Wednesday, January 21, 2009

French Food

Not gonna talk about the Perm Sec in MEWR x Le Cordon Bleu issue. So Mr Y. S. Tan got chided publicly. BFD. I was more interested in the news on how the total annual salaries at the MR4 grade will fall by 18% to $1.57 million and salaries at the SR9 level will fall by 12% to $353,000. SR9 is the entry level of superscale Administrative Service Officer. They are in their early to mid 30s. My annual pay is no where near $353,000, which works out to be more than $29,000 a month. In fact, I am so far from $353,000 that I don't even belong to the same neighbourhood, street, estate, postal district, GRC....... The SR9 grade officers can see their salaries drop by another 50% and still be getting more than me. I need to constantly remind myself of this whenever I think I should work late. Oh poor them. Having 12% of their salaries shaved off. Woe.

Enough about that.

This is about the good fortune I enjoyed when I was in Paris for a working trip late last year. I had foie gras on 4 of the 7 nights I was there. So besides staying at the Hilton, Paris, there was good food all round. Ok, so the forced fed geese weren't so fortunate. My fortune was further diluted by the fact that I don't really love foie gras.

I'm more of a tee kwa (pig liver) in the minced pork and mushroom mee pok dry type of person. Especially the powdery type done easy.

The cool way to name your restaurant when you have made it is easy. Name it after yourself.
Not your surname. Use your first name. Preferably with your maitre'd name as well. Just to debunk the critics from saying you are ego-centric. Even if you are.

George V is the area to look for French fine dining. Sandwiched between the Eiffel Tower and The Arc D'Triomphe, an avenue off the Champs Elysees, it is easily located.

On the second night, I had my first french fine dining experience in this place called Philippe & Jean-Pierre. Good thing I had late dinner that evening. So the bulk of the dinner crowd had already left. Thus the few of us had a fantastic night of relaxed conversations, fine food, good wine and a very interesting cheese board.

The third night was the exhibition's opening gala held in The Paris Navy Museum which is the west wing of the Palais de Chaillot (or Trocadero). Most who have been tp Paris would have been to the compounds as it provides one of the best vistas in Paris - that of the Eiffel Tower standing resplendent on the opposite bank of the Seine river. I just wanted to note that Singaporeans are not the only kiasu (afraid of losing out)/tumjiak (greedy - taking alot of what you like) /gianpng (greedy - taking alot of what you like AND whatever else is served). There were foie gras served in a myriad of ways and freshly shucked Mediterranean oysters. And buzzing around these stands were representatives from various countries. I saw this particular man slurping down more than a dozen of the oysters. I think I had 2. Damn. Not only am I earning way less than the local elites, I am also not being kiasu enough as the local uncles/aunties.

The next night was at a restaurant famous for the seafood and specialities from Provence - Marius et Jeanette. Although pricey, the eatery was filled with casually dressed patrons and as noisy as a pub. Except that no pub music was being played. Only the sound of conversations in French and English (our table).

The last of the George V restaurant I dined in was in Pershing Hall. The restaurant is part of the Hotel Pershing Hall and is one of the place in Paris to see and be seen. Below is the menu (the only place I had taken note):

Fine tart of Cod, olive oil and lemon dressing, caviar of tomato
Pan fried sea bass filet, stewed garlic and caviar of eggplant
Figs roasted with citrus, rosemary sherbet

[errors intended]

Figs as dessert was common because they were in season. So many of the desserts I had were fig-based. Even for lunches.

Ok, getting quite tired. Will stop here.

Boring entry.

1 comment:

vulnerable toes said...

i found the first part more interesting ;)