Tag Archives: Food
3 Nov

london 8.45pm 10.1C night dry saturday 2018

i am now seeing more of the others who go to freebies as a hobby.

the two chinese malaysian ladies, steve and his wife.

today steve and the chinese malaysians were at the free doughnut given out by a veggie vietnamese popup in shoreditch box park. this is a set of ships containers that have been adapted to hold food stalls. this new place do baos, but all vegetarian. they are called eat chay… steve was saying chay is vietnamese for vegetables. then i remembered the chinese for vegetables is chai so it sounds an appropriate name. then steve asked me how is it different from chai, which is tea.

that made me pause, got me thinking…yes, come to think of it, how is it different? i think it is the tone. chai for vegetables, is even in tone. but chai for tea is sharp … right? i must say i am tone deaf that is why i have difficulty speaking chinese.

but i am a bit disappointed at the freebie. it is a ring doughnut with a vietnamese coffee topping. or that was what steve said, otherwise i would not have guessed that topping was any special. it was sweet that is all it tasted of to me. i thought we get a box of it. they had said a box , but it turned out that one doughnut was placed inside a small box. haha. so technically they are telling the truth. if i had known it was just one, i would not have bothered going . haha. but also it is strange to get a doughnut, when the place do not have doughnut on its menu. 

steve told me his wife was not there but waiting for the amazon giveaway in covent garden. he said last time he went to one of theirs they got a box of organic vegetables. after getting our doughnut, for which we have to wait till 12pm instead of 11am as advertised…though steve ask for another one for his wife and they gave it to him.  we went to covent garden to meet the wife. but we found out that you have to have a smart phone app from amazon, and since i dont have a smartphone i have to leave the queue. luckily, his wife mentioned that i have to have the app… so  at least i did not have to wait and then find out. his wife had allready got hers, and it was some kind of eraser. its a lucky dip and u pick the number. does not seem worth the bother to queue. so i left and came home. i think i would have liked if we got a free bao or something like that at that eat chay. 

anyway, i came back and ate a char kuey teoh that i cooked yesterday . very delicious it was too. ah well, that is how some of us spend our days. haha. going to freebies and thinking of food. it is something to while away the time and it seems a chance to meet up and chat to friends which we make who are also doing the same thing. so that is something we all have in common.

talking of bao, or pao, as we chinese call it, the chinese ladies were talking of the paos we can buy in chinatown. tai pao, they said. usually frozen , there are fresh ones to be had, road side stalls selling freshly steamed paos, used to be £1.50, then going up to now £2.50 each. they are very salty unfortunately. that is what always disappoint me whenever i buy them.  food is one thing we all never get tired of , either thinking of it, or eating it. 



what is a good life. wine drinking?

6 Oct

london 9.6C raining 2.59pm saturday 2018

i read this about a banksy stencil shredding itself after it had been sold in sothebys this morning. it made my attention when i  first came across a blogger mentioned it in my wordpress reader.  it must have just happened just this morning. it is a rainy day today, and i would have thought not many people will be out and about. so those who are at the auction on this saturday wet morning would have seen something to perk up their day. haha. actually today is the first time it rained after a dry spell and warm weather. after today it seems the weather will get colder.added. 11.39pm, seems the forecast has changed and it will be warmer next week. but still, it wont get much higher than 20C. it is autumn after all. we are not going to see 25C or higher.

from a daily mail report, an art critic says that stunt might have doubled the value of that shredded object. i thought when i first read of it, that it would have destroyed its value, but nowadays the world is so topsy turvy, even this act of destruction can make something more valuable.

earlier i was not sure if i want to go see an italian exhibition, near me. it is a product exhibition of italian producers to advertise their goods. held annually. i used to go every year. i was about to not go today, or go tomorrow, but decided i better get it over with. so i went, but only after i got something to eat. it is not always that u can get some thing filling to eat there. they have cooking demonstrations, and after wards you queue up to eat the food, but there is not a lot of it to share out. 

even with the rain, there were lots of people there. i got there about 1.30pm. it might be empty earlier in the morning, when it first opened. who knows.

today, maybe not as busy as it will be tomorrow when good weather is forecast. today is more bearable, in that there is some room to move about. there were lots of cheese, and dried preserved meats to sample, and bread to soak up their sample of olive oils; and wine of course, though i did not bother to take a glass as i am not really that interested in drinking wine. i find the cheese and preserved meats all taste the same, all slightly salty. and the olive oil taste the same to me.so i am afraid it all went over my head. i dont know which ones are special, or how they are different from each other.

i guess you could say i am missing out of the joy of tasting wine, and tasting the cheeses and preserved meats and olive oil.

wine tasting/drinking is one of the biggest joys it seems that a person can indulge in. not only in tasting the different wines, but the joy of getting inebriated and the joyful feeling of it. or so i am told. haha.

well, i shall have to just enjoy that in another life. right now, in this life, i am glad i dont like wine or any alcoholic drinks. it simplifies my life a lot. one less thing to get addicted to. and be held as a prisoner to. that is how i look at addictions. they are like jailers, they put you in a prison.

i met a friend who lives near me in that exhibition. you would think it must be quite common to meet friends who live nearby in an exhibition that is also in the same area, but in all the time i have been going to this exhibition i have never met anyone i know in there. she was there with 4 friends. they are all from s.e.asia. they are from the phillipines, i think, though she introduced me to one lady who is from kluang, johor, malaysia. they are all members of a church group near me. i remember that church for its nice laksa, and nasi lemak food which they sell for £3 every sunday. they give it free if it is the first time you are there. 

first impressions

5 Oct

london 12.21pm sunny 17.8C friday 2018

i had thought of going again to that kimchee free lunch offer today, but i forgot the time, and when i next looked it was 11.40am, and i felt too lazy to move. haha. its a brilliant sunny day too. blue sky and all that. ah well, nevermind.

instead i made porridge in the microwave and had that instead. it is very pleasing to have a plain meal of porridge. it feels very cleansing. (because i have visions of it gushing down my guts and making everything flush out easy in the days that follow.)

now that i had eaten the korean food i have this impression that it is very sweet. all those people saying first impressions are important are quite right, i cannot shake off this feeling that korean food is sweet. and not liking it because of that. it is like someone eating malaysian food and the first thing they tried is cooked very sweet, and forever and a day they go away thinking that is all there is to malaysian foods, that it is very sweet. or if they first tried a very chilly hot dish, they might think all malaysian foods are just chilli hot.  so i know it is wrong to get that feeling about korean foods, but until i try a non sweet korean dish, that impression just will not go away. that is the strength of first impressions. they are very powerful in their influence.



more free food

4 Oct

london 2.15pm 16.5C thursday 2018

i was chatting to a lady next to me in the queue for kimchee cafe’s free lunch, today. it is a takeaway place just opened that is why they are doing a opening promotion, free lunch from 12pm-2pm everyday from 3rd -5thoct. i went about 12pm, and there was a long queue. but i got to the end of the queue before a waiter came and  gave out tickets for the lunch. there is a 200 meal limit. the ticket was for any meal less than £8. (but there really was no danger of getting to the limit. after me, the queue continued to stretch way off into the distance and he was able to give them all a ticket.

the lady was hindu, so cannot eat beef. i happened to mention that today flat iron is giving a free dinner , but when i mentioned it was steak, she said she dont eat beef. and that was when i realised she is hindu. anyway she was taking her lunch break to queue, but when we were half way there, she said she is going to be late for an appointment, so she gave me her ticket and left.

so i got two tickets and showed it to the cashier, and asked if i can order two meals. luckily the cashier allowed me to do it. they give you a buzzer for each order. it is supposed to buzz to let you know the food is ready to collect. i got my first order quick, it was fried chicken, but the other order, the beef bulgogi took more time. and during the wait, i was asked why i got two, and told that i am not allowed to. but i said my friend could not wait and asked me to collect the food, and fortunately he allowed me. that is why i got two meals.

i brought them both back to my flat, as i live so near, and asked simon if he would like to eat them. he said he allready had eaten… but will taste it. he took one bite of the beef and reacted with distaste. it surprised me… he said it was horribly sweet. i did not notice it was that sweet when i took some of the beef on the bus on the way back. in fact i liked it when i ate a few pieces of beef in the bus ; because it had that barbequed taste. however after i ate more of it, i realised simon is right. it was very sweet.

when i opened the chicken dish, and tasted the chicken ,it too was very sweet.

simon said he went to a korean restaurant in new malden, once, and he said everything seemed to have a fried egg on top. haha. he said it looked like the bibimpap dish in the menu the waiter gave us while we were waiting. and simon said everything in that restaurant was sweet too. simon said in a chinese restaurant you can get sweet and sour dishes, and it is delicious, because the two different tastes complement each other. but here it was just sweet. he said the chicken might be nicer if it is spicy. i was given a choice to have that, but chosed the garlic and soya one instead. 

there were more beef than shown. i had allready eaten most of it by the time i thought of taking a photo. those white bits in the small plastic cup are pickled white radish.

hmm, is it normal to have such sweet dishes on every dish in a korean cuisine? i wonder? certainly the two dishes i got were very sweet. i have never eaten korean before, but if they are all as sweet as this , then i might not have missed anything. there was no kimchee in these meals. so i have yet to taste kimchee. simon said that when they were sending the korean astronauts into space in the russian satellite, they made sure they had a supply of kimchee for them, because it seems the koreans  just cannot do without it. there was a pickled white radish with the fried chicken. but that cannot be kimchee can it?

i am off to the macdonalds to get a free flat white coffee. it was a voucher given away free in yesterday’s metro free newspaper. i treated my friend yesterday to a coffee using those vouchers after we had our circuit training. it is very strong coffee. it is valid for today as well, so i shall go to victoria place and get another one. 

added. 8.16pm, got back from waiting in line at the flat iron cafe for the steaks. in the end, after a long wait i decided to give it a miss, since the queue was still so long. i went at 5.30pm, it opens at 6pm, unfortunately steve and wife were allready seated on the outside seats, so i could not just slot myself with them. usually, i would arrive and they would allready be at the front of the queue, and i would just slot myself in with them… if they had been waiting in the queue, i could have done so. but they were seated on the outside seats and there was no seat available. 

even so early, the queue stretched a long way back and a long way round the corner. i noticed quite a lot of chinese people joining the queue. the long queue should have given me an inkling that it will be very slow.

i left at 7.45pm. there were still a lot of people ahead of me even at that time. that is why i decided to give it a miss.

it is a short journey time to get back from kingscross; which is nice, one of the perks of living so centrally. i am still very full from the lunch today. 


bits and bobs

24 Sep

london virgin lounge haymarket st 2.14pm 14.5C sunny monday 2018

this time they (the virgin lounge) put out some fruits, pears and plums. recently i have noticed whenever i came here there were no fruits. hope they are resuming it. they continue to provide biscuits. it is very nice of them really to provide these things. as well as the free coffee and tea and soft drinks. i wonder how long they will continue to do it. i hear they have been bought out. 

Virgin Money to be bought by CYBG – what it means for you. CYBG, the owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, has agreed to buy Virgin Money for £1.7bn in a deal that will eventually see all of its retail customers moved to the Virgin Money brand – but there are no changes yet for existing customers.18 Jun 2018. 

simon had bought something from currys online and was told on friday when he checked the progress of the package that they could not deliver to our flat because no one was at home. he asked them to redeliver it today, forgetting that he is working today. he did not ask me to stay in to wait for it, but i decided to do it anyway. after all, i dont have anything urgent to go out for today. luckily the courier came at about 12noon, so that leaves me free to go out in the afternoon. it is a nice sunny day to go out.  but it did make me think about the disadvantage of ordering online. you have to wait around for it to be delivered to your door. how many working people can do that i wonder.

also i dropped by the chinatown new loon moon grocery shop just now and saw they are selling belachan (from indonesia, it comes in blocks rather than paste,) for 50p. it expires end of  oct 2018, that is why they have to sell it cheap. but if u only buy online, you wont be able to see these bargains. i think belachan is the one that gives that authentic malaysian taste to cooking. i haven’t used it before. it does stink up the flat, if u fry it. but i guess that is worth it for that authentic malaysian flavour.  maybe that is why it is not bought much by the people here in uk and that is why they still have so much in stock. they might well stop buying more new stock after this one is gone.

Digital StillCamera

there was a nice prawn sambal recipe today which reminds me of how important belachan is. but of course i am more familiar with ikan bilis used to make a sambal. difficult to get ikan bilis here in uk.

i was looking at the fish balls being sold in that chinatown shop. it is difficult to make fish balls i think. but i saw a recipe by this blog cookingonabootstrap.com  by jack monroe showing a easy way of making meat balls. i wonder if it is possible to substitute that with fish. might be worth a try. fish and meat balls are just so easy to keep in the freezer for quick meals. 

today is the moon cake festival. chinatown has this bakery setting out tables outside the shop to sell moon cakes at £5 each. i am reminded that i  still have one moon cake left from the 4 that i bought last year. it was after the festival when they were reduced to £5 for 4.  moon cake can keep , or so i hope. haha. but i think i shall eat it now. i love the egg yolks. the ones i bought got two in them. 

wander round carnaby st

30 Aug

london 1.53pm 19C sunny thursday 2018

i have noticed that whenever the newspapers talk about royalty, they always concentrate on what the women are wearing. that was what is happening with meghan now. any mention of her always go into what she is wearing. it seems as if they are nothing more than clothes horses. and it kind of emphasise how useless they are and how irrelevant they are to everything. only the queen serves any purpose. the rest of them can be sent to oblivion and we wont miss them. they serve only for newspaper editors to fill their pages on those days when there is no news to report on. i guess they are fillers to fill up those days when nothing is happening.

i went today to the lush premises, to get their vegan coffee, and then wandered into kingly court , it is off carnaby st, to see the water dispenser that has been installed. and to use it too. the coffee makes me thirsty for water. there is a drive to instal more of them around london. there were benches around the place too, so you can sit there rather than at the tables; and play on your laptop, whilst looking at others eating. or eat your takeaway or packed lunch. no one will chase you away for doing it. we in london have not got to that stage like in some parts of europe where they stop you from sitting down in a public square, or even to eat and drink your brought food, rather than eat in the cafes. 

i had a wander into the shops in carnaby st, and then walked up to liberty’s, to see how it is. been ages since i have been there. they have made the whole lower ground floor into the Men’s department. the ground floor is cosmetics and women’s beauty things.

then i wandered up to oxford st, and looked at the wok- to- work place stir fry their dishes. from £3.59 for the base noodles and the veg, and then  if u want meat it is another £2.50. quite a queue of people wanting to buy. (when you consider u can get a whole large chicken, in today’s iceland offer for £3 ; makes u sit back  a bit of shock at the £2.50 they charge to add a bit of meat to the noodles. at first , when i saw the headline ‘from £3.50, i thought it was one of the dish on offer… not realising it is only a baseline price…still, if u are a vegan, you might be happy with just the base dish…

they were previously in soho, but their lease must have ended there and they had to move. i was wondering where they went. it was quite some time ago. and now today  it is the first time i see them here. i remember i tried to take a picture of the cook at the old premise, but he did not want me to film his cooking. i thought he was a good cook, his movements were skillful. whereas the guys now doing the cooking were not really cooking. for one thing they dont fry garlic and onions first, nor fry the paste… all they are doing is just warming the food really. 

but i dont come this side road  that often so they might have been in this place for quite a while allready. it is on a more prominent position, right next to oxford circus tube as it were. and they are busy. 

i was thinking it is easy  for me to cook it myself, and i will be able to cook bigger portions too… but of course i live nearby , tourists and others may not be that lucky and will have to buy food to eat when they are here in central london. anyway seeing them cooking reminded me that it is time for lunch and so i took the 88 and came back. 




23 Aug

london 7.44pm 19C sunny thursday 2018

i am too full now so that i dont feel like going to the tesco to see if there are any reductions in food. simon cooked a bolognaise sauce with minced beef and i thought i shall have a meal of that , over sphagetti, before i go to the tescos, as i know if u go food shopping when hungry you will end up buying more than you want. but i did not reckon on being so full after eating the meal that i dont feel like going out even. haha. such are the paradoxes of life.

i saw in the metro free newspaper this morning, that iceland is selling rump steak 228mg for £2 instead of the usual £3. it is quite a good price. and i like rump steak , i think it tastes better than sirloin. but i just could not be bothered to go and buy it. maybe tomorrow if it is still available. i know from past experience, that even though they limit each customer to two packs, it can get all sold out quite quickly. the thing is i am not short of food in the fridge, that is why i am not so anxious to go buying more. in fact, it is vegetables that i seem to crave now rather than meat. i can buy that tomorrow. i saw an advert by a supermarket chain showing their reductions, and was surprised to see nescafe gold blend featured with half priced reduction from about £8 to £4 for 200mg. its been so long since i even look at other coffee brands, that i forgot how expensive they are. in fact, when i googled it, i find that the usual price of that coffee is about £4.50for 200mg, so the reduction is not half priced as such.  it is still expensive even after the reduction. when i think that it cost me £1.45 for 200mg of my cheap coffee from aldi, it makes me wonder. you can make the cost of living as cheap or as expensive as you want.

added 10.46am friday 24.8.18. read this article about the measurement of poverty, to mean anyone living on less than $1.90 a day… on that measure there are very few people on it, and no one in uk is on it. but relative poverty measured as those ‘living on less than 60% of median household income (adjusted for household size)’ now that is a measure of inequality, not poverty. and many articles about poverty measure inequality, but they dont tell you that is what they are measureing. instead they hoodwink you by equating it with poverty. now it makes sense to me. when i hear a chap say he is unable to live after paying for his car, his broadband, his smartphone, his wide screen tv, etc… some poverty, he got more things than i have even.