Posts Tagged ‘10eme’

Tuck In

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

A few months ago I was sad to see the closure of Sweat Shop – a café/sewing shop where you could rent sewing machines or take a knitting course while eating a piece of cake. Then the other day, a fellow Australian said “Let’s go to Tuck Shop.” to which I auto-replied with, “Ok.” I had no idea what she was talking about. But now I do. Apparently Sweat Shop had been turned into Tuck Shop – a new café for me to spend far too much time and money and calories at!

Tuck Shop is another “Australian style” café offering GOOD coffee (hooray) and great home made cakes. Run by some lovely expat ladies, it is vintage galore in this cozy little joint. I had a long-black equivalent which was delicious and served in a great looking cup.

Tuck Shop coffee

What a cup!

Plus a scone with jam and cream which was a little disappointingly rock-like but still tasted good. My friend had the cheesecake which was as creamy and cheesy as a good cheesecake should be.

Tuck Shop

Happy times.

The café wasn’t particularly busy, but it was a Wednesday morning in the middle of winter and close to Christmas so not the busiest time of the year. To be honest, it was nice to be in a quiet space for once as Paris is becoming a little bit manic with all of the christmas shopping requirements that are sending Parisians mad.

My friend and I stayed chatting and soon it was lunch time so we decided to do the lunch time formule backwards – we’d already had the dessert so we ordered the home made zucchini soup and grilled vegetable and houmus sandwiches. Luckily the staff aren’t French otherwise doing this would have caused massive brain explosions. So so tasty and healthy – it was the perfect lunch for just 10 Euros. Brilliant.

Tuck Shop
13, rue Lucien Sampaix
10eme

Crafty Cakes

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Usually my reviews of cafés and restaurants are a post-experience reflection. This time I write to you direct from the source – mid-mange, mid-bois – at Café Craft in the 10eme. I was having a moment of ‘oh-woe-is-me, what am I doing with my life?’ so I decided to take it outside and head to another new café in a street nearby. Café Craft opened two or so months ago and is designed as a space for artists, craftspeople and general freelancers to come and work while drinking coffee and eating cake. That sounds like me!

The space has a clean design and set up almost like an office with a long table running down the centre of the room. The black and white interior makes it an non-distracting space to work in but the coloured pencils and pens sitting in the middle of the table are catching my eye.

But enough about the tables, let’s talk about the coffee! Or more importantly, the extremely rich, chocolatey, chunky brownie that I am currently devouring with extreme pleasure. It is hitting every sugar craving spot in my body and making me realise that when brownies like this exist, life can’t be so bad. Huge thumbs up to whoever concocted this beauty – not everyone in Paris can do a brownie but whoever baked this is a genius.

Cafe Craft

Chocolate, coffee and coloured pencils

I will definitely be returning here for another work-related coffee and chocolate hit. I’d like to do something a bit more ‘creative’ – I wonder how they’d feel about me bringing paints and my lino-prints and making a mess of their nice table tops. Maybe not. I have discovered one issue – two men have arrived and are having a loud-ish discussion in this previously quiet room and my preference for writing in complete silence isn’t possible. But it does mean I can eavesdrop on people – my next favourite activity after eating chocolate brownies.

Café Craft
24, rue des Vinaigriers
75010

Hanging With the Birds

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

On Sunday after a failed attempt to get into Ten Belles for afternoon tea (too many blogs are talking about it at the moment), I headed with three friends around the corner to La Chambre aux Oiseaux – directly translated into The Bedroom of the Birds. This vintage-styled joint is spacious compared the average hipster café, but some big wooden furniture and very impressive flower wallpaper give the place a cozy grandmother feel.

We arrived just after lunch and I think it had been busy. The staff looked tired and didn’t appear to want to serve us. They were apologetic for their slow service but I had just run 16 kilometres and REALLY wanted cake. It wasn’t a good time to disappoint me.

La Chambre aux Oiseaux offers a selection of home made food and a good looking (and reasonably priced) breakfast that I think I will have to go back for. They had finished lunch service and were just offering cakes, although had finished most of their daily supply. While this is always disappointing for those who arrive late, it is a good sign that their product is fresh and home made.

I had a coffee and a piece of the beetroot cake which was described to me as “like carrot cake but with beetroot.” Made sense. And it was delicious – moist and full of crunchy walnuts and drizzled not-too-heavily with a vanilla icing. Very good.

Beetroot cake

Vintage Beetroot Cake

The coffee was tasty too, and unlike Ten Belles, the cup was nice to drink out of. It makes a big difference to your dining experience!

I’d like to go back and give this place another go as I feel we hit them at a bad moment and the café has a lot of potential. Plus I seriously loved their wallpaper.

La Chambre Aux Oiseaux
48 Rue Bichat 75010
Open: Wednesday to Sunday

Welcome to the 10eme, Ten Belles

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I’m not exaggerating when I say that every week there is a new café opening in the 10eme. In the past month, I have spotted four new places within a 300 metre radius. So exciting.

On Saturday I went with my friend Giulia for a catch-up coffee to one of the new hipster hangouts – Ten Belles. Once again the Australian coffee shop influence is hitting Paris with GOOD coffee and a delicious assortment of home-made cakes. The café is small but has a balcony area with additional seating. Giulia and I nabbed the table outside and had roadside (and cigarette side) dining on some cute plywood stools. Extremely uncomfortable, likely to fall apart quickly, but they looked great.

Ten Belles Stool

Nice seating.

Unfortunately while their coffee is amazing, their tea is less impressive with a small selection and it is served in a small milk jug with a cumbersome coffee cup. The cake, however, made up for it. I had a piece of chocolate and raspberry tart – dark chocolate with the tartness of the raspberry on a decent crust. Very tasty.

Ten Belles Chocolate tart

A mighty fine tart.

The service was cheerful, friendly and good-looking and it is definitely going to be a new regular hang out for me. In fact, I tried to return there on Sunday afternoon and it was packed. BoBos galore.

Ten Belles
10 rue de la Grange aux Belles 75010 Paris
Open: Tuesday to Sunday

A Week of Food Miracles

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

I don’t know what it is – maybe it is the arrival of Spring and the warmer temperatures. Maybe there is something in the water. Maybe there are some higher, more powerful beings at work. Whatever it is, I am, and will be, eternally grateful because this miracle worker has brought me two cuisines that in the past year of living in Paris I have missed greatly.

I’m certain that I have previously complained about the lack of decent Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean restaurants in Paris. Generally speaking they lack flavour, spice and/or have strange ingredients that only the French would use.

Dear France, Japanese food does NOT have cheese as a main ingredient. From Jess.

However, some sort of divine spirits (namely my friends Becky and Vivien) have led me to a Thai restaurant a mere 5 minute walk from my house that ticks every box in my “Thai food must include” rules. It is wonderful. A group of us ate there last night, sharing a tasting plate for entrée and then five main dishes. Each dish was flavoursome, hearty and exciting to the palate. One dish was beef with spicy sauce and wow, it actually was spicy! I even experienced a burning back-of-throat moment as a chilli flake got stuck on the way down. It was glorious. Another highlight was finally discovering pad thai that actually tasted like pad thai. A year’s worth of searching and finally!

The restaurant is owned by a lovely old Frenchman and his thai wife and has a very homely feel about it. It is hidden away in a side street so not many people have discovered it yet and it was therefore easy to get a table on a Saturday night. Hopefully enough people come and try it so that it didn’t close down within a few months, but at the same time I hope it stays a local hangout for Thai food lovers.

Miracle #2 happened last Thursday when Tom and I invited our friends Sonia and Guibril to try a new burger restaurant I had spotted near the canal, Le Mal Barré. I walk past it every day as I return home with my lunch time baguette and the menu has sparked my interest. Burgers with ingredients OTHER than plastic cheese and non-bacon bacon. What was this? We had to try.

Sonia and I were both undecided over the same two burgers so we decided to try both and share. A fabulous idea. The first was chicken with fig and spinach – very tasty and the fig was certainly a great addition. The second burger was chicken with avocado, sundried tomatoes and cantal cheese and was my favourite of the two. Both had juicy pieces of chicken and were really well cooked. The boys both went for the double steak burger – two beef patties with salad, tomato and onion and they both had huge grins as they munched away. Clearly impressed.

Chicken burger

Mmm... chicken burger.

The only downside of the burgers was the bread – why, oh why, do the French insist on using sweet, American-style burger buns when they make such amazing bread? When I suggested baguettes would be better to Sonia and Guibril, their French faces told me I had just uttered the worst possible sin – baguettes are baguettes, not burger buns. Sorry. But they did agree with me that the bread was too sweet.

The burgers were served with a side salad and homemade chips – big pieces of potato with the skin still attached. Now that’s a chip worth eating. The American theme of the restaurant continues in its dessert menu with your options being either cheese cake or cupcakes. I went for the ‘originale’ cheese cake and it was good! Apparently it is baked by an American so there aren’t too many French additives, other than a speculoos biscuit base. Very tasty.

Cheesecake

The presentation could do with some work but still tasty

So my week of food has been particularly wonderful, and the miracles continued today when I baked a banana cake that when I first put it in the oven it appeared to not want to rise but simply burn from the top down. But that Food God stepped in once again and my cake suddenly decided to rise and the end result is a rather delicious afternoon tea. Ahh food. How I love thee.