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Christian Constant is a household name in the culinary world – a celebrated chef in Paris, writer of numerous cook books, and one of the judges of Top Chef France. Rue Saint-Dominique, a street in the 7th arrondissement in Paris, is also known as the “Christian Constant” district since it houses three out of four restaurants founded by Christian Constant. I was fortunate to dine at Cafe Constant, a no reservation Parisian bistro, on my recent trip to Paris. Cafe Constant is immensely popular and the wait for a table could be up to 2 hours. Lucky for me and my dining partner, we arrived at the restaurant at about 6pm, an  hour before they “opened” for dinner. We sat downstairs, had a drink (beer for him, hot chocolate for me – which was very good as a matter of fact) and waited patiently for the clock to strike 7. We were the only ones in the restaurant and it was interesting to see the staff prepare for the dinner service. At about 630pm,  other early diners started streaming in and like us, had an aperitif or two while waiting for the restaurant to open.

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On a recent trip back home over Christmas, I had the opportunity to dine at The Best Restaurant in Asia 2012 (according to The World’s 50 best restaurants). Iggy’s has been on the list for 4 years, and serves mostly modern French/European with an Asian (in my opinion, Japanese) touch. The reservation was made approximately a month in advance for 3, and needless to say, as the days drew nearer, all 3 of us (or at least, I was) very excited to dine at Iggy’s…

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The Square opened its doors in 1991 and has held its two Michelin stars since 1998 (almost 15 years!). One would be definitely be surprised to know that Phil Howard, the chef and co-owner, has had no formal culinary training. He started his culinary career as an apprentice at Roux Restaurants and worked under Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s as well as under Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum before opening the Square with Nigel Platts-Martin. The food at this Mayfair eatery has been described by Phil as “modern French”, and after having a meal at the restaurant, I completely agree. The deco of the restaurant is sleek and simple. And every dish is unique and carefully crafted by Phil and head chef, Robert Weston.

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