Monday, 2 March 2015

Nice - Home Cooking - Meatless Monday - Aubergine/Mushroom/Leek/Tomato pasta

We had one of those evenings where we just stared at the fridge. We had no idea what to make. We opened every single cupboard and nothing was adding up to a meal! We didn't even have enough of any individual type of pasta to make enough for the two of us!

We stared at the fridge a little longer and eventually came up with an idea for pasta and the hubby braved the cold to go buy us more boxes of Barilla pasta. The idea we came up with is quite a good one, something we hadn't cooked in a while as the main flavouring ingredients were hard to come by in Singapore, they were either affordable and not good, or expensive and not great.

So we took advantage of our good European produce and made an aubergine, mushroom, leek and cherry tomato pasta:

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Nice - El Merkado Bar for Amazing Cocktails and Tapas

We finally made it to El Merkado, within the promised time slot of within a month from returning to Nice. And I can tell you it won't be our last visit! I was worried when leaving Singapore that I wouldn't be able to find decent cocktails as I didn't remember any in Nice when I left. But since, El Merkado has opened (by a friend of mine actually!) and it is really awesome. I am so happy for him that it is turning out so well! As he said yesterday, it is busy aaaalllllllllll the time!

We have been two Fridays in a row and this post is the result of the two visits. I recommend getting there before 7pm if you want a table as both times we went it was packed by that time! You can book a table but only before 9pm and I think you need 4 people or more to make sure you keep the table. Please bear with me as I only used my iPhone the first visit so the pictures aren't the best, and we sat at the bar where it was darker.

Visit 1 to El Merkado

Cocktails from El Merkado, nothing like a good collage :) We came in and spotted our friend working behind the bar so sat ourselves there and he proceeded to advise us on which cocktails to try as the menu is vast and varied!

Food from El Merkado, we had heard good things from friends we work with (for whom El Merkado is a second home) and we were not disappointed.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Nice - Home Cooking - Meatless Monday - Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Walnuts

G brought home spinach from the market. Fresh spinach, such special spinach the lady selling it to him was vetting him to see if he was worthy of her super special spinach. We added it to a Thai curry which we won't be telling her, but we think this pasta dish was indeed worthy of the super special spinach! Let me present to my random creation of pasta with spinach, mushrooms and walnuts! It was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest but adapted to my taste and what we had in the house.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Nice - Le Comptoir du Marche - Very good & not your standard Nicois fare

We were planning a catch up with friends when we were first back in Nice, and one of them suggested Le Comptoir du Marche which I had never heard of so I looked it up online. I was a bit worried as they seem to have a menu that changes very frequently based on the season and what is good, but they seemed to be very meat-oriented. So I said as long as there was something me-friendly then sure why not. Our friend called and they were willing to go off menu for me and make something veggie so we booked for 7.

G and I were the first to get there and we were placed at a nice table in the back of the restaurant where you can watch them cook in the open kitchen:

They served us some olives, cheese and olive oil with bread in a branded paper bag (seems to be the trendy thing at the moment, Rossopomodoro also does it..) which tided us over until our friends got there. 

And a glass of the house white didn't hurt either ;) Perfectly pleasant vin du pays de Vars.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Nice - Le Cafe des Chineurs - a lovely vintage bar near Place Garibaldi

In the 3 years we were away from Nice, the city has become decidedly more hipster around the edges. There are new bars, new restaurants, new shops and just generally more options that are just that bit cooler. Nice was always a mix of a city between very rich and quite "old school" but it is now becoming more cool which is great.

One of these new options is called Le Cafe des Chineurs. It is located under the previously quite dingy and scary hotel called Hotel de Geneve on the corner of Rue Cassini and Rue Bonaparte. There always was a bar here but it was a weird old school smokers and hard core drinkers kind of place that we used to give a wide berth.

However, they have renovated the place and made it rather quite awesome! It looks like they raided their grannie's stock room full of vintage items and decorated an entire bar with the results! However it somehow manages to stay on the side of cool and not become a pastiche unlike many place in Singapore which just don't get it. We went to one place before we left that had random "Western" fake vintage things, mixing English, French, Italian, Spanish and American. Just wrong!

Le Cafe des Chineurs though has avoided that bad stereotype and is a nice warm, cozy bar with good food options. We have only had some snacks so far but G has been coveting the burgers he has seen walk past when we have been there, they make the mince for the patties themselves for each service fresh and they do look rather impressive! We have been twice already and fully intend to go back to what is quickly becoming our new local.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Nice - Home Cooking - Meatless Monday - Mixed Mushroom and Leek Risotto

It has taken us a few weeks to adjust to the cold, and I am not really convinced we have really adjusted, more that the really cold snap has passed, we fixed the heating and we bought warmer coats! Plus we ate things like this, the dish that defines winter for me, the wonderfully warming risotto. What is your favourite winter dish?

I love risotto, I really do. I first started cooking it as a student, as it was a wonderfully cheap way to make a lot of food for either a lot of friends or a lot of meals! I continued cooking it when I got together with G, and it was the source of arguments as we make it differently (though we have now agreed to disagree as both methods do deliver a gorgeous risotto, we just stay out of the kitchen when the other one is cooking. Especially after the time we nearly came to blows when I decided (closer to summer) to make a grilled mediterranean vegetable risotto! It tasted great in my defence (he would agree too).

So it was my turn to cook and I decided that it had to be a mixed mushroom and leek risotto as we had mushrooms, I could buy some funky wild mushrooms and we had loads of leeks as they are in season and I bought 2 kilos of them.... So how did I make it?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Nice - Pizzeria Les Amoureux - Again and again for the best pizza in Nice!

I considered updating my previous Les Amoureux post with some more pictures, and the new menu. But then I went back twice, and it just grew beyond just a simple update so I decided to just make an entire new post!

1st visit

G and I's pizzas at Les Amoureux
We went with a friend visiting from London (strangely, same for the 2nd visit, also a friend from our London office!) as he was in town for a few days and his one request was to go to Les Amoureux.

G and I opted for the house white. You can get it by glass, by 1/4 litre or 1/2 litre. This is of course the 1/2 litre for 8.70EUR.

R went for one of the new options on the menu, the organic blood orange sparkling drink from Italy for 5 EUR.

I like the bottle :)

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