Society Picks: Marion Caunter on the best dining spots in London and Paris

Digest

July 6, 2015 | BY Calvin Chong

A front row regular in Paris and London Fashion Weeks, Marion Caunter tells us where insiders go for lunch in-between shows.

This beautiful soon-to-be mother of three needs no further introduction. 

Former TV host for E! News Asia, fashion icon and philanthropist, Marion Caunter is a global jet set who has seen and ate them all – well, most of them.

Self-confessed as a non-adventurous foodie, Marion has never been the one who tries exotic dishes.

When we ask her about puffer fish, she says, "I don't think I'll ever try it. I mean, you never know what might go wrong!"

We managed to steal some time from this fabulous lady to talk about all things food from her favourite Malay restaurant to the hippest dining spots in Paris and London.

 

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Where do you go for date nights with your husband SM Nasarudin?
Whenever we have time for a dinner for two, we always choose between Sage at the Gardens Residences and Cilantro at Micasa

Sage is one of the places I will never get bored of. I particularly love its hot pasta appetiser and the service is always top notch. It is a quiet and comfortable place where we can go without a lot of people recognising us and start staring at us.

As for Cilantro, I simply adore its simplicity. There’s nothing fancy or pretentious about the restaurant, but I can always count on the food and service and that’s all I really care about.

From your Instagram account, you seem to love brunch places. Which is your current favourite?
I do! I noticed that every time I'm pregnant, I get obsessed with brunch places. Sitka is my new favourite place. I'm always there for most of my brunch and lunch dates.

 If I'm not there with my girlfriends, I will get takeaways and it will always the same two dishes – beetroot salad and fish tacos. They are simply to die for.

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Where is your favourite place to bring the kids out for a treat?
It will have to be Morelli's in Bangsar Shopping Centre. My husband and I travel a lot and whenever we are back in town, we will always bring the girls out for some gelato. It’s our Sunday ritual.

Usually, we start downstairs at Vineria for pizzas and grilled chicken. The girls love pizza, so it's another treat for them. Then it’s time for Morelli’s!

What about your own guilty pleasure?
Definitely Morelli’s. I love all the one-off coffee flavours there. Since, they are only available at certain times of the month, I will usually call in to ask if they are available. If they have it, I will drive down there immediately to grab a cup. I tend to stay away from the cones to avoid the extra few calories (laughs).

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Which city is your favourite holiday destination for delicious food?
London is great for its diverse cuisine offerings and I always love trying out the new and exciting breakfast places and cafes around the city. My top favourite restaurants include:

  • Dinner by Blumenthal
    There are so many Michelin star restaurants in London but for me, this place is one of the best in the city and it has been very consistent with their food and service. The best thing is, you only need to make reservations a few days in advance, unlike The Fat Duck, where you have a crazy waiting list of 3 or 4 months.
  • Chiltern Firehouse
    I used to go dine here a lot and it was a celebrity hotspot. Anytime you pop by, you’ll probably bump into an A-list celebrity. The last time I was there, I met Isla Fisher. It’s a great place to see and be seen.
  • Satay House
    Satay House is where I bring my mother and mother-in-law to satisfy their Malaysian food cravings. They have great authentic Malay dishes (in London standards) and yummy teh tarik there. Personally, I would still rather have mine in Malaysia.

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You're also often in Paris for fashion week. Where do you go for a quick bite in-between shows?
If you're in Paris for fashion week, you need to go to L’Avenue at least once. It’s the permanent hangout spot for fashion week regulars.

They have great fusion cuisine at L'Avenue – think burgers served with tom yam soup. It is also a celebrity favourite. From Kim Kardashian to Rihanna and Justin Bieber, everyone who's anyone will be there in-between the shows.

It’s always packed to the brim and the easiest way to get in is to ask the brands' PR managers to help reserve a table. The owners usually reserved the entire restaurant for show-goers during Paris fashion week.

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When you're back in Malaysia, where do you go for delicious Malay food?
Other than my mother-in-law’s house (She’s a great cook!), I love Sambal Hijau. It's your regular kind of warung restaurant but it is always packed during lunch hours. 

There's nothing fancy and don't expect no air-conditioning. It uses the nasi campur concept and I love the variety of dishes they offer. Simply divine!

 

(Photos: @marioncaunter)

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