“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 ❤
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 😉
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
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.
At the moment, it seems that I have a thing for vietnamese food and I can’t get enough of it. When you think of it, it is not that surprising, Vietnamese and French cuisine have history.
It all started in the 17th century with the arrival of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam. But it did not stop there, then 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! So naturally when you stay that long in a country, you leave pieces of yourself in several ways: be it architecture, culture, words, names and of course cuisine. I find it fascinating to discover (and taste) the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine (the tasty baguette sandwich called Bahn Mi is one of them). For sure it is different comparing to what I am used to in my home country, and sometimes it is hard to make the link between the two countries but there is something magic about all these flavorful dishes and I can’t help being attracted to them (maybe it is in my DNA).
For those who know me well, I often go to Central Market in China Town. Most of the times to buy herbs or lemon because the quality and the price is much better than what you would get in the supermarkets and also the atmosphere is really nice and friendly.
Last time, I went there, I remember it was a beautiful day and as I was feeling a bit hungry I thought I should pass by Little NNQ and see if it was not too crowded. This is a vietnamese restaurant and it is quite popular so it can be tricky to get a good seat sometimes. This place has been recommended to me by John’s vietnamese friend, his name is Phong and lives in Adelaide (and John is American from California who happens to know a lot of people everywhere because he has traveled and worked in so many countries). Luckily the odds were with me and there was a lovely table by the window and the friendly waiter told me I could sit here. As it was a beautiful day, the large windows were opened so it was like I was sitting at the terrasse outside watching people passing by, cars honking and for a minute imagining I was in another country, in a galaxy, far, far away…haha. As things were going well for me, I decided to continue playing my luck and I asked the waiter to choose his fav dish for me. Besides, as I felt adventurous, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee. Normally I’m not the kind of coffee drinker type (I am more into chai or matcha latte) but I’m always happy to try new things and this was the opportunity to get the true vietnamese experience… besides one coffee can’t hurt, can it ?!
My dish was a combination noodle salads. It was very colourful, tasty, crunchy and pretty healthy I believe. So I really enjoyed it and I really recommend it! But I must confess, my favourite part was definitely the Vietnamese coffee as I’ve never had this kind of experience before. By the way, I apologise I have not a lot of pictures to demonstrate the technique but I think I was so overwehlmed by this experience that I completely forgot to document it, my bad !
First the coffee was served in a slow drip filter tool. So basically, the coffee was slowly dripping into the condensed milk in the glass just below it (one drop at a time, so it is a long process). The waiter explained to me that in Vietnam locals would use this time to chat and catch up with their friends while waiting for the coffee to fully drip through. Once it is finished, all you have to do is to transfer the content in a glass full of ice cubes, and enjoy your ice coffee with a straw. So basically drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation with their friends or relatives. I ❤ the concept, I must say and I can’t wait to renew this experience with my friends next time!
Just so you know the Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste (always Robusta, twice as strong caffeine wise, so be prepared to jump like a kangaroo after that ). Once again, it is one of the many heritage from the colonists period. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s, they also brought with them condensed milk as they could not get fresh milk in Vietnam and they also brought phins which is a slow drip filter that sits on top of a cup. Since that time, it has become a tradition in Vietnam to enjoy coffee this way. It is more than just coffee, it is an invitation to relax and chat. I think that the combination of the bitter coffee beans allied with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes just work perfectly! I think I have officially became a Vietnamese coffee lover ❤
So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese food, why not go and try Little NNQ with some friends and indulge yourself with a Vietnamese coffee while chatting remaking the world. Vietnamese coffee will boost your body while relaxing your mind, call it magic or mystique, the choice is yours 😉