It was one of these Sundays in Adelaide, when the cold wind of winter bites your face and the rain just won’t stop . Latin music playing on the car radio, the crispy air seeping through the windows. It was the perfect day to enjoy some comforting and joyful food and it does not get better than a legendary tasty cuban sandwich.
Basically, a Cuban sandwich (also called a cubano) is a variation of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and baguette. Biting in a cubano, it s not just like biting in any regular ham cheese sandwich… it’s taking a slice of vacations because once the flavours melt on your palate you can feel the sun, the warm atsmosphere, the music, the colours, the people…
This is how on a rainy and cold Sunday, I ended at Henley Beach in a little restaurant called Hermanos Cubanos. Don’t be fool by the size of the place, it may look tiny but wow oh wow the food is absolutely amazing. I must say I experienced one of the most amazing sandwiches I had in a long time. Imagine the delectable savory roasted pork marinated in garlic, orange and lime juice, the dill pickles tingling your tongue and the mustard magnifying all the flavours. All in all a good hearty sandwich with punchy flavours where every bite is absolutely pure bliss.
But maybe the best way to fully enjoy this moment is to start by watching this feel good movie called CHEF, if you want to know, a culinary masterpiece for the eyes where foodtrucks and savoury cubanos are legends! After this, there is no way you can resist going to Hermanos Cubanos for the real deal or if you are feeling adventurous and want to awaken the chef vibes in you, challenge yourself by cooking your very own cuban sandwich for the perfect tasty Sunday afternoon treat! And why not, if you feel like it, come and share with me your experience by commenting!
“A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes” – indian proverb
Have you ever noticed how cats can be all cuddly, gracious, sweet and cute sitting on your lap and the next minute flexible little hunters, all claws out, ready to scratch and jump on their prey ?! Like the Yin needs the Yang, the cat is the perfect expression of this duality. And Kitty lovers, I am sure, would agree that it is precisely why they are so attached to their (un)domesticated but fascinating little felines. Because let’s be honest, at the end of the day, you never really own a cat, he is the one who choses you and runs the show. “Cat have it all : admiration, an endless sleep and company only when they want it” – Road McKuen (poet, Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows).
Now that said, if you want to explore this microcosm of the world, there is a Cat Café here in Adelaide! What is a cat café? Well obviously not the place where you take your cat on a date and share a latte together while chit chatting about the chubby mouse you saw in the garden shed, gossiping about the noisy neighbor’s dog or complaining about the poor quality of the litter ! A cat café is actually a place where you can catch up with your friends just like in any regular coffee place while fulfilling your craving for hugs with cute little kittens running around the place, curling around cat scratching poles and rubbing against people’s legs. And if you get lucky those little furry friends will entertain you for sure because when they are not sleeping they can be quite playful or all cuddly depending on their mood!
This concept comes from Asia where the first cat cafe opened in 1998 and then it became such a trend that every big cities (Paris, London etc…) have their very own since a couple of years. And it is quite successful… I mean… who can resist a kittens’ cuddle… it is good for the mood, it is good for the stress and it is even said to regulate blood pressure… pur-fect!
So if you want to satisfy your meow needs, why don’t you try the Meow Me Cat Cafe on Glen Osmond Road. This cute little place offers delicious Asian treats and drinks while you can gaze at the cats playing around and if you get lucky they would jump on your lap while purring loudly. And cherry on the top, if you fall for one of them, you have the possibility to adopt any of those cuties for an endless flow of affection ❤
I know, I know… it is still winter in Australia, so an ice cream seems like the craziest idea. When all you want is to snuggle under a comfy blanket and just wait for summer… But sometimes, it is nice to remember that when it is cold here in the south hemisphere, there are some other parts of the world that are nice and warm and it means that soon it will be our turn 😉
So before I scream for summer, maybe I’d just scream ice cream, like a magic prayer, so it will make summer come quicker! And when you hear these mouth watering words, there is a special place that comes to my mind where you get the best ice creams you can think of. I am not even sure I should share this secret with you because it is such an enchanted place. Maybe I should just keep it to myself so it is mine forever… but that would not be fair. Little gems like Kem CoBa must be shared ❤
So if you happen to go someday to Montreal in Canada and it is one of those warm days… then go to one of my favourite areas : the Mile End, it is definitely worth the walk. There are lovely boutiques, with some good vibes and a really nice trendy atmosphere. Look for the little pink and green shop and the queue on the sidewalk, because here is Kem Coba and its delicious homemade ice creams owned by a charming couple.
Those people know how to make your heart melt. Who said that an ice cream would make you cold. Those “crèmes glacées” are just pure sweet love. Imagine what happens when a cute vietnamese baker meets a French baker…. it is all hearts and ice creams!
They are as beautiful as delicious. Besides they are all made with natural ingredients: so super healthy… well… as healthy an ice cream can be 😉 It is been years… but I still remember the lovely flavour of the Masala Chaï ❤ and I have heard that the “beurre salé” (salted butter) is reallyyyyy good too!
But the cherry on the ice cream is probably Kem CoBa’s famous “crème glacée molle” (soft ice cream). It looks like an italian ice cream to me with a torsade and double flavours and coulours! They have each week I believe a new combination: blueberries and honey, vanilla and passion fruits, dulce de leche and mangoes… I tried them all haha when I was in Montreal and I highly recommend to do the same. Besides trust me because normally ice creams are not my thing but Kem CoBa is the kind of place that turns a “never in my life” into a “normally not but this one is different”. Yes this is how good it is!
I could spend hours describing the vibrant colours, the exotic flavours of those sweet treats, the lovely texture, how they melt on the tongue leaving an exquisite taste but I guess the best way to really get the feeling is to go and try them all and tell me about it! So next time you go there, make sure to tell me what is your favourite!!!
Last Christmas, I was in France and I had the opportunity to meet my brother’s lovely girl friend who happens to live in Montreal. Talking with her about this beautiful city brought back some memories. Oh Canada, Canada… you are not a country, you are a season! And as for you Montreal, you are my morning Bagel at Saint Viateur, you are this cute maple leaf on the sidewalk, you are my enchanting stroll in Mont-Royal Park, you are my chai latte at café Pikolo, you are my bubble tea in China town, you are my favourite ride along Saint Laurent river, you are my matcha ice cream at Jean Talon market, you are this lovely blue sky even when it is so cold outside. And my heart just melts when you are wearing your majestic white coat that gives me the feeling that for a minute the time just stopped.
I am so far away from you now, it is summer here in Adelaide and still winter for you. But lately you have been a lot in my mind. So I thought today, I would share with you one of my favourite place for a delicious sandwich in Montreal 🙂 should you ever visit this beautiful city!
As for many French people, Le Plateau, is my kingdom. I know that Canadians like to joke about the fact that obviously French people must be missing so much the Parisian expensive lifestyle that they are attracted like magnets to the trendy Plateau area… What can I say?! I like the atmosphere, the little cafés, the shops and the artistic vibes all around.
In a charming little street stands a funky Portuguese café called “Chez José”. A cute and tiny little place that tends to get crowded at busy hours, but the food they serve makes the wait worth it. If my memory is is correct, I had a lunch combo (smoothie + sandwich) for something like 10 dollars! I must say this spicy sandwich was something very special… and normally spicy is NOT my thing but… I guess when you find something special, some rules may not apply… the chicken was thinly sliced and paired so well with the homemade hot sauce, the cheese and the avocado. I really enjoyed each bite of it. It was fresh, it was delicious, it felt very local and typical!
Sometimes, you discover little gems like “chez José” and you are so grateful they do exist. How can a simple sandwich make your day?! Was it just about this sandwich or the whole journey?! Walking in this little street, looking for this address, spotting this graffiti wall, gazing at all these vibrant colours, looking at the people queuing happily outside, trying to imagine who they are, discovering new flavours and being overwhelmed by this new experience… I think it was a mix of everything. Next time I will go back there, I will just order the same but this time I make sure I won’t go on my own and share this precious moment hoping that it will be once again a delightful moment ❤
“Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing” Steve Jobs
173 Avenue Duluth E
Montreal, QC H2W 1H4 – Plateau-Mont-Royal
What could be better than sitting on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day 😉
Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.
I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.
But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with line and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!
Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!
We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.
Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!
We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ❤
But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!
These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ❤
Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep 😉
Wonderland is never far away and sometimes can be closer than you think. Just pay attention when walking in the West End and look for the white rabbit on the eclectic Hindley Street. Maybe for a minute you will think you are lost, it can’t possibly be there but keep going and you will be surprised like Harry Potter discovering the platform 9 3/4!
Right in the middle of the buildings and the busy city life, appears like magic, Peter Rabbit café and its beautiful garden. It is so tempting to just sit here outside on one of these colourful chairs and enjoy the beautiful weather. Come with friends for some lively conversations or all alone to relax with some readings in this friendly atmosphere.
But let’s not stop here, why not indulging your coffee cravings?! You got me, if you are a coffee lover, then this is the place to be. My friend Ana (from Colombia) is an expert when it comes to coffee and she confessed that the Cuppa is really beautiful. Last time I was there with her, she had a black from Colombia and she loved it!
The staff is really friendly and I love the attention to details they put into the decoration but also when serving coffee. If you want to pet some rabbit, just go at the back of the café and you will make some good friends ❤ As for me, I was so enchanted by this little wonderland that I could not help sharing this secret place with some other friends.
So next time, you find yourself walking in Hindley street, and you happen to see a white rabbit, with a waistcoat and speaking English. Don’t hesitate, follow it, open the garden gate of the hidden Peter Rabbit and enjoy the journey!
For an Asian street food vibe, Sunnys’shoplocated on Prospect road will blow your mind.
Prospect is full of surprises and today was no exception. It is so closed from the CBD, it takes me only 35 minutes to get there with my bike (and I go very slow) so no excuses! Each time I go, I discover a new shop or a cafe that I fancy a lot! And today Sunnys’ shop took my heart away 😉
As I parked my bike, I could not help noticing this lovely dark pink and blue frontage. It reminded me a bit of the cafes and restaurants in the Grenadines islands. It felt so welcoming with these cute and lively colours, a holiday spirit was floating in the air.
I ordered a chicken lemon grass Bahn Mi ❤ It was DELICIOUS! In a very quick and short way, it is a vietnamese baguette sandwich but in an authentic and poetic way it is so much more. A Bahn Mi is the fruit of love of two distinct civilisations, the Viet and the French. For the history note, France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887, which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! Let’s say that the French baguette was part of the happy legacy from that time. So when you think of a Bahn Mi sandwich, you have to picture a fresh and crunchy French baguette filled with the colourful beauty of Vietnam: Fresh herbs, carrots, chili, a bit of mayonnaise and then you can add chicken, roasted pork or meat. It is so tasty and so aromatic, it is in my opinion the best sandwich!
Sunnys’s Bahn Mi is wonderfully fresh and tasty, soft inside, crispy outside. The staff is super friendly and the vibe in this little shop is soooo good. I checked the menu and there are so many dishes I wish I could try because everything looks so yummy and the price is reasonable. I wish next time I turn up to this restaurant, they will be serving Vietnamese coffee (my new found passion)!
So all in all a really good experience and now I can’t get this song out of my head:
“Sunny, thank you for the sunshine bouquet,
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all,
Now I feel ten feet tall,
Sunny one so true, I love you” – Boney M.