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In the search of the perfect cuban sandwich

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.

One bite and you’re hooked! 😉

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!

 

Hermanos Cubanos
257 Seaview Road
Henley Beach SA
08 8235 9990

When a Frenchie is sent into a Frenzy with one song

The moment of impact. The moment of impact proves potential for change. Has ripples effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together. Making them closer than before. While sending others spinning off into great ventures. Landing them where you’ve never thought you’ve found them. That’s the thing about moments like these. You can’t, no matter how hard you try, controlling how it’s gonna affect you. You just gotta let the colliding part goes where they may. And wait. For the next collision.”- The Vow

How is it that music can, in such a powerful way, evoke our laughters, our dreams, our sorrows, our secret aspirations?  I believe that songs are memories….. memories of moments, memories of people, memories of feelings. The moment of impact…when memories are crashing together. We all have our list of special songs…. that sometimes we don’t even think about and when we hear them, it just hits us bringing back all those feelings and images and for a few minutes it takes us on a journey. Such a powerful and magic feeling allowing us to experience past moments again and again. And this is exactly what happened to me during the Easter weekend as I was attending a gig with this amazing band called FRENZY and they started to play “Don’t YOU forget about ME” by simple Minds… Suddenly it took me back to a year ago at the Moonlight cinema in the botanical garden with my Italian friend Mimi when we enjoyed the movie “The Breakfast club” and its mythical soundtrack and its inspiring message…. and funnily here I am now dancing with her at the sound of this song and looking at each other smiling, knowing exactly without speaking a word that we were both traveling to a year ago and all those memories brought back to life! This is because “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” and this how you get all Frenzy with just one song!

But who is FRENZY?! Probably the next band you are going to follow in Adelaide 😉 Born in 2008, these guys know how to rock a venue performing hits from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s,00s as well as recent hits. They are lively, talented, passionate and they know how to read a crowd to entertain the audience with their best songs.  They know how to put a show and it’s an unbelievably fun experience. I can assure you that the dance floor was packed and everybody was really enjoying the moment. Their repertoire is pretty diversified, their style is catchy and their energy is contagious! But you know what, the best way to find out is to go and see them performing on stage: George on Vocals, Lee on Bass, Russ on Guitars and Paul on Drums

We definitely had a great time and we enjoyed it to the fullest dancing, singing and listening to those mythical songs! Definitely a must see! We know we will be back for sure!

Daniel, Mimi and I enjoying the show

Fringe don’t go!

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

Love those Fringe magical nights…

Sometimes you wish you could stop the time so you can enjoy a little bit more : The Fringe festival is one of my favourite moment of the year! There are so many things to do and see and not enough time to do it all, it feels like I have not slept in a month but it was all worth it! Adelaide is so vibrant, so lively and on top of that I have a sweet spot for outdoor events especially with this beautiful weather !

This party at sunset was pretty magic, almost unreal ❤ We danced until the sun disappeared behind the horizon.

Did you know that Adelaide Fringe is the world’s second-largest annual  arts festival?! For 31 days and nights during February and March, it features more than 5,000 artists from around Australia and the world. Over 1100 events are staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, lane ways, theatres, hotels, bars, pubs, art galleries and cafes. Aren’t we lucky to have it all here?!  There is a little bit for every tastes from comedy, to circus, cabaret, musical, drama etc….name it, the Fringe has it all, just pick and go with the flow! And if you are pretty smart about it, you can enjoy many shows for half price and maybe even for free if you have some good connections 😉

That’s what is called a “forced” smile… I was a bit scared but at the end I enjoyed it 😉

I personally declare that this year was the best 😀 Maybe because I really embraced it… I would not say I went everyday but almost. There were actually really good shows to enjoy and so many beautiful nights to just hang out with friends, chatting in the park, trying all sorts of foods and cocktails. And this year, I even ventured myself in one of those crazy fun fairs games, you know the scary ones where people scream like crazy ! I particularly enjoyed the stand up comedies and I saw a few ones like “The walk of Shame” (pretty hilarious with a bunch of girlfriends so we could relate to some of the girls stories), “The fourth floor” (I was with my mexican friends there and there were some reference to Mexico during the show so that made the whole experience pretty memorable), “Confessions of an aerobic instructor” (I went there with a colleague of mine and it was funny since our job is related to the fitness industry), “Anastasia” (it is a musical and the artist writes her own songs/music and it’s reallyyyyy good), “Ebony” (African circus). Something I really encourage you to try next year is to go to the Fringe with no plans and end up in one of those 6 dollars shows that last like 30 minutes, they are good fun and I like the idea of the spontaneous last minute “let’s try this show”, they are good fun too!

Some hilights this year during the Fringe were, for me (in chronological order):

Massaoke…. I know I know, to quote a friend, to really enjoy it you have to be wasted, cuz it s like a gigantic karaoke where everybody is drunk singing and dancing basically. I only had a few drinks but I promise I enjoyed it a LOT. Music was good and it was exactly what I needed to start the Fringe season. Actually I think it was the first Saturday night  of the Fringe and I came back home at like 2am after sharing a gigantic pizza with my girlfriends… late food cravings moments are my fav and the perfect way to end a fun night ! I like the idea that I can have access to food at anytime of the day!

Red Hot Chili peppers concert as part of the Clipsal, pretty awesome! It was in the park and it was of of those magical summer nights. We sang, we danced and it was like the time had stopped and we were just free and wild kids. “Californication” was the biggest sing-along of the night, and it was incredible to hear ten’s of thousands of voices singing out into the warm Adelaide evening. But my favourite moment and song was “Give it away” and I was happily, crazily dancing, jumping on this one,  I definitely gave it all ❤

St Patrick’s day which marked the very last day of the Fringe. My friends took me to a quite charming street party with a live band and good vibes all around with people all dressed in green and happily drinking beers. I met a really nice French couple there and we chatted and had some cocktails while sharing our experience about life in Australia as foreigners. Funnily all my friends left around 8pm because it was on a Sunday (and there is work on Monday) but again it was such a beautiful night that after a few seconds of hesitation (should I stay or should I go) I ended up staying by myself until 11pm!!! Actually I had a really good time, the band was pretty good and for the last part of the night they invited people on the stage to sing and they would perform whatever we wanted to hear.  I met some really nice and fun people : my point being that, even if it feels comfortable to hang out with your usual crowd, sometimes it can be also good fun to step out your comfort zone, drop the shy attitude and mix with new people!

And now what’s next? Well…. once the Fringe and MAD MARCH is over,

it is said that Adelaide becomes quite dull and boring because the weather gets colder and there is not much to do. I guess it depends on how you keep yourself busy.  For me cold weather means maybe more cooking, more writing, more reading and more time spent in cafés doing the latter… but it also means that far far away in another part of the world, in a country who’s got my heart ❤ , it is spring time and soon summer to be and with it the sweet promise and hope that I’ll be enjoying it too 😉

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it own magic!”

The pur-fect playground in Adelaide

“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).

The Cats’ playground

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!

Yummy green tea base dessert

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 ❤

106 Glen Osmond Road
Parkside SA 5063
Australia

opened from 6pm to 10pm (closed on Tuesdays)

 

 

OK, but first coffee

When you think about Australia and more specifically when you think about Australians… what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I mean as a stereotype, as a cliché?! Before I moved to Australia, I thought that Aussies were all surfers and crazy about surfing mostly… that was THE thing! But then I moved to Adelaide and I realised that one of the most important thing for Australians is actually…. wait for it…. COFFEE!

They drink a LOT of coffee… and forget about Starbucks, because here it is not just about the coffee, but also about the cute little place where you enjoy your latte, the friendly and talented barista who knows you well and the vibes and atmosphere! For those who know me… I know what you’re thinking… V you don’t even drink coffee, what are you talking about?! Well I am a Chai Latte lover… so generally where there is good coffee, there is a good barista and de facto there is a good Chai, it is as simple as that 😉 And you know me, I like to discover new cafés and to blog about it… I have always this crazy fantasy that I am going to have my local café where I am going to be a regular… Long story short : a bit like the Girlmore GirlsTV show with “Luke’s dinner” except that Lorelai did the mistake to date Luke, big time, and then they broke up so it was very awkward she could not go there for a while and she was really missing the coffee, hugeeeeeee mistake (lol, that was a wink for the TV show fans).

I know that some of you cried a river when the very hipster Tin Cat Café closed but maybe this will cheer you up if I tell you that a new tenant has taken over : The black addition. Sounds promising for coffee lovers, isn’t it?! And this is quite an interesting story since it was formerly a mobile coffee business which was pretty successful on the road…on various private and corporate events… so busy that they were hard to catch… it is like when the fun fair arrives in town and you have all those colours, those lovely smells and you just follow the music hoping not to miss the show!  Actually they were so successful that some fans even made the secret wish that someday the 2 owners would settle down so it would be easier to find them and enjoy one of  their delicious coffees and this wish came true!

So at the moment, they are operating in the former Tin Cat Café in Kent Town. The two lovely owners Alison and Sean (a couple) are experts in the latte art and even host Barista classes in their lovely little café! I had a Chaï Latte and it was absolutely delicious with coconut milk and it tasted different from what I am used to and I really enjoyed it! As for the coffee, because I wanted to give a fair review, I went to this place with my coffee expert friend : the lovely Jessica from Mexico (and god this girl lovesssss coffee and can be fussy about it lol) and she really enjoyed it, she said it was sensational!


And cherry on the cake they are opened until 7pm! And believe me this is something to definitely mention! You know, as every good french, I like to complain and one of my recurrent complaining topic is that in this city everything closes at 5pm so it is like nothing is opened for people who basically work during weekdays… so this is nice to feel welcome in this cute little place after work for a comforting cup of coffee while watching life passing by. They also collaborate with other catering businesses so they can offer a nice range of yummy cakes and pastries. I have not tried them yet but I definitely intend to go back and it might even become my local ! And if you are in the mood to give this place a go, they also offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea so it is definitely a nice weekend plan! The two owners are absolutely lovely and will make you one of the best coffee in town ❤

What about you? Are you tea or coffee drinkers? Any nice cafés to recommend me?!!!! oh… I already know what you are about to say… OK V, but first coffee 😉

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The Black Addition

107 Rundle Street

Kent Town SA 5067

Tel : +61 4 0174 3962

 

I scream ice cream!!!

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.

Cute ❤ this one is called “La romantique” and acts like a love filter! Forget about the traditional roses bouquet, this ice cream says it all!

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!

Kem CoBa it s a bit like the Jacarandas in Australia announcing spring and summer! It is opened from May to September, best days in Montreal  😉

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!

Dulce de leche and mangoes. Because in a perfect world, you don’t have to choose, you get both!

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!

The soft vanilla from Madagascar allied to the exotic passion fruits because life needs this je ne sais quoi touch!

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!!!

 


Kem CoBa

Mile End

60, avenue Fairmount Ouest

kemcoba.com

Cash only

 

Chez José

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.

o-2
Colourful, vibrant, local!

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!

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This sandwich is killing me softly with its sweet spicy sauce!

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


Chez José

  • 173 Avenue Duluth E
    Montreal, QC H2W 1H4 – Plateau-Mont-Royal 
  •  Phone number(438) 764-1381
  •   Website www.chezjosecafe.com
  •  Cash only