Food, Paris

Sanukia

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you Sanukia, an authentic and probably one of the best Japanese Udon restaurants in Paris. Located near Opera Garnier, this orange canopy will catch your attention from distance, and there’s usually a line to get in.

Atmosphere

The restaurant is relatively small and have many individual seats toward the wall and the kitchen, which made me think it’s more authentic. Their menu is full of noodles in different styles. I ordered a lunch menu of tempura udon with side dish and a drink. With your lunch menu, you can only order appetizer + menu (+€5 to the main menu), or appetizer + menu + drink (+€7 to the main menu) For drink, I had calpis, one of typical Japanese sweet milky soda. In your udon, you can add up more toppings as you wish. I only added grated radish(€1), but the onsen tamago (poached egg, €2) is one of the most popular toppings.

Menu and Service

For appetizer, a bowl of burdock rice, fried chicken, eggs, and some salad were served. If you’re a small eater, probably this entrée can fill you up enough. Even if you’re not a small eater, I do recommend you not to finish all at once, since Udon is also mostly made out of flour (carbonate) and you’ll be full very easily.

The tempura udon was full of fried vegetables and shrimps. The soup was served separately to keep your fries crispy. The noodle was very well-cooked so did fries. The portion is quite big, thus I couldn’t finish all.

The servers were very friendly and considerate. It was a very sunny day, thus they prepared umbrellas so that we could use it to block some Sunshine. The food wasn’t served that quickly since many people were waiting, but the quality of the food was awesome.

Overall, it was a good idea to visit here. The only thing I didn’t liked was the price. It was about €25 for the menu and it seems a bit overpriced to me. To me, it’s a price for sushi not for udon. But if I miss udon, I think I would go back to this place because it’s the best udon place I’ve ever been to in Paris.

Hope this review help you to choose a right restaurant in Paris. See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 9 Rue d’Argenteuil, 75001 Paris, France

Hours :  11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

website

Eastern Europe, Hungary, Travel

Budapest Restaurants

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you two cafes and one restaurant worth to visit in Budapest.

New York Palace Café

The first place I’d like to share my review is New York Palace Café. This is very famous on SNS thanks to its palace-like decoration. Thanks to the decoration and the live classical music, you would feel as if you were a king or a queen participating a party. Literally, it’s like a having a coffee or tea in a Palace.

As you can see below, the cafe looks stunning! You might be able to the best selfie in your life! While the atmosphere was lovely, the service and the quality of the food didn’t reach my expectation. Since the price was quite high, I was expecting a decent service and food. The service was somewhat slow and the servers were not that friendly. I ordered americano (1800 HUF) and Somlói Sponge Cake (2950HUF). The coffee and cakes were yummy but nothing special. It was a shame that I couldn’t chill out due to the pressure of the waiting line.

The drink and a cake cost me a bit less than 12 euros, and you may think it can be a normal price at a high-end coffee shop in Budapest.

Café Gerbeaud

Located just in front of the Vörösmarty tér station, Café Gerbeaud is a good place to feel the active mood of the downtown of Budapest. This place doesn’t have any super fancy decoration, but it’s been love for more than 150 years. Like other European cafes, outdoor seats are much more popular than indoor seats. You may see people chatting and looking at the others walking by while having a cup of coffee. This place is less busier than New York Palace Cafe, thus you can relax a bit more.

The price is not cheap, but they offer a dessert plate which includes four different types of mini desserts. I ordered Hungarian Classics on One Plate (3490 HUF) and iced americano (1350 HUF). New York cafe has better atmosphere and decoration, but I think here’s iced coffee is better.

Kéhli Vendéglö

I decided to write a review on cafe or restaurant that I would like to recommend in Budapest to introduce this restaurant. It was the best one, I tried during my stay in Budapest. Kéhli Vendéglö, this Hungarian food restaurant is worth to visit.

We ordered a Goulash(entree), Stuffed Cabbage, and Steak. All of them were delicious. My favorite was Goulash. The meat was very soft and all spices are well harmonized together. The stuffed cabbage was a bit salty for me, but it also had spicy taste. The two plates fulfilled my eager to spicy food. Lastly, the steak was a perfect match to two with its meaty taste. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish all because the portion of the food was too big for us.

The price was also reasonable. The main dish cost about 3000 HUF on average, considering the iced coffee at the two coffee shops above cost 1800 HUF, it’s not that expensive in my opinion. Since it’s a bit far away from the downtown, I recommend you to book a table before your visit.

Hope this review help you to choose a right restaurant in Budapest. See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

New York Palace Café Address : Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary

Hours :  08:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

website

Café Gerbeaud Address : Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 7-8, 1051 Hungary

Hours :  09:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

website

Kéhli Vendéglö Address : Budapest, Mókus u. 22, 1036 Hungary

Hours :  12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (Mon. -Fri.)

12:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (weekends)

website

Europe, France, Travel, Western Europe

Rouen

Hello, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to share my day trip to Rouen from Paris. Located in Normandy region, Rouen was one of the most important cities in the medieval time. This city is now known for a place where Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) was executed and a hometown for the impressionists with its incredible cathedral and the scenery of the Seine. The peaceful and calm atmosphere of Rouen will welcome you.

How to get there

This is a great city for a day trip from Paris. I took a train to go there, and the train departs at Saint-Lazare station in Paris. The price of the ticket varies depending on the time you want to depart (from €11 ), but the morning one I took cost €11.50 (8:19-9:50). I think it’s the cheapest but the best schedule to visit Rouen for a day. It takes about 1 hour and half by train.

You can also go there by taking a bus such as Flixbus or Ouibus which offer cheaper price ( from €4.99) and it takes about 2 hours (on average). I like travelling bus, but considering the fact that I was travelling for a day, I would pay few more euros to save time. Most bus stops are outside of the city, thus you should consider the time to get into the center of the city.

Things to do in Rouen

The first place I visited in Rouen was the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. In this museum, you would find paintings, sculptures, drawing and art collections. It’s only 10 mins away from the train station by foot. In front of the station, you would see a main street. Following that street toward Subway (sandwich shop), you would see a park. The museum is next to the park. It is free of charge for permanent collections. The museum opens at 10 a.m., thus arriving at the station at 9:50 was an excellent choice.

In the museum, you may find collections from the 15th century to the 21th century. This museum has a special salon called <Rouen> where exhibits art collections of the city.

Leaving behind the museum,I headed to the Cathedral, which is the main object in the Claude Monet’s painting series <Rouen Cathedral>. He drew 30 paintings of this building at different time and different season.

Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the most important architectures in Rouen. This giant Gothic style cathedral fascinates its visitors. Many people sit down and enjoy this gorgeous structure including me. Don’t forget to get in. Inside of the building is also impressive.

Rouen is also known as the city of Joan of Arc. Napoleon Bonaparte declared her as a French national symbol considering her significant role in the Hundred Years’ War. She was executed by fire here in Rouen, thus there are some monuments to commemorate her. You can see some paintings about this little but strong girl in the musée des beaux-arts. On the way to the center of the town, you could see Donjon of Rouen where Joan of Arc was imprisoned. Now, this place hosts the escape game using VR glasses.

The Church of Joan of Arc is also an important church in Rouen. This modern building commemorates the national heroin Joan of Arc. To me, it seemed a bit odd since it doesn’t get along with neighboring buildings. In front of the church, you can see a big cross. This is the place where she was executed. The church is small but has a very abstract and unique structure. Inside of the church is very bright thanks to wide windows which allow to pass the light.

The Great Clock is also a must see thing in Rouen. It’s in the downtown from the Renaissance era. You can get into the building and see the clock from inside and enjoy the cityview. Since there was a long queue and I had only one day there, I didn’t enter the monument. There’s also a lunch break, so you should plan your visit well. The ticket costs €7 (adult).

Overall, the city is full of history and you could imagine how important the city was in the past by looking at historical buildings. It’s a perfect day trip destination from Paris in Summer.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Musée des Beaux-Arts

Address : Esplanade Marcel Duchamp 76000 Rouen

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesday.

website

Notre-Dame Cathedral de Rouen

Address : Place de la Cathédrale, 76000 Rouen

Hours : 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Tue.-Sat.) / 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Sun.)/ 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Mon.)

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Donjon de Rouen

Address : Rue Bouvreuil, 76000 Rouen

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Church of Joan of Arc

Address : Place du Vieux Marché, 76000 Rouen

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 6 : 00 p.m. (Mon.-Thu. , Sat.)

2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Fri. and Sun.)

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The Great Clock

Address :Rue du Gros Horloge, 76000 Rouen

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 7 : 00 p.m. (Tue.-Sun.) Closed on Mondays

website

Food, Paris

Trois Fois Plus de Piment

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you an authentic Sichuan restaurant, Trois Fois Plus de Piment, in Paris. Characterized by its spiciness, Sichuan food is known for using a lot of garlic and peppers. There are many sichuan restaurants here from budget to luxury. This is a budget place If you’re looking for something spicy, this place is definitely for you. Three branches are in Paris (Beaubourg, Saint Germain, and Montmartre), and I went to the one in Saint Germain. I wanted to visit this place in the middle of August, but it was closed due to the summer holidays. Many French restaurants are in vacation August(for about 3 weeks), thus if you’d like to try a specific restaurant, you should contact them before unless it might be closed.

Atmosphere

Located in 5th arrondissement, this place is full of vivid energy. It’s a casual restaurant. As you can see in the picture, the restaurant isn’t that big but cozy and can accomodate about 20~ 25 people. I went there quite late on the week, and the restaurant was almost full. It would be better book a table if you’re more than a group of four.

Menu and Service

LIke a night snack food truck, the food in this place is quite simple. Mainly, They sell noodles and dumplings. You can choose different garnishes, noodles and spiciness to your taste. For the level of spicy, there are 0-5. We asked the clerk, and she told us she hadn’t seen anyone ordered more than level 3. We ordered one dumpling with sichuan sauce (spicy level 1) to share and two Dan Dan noodles with soup in different spicy level (1 and 2), one dumpling soup, and one vermicelli with soup.

The food was served quite fast. I usually have dumplings with soy sauce and red pepper powder. Thus, the dumplings with level 1 sauce wasn’t spicy. It worked up my appetite. But I felt the noodles with the same level were spicer than dumplings. The soup was hot and it made me feel more spicier I guess. The noodles were very chewy and properly cooked. Since the place was awarded the prize best noodles Fooding Guide in 2016, no wonder I felt in that way. But my favorite was dumplings!

The staffs were super and tried to give us good advice to choose the right level. If it’s not spicy enough, you may ask the sauce to spice up your dish. One of my friends loves spicy food. After talking to the server, he ordered level 2, but he asked more sauce in the end. Also, you can ask not to put coriander in your food if you don’t like it.

The price was reasonable. It’s not cheap nor expensive. One main dish costs around €10~13, the five dumplings are €5.4. Including drink, €20 will be enough budget for a meal.

Hope this review help you to choose a right restaurant in Paris. See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : Beaubourg: 184 Rue Saint Martin 75003
Saint Germain: 17 Rue Frédéric Sauton 75005 (This is the restaurant where I went)
Montmartre: 9 Rue Rodier 75009

Hours :  12:00 – 15:00 / 19:00 – 23:00 , Closed on Mondays

website

Food, Paris

La Régalade

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you a quality French restaurant La Régalade. There are three branches in Paris, I went to the one called La Régalade Conservatoire. It’s the third restaurant of chef Bruno Doucet. Located in the 9th arrondissement, this bistro-like restaurant offers a three-course meal for a reasonable price considering its location and atmosphere.

Atmosphere

The restaurant shares the ground floor with the Lobby of the Hôtel de NELL. Don’t feel you should dress up to go there. It’s a rather casual place than a formal one. Still, the quality of the food is very high and tasty.

After ordering food, the server will bring you some complimentary tartare and bread. It didn’t look special, but it was yummy, one of the best tartares I’ve ever tried in Paris.

Menu and Service

The three course meal starts from €41. It’s a set price excluding beverages. You can change some dishes with extra charge. Daily specials are on the wall, it will add up about €5~10 on your bill. My friends and I chose basic menu (without extra charge), still there are 4~5 options for each course. If it’s your first visit, I think it’s better to try the basic menu since the most signature food of the restaurant are on the list.

For appetizer, we ordered three different dishes : Risotto crémeux à l’encre de seiche (creamy risotto with cuttlefish ink), salmon, and zucchini and arugula cold soup. The creamy shrimp risotto is the most famous appetizer in this place, also recommended by the chef. It was a pleasure to feel the creamy, crispy, and chewy textures altogether. Personally, I prefer smoked salmon to cooked one. Thus, the salmon didn’t give me an impact, but it was yummy and refreshing. The cold soup was good to work up my appetite.

For main, we ordered veal steak and fried pork. The veal cooked perfectly. We ordered a bottle of Bourgogne wine to pair with the meat. It cost a bit less than €40 as far as I remember. More exclusive wines were available when I dined out there, and it was upto €1600. The pork seemed deep fried thus you can feel crunchy and soft texture at the same time. The pork was the chef’s recommendation. It won’t let you down.

For dessert, we ordered rice pudding and souffle. Accompanied with caramel sauce, the rice pudding was very sweet. It was a bit big portion, though. The souffle was very tender and melted in mouth. We couldn’t finish all, but they were perfect to finish the meal.

The quality of the service was high enough. The servers tried to explained us all the menus and their specialties. They were always reachable and ready to answer our inquiries.

Overall, it was a satisfying visit. The portion of the food is big. None of us could finish the dessert. We ordered four course meals, one bottle of wine, one glass of wine, two beers, and one bottle of sparkling water. We paid €60 each including a small tip (like 3% of the total payment).

IN FRANCE, YOU DON’T LEAVE A TIP!

Thus, leaving a tip was a gesture to express my satisfaction to the food and service.

Hope this review help you to choose a right restaurant in Paris. See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 11 Rue du Conservatoire, 9e Paris

Hours :  07:00–10:30, 12:00–14:00, 18h30–22:30

website

Luxembourg, Travel, Western Europe

Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to review Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal, where I stayed in Luxembourg in August.

Located in hilly area outside of the old town, the hotel has an astonishing view of the city. It’s one of the luxurious hotels here, belong to Accor chain.

Room Type

I booked a standard room during Accor Super Sale promotion period with 30% off and breakfast included. The price can be different depending on the time or the platform that you use to make a reservation. It was an extraordinary experience. The room was spacious, and has a big window toward the city. I could enjoy the view day and night.

What I liked the most was the complimentary minibar. Including two evians on the nightstands, there are four evians, two badoit(sparkling water), two coca-cola, one minute maid and one seven up, thus ten drinks are free. Hermès amenities are provided.

Room Service

You can order your room service from a French restaurant called <Mu> in hotel. Some menus are available for 24 hours. I ordered Pad Thai for dinner. Since the dining price in Luxembourg is high, the price of the room service seems competitive. I was curious how they cook Pad Thai, so I ordered it (also it was one of the cheapest menus, cost about €20 ). Pad Thai has quite an interesting sweet and sour flavor. It was a bit far away from the taste what I expected from Pad Thai, but it was good. Thanks to the free minibar, I didn’t have to order drinks which saved me extra euros.

Breakfast Buffet

The breakfast buffet was also excellent. It seems a bit pricey (€ 31 per person). As I mentioned above, however, my reservation included free breakfast buffet. There were various options from appetizer to dessert. For drinks, you can order at your table and the staffs bring them to your table. Detox juices are also available for free. The view from the restaurant is also breathtaking.

Service

The quality of the service was incredibly high. Even though they work in different sector such as a reception, concierge, etc, all staffs were ready to help. At the lobby, a mini snack bar is prepared.

Other Facilities

Like other hotels, a gym, meeting rooms, or a bar are available.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

address : 40 Boulevard d’Avranches, 1160 Luxembourg

24 hours reception

website

Paris, Places

The Palais Garnier

Hello, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you the Palais Garnier also known as Opera. As a symbol of Paris, the Palais Garnier is an eye-catching architecture from far distance with its green roof and fancy decoration. It has a distinct architect style called <Napoleon III>, which includes Baroque, Renaissance, and Classicism all together. The Palais Garnier is also famous for the background of the book written by Gaston Leroux and the musical <the Phantom of the Opera>.

First it was built as the Académie Royale de Danse(Royal Academy of Dance) by Louis XIV in 1661. At that moment, it aimed to train dancers and formalize choreographic. Eight years later, Académie Royale de Musique (Royal Academy of Music) was created and this place started focus on dance and music. The name of the building followed after the architect Charles Garnier. Today, it’s primarily used for ballet and opera performances by Paris Opera Ballet, while the Opera Bastille is a home symphony and some ballet performances.

I reserved <The Paris Opera 350th Anniversary> tour to look around here. It takes 1h 20 mins and it costs €18. This tour is more focused on the history of the Paris Opera. If you’re interested in the structure of the building or general information on it, you can also take <The Opera Garnier Day Tour> which lasts 1h 20 mins(same) and costs €17. Considering that the entrance ticket costs €14 and the audio guide is €5, the guided tour seems to be a good deal.

Don’t forget to exchange your online reservation voucher to a ticket. You might have to line up and wait to get your ticket, thus I recommend you to arrive at least 15 mins before your reservation time. When you get your ticket, you should present one of your ID card. Then, wait for your guide in the waiting room. Your guide will distribute the audio system and check whether it works well or not. After checking the audio system, your tour begins. You can stay as long as you want after the tour until it closes.

You would be amazed by its opulence Grand Staircase when you step in the building. In the middle, there’s a big staircase decorated with marbles and fancy candle sticks and sculptures. Standing there and seeing people taking pictures, I felt as if I were a celebrity. It is breathtaking.

After learning some history of the Palais Garnier, I visited Auditorium and had an opportunity to sit down and listen to the history. The auditorium is impressive, and the guide explained us some scenes of the Phantom of the Opera such as where the phantom appears, etc. Plus, if there’s no performance going on, you could see a preparation room on the right end of the stage where Edgar Degas got inspirations when he painted his ballet series. Normally, it’s blocked with stage decorations, thus it’s hard to see.

The chandelier on the roof is full of Marc Chagall’s painting. He painted performances presented in the Palais Garnier. He added some flavors to this classical decoration.

The Grand Foyer is also an important spot to look. Decorated with candle sticks and paintings, the salon was similar to the Palace of Versailles. There’s a balcony where you can see the view of Paris. Don’t miss it!

Overall, the building is beautifully decorated and a great example of the prosperity of France. It might be a good idea to dress up moderately to get nice pictures if you plan to visit there. I stayed there for about two hours including the tour and it was enough.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : Place de l’Opéra 75009 Paris

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (self-guided tour),

Admission for the participant of the guided tour hour is different depending on your tour schedule

website