Le Mêlécasse Brasserie has been opened recently in one of the most beautiful streets of Paris, which I personally consider “a hidden gem” – Butte aux Cailles, in the 13th Arrondisment. My friends took me here for a photo tour, and basically to show me what the real Paris looks like, when it’s not all Champs-Élysées and The Eiffel Tower.
So onto the review! We were walking around looking for a place to have a bite to eat, but everything was either closed or just serving drinks (interesting!). And then we walked upon this little place which only had two or three guests outside – it was a sunny day and the inside of the restaurant was completely empty, for everyone was enjoying the sunshine.
When my French friends started speaking to the lady server who walked up to us to inquire us about our orders, I thought she was my friends’ closest friend by the way she spoke to them, and vice versa! She was explaining the menu and the choices to my friends, acknowledging the fact that I wasn’t speaking a word of French, especially when it was spoken at such a fast speed. I was experiencing cultural shock for the first time, even though it was not my first time in Paris, and that was shockingly pleasant, I must admit. Not a tourist around, it was still and quiet. The tree branches were swinging in the summer breeze, an occassional cyclist would go past us, trying to get a whiff of what was inside Le Melle Casse, a lovely old couple was watching our group closely, as they found it amusing the fact that I was French mute and agreeing to pretty much anything. They smiled and I smiled.
When I first looked at the menu, I thought the prices were a bit high, but that was the mains section, but then I had a look at the salad section, the one that my girl friends were eyeing up. I thought to myself – okay, I can be on a diet for a day. Having only had menthe a l’eau earlier that day (and not exactly understanding the whole craziness about this drink among the French), I have realised I was really hungry and a simple salad just wouldn’t cut it. But I was wrong.
I ordered Salade Nicoise, the girls went for a salad with salmon, and the other for a salad with legumes. When our server – a serious and talkative French girl brought in our orders, I opened my mouth, as they all looked amazing. My salad was prepared with a fresh tuna, not from a can, properly half-grilled, the edges were grilled, while the the rest was a perfect pink colour; the sauces and the cute tiny anchovies complimented each other, my then closed mouth felt like it was in heaven!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the correct names for the two other salads, as I thought I would be able to find the menu online, but alas, this new restaurant does not have a website, or even a TripAdvisor section (I just reviewed it there, so that TripAdvisor will register this place in the next few days), so practically, no one knows about it! Here are the two other salads!
I can see some orange or grapefruit in the one above! and lots of crayfish, I wish I ordered it too!
This one was the legume with salmon salad – huge portion! The boys went for Croque Monsieur (without the egg) and Madame (with an egg), which came with a bit of salad and fries.
And honestly, their Croque Monsieur looked so much better than the one I tried in Montmartre a few days before it!
As I was finishing my salad, one of my French friends, seeing how I was struggling to fish out the last bits with my fork and knife (I wasn’t struggling), said to me that I better use bread to help me push the food onto my fork, but I was too masterful with my fork and a knife, especially after spending a whole month in Japan, feeding myself specifically with the help of chopsticks. I knew I got it. I gave a knowing look and nod to my friend, and finished my soft drink too like a boss.
All the while, my friends kept conversing in their native language, having checked with me if I was okay with that, I didn’t mind, as I enjoyed the surroundings and the sound of their speech too much. As we just finished our meal, it turned out the lonely older lady who was sitting next to us, was listening to some inappropriate stories of my friends a little too closely! Some of it was translated to me too, so I blushed at first, realising the older woman was very interested in the whole exchange. My friends just laughed with her, as she commented at some story details! It was absolutely hilarious and so French!
We left the brasserie in high spirits and went on exploring Butte aux Cailles further. The day was just starting.
Thank you for reading x
P.S. The Restaurant Le Melle Casse is located at 12 Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 75013 Paris