Culinary Delights @ Les Halles de Lyon

Paul Bocuse is a name synonymous with French cuisine, fresh ingredients and great quality food. It is a given, therefore, that a place will be expected to have all these qualities should it bear his name. Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse certainly fulfills the criteria perfectly. This post is dedicated to Les Halles, one of the places one must experience when visiting France's culinary capital. 

Les Halles de Lyon is more than a market. It is essentially a giant food hall exhibiting and serving up the many hallmarks of French cuisine, and the best that France has to offer the culinary world - all under one roof. 

Though prices here are not the cheapest, one can rest assured that only the best-quality food can be found within this convenient hall. You could essentially spend the entire day here; though I had a flight to catch later that day, I only managed 5 hours inside. 

Having arrived in the late morning, I began my trip with some breakfast at La boulangerie de l'Ile Barbe, sampling some Viennoiserie. 

Of the pastries I tried, memorable ones included a Praline Brioche - a sweet brioche with a pink tinge native to Lyon, and a Pain au Citron - a luscious bread that livened up my senses. 

It is worth noting that their Tarte aux Pralines, a Lyonnaise specialty, seemed to be a very popular choice at their bakery - and would definitely be worth trying or packing home, if you have enough stomach for it.

One could then treat oneself to some amuse-bouche at Toqués des Halles, a shop by Chef Philippe Lechat that offers a unique take on 'sweet treats'.

Whether you're keen on some Tartes aux langoustes, or a Glace au foie gras, these savoury renditions of desserts will leave you wanting more. Creativity, quality and finesse with every item displayed.

As mentioned in a previous post, Chez Léon is one of a few restaurants where you could have lunch at. Serving up seafood, you could stop here for a platter of Oysters or Fruits de Mer.

Though relatively pricey, one rest assured that the quality of seafood being sold here is absolutely top notch. Together with some bread, French butter and perhaps a wine of your choice - you can experience satisfaction in culinary simplicity. 

And for 'dessert', or some sweet treats to take home, I would highly recommend Sève, which sells some of the best chocolates and and gateaux available. 

The macaron craze never caught on me to begin with, but I couldn't help but be intrigued at some of the unique flavours on offer. Think Iberico Ham, Gorgonzola & Sesame, and Olive & Squid Ink flavored macarons!

The stores mentioned are only some of the numerous establishments within Les Halles de Lyon - which you could easily spend the entire day in. One would be a fool not to come here when on a trip to Lyon, no matter how long or short it is. And rest assured - the quality of everything available here remains top notch.

Bon Appétit!





Franco-Italian Dining @ Les Terrasses de Lyon

Perched atop Fourvière Hill, Villa Florentine is a five-star hotel reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa which boasts some of the finest views Lyon has to offer. Though it may be bit hard to reach by foot, the hotel is easily accessible by taxi and is ideally situated between the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and the UNESCO heritage district of Vieux Lyon. 

Keeping in line with the hotel's Mediterranean motif, their restaurant Les Terrasses de Lyon serves up Michelin-starred Franco-Italian cuisine within its ornate Florentine interior. I was greeted with smiles and offered an Amuse-Bouche (not pictured) after having placed my order for the five course menu entitled Saveurs à l'Italienne, meaning a Taste of Italy.

The first course consisted of a Velouté with Egg of Quail. This delectable and all-rounded dish, enriched with the yolk of the egg, proved a promising start to the meal. I especially loved the use of chives in the dish which added a hint of freshness, reminiscent of the Mediterranean to which the restaurant draws its inspiration from.

The second course was a Mantecato de gamberoni. The succulent prawn tails were placed on a tomato-scented jelly with shredded prawn meat. The dish was served with a pecorino cromesquis, which left quite an impression on the palette. Together with the tomato purée, the combination of pecorino and tomato made for a quintessentially Italian pairing, and the watercress purée added a lovely element of vigour to the dish.

Our third course was a Risotto Arborio al dente, with shavings of parmesan. The risotto was of an perfect consistency - creamy, yet with much texture to it. The tone of the dish was set by the parmesan, followed by the nuttiness of the beurre noisette which complemented the earthiness of the mushrooms perfectly.

The fourth course to arrive was Slow-roasted Burgundy chicken. The chicken was accompanied with a Conchigli pasta shell stuffed with Italian artichokes, and cuttlefish jus. Rarely do I have chicken so beautifully cooked - moist and succulent, yet firm and cooked through. The pasta stuffed with artichokes proved an appropriate accompaniment, reminiscent of a seashell on an Italian beach.

The dessert course was an Amaretti, topped with edible gold leaf. I always knew that chocolate and orange were flavours that went hand in glove, but the miraculous combination of orange, chocolate and coffee in this dish was something I found difficult to fathom. The dish was very creatively put together, with decadence in every bite.

As I sipped my coffee and gazed upon the lit skyline of Lyon, I indulged in a Petit four selection of decadent yet light Opera cake, a fluffy choux pastry filled with hazelnut cream, a spongy almond cake filled with passionfruit curd, and a chewy chocolate lollipop with almond flakes. My taste-buds remained tantalized even until the very end of my meal.

My experience at les Terrasses de Lyon could have continued should I have opted for an additional course of pan-fried foie gras or roasted scallops. Did I mention the selection of cheeses from their Maître fromager Affineur? However in the state I was in, the waiters would have had to roll me into my room. I simply could eat no more.

'La dolce vita' would be a phrase that I would use to sum up my experience here. At €98, isn't a meal that one would have everyday - but the quality of food and creativity of the chefs were thoroughly impressive, and the service and ambiance was charming. The head chef greets all diners as they leave, and I simply could not pass the opportunity to commend him for a lovely night well spent. 

Address: Les Terrasses de Lyon, Villa Florentine, 25 Montée Saint-Barthélémy, 69005 Lyon, France

Presentation: 8/10

Ambiance: 7/10

Service: 8/10

Overall Taste: 8/10

General Impression: 8/10