Tag Archives: Food

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.



no worries

15 May

london 1.32pm 20.2C sunny monday 2018

tuesday 20C sunny blue sky 11.38am victoria library

i am glad to say i have nothing to worry about. life is great when there are no worries at all in my life.

and the decisions i have to deal with is wondering whether to buy that £1.80/kg fresh whole chicken that tesco is promoting, or buy the frozen chicken pieces in sainsburys that are £1.60/kg. the fresh chicken would be great to roast, and there is a lot of meat in the breasts. and its nice to eat a roast chicken for a change. if i buy that chicken pieces, it means i can only stew them.

i have been eating vegetables a lot lately and dont seem to miss eating meat. i thought i shall lay off eating pork so much. i think this chicken offer came at the right time, seeing i can eat more chicken instead of pork. chicken is more healthy or so they say. and with roast chicken, i can use the leftovers in stir fried veg dishes. 

its very nice weather we are getting these few days, in the 20Cs and blue sky and all that. the irises are out. and the roses too. there is a lot of tree pollen about, but i dont seem to be allergic to them. i seem to be allergic to grass pollen, and that comes into its own in august. though in london by that time, all the grass in the parks will get cut, so they dont have the chance to throw out pollen. it is a different story in the country, where all the grasses are growing unchecked but since i dont go out to the country anymore having given up those long walks , i dont need to worry about hay fever .

i still get to go for those free offers of food that they are giving out ;  the most recent was the free icecream given out  by a devon company in the southbank london. this company i think sells sweet pies usually, and are using icecream on top to make it appear like an icecream treat. the reason i thought so was because i was given a sweet pie with an icecream scoop on top, when i went there for the free icecream. i googled them and it seems they sell clotted cream as an icecream. i think they are wise to try to get themselves more well known in london. there must be a bigger market here in london than in the west country. the trouble for them is that yogurt is healthier, as i have found out, and though i am not attracted to icecream, so am not a natural customer of theirs, i am sure there must be a lot of other icecream lovers who might shift to frozen yoghurt for their ice treat. or even give up icecream entirely and go for live yoghurt. even i have got addicted to yoghurt now. 




5 May

london 7.44pm 18.7C sunny high 23C saturday 2018

we are having a sunny warm bank holiday weekend. from what i see, a lot are travelling. i was meeting up with my friend who lives in … oh dear the name just slips my mind justnow. our meeting place was victoria train station. anyway we were going to meet up with my friend who had come down from bournemouth to attend the quaker annual meeting at their headquarters near euston station. it is a huge building on  prime land.

my friend had been very keen on the quakers and had joined in their activities very actively. we are just going to see him, and attended one talk , about hinduism, before we had lunch. the canteen in the building was closed by the time the talk ended at 1.30pm so we had to go out to eat.

my friend wanted to give us a treat and he suggested going to an indian… it was one of many indian restaurants along this street just beside the euston station. i have heard of it, like a little india hidden in this small corner… we entered a all -you- can- eat for £7 restaurant. the waiters were very efficient, greeting us as soon as we entered and even though we thought there was a queue, they immediately ushered us to a table, so that we were not put off to eat there. we could see the dishes from outside through the big glass window, and that was quite a good advertising, as we can see what we get. there was another restaurant also all you can eat for the same price, but the dishes all have covers in them, with their backs to the window so we could not see what they are offering… and that seems to deter us. it is funny sometimes, when i think of it, to wonder what makes people go to one restaurant over another. it was certainly very busy that restaurant we were in, but it was a large place, even though it does not look it from outside. it has an upstairs section too. but it coped very well with that huge influx of eaters at that hour. and that was very good organising from them, because when we finished the crowd had gone… tables were empty and the waiters were less busy now… they were very efficient in removing the old plates too. and from what i see when my friend paid , they dont include the service charge, leaving it up to customers to pay it… whcih is rather a good strategy, as they are so efficient, and helpful… even agreeing to take a group photo of us with our camera…we were acting like tourists , my friends i mean. perhaps they are tourists that time haha. after all they both came into london from other parts of england. oh, i remember where my friend came, from stroud slough. i had to bring up a railway map to find out where he lives.  i thought he would be familiar with london, seeing it is not far from london, and he comes often. he can get a bus which is included in his freedom pass, so it is free. takes 2hrs the bus journey to london. it seems. i have never been to stroud  slough, even though he asks me to visit him. it is near southall, (or rather, they are both around  west of london. and i have never been there even though i hear so much about it being like india. 

my friend seems to like the food, but i find it quite ordinary… it was very filling of course, though we only have one helping. or rather it was so filling we only had one helping. and then went again just for the dessert, which was fresh fruits and some indian sweets. coconut candy and jelly. it might be agar jelly. it was his treat, which is rather nice of him to give us a treat. it made me so full that when my other friend and i took the bus down to chinatown, where he wanted to go, i did not get off with him . i had wanted  to get the free taco that world foods market was giving away free at 3pm, but i felt too full to want to eat anything. so it kind of spoilt that freebie for me, as i just did not feel like going there to get it. sigh, it is typical of life, no one giving me a treat for ages, than one comes just when i can get a free food offer from a eating place. but that is life.

it got me out and about, so i was able to see how others spend their holiday weekend. from the crowds in oxford st and regent st, i guess many are spending it shopping. or window shopping. there dont seem to be many with shopping bags, though it was about 3pm, so maybe they are only just starting. 

being optimistic may make you live longer

6 Apr

london 9.25pm 14.7C dry night friday 2018

it’s the weekend coming up now so working people will be looking forwrd to it, the start of the weekend. that is the thing about working… you have something to look forward to when the weekend comes round. we who dont work anymore, would have lost that anticipation. just like holidays mean nothing to us now, since everyday is a holiday.

ah well, perhaps we trade that in for the joy of not needing to wake up early and do the 9 to 5 routine.

today i went again to get the free steak sandwich. i was not that attracted to the raw meat in the first sandwich i got yesterday…  but i had nothing else to do, and what is more important,  i could not read the daily mail in the library, as the chap who always hogs it was reading it and i know he will take forever to finish the paper.

so i took the bus to the restaurant, and arrived at about 11.30am, and there was a short queue, as i expected. even though it was later than the opening time. so not long to wait before i got my steak sandwich. 

this time i noticed they have cut up the meat and put it in a hot heated receptacle. so the meat was cooked a bit more than before, which makes it nicer. though i notice they dont give as much meat in the baguette as yesterday. yesterday i got a lot of meat , more in numbers and huge chunks of it too.

i decided to bring the food back to my flat rather than try to eat it in one of the benches in leicester square. so at least when i got back i could cut up the baguette into bite size pieces. and make a cup of hot coffee to go with it.

actually it has given me an idea for making my own lunch using steak in a sandwich. it is a good idea for a sandwich and different from the usual pork or  chicken sandwich. it is not common to have a steak sandwich. 

though i remember in australia they do it all the time and is quite a favorite. in australia they cook the slab of beef well done, and it is still very tender. i wonder how they do it. i think if they can do an australian style beef sandwich between two slices of bread in london it would take off and be very popular, rather than this way which is slices of beef in salad  and with a pate spread on baguette. i am not very keen on baguette because it is quite hard. the french baguette is even harder, so i should be grateful that the english dont bake their baguettes that hard. generally i prefer sliced bread. haha. (sigh, you know i am realising it is my age talking. all that about the baguette being too hard is just a result of me getting old. and needing a crown and that has become loose and now i am extra careful when i eat hard things. )

there is a tv program by michael mosley asking what makes people live longer, and it seems it is your attitude that will determine how long you live. those who are optimistic lives longer.

so to the question do you expect your future to be better, the same or get worse, those who chose the first two options live longer. i admit i have been getting more pessimistic because i keep hearing my friends having so many health problems, or financial problems, that it makes me really think it can only get worse… with old age. but i think i am going to twist that about and think that it will be better or remain the same…

when one of those old men in the survey was asked if he worries about the future, he said no. he does not worry about the future.  at his time of life he said, he lives day by day and takes each day as it comes.  he is 90yrs old at that time of filming. i suppose that is a good attitude to take. 

free steak sandwich and film preview

5 Apr

london 3.38pm 13.6C sunny all day thursday 2018



i wonder if this is forsythia, a bright splash of colour to relieve the browns in the communal garden.

it’s a lovely sunny day today. i went to the freebie , steak sandwich given away free for 3days to advertise a new restaurant opening in soho. usually costs £8, and consist of slices of medium rare steak in a baguette. if u like your steak medium rare it will be for you. i like it. but i am not sure it works well in a sandwich. it can be a bit off putting to see raw meat in a sandwich. on a plate with salad and side dishes it is fine. 

not many queued up, so even though i lost my way, (i could not find the place even though great windmill st is very short),  it was still only a short queue when i did finally found it.

i was expecting to see a long queue, but when i got there  earlier there was no queue that is why  i passed by the place without realising it was there.   foolishly i did not note down the address before going there . i thought i would find it easily enough because there would bound to be a queue…little did i know what actually happened. i wondered around soho, asking two places where people were queueing up asking them whether it was the free steak sandwich queue. haha. 

it was only when i was about to give up and returned to the street that i saw the queue. i was surprised at how short it was, the queue. chatting to the staff, i found out that it was to advertise their new restaurant next door, and it was a huge place, with lots of seating. the food is mainly centred around steak. sophie’s steakhouse and bar its called. but the free steak sandwich was given away from their little pop up side shop next door. it is really surprising how easy it is to overlook a place. the free offer continues tomorrow from 11am so another chance to eat it before it officially opens on saturday. 

whilst i was in the area i went to the virgin lounge to while the time away before another meetup at a pub nearby by the ex lyc group, that east -west group.

it was a lovely bright sunny day… so i did not stay too long, as it was too nice a day to be indoors really. 

added 4.07pm. 15.2C sunny.

hmm, i just posted this and then i saw an email telling me i got a ticket to see supervized, a film about old superheros which they are showing to a targetted audience to get their feedback. i was on the waiting list and this email was to tell me i have now got a ticket to see it tonight at 7pm. it would be interesting to see a film about oldies being given roles as heroes. hope it will kick off more films showing older people in hero roles. though the trouble with being old is that you dont look so good as when u are young. i mean i am an oldie myself but i must say given the choice i would prefer to see young actors and good lookers in it. 

i think any film would be better for having  young good looking  actors. i suppose u can chose old actors who look good… but lets face it, they cant be too old. and films being so visual, to look nice and have nice bodies is a big plus. will they be able to make the old actors look attractive and to have a story line that would glorify old age? quite a fantasy to pull off i think. 

added. 9.19pm 8.3C dry night. i have seen the film. and as i wrote in the questionnaire, it is just very saddening to see it. it is not personal that i did not like the film. the subject matter just makes me realise it is very saddening growing old. and that is the reason why i did not like the film.. others found it funny and i can hear them  laugh out loud at some scenes, i could not make out what was said. i could only laugh once.

it was set in an old folks home, so that alone is gloomy. i remember an old tv series about an old couple (it is not one foot in the grave which is  is played by richard wilson portraying a grumbling old man famous for shouting i dont believe it!. i googled it and found it is called waiting for god.) i wonder if i were to see it again whether i will find it as funny now that i am older and nearer the ages of those two. 

 i think we need another george burns, someone who can make us laugh at old people jokes. it would be nice to be able to find things to laugh about in jokes about old age; without feeling the joke is too close to home and reminds us of our getting older.