Donovan’s Melbourne

Melbourne, what a city for foodies ! I had once more the confirmation the food scene was rising fast in Australia and in particular in Melbourne with an extraordinary melting pot of influences, abundance of premium local products from the land and sea, and lots of new young chefs orchestrating all this. 

I also had the confirmation that Australians are great welcoming hosts and a true land of diversity. 

I would name a few restaurants absolutely worth the wait. Pictures below are from Donovans, a local institution facing the sea. 

Another great one is Bistro Gitan in famous South Yarra neighborhood. 

And so many more to discover. 

Thanks !

queensland leader prawns grilled with oregano
yellow fin seared tuna
raw of the day !

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Hotel number sixteen, London

This hotel is a gem. Located 100 meters away from the busy south Kensington station, it offers a bubble of silence with an open garden on the rear. 

I never stayed in the hotel, but used it very often for work or meetings. 

Worth mentioning they serve an excellent afternoon tea with some of the best scones in town. 

Free wifi. Ok drink prices. Nice personnel. A no brainer. 

Restaurant Leclere, Montpellier

We just arrived in my home town of Montpellier for a week to celebrate Christmas in family. And we are of to a very solid start from a food perspective. An excellent lunch at the newly opened restaurant LECLERE

  

The menu is set at an unbeatable 22€ for three courses. Wines by the glass at 5€. 

The starters were our favorite. Carolina had “crème de courge de pays, siphon de parmesan, oignons doux en tempura”. She said it was damn good ! And I have all reasons to believe her. Mine, “Bonite à cru, anchois, choux fleur rapé, aromates cerfeuil”, was superb. The bonite ( a smaller version of tuna ) served raw reaches the Everest of freshness !

 

We then both had the “chapon”, a large chicken usually served around Christmas. Perfectly cooked. Accompanied by celery purée and a couple of spinach leaves. The whole lot reduced using a white wine. Un délice !! 

 

Bonite à cru
  
crème de courge
  
Dos de chapon
 
For dessert the ” Ganache chocolat noir” has been our favorite. 

All in all an excellent experience for a very reasonable 56 € bill. 

Really proud of my hometown ! Go discover Montpellier and its food gems. 

  

Boutique breakfast in Melbourne : Sally’s kitchen

Hi readers. I am off to Australia for a week. In between meetings I am trying to feed myself well. This morning walking around my hotel, I found a very nice place for breakfast and lunch called Sally’s kitchen. 

  

All very fresh and organic. Served with a smile and cooked by a chef from Cyprus. 

   

   
I have been told the pasta was excellent too. All being very reasonably priced as the Australian dollar significantly weakened those past years. 

On my way to Perth now where I hope to discover and share some more food spots. 

Benoit. 

Restaurant ” Pages ” , Paris 16 ème

I recently have been invited to celebrate the birthday of a work colleague at the Japanese led restaurant called ” Pages ” in Paris. What an experience ! 

The place itself is very peaceful. Minimalistic design. White and grey shades colors. Superb cutlery and plates from JL Coquet. 

  
The Japanese chef serves a unique surprise menu. Which is something you need to be fine with. What’s best then being surprised and discover tastes we would possibly not have enjoyed or chosen ? 

We started off with a glass of Meursault. And some sea bass ceviche. Followed by seasonal white and green asaparagus beautifully supported by a soft taste aioli cream and herbs. 

   
 

The main course was the masterpiece. A filet of turbo pan fried with crispy rice, accompanied by a cherry, onions and cucumber mixture. An explosion of flavors !

  

This ended with a phenomenal desert. A medium rare apricot ( or half cooked I shall say ? ) served with creme fouettée and dismantled meringue dressing. 

  

While they still need to improve the service and attention to details, a place I highly recommend. 

https://m.facebook.com/pagesparis?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F

SIMPLY ENJOY !

Corsica, ti amo !

We have recently spent two weeks in Corsica. In one of the most preserved part of its shore called Santa Giulia.    
   
  
We rented a small house in a close estate called ” Les sables de Santa Giulia “. The houses are minimalistic, built in stone, very well equipped. The agency in charge of renting them is called ” Agence Immobilière du Golfe “. Ask for Sophie, she has been super helpful. 
   
 
The house was located 50 meters away from the beach. This is what you want and need with toddlers like ours. 
Another point worth noting is that there is a private beach club and restaurant called ” Le 3 -2 “. They simply serve a very high standard cuisine while still affordable. 
The fish carpaccio proposed were simply amazing. As was catch of the day and the slow cooked veal. But the very best were the deserts. The pastry chef had just spent a year working in the main restaurant of well known Jean-François Piège in Paris. 
              
   
    
    
 
All in all a perfect spot for families still affordable out of peak season ( forget going there July and August ). 
I LOVE CORSICA ! GO EXPERIENCE IT ! 
 

Bevans butchers , Kingtson upon Thames 

After 4 years in the UK, I keep being impressed by the overall quality of the meat. But I must admit I have possibly found the gral in Kingtson upon Thames, 30 mm out of London.

The place is called Bevans butchers. The staff is very friendly. They have a very wide variety and a lot of prepared specialities ready for the week end BBQ’s. 

This week, we chose Scottish grass fed rib eye. Which we will cook and taste in 30 minutes with the kids. 

Pay them a visit and enjoy those simple pleasures of life ! 

Benoit & Coe

   

 

Sapori sardi , an Italian gem in London

To celebrate my wife’s birthday and per the recommendation of an Italian friend, we found our way to Sapori Sardi , a very small family ran tratoria nestled in Fulham, West London. 

The place and the neighborhood have nothing really special. But the food is excellent, simple, fresh and pretty inexpensive. 

Worth mentioning the service is excellent and friendly. 

We spent an excellent moment and we simply wanted to thank the team down there !

Grazie mile. Chi vediamo pronto !

   
     

Charming hotel near Uzès France, la Maison d’ulysse

Long long time I have not posted anything on the blog. The main reason being a very full time job as well as an expanding family ! But here we are again to share with you some recently discovered gems.

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We just arrived for a 3 nights stay at this charming hotel called la Maison d’ulysse. Some 10 kilometers away from the famous medieval town of Uzes. South of france.

Few words for now. More news to be posted. Stay tuned.

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