Tag Archives: Reviews

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.

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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

Follow the white rabbit!

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!

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I love to chill out outside with a latte on sunny days!

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.

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Chaï latte and almonds croissant ❤ all beautiful!

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!

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Painted  lady in the background (Australia) staring at Nasim (Iran), who is gazing at Jessica (Mexico) who is looking at me (France) while I am myself observing Nasim! That’s 4 continents sitting at the same table 😉

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!


Peter Rabbit

234-235 Hindley Street

Adelaide SA 5000

Tel: +61 4 2813 2704

Sunny one so true, I love you!

For an Asian street food vibe, Sunnys’shop located on Prospect road will blow your mind.

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Spring time is the perfect time for some street food vibe!

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 😉

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“I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine, take me away, a secret place, a sweet escape…” at Sunny’s place 😉

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.

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Soft inside, crunchy outside. God I love Bahn Mi ❤

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!

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A lovely gem born in Prospect!

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.

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Sunnys Shop

106b Prospect Road

Prospect Adelaide 5082

Tel (08) 8420 08 88

www.sunnyshop.com.au

Good morning Vietnam!

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.

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In the mood for vietnamese food 🙂

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 !

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Time to relax and catch up as the coffee is slowly dripping into the condensed milk!

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 😉

Little NNQ

125 Gouger Street

Adelaide SA 5000

http://www.nnq.com.au/littlennq/

Tin Cat Café

“As every cat owners knows, nobody owns a cat” – Ellen Perry Berkeley

You don’t choose your cat but he definitely chooses you. And the Tin Cat Café is no exception! Last year, I was living in North Adelaide and my favorite café was the lovely E for Ethel. It was maybe 2 minutes away from my home and I often went to this place to blog, enjoy a nice latte or have a little chat with my friends. When I moved to Kent Town, I was a bit sad because I knew I was going to miss this charming café and it would not be the same. On my moving day, I went to E for Ethel to say goodbye and enjoyed a last green smoothie and when the owner learnt I was moving away, she said that she knew just the right place where I would feel welcomed, happy and comfortable to keep my old habits. She knew the perfect place and it was just near my new house and that is when I heard for the first time about the Tin Cat Café ❤

But I was so busy with my life at that moment that I did not get the chance to visit this place. Few months passed and Elaine (an Australian friend) was in my neighborhood and wanted to have coffee with me and sadly the place she had in mind was closed so I recalled about the Tin Cat Café and we decided to give it a try and I have never been disappointed since. I guess it was meant to be this way! Actually, after this episode, I went there MANY times with my friend Ann (she is Australian too) whenever she needed to practise her French and also Nassim (Iran) and Jessica (Mexico) had breakfast with me there one day and it was really nice 🙂

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One of the numerous friendly dinning areas

This place is so cute and it has a really special vibe. It has a home feeling, probably due to the fact that it is located in an authentic terrace house (in the very typical Australian style). I also like the vintage decoration of the place and the staff is so lovely!  The café supports local artists so there are always paintings to be seen and interesting stuffs to discover and to talk about. It is absolutely charming and it has this “gilmore girls” feeling that I like so much!

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“Esprit guinguette” in the backyard!

It is pretty big, with several rooms and it has also a nice garden in the back which is absolutely lovely during summer time. One Sunday, my friend Ann invited me to a book launch at the Tin Cat Café that took place in the garden and it was so lovely, many people, good food, lovely colours… again I felt very welcome and it was like visiting some dear relatives!

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Today Chai Panacotta and peanut butter mousse cake!

As for the food, you won’t be disappointed, there are always nice treats! The Chaï Latte is lovely and so is the coffee and I recommend you to indulge yourself with their sweets. They have a nice selection of desserts and the presentation is always lovely with a big smile!

Sadly, good things have an end and I guess that for the Tin Cat Café  it is time to explore new fields. The café will be gone soon since the Terrace house has been sold and it is a real pity. I am sure a lot of people will be missing this spot. So if you are curious to know more about this cute little café, please hurry (only a few weeks left from now on) and visit this little gem, you won’t regret it ❤

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Tin Cat Café

107 Rundle Street

Kent Town

Tel. +61 8 8362 4748

Web : http://www.tincat.com.au

When Swan Lake meets the Torrens river

“Dancing is an art. The floor is my canvas and I am the brush and whatever I create comes from the heart”.

To me, ballet is like a day dream, where the music takes you to a sweet escape and for one moment you belong to the story and everything falls in its right place. There is no need to speak, to explain, you just feel it and your imagination does the rest.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend to one of the most famous ballet : Swan Lake! Luckily a friend of mine managed to get me a ticket to the dress rehearsal at the Adelaide festival centre by the Torrens river and I really enjoyed this moment.

swan-lake-ballet-australian-ballet1I swear I could see the swans on the stage, the way they move, they were so real. The main ballerina was so gracious and really into her character : sweet and fragile as a white swan and her doppelgänger charming and confident as a black swan. The music was so touching, melancholic… and the end so sad… but we all already knew that, didn’t we ?!

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Swan Lake Dress Rehearsal, 25 May 2016

As it was a dress rehearsal, it was also interesting because I could see how they improve the settings, adjust the lights, how the dancers adapt and sometimes request to repeat a particular moment. When you see a ballet, the dancers make it so easy that it feels so natural that sometimes you forget all the work, commitment, dedication and hard training to complete the perfect  choreography.

What can be said about a classic like Swan Lake that hasn’t already been said! Some critics would say that the storyline lacks of originality but to me, if I should say in just one sentence how I felt about it, I would say:

Sweet and Bitter as Love can be sometimes…

Chez John

“Breakfast is my speciality. I admit it is the easiest meal to cook, but I make everything with a twist!” – Hugh Jackman

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Chez John : the best American Breakfast in town

Breakfast is my favourite meal during the weekend and luckily Adelaide offers a wide range of nice places where to enjoy the most important meal of the day ❤

I tried many places since I arrived in Adelaide but the restaurants that have, in my opinion, the best breakie in town are: East Terrace Continental, The Royal Oak, The Findi and the Original Pancake kitchen!

But as my grandmother would say, nothing beats an homemade meal and breakfast is no exception! I must say, when it comes to breakfast, my friend John (from California) masters the art and I am a huge fan of his American breakfast! You would think that as a French person, I stick to cocoa, baguette, butter, jam, croissant and pain au chocolat but I must admit that since I moved abroad I changed my breakfasts’ habits. Now I really appreciate a nourishing and salty breakie to kick the day!

John’s American breakfast is the BEST and even the restaurants can’t beat the quality of his cuisine. Generally he makes: scrambled eggs, homemade baked beans with a twist, rosemary potatoes, portobello mushrooms, grilled/garlic tomatoes, crunchy bacons and toasts! Breakfast is served with a lovely English breakfast tea with some milk and sugar. It is absolutely divine and I really adore it! It smells so good and I like the colours and the texture, it is absolutely fantastic. Pictures don’t do justice to it so you will have to take my word for it!

You can always look on the internet and try to find “chez John” to taste his amazing American breakfast but I am afraid it is a very exclusive address and if you want to get invited, you will have to become friends first and move to California 😉