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The French CanCan Dinner @ Moulin Rouge, Paris

Think Moulin Rouge, think Nicole Kidman. That was one of the jokes cracked by the other family on the same coach as we were, heading to Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge means Red Windmill and is located in Pigalle, near Paris' red light district. Historically, Moulin Rouge had been the place for cabaret performances. Like the couple, we opted for Moulin Rouge over Lido or Paradis because it was supposedly authentically French and world renown (after the movie that is).

Moulin Rouge does matinees on selected months, nightly performances are available all week long. Performances are on twice a night, once at 9pm, the other at 11pm. Basic tickets are inclusive of half a bottle of wine/champagne. 

Packed by hoardes of like-minded people, I was instantly thankful we made pre-bookings. We arrived prompt on the dot at 7pm, ready for dinner which who presumably take 2 hours, in true French style.

We were rounded up like sheep, made to line up and made to handover our coat and camera (inspite of my feeble attempt at refusing it). Only boleros are allowed on ladies whilst guys get to keep their jackets. 2 euros for that, despite being warned by fellow netizens who have been ripped off, I still went ahead to try my luck.

The pictures taken were obviously sneaked with my pathetic phone and here I am, risking my dear life with this entry. Enjoy. :)

Enter a hall with velvety red walls, a band on stage entertains, there's also a dancefloor and tables packed so closely to each other. Thank Goodness Asians are born with smaller frames which aids all the squeezing in and out the tiny spaces.

Finally shown to my table and we sat next to a couple who paid for the most expensive menu of the night - Toulouse-Lautrec. It then dawned on me, regardless how much your menu really depended on luck for your seating.

The bread rolls were already placed on our tables before we arrived. Butter took eternity to arrive. When it did, our drinks of White and Red arrived (though I ordered Rose). The hilarious bit happened here; I placed my breadroll on the plate that was supposed to belong to the wine bucket. The waiter did not bother enough to place the wine elsewhere but promptly shoved my breadroll off with such force, it literally bounced off the plate and did a lovely twirl mid-air before landing some distance away.

Jawdroppingly funny? It was, so much so I did not even complain like I would have under normal circumstances. Was I the only one? Apparently not. For the record, the breadroll was stiff and hard.

Foie Gras Ravioles, Poultry Bouillon 

After the amusing start, the soup arrived without much fuss. In short, water seasoned with a cube of chicken stock and simmered with machine made ravioli stuffed with what is assumed to be foie gras. Tragic but there were oil patches swimming on top the soup. 

Terrine of Young Rabbit with Dried Apricots

The sis glared headlights at me when I made an order for this. Young Rabbit apparently offended her. This was close to frozen pate with an artistic squirt of strawberry sauce.

Challans Breast of Duck with Orange, Sautéed Zucchini with Soya

I would have preferred our local Roast Duck over this but compared to the other courses, this was mighty decent. Braised to tenderness, the meat was well flavoured.

Salmon Crunch,  Leeks and Potatoes " Paysanne " 

Fresh salmon catch here with a yummy creamy leek-potato mash that I somehow liked. The skin was panfried to a crisp, thankfully. Definitely the best of the night. 

Opera Pastry, Hazelnut Sauce

None too special.

Apple Jelly and Sorbet 

Served in a wine glass, apple cubes were encrusted in the apple jelly and sorbet was stealthily balanced on top. Overall ordinary but in comparison to the other horrors of this meal, I consider it decent.

Glasses of bubbly that made me sleepy.

Chef Laurent Tarridec (quoted from the website) said 'At the Moulin Rouge, every night is a feast. The courses we prepare have to be as good and beautiful as the scenes, costumes and dancers.' I beg to differ on the food. Food certainly is not on the agenda of the folks behind Moulin Rouge. Experience is, rather. The number of half eaten plates I saw removed from tables is appalling, there are some who simply emptied their wine glasses and left their food untouched.

You would expect that the food would all be prepared and brought out only to be wrong! The waiters carelessly transfer the meats from a large tray onto smaller plates right infront of you. 

It was only when the performance started that I realise the chair was locked to the table, making it difficult for you to face the stage properly since we were all seated in twos opposite each other (someone had to have her back facing the stage!). I found it particularly distracting though that waiters had to interrupt the show for diners who went ala carte to sign their checks.

It was a sparkly night to remember, the famous Cancan dance, complete with tasteful nudity and energetic dance routines. Yes they lip synched, yes they missed a few steps here but the whole act put together was brilliant enough.


Moulin Rouge

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.


  1. Looks like a good experience! Envious!

    It also shows that it was a well-planned trip heh :)

  2. lucky you to experience a show at Moulin Rouge..:) Rabbits are served in most places in Europe as there's a lot of them running around the fields. But looking at them, innocent and cute, I won't be able to order it myself :)

  3. @ harris: heh, too much planning makes moving on from europe difficult. =p i ALREADY miss europe!

    @ lorraine: i had to give it a go regardless...gave up disneyland for that! hahaha YES i knw it's cruel but i had to just try... =p

  4. haha. I miss europe since a year ago I visited it! Paris with the wonderful scenary and food. I miss it so much! Did you try out the crepes in paris?

  5. @ angeline: hey there!! nopppe...too lil time in paris to try out all i wanted to ;( missing it so much with so many of my frds heading there nw! *sobs* one day, one day i'll be back!

  6. I can't believe I kept reading in horror of your dining experience!

    Had I, had the chance of stopping you & saving you some cash in the process, I would have tried!

    When in Paris, never dine at such cabaret shows, as for the same amount of money you can dine elsewhere more worthy of your dollar.

    The Moulin Rouge in famous, but it's the upper scale LIDO (of the same owners) and Crazy Horse that are actually the best of cabaret & burlesque to see...

  7. @ you've got a really nice blog btw! :) heh...hafta agree moulin rouge wasn't all that great but it's just those touristy things that you do when you're there the first time! I hope I'll have the luck to return to Paris someday and give Lido/Wild Horse a go!

  8. thank you for your kind words. and I hope that you do have the chance to return to Europe for more posts!

    I hope to read more from your blog as I enjoy your thoughts and reviews...

    keep up the great blog...