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Friday, May 27th, 2011 09:20 am
Freebie FIBRE PLUS bar

What a lovely delightful cereal bar treat! Thank you nice distributor outside a mainline train station - I'll take 10! Mmmm yum yum, 10 cereal bars for breakfast. Sounds about right...

Hang on...

New Users! Gastrointestinal discomfort may occur until your body adjusts!

New Users! Gastrointestinal discomfort may occur until your body adjusts! Increase your fibre intake gradually and ensure to drink plenty of water.


ITEM! The "plus" in FIBRE plus appears to be pretty much: chocolate, sugars, oils, glucose fructose "cocoa liquor"?? A fibre cocktail!

ITEM! New Users? OF FIBRE? Kelloggs, what do you think our diets are LIKE?

ITEM! This was actually quite nice, but of course it would be, it is chocolate and sugar and oats. And free. I suspect that there's not much less fibre in my McVities chocolate digestive that I appeared to eat immediately after I ate the cereal bar.

PS - here is the latest from Gwynneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter, regarding home cooking. It starts, "As a home cook, one of the best things I’ve ever done was to build a wood burning oven in the back yard". Huh! My recommendation is to hit the Hut. Good old GP!
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Monday, March 7th, 2011 02:00 pm
INFORDUMP! I had a kimchi burger. It was nice! (#meateasy is better). kimchi DOES go surprisingly well with a burger, though perhaps I could have done without the cheese? They have a list of 10000000 billion cocktails, and about 5 soft drinks, one of which is a 'cornflake milkshake'. Atmosphere very suited to evening dining. Lovely service! Companion's lobster roll was very tasty, but very small...

BUT BUT BUT most importantly, songs heard whilst there included Funny Little Frog by Belle & Sebastian, and then.... Going For Gold by Shed Seven!!!

Holy moley!!

I think we can all go home now, ladies and gents...

(hey, what's with my html tags there. does blink not exist anymore? if ANYTHING deserves a blink...)
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 02:31 pm
I am glad to dispell the mutterings of FOOD BLOGGERS who disparage the average standard of Chinese food available in the UK. Professor Layton knows where to go when he's in Chinatown - like any true gentleman.


And what do they serve?

London Chinese Restaurants

Marvellous. Would eat all.
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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 03:50 pm
Plenty more kegs outside (if any strongmen want to "half inch" a keg, no-one is watching them). Lots of cartons of "Bernard", whatever that might be. Saw a bloke in a Doom Bar tshirt flick the vees at a bloke in a non-beer branded tshirt. Peeking inside - hey! There's rudiments of a bar!

... it does appear to be taking up the ENTIRE ROOM, and I'm still not quite sure where they will put the punters.

This is the only thing putting me off taking off Friday afternoon and spending it entirely in the Euston Tap tbh (ok, that and the salad of all the work which I must get on with one day).
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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 11:45 am
The Euston Tap! Because ONE real ale pub within 20 seconds of the Northern line wasn't enough! Personally, I'm over the moon as I can now be in the pub within 20 seconds of leaving my office. That 40 second dash to the Doric Arch could really take it out of one.

Due to open this Friday - I am keeping a keen eye on the load-in process that's happening this week. Yesterday I saw KEGS arriving. Today there is a sign advertising 27 beers and Monmouth coffee.

Still looks very much under construction on the inside. One might wonder how they're going to fit 27 kegs in there at all, but hey, if the Glass Bar could do it...?
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Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 03:07 pm
A colleague has brought "Hot Tamales" cinnamon sweets into the office. They look pretty vile. The conversation has of course lead on to "what's a tamale anyway"?

So to share the intel:
1. Singular of 'tamales' is not 'tamale', it is 'tamal', if you believe wikipedia;
2. Tamales are made from masa (a starchy dough, often corn-based) and then filled with all sorts of fillings*;
3. Wiki makes comparisons to zongzi 粽子, which is "a tamale but with glutinous rice and a sausage in the middle", a sentence which brings joy to my heart;
4. Tamales are available near Euston in London!

*Mestizo suggests “pollo con mole”, “queso con rajas”, or “puerco con salsa verde". (Chicken/cheese/hog).

Can we go can we can we?
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Saturday, September 18th, 2010 01:13 pm
<3 mooncake

Mooncake for lunch!
You heard...
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Monday, August 2nd, 2010 09:58 am
Fish tacos, for me, are the food of ultimate sun-blushed bromance. Whereas in London we can eat our way round pretty much anything, the fish taco has always remained elusive, the preserve of a sunnier, warmer clime. The sort of clime you see on TV, in shows such as the awesome GRΣΣK, or where you would take your latest man-date ("those fish tacos were teh t1ts)! I am pretty sure that they might be the ultimate in Californian food. They've even got cilantro in them, for goodness sakes. And you DEFINITELY can't get them in London...

Until now! Benito's Hat on Goodge Street did their first fish tacos to mark the occasion of their 2nd birthday! To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. "Fish tacos!", I thought. "That's what they'd eat in Sweet Valley High, omgomgomgomgomg", etc etc. But what, after all this anticipation, to expect?

So, thing #1. Benitos Hat tacos are not served in a hard shell. I am reliably informed by Kerry that the hard shell is TEX-MEX! (Tex-Mex = Mex food, deep fried, extra butter, extra meat, extra lard - think deep-fried mars bar). So, a small tortilla wrap it is.

Thing #2. Well when I say WRAP... what we actually had was the wrap laid flat, on top were some pieces of nice fish (I don't know what kind! I know nothing about fish! Rubbish!), with some very sloppy sauce, onions, totally impossible to wrap up and VERRRRY messy. Forks had to be obtained, and really, I am not a fussy eater, I do not MIND sticky fingers, but come ON. The meat/veg ones were wrapped fine, so I don't know if this was just an inherent problem in the size of the taco wraps. Then use the burrito wrap?

Thing #3. This makes me sound greedy, but there were no extra fillings? I was confused because I usually order a burrito, and wasn't sure if tacos went with the extra fillings (rice, lettuce, cheese, the noble guac, etc etc), but apparently they do! We just didn't get any! (TBH I didn't strictly speaking NEED any but that is not the point).

Perhaps it was because I was eating them on Goodge Street, instead of a split-level ranch on Calico Drive, but the fish taco did not live up to my dreams. If only it had been wrapped properly! Perhaps I would have got it! 2 fish tacos and tortilla chips were good for me, but I think when you're at Benitos Hat, it's all about the burrito. (And a Negra Modelo, but I wasn't drinking sadly).

I'm not sure if Benitos Hat is going to have them on the menu full-time now - their website doesn't list them - but go and check them out! But be warned, they will be IMPOSSIBLE to eat from your hands, unless they sort out the wrapping! The fish taco hasn't supplanted the steak burrito - but, honestly... what could??
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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 09:49 am
Last Friday we had a Cheese and Whisky Tasting!

At some point I described the Stawley as tasting like A Forest by the Cure, and then go on to compare various cheese to the Nolans, Taylor Lautner, "not as good as Kayleigh by Marillion" etc.

Cheese and whisky goes less well together than hoped, but it was a great evening and I am very glad we Tried It! Thanks to Marna for hosting and amazing cheese provision!
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Monday, July 19th, 2010 02:54 pm
Why didn't anyone tell me about the lasagne sandwich??

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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 12:50 pm
The standard! Busaba (Store Street). A habitual haunt w/ one of my pals. We keep going back for the cult-ishly addictive Thai Calamares (aka "the special stuff"). The best combination on the menu imho is an order of thai calamares (so flavoursome! so frequently fresh! how do they DO it!), som tam (green papaya salad - they keep it moist so you can also dip yr 'mares in it should you wish) and a cold CHANG beer. I would not say no to some sticky rice along with this, but Busaba have kindly replaced the sticky rice with brown rice. Brown rice can BUG OFF. Well it's OK sometimes but dudes now is not the time.

The hip and new! Koya: Mr Noodles kindly alerted me to some sort of buzz about this new-ish udon shop, so dutifully I did the rounds food-blogs run by Bloggers With Cameras to check out teh buzz. VERY buzzy. Here is Mr Noodleses review, which even includes a photo. See... he's a proper food blogger innit.

SO,  the deal at Koya is hand-made superior udon noodles. Served either hot-hot (hot noodles in hot soup), hot-cold (hot soup, cold noodles on the side) or cold-cold (cold dippy soup, cold noodles - brr). I am afraid I wasn't quite sure how to navigate my way through these options - I've had hiyashi chuka ramen, but that's a different bowl of cold noodles all-together. In the end I BRAVELY went for hot-cold - cold udon noodles w/ hot miso-buta (pork) broth, along with some pork belly and onsen tamago on the side. You know onsen tamago right? It is HOT SPRING EGGS! They are sort of like poached eggs++++++. I've made them myself a few times but oddly I don't think I've had one in a restaraunt? That doesn't seem right... ?

ANYWAY. The food turned up relatively quickly, and gosh, why did I go for something I wasn't quite sure *how* to eat. The noodles are chewy, sticky and long, and come sitting on a little bamboo tray, with yr broth in a seperate bowl. I gamely attempted dipping noodles in the broth, but given a/ longness of noodles b/ general incompetence at navigating chopsticks SIGH, I think I made a bit of a mess. On their own, the noodles are good, but eventually I ended up scooping them into the bowl - after a few minutes they'd soaked up the broth perfectly and were the most delicious things ever? So... why have them on the side in the first place? Would hot-hot have skipped out the middle man here/ Oh well... might I add here that the broth was incredibly delicious? It pisses on other soups from great heights. The noodles themselves were also great, but perhaps I haven't eaten enough udon to *really* appreciate the greatnesss of the ones at Koya?

Minus points: it's pricey, and they don't sell Asahi Black. Waaaaaai.
Plus points: the broth, the onsen tamago, nice general ambience if you will, you can order scraps of batter to go in yr udon (though you get way more if you just order the tanuki udon at beloved Donzoko - which also sells Asahi Black,  I AM JUST SAYING).

The new-near-my-office! This is getting long now, but the third place is Mai Sushi on Chalton Street. We went on the spur of the moment after a drink at the Somers Town Coffee House, and ordered a mix of nigiri, sashimi salad oh and a bottle of TAKARA PLUM BOOZE. We didn't really need to order that, but it was there... they also have "raspberry sake". Scary.  Here is their full menu, which has a much bigger sake list than I think I remember seeing? I must report that we had had several "small ales" before this trip so my accurate reporting suffers a little. Whilst I don't remember eating too much (Kake may beg to differ), the seabream really stood out as delicious. I want to go back and have the grilled salted seabream (look for the 'shioyaki' bit of the menu), or maybe seabass, or maybe mackerel. And it's always important to see if the nasu dengaku is good?

It also says they do a hotpot, but what sort, I wonder? There's Vietnamese, Tom Yum, "rice soup hotpot" (w/ seafood), mix BBQ, but uh, why no shabu-shabu in a Japanese restaurant?

I think I need to work on taking some photos, I highly suspect no-one will read all of this w/o a photo 'sweetener'...
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Monday, June 28th, 2010 10:40 am
1. Ping Pong by Stereolab
2. aka table tennis
3. probably some other stuff
4. Ping Pong dim sum chain

I hates to admit it, but the food in PP isn't bad. Massively overpriced, sure! "Real" dim sum? Bahahaha... but those honey ribs? Gosh, they are nice (and for almost £5 I should hope so too). It is at least better than "dim t" on Charlotte Street whose continued existence is a plague on my soul.

Ping Pong is terrible at having "special offers" which aren't at all special - their current one is limited to City branches (feck the City), or "all you can eat" for £16-18 - dudes, how much do you pay for a regular dim sum meal anyway??

Anywho, Ping Pong is now flogging some special dishes.

09 Beancurd parcels V £3.89
A rich mix of shredded bamboo shoots, mushrooms and carrot wrapped in a 'skin' made from beancurd and grilled. From the North West and popular in Xinjiang.

12 Homestyle vegetable broth V £2.99
Tender Chinese leaves poached in a savoury broth with ginkgo nuts. From the Tibetan plateaux in the South West of the country.

20 Leaf-wrapped pork and rice £3.99
A fragrant parcel of Jasmine rice slowly steamed with pork, soy and five spice mixture. From the very centre of China and the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi.

168 Chicken and black pepper spring roll £3.19
Crisp spring rolls filled with honeyed chicken and served with hot chilli bean sauce. From North Eastern China.

Er uh er uh, wellll.... isn't Xianjing food more central Azn, like, kebabs, naan etc? Oh, I want to go to Silk Road now.

I'm afraid all this has done is make me upset Taste of Beijing closed down and crave jian bing for elevenses. And for Kake, here is how the site says to write jiang bing! 煎饼... Although fat lot of use I imagine this will be in Sunny London. That site says in Tianjin you get a fried dough stick in the middle, to which I say: hungry now. I suppose it's a good job I can't get it, I do after all need to be on a diet...
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Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 09:29 am
I threw the 'kimchi' away.

You can't make kimchi with white cabbage. The salt just didn't DO anything! this is the first time ever that salting has not had ANY effect. It was enough to pickle a human!!

One does not need to keep mouldy cabbage in the fridge.

In the bin.

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Friday, June 11th, 2010 12:03 pm
I have, knocking around, a little book of veg juice/smoothie recipes - think it's from Taiwan (Taiwan to New Cross via Sense charity shop in Peckham). It's in Chinese and very ropey English. I don't have a blender so I've never made anything from it, but I cannot bear to throw it away for many reasons...

And one of the reasons was a juice involving loofah.

For years I have been idly pondering to myself, "a loofah?" "really?! a loofah?" "a loofah for the shower?" - "well I guess it IS a plant before it's dried"... "but really! a loofah! gosh! loofah juice!", etc etc.

So whilst looking for salted chicken recipes*, I ended up on a blog, which of course I then had to scroll down and read *everything*, and I found a recipe called 'stir-fried Chinese okra/Angled Loofah (勝瓜)". Wait! LOOFAH!! Perhaps THIS is what the book means!

Here's a blog showing what they look like and what they look like just sliced, here is a recipe from HK (translated), etc etc. Here is what they look like in the shop. I wonder if I have seen them in any of the local shops, and gone, "ooh yet another Mystery Vegetable".

Loofah! Perhaps I will finally get that blender. It seems very strange to eat a loofah. Wikipedia says the main spelling is "luffa"! Pfft. Maybe if you clip your vowels like some sort of, I dunno, MARK PHILIPS (who has a cameo in Jilly Cooper's "Riders", a book which I have totally just not read and hated every second of, oh no).

*must use the galangal bought last december on a very chilly tube-walk in WHOLE FOODS MARKET in kensington - have used it about twice so far and should use it more - yum
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Monday, June 7th, 2010 11:31 am
My lunch is some shredded cabbage and carrots, briefly stir-fried with some random c.rap, a slice of PORT SALUT cheese, a slice of PORK LUNCHEON MEAT* and some rice w/ gomashio (for when your rice is just not salty enough). I suspect the cabbage is not cooked properly, but then again I am from the North and suspect cabbage is only cooked when it is boiled for 8 hours.

Anyway. Blah.

My fridge is full of cabbage. I recommend only buying a head of cabbage when you have a definite plan for what to do with it. There is a bowl full of the cabbage/carrot mix, and in the pyrex, there's some chopped salted cabbage slowly decomposing.

I plan to make kimchi.

Not because I particularly WANT to make my own kimchi (it is easy enough to buy), but because I still had a whole flipping half a head of cabbage left, and it was the only tolerable looking thing in the Tassajara cookbook.

Oh yes - no recipe book I own has a recipe for cabbage apart from Tassajara! Well, perhaps Fatty Slater has a recipe for cabbage, but it will necessarily involve "adding bacon" and I didn't have any so feh. (Actually, chiz!! Here is a cabbage and lentil salad that I would eat. Count this up for another time I missed having the internet... relying on RECIPE BOOKS for recipes instead of consulting THE CLOUD? Get a life, grandma)...

*Tesco Value of course~
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Friday, June 4th, 2010 11:14 am
It's my birthday soon (go shawtyfatty). I think I would like to have a super tasting menu.


This is the post where I list places and seek out recommendations.

Tasting menu is £90, +£65 for wine. It looks nice, but I am not jumping for joy. On the other hand, I've never been to Hibiscus and I'd really like to. I *do* however, like the look of their lunch menus - Saturday lunch or lunch-lunch.

I interrupt this post to report that a/ I have to do some work now and b/ Time Out is difficult to search, isn't it? It has, however, found somewhere called "Urban Turban", which I am not sure is genius or "oh dear"...

Joel flipping Robuchon! <-- the Orrery but oh man, fennel? :( <-- kaiseki at Umu (but I think I would rather go European tbh)
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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 09:52 am
I spent 20 minutes last night julienning a/ NINJIN b/ potatoes c/ green peppers in order to make a delicious "tricolore" salad for lunch today. I cannot find my knife sharpener (not that I am at all convinced it does anything anymore), and my slicey-knife is totally blunt. Slow. Progress.

Still, it was all worth it after I fried up all those lovely sliced vegetables (howto: soak potatoes, add oil to pan, carrots first, then potato, then green pepper, then add salt and pepper originally from this book which is a good no nonsense lunchbox affair), and then I remembered today is a rare office outing for lunch*, and I needn't bring anything...

Still, I am sure it will be fine for up to a week in the fridge. What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway. Pffft. Mandolines are for wimps with no knife technique anyway...

*Balfour! A place I have been walking past for years. It's been extended and refurbed, but they still do a set lunch which actually looks quite good!
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Friday, May 28th, 2010 04:20 pm
My friend claims that congee is the best thing for a hangover. Until last Sunday I disputed that assertion (surely nothing can beat the noble bacon sandwich)... but I must say, that last Sunday, I tried congee for the first time in Gerrard's Corner...


As far as I understand it, here is how to make congee: get rice, boil the unholy fvck out of it in loads of water, eat. Somewhere, alchemy happens and suddenly you're eating the most comforting thing in the world ever. And it has pork and preserved egg in it (or it did on this occasion).

A+ would and indeed will order again. (I have been having some rubbish noodles lately so am happy to swap noodle for congee for a while anyway tbh).

- fried turnip paste in XO sauce
- tripe! I have never had such good tripe! It was delicious, hot and moist, deliciously chewy to bite into. Much better than the tripe at the - uh - posh place with the river and the fishies! (Kake - this is one of the only Chinese words I can write! 牛柏葉 - apparently this is "cow's hundred leaves", because Chinese can even make tripe poetic. Then again I guess in English it could be called honeycomb tripe!)
- bbq pork cheung fun, sui mai, har gau and soup dumplings all pretty good
- My chicken and rice wasn't that great though, but I wanted some chicken, I wanted some rice, sometimes ones tastes are simple...

the taps in the ladies loos were producing *real actual boiling water*. Efficient, sure. Burns unit? Absolutely! Thank goodness for dining companion and her portable hand sanitiser gubbins...
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Thursday, May 20th, 2010 10:32 am
All I can think about at the moment is dim sum, which makes it even more irritating that much lunch is a sodding "Innocent Vegetable Pot". I have spent the morning being envious at Ken's trip to Tim Ho Wan (here are someone elses photos), but a lot closer to home is Penninsula, by the Holiday Inn in North Greenwich. (Whenever I think of a Holiday Inn, I start singing "Holiday Hymn" by Vic Godard, which I constantly mis-sing as "Holiday Inn" which is amusing if you like that sort of thing). I have never been, but gosh they have lots of dim sum. I think I should eat it all, or alternatively, get married there as they appear to have some offers on. If you book 20 tables they throw in a wedding dress, karaoke and a suckling pig, marvellous. Anyway, back to the dim sums, and Kake, here you go:

They say: "The traditional accompaniment to all this food is Chinese Tea; we offer a selection of different leaves, with dark, intriguingly musty Bo-Lay, a flavourite alternative to the ubiquitous Jasmine and Shei Sin."

Suspect intriguingly musty = we found it down the back of the sofa, watch out for mothballs. Yummy!
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 11:57 am
I have a dreamwidth account! I have forgotten about it. Today I logged in to read Kake's journal. Perhaps I should write things here, perhaps about food, and the eating thereof? Like a food blogger?

But then I would have to go to supper clubs and qype events and change my name to T0ssy McW4nkpot Esq and hate myself forever?


I could start by blogging about hotpots. That might do.

Hey, is DW also plagued by Japanese spambots, comme livejournal? Let's see.