A Birthday Surprise – Dining at “Le Jules Vernes” in the Eiffel Tower

eiffel1I had always been under the impression that “Le Jules Verne“, the restaurant located on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower (altitude of 125 meters) was a tourist trap serving horrible food with the view of Paris being its only saving grace. Since we’re living in Paris (once again, Chee’s favorite city in the world) and Chee had gone on and on about how the reviews were outdated and that the restaurant was now helmed by Alain Ducasse (with 25 Michelin stars to his name in all his restaurants around the world), I went surfing around online and to my surprise, I found rather positive reviews of the restaurant.

Jules Verne was one place Chee would never have thought that I would bring her to given my fear of heights. SURPRISE!!! Jules Verne it was for Chee’s birthday (Tip: To land a table right next to the window, book at least 1 to 2 months in advance).   With its own private lift access, we were swiftly led up to the restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.  Restaurant diners can also head to the viewing platform through a private access from the restaurant.

Jules Verne

The lunch menu (88€ or 125€ with 3 glasses of wine) which we decided on had a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts plus the suggestions of the day.  A nice cute touch was the butter molded in the form of the base of the Eiffel.

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Appetiser was a pumpkin velouté with chestnut. Simple and well-presented. As for starters, we had the preserved duck foie gras, fruit and orange marmalade accompanied by toasted brioche and the ravioli of crab meat with crab sauce. Once again, great presentation and a good start to our meal.

Jules Verne3

The main dishes did not disappoint. Chee’s dish of roasted pork chop served with stuffed tender onion, straw potatoes and cooking jus as well as my dish of slowly cooked ox cheek and carrots both hit the sweet spots for us. Flavourful, gratifying and thoroughly yummy.

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Chee’s desert was a chocolate/mint variation whilst I chose a light desert of a contemporary vacherin of passion, mango and fresh ginger. Being a chocolate lover, I realised I had made the wrong choice when Chee’s dessert arrived. I kept looking over to her yummy dessert.  If you’re still hungry by this stage, the complimentary mignardises (small sweet tidbits) of chocolate truffles, guimauves (marshmallows), macaroons, and brownies would definitely make you keel over.

All in all, it was a very good experience.  The wines served paired well with the dishes.   Did I freak out coz of the height? Thankfully, once I was in the restaurant, it wasn’t all that bad. Nevertheless, heading out to the private viewing platform of the Eiffel Tower was indeed a challenge for me. Doubt I’ll do that again!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHEE 😉

Le Jules Verne
5 Avenue Gustave Eiffel, 75007
+33 1 45 55 61 44
Open 7 days a week

10 reasons to go for a Sunday early morning run in Paris

Reason 1: The early bird/runner gets to view Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro sans tourists…

Reason 2: Ditto for the Louvre…

Reason 3: Just you, the love-locks on Pont des Arts and the serene river Seine…

Reason 4: Car-free Sundays on roads by the river Seine

Reason 5: Having the park (Jardin des Plantes) all to myself…

Reason 6: Getting to enjoy a splendid view of the Notre Dame…

Reason 7: I get to be reminded of just how beautiful Paris is…

Reason 8: Musée d’Orsay, ’nuff said…

Reason 9: No worries about finding a green chair to sit on at the Jardin des Tuileries…

Reason 10: It’s barely 11am and I’m done with my 26km run. The reward is having the  Eiffel Tower before my eyes…🙂 🙂 🙂

What I think about while walking around Paris

I’ve always loved autumn/fall. The falling leaves and autumn rain bring out the romantic, almost melancholic side of a city…

Squinting my eyes while taking this shot opposite Musée d’Orsay, I was thankful that there was a glimpse of sunlight breaking through the grey clouds and gloomy rain…

I’ve never noticed that the lamp-posts on Place de la Concorde were painted green…what a strange colour for a lamp-post…

Need I say more?

Spotting UFOs in Parisian Markets

There’s something to be said about waking up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and heading out to one of the markets/marchés in Paris to shop for fresh produce.

When we first moved to Paris, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that a marché was set up every Wednesday and Sunday right outside where we lived, under the metro tracks of La Motte Piquet Grenelle and Dupleix stations. It became a routine to wake up on Sunday, pop by the marché, soak in the atmosphere with the locals and pick up what would be our brunch – e.g. roast chicken, cheese with baguette, oysters, paella, sauerkraut with sausages (yes, we can get non-French food items too ;)).

I’ve often stopped in my tracks to stare at a UFO – “unidentified food object” and Bolly would roll his eyes and tell me what it was followed by an exclamation along the lines of “Tu as jamais vu ça?” (You’ve never seen this before?). Oh well, blame that on growing up in a city and not being in the least bit interested in cooking.

Here are some pictures from our visit to the Marché President Wilson (16th arrondissement) last Sunday with my cousin.  Spot any UFOs? 🙂

I still don’t know what type of flowers these are but they were a beautiful shade of blue…

I never knew that there were so many varieties of tomatoes…

I could get used to a lifestyle of Sunday oyster brunches 🙂

Another yummy dish, escargot in garlic butter…

When I saw this, I thought of a popular dish in Singapore, sambal (chilli-based sauce) stingrays…

This was one of the UFOs that I stopped to look at when I first arrived in Paris…sea urchins…

Marché President Wilson is known to be one of the more expensive marchés with an uppity Parisian flavour. Comparing prices is a must!

Growing up, I almost always only ate button and shitake mushrooms and never knew that there’s a wide range of mushrooms with different varieties coming into season at different times of the year…

Some are obviously huge…

Pheasant anyone?

One of the perks of living in Paris, finally learning to identify different cheeses!

My all-time favourite UFO! Any guesses?

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Scams out to trick tourists take place everywhere in Paris be it at the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Sacré Coeur, along the River Seine, Notre Dame etc. We saw two tourists fall prey to a scam recently when we were driving along the River Sine and much as we wanted to alert them, there wasn’t enough time to do so before the car had to move off. So, in the spirit of public service, I hope to do our part to raise awareness of some of these hoaxes.

1. Clipboard donations

I’ve seen adults and children carrying clipboards at major tourist destinations (Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur and Champs-Élysées etc) asking for donations. A colleague that’s fallen for this told me that once you agree to donate (eg. €2 or €5), they’ll tell you that there’s a minimum donation amount. So if you oblige them, you’ll end up losing the money you give them and could potentially have your wallet stolen when they see where you keep your wallet. I once witnessed an old man handing over a €20 note and instead of giving him change, the girl ran away with his money.

2. Bracelets/Friendship Bands

I’ve only ever seen this happen in Montmartre. As you head towards the Sacre Coeur, men will come up to you showing you friendship bands and they will try to tie these bands on your wrist. Say no immediately and walk away. Otherwise, once the bands are on your wrists, they’ll ask you to pay €5 – €10 for each band.

3. Guess where the ball is

What catches your attention is a group of people huddled over a game. You get drawn to the crowd and see a guy betting €50 while guessing which of the 3 matchstick boxes/cups actually contains a ball. The guy easily wins the €50.  If you stick around and show some interest in betting, those around you would egg you on telling you how easy it is to win. Once you decide to play, that’s where the scam unfolds. The split second that you look away to get your money, the ball is moved away from where you thought it was and there goes your money. The guy who “won” before you and those who urged you to bet are actually from the same gang. They keep pretending to “win” until some innocent chap takes the bait.

4. The gold ring

Another person who fell for this told me that someone would come up to you to ask if you’ve dropped a gold ring.  He would then show you a ring and try to make conversation while attempting to convince you that the ring belongs to you.  When you refuse, he will then ask for spare change either for the ring (which could have a fake 18k insignia on it) or to pay for his next meal.

5. Someone drops something in front of you

This usually happens on trains or when you’re seated down in a café. Someone walks by and drops something beside you (coins, papers etc). If you bend over to help this person pick up his belongings without watching your own stuff, chances are that your valuable possessions (handphone/handbag/laptop) would be swiped away while you’re bent over. It doesn’t pay to be kind? Well, yes, be kind but be alert as well.

TAKE CARE!