Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!


Thank you so much for all your support for Notti Monkey's blog
it felt like we have walked the journey together
:))))) *really and seriously*

We are very eppy eppy to have shared our experiences, travels, notes, rants with all of you

Toast to 2011 and we look forward to more postings
with u of coz :)))))

Enjoy the long weekend folks...
hugs & kisses

Thursday, December 30, 2010


the 2nd round of breakfast......
there's no such thing as only one breakfast in France....hahahhaha
Breakfasts are treated with respect here....hence it also comes with desserts

sometimes u just can't resist all those pretty things sitting by the windows of any boulangerie
such attention seekers
and show stopper
u just have to walk in and get some
Dinos the Great & Monkey thought of getting ONE SINGLE PIECE of Eclair
and ended up with two....and a xmas buche de Noel
*slaps forehead*

and there's so many other flavours of Eclair
from chestnut to pistachios to toffee and of coz the traditional chocolat
all this in a small village with one row of shop at Dijon
and that village is called Gevrey Chambertin
Eclair was born in France somewhere around 1860s
baked to such lightness and hollowness in the middle
it's really really crispy :))))

then yummy fillings are being pumped in
and it must match the glace/topping on the top

oh yum....the best Eclairs were the above fr this village of Gevrey Chambertin
not only it's crispy, fresh, tasty with just enough and just nice fillings
it's not too sweet
it was darn cheap at about Euro 1.60 each..
*in Paris at Le Maison du Chocolat or any other sets u to Euro 5 each*
*that converts to RM 21 for a damn Eclair in Paris*
oh craving for it now...
prollie I should learn how to make some...
teee heeee heeeeee

Yeayyy tmrw is a public holiday in Malaysia
*we msians are lazy bastards*

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hostellerie de Levernois, Beaune *One Michelin Star*

this was the restaurant Chef Takashi Kimura of Cilantro KL worked when he was an ambitious 20 year old boy
a week before we left to France, Chef Takashi told us he dined there for 3 nites before being given a job at this restaurant
he was very determined huh? what a different way to "get" a job huh?

it is one of the most celebrated restaurant in Beaune
inside an even more beautiful property with an amazing park and garden
a peek outside the park in cold winter :))))))))))))))
the ambience here is really cozy and design is minimalist with touches of redness here n there
inclusive of all the cutleries and utensils
well since it xmas was around the corner then
some festive deco elevated the ambience
very interesting amuse bouche(s)
pardon my memory, on that very nite I forgotten my lil notebook and did not take note
*slaps forehead*
and forgot to utilise my iPhone
a beautiful Mersault.....
we have fallen for good quality whites
last time we dun bother spending/investing in whites

Mr. JS, last nite u were saying how many % of wine productions are Premier Cru
frenchie pronounce "Premier" as "Poh-mea-yeh"
in France everywhere...butter is their pride
and rest assured u can't get anything close to their quality

we lurve Echire butter and to them that's like commercial massed butter
retailing at Euro 3.80 per tub of 250g and here in KL they are selling at RM 48.90
wait till u have their Grand Cru butter....:D awesome bliss~~~~~
Langoustine with marbled ham and truffles
I couldn't remember either who had this
poached and cold oysters in lemon jelly
it's like an oyster terrine...excelent bcoz somehow the oysters are still raw after all the process
I didn't have this and forgotten wat was it?
was this Dinos the Great's starter?
frogs legs? gosh memory lapsed
partridge :)))))))))
I've never eaten partridge bird in my life
it is pretty gamey and very very rich

sorry to all Christmas lover there...Sorry that I ate your partridge
but it was so yummy kenot resist
partridge came with organs separately :P
the prized parts
the fish was done to perfection with such detailing
all the flavours were infused and well combined
the Chef had used all the ingredients very well
wow what's happening?????????
all eyes on the trolleys
Monsieur, here we have the Burgundian cheese
pride of Burgundy
and here we have the goat cheese
*Monkey faints*
hmmmmm tough decision.....
Grand Marnier Souffle :))))))))))
is also Chef's specialty here
*and so is Chef Takashi*
we were extremely tired that particular day having driving around
esp on the Rue de Grand Cru
so our appetite were pretty unusually not us :P
this restaurant deserves another visit
service was top notch though not all staffs speak english

I would lurve to try their "Surprise" degustation menu next time
and yes stay at this beautiful property itself..
there's only like 14 or 16 rooms

The Restaurant
Hostellerie de Levernois, Rue du Golf,
21200 Levernois,
Tel: +33 03 8024 7358

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What I've got :))))

yea yea everyone's been asking....
wat did Monkey get in Paris
all my object of desire's quota were met cept one item
which was the Prada iPad case coz it was out of stock
other acquisitions along the way were impromptu
time to sell kidneys *if I have any left* to Citibank

so some of the items which Monkey got........
*drum roll pls*

a few key pieces fr Lanvin for H&M
u won't wanna walk into any H&M with me
ask JS and he will tell u

I kenot imagine the total purchases made have to sell kidneys

I have a 30kg suitcase of H&M
heeeeeeeeeee :)))))))))))))))
still remember her?
the beautiful exquisite clutch fr Bottega Veneta?
and this baby :))))))))))))))))

it was the last piece and I was holding tight to it while choosing other pieces at the Rue Cambon boutique
*the very residence of Madame Coco Chanel*

as other eyes were locked onto this piece
with desires to ask me if I still want that piece
Hell no laydee....u stay back....this piece is MINE!!!!!!

"I am sorry madam, we only have one last piece... oui? and urrrrr that lil madam over there oui? she's having it. Allow me to show you some other limited pieces.... sil vous plait?"

YES the customers were throwing me that dead-fying stares :D
hehehehhehehe it's MINE!!!!!!!

when I do have the time....
I'll post about Mr. JS's purchases
really dead-fying purchases....wahahahahahhaahhaah
mine was nothing compared to his :P
oui oui oui monsieur?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Route des Grands Crus *by JS* .....part 1

The route des grand cru simply translates to “road of the great wines” and is one of the highlights of the province of Burgundy. As an avid burgundy wine drinker(or simply alcoholic!!), to travel this route is achieving one of the objectives in our very long list of outstanding “must do”!
Do stay with me as this may drag cos I may have to define certain words unique to wine terminology.
You will keep hearing this word in this post. In English it simply means "golden slopes or golden hillsides"

A typical Cote D'or landscape
The vineyard of AOC Clos de Vougeot
A bit of geography and geology. The route des grands crus runs in a North South direction from Dijon to Beaune and ends in Santenay in the south. It basically runs across the Cote D’or which simply means golden slopes or golden hillsides in French. The Cote D’or is divided into two sections namely Cote de Nuit in the north and Cote de Beaune in the south and inarguably the Cote de Nuit produces the finest and most expensive Pinot Noir in the world!
So what makes this place so special?? The Cote de Nuit is actually a Jurassic age limestone outcrop and in general it consist of limestone and marl(mixture of limestone and clay). In area of high concentration of marl, Pinot Noir will be planted whilst Chardonnay will be planted in areas dominated by limestone. Yes, the grapevines need poor infertile soil to grow and to produce good grapes to make good wines……a bit illogical actually but that is the fundamentals of viticulture! The lack of nutrients “encourage” the roots of the grapevines to reach out deep into the underlying sub soil strata hence absorbing all the minerals which gives the grapes and ultimately the wines it’s unique character.

Apart from the geology, this place also has a unique a climate and microclimate system and hence arise the concept of “terroir” in winemakers terminology and it’s this terroir that’s makes this place so special.

So we found ourselves traveling along the A6 southbound from Paris to Dijon on this cold winters day with Dinos at the wheels and me navigating(repeating to Dinos what the GPS is saying!)and monkey and saint veeny sitting quietly in the back seat and most probably suffering in agony from Dinos great driving! The distance is approximately KUL to Penang so that’s pretty decent and easy drive.

Soon we exit the freeway and found ourselves in the lovely old town of Plombieres de Dijon which is a small satellite town outside the main town of Dijon.. The first thing that we saw was …………yes, you guess right. mustard factory!! Dijon mustard or moutarde de Dijon which the French call it, is world renowned and is great with gamy meat such as peasant or rabbit. Funny thing though we did not see any mustard plant field……….want to know where the factories get their mustard seed?? then go to wikipedia and you will probably be surprised :)

The church in Plombieres les Dijon.
The magnificent color tiles of the church spire is typical of burgundian architect.

One of the many locks of the infamous Burgundy canal. Want to know more about this canal.....check it out on wikipedia. It is actually a very important linkage of the waterways in France and it actually connects the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean coast of france and it was constructed pre industrial revolution!

As we continue our journey the first commune or village we come across in the Cote de Nuit is Marsannay-la-cote and followed by Fixin and Brochon. Next is the famous village of Gevrey Chambertin which we will be spending a night.

The memorial in the village of Gevrey Chambertin.

Cheeky monkey with a traditional press. Nowadays the process of pressing is carried out by machines.

One of the highlights of Gevrey Chambertin is the Chateau Gevrey Chambertin. It is located on the slopes of the Cote D’or at the edge of the village. It’s origins date back to the 10th century and have evolved since but the original iconic square tower still stands tall. The chateau is owned by the Masson family who also owns Domaine du Chateau Gevrey Chambertin and they make good Burgundy wine.

The chateau Gevrey Chambertin standing tall in it's former glory.

Near this chateau you will also find the premier cru AOC(appellation d’origine controlee) or simply “parcel” of Clos St Jacque and les cazatiers. For the benefit of the less informed readers, basically the boundaries of all the parcels in burgundy have been carefully delineated and determined as Burgundy is seen as the most terroir conscious region in France. This practice dates back to medieval times when monasteries play an important role in the development of the Burgundy wine industry. For my wine kakis, this all sounds too familiar right?? :)
Now a little about the commune of Gevrey Chambertin. The village of Gevrey Chambertin has 9 grand cru AOC and more than any other communes in the Cote D’or. Amongst the most famous are the parcels of Chambertin and it’s extension Chambertin Clos de Beze. The other grand cru parcels are chapelle chambertin, Ruchottes Chambertin, Charmes Chambertin(just drank a bottle of 2001 vintage on Christmas eve :) ), Mazis Chambertin, etc. These parcels are famous for the quality of their elegant red burgundy. The soil in Gevrey Chambertin or for that matter the whole of Burgundy being calcareous will give rise to black and red fruit notes in the early years of the wine. Later on these notes will developed to one of preserved fruits. Spicy nuances are also found on wines from this commune as the pinot noir grapes are harvested when its very ripe and the wines will develop pepper aromas which lends character and style. According to most Burgundy wine makers, the properties and character of the wines are more or less determined in the vineyards hence you will find the Vigneron spending most of their time in the vineyards clearing old canes, harrowing, replanting, pruning, earthing up, soil replacement, de-budding, etc and it’s hard work cos you have to bend low most of the time !!

See what i meant about bending down low. Its actually back breaking work!

In Gevrey Chambertin you will also find the domaines of winemakers such as Fourier, Pansiot, Ponsot, Pierre Damoy, Rossignol Trapet, etc and off course the infamous Armand Rousseau.

That's Chambertin Clos de Beze and this plot belongs to none other than Pierre Damoy(subject of another post).

That's the designated parcel of Chambertin and as you can see the total acreage is only about 12 hectares. Regulation requires all grand cru AOC to produce a maximum base yield of 35 hectarelitres of wines and that converts to about 4700 bottles per hectares which is like 400 cases/hectare. That should give you a pretty good idea why good wines are soooooo rare!!
Domaine Rossignol Trapet owns part of the Chambertin parcel in addition to Domaines like Armand Rousseau and others.
and yes, Berr was there too :)
As you drive drive along this route, next to the Chambertin parcel is the grand cru AOC of Latricieres Chambertin and before you can blink you will see this next signage.

Yes, you have arrive in the next commune of Morey St Denis and the communes are basically separated by probably a road and yet the wines produced by the two neighboring parcels are so amazingly different in character.

End of part 1.

Part 2 of my posting will be about our journey further south to the communes of Morey St Denis and so on.