Tag Archives: chinatown

a new year is coming and calendars for it.

17 Dec

london 3.12pm 6.8C rain, sunday 2017

i have been collecting calendars for the new 2018 year. first the daily mail on sunday giving away free royal wedding calendar. showing harry and meghan, even though they are not married yet. we can see it is a rush job, an extra calendar since they allready had given out a calendar earlier featuring the royal babies.

then i went to chinatown just to see what bargains they got. and saw the sambal sauce that i bought for 50p has reduced further to 20p each;. so i bought 4… only yesterday i got a phone call from my friend who lives in slough telling me he went to his local chinese grocer to buy the same sauce for £2.50. hmm, i wont tell him about this ones i bought, no point making him feel bad about it. and anyway he might be the kind of guy who dont want to buy reduced foods that are near their sell by date… human beings are like that. some are too proud to buy reduced price foods. some actually would feel insulted if u think they are so poor that they have to buy sell by date foods. and would get angry with you for telling them about it because that would imply that u think they are too poor.  to me, i would consider it a great tip, and a bargain… but dont tell people otherwise they will think u are fallen  on hard times, reduced to scrounging for food bargains and rifling through the remainder bins and scraps and they will feel sorry for you. haha. 


i got the sauce at the new loon moon in chinatown and they were giving away a calendar. this year they are not putting it out for people to take, but giving it out at the cashier till. they have a small calendar and a large one, and i ask for the large one, just for a change. it is rather pretty, with a gold cover, and a bright red inside… the dates are just full of chinese characters, which i cannot read. it seems this coming chinese new year is the year of the dog. the size is lovely, big enough so that i can use the back of each month to make my own calendar next year. i would have lots of room to write things down for next year’s calendar. the cashier asked me if i want a calendar, and i wonder it might be because my purchases came to nearly £5. i bought 3 packs of the ho fun noodles which are great for making char kuey teoh. perhaps if i have not bought so much i might not have gotten the free calendar… i might keep it in mind to buy something from them around this time next year, just to get any freebie calendars that they are giving out. a new calendar for a new year is a very uplifting gift i think, just for the symbolism alone. 

kikkoman soya sauce

12 Nov

london 3.02pm 8.8C clear day sunday 2017

got caught up by the marching soldiers at about 1pm, because the remembrance ceremony which was in whitehall is over and they were marching back. so the bus was caught up at piccadilly circus and also at victoria station. i should have taken the tube when i left chinatown, but habit made me forget to take the tube. when they are running smoothly, taking the bus means less walking as changing buses are at the same bus stop and it puts me down right near my flat. 

fortunately going to the paddington library in the morning was unimpeded. in fact, i met ian there. he lives nearby, but i never see him in the library till today… he was returning a spanish novel, which he borrowed thinking his boyfriend can read it, but it seems it was too difficult to read… the boyfriend can speak spanish very well, enough to be able to talk spanish to his spanish speakng patients. #

usually i would avoid central london at this time, it being remembrance weekend, but simon wanted black soya sauce so i went to chinatown to buy it, and there i noticed the 1.6litre kikkoman light soya sauce that had been reduced from its normal £5 or so , to £2.99 had been reduced even further to 99p. its expiry date is 22.11.17. compare that to the price i paid for the black soya sauce 500ml, £1.55. i dont use light soya sauce much, but i figured  maybe simon would like it. i have got some of the kikkoman bottles , they look very nice with their distinctive shape.

they have been present during mychildhood in malaysia, practically everyone in malaysia use them and have them. so they must have been very affordable even to my poor family in those far off days.  these bottles are everywhere during my growing up years. yet when i came to uk, i never see them around. maybe they are quite expensive now. 


art tour of the V&A, chinatown

8 Aug

london 4.13pm 19C cloudybright tuesday 2017

i went to a tour of the Victoria and albert museum, organised by one of the tour guides, it has a gayish slant… meaning we get to see a lot of naked men. haha. its been quite some time since i visited the V&A so it was nice to see they have lots of new stuff on exhibition, which reminds me i must go back again as it would deserve a 2nd visit or more, if ever i find myself at a loose end. 

then i went to a meetup of gay guys( east and west) in soho, quite a large gathering this time, some came from thailand and penang, on holiday here.  long ago there was a group for   white guys who like chinese guys and vice versa. it was like a nursery, for me when i first cameout on the gay scene. for some reason it ended. though i hear in paris it still goes on.

anyway, i was chatting to the white guy who lives in thailand and is here on a visit, and some of the chinese guys in the group were trying to persuade him to come to uk to live, saying he must miss the company of his fellow white compatriots and also being able to speak english to others, but talking to him, i realise he likes being in thailand, where he says he is the point of attraction for a lot of thai guys, whereas over here, he is just another old man. haha.

after which some of us went to chinatown to the fresh noodle factory,in an alley near gerrard st.  i have not been there before, and they showed me where it was, and we bought fresh flat noodles£1each, and cheung fun£1, and i bought 6 char siew pao £2.50.  and i took them to new loon moon, where i bought another 10bihun instant noodles. and so did the others on my recommendation. it was almost sold out. the instant noodles are dry ones, not soup, and are rice vermicelli. i like the taste of them, as they are malaysian tasting. 

a dinner treat

18 Jul

london 10.17pm 21.3C rain tuesday 2017

i have just got back from a dinner treat by a friend , who took me out to dinner in chinatown. he called me out of the blue and ask if i would like to meet him in chinatown for dinner.

during our meal, he tells me he eats out a lot, does not cook much at home. it does surprise me because i had assumed that as one goes older, one eats in a lot more than out. because it costs so much to eat out nowadays.

our dinner was a simple one, one all in dish… he got duck and barbecued pork over rice, i got fried ho fun with beef and choy sum. i enjoyed my dish very much, the beef was very tender… something that i always find chinese restaurants know how to do very well. i wonder how they get to make it so tender… and choy sum is a chinese veg that i dont eat often. his dish was disappointing at least to me just visually. there were very few duck and barbecued pork, even though his dish costs £1 more than mine. mine was about £7.50. chinese tea for two was £2.40.the bill came to about £18.50 but he put down a £20 note and we left. not sure if the service charge is included. then my friend wanted something sweet even though he got diabetes and should not be eating sweet things. but his sweet tooth is very strong.

he said he would eat 5 danish pastries a day before he was diagnosed as diabetic. then he said, all that time he believed and had been telling people that he dont eat suger… because it never connected in his mind that danish pastry is suger loaded. just because he dont add suger to his drinks he thinks he is not eating suger. i think he still eats danish pastries now. because i remember once being with him in his car, going somewhere and he stopped at a petrol station and bought himself a pastry. i hope he just limits it to one a day…

he is controlled by metformin. i googled it and find it caused a lot of problems. its side effects are horrible, and what is more it can cause hypoglycaemia, and u have to take glucose to treat it. it sends conflicting signals. patients are supposed to stop taking suger in their diet, and yet taking the metformin can cause them to suffer low suger in the blood, with its symptoms, and then they have to take glucose tablets. what a mess of conflicting messages to the brain of those patients. 


when i was in university i was told that type 2 diabetes is not caused by excessive suger eating.but i think that might have been overturned now and they are saying there is a strong correlation between excessive suger intake and  type 2 diabetes. all the latest articles seem to assume that it is caused by excessive suger intake… i myself wonder how true it is… and what is excessive anyway…some people may be able to process the suger more efficiently than others. for those who are not good processors of suger , perhaps no suger is the answer to them. and you wont know how good your body is at processing suger until u come down with type 2 diabetes. maybe just dont eat suger in any form, as far as possible, as a preventive measure.

that is the way for me. no fizzy drinks, nor suger added to my tea or coffee. and no sugery snacks and that includes chocolates, sweets, etc. people may think it a deprivation, but to me it is how i have been living all my life. first because we were too poor to eat those things. my parents just dont buy them. then as a dentist i have seen the harm it does to teeth, that was another incentive not to eat suger… 

we wandered around soho him going into shops to fulfil his suger cravings… and me being a spoilsport reminding him that he should not be having it… so much so that he got to asking me to read out how much suger in whatever he picked up. haha. they all have lots of suger in them. 

in the end, he got himself a coconut drink, which still contains 3teaspoonsful of suger. coconut water from the fruit is a slightly sour tasting drink, but of course once they sell it in those cartons, they will have to sweeten it or no one will drink it. i think it overpriced but there you are… haha. anything is overpriced when i fill up my water bottle with tap water.

my friend’s craving for suger is so strong. i am glad i dont have this craving for suger. plain water is good enough for me, because if i want water it will be to quench my thirst. and nothing is best for quenching thirst than plain water. so i carry a bottle of tap water with me .

though this time, i am not wanting any water as i did not go to the toilet to piss after our meal, and all that chinese tea was having its effect. haha.

 i was feeling very full to bursting and want to go. so when he left me at my bus stop , he going on to his parked car, i swiftly walked up to the shop window and the pillar there and took out my trusty empty bottle which i keep for such this purpose and pissed into it. haha. whilst pretending to look into the shop window. it is my all -purpose piss bottle. i can tell you i am right glad i got it. it has saved me loads of anguish trying to keep in a full bladder. now i just get relieve anytime, without having to hunt for a toilet. i would recommend it to everyone. haha. but anyway i enjoyed that dish i had.

it is rare for me to go out after dark like this. so it was interesting to see soho at night. and being reminded of ourselves when we see those young guys sitting outside the coffee shops cruising …to think we were like that so long ago. it feels like another country. and a bit sad that those days are long gone for us.

there were a lot of policemen gathered together in a group with their motorcycles and police car. and we saw two of them come out of bar italia, carrying coffee , and they were armed. 

added 8.48am wednesday 19.7.17 20.3 sunny. i thought i shall ask google what is the cause of type 2 diabetes. interesting that no mention of suger intake being the cause. it seems it is genetics, and lack of exercise and obesity. genetics also include hereditary. the closer the relative , the higher your chance of getting it. but also asians are prone to getting it. age is another cause. just growing old . sigh. it confirms for me that going old is a big factor to everything… my friend is in his 70s. and he tells me he went to the doctor recently about a skin lesion. turns out to be a skin cancer, and he is to have it removed. see what i mean about going old. it piles up and on, health problems comes one on top of another…depressing isn’t it? 

added 4.09pm wednesday 19.7.17. i went to chinatown today and thought i shall have a look at the wong kei menu. and found that they charge £5.80 for a ho fun fried noodle with beef and veg. almost £2 cheaper than that place we went too . though wong kei does over salt their dishes. i got chatting to a family who were also looking at the menu and they ask me if wong kei is different. i said it has the cheapest menu in all of chinatown. if not london. haha. she liked shrimps, and i looked at the menu and saw prawns, so i said here we call them prawns. and when i said i find that wong kei tends to over salt the dishes, she said her husband likes to put salt on his food. and she pointed out her husband and i saw he is quite slim youngish looking guy. so he should not have much problem with high blood pressure so salt should be ok for him. i think. haha. anyway we had a pleasant time talking of food.

the price in wong kei is still very low . they dont do duck pieces on rice, only pulled duck. another restaurant, a few doors down from the one we went to , have rice and duck for £6.60. which i thought was quite reasonable. and i think better value than what we got . 


13 Jul

london 6.33pm sunny 22.2C thursday 2017

there was rain, it came yesterday, though i did not really notice it, only knew it came because the ground was wet. my part of london seem to have got a small amount, even though they are forecasting heavy rain. perhaps  it is heavy in other places. well   i consider the rain as good, as it brought down the temp to the low 20s instead of the high 20s. so now we got ideal weather, sunny and yet 22C and so feels very pleasant. but today it was dry. no rain where i am.

yesterday i spent it going to chinatown, hoping to buy some more of the sardines that they have reduced to 20p, but it was all gone, with the price reverting to its normal price of £1.10. such a high price for what is essentially ordinary sardines. used to be sardines were the poor man’s fish… it is imported from china which might explain the high price. usually in supermarkets they are 40p. i wonder who buys these at those high normal price. perhaps we shall again get them all reduced when this batch gets to its sell by date. haha.

then i went to the virgin media lounge and enjoyed the place. it is a very nice place to while away the time… though it is interesting that they wont allow people to bring in their own food to eat there.

the other day two ladies did that, they bought salad from some takeaway and were told by the helper not to do so because there might be people allergic to what they were eating. if that is the case, surely all restaurants will have to go out of business for fear that someone might be allergic to something they cook.

we hear of airlines not serving peanuts and even asking people not to eat peanuts because it seems people with peanut allergy can get it just from sniffing the peanut in the air in the plane. is air in the plane recirculated?  but if air in restaurants is not circulated and so refreshed regularly, than that also might apply to the air in that lounge and so if restaurants can serve eaters, i dont see why we cannot eat the food we bring in.

and what about biscuits that they provide freely, and coffee and tea, what about people allergic to those. hey? i think they dont want people eating the food they bring , because of the smell, which might offend others. and it is difficult to specify what food can be eaten if smell is the one they want to avoid. some foods dont smell , the two ladies food did not smell…they were eating salads, but perhaps the dressing smelt, who knows. my sense of smell is not as sensitive as others. but how to make a blanket rule against smelly foods. easier to just say health and safety and so no food.

talking of peanut allergy, i wonder how come malaysian restaurants can serve peanut satay sauce, if just sniffing the air can bring on a peanut allergy. do they have to warn off all peanut allergy sufferers , dont come in if u have it, or u too will die. but they are allowed to serve peanut based foods. so that might mean the air in a restaurant on land is circulated much more than in the plane. which must make u wonder what else you are breathing in that air in the plane throughout those hours you are in it. 

how those people can survive living in this earth with that kind  of sensitivity to peanut is a mystery to me.

i am surprised that the virgin lounge do not have a big sign telling people not to bring in peanuts to eat inside there. that would certainly be in keeping with their theme of it being like a cabin in the plane. hahah.

that day, i saw a guy eating some thing… a sandwich in the lounge and he was not told off. so perhaps it depands on whether the helpers got out of the wrong side of the bed that day. haha. but it reinforce to me that u can do most things as long as u are very discreet about it and do it without anyone noticing. 



instant noodle for 10p each

22 Jun
london 6.05pm 23.8C cloudy (high of 25.8C) thursday

hmm, i see wordpress is changing the appearance of the editing bar that used to run across the page in two lines before but now they have made it into one line and it is a very long one, runs out of my screen in fact so that you have to use the scroller to move it along.

its cooler today, and very pleasant in fact. i prefer it like this. i did not have any hay fever, though one of the chinese guys is suffering from it now. strange when this cooler weather should bring the pollen down. he said he had hay fever once, and then it went away for a long time, but now he is starting to get it again. 

went to a meet up of ex lyc members, a club for chinese-caucasians that have long closed down but the old members still meet up to talk of old times. though now the topic tends to be old age concerns like death, strokes, disease instead of love life. still, it was nice to chitchat. and to meet the other chinese guys who i have not known when i was at the club in its heyday.

afterwards three of us chinese guys went to chinatown to buy stuff. one bought me to ‘see woo’, as he wanted to show me their fresh meat section. it is new, because i have not seen it before. full of fresh stuff even live crab, live lobster… anyway i did not buy anything. he bought fresh chicken livers… then we went on to ‘new loon moon’, me to find if they have any reduced instant noodles. which they have at 10p each for 70mg packs. and these have different flavours too. i bought 15. (and have eaten one as soon as i got back, red curry one and it is very nice indeed.) there was lots of it, so u will still be able to get this bargain if u go now. as usual, the reason why they are selling it cheap is because they expire next month.


quite a lot of variety. though sometimes one must not get too carried away with all these labels because they might all taste the same. haha. but the first one i tried, the red curry , is very nice.

added. 8.59pm 23C dry . went to the tesco to buy reduced foods. it is pot luck really, sometimes i get nothing but today there were loads of mince beef reduced. 750mg to 75p, (from £5)at 5%fat too. though next to it was 15%fat 750mg from £3.50,for 88p, and i bought that too even though it is not as good a bargain. there was also   500mg angus beef 15%fat minced at 60p. i bought that too. ah well, it just goes to show the power of association. when two things are side by side, and you are not paying attention. still, i got lots of minced beef now in my freezer. i also got lamb liver for 29p. after seeing my friend buy chicken liver, i too was starting to crave liver. i thought i will only be able to find bread reduced today, so all that meat is a bonus. i got wholemeal bread800mg for 5p, and two loaves of 400mg each for 4p each. i went at about 8pm. so much of these things are pot luck. if no one went earlier to buy these things, and so clean the shelves before u get there;  or the shop dont reduce the price until very late, so all the bargains are snapped up before you get there , you can sometimes come back empty handed.  but today was rather a feast of bargains.

it is similar to the time when i found so many chillis on sale. i have since eaten some of them, and they are really very hot. i cannot imagine the british liking these chillis, they are so hot, maybe that explains why so many were unsold, necessitating them to drastically reduce so many of them when their sell by date arrives. those chillis are from kenya and indeed i am pleased to see some countries  still retain the species that produce hot chillis. local chillis are very mild, actually, too mild. like the garlic, so mild that it is useless really…


11 Mar

london 6.28pm 15.8C (it is warm) night time, saturday 2017

i stopped off at the chinatown bus stop, thinking i shall have a look to see if there are any bargains in the grocery stores .

there was a long queue, snaking down towards the chinese looking gateway on wardour st. they were all waiting to get some freebie at this shop that sells bubble drinks. at least that is what i assume, because on the shop window was a card saying ‘card needed’.

these bubble drinks seem popular, but i have tasted them, and i am not too keen on this kind of drink. too sweet. they are a version of the chinese drinks u can buy in malaysia, with jelly like something in it. i think, chendol is another version of it. chendol is delicious. unlike this.  here the western version is really horrible. a round jelly like thing which have a glutinous texture when u bite into it that is horrible.

but it seems they like it, all those people , there were families with kids in the queue, if they are willing to wait for so long in the queue.

as for me, i carried on to the grocery stores, and saw the new loon moon have 24 instant noodle mee packs for £2. so that is still available. but i did not buy it, as i find this instant noodles rather tasteless. i think i prefer to buy the ordinary flat noodles or vermicelli noodles, even though they cost more.

anyway the loon foon supermarket opposite i saw have two packs of fresh chillis, about 250mg, for 30p each. in their bargain box. they are large chillies, so not so strong. but they are cheap at this price so i bought the two.

talking of freebies, there will be a free ben and jerry icecream given away at selected stores on dec 4. every year ben and jerry gives out free icecream, at this time. i did not realise that the time is near.  but luckily noticed a website that i go to now and then. it is called coconuts ,who sent me an email notification to  tell me of their revamped website  about news from s.e.asia. and there was an article there mentioning they were giving ben and jerry icecream in a branch of ben and jerry in bangkok. and mentioning it is a world wide thing too.

that made me go into the ben and jerry website in uk, and found it is so, too. but only in two stores in london. this is unlike last year when more stores participated. notably the one in leicester square. but this year not all the stores branches are  doing it. only  two stores doing it this year in central london are in odean camden, and odean holloway. there are other stores in wimbledon, walthamstow, etc. but rather far for me to go. 

added 29.3.17. seems they have changed the venue for the free icecream. it is only at fulhum vue, walthamstow, and sutton now.