Given that we said goodbye to 2016 like two weeks ago and that I only started to blog in 2017, I figured it was still acceptable to blog about my #2016bestnine. I chose to make three collages rather than just one and have categorized them as follows: Montréal restaurant pics, travel pics and homemade meals.
#2016bestnine Montréal restaurant pics
This one was the hardest to make, as I enjoyed so many delicious and delectable restaurant meals in 2016. I tried to include pictures of meals that I genuinely enjoyed, as well as some of my all-time favorites (like pho). From left to right we have:
- Pho from Dakao – To date, this is my favorite pho spot in Montréal. I find their broth is the best, as it balances all of the flavours my taste buds are expecting from this dish.
- Lobster ravioli from Holder – Needless to say these lobster wrapped pastas, topped with a I-don’t-want-to-know-how-much-butter-is-in-this-sauce-sauce, were a delight in my mouth.
- Salmon tartare spring rolls with a sesame sauce from Hà – Everyone who ordered these at my table loved them. This is also one of my favorite Montréal restaurants, when I’m craving some high quality Vietnamese food.
- Grilled calamari & shrimp ceviche from Lavanderia – Had been wanting to try this spot out for some time and it did not disappoint. Everything was prepared to perfection; the grill on the calamari and the balance of flavours of the ceviche.
- Salmon tartare & beef short ribs & half lobster tail from Grinder – Had also been wanting to try this restaurant for a while, thanks to my friend Rebecca’s reviews. Had a delicious celebratory meal with Alex, after signing our first lease together 🙂
- Lobster risotto from Vertige – Probably the only restaurant on Duluth that isn’t BYOW, but their food is just so good that it totally makes up for it. Been here a few times and had a variety of dishes, all delicious!
- Sushi for 2 from Saint-Sushi Bar – Definitely my favorite sushi spot in town, although now that I can make my own, I don’t feel the need to go as much. That being said, their sushi is definitely better than mine, especially those salmon Christmas trees!!!
- $1 tacos from Mr. Azteca – My favorite $1 taco spot in Montréal, when I’m craving authentic tacos. Try their guac too, it’s worth the extra!
- Grilled chicken udon soup from Ramen-Ya – This soup was so good I had it two days in a row. Best life decision.
#2016bestnine Travel pics
I managed to finish this one up 7 hours before the new year (as I was in Ecuador at the time and knew I’d want to include photos from that trip as well). From left to right:
- Koh Phi Phi Don view point (Thailand) – I love everything about Thailand; the food, the architecture, the sights, the people and best of all, the beaches. Heading to Thailand soon? Need a reason to go? Check out my Review & Recommendations post on Thailand!
- Me on the beach at Maya Bay (Koh Phi Phi Le, Thailand) – Gotta give another shout out to my friend Olivia who took this picture for me, as it’s one of my favorites ever.If you’re in Koh Phi Phi, Maya Bay is a MUST. You can get more info here.
- Giant golden Murugan statue outside the Batu Caves (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – Very impressive site with it’s giant golden Hindu statue and the Batu Caves at the top.
- Beach at Caye Caulker (Belize) – Loved this peaceful and relaxing little island right off mainland Belize. It’s got an interesting mix of English (everyone in Belize speaks English), Latin American (lots of immigrants) and Jamaican vibe.
- Ik Kil Cenote (water hole) (Mexico) – Saw this one on Instagram and knew we’d have to go when we’d be in Mexico last summer.
- Beach & archeological ruins in Tulum (Mexico) – Tulum was recommended to me by my friend Leila, who had been the year before and knew I’d like it. She was right, I loved Tulum. I loved the beach road with all the boutique hotels, spas, shops, bars and restaurants, the beach (wow!), the archaeological ruins and of course, the food.
- Quilotoa Lagoon (Ecuador) – It was a decent journey getting to and from the lagoon from Quito, but it was well worth it. The views from above, at the lookout point, were amazing. For more information on Ecuador, check out my latest blog posts on the food part and the travel part!
- Santuario de las Lajas (Ipiales, Colombia) – This too was quite the journey to get to, but wow, what an amazing site. I love to visit churches when I travel and this one did not disappoint. You can get more info here.
- Las Peñas (Guayaquil, Ecuador) – I love colorful houses so visiting Las Peñas was a must on my Ecuador to do list. I enjoyed walking through and up the streets and staircases of this part of town, right to the very top of the 444 stairs. For more info, click here!
#2016bestnine Homemade meals
One of my favorite past times is to cook. When my boyfriend and I moved in together this summer, it was the perfect opportunity to begin our cooking adventures, as we both love to cook together. Recipes to be posted throughout the year! From left to right:
- Sushi platter – Ok, I actually made this one on my own (with the help of my mom) at home. We made all kinds of sushi with: salmon, tuna, avocado, cucumber, tempura shrimps, tempura rolls, etc. It was a real sushi fiesta.
- Wannabe chicken pho – This one turned out pretty good, even though I used broth cubes. Making pho is all about balancing the ingredients and spices you use, like: cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onion, Thai basil, star anis, etc.
- Asian style salmon tartare – So yummy and so easy to make! Tartare can basically be made with whatever ingredients you like. I love asian food so I usually put things like coriander, sesame oil and soya sauce in mine.
- Greek style grilled octopus & Greek salad – Seafood is so expensive at restaurants, but luckily for me, some like octopus are super easy to make at home. I like mine “Greek style” so I add some olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, sliced onion and salt to my octopus.
- Grilled lobster, grilled octopus & garden salad – Ok, this one is similar to the one just before, buuuuut, there’s a garlic butter grilled lobster (yummmmm). Also very easy to make, you boil/steam it like you normally would, chop him up down the middle, smother garlic butter on the inside and pop it in the BBQ for a few minutes.
- Charcuterie & cheese board – So if you’re not a great cook, a charcuterie and cheese board will always impress. Mine has prosciutto, Calabrese salami, brie, Oka, a 3rd cheese I can’t remember and a must, baguette. Oh, and don’t forget the wine!
- Beef, red cabbage, hot sauce, onions and coriander tacos – I feel like 2016 was a big year for tacos. Tried a couple $1 spots in Montréal, until we realized we could make some ourselves at home. Super easy and simple to make too, you just need the right ingredients!
- Valentine’s day pizzas – I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day and what better to celebrate than with the person you love, wine aaaand heart shaped pizzas?
- Spaghetti in a cream sauce with sautéed rapinis, prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano – I eat a ridiculous amount of pasta in a year (ok, maybe not as much as Italians do) so it was hard to find one pasta picture that I wanted to use. I settled on this one, as it was one of the last dishes I’d made before heading off to Ecuador. As always, suuuper easy to make. I always use ingredients that I have in my fridge and feel like eating at the time. You can make so many different types of pasta dishes!
*All photos are my own (or taken by someone with my device)