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superpitching: (Default)
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'...
superpitching: (Default)
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...