Tag Archives: France

Sheger: Ethiopian Food in Paris

To write this review or not to write, this has been my question since we visited Sheger last weekend. Recommended by Le Fooding, our restaurant bible to Paris, we chose to eat here on a warm summer evening. It had been a long time since we last had Ethiopian food (in fact In New York two years ago!), so biting into injera was long overdue!

Sheger is located in a tiny street and has some tables outside. Lovely. Sheger, ParisWe were served by a friendly Ethiopian man who took time to explain the menu. We followed his recommendations, choosing Menu Sheger (starter, main course, dessert) and Yebeug Tebses (grilled lamb).

For starters we shared Azifa, puree made of lentils, shallot, garlic and ginger (it was part of the menu) and were very pleased with it. Subtle, harmonious, delicious taste.AzifaFor the mains, the menu included Yefeseg Beyonetou, a mixed injera plate with five sauces, and in addition we had ordered Yebeug Tebses, a house specialty of grilled lamb with rosemary.

Unfortunately, the mixed plate was probably the smallest Ethiopian plate we have ever been served, and this was a pity. When we asked for more sauce, we got a response “I don’t think it will be possible” but a few minuets later we did have more sauce (and were not charged for it).

All five sauces tasted really good but we could not help but to think why the portions were so minuscule. Actually when I checked the Sheger reviews on Internet, I could see that this is one of the main criticism of Sheger. Sheger, ParisThe grilled lamb was heavy on rosemary and tasted lovely, but as my husband said, we could have been eating that kind of lamb in Greece or elsewhere. Based on what I know about Ethiopian food, I could say that these lamb pieces were not particularly Ethiopian.

Disappointing mains were compensated by a fantastic Ethopian Baklava dessert made of honey and peanuts, but would we go back to Sheger just for the dessert –no. Not unless they double the portions. After all we paid almost 70€ for this meal including a bottle of St George beer and a bottle of rosé from the Loire Valley.

Restaurant Sheger: 2 passage du Jeu-de-Boules, 75011 Paris. Tel: 01-43380504. Metro: République, Filles du Calvaire, Oberkampf

Le Fooding review: http://lefooding.com/en/restaurants/restaurant-sheger-paris


Note: There are only about ten Ethiopian restaurants in Paris, which is not a lot! I will try to pay a visit to another Ethiopian restaurant soon, as I really love the food. I will always remember the first Ethiopian food I had in Tanzania, and Ethiopia is on my travel list…

Da Vito: Cool and Affordable Pizzeria

Since its opening in summer 2013, we have visited Da Vito several times. Their pizzas have a very unique taste that we would recognize even eyes closed (quoting my husband), prices are very affordable (pizza prices start at 10€) and the decoration is cosy and cool (I love the floor tiles!). In addition, there are big windows that stay wide open during the summer, some tables are available outside, and two large doors next to the cashier lead to a secret bar… Da Vito, ParisWe have always been welcomed very well and the service has been efficient and friendly. I don’t think we have ever reserved in advance, but one should –there is always a line! In case you decide to arrive without a prior phone call, you can always have a drink at the bar. Da Vito, ParisLast night we had our usual choice, Vegetariana, and a new discovery, Napolitaine. We loved both pizzas. Da Vito’s tomato sauce is simply from heaven, the quality of mozzarella is excellent, and grilled vegetables are some of the best I have ever had. Pizzas are quite minimalist but when top-notch ingredients are used, this is just fine!

We chose to drink Italian wine from Veneto region (14€ a bottle!!) and highly appreciated this well-balanced and elegant rosé we have had before.

Da Vito restaurant and Moonshiner bar: 5 rue Sedaine, Paris 75011. Metro Bastille and Bréguet-Sabin. Tel: 09-50731299
Le Fooding review: http://lefooding.com/en/restaurants/restaurant-da-vito-moonshiner-paris
Pinot Grigio Ramato, Il Barco wine: http://www.ewwines.co.uk/italy-rose-pinot-grigio-ramato-il-barco.html


Other pizza reviews by Pearlspotting:  and 


Discover New Restaurants by Les Heures Heureuses

For the third consecutive year, the City of Paris organized Les Heures Heureuses in the end of May. This successful food event has become very popular and it is about new discoveries: to make Parisians break their usual habits by visiting new bars and restaurants.

And sure, there is a lot to discover! This year, more than 280 restaurants in different parts of Paris were selling small tapas at only 2€ and most places offered wine at 2€ per glass to go with. We participated only on Friday night (and missed Thursday and Saturday), and made some excellent new discoveries.

 les Heures Heureuses

Our first we stop was La Cave Mavrommatis, the famous Greek wine bar and shop. Our food tour started well with a complimentary, full-scale wine tasting of white, rosé and red from Domaine Kir Yanni from the northern part of Greece. The moment we tasted the mini pitta filled with Graviera cheese, our next holiday destination was chosen…

Tip: If you have not yet eaten at Mavrommatis (42 rue Daubenton), hurry up! One of the best pigeons I have ever eaten.

Les Nautes

Our second stop, Les Nautes, continued on the Mediterranean side: veal meatballs in tomato sauce. Yummy! And excellent rosé.

Tip: Looking for a terrace by the Seine this summer? Think of . During Paris Plages there won’t be any cars.

Allo Sushi

From the Seine we moved to the heart of Marais for marinated salmon with herbs and edamame. Allo Sushi was previously unknown to us and we made a decision to make it our new Japanese cantine.

Tip: Every morning a seven-kilo Scottish salmon is delivered to Allo Sushi… with Le Label Rouge guarantee of excellency!

Le Thé des Écrivains

Our fourth stop was a book shop with a cafe –again a place we did not know about. Le Thé des Écrivains served a delicious Thai cake made of tako flower and coconut milk, and we had a cup of tea with it. A delightful address worth returning to!

Tip: More than a book shop! Cultural activities every week. Check Le Thé des Ecrivains for program.


Energy level up, we walked from the Marais to the 11th arrondissement. Our fifth stop was L’Embuscade, a lively bar in the trendy Oberkampf area. We had homemade Berber couscous and enjoyed friendly service and lively atmosphere.

Tip: Free couscous every Friday!!

Pierre Sang

Next and last stop was in Oberkampf, too. Run by a Top-Chef finalist of the same name, Pierre-Sang has been making buzz in Paris since 2012. We had two cheese tartines that were served with some unidentifiable (but delicious!) sauce. Will return very soon.

Tip: No reservations, no telephone, so arrive at the opening (7 o’clock in the evening) and preferably a bit earlier!


It was my first time to take part in Les Heures Heureuses and I would not want to miss it next year! We made many new discoveries at the cost of 40€ for two wine included. Who would not be happy?

Les Heures Heureuses: http://lesheuresheureuses.paris.fr

Addresses we tried:

Mavrommatis (group of restaurants and shops): http://www.mavrommatis.com
Les Nautes: http://www.lesnautes.com
Allo Sushi: http://www.allosushi.com (ALLO SUSHI)
Le Thé des Écrivains: http://www.thedesecrivains.com
L’Embuscade: L’Embuscade
Pierre-Sang: http://pierresangboyer.com

Gardening is fun!

One of my favorite shops in the heart of Marais is Fleux, a fashionable concept store that sells super cute, stylish and original objects. The atmosphere is nice and always puts me in a good mood, and today was not an exception.Fleux concept design store in ParisWe were looking for gardening tools and could not believe our eyes. So much variety and look at these colors! Almost like in India or in the Caribbean islands… Simply lovely. Fleux surely knows how to motivate people to take care of their garden.gardening toolsThe watering can we wanted to buy was sold out in the smaller size (six liters) but I am not surprised. Wouldn’t you want to have one of these beauties in your garden or balcony?Fleux Concept Store, ParisWe will have to return in two weeks’ time but that is ok –it is at that frequency we visit Fleux anyways!


To learn more about this wonderful store (in fact there are three stores in the same street), read my previous post Colorful, happy decoration ideas and then visit the store here:

39 & 52 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 PARIS (Metro Hôtel de Ville)
Telephone: 01-42782720, 01-42777385, 01-42745182, 01-42746554.
Open on Sundays! http://www.fleux.com/

Skull Decoration

Cleaning and arranging are not my most favorite past-time activities but I have to admit they bring benefits… like rediscovering things that you forgot existed and coming up with new decoration ideas with these newly-found objects!

We bought these four marble skulls in Varanasi, from the same man who sold us the Nandi (Home Sweet Home). Yesterday while cleaning I placed the skulls on this bowl (that I think comes from Zanzibar) because they were on my way, but once I took a second look I realized they actually look quite stylish. Especially with those red communist farmers in the background (an old Communist propaganda poster from Kyrgyzstan). skull decorationSkulls are very fashionable these days. My husband is dreaming of a tiny golden skull necklace. Skulls have a lot of symbolic values and not only among different religious groups. A skull is actually beautiful –even that black, burnt skull I saw at the burning ghat in Varanasi. Skulls fascinate and scare us.

What do you think? Would you have them at home as a decoration item? What do they symbolize to you?


Lots of flying and dreaming

The view from our balcony was very travel-oriented five minutes ago. Lots of planes coming and going to all sorts of exotic and familiar destinations. Paris roofs at nightThis made me think about my next travels: realistic, probable/feasible and unrealistic ones.

At this very moment my list would look something like this: Finland, Italy/Greece/Turkey and India. Finland because of friends, family and summer house, Italy/Greece/Turkey for excellent, affordable food and the Mediterranean sea, and finally India for my friends in Bombay, AMAZING food and complexity mixed with simplicity.

Voila, my list. What is yours? Three categories: a) realistic b) probable/feasible c) unrealistic. Waiting to hear yours!

Meanwhile, have a lovely Friday night. I am off to eat lamb chops.

Paris Goes to Sleep

I had hard time choosing just one photo from tonight’s walk around the Île Saint-Louis, so here you have three. The sky was deep blue and streets very quiet, but temperature was quite cool. Summer, we are waiting for you! Paris at nightParis and Notre Dame at nightParis and Notre Dame at nightParis goes to sleep now, but keep checking this blog, Pearlspotting (Facebook) and  (Twitter)! Interesting new restaurant reviews and more stories about Finland to come… and of course more of India, too!!


Seen by the Seine

Even during a rainy week there is something joyful happening in Paris.wedding in Paris by the Seine

PS Why not to follow Pearlspotting on Facebook (Pearlspottingor Twitter ()?


Sunday Market

Surely every tourist already knows this, but when you visit Paris (or any other French town), do not miss a food market! I go to the Bastille Market every Sunday and love it. For less than 10€ we buy seasonal fruits and vegetables that last entire week. The Bastille MarketNot only the Bastille market is very affordable, but the atmosphere is particular, too. Vendors shout at each other (and you) and everyone is from somewhere. A true melting pot of French regions. Fish comes from Brittany, cheese from Normandy, snails from Burgundy, beef from Limousin, etc. The Bastille MarketEven if we have our usual suppliers, every Sunday we meet new ones. Like this kind fishmonger from Brittany who took time to chat with us.Fishmonger from BrittanyAs you can see, visiting a market is fascinating, but it is also très sympa to walk home with several kilos of tomatoes, melons, onions, mint, lemons, carrots and salad. Not forgetting a bottle of Côtes de Provence rosé to celebrate the beginning of the summer! coming home from the Bastille MarketBon appetit everyone! It is 6 o’clock and I will have Greek for a late lunch. 




A Season in France by the Conran Shop

Last Thursday night I was invited to a soirée privée to celebrate the launch of the Conran Shop‘s spring/summer 2014 collection called “A Season in France”. A Season in France, Conran Shop, Paris

It was a fantastic evening full of sinfully enjoyable Billecart-Salmon champagne, mouthwatering amuse-bouches and eccentric characters approaching us with more soirée privée invitations. Very Parisian indeed!A Season in France, Conran Shop ParisThe collection was stylish and cheerful. It really seemed as if the objects had been chosen for the purpose of making gardening, cooking, playing, cleaning etc. an enjoyable moment!

Indeed, the colors and the presentation of the collection put me in such a good mood that I returned again yesterday afternoon to absorb more energy from this lovely, happy collection. A Season in France, Conran Shop, ParisWhat do you think, does it get any more French and Parisian than this?

PS During two more days, benefit from a 15% discount on selected items! Where? Here: http://www.conranshop.fr/ How? Use this promotional code: LOVEFRANCE