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October 27, 2010

Léon de Bruxelles, Paris

One of the items on my to-eat-list in Paris was Moules Frites (mussels with fries), and I was determined to try it at least once. I spotted Léon de Bruxelles when I was strolling down Champ Elysees. The place was crowded, and people were happily tucking into their mussels, without a care in the world. I walked closer to the restaurant, peered at the menu (hoping that it wouldn’t burn a hole in the wallet), and I was sold. “Let’s eat here!” I said excitedly. After a hardly satisfying dinner earlier, my parents agreed. Léon de Bruxelles is a famous restaurant chain in Paris, known for their mussels or “moule” in French.

Before any of you were to go, “Why eat at Champ Elysees? It’s a tourist trap!”, here’s why. It was a Sunday, and most restaurants were closed. And I’ve always wanted to eat at Champ Elysees – I didn’t the last time because I spent all my Euros on my LV Bag.
Tables were closely packed together, and service was mostly slow and uninterested. I didn’t quite care, because I was there to try the mussels. And I somewhat expected the shitty service. I ordered the best seller, Léon Mussels (€19.10). This came with unlimited* fries and baguette to soak up the sauce. While the fries were unlimited, getting a refill was almost impossible. I never got mine, despite three reminders. My mussels (800gms) were cooked with crème fraiche, white wine, chopped shallots and celery. It was my first time trying mussels this way, and I enjoyed every bite. The mussels were steamy hot and juicy, with a delicious cream broth that did not overwhelm the mussels. It might be a bit heavy for some, but you can always order the Marinière styled mussels (€17.50).Marinière is a French style of cooking. The mussels were prepared with some salted butter, white wine, chopped shallots and parsley. This was also very good, as the light broth brought out the sweet flavour of the mussels. My parents liked this, but I preferred mine — I like anything cream based.

Om nom nom nom

The fries were limp and hardly worth mentioning, but I didn’t care. I was there for the mussels. The place feels like a fast food joint rather than a restaurant, with waiters running up and down constantly, calling out orders and giving the customers more bread, beer, wine, etc. Our two pots of mussels with Perrier water (I have no idea why my parents refused to drink tap water) and beer came up to about €50. Relatively cheap for Champ Elysees, and I left the restaurant satisfied.

Ambiance: 5/10
Price: 5.5/10
Food: 7/10
Verdict: Delicious mussels, but service was a pain.

63 Avenue des Champs-Elysées,
Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt
+33 1 42 25 96 16 ‎

10 Responses

  1. "Joe" who is constantly craving

    yum..mussels..it does sound quite easy to make though, let me c if i can get hold of some..interesting idea!

  2. thule a.k.a leo

    I had a lot of mussels during my days in New Zealand.. it was pretty cheap to buy those stuff!
    Back to Malaysia… I focus more on clam or lala 🙂

  3. Baby

    i like mussels…

  4. Bangsar-bAbE

    Baby – Me too!

    leo – Hahaha….in Malaysia, mussels are expensive. La la will do. =P

    Joe – Should be quite easy for you to get fresh mussels right? 😉

  5. Tummy Rumble

    yea man, can't seem to get fresh mussels anywhere in msia.. i had a couple of those 1pound pot of mussels in belgium myself.. good stuff..

  6. Paul

    I was in Bordeaux a few weeks ago and had "unlimited Moules Frites" at Flunch for euro 6.90. My wife and I had 3 bowls of moules each and I had a small mountain of frites. We love our moules frites.

  7. J

    Ooooh. Looks goood…. 😀 😀
    (Yay! French food in France – that's the right way to go….)

  8. Bangsar-bAbE

    J – Hahaha…yup, I was happy!

    Paul – Wow! That's super cheap. Lucky you. 🙂

    Tummy Rumble – Indeed! 😉

  9. Manu

    Hi, Like mussels? Ever tried the Fresh Belgian Mussels in Bangsar’s Brux-Ale Belgian Bistro? Some said its the best in KL! 😉

    1. Bangsar Babe

      Nope. Haven’t tried it yet. Meant to check out the place…but so many new places in Bangsar to explore. Lol!

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