Tag Archives: chinatown

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.


i seem to find free calendars

7 Jan

london 2.29pm 11.1C cloudy saturday 2016

i thought i shall drop by chinatown to see if there are any bargains. i was in the ‘new loon moon’ supermarket and saw this 2017 desk calendar.  it features the late thai king. there was no price tag on it, and i just asked the assistant how much are they and he said it is free. well, i was hoping they will be free. haha. maybe i looked thai…he did ask if i was thai. but i am sure foreigners too will appreciate it. perhaps they are only giving it to thais… it’s a very well constructed desk calendar. very strong and stable and look very good quality.

i did not know that the new loon moon supermarket have a facebook presence. it was mentioned along with their email and phone number and website on the calendar. that is interesting because i did not know they have this internet presence. in fact, it is only now that i realise they have changed their name. isn’t it strange that i have been going there for ages but never really take note of the name on the sign above the shop. it was loon moon before. i wonder when they changed ownership to the new loon moon.  well, this calendar certainly has done its job, if it is to remind people of this supermarket. i would rate it a successful advertising really. 

found this interesting link about loon moon.

this giving out free calendars to advertise your business reminds me of all those free calendars that shops give out in malaysia. showing the horse racing days… i wonder if they still do it now. those calendars have such big numbers that fill up the whole box each day leaving no room to write anything. 

and they have this pack of 24 instant noodles on sale for £2. 

Digital StillCamera

i just now cooked 2packs of it, and found it is very satisfying. one pack is not enough really. even though at 60mg they are larger than the average size. they are reduced because of their sell by date which is soon. normally each costs 30p.

 and later simon woke up and i saw he too has cooked 2packs, and i saw him tucking into it.  and we both agree it is very nice to have these in the cupboard, in case we get hungry and just cannot wait . they are instant as it says on the pack. haha. they are eaten dried, rather than in a soup. it is made in phillipines. it is easy to throw in other ingredients, like cooked meats, veg, etc… and can make for a very satisfying meal. 

stuck in a bus because of a demostration in parliament square

9 Mar


london 12.26pm rain 10C wednesday 2016

i am sitting in the bus 88, in trafalgar square stuck here because of a demonstration in parliament square. the whole area is grid locked. and we dont know when the demo will end. 

oh, 3 police on horses went by , on the pavement too. haha. democracy is all very well, but these pointless demonstrations just makes inconvenience to the travelling public.

what about our right not to support whatever u are demonstrating against huh? i hope the demonstrators get very wet, because it is pouring down with rain. hoho.

the newspapers never report these things, so as not to encourage them. no one other than us here trapped in traffic knows there is a demo going on. and even then, we dont know what they are demonstrating against. and when we do finally get to them, and find out from their banners, it is very likely we will be against them. out of sheer irritation at them for disrupting our journey. so it kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? but then we all know demonstrators are people who just like to hear themselves speak.

oh we are moving now, and at a rapid rate too. so looks like the demonstrators have finished.

i have just been to chinatown to buy cuttlefish balls and steamboat pack. i first saw it when i went there yesterday to buy black soya sauce. and bought  a pack of the cuttlefish balls, costing only 99p for 200mg. i have not bought these before, usually i buy fish balls. these frozen cuttlefish balls normally costs £1.85, compared to the frozen fish balls @£1.65 and the fresh fish balls at £2.20. but i have not bought these things for quite some time now. partly because at their normal price it is not worth it. i can get frozen fish in the supermarket for £1.70 for 520mg, and it is all fish, unlike fishballs, which donthave 100% fish, but other things to bulk them up, and they are very salty. which makes them delicious of course, salt is a great appetizer, but i try not to have too much of them. they were selling pot noodles for 10p each too. quite a bargain, they were near their expiring date, 1 month from now, but i did not buy any as i am not too keen on the artificial flavour of them. when i went there this morning, all the pot noodles have been sold out, though they have lots of packs of instant noodles. all 10p each. 

last night i got back and cooked half of it,the cuttleballs,  and it was quite nice, very firm and quite big, those balls, and so i decided to go back today and buy some more. this time when i arrived ,there were only 4 packs left , so i bought them all. i daresay they will replenish it as the day go by. because that was what happened to the steamboat pack of assorted things yesterday. in fact, when i got there a man was replenishing the steamboat assorted packs. so they must be very popular. 

anyway this time i bought the 4 packs of cuttlefish balls and one pack of the steamboat selection500mg. (weight for weight, the assorted steamboat pack is better value i guess) .they go very well in noodle soups. and because they are frozen they can keep in the freezer. 99p each.

well, the rain has stopped, but we are not even at parliament square and stuck again. ah well, since i am in no hurry i shall just stay here. i could get out and walk back, as it is quite near , and the sun is out again. but there is no rush …. my whole life now is leisurely , quite nice in some ways but if u are the kind of person who likes to have a purpose in life, or want meaning in your life you might get restless at the aimlessness of it. haha.

i am trying to get a glimpse of the demonstrators to see what they are against. but no sign of them. the sun is out but it is still raining. well i see a group of them just outside the gates to the house of parliament, but they could be tourists,(ya, they are tourists) it looks like the demonstrators have gone. ya, they are gone, and nothing is happening except for the traffic jams. i realised i might have missed seeing them, as i was sitting on the lower deck of the bus. i forgot or rather could not be bothered to walk upstairs and get a birds eye view when we were stuck earlier. 

the bus is diverted to run up to lambeth bridge, and along the river. instead of the road behind the houses that runs behind the tate millbank. so we are clear of the jam and on our way. ha. it is now 12.53pm.

added 3.24pm i thought i shall check the evening standard website to see if they have any news of this demonstration. well they have. it is by black cab drivers protesting against uber . they were blocking whitehall,so not in parliament square as such. it started at 11am and i suppose when i was there, it was the tail end of it, as it was for 2hrs duration. i can sympathise with them actually, these people have invested a lot of time and effort and money learning the road map of london and taking the test to qualify as black cab drivers, and it must be a heartache to see uber drivers just come along and steal their business.

(the video they show seem to be doing the typical advert thing. showing a bit and then bringing the advert on . as usual i cannot stand it, and just stop the advert and not see the rest of the video. maybe u have more patience to see the advert and continue to see the rest of the video about the demonstrators. )

but it is a hard lesson that technology is destroying a lot of traditional jobs, and it is tough that it is their job that is being hit. in the past they have been holding the capital to ransom as it were, being picky who they pick up, and always going off shift and not stopping when u want them, or not being available when it rains, or refusing to take u south of the river if it suits them. and charging quite a lot  and still expect to be tipped… but at least they know the best routes and black cabs can use the bus lanes, which can be used to avoid a lot of jams.

well, it is like bnb stealing business from B&B and hotel owners, i guess. 

went to chinatown

9 Jun

london 7.25pm monday 2015

one of the nice things about living so central, is that it is quick to get to chinatown frm my place by bus.

i bought the wrong soya sauce, got the light soya sauce instead of the dark soya sauce, and found out only when i got home.

earlier i went to soho, to get my haircut and that was when i bought the soyasauce in chinatown. i got the bus 24 too, which normally dont come to my area, but its normal route via victoria st has been flooded because of a burst water pipe, so it has been diverted to pass by my flat. bus 24 goes up charing cross road and passes near my barber’s who are just behind the palace theatre in cambridge circus. they still charge £6 for a haircut. this time i got a japanese looking girl who cut my hair real well. she was in the back room which usually gets real hot in a hot day, but today it is cool, so it is bearable. i mentioned it to her and she agreed that it can get real oven like .

nowadays i buy only dark soya sauce, as it is multipurpose. i think they have diluted it a bit, in the past dark soya sauce is real thick and black… but now it is diluted and more watery and so can be used as a all purpose dark and light soya sauce combined. as far as i am concerned they have destroyed the market for the light soya sauce, at least for me. haha. and i find the advantage to me is i save money. no need to buy the light soya sauce.

i had no trouble from the shop, when i explained i bought the wrong soyasauce, in replacing the light soya sauce with the dark, it is only 10p more. it costs £1.35 for 500ml.

the dark colour of the sauce makes the food more attractive. without it, the food looks pale and ghastly. its psychological i think, it certainly makes me like eating the food more when it is darker. 

added. 5.58am tues 9 june.

i wrote all the above yesterday, and wanted to add to it as the day goes on, but felt so sleepy at about 9pm, i just have to sleep. 

Big trouble in little Chinatown as rent rises force restaurant owners out | UK news | The Guardian

29 Mar

Big trouble in little Chinatown as rent rises force restaurant owners out | UK news | The Guardian.

i have been aware that chinatown is not solely chinese restaurants for some time now when i see a betting shop and a pizza joint  and even a indian restaurant coming in. this report by the guardian says a kfc is in there as well. i suppose it is inevitable. big chains can afford the rent. and it would seem warlords from china are investing here too and so push up rents. on the face of it, u would think u cannot fail with a chinese business in chinatown, but u sure can. haha. tourists come and there is a lot of footfall, but they take pictures and then go to a kfc to eat. heheh.

all the old regulars like me, have gone. in the past a group of us would once a week gather at a restaurant and have a meal, and it would be less than £8 each (with some of us having tsingtao beers from cans) for a really satisfying meal with huge portions. gradually that went and we left when the restaurant changed hands and we never returned, not only to that restaurant but to others. maybe none of them could afford to give that kind of deal anymore. 

it is inevitable really. we all saw it when old compton st in soho first started turning gay. before , it was a quiet street, than when gay businesses came in, it became the in-place to be seen, and rents went up , the gay places left and bingo, it is now a high rent street.

i think that will happen with chinatown too. can we lament it, yes, but it is inevitable. the price of their success is the very destruction of their way of life.

the chinese businesses will need to find another place, for sure it will be in the outskirts of london, like the koreans in new malden. or the gays in vauxhall. hang on, you might say vauxhall is not far from soho… haha. you will be right, but it was then a run down area with railway arches going all over the place. 

they will just be pushed further and further out. what to do ? maybe buy the freehold of the property though the tax laws dont make business sense. it is more tax favourable to pay rent than buy. but it wont stop the change of atmosphere when all the chinese restaurants round you sell up or shift out. u might end up selling your property for the capital gains, or renting out your premises to a chain restaurant. 

come to think of it, it might be a good pension plan. it would ensure u have a lot more money making from the property than all those years of running a chinese restaurant. haha. 


home is lovely when it is cold and raining outside

22 Feb


most of us will have an ordinary day without any dramatic incidence, and i am sure we are very glad it is so. i am sure if we read the news we are quite glad that our day is so ordinary. haha.

i read of the fire that engulfed the high rise residential block , called the torch, in dubai. makes me glad i dont live in a high rise. it makes u start asking yourself what is the attraction of living in a tower block, when escaping a fire miles up will be difficult as u have to walk downstairs, the lifts being out of bounds.

and it seems quite easy for a fire to start, and how come the building is not using materials that will confine any fire to just the flat it is in, instead of spreading so quickly. lots of questions to ask,   it must make all high rise owners wondering if they had forgotten some basic survival principles when they opt to buy a flat in a tower. 

i look at the high rise towers being built all round me in central london, and i wonder do those owners know what they are buying into? that flat may be their coffin and they would have spent a huge fortune to end up making it their funeral pyre.

though i have noticed when a fire occur in a tower block in london, the fire is almost always confined to the flat, and seldom, in fact, as far as i know, never has the whole tower gone up in flames. i wonder if the building fire proof requirements are stricter and more carefully implemented in uk than in dubai. 

this is the weekend after chinese new year on thursday so london is hosting its annual cny festival in chinatown. it may be the nearest time the chinese living here can celebrate as there is no public holiday on thursday. though i know the chinese would have taken their reunion dinner on the 18th feb, and booked a table at the restaurants then.

i remember we used to do it, booking a table of about 10people. but eventually we gave up the practise, as the service was horrible, and the food came in dribs or drabs or in a rush with long intervals between courses. cant really blame the staff or the kitchen … the jam of people  is awful, u would think they are giving away free food. 

not much fun for the chinese workers in the chinese restaurants, having to work on chinese new year eve; but it is great for the customers. and a chance for the workers to get extra pay, i bet. everybody accept that the price will go up for the bookings on chinese new year eve. it is very crowded too so the price hike has not deterred customers. as for this weekend, i doubt there are many chinese actually eating in the restaurants this sunday;  those who do are not locals, or are westerners, or tourists. haha. 

i have just been in chinatown , but did not stay long, as it was raining, and frankly add rain to cold and it is not a place to be outdoors. i see plenty of people around, esp forming long queues outside the eating places in chinatown. and that was at about 3pm. i am afraid i am not hardy enough to hang around and chickened out and quickly fled home. haha.

the buses are jammed even on normal days due to road works but today it seems worst. on a sunday too. so i did not wait for the 88, my usual bus that drops me right by my door, but took the next bus that came along, fortunately the number 3 bus. i  got off at lambeth bridge and walked back to the flat.