Tag Archives: Markets

La Ramade, St Tropez


Saint Tropez is just a short bateaux ride across the bay from quiet Sainte Maxime. We wanted somewhere to enjoy some rosé after spending the morning at the Saturday markets, and we chanced upon what has to be the prettiest place we visited during our entire trip.

I felt like I had walked into one of Wonderland’s tea parties. Each table was decorated with enormous vases of blooming flowers. Sunlight peeked through the leafy trees onto our tables. Colour. Everywhere.

We were lucky to see a delivery of edible blooms – stunning yellow zucchini flowers (in the hands of a camera-shy chef), that would later be stuffed and deep fried.

Provençal tomato tart

Even the tomato tart seemed too brightly coloured to be true.

Grilled local sardines

Amongst all of that, the food at La Ramade is simple and rustic – think grilled fresh sardines and coq au vin. A little oasis from the hustle and bustle of the outside Saint Tropez.

La Ramade
3 Rue du Temple
Saint-Tropez, France

Tel: 04 94 81 58 67

The Farmer’s Markets @ Loewen Gardens

We’ve been hankering to go wandering around a farmer’s market for while now. Living in Singapore – a small island where there are effectively no farms and everything is imported – it was always going to be a challenge to find true farmer’s markets.

The Farmer’s Markets at Loewen Gardens certainly has the same feel as a traditional farmer’s market (albeit a lot warmer) – with small, specialty importers bringing in produce from France, Italy and New Zealand – at least the ones we bought from.

Dinner tonight ? Oven-baked Mont D’Or with slices of French Baguette from Gourmet Shop. This seasonal cheese, which is only available from September to April, is matured in its box, giving it a uniquely woody aroma, as well as conveniently being able to stick the entire cheese, box and all, into the oven.

Just 20 minutes in a hot oven (22C/400F) from room temperature, and you have yourself a sweet, molten and quite frankly magical cheese, to smear on slices of baguette. I had roasted a head of garlic to have with the cheese, but honestly – nothing is required except a glass of wine, and a big appetite.

The Farmer’s Market @ Loewen Gardens
75E Loewen Road

Open the first and third Saturday of every month

Pinotxo Bar, Barcelona

Really ? I am quite horrified that I am writing about a bar I went to in OCTOBER LAST YEAR, when we are almost at the end of February ! No excuses, just happy that I finally am finding the time to update my blog.

Barcelona was one of the cities we visited in our Spanish escapade. It was actually after visiting Seville, which is the informal “home of tapas”, so we took a risk with tapas in the super-touristy (but still sublime) Mercat de la Boqueria just off the Ramblas.

But how could we go there and not visit the 14-stool Pinotxo (pee-no cho) – an establishment in the Market. Pinotxo’s nephew, chef Albert Asin, mans the tiny stove in the tiny kitchen. There is a menu, although it’s just easier to look at the produce they have behind the counter, and order what looks good and takes your fancy. (Ok, it was also because everything on the menu was Spanish and they don’t understand me when I speak Spanish). But with the bar inside a foodie’s delight of a market – how much fresher can your produce get ?

Of course we had to start with the requisite Spanish peppers – padron – and crusty bread rubbed with fresh tomato. That was just to whet our appetites, along with icy cold beers.

Some gorgeously plump and red langoustines were cooked a la plancha, with nothing more than a sprinkle of salt at the end and a thick fillet of codfish, also straight on the grill, with a bowl placed over it to steam.

One of the waiters was sitting next to me having his lunch and he was eating a simple pasta, which of course meant that I had to have what he was having ! Penne with a simple ragu sauce. Again delicious.

How they manage to get the food cooked so perfectly, at such a pace, in that tiny space, is beyond me. But then that’s why Pinotxo as been around for almost 100 years now.

Pinotxo Bar
Plaza de la Boqueria
Ramblas, Barcelona