Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: Picasso Museum

It's time to resume the Paris photos! Last day, last museum - the Picasso museum. The first visit was not so successful - I had forgotten to check what day the museum was closed, and on Tues after finishing at the Musee D'Orsay, I made the trek to Marais, only to discover the museum was closed. Doh! I slunk away, feeling foolish, and walked around the streets for a bit, as if to pretend that I had fully intended on going to Marais to walk around. I went back again on Thurs after the Lourve, and was very relieved to see it was open. The Picasso museum is of a much more manageable size than the Lourve and Musee D'Orsay, and I finished it in a couple of hours. Again, another very enjoyable museum; I really enjoyed seeing the development of Picasso's art. And with the finish of this museum, I was officially museumed out.

Miss Universe 2006

Behold world, this is your Miss Universe!

I'm disappointed though. My favourite was Miss Switzerland. Who can resist that superhero costume?? She's a prime candidate for saving the world from bad fashion! Now that's something I'd vote for!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tantalising Temperley for Target

If you're as disappointed as I am in the current Patrick Robinson collection for Target's Go International series, you can either wait for the Libertine line to come out next, or go and look at the byte-sized collection from the next designer - Alice Temperley. I was expecting pretty, pretty dresses, but instead got a surprise when I saw a lot of chic black and whites and greys. Perfect for fall. The collection comes out in October.

If you want to see large pictures of the collection, head on over to Nitrolicious.

This May, I am into...

The bubble top pictured is from Cop Copine. I bought the black version.

Oops, it’s a *bit* late this month! Also, am trying out a new way to present it:

Eating: Kaya toast for breakfast, Marutama ramen at Central
Wearing: Patent black peeptoe shoes, trapeze tops, bubble tops
Shopping: Deciding what to spend my US$5 yesstyle voucher on, going on a massive spending spree for ‘designer’ items
Watching: Hello! Miss, Que Sera Sera, Witch Amusement, Spiderman (it sucked!)
Reading: On Beauty by Zadie Smith, Mansfield Park by June Austen
Listening: Epik High
Partying: friends’ birthdays

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Vogue style icon: Amelia Earhart

I was flipping through the Beauty Icons series today and came across the Amelia Earhart slideshow, and was struck by how very 'now' her looks were. It's amazing, if someone were to wear exactly everything she had on in the photos, they'd wouldn't look out of place at all today. Just the sort of portraits you'd expect to see in The Sartorialist, actually.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mad about Maje

Spring Summer '07

What was I doing at age 17? Ah, I was in school struggling to finish projects, and wishing I had more time to watch movies and go out with my friends. Meanwhile, Maje creator Judith Milgrom, at age 17, was already a clothes designer. Some of her clothes are available in what I like to call the “expensive section” in Tangs (behind the Molton Brown counter), but I saw the full range when I was in Paris at the Maje boutique along St Honore. Of course, everything being so expensive, the closest I got to them was pressing my nose to the boutique window and wishing I could bring everything home.

The clothes from Maje are right up my alley – they look very comfortable but still retain a smart casual appearance, with a slightest tinge of the hippie.

View the full collection.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

eBay to go!

I love putting lots of things on my eBay watchlist, and recently discovered this fun little widget that allows you to share your watchlist with the world. This is what I've just put on my watchlist:

Have fun at eBay to go!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: Dinner at Bistro Vivienne

For our work dinner, our French colleague booked us a looong table at Bistrot Vivienne. He picked the place for a) its close proximity to our hotel, b) the fact that he had been there previously for a friend's birthday and thought it wasn't too bad, and c) the restaurant had a separate private space for about 20 noisy people.

Although I've read some pretty good reviews online, I actually thought the food was nothing to shout about. But I think it might have to do with the fact that the restaurant created a special menu for us (choice of 2 starters, mains and dessert) and therefore couldn't spend too much time on quality.

I'm sure there's a fancy French name for this, but all I can remember is it's goat cheese with sundried tomato on toast. I enjoyed this very much.

Mains was a choice of steak frites or fish. In an attempt to be healthy, I opted for the fish, which as you can see, came in a light stew of vegetables. The soup had a nice, clean taste, but I suspect the fish wasn't too fresh as it tasted slightly fishy. Verdict: so-so.

Being a chocolate fiend, there was no question as to whether I should pick the creme brulee or the molten chocolate cake. Unfortunately, the cake did not quite live up to expectations; the chocolate didn't ooze out when pierced. I've actually tasted better molten cakes back home at places like Wild Rocket and even Baker's Inn (back before it became the horribly-spelt Bakerzin).

I guess if I had more time, I might have gone back to the restaurant to try their a la carte menu, which I'm hoping would have been better. Nevertheless, it was a fun dinner. I liked the atmosphere in the place - it was cosy, comfortable and not at all pretentious. This is where I had my first Kir Royale (which quickly became my choice of poison in Paris), learnt how to toast people the French way (you say "Sante!" and look them in the eye), and got to see my colleagues get happy high and take numerous silly photographs of each other.

Bistrot Vivienne
4 rue des Petits-Champs

And because I have nowhere else to post this:

Dinner with some colleagues at a random restaurant along the main road somewhere in Montmartre. We wanted to try Chartier, but the queue to get in was too long and we were just too hungry to wait, so we skipped over to the other side of the road and entered the first restaurant we saw. We all opted for the set dinner. Mine was the pate, steak frites and fruit crumble (not pictured, but was the best part of the meal). The food was quite unexceptional, but for about 20 euro for the entire meal, we weren't complaining.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: At the Lourve

Are you getting sick of photos of Paris yet? We still have more to go, but most of them will be food-related. :) On my last day, I went to the Lourve. This time round, I fared better and didn't have to queue at all. I got my ticket, grabbed a map and hoofed it straight to the Mona Lisa, after hearing horror stories of people queueing up to an hour to see the famous painting. I even did the dorky thing of walking from side to side, and was quite amazed to see that her eyes really do follow you! Ooh optical illusion!

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Lourve very much. It's a beautiful museum, but much too large to cover in 1 day. I had to give up on 1 wing, as I had other going to Laduree and shopping at Galeries Lafayette. There's only so much art a girl can take in a day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: Versailles

I think my trip alone to Japan last year has made me braver in taking public transport to strange places alone. I managed to catch the train to Versailles and find my way to the Chateau without any mistakes (go me!). If I had more time (and less aching feet), I would have liked to explore the place a little more; the shops looked interesting and there were some very nice-looking bakeries.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lunch at Le Papillon

Just got back from a nice lunch at Le Papillon. The plan started a few weeks back when my mother was telling me my aunt wanted to go somewhere nice for her birthday dinner with her family. I suggested Wild Rocket for its nice ambience and fairly reasonable prices. And somehow from there, the suggestion turned into having lunch with my aunt as well. At first I thought about trying the new place at Duxton Hill or going back to Oso, but after talking to a friend, i decided to give Le Papillon another try.

I had visited Le Papillon shortly after it had first opened last year on a recommendation from a friend. While I enjoyed the food, I was really turned off by the snooty attitude of the maitre d', who was rude from the time I made a reservation to the time we actually had dinner there. So disgusted was I with her bad attitude that I never returned to the place, and it wasn't until my friend told me she was no longer there and had new staff that I decided to give it another go.

I'm so glad I went back because lunch was delicious and the service was excellent. The waitresses were very attentive and polite and served us with a smile. What a difference good service makes!

We all opted for the set lunch, priced at a reasonable $29++. My aunt and I started off with the thinly seared beef and extra fine beans roulade with rocket salad while my mother had the warm caesar salad with fried soft shell crab. The beef came wrapped delicately around the beans, and was just the right texture, neither too tough or chewy. The soft shell crab came in generous portions in what looked like a tempura batter, and according to my mother, was really good too.

As for mains, my mother and aunt had the pan roasted snapper with spicy tomato sauce and olive mashed potato while I had the deep fried whiting with potato salad. I like to call my dish a high-class fish & chips,with the whiting fried to crispy perfection. The only thing I didn't quite like was the potato; it tasted like they hadn't been boiled for too long and were quite crunchy. I tried some of the snapper as well, but felt it was a little dry. Nevertheless the olive potato mash was quite yummy.

But for me and my sweet tooth, the star of the meal was dessert, a banana chocolate tart with vanilla bean ice-cream and came with some homemade peanut brittle. Everything was perfect - the size of the portion, the caramel sauce drizzled over the tart, the chocolate pastry and the banana - all cooked to perfection. I'd go back anytime for another portion!

All in all, it was a meal both my mother and aunt enjoyed immensely. For two rather finicky eaters to give their "compliments to the chef" and to declare they should come back again, I'd say Le Papillon did very well indeed!

See the rest of the set menu.

Le Papillon
28 Maxwell Road
#01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building
Tel: 6327 4177

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: First dinner in Paris

I thought I'd take a break from posting pictures of scenery and museums and show you some pictures of fooood. For our first night in Paris, we decided not to wander too far from our neighbourhood, and in the company of our French colleague who was our guide, walked around the hotel searching for a nice looking restaurant. After a bit of walking, we discovered Pierre au Palais Royal along rue de Richelieu. It didn't look too overwhelmingly expensive and had a decent number of "Voted Best" stickers in its window, which suggested it was quite well regarded in the food circles.

We were the first in the restaurant, but then that was probably because we had walked in at what was considered an early time for dinner in Paris - 7.30pm. Since we were such a large group, the waitress suggested we go for a set dinner. This is what I had:


Aubergine, sundried tomato and goat cheese




Macaron with homemade vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce

Verdict: The starter and mains were excellent, but I was slightly disappointed by the dessert (the macaron tasted rather flat, and didn't have the right texture). I think I should have taken the molten chocolate cake instead.

Pierre au Palais Royal
10 rue de Richelieu
Cost: 44 euros

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: Musee d'Orsay

My colleague left me for London on Tuesday, and while she spent the day wandering the streets of Paris while waiting for her train, I went to the Musee d'Orsay as early as I could. Evidently I was not as punctual as I'd hoped, as I got off at the wrong train station and had to walk quite a distance to reach the museum. On finally reaching the museum at 10am, I discovered a huge queue snaking past the museum and onto the pathway outside. After an hour of (fairly chilly, ooh that wind!) queueing, I finally got inside at 11am and did not emerge from there until about 4.30pm with aching feet and an empty stomach. Museuming is hard work, y'all!

It was not possible to finish the entire museum in one go, and while at first I thought I did a pretty good job of covering all the big works, I was very cheesed off to discover I had missed seeing Degas' sculpture of the little dancer. I'm going to have to go back again another time.

While the exhibits themselves were very interesting, I loved admiring the museum building itself.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ah Pa-ree: Rodin museum

Many museums offer free entry on the first Sunday of the month, so we took the opportunity to visit the Rodin museum. It was a beautiful and clear spring morning, perfect for walking around the garden and admiring the sculptures.