One of my favourite dining experience was in Chartier in Paris. Doing a quick google search and you’re bound to find a mixed bag of reviews of the place. We didn’t have any complaints though. If I could capture the sound emanating from the restaurant, you’d hear lots of chattering, waiters taking orders and giving orders, the clinks of glasses and forks and then some quietness of people enjoying their meals.
We sat elbow-to-elbow next to a couple who spoke English. They helped us translate the things on the menu and gave us suggestions on what to order. Some might think it’s crude but I liked how the tables were lined with paper and the waiter scribbled our orders on it. Nothing tryingly fancy.
We had boiled shrimp with mustard dip and escargots in herbed butter for entrees. We were probably really hungry that evening after much walking that we wiped the plate clean of the butter with our bread. For mains Ant had steak tartare (no raw egg, but a lot of onions and herb) with frites and I had duck confit with potatoes. For desserts, we had a chocolate pudding with custard cream and a cake/pudding with wine-soaked prunes and ice cream.
It was rather chilly that evening and we were seated near the entrance. Every time patrons moved in and out with the revolving door, wisps of cold wind brushed me by but it wasn’t anything too cold that the warmth from the food in my belly can’t thaw. I loved the atmosphere in the restaurant as it reminded me of the 1960s dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong or any old school dim sum joint with all the noise and busy waiters/waitresses squeezing between chairs and tables.
The prices were low and it’s definitely not a pretentious fine dining restaurant. No fussy plating here. If the line is too long and you can’t wait to be seated, there’s a good Vietnamese restaurant in Passage des Panoramas, just across the street, called Chez Duc and a minimalist Japanese restaurant that’s aptly named Gyoza Bar that only serves Japanese dumplings.
To break from the monochrome film, here’s how the food looked like in colour (from my phone).
7, rue du Faubourg Montmarte (9th)