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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Postcard From Paris... Part 1


Citron Tartlets

I had been somewhat dreading the trip to Europe before I set out. The thought of spending the whole week in Munich, attending to the exhibition was not really enticing. Normally, for such events, one will be on one's feet the whole day, talking almost non-stop to potential customers. These usually start out at 9am and does not end until 6pm in the evening. This would normally be followed by dinner meetings with business associates... they never end. In any case, if you are, like me, not quite a party animal, Europe would very much be a ghost town after 7pm. The only thing one can do in the evenings and on Sundays would be to eat and drink.I had rushed deparately to Dallaymr, the famous traditional delicatessan store twice only to find myself shut out. (Well, more of that in a separate post. I really ought to have started with Munich first but I am in Paris now and it is best to write about my adventures here first before they turn stale...)

In any case, I decided to reward myself with a 2 days stop over in Paris, with a few clearly defined money splurging objectives :
1. To shop for kitchen utensils at the E- Dehillerin, the only kitchen specialist shop I knew before I came over... and now I have discovered more.
2. To make my pilgrimage round at the various sacred temples of pastrydom.
3. To get to Mariage Freres to check out their tea and accessories collection.
4. To eat good French food.

I checked into the Renaisaance Le Parc Trocadero shortly after midday and immediately got stuck in a teleconference for more than an hour. By the time I left the hotel, it was already after 2 and my first meal in Paris was a Citron Tartlette at a lovely patisserie round the corner. A La Petite Marquise, situated at Victor Hugo near the Metro entrance tempts you with its wide window display of beautiful pastries. I lingered at the window, walked in to stare at the fine pastries, walked out and finally decided to turn back to have a quick bite. The quick bite comprised of a citron tartlette and a cup of hot cocoa. I have nothing to nit pick on the pastry. It was good but it did not blow me away - but I would be most happy if only I can produce something close in my own kitchen. Customers are constantly streaming in  and a short line forms easily hence, I believe it must be quite popular in the area.

More Pastries

After alot of walking, alot of asking for directions(all futile) and finally 2 phone calls to E-Dehillerin, I arrived at the store 40mins to its closing time. E.Dehillerin is exactly what it claims to be - 'Le Specialiste Du Materiel De Cuisine'.  This is a heavy weight wholesaler, situated in where historically used to be the biggest fresh products market/ wholesaler in Paris before it was moved out. E-Dehillerin feels and looks every bit like the grand old dame of the kitchen supplies wholesaler. The old fashioned warehousing layout has the place chock a block with every imagainable item required by the restaurant industry. The musky dusty atmosphere and the brash but friendly shop floor manager just serve to reinforce the importance of the store within the industry.

E Dehillerin Kitchen Supplies Specialist

Copper ware at E Dehillerin

E Dehillerin

Basement of E Dehillerin

I thank fellow blogger Moises who had introduced me to E Dehillerin. I bought a dozen canele molds at less than half the price I would have to pay for back in Singapore. I had also been waiting out to get a Madeleine mold and I found a rather expensive one at E Dehillerin. It was around 30euro. There were other cheaper ones but...when you travel all the way to Paris, you start to throw out all sense of restrain and deep down in my heart, I am wishfully harboring a hope that maybe, just maybe with the more expensive mold, my Madeleines would just be so much closer to being perfect and heavenly... women, aren't we all cursed in that way?

I promise to post new instalments about my discovery of other kitchen stores... it can only be in places where people take their food seriously that you can find so many quality kitchen supply stores.


Allie said...

Nice! It definitely looks like kitchen supplies heaven in Paris. Wish I was there! Have lotsa fun shopping!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Loved the photos. I was hyperventilating at all those enchanting pastries and cakes. The French do them so well. Eagerly awaiting more updates from you ...

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peasepudding said...

It's such a great shop isn't it? I was there in June and we were fortunate to stumble upon it as we were staying in that district. I really hope you enjoyed Munich too, it is a great city with amazing food as long as someone points you in the right direction.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Peasepudding - thanks for dropping by.Paris is indeed a gem but I got a shock when I flew in from Munich where everything was so organised, clean and precise. Will write about it a little later.

Irene's Footprints said...

wow nice shop it far from Paris? I got a friend going to Paris soon..wanted to get silpat silicon know of any shop in Paris?

Let me know...
can't wait to see your next posting and can't wait to travel to Paris....


Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Irene, this is in Paris. Will post details of address... You can definitely get silpat silicon mats there...:)

Irene's Footprints said...

hi hi..
let me it cheaper there? I thought so...
My fren will arrive in Paris over the weekend..


Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Not sure if it would be cheaper there. I did not check out the mats but euro is rather strong now.

zurin said...

I am sooo glad you dropped by my blog. I LOVE yours. These fotos are making me go OMG all the way as I scroll down. Those copper pots n pans, those pastries, the teapot shop in the post after this, the everything. Thank you for dropping by. ill be back for more :))

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Thank you, Zurin. I am still new at blogging and wish I have the time and discipline to post more regularly. Same for me, I will be back to your blog for more!


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