Le hide, Table d'étoile, Koba's Bistro
Frangelico and I were in Paris a few weeks ago, and it was a great opportunity to meet up with a friend from my school days. I've known Ratatouille since I was seven years old, and we were at the same school until we were 16. That's a mighty long time, and many years of birthday parties!
One of the best memories from my childhood is of the birthday parties each of us would have every year. These were the highlights of our school years - fabulous gatherings of school friends just running around in the garden, playing home-made games planned and run by my sisters (Pass the Parcel, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Newspaper Dance, Musical Chairs). And there was, of course, the food. All home-made, except for the cake. My mother's special pizza was always in demand, and my friends still reminisce about them. (Amma's pizzas and her later dosai diplomacy are still paying dividends to this day.)
Chicken suprême with risotto
Anyway, I digress. I wanted to tell you about Le hide, a beautiful neighbourhood restaurant Ratatouille booked for our dinner in Paris. It's just 5 minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, but it's amazing how quickly you leave behind the madness of that roundabout, when you get to the quiet rue de General Lanrezac. The menu features both traditional and modern French, cooked by a Japanese chef.
I wish I'd caught pictures of the enormous foie gras starters we had. I had seriously never seen foie gras that huge before. And it was flawless. For mains, Ratatouille sensibly had pan-seared scallops with salad, but Frangelico and I were going to go the whole hog. When in Rome... We both had chicken suprême with risotto. So simple, it would seem, but the amount of flavour that was packed into each of those items was immense. That meal was proper French eating, as stereotypified and eulogised the world over.
A bottle of Syrah from Saint Joseph
And what is French cuisine without a bottle of red. Ratatouille introduced us to a lovely bottle, which led me to read a little more about it. It was from Saint Joseph in the northern Rhône, which has a continental climate, whereas the southern Rhône has a Mediterranean one. The warm summers means that reds in the north are made from Syrah, which yields something quite luxurious and wild (the guy at my local wine shop said it was almost 'animal'). The warmth must be why Shiraz thrives in Australia too. The bottle was ideal for foie gras and the rich chicken dish and risotto.
We didn't have space for dessert, but there was a Tarte Tatin that has my name on it for when I return to Paris.
La Tour Eiffel from the Trocadero
I'm getting ready to leave the ground
10 Rue de General Lanrezac