You can't really go to Paris without doing some shopping and despite the fact that the Euro is giving the Australian dollar a sound drubbing making it less splendid a past-time, an afternoon browsing the department stores is still compulsory. One thing that can make it even more pleasurable is the idea of having something unusual to eat and unusually good at that, in the department store itself. Délicabar is the baby of Sebastian Gaudard who delights in mixing savoury ideas with sweet eg chocolate and raspberry soup, Foie Gras and Chocolate and Salmon Mille Feuille. It's like mixing metaphors but with more success (and judiciousness).
The Department Store Le Bon Marché was designed by Gustav Eiffel. At the moment, it has a lot of scaffolding to the side so it looks less than ideal. I also like to combine my shopping with a bit of the macabre (and I don't mean Goth or Halloween outfits this time) so earlier that day we went to the Catacombs of Paris where 6 million bodies were buried in the late 18th century.
I'm not a ghostly apparition-honestly!
It certainly works up the appetite walking the 1.7kms and climbing the 82 stairs and descending the 130 stairs. After a quick browse at Le Bon Marché, we head up to the 1st floor and find the Délicabar, the concept of snack chic (i.e. the opposite of McDonalds-if the brightly coloured resin Alessi creatures were made into a restaurant, it would be this). It features bright pink and orange and plenty of whiter than white in the inside area and green and white on the balmy outside terrace. The menu is in French but we manage to decipher a few words and the fact that dishes in black text are savouries while the dishes in brown text are sweets. A waiter also thoughtfully comes by to explain some of the items in English for us.
A waiter also explains some of the recommendations, some of the items are no longer available but we order the Foie gras and chocolate on thinly sliced toast and the Salmon Mille Feuille and the chocolate and raspberry soup to finish.
Smoked Salmon Mille Feuille 13
The salmon Mille Feuille is a leaf shaped pastry top and bottom with an accent of poppyseeds and a filling of smoked salmon and cream cheese. A side salad of lightly dressed fennel accompanies this. It's inventive but I can't help feeling that it needs a bit more moisture from the filling although the pastry is incredibly crisp.
Pain Foie Gras Chocolat 18
The Foie Gras and chocolate on the other hand is fantastic and has you wondering why this is the first time we've seen this. The chocolate is thin enough so as not to overpower and oversweeten the foie gras and when spread on the thin toast with the dressed leaves, it's superb. A word of warning though, and that is to share this plate with someone. I found that only having one piece of the Foie gras and chocolate was a little more than enough as it's incredibly rich.
Chocolate and Raspberry soup 7
The chocolate soup with raspberries arrives and whilst it looks like hot chocolate it is slightly different. For starters it comes in a very large cup and eating it with a spoon gives it a different flavour. The raspberries are perhaps a bit too bitter with the bittersweet dark chocolate but if you like your chocolate bitter this dessert is for you. There is also a scattering of finely chopped nuts inside.
Fauchon's Madeleine store
I also leave you with some of the food purchases I made that afternoon from Fauchon, the "Lips" chocolate boxes, white chocolate tablettes and an ice cream from Hediard across the road. And of course the Mothership, the Chanel Rue Cambon store. Bag Lust!
Fauchon "Lips" chocolate tablettes 22 and white chocolate blocks 4.50
Hediard ice cream stand outside the Madeleine store
Hediard ice cream, mango at the bottom, passionfruit at the top
Chanel's Rue Cambon store
Le Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sevres, 6th Arrondissement, Paris 75006
Tel: 33 1 42 22 10 12