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Showing posts from April, 2015

Home Cooking - (Made up) Thai Curry + Broccolini to replace KaiLan

We are starting to miss our Asian cuisine.... We mostly ate Asian food in Singapore, be it at home or out. We do have a decent Asian shop here in Nice, we go to Asiana on Boulevard Risso. Do you know any other good Asian shops in the area? We need to find pandan leaves!

Any way, back to the food we cooked. G decided to get a bit creative and make a take on a Thai curry without making a curry paste but rather chopping up ingredients and using them more whole than in a paste. And we decided to have them with the gorgeous broccolini (well, the lady said they were wild / baby broccoli not the hybrid of broccoli and kailan, so who know what they actually are but they tasted awesome!).

Nice - Chez Fabien Cuisto d'Apero for everything meat

I made plans to meet up with friends on a Saturday night but we didn't plan where to eat. This can be a problem on a Saturday of course, like any city, most of the good places will be booked up! So on the way to meeting them for a drink, I popped into Chez Fabien which is close to our place and was on my "must try" list. The reason it is on the list is the number of positive French reviews online, always a good sign. Luckily for me, they had a table opening up at 2130 so I checked with the others and they were all up for it, and I called them to confirm.

Chez Fabien is all about the meat. ALL about the meat. I think they would make something for vegetarians and you could have the sides, but really I would say it isn't what they do, it isn't their speciality. So don't be disappointed if you do go as a veggie. Meat eaters however will be in heaven. My friends warned me it was all my fault if it wasn't good as it was my suggestion and I had never tried it, b…

Meatless Monday - Cherry Tomato Pasta - Simple is best :)

Back to pasta for my Meatless Monday post, and a pasta dish that I had been craving all the time we were in Singapore! It is such a simple simple dish but it tastes so good as long as you have the correct ingredients (aka very good cherry tomatoes and olive oil). The key is to get the tomato flavour and colour to seep into the olive oil and colour it red. So yummy!

Late March Market Shop at Liberation - What was available & what we bought

I am really loving seeing the seasons change via the produce and their price at the market. Spring is here and summer is on the way. You can tell by the fact that tomatoes and courgettes are becoming more affordable which makes me very happy!

Some items are on their way out like carrots but there is spinach and asparagus and broccolini to replace it so all is still good. G is happy to spot the radishes too.

You can get beef heart (coeur de boeuf) tomatoes for under 3 EUR a kilo which is great, far cheaper than the supermarket.

Citrus is still around but less plentiful.

1 EUR for three large spring onions or 2.50 for nine.

I love Liberation market as it is so much more local and nice and busy.

4.90 EUR for the pack of asparagus (they are just starting to come into season). Great to see parsnips too, they are no longer just for feeding the pigs in France. And baby broccoli is just awesome - I think they were around 4 euros a kilo.

Barcelona - Tapa Tapa Xiringuito in Barceloneta

We finished our weekend in Barcelona by meeting a friend in Barceloneta. We wandered up the promenade by the sea and decided to just go for tapas as it meant we could all pick what we wanted (my limited diet not being great for Spain where everything is seafood, fish and ham heavy). M suggested we try Tapa Tapa which is part of a tapas chain throughout Barcelona.

Most of the items were pretty good, with the highlight for me being the tortilla made to order which was so fresh and fragrant unlike the cake-like ones which have been sitting around for hours. Here is the usual collage:

A few shots of the Tapa Tapa interior: 

Nice - View from the Radisson Blu on Promenade des Anglais

Just a quick post of a few shots taken from the roof terrace (the pool and bar are up there and you can eat there too) of the Radisson Blu on the Promenade des Anglais. A great spot to watch the sun go down!

Meatless Monday - Roasted peppers stuffed with rice in tomato sauce

We were in the health shop when we spotted these gorgeous peppers:

Aren't they just beautiful? So of course, I had to buy them. Of course I did, I couldn't not buy them.

But then I needed some inspiration as to what to make with them, and I finally settled on stuffing them with something. And then remembered we had some multi grain rice, 3 different types of rice including some from Camargue (a famous French area for rice growing) and I loved the long black grains! So rice stuffing and roasting in the oven it was. Now what else went in them?

Here is the final result:

Meatless Monday - Pasta Primavera (spinach / asparagus / leeks / broadbeans / peas)

Another week, another Meatless Monday - this time it is our version of a spring pasta (pasta primavera) with five different types of greens! We made our own tagliatelle from scratch and we made an olive oil based sauce with leeks, fresh peas, fresh broad beans, asparagus and spinach leaves.

Nom nom nom :)

Nice - Nice Matin wins the internet with cute animal weather reports

We love our local newspaper the Nice Matin and always have since we noticed that every "rentree" in September they show all the class photos in a special section in the paper. Loved it. And they have always been great on social media also, very quick to post updates. But recently they have totally upped their game. They have started using cute little animals to tell the story about the day's weather! So we have declared that Nice Matin has won the internet :)

Read on for some examples! Kittens and puppies, cats and dogs, what better way to illustrate what you should be prepared for? All these pictures have been sourced from the Nice Matin Facebook page.

This one says not to go out too covered up as the weather is still nice this Thursday morning.

Today it is raining cats and dogs (in French it is " faire un temps de chien" aka dog's weather)
This flying cat it telling you it is windy today!

Barcelona - Elsa y Fred for more elevated tapas

I discovered Elsa y Fred on a list on Time Out Barcelona describing where to get good (and different) patatas bravas. Elsa y Fred fell into the "classic" category as one of the absolute best in Barcelona, which was intriguing so we wandered over there one evening during our trip to Barcelona. We were lucky to grab the last table in the restaurant so we sat ourselves down to peruse the menu whilst people watching (Elsa y Fred was full of locals which is a good sign in my books).

Here is my usual collage of what we ended up ordering:

If you just want the summary of our meal, a "TL,DR" version, here it is:

Elsa y Fred do great more refined tapas, a bit higher end but not snooty or expensive. Amazing bread (pan con tomat / pan coca), light and crisp and fresh - amazing. Paprika potatoes which were a combo of baked and fried potatoes were lovely and very different. Nice house cava, dry (brut nature). Perfectly nice pimientos del padron. Cep croquetas are full on but ver…

Meatless Monday - Vegetarian Lasagna

We went to the market the other weekend and after that, once we saw (and bought) loads of lovely summery vegetables (they are starting to come into season down in the Nice area) we thought we should finally make the vegetarian lasagna we had been dreaming about for the last few weeks (before it gets too hot for it). We also decided to make our own pasta sheets as we had bought some double 0 flour the other day in the local Italian deli (before we realised that Italian double o flour is like French 45 flour, we know for future reference now).

Here you can find the usual collage of the result of our vegetarian lasagna which was gorgeous if I may say so myself! Some improvising had to take place due to running out of tomato sauce but we managed and it was lovely. However next time we might not bother cooking all the veggies on the griddle as that took forever! Roasted may make more sense....

 Check out the lovely layers here :) Making your own pasta really does help!

 Read on for more in…

Barcelona - El Xampanyet for cava & tapas near Picasso Museum

Another place we usually hit up each time we go to Barcelona is El Xampanyet, one of G's friends loves it so it is a bit of a pilgrimage for us. It is very close to the Picasso Museum and is invariably packed and noisy as it is a tiny and very popular spot! We tried to get in, but couldn't get through the door, but waited outside a little while until we saw people leave and jumped on the opportunity to push ourselves inside. There was no sitting space, no tables to stand at, but we spotted a small opening at the very end of the bar next to the area for the staff and scrambled over as quick as we could.

El Xampanyet is a place where you will not survive (or simply be served ;) ) if you get all fussy and difficult. Go with the flow (the flow is rather fast) and just enjoy the chaos. You may have to use your elbows carefully, I sure did, but that is part of the fun :) Here is my usual collage of what we ordered:

Here is my TL,DR version for you about our tapas at El Xampanyet:


Barcelona - Cerveceria Ciudad Condal / Ciutat Comtal for yummy tapas

Tripadvisor and Yelp aren't always right, so this time I complemented my research with TimeOut as a source, going through their Barcelona posts for their best tapas places and saving them. I was especially interested in the aisle about the best places for patatas bravas in Barcelona! I also spotted their article about where you can still get free tapas in Barcelona (though we didn't go to any).

Ciutat Comtal was on their list for overall best tapas places and it is close to a Plaza Catalunya making it the perfect spot for our post shopping lunch break. We rocked up around 1400 and inside was jam packed (couldn't get through the door) but there were outside seats if we were willing to wait 20 minutes. We were happy to and got a very nice table next to a heater :)

Overall the food was very nice, the standard tapas you see everywhere weren't exceptional, it felt a bit like they were on there because they have to have them. But their more ingesting tapas were really good, …

Nice - Quick Market Haul from Marche de Liberation

I didn't need much as I had shopped the day before but a friend was going so I tagged along and came home from Liberation market with quite the haul considering I was alone for the week! I was really happy to head up there as it is more 'local' than the Cours Saleya (the Old Town market), far fewer tourists, more local producers and more friendly people.

Here is my full collection that I carried back for 3 kilometres to get home. It was a beautiful sunny day though, full of happy people celebrating carnival. 

Barcelona - Street Art

After a few years in Singapore, you get used to everything being clean and neat and tidy. Which is good as a living environment, it is safe and predictable. But that can also get a bit boring in some ways. So occasionally it is nice to visit a little chaos, especially controlled chaos like Barcelona where you feel safe but there is the added interest of the street art / graffiti you can see spotted around the Gothic quarter of Barcelona - Barrio Gotico, right in the centre of the old town. I took a few pictures of what I saw but there is loads more for you to explore if you go to Barcelona (which you should if you haven't been!) I especially liked the Hitler with an afro....