Cabane Mont Fort, Verbier

Our third day of skiing, it’s just Andre and I as we stayed the Sunday night, and we find ourselves at the Cabane Mont Fort, which we had been to last year and I loved!

So, back we came… Unlike many of the other restaurants in Verbier, Cabane Mont Fort is in between a canteen and regular waiter-service restaurant. You go up to the order window and order whatever you’d like… and they give you a ticket to hand in after your main meal if you want dessert or a coffee (so that you don’t have to queue up at the order window and pay again!)

Andre went for the croute – with tons of cheese, some lardons, cornichons and baby pickled onions, and an egg on top. Apparently it tasted just ok!

I went for the veal sausage, which was exactly as expected, and pretty good with the light salad on the side…

And then, for dessert, they have all sorts of berry tartes… we went for the raspberry, which had a nice filling and fruit, but for me, it was the pastry crust that really did it… crusty and firm, not at all soggy…

And the view didn’t suck either…


Le Mouton Noir, Verbier

The next day, we had another beautiful day of spring-like weather and blue skies… and decided to sit outside again (seriously, in January, how lucky are we?!)

Today, we were looking at the sled dogs (mostly huskies!) in the pen near the restaurant and thinking about going sledding one day…

The menu at Le Mouton Noir isn’t very large, and it more high end than your typical mountain food…. though as we didn’t want a steak or veal, we went for the lower-end options…

I went for the chicken burger, which was served with goat cheese and a honey mustard sauce. Lightly fried, it crunched nicely and the mix of the goat cheese and honey mustard was really good. The fries were also very good, mushy inside and very fried (tasted like they have been fried a few times) on the outside… this surprisingly ended up being quite a good dish!

Andre had the croute with ham, cheese and an egg. It was good, but not amazing… the cheese had managed to congeal on top of the bread without really mixing in, so it just tasted like toast with congealed cheese on top. Meh.

After a little sit in the sun to digest, we were off to ski again!

Carrefour, Verbier, Switzerland

A ski weekend with good friends out in Verbier… the January weather felt like we were in March or April, and we were blessed with sun every day! So, as you do, we sat out on a terrace at Carrefour.

As you can see, everyone had the same genius idea as us..

We all went for the healthy-ish option, a salad… with lardons and cheese 🙂 The salad was fresh (and real salad leaves, not this iceberg or romaine that you can hardly taste!) with tomatoes, olives, cucumber, egg, and carrot… very nice topped with chunks of cheese, some sliced Parmesan, and those delicious, crispy lardons! But the best part? The dressing. There were two dressings on the table, a regular, creamy vinaigrette and its sister, which came stuffed with herbs. I went for the herb version, and it made a real difference!

Overall, a healthy(ish) lunch with good company and some sunshine, what more could we want?!

Green Pepper Cafe, Varkala Beach, India

On Sundays, the cafe at Soul & Surf is closed, so we had to branch out (gasp) and go somewhere else for lunch. As we didn’t want to walk all the way to the North Cliff, where most of the restaurants are, we walked over to the Green Pepper Cafe near us. They have their own cliff views of the water…

Neither of us were super hungry, we ordered light… and got some vegetable pakoras and cauliflower pakoras… crunchy and slightly doughy on the outside, these were a treat!

Soul & Surf, Varkala, India

Even further south than Cochin and Alleppy, we headed to a beach town that used to be mainly (foreign) hippies twenty years ago. Since then, more Indian tourists are coming to the beach, as well as more regular foreign tourists, and the vibe of the town has changed some.

We found a surf and yoga hotel to stay at… located on the South Cliff of Varkala Beach, Soul and Surf has a lovely garden where you can hang out on lawn chairs, cushioned beds, or at tables in the cafe. Staring out into the water all day is pretty relaxing… and when you want to get in the water, you just walk down the stairs and onto the beach.

The cafe at Soul & Surf has a number of healthy options, including a mix of salads, plantain tacos,  quesadillas, or, the most popular… the fish tacos! I had these three times while we were in Varkala.

The fish tacos use a firm white fish (quite meaty!), slightly fried, with a light, delicious coleslaw and pomegranate seeds. Then, you have a pineapple salsa and raita/yogurt you can drizzle as toppings.

The portion is quite generous, after eating two of these tacos you’re pretty much stuffed…

Definitely worth a stop when you’re in Varkala, this is one of the coolest places in town!

Houseboat in Alleppy, Kerala


From Cochin, we continued south into the backwaters of Kerala and spent a night on a houseboat. The houseboat we had booked in advance was fine, not luxurious but also not falling apart like some of the ones we saw… and though we thought that we had a boat to ourselves for the night, at the last minute (the boat was running late as they had miscalculated what we owed them, then took an hour to figure it out), they brought on a straggler (who had probably showed up last minute and they thought, why not add him to a boat already leaving?!) Annoying as we wanted the boat to ourselves, but he was good about leaving us on the upper terrace platform mainly to ourselves, and had a varied background that was interesting to talk about over meals.

For dinner, the boat provides you with cooked vegetables and a chicken curry. In the late afternoon, they stop off at a fishmongers and you can supplement the dinner with what ever fish or seafood you buy.

So… we picked up some tiger prawns that they grilled for us after putting on a spicy paste… and they were fresh, juicy and had a nice kick to them.


Alongside this, Yoshi, our travel partner for the evening, had picked up some king fish, which they somehow cajoled him into buying at a size much to big for himself… so when they brought out both grilled fish and a fish curry, he begged us to have some… the curry was a thin and watery tomato and coconut-based curry that did the job…


And then there was the chicken curry that came with our dinner… honestly, I didn’t even get to taste this, as I was already so full from the prawns, fish and veggies…


The lentils, our injection of vegetable protein…


And the vegetable dishes, an okra thorens (basically an okra stir-fry with coconut) that was almost as good as the okra stir-fry we had had at Oceans in Cochin and some deliciously-cooked potatoes in mustard seeds, curry leaves and spice. I have to say, this is my favorite way to eat potatoes, I usually find them quite boring unless they’re pan-fried or mashed, but this is a great different way to eat them that I also need to work on perfecting at home!


Watching the sunset from our perched terrace, we watched other houseboats float by and find docking places for the evening… and watched the electric-colored sun sink into the horizon…


Oceans, Fort Cochin, Kerala

After Varanasi ,we switched it up and headed down south to Kerala. Kerala is very different from the north, much less hectic, more tropical, and with completely different food… Kerala is the most educated state in India, with a 93% literacy rate, and has the most diverse religious makeup, with only 50% Hindus.

Colonized by both the Portuguese and the Dutch, the old Fort area of the Cochin still has many buildings with colonial architecture and houses some of the oldest Catholic churches in India.


After walking around the old town, we decided to stop for a bite and checked out our options… A curry place and Oceans were the two that people kept recommending… and as we walked up to Oceans (we liked the idea of some seafood!), it was already pretty packed and had a “no reservations” sign on the door… probably a good sign.


And we ordered a feast. I must say, it took quite a while to get to us, Andre ordered a coffee and that took about 25 minutes… and the rest, about an hour… but the food was worth the wait.

First in line with the okra fry, okra cooked with crispy shallots… we gobbled this down in a few minutes and ordered another batch right away – it was probably just the taste of the fried shallots that got to us, but cooked that way, the okra wasn’t slimy (a bit issue cooking okra) and had a nice crunch to it as well… this is a dish I’d like to be able to make at home!

On the side, I got the king prawns in a green mango curry, which the waiter recommended (the curry, not the prawns… they list the prawns then about ten different ways that they’ll serve them to you, so it was difficult to decide…) and the curry was fine… to be honest, nothing especially exciting, it tasted like some sort of tomato-y gravy that the prawns had been cooked in. But the prawns themselves were delicious, if only I had chosen the right sauce…


Andre’s dish was a bit better, he picked the tuna in a traditional coconut cream and pepper sauce with tamarind… I am not a huge fan of tuna, so found the fish itself just okay, but the sauce was like crack… I’d steal spoonfuls of it to have on my rice, it had such a nice flavor.


So thoughts about one of the most highly recommended restaurants in Fort Cochin? Definitely go, it’s worth the vast seafood menu (and frankly, the veggie dishes stand up by themselves!) of different flavors… along with the number of local and Goan dishes, you can even pick from Portuguese or Italian dishes as well!