and an even bigger crowd forming a long snaking line to get in. 

A sign beside the start of the queue stated a one-hour wait to enter the Louvre. Another sign gives priority to pre-purchased tickets, something that has escaped my mind. Silly me, I have underestimated the queues! I was gutted, especially after I'd missed Notre Dame also because of insane queues. To add insult to injury, it was a Sunday and possibly the best time to visit a museum as most other attractions/businesses are closed.

We both agreed we will not waste our holiday in a queue and as we were planned to be back in Paris 2 weeks later, it was a unanimous decision (albeit grudgingly) to skip the Louvre and save it for the next time. 

I trudged sulkily along, and could only manage to smile for the camera, hehe. We strolled on the grounds and was about to head for the Champs Elysees when we came across another entrance to the Louvre! At first, we weren't sure, as the entrance says Pont des Lions and we thought it was another separate museum. So we went in regardless (as a consolation to missing the Louvre) and it looked like an extension to the Louvre. I asked a staff and yes it is!

Wow, we just found a secret (ok, lesser known) second entry to the Louvre without the hassle of a queue! Superb, we rubbed our hands in glee and set to check out the art collection, while ensuring a thoughtful expression is maintained throughout (the trick is fingers rubbing chin lightly - works better if you have a beard).

Stemmed from our stubborn refusal to stoop as low as purchasing a selfie stick, this side by side photo will have to do.

Sneaked this photo of a massive crowd ogling at the Mona Lisa. They actually placed the painting 7m away from the general crowd. The more hilarious aspect is how people honestly believe by zooming in and capturing a photo from THAT distance can benefit them in any sense? I spotted a few trying to take selfies with the famous painting, too. Heh.

And then photos from 2 weeks later when we were back to Paris - and visited the iconic Eiffel Tower!

An overcast, moody skies gave way to a slice of sun ray, giving this building a golden moment.

One of the most defining moments in Paris - we were cycling and headed towards the Louvre when we passed by a small group of people playing classical music. That is such a treat, we cycled over, listened for a good 10-15 minutes before resuming our journey...

And one of my favourite shots of the Arc de Triomphe.

And my favourite person with his inseparable phone.

The underbelly of Arc de Triomphe

Came back again at night to capture the Eiffel Tower all lit up-

At every hour, the giant tower sparkles and glitters with a thousand light - it was magical and hard not to fall in love with the city.


We went on several mind-blowing foodie excursions around Paris (our itinerary revolves around eating, sightseeing is secondary)- quite an experience! See them no particular order:

- Abri's pork tonkatsu sandwiches

- Sandwich fit for the Kings Sacha Finklesztajn

- The much hyped Frenchie To Go

- 1-Michelin-star Benoit

- 3-Michelin-stars Pavillon Ledoyen

- Master Soufflé La Cuisine de Philippe

- David Toutain's culinary adventure

The Georgian Adventure - Hike to Chalaadi Glacier

Our third, and last hike in Svaneti. There are so many more places to hike and explore around Georgia, it was a hard decision to premature...