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Quick Lunch Stop in Paris – Udon Kunitoraya 虎庵

Udon Kunitoraya is a long word, let’s call it the “best udon place” shall we? Everything you need to know about this amazing little udon shop located just off Palais Royal is that, it closes on Wednesdays. Apart from that, you’re all good to go! Reasonably priced, great central location, freshly made chewy udon noodles, quick & friendly service,etc… If you’re missing a little Japanese/good/hearty food in your life, top it all up there. Don’t let the queue beat you to it, it moves fast. Your turn comes in no time and you’ll find it worth every second in the queue. My pork and mooli miso soup. Nabeyaki Udon with mixed tempura served on the side. Prawn tempura udon. And my love: cold udon with dipping sauce. After the quick, utterly satisfying lunch, we(well by “we” I meant I dragged my friends to)stopped at the last spot before heading to the eurostar train station, to top up on my candle supply. Yes yes I’ve heard of Jo Malone and Cire Trudon… but I mean, when it comes to home fragrance candles, I’m all about Buly. It could be the sophisticated scents, the beautiful marble pots with glass domes, the personal calligraphy on the packaging, or just the experience as you set foot in the breathtaking interior of the shop on 6 rue Bonaparte, just a stone throw from Musée d’Osay…I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I know how much I need one always at my nightstand.  If you’re not visiting Paris anytime soon, just so you know, Buly does sell online. But in case you are going to Paris, a trip to the shop is well worth the travel. 

Paris Special – Jin 仁

Walking into Jin on the Wednesday evening, everyone was expecting us. The waitress warmly greeted us and took our coats, while the chefs were standing by at their stations, knifes sharpened and shined, ready on the counter. I first visited Jin about two years ago. I just walked past it and immediately got attracted by the modest yet polished look of the place. It literately had me, at barely a hello. (My first review can be read here) Opened for just over 3 years, and recently awarded a Michelin star, Jin is doing very well to say the least.     First thing’s first, a round of drinks for everyone. Again, each drink came in a different cup/flask/glass. I turned into a giddy kid waiting to see what my sparkling sake would come in.       …a champaign glass of course. Then the stream of food came one after another. First up, a mushroom soup.   Tuna tartar with caviar (optional at an extra 40 euros on top of the fix menu) Sea bass sashimi with pickled wild garlic, wasabi and salt. Here comes my favourite of the evening: bluefin tuna sashimi with pickled seaweed, shallots and wasabi. Full of sweetness from the fat of the fish, and all the flavours combined just perfectly. Grilled mullet with (if you can see closely, very finely knife work on the)pickled cucumbers. Oyster with asparagus. Second drink of course, about time. Fish intestine pate with chive and pickled radish. Sushi chef prepared all the fish ready to go with the nigiri feast.   Each sushi was made right in front of us, and as soon as he gave it to us, we ate it immediately. I didn’t take a picture of every nigiri, for some of them I just couldn’t help stuffing it in straight away. No soy […]

Paris Day Three – Cafe Kitsuné & Bistrot L’Estrapade

You may have heard of Maison Kitsuné the fashion boutique in Paris. But recently the Cafe Kitsuné has also won over many coffee lovers, local and travellers alike.           Outfit details: Jacket // Rejina Pyo Black Suede Reversible Jacket // // Isabel Marant Étoile Leather Jacket from Harvey Nichols // Shirt Dress // Blue Shirt Dress from ASOS(SALE) // // C/MEO Collective Shirt Dress from Coggles.com // Hat // MAISON MICHEL Virginie showerproof rabbit-fur felt hat // // Glamorous Fedora from ASOS // // Wide Brim Fedora from Topshop // Boots // Acne Leather Boots from Mytheresa.com // // SportMax Knee-high Boots from Matchesfashion.com // Tote Bag // Large Leather Tote Bag by Mansur Gavriel // // Tote Bag from Aldo on ASOS // // Whistles Black Leather Tote Bag on ASOS // A refreshing matcha latte is to die for after a long walk around town. And the delicate iconic fox shape butter cookies are absolutely lovely(both to taste and to look at) too.             One of the places I’ve been meaning to visit is the new Ines de la Fressange Boutique. Located just behind Boulevard Saint-Germain on a small street, the chic and lively boutique features ready-to-wear lines from the legendary icon herself, homeware, leather goods and accessories. Good tailoring, nice fabric and easy, throw-on chic interpreted the essence of French style perfectly.             Leaving the shop with a huge full shopping bag, I was satisfied for more window shoppings for the rest of the day, which was the best sort of shopping in Paris too.   After an exhausting shopping day, we were glad to find ourselves relaxed and ready to dine at the cosy surrounding of Bistrot L’Estrapade. It’s my second time visiting this small bistro in Latin Quarter. The first experience was so unforgettable and I had to visit again, and bringing more friends too. The warm and welcome one-person service […]

Paris Day Two – Hotel Henriette & Alain Passard’s Arpège

  The first morning I woke up in Paris, I felt GREAT! When we travel abroad, we always complain about how the hotel beds/pillows/mattress/duvets don’t match the standard we expected. And you’re always left with a sleepless night or a backache in the morning. But then when the things are actually good, we don’t tend to take any notice. Well, at Hotel Henriette, a good night sleep passed without being noticed, and all that I was left with in the morning, was the reluctant feeling to get out of that soft, yet firm(if  you know what I mean) and fluffy bed. Walking out of your individually designed room, the rest of the hotel is also tastefully designed and decorated, full of statement furniture pieces that you’ve drooled over for years. travel wash bag That textured wallpaper with the retro cabinet is any interior enthusiasts’ dream combo.     A flowery corner.       Anyways I had to get up in the end, for lunch. Even my motivational PJ didn’t help me to get up early.     Morning person pyjama from Wildfox: //  Wildfox Women’s Morning Person 25th December Pyjama Set from Coggles.com // The PJ set uses the typical soft fabric that Wildfox is famous for. It was a little bit of a struggle getting out of them. Luckily, the outfit for the day was a rather comfortable one too. Jumper // ASOS Chunky Rib Jumper with V-Neck // // esk women’s june short sleeved cashmere sweater in orange (heavily discounted) // Shirt // Premium Linen Long Sleeve Shirt from Uniqlo // Skirt // Oasis Stripe Skater Skirt on ASOS // Bag //  M2MALLETIER Fabricca mini Leopard-print Calf Hair Shoulder Bag on Outnet.com // // J.W. ANDERSON Logo Plaque Shoulder Bag on Farfetch.com // // Grace Leopard Lurex from Kurt Geiger //  Boots // Acne Leather Boots from Mytheresa.com // // SportMax Knee-high Boots from Matchesfashion.com //           […]

Best(one of the many) Dinner in Paris – Pottoka, and Its Lamb

Here you go, the ultimate LAMB. Slow roasted with razor clams, new potatoes, artichokes and asparagus. Brought out sizzling and steaming to our table at Pottoka, this unassuming little restaurant tucked away near the Eiffel tower on Rue de L’Exposition. < I’m sorry for the spoiler right at the beginning. But as a true lover of lamb, this dish broke my record for “how tasty lamb can be”. Entering the restaurant, it was a tiny place that sat no more than 30 people(and all rather squeezed together). No fancy interior or high brow customers, the warm and welcoming waiting staff brought all the charm to the place, I mean, that’s before the food took over.       Hoop earrings(similar) from a few choices below: !function(doc,s,id){ var e, p; if(!doc.getElementById(id)) { e = doc.createElement(s); e.id = id; p = ‘//shopsensewidget.shopstyle.com/widget-script.js’; var cb = new Date().getTime(); p += ‘?cb=’ + cb; e.src = p; doc.body.appendChild(e); } if(typeof window.ss_shopsense === ‘object’){ if(doc.readyState === ‘complete’){ window.ss_shopsense.init(); } } }(document, ‘script’, ‘shopsensewidget-script’); After a short wait, our starters came. The lovely charcuterie board of Ibérique ham with bruschetta(YUM!). And a scallops and langoustines sashimi salad with yuzu sauce. Very refreshing taste, perfect prep for the main event.     The pork chop arrived as one of the mains. It was packed with flavours and a lovely smokiness umami. But nothing, nothing in the world would have beaten the tasty lamb I’d had that evening. The meat was soft and tender and juicy, detached from the bone the second your fork would touch it. All the flavour went into the meat, both the lamb and the calm and the veggies absorbed the amazing flavours from each other. On top of these, I guess luckily both the artichoke and razor clam happened to also be my favourite veggie and seafood. Everything adding up […]

Paris Day One, Lunch at Terroir Parisien de Yannick Alleno

On a very grey Monday morning in London, I packed my luggage and escaped to Paris instead. Arriving in Paris, the weather was very welcoming indeed! It was the kind of weather that would make you want walk everywhere. We arrived at our beautiful hotel Hotel Henrriette: a haven for interior inspirations, to drop the luggage (more on this AMAZING hotel later), and headed for a quick lunch in the nearby 5th arrondisement. Every turn around the corner is a perfect picture under that dramatic bright sunlight in Paris.  And the lunch was booked at Terroir Parisien de Yannick Alleno.I was glad that we booked it in advance on Trip Adviser(yes you can book direct through them now!), the lunch service was packed in there. Local families, couples, travelers all gathered there. The two waiters were doing their best to answer to everyone’s demand. But it was still a little bit overwhelming for them. There could be a 1-2 mins delay from when you raised your hand/made eye contact with them. But you can see how they were working their asses off, and were in no way ignoring anybody in purpose. I can be more forgiving under this type of circumstances, and I wouldn’t say it was a bad service as such. (give you more time to do some people watching and chatting with friends anyway) I ordered two starters and skipped the main. Pouched leeks in white sauce with crushed boiled egg, followed by trotters salad(personal fave! The sauce in that dish was worth scraping every single bit off with a bread). My friend ordered a cod with butternut squash puree and mustard, which was beautiful. I’d tasted a bite, and to be honest, there was not much to bite from. The fish melted in the mouth faster than the squash did. It […]

Chinese Laundry the Restaurant, Islington

A little while back, I went to review a little restaurant in Islington called Chinese Laundry on behalf of Condé Nast Traveler China. I’d heard of it long before I was asked to do the review. The creatively authentic dishes and the unique quirkiness of the place attracted much attention from social medias soon after it opened its door last October. I wore the shirt that spoke my mind. // Wildfox Oversized Sweatshirt from Coggles.com // // Sunglasses from Wildfox on Coggles.com // // Grey Coat (similar) from Topshop // // Jeans (similar) from Topshop // // Navy Boots (similar) from Topshop // The interior resembled the 80’s ordinary family settings in China. The owners are two girls who studied in London as fashion students. They went back to China after studying and worked in the fashion industry for a few years. But missing London as much as they did, they came back last year and started the restaurant Chinese Laundry. The menu is a selection of the girls’ favourite dishes, with twists and ideas borrowed from British/western cuisine. I wanted to order simply everything from the brunch menu. Egg and bacon omelette. Pork dumplings omelette. Shrimp cake benedict. Pork belly bun. Full English only that nothing was English. It was rather a little sharing platter of typical Chinese drinking snacks. It’d be the ideal companion for a few cocktails or Baijiu(Chinese liqueur). I don’t know about dinner, but the brunch menu features a great portion at a reasonable price. Foods are tasty, and different than the usual Chinese you can have anywhere else. The dumpling omelette was one of my favourite.  A long walk was much in need after the fulfilling brunch at Chinese Laundry. Islington is a beautiful neighbourhood to walk around in, with a lot of thriving new boutiques and eateries along the streets. Have fun:) .

Park Chinois, Mayfair

We checked out Park Chinois, Alan Yau’s much anticipated new venture a while ago during Chinese new year.  Back then it was still freezing cold midwinter(not that now is any better), I went for my trusted vintage fur that was purchased two years ago in Paris, and a pair of wide leg denim trousers which allowed room for my usual heattech leggings underneath. A top in the same colour as the jeans to help blur the waistline and elongate the figure, so I figured. And the falabella backpack that (hopefully) injected a breathe of youth in the otherwise mature and luxe image that a fur coat could usually represent.    Back when I bought the coat, there wasn’t as many faux fur choices available around. And I figured the only way I can justify buying fur was vintage. That trip in Paris was so freezing cold, and I bought this piece which kept me alive strolling along the beautiful Parisian streets.  But now there are so many amazing faux fur all around with incredible designs and value. I’ve picked a few options which I thought would go well with the rest with my outfit here: // Two Tone Jacket from Unreal Fur on VeryExclusive // // Faux Fur Jacket from Cooperative on Urban Outfitters // // Cheap Monday Black Curl Jacket from Urban Outfitters // And if you find it difficult, like I do, to find a colour matching top with your favourite denim, a new season denim dungaree could well be the solution.  // Monki Crop Dungaree on ASOS // // Flare Denim Dungaree from Rollas on ASOS // Backpack as seen in this article // Stella McCartney Falabella Backpack (in blue) // or // Stella McCartney Snake-print Backpack on Selfridges.com // Talking about the restaurant itself, situated off Berkeley Square in Mayfair, a stone throw away from Alan Yau’s ex-restaurant legend Hakassan. The old […]

Thai at Crazy Bear, Oxford

Not long ago, I had something close to the perfect weekend away at The Crazy Bear Hotel, Stadhampton. Reception in a red bus, massage, afternoon drinks, Thai food, flaming cocktails, indulging bath, leather flooring in the room perfect for dancing… which of your box hasn’t been ticked? All mine are done! We arrived to a spa treatment, which was performed by one of the most skilful thai masseuse I’ve ever encountered(and I’ve been to more than just a few around the world). My joints and muscle knots clicked away like a happy drum where her fingers touched. She didn’t use much pressure, just hit the exact spots every single time. Magical! None picture was taken there, but I assure you it was the perfect way to start an afternoon. I felt like a new person. After the massage, we went straight to the bar. The decor was full of old time glamour, almost a little decadent. The ideal backdrop to eat and drink and talk all your troubles away.  We had a decent(although debatable) amount of champaign at the bar and decided to leave the rest the bottle for dinner, and head to the room, which followed the same kind of vibe of the interior style in the bar. The minute I set my eyes on the bathtub, there was no doubt that a soothing bath time was needed. The water tab was in the leather padded ceiling, and the overflow was designed the same way as a limitless pool. Getting out of the bath(difficult that it was), it was almost time to get ready for dinner at the famous thai restaurant at the hotel. I wore this little grey wool dress with fringe details from Hobbs, while the same style dress is not available anymore, I’ve found the skirt, which I’m sure when paired with a grey vest will […]

Monochrome Tones and Dinner at Kiru, Chelsea

A grey outer piece is the best alternative to your everyday black coat. It’s basically still in the same family, just with some added milk. Goes perfectly with black and white piece if you want to go for a monochrome theme like I did the other day. Or you can pair it up with softer hues like powder blue or beige, which will achieve a feminine, soft look that any black pieces would not be able to pull off.  This grey coat I purchased a couple years ago while it was on a whooping 80% discount in Harrods. It was from the Harrods’ own brand, and was 100% cashmere.  While the exact same thing is not available now(might be again during summer/Christmas sale, worth checking out then), I’ve found a few similar pieces all on great offer at the moment. (especially on the VeryExclusive.com Sale Coats page, the discounts are unbelievably generous..MUST SEE)   // Grey Cashmere Coat from L.K.Bennett (ON GREAT OFFER) // // Grey Long Trench from L.K.Bennett on VeryExclusive.com // // Oversized Mohair Coat from Paul Smith Black on VeryExclusive.com // A camel number is also nice when you try to go for a softer look with layerings. // Camel Coat from DAY BIRGER on VeryExclusive.com // The rest of the look are(basically the same as in the previous post) // White Split Jumper(similar) from ASOS // // Light before Dark Cullotes from Urbanoutfitters // // Super Wide Leg Indigo Cullotes from ASOS // // Simon Miller Wide Leg Cropped Jeans from Matchesfashion.com // // Zip-up Leather Platforms (similar) from & Other Stories SALE // // Stella McCartney Falabella Backpack (in blue) // or // Stella McCartney Snake-print Backpack on Selfridges.com // // Gucci Bamboo Detail Sunglasses from Sunglassesshop.com (on offer) // And after a short and sweet lunch break in Pret a Manger(as you can tell from just above), yet another Japanese treat is awaiting that dinner. (wondering why I said “another” means you didn’t see this post about […]

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