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Showing posts from February, 2015

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.

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.

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'…

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…

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! And then another one with my challenge to eat all the pizzas on Les Amoureux's menu.

1st visit

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 :)

Home Cooking - Chicken Leek and Mushroom Pie

As you may have seen, we have been eating very very very very Western since we got back! We need to go replenish our stock of Asian staples so until we make it to the Asian shop we will be cooking mostly rather European winter food food, as that is what we have access to right now.

It was the hubby's turn to cook and he fancied a pie. As many of our expat friends in Singapore know, it is hard to get a decent pie in Singapore. And cooking with pastry and ovens is a bit of a nightmare in the Singapore heat and humidity. So we never really made pie there, but it is perfect for the wintery cold we are facing right now here in Nice.

So what did we make exactly? We popped down to the supermarket (the cheap one, DIA) for some chicken, some mushrooms and a few leeks to be on the safe side as we are running through them at warp speed. G put together a chicken, leek and mushroom pie. YUMMM.

We served it up with "ratte" potatoes, peas and green beans.

No need to bother making the p…

Nice - What we bought at the market - 1 Feb

So you may have seen my post about shopping at the market at Nice's Cours Saleya (flower market) so I thought I would share what we actually purchased! We didn't need some items as we had our first box from the fruit and veg producers, so we topped up with some staples.  Most items were purchased from the local section of the market, but some came from Italy or Spain.

We love these big mucky spuds for making jacket potatoes, so we go those and some normal onions.

Red onions are always useful. I do prefer to cook with them when I make pasta for example.

A bunch of carrots and some leeks. I am still amazed at how cheap locally grown seasonal items can be.

Nice - Cost of Living - February shop at the market on Cours Saleya

The hubby used to often (most weekends) shop at one of the markets in Nice. Cours Saleya, the one in the old town, is the closest, within walking distance of our place. When we could be bothered, we also went to the more "local" market up at Liberation. So as soon as we got back, G wanted to do a  proper market shop. I took advantage and tagged along to take pictures and document what is in season in the South of France in January / February, and what things cost. I can already tell you that your best option is buying seasonal as the winter fruit and vegetables were cheap (1 to 2 euros a kilo) whilst summer veggies were expensive!

The walk to the market from our flat in the port of Nice is beautiful, I will write up a full post with the pictures. This one will focus just on the produce and the cost, well, at least the later pictures should have the prices as I got overexcited in the beginning and forgot to shoot the prices!

It being winter, all sorts of citrus fruit is in se…

Meatless Monday - Courgette Pasta

We bought fancy gorgeous expensive courgettes at the market this weekend. And I mean expensive (can't wait for them to be in season.... 8$ a kilo is a rip off!). They were meant to be saved for a planned vegetarian lasagna..... But Monday night, after work, I really really really craved courgettes and I mean really craved! And my lovely husband was willing to compromise on the lasagna as long as I cooked dinner (he is cooking next).

I was fine with that of course as it meant I got my courgettes! I really really missed courgettes when I was based in Singapore as you just can't really get them unless you are in the restaurant business, and / or have a load of time and money on your hands. None of those applied to us so I basically went without courgettes (zucchini for those of you reading this and looking confused) for most of the time I was in Singapore (the exceptions being when we hand carried them back from Italy!).

Here is the result and a perfect Meatless Monday option as…

Nice - RossoPomodoro - Neapolitan food on the Cours Saleya

Fried pizza. Fried pizza. Fried Pizza. You heard me, Fried Pizza! Fried pizza is glorious! A bit odd, a bit mind blowing, but rather rather nice. Any way, that was me going off track. I am back now. Back on track! Where did we eat this delicacy? At the new Neapolitan joint on the Cours Saleya called Rosso Pomodoro, the first branch in Nice of a chain from Italy. There is competition in town now that Les Amoureux isn't the only place serving Neapolitan style pizza, plus Rosso Pomodoro also has pasta, grilled meats/fish and salads.

We have been twice due to friends wanting pizzas on days where Les Amoureux isn't open. Here are our pizzas from our first visit but we think it was a different pizzaiolo the second visit as the pizzas were better.

Singapore - Candlenut - Fancy and yummy Peranakan food

One of our last meals before leaving Singapore, with a group of friends, was at Candlenut, a restaurant I had been dying to try for a very long time (die die must try). A bonus is that it is on The Entertainer application so we would get one for one on the main courses!

The food at Candlenut was amazing. Delicate, beautiful, full of flavour. Just amazing! Hats off to Chef Malcolm Lee for his traditional but innovative Peranakan cuisine.

Here are the starters we shared:

The mains:

And the desserts:

Read on for more info but I whole heartedly recommend you check out Candlenut asap!

Nice - Cost of Living - Le Panier du Producteur - Our First Seasonal Fruit & Vegetable Box!

I got off the train the other day (don't get me started on my horrendous commute...) at Nice Riquier (the train station near Nice Port) and spotted a stall full of fruit and veg. Intrigued I wandered over and found out there is a weekly delivery of fresh fruit and vegetable boxes plus some options that can be sold loose by weight.

I was utterly fascinated (and very excited) and took a flyer home with me. I went right online (Le Panier du Producteur - and discovered you could order boxes every week for pick up at various points in the area (the Nice Riquier station, some spots in Sophia Antipolis etc) and you can have them delivered to your home. The products are grown locally (in Antibes) without pesticides and are seasonal which is a great bonus.

You can sign up to the newsletter and to be told the content of the boxes every Wednesday which you can reserve online, for pick up on Thursday evenings at the station. The boxes come in single forma…

Nice - Cost of living - DIA supermarket shop - January 2015

I got a bit of a shock to the system the other day when I went to Intermarche, everything seemed so horribly expensive and I was starting to worry about our choice to return to Nice, and our resulting purchasing power.

All of that changed when I dragged hubby into DIA around the corner from our place. He didn't want to as he remembered it being in the Lidl/Aldi style, but once we were there he was perfectly fine and it isn't too crowded or dirty or "warehouse-y" at all, and the prices sure are good!

Here is our bill for the shopping you will see below. Just under 40 EUR of which half was a huge farmer chicken plus a bottle of wine and a bottle of olive oil. So 20 EUR of fruit and veggies yum :)

Here is our table full of food:

Meatless Monday - Leek and Potato Soup

As you might know from my previous post, we have a load of leeks! And those of you who follow my Facebook page ( will know we just started buying a seasonal vegetable and fruit box and this first one contained leeks also, after we had already bought 2 kilos! So what could we do but decide to make leek and potato soup?

Soup is a very easy option for a Meatless Monday as you just need stock and some veggies and you cook them all up with seasoning and then either leave it as it is, or blend it to a smooth soup. We like our leek and potato soup to be "bitty" but we have friends who like it smooth.

Nice - Les Amoureux for pizza - the menu keeps growing & the pizzas are still great!

Anyone who knows me knows that Les Amoureux is my go-to place for pizza in Nice, especially for the Neapolitan style of pizza. I love this place and have taken so many friends and family members here! I always ended up bumping into my Italian colleagues there, including my VP! The Italians know good food when they eat it, and they keep on coming back to Les Amoureux.

So, all things considered, one of my first meals back in Nice had to be at Les Amoureux of course! Ivan did ask me if I had missed their pizza and I had to admit that yes I had of course.

I was happy to see that they haven't rested on their laurels and they keep creating new pizza combinations, new desserts and have even added some organic options as part of their beliefs in the "slow food" movement. I am sure my other half will love their new buffalo milk panna cotta, we will have to go back soon.

Ivan kindly welcomed me back with a glass of prosecco, much appreciated. I brought my book with me (Midnigh…