The Holiday

Inspired by the movie The Holiday , I decided to travel alone to some cities I’ve never been before, so I would not feel kind of alone during the Christmas – NYE holiday. Sounds sad, but when your family is living in another continent of the world – spending the holiday and bumping at friend’s house or friend family’s christmas party is kind of tradition for me for 8 years already.

So I booked the train passes for two countries for 5 days journeys from Eurail (PS. This is only eligible if you do not have EU nationalities, and if you have EU nationalities you need to buy your passes from Interrail).

My first stop was Grenoble, France.

Is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps. It took only 4h to get to Grenoble from Paris Gare de Lyon with TGV.

Bastille Hill

If there’s one place I always come back to, over and over again, it’s Bastille Hill. I’ve been dreaming to visit this landmark since a long time. The Bastille, an ancient series of fortifications on the mountainside, overlooks Grenoble on the northern side and is visible from many points in the city. The Bastille is one of Grenoble’s most visited tourist attractions and provides a good vantage point over both the town below and the surrounding mountains (source: wikipedia). To get to the Bastille hill, you need to take Grenoble-Bastille cable car, or wellknown as “Les Bulles” (the bubbles) as it mostly looks like a transparent egg-shaped cable car.

 

My second stop was Milan, Italy

I actually only had one day out in Milan, well I kind of booked the train tickets at the last minute during the holiday season. So, I didn’t have much choice only to spend whole day in Milan. Here I’ve gathered a few of places that I’ve visited in one day.

Castello Sforzesco di Milano

It was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the remnants of a 14th-century fortification. Later renovated and enlarged, in the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the largest citadels in Europe. Extensively rebuilt by Luca Beltrami in 1891–1905, it now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections. (Source : wikipedia)

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Piazza del Duomo

Is the main city square of Milan. It is named after, and dominated by, the Milan Cathedral (the Duomo). The piazza includes some of the most important buildings of Milan (and Italy in general), as well some of the most prestigious commercial activities, and it is by far the foremost tourist attraction of the city.

If you like historical buildings, this is the perfect place to visit.. What I did was standing in the middle of the city square and look all the stunning buildings surround you.. it was really breathtaking.

Duomo – Milano City

Milan Cathedral. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy (the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City) and the third largest in the world.

Honestly, I would not recommend you to visit Piazza del Duomo & the Cathedral during the holiday. Well, I was hardly enjoyed the walking and sight seeing in this area as it was too crowded and too many people did the same thing (read: taking pictures).

 

 

Naviglio Grande

The Naviglio Grande is a canal in Lombardy, northern Italy, joining the Ticino river near Tornavento (23 km south of Sesto Calende) to the Porta Ticinese dock, also known as the Darsena, in Milan.

It is actually pretty hype area to have a drink or social meet up after work. You won’t get thirsty arround here. The area is filled with pubs, bars and restaurants.

Where I stayed:

As I needed to catch up very early train to France, I chose to stay at this Hotel. 10 minutes walking from Garibaldi Train Station.

Holiday Inn Garibaldi

Address: Via Valtellina, 2-4, 20159 Milano MI, Italy

Good Address to eat:

Andry Ristorante Pizzeria
Address: Via Rovello, 10, 20121 Milano MI, Italie

Last time I went to Italy, I tried deep-fried seafoods, it was really delicious, and it made me promise to myself, if one day I take another trip to Italy, I will eat the same dishes. So, I did! I went to the local pizzeria, not really far from the landmark Castello Sforzesco di Milano. I ordered Gran Fritto Misto, it was mix deep-fried seafoods with fried courgette (zuccini).

Mün Fine Asian Kitchen
Address: Piazzale Baiamonti, 2 20154 Milano Italia

I found this place by chance in the chinatown, as I supposed to go to Korean restaurant that permanently closed. It’s a very fine fusion japanese restaurant with reasonable price. I ordered different kind of dishes and everything tasted amazing.

Last stop before going back home – Paris, France

For some people spending NYE is very important, for some people might be not. But me, I like spending quality time with my closest friends, like most of French people do.

Where to stay:

I kind of booked the hotel couple weeks before the holiday started, so this was the one I found that pretty affordable during NYE. It situates in 11th arrondissement of Paris and pretty calm area. The room was comfortable and modern for Parisian hotels, but the most important thing is they provide you free mineral water and kettle for tea/coffee for each room.

Hotel Hor Les Lumières

address: 39 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris

Good address to eat:

After craving Korean food when I was in Milan, my friend finally brought me to eat some Korean food, and it was really really good. Here’s the address:

Ossek Garden

14 Rue Rampon, 75011 Paris
What to order:
Korean barbecue (marinated beef )
Beef Bibimbap in a hot stone pot

Good address to dance:

We spent our NYE dancing at this place. But actually, the restaurant is also open during the day for simply having coffee, casual drinking or even lunching.

Brasserie Barbès

address: 2 Boulevard Barbès, 75018 Paris
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Photo credit by Brasserie Barbès

 

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Crispy seafood platter – revisited recipe by Jamie Oliver

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Got inspired by another Jamie Oliver’s recipe, I tempted myself to make one of his seafood platter that I thought I might like to eat for summer dinner. You can see the original recipe on this link, as I changed some ingredients that likely I found in the nearest grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • sunflower oil , for deep frying
  • fresh calamaries rings
  • shrimps , shell off and butterflied
  • 100 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
  • sea salt
  • chilli powder
  • red pepper powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon , cut into wedges
  • 2 larges potatoes

For the sauce (makes 500ml):

  • 20 fresh red chillies
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • malt vinegar

Method:

Prepare the sweet chilli sauce
  1. Finely chop the chillies, I prefer not to have the seeds with.
  2. Finely chop the garlic
  3. Put the sugar and one cup of cold water in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the chillies, garlic, a pinch of salt and some splash of malt vinegar. Then cook over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. You can whiz the sauce with plunging blender to have smoother texture.
  4. Set aside.
Prepare spicy chips
  1. Cut the potatoes into chips
  2. Place a deep-fat fryer over a medium-high heat. Fill it with three-quarters full with sunflower oil and leave it to heat up.
  3. Fried the chips until it turns golden. Transfer the potatoes into double layer kitchen paper to drain the fat.
  4. Place the fried chips into a large tupperware, drizzled with some salt, chilli powder and pepper powder, then shake it and set aside.
Prepare the crispy calamary and shrimp
  1.  Wash the calamaries and shrimps, place it in a large bowl. Finely grate over the zest of the lemons and squeeze over most of the juice, then toss to coat.
  2. Place the flour and a good pinch of salt, black pepper, chilli powder and pepper powder into a large bowl, then add the calamary and shrimp and toss to coat. Mix it well.
  3. Carefully lower the calamary and shrimp into the hot oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and crisp on the outside and cooked through.
  4. When the last batch of seafood is almost done, squeeze a little lemon juice over the parsley sprigs, then dip into the flour and lower into the oil for a few seconds – be careful as it’ll spit.
  5. Serve the crispy calamary and shrimp straight away, with crispy spiked parsley, lemon wedges for squeezing over and the sweet chilli sauce on the side for dipping.

 

 

Crabs with oyster sauce

I’m back with my new recipe. This time, I would like to share one of the easiest dish I made with Crab.

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Ingredients:

  • Half Crab
  • 2 garlics (finely chopped)
  • Black pepper
  • 2/3 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze
  • Cup of water
  • 1tsp of sugar
SAUCE D'HUITRES - LKK 255g
Panda oyster sauce

Methodes:

  • Steam the crab until it cooks, set aside
  • Steam some asparagus and set aside
  • In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and stir fry until it’s golden, add 2 or 3 tbsp of oyster sauce, a cup of water and sugar
  • Add your boiled crab and drizzle with the sauce until it’s thickened
  • Season with blackpeper.
  • Put steam asparagus in a plate and drizzle it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze and serve your Crab with.

Tips: No need to add some salt. Oyster sauce is usually salty.

 

 

Rouen – best address for foodies

Living here for almost 2 years now, I think I need to share you my favorite places to eat in Rouen, all the places mentioned below were tested personally:

Poppy’s Fish & Chips 21 Rue Cauchoise, 76000 Rouen

website

poppy's
copyright: Léonie STEVENS

This takeaway restaurant just opened in 2017, and they serve authentic english fish & chips with mashy peas and tartare sauce. Apparently the owner had spent couple years in England and worked at the English pub, I think that’s the reason why they know how to cook a proper fish & chips. If you don’t really like fishes, they also have fried chicken & chips, and it tastes amazing.

Le Comptoir des Halles – Place du Vieux Marché, 76000 Rouen

website

comptoir des halles

This place is one of my favorite place to eat fresh oyster without going to a fancy restaurant. We also call the place “bar a huitres”, which literally means “oyster bar”. It is located inside the Vieux Marché, so it is very easy to find. I used to come here after rush hour, so the place was less busy and I can enjoy my oyster and a glass of white wine quitely.

Hot dog Corner Rouen – 8 rue Croix Verte, 76000 Rouen

website

hotdog

Funny things, I found this hot dog shop by mistake when I was at Kebab shop nearby. My favorite menu is the classic American with mustard and fried shallots. What make the hot dog tastes amazing is because the owner makes the bun by herself. Not only the hot dog, you need to taste their milkshakes.  You can decide whether to eat your hot dog on the spot, in the restaurant, or take your menu home with you.

Ho Lamian – 243 Rue Eau de Robec, 76000 Rouen

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ho lamian

If you want to eat homemade hand-drown chinesse noodles, this is the best place in town. Price is affordable for a good quality.

Le Pied de Poule – 16 Rue Victor Hugo, 76000 Rouen

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It is not very well located but finally I found not very fancy french restaurant in Rouen. Don’t be surprise if it looks pretty quite from the outside, I think it is simply because it is not located in popular area in Rouen. Yet, the food was delicious, the price was affordable, the decoration is also fine. I ordered the foie gras for starter, then mussels and chips for maincourse.

Summer fresh juice

IMG_7247Summer is coming, so it’s a perfect time to make your own fresh juice and keep it on your fridge. There’s no rule of mixing various fruits or vegetables, but this one is my suggestion:

  • half of melon
  • 1 glass of pure carrot juice
  • half glass of fresh orange juice
  • juice of half lime

No need extra sugar.

Before you blend everything, make sure to keep all the ingredients in the fridge for couple hours. 🙂