21 Apr, 2015
Named after a song by Serge Gainsbourg, Pamela Popo shot right to the top of my hit-list of all time favourite restaurants. Turning left into Rue François Miron, I was immediately struck by the sight of the vintage Peugeot 404. All in black with silver trim, red upholstery and subtle fin-tails, this statement in retro-cool noted that one had arrived in more ways than one. The restaurant Pamela Popo lay perfectly placed on the pavement behind this fabulous old car.
Serge Gainsbourg is considered one of France’s greatest singers and song-writers. Famous for courting controversy with his erotic innuendo, Serge’s work was often banned for being too risqué. He even infuriated the mild-mannered Bob Marley for letting Bob’s wife inadvertently sing some sexually explicit lyrics of Serge’s creation.
Serge croons in one of the lines from Pamela Popo, “un striptease à vous faire froid dans le dos” which essentially means “a striptease that will make you shudder”. My rapid unzipping and exit from my Uniqlo puffer coat may not have been shudderable material but I was out of my outerwear and in the door at top speed to enquire about a table for dinner. The happy surprise of this serendipitous discovery meant that a space for two was possible. The ground floor of Pamela Popo features a classic bar fronted by an eclectic arrangement of comfy seating that simply says settle-in-and-order-a-cocktail-or-four. And with that this establishment became an instant candidate on my coming-soon list of the coolest bars in the world. Cosy and friendly in winter with plush bucket chairs to encourage lingering late-night conversation. Airy in summer when the floor to ceiling windows open to invite the pavement in to make for classic Paris sidewalk Kir Royale sipping. The gorgeous décor is unashamedly 70’s with funky clashing prints, quirky touches, tropical wallpaper and a palette of rich red, warm orange and plenty of purple; of course.
The floral headband on top of Pamela Popo’s nonchalant beauty was the menu, the food and the friendly service. Coupes de champagne were deftly delivered while we surveyed the faux leather bound menu. However, all surveillance came to a sudden halt upon the welcome sighting of my favourite dish “Noix de Saint Jacques” (scallops) but this time upon a butternut purée with pain d’épices. A heady choice for heady times.
As the 70’s takes its place in the on-trend sunshine, Pamela Popo feels like a bespoke tribute to those free-living days …and nights.
Pamela Popo, 15 Rue Rue François Miron, Paris
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