Aki Boulanger

Here it is, finally!
The post Lina has been waiting for.
The post I have neglected for so long.

This is it, my first trip to Aki Boulanger! (which I made a few weeks ago, haha!)

Aki Boulanger, located on the corner of rue Sainte-Anne and rue Thérèse, is a small Japanese bakery I’ve fallen in love with.
My first thought, entering this bakery, was that it was crowded with French and Asians seated by the coffee tables outside and the tall seats inside. That first thought did not stay for long as I looked to my left and saw all the dessert displayed there. After an excruciating long time with indecisive thoughts and a little bit of a funny “conversation” with the clerk, I finally opted for a Mille-Feuille Aki. This of course accompanied with a Melonpan filled with crème de thé.

In case you wondered what my “conversation” with the clerk was all about…
She came up to me while I was busy eyeing those cakes and asked me something in Japanese. Being the stupid little girl that I am, I tried to speak to her in French. The only awkward thing about that was the fact that I couldn’t remember what “to look” was in French so the only thing coming out of my mouth at that time was “Je… …uh…”. I then decided to say it in English “I haven’t decided yet, I’m still looking” which she replied with something in French (I think she asked me what I wanted to buy, though my memory is a little bit fuzzy…). This is where I started doing this stupid hand signs where I pointed two fingers to my eyes and then pointed at the cakes, to sign the universally “looking” sign. This did not go well as the girl behind the counter started to move to get the cake I pointed at while asking me “stay here or to go” in French. “No, wait! I’m still looking” at which point, I think, she finally understood and left me alone for a while so she could attend another customer. Much to my dismay, I had already attracted some of the French customers’ attention and they were staring at me like some foreign monkey. AWKWARD.

The clerk was, of course, nice enough to not attend to me anymore and sent someone, who actually knew a little bit English, my way and I went happily out of there with my takeaway box and Melonpan in hand.

Although, I didn’t have time to devour them all right away and had to eat them the next morning and evening, they still tasted as good as ever. Which made me wonder how much better they must have tasted if I ate them the same day I bought them.

Melonpan with tea cream and tea leaves for breakfast.

The cute little takeaway box

Mille-Feuille Aki (green tea)

They should have more of these in other flavors like Yuzu but I still haven’t managed to track it down yet…

I’m still amazed that it survived the trip home. I walked around for ever to find a bubble tea shop with the takeaway box hanging on my index finger and a bag full of snacks and noodles in the same hand. You should be proud of me!

I like this place so much I might come back for more one of these days, this time “sur place” just so I can enjoy their cakes while sipping a macha au lait! Surely one of my staples before I muster courage to go to Sadaharu Aoki alone (I don’t want to scare my friends with my excessive shopping skills when it comes to good looking sweets). This one is, I think, less expensive and “closer” to me as Sadaharu Aoki (the main store) is located near Jardin du Luxembourg, which requires a lot of metro lines transfer. –> Too lazy for that 😛

If you ever wander into this neighborhood, do try to make a trip there! They’ve got breads and bentos as well so you might disguise that bento as an excuse to eat a lot of their dessert while you’re there! HAHA!

Aki Boulanger
16, rue Sainte-Anne
75001 Paris
Metro: Pyramides (Sortie 1: Ave. de l’Opera)
Opening hours: 7h30 – 20h30 (except Sundays)

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Hereford Steakhouse

This is one long post.

I finally managed to eat the beef that I’ve been craving for a while. The destination was Hereford Steakhouse, the one located next to Østbanehallen. I had some expectations for this place. The restaurant is dedicated to steaks and it’s quite pricy, so I pretty much expected it to taste good. I can’t say I have eaten a lot of beef outside, and I am certainly not an expert at it. However this place totally failed to meet my expectations. It was totally not worth it.

At the website most of the menues included side dishes such as mushrooms, broccoli, corn on the cob and bearnaise sauce. The menu we got at the restaurant was a little different, or it just stood about the different beef types you could order. On the table, there was a piece of paper where we were supposed to write down what kind of beef we wanted. We were also supposed to choose how we wanted it to be prepeared, what kind of potatoes (baked, french fries gratinated etc …) we wanted and lastly a sauce/butter. I ended up with baked potatoes and  garlic butter, while Siv (my friend) choosed gratinated potatoes and also garlic butter. We both choosed beef tenderloin, medium cooked.

When our food came, we got a small piece of broccoli, mushrooms, some vegetables (consisted of mainly carrots and red onion), bearnais sauce and the things we wrote down on the piece of paper. There was no corn, which left me a little bit disappointed. I like corn. However, that was not the reason why I was so disappointed. The beef itself was alright, might be a little dry on the edges, but it wasn’t that bad, though it was not that great either, just fine and normal?. The side dishes on the other side, including the sauce was just too normal and didn’t even taste that good. The worst thing about the side dishes is the fact that it was either lukewarm or cold. Honestly, I am not sure how side dishes are supposed to be served with steak, but isn’t it supposed to be varm? I mean, I put some garlic butter on my baked potato and it didn’t even melt! Normally the baked potato is warm, wrapped with aluminium foil, and the butter would melt right away.  The sauce was also cold. Again, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be served warm or cold, but I expected it to be varm. My friends gratinated potatoes was the only thing that you can consider warm among all the things. So what is the price for this plain and cold meal? 297 kr, approximately 48 dollars.

You would expect a delicous meal and good service for that amount of money right? So, was I impressed with their service? Not at all. To be honest, I did not think it was thaat bad when we were there, mainly because I was busy concentrating on our conversations, but thinking back it was bad, really bad.It was good and just the way you expect things to be, especially at a fancy place like this. That is to begin with. When we first came there was not many people there, only two or three couples in addition to us. A waiter took our order, brought out the food, and went by to ask how it tasted, just like every other places. Everything was fine. However, by the time we finished our meal, it was pretty much crowded there. From here, things was no longer good. A quick look at how the waiters and waitresses treated the other customers, our service was too plain compared to them. I did not mind too much until …Well, after we finished our meal. we sat there talking for a short while. We do this all the time and it’s pretty normal to do so. During this time, some of the main waiters (they wore more fancy clothes) were always looking at us with the look *you kids are finished with your meal, why are you still sitting there? leave already!* We didn’t even sit for that long, and when we asked for the bill,  apparently our waiter was waaay to busy serving the couple sitting behind us that he totally forgot to bring the bill.  Meanwhile the ugly glances from other waiters continued. We waited quite a while, and I just had enough. We already asked for the bill, it’s not our fault that your waiter forgot it! I was beginning to get annoyed, so when a waitress came by I told her that we asked for the bill already, but we have not received it yet, so could you please give us the bill?????During the time we received the bill this waiter (one of those that gave us the look get lost earlier) stood by smiling and was already ready to give our place to a couple, telling them that they would get the place in 5 minutes while there was still some empty places around. I found it rude, mainly because of the stares we received earlier. Anyway, in order to complete our payment, we had to get the waitress attention one more time to say that we want to pay with cards. Normally the waiter/waitress would come by to ask if we want to pay with a card, especially after seeing you holding a card. The waitress went by us a couple of times just staring. We were both holding our cards up, how difficult can it be to ask if we wanted to pay with a card, or just freaking bring the machine out already. I felt that everybody really took us lightly because we were young compared to those around us. They were probably all thinking, who cares about those kids, we don’t need to give them service. I though it was very rude of them. It does not matter whether we are kids or not, they should give us equal service, otherwise at least don’t be that rude to us.

Overall, my experience with this place is just bad. It was pricy, the food wasn’t great and they made me feel unwelcome. For a place as fancy as this place, I would expect much more.

Would I return? what do you think?

Edit: Sorry for the long wait … ^^ pics added