Tag Archives: free

soft shell crab sandwich

13 Jan

london 1.32pm 9C cloudy monday 2020

this is the lovely soft shell crab sandwich given away free by gunpowder, an indian restaurant in their branch near tower bridge today. only 50 lunches given out to promote their grab and go bags. one of the three choices was this crab sandwich, the others were spinach paneer(cheese) and venison minced . i have never eaten a soft shelled crab, so this one is the obvious choice for me. it is really nice, mainly for the crunchy sensation, but strangely i dont get the taste of crab meat. unlike if i were to eat hard shelled crab. so maybe these crabs are so young, that they dont have built up much meat inside the body. they cost £9.50 usually, with the others  £1 less. the whole gang was there, waiting and being first in the queue, when i arrived, so i just joined them, instead of going to the end of the queue. it was very early, so i can do that. and we enjoy the wait by chatting to each other and exchange news of new offers or old ones. 

i read now that there are strong winds up north, so much so that it has a name,storm brandon, but here in london we did not get even a whiff of it. its very mild down south too. its been about 9C all day and all night.

and when i got back i see simon has cooked the chicken that i had frozen . he was clearing the freezer of the ice , and the chicken must have reminded him that he fancies a roast chicken. i shall eat it for dinner, as i am too full now with my crab sandwich.

people here are recovering from the excesses and debts of the new year and christmas, so just as well they are not chinese and dont need to celebrate the chinese new year (of the rat) that is coming soon.

we will have the usual celebration in trafalgar square and chinatown but that is a public affair, and no families need to spend money on it. i hear it is the biggest celebration of the chinese new year outside of the usual places like china or south east asia. san francisco might compete with it for that accolade. as a coincidence, that day 25th jan, is also the day when all routemaster buses makes all rear doors exit only.

i also read that bangbang oriental food centre in colindale are also doing an event on friday 24th jan. i remember it was well known for its malaysian food stalls, and was like the food halls we see in malaysia, so it was ahead of its time then, and more in keeping with the spirit of those street stalls, as their prices are much lower. todays new food halls, now popping up all over central london  try to mimic those in malaysia but are pricey.

but i have not been for ages to colindale because the old food hall closed,  and a new one rose instead.  i wonder if it is still so. maybe other countries cuisine are now included. colindale is in zone 4, and on the northern line, edgeware branch. it is quite a journey from central london. i wonder if i should visit it and see what it is like.

added. 7.33pm

this is a really funny thing, what if all animals are round? something to make me laugh .


a free coffee and cake from john lewis

10 Jan

london 3.30pm 8C cloudy friday 2020 john lewis cafe oxford st

start of the weekend, and i got a email from john lewis , it is their monthly newsletter, and inside it tells me that i can find out my rewards if i log into my account with them. luckily they provide a link, because i have forgotten how the url of my account. and there i found they have given me a free cake and coffee. i felt like it, so i went today.

sitting now in their cafe, having eaten my cheesecake and coffee. very nice , with the cashier laughing when i showed her the email on my chrome book. she said it was a huge gadget, and it was, being 14inch screen size. there is a plug socket nearby too so i can charge up my chromebook as well. 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

i was surprised that they are still giving me free coffee and cakes. i have not heard from them for sometime .  i expected them to send me a letter like they did before, and have not got any letter from them, so i assumed they have stopped doing it.   but they have changed it to email notification, which is much cheaper for them than sending me a letter. i must have got an email from them last month, but did not read it and so must have miss out on that months free coffee and cake… assuming they give me one each month rather than one each 3 months.

also, i read recently that they have to sack their CEO, because they have made a loss or something this year. for years they have always reported massive profits, so i wonder what is happening now with them making a loss. i guess i will never be a good business man, as i have no idea why some businesses do such good trade, whilst others fail.

i am glad i dont have to work anymore and can stop work so early.so all this profit and loss of businesses i dont have to bother about haha.  


23 Nov

london 11.11am 9C cloudy saturday 2019


london 3.16pm slight rain 10C

i just got back from a pleasant time in a coffee shop, near elephant and castle. it is their first day of opening, a family affair, sitting at my table were two kids, a boy and girl and we found out that it is their parents who are opening the shop, and they are from rome. there were lots of italian looking men. it makes the place feel like it is in italy… a nice italian atmosphere. and everyone gets free coffee and snacks, and food.

and i got to chatting with the others sharing the table, a group of 3women, who told me they like coming to these freebies. i have not seen them before in the other freebies, but i guess now that i have seen them, i shall be seeing and recognising them in future events. i wonder what motivates people to set up coffee shops, it seems to me a lot of hard work, but maybe the profits are big. but the hours seem very long, but then maybe not for the owners, but for the workers who work for a salary.

ah well, for us who go to these freebies, we dont have to make much effort, but we can see those workers really work very hard serving the customers, and in free events, they dont get any tips at all, seeing there is no bill to pay.

here in uk, customers dont pay tips, if they dont have a bill, because the service charge of whatever percentage(12.5% nowadays) are included automatically in the bill. theoretically you can cancel it and pay what u wish, but nobody bothers to do it. people just pay up. but when it is freebies like this, where no bill is presented, no one feels obliged to tip  either.

here it is selfservice, but people still need to clear the tables, and wash things up.

steve sent me an email about it only this morning, i received it when it is allready 12pm. but i can get there quite easily, even though it takes two buses, i was expecting to see them there, but the whole time i was there , for about 2 or 3 hrs, i did not see any of the regular gang turned up. haha. so it must be too short notice or the place is quite difficult to get to for the others. 


11 Nov

london 1.30pm 9c cloudy monday 2019IMG_20191111_114714

towering high chicken burgers by this place near liverpool station, to commemorate the opening of their 4th branch in london. the chicken was wrapped in a batter that was very delicious, nice and crackling. the waitress mentioned it involved a high pressure fryer. i said i have never heard of a high pressure fryer, and said we wont be able to replicate it at home then. 

 i thought it was all done on the premises and said glancing at the back of the place where the workers can be seen preparing the food, it is all done very quietly isn’t it?   does not look like they are doing a big operation, there is hardly any oil or steam coming from there , and steve said it is pre-prepared. all done off the premises and brought in, remember that man bringing in the tray of chicken earlier? all precooked before. no wonder the food came so quick, i said. they only have to complete the final cooking, and that means they can get the food done quickly and served quickly. i said i can understand why people like kfc. the fried batter on the chicken is really delicious. its much nicer than kfc actually. and so it should, seeing it costs £11, normally. 

taco day, so got my free taco

5 Oct

london 11.13am victoria library cloudy 13C saturday 2019

i seem to take pleasure in eating these days. or rather, discovering foods that i have not eaten before.

like for eg, yesterday i saw entirely by chance,on a website, that taco bell, is giving away free tacos, only for that day, to celebrate taco day. they dont have many branches in london, and they mention one near holborn, and when i read of this, it was allready 7pm at night. i was in my flat, but thought i might just go and take a bus there. it is fairly near, in that i only need to take the 87, and then change to any bus at aldwych. and it was a nice night, warm, and dry and very clear and hardly any traffic on the road. so i arrived and there was a bunch of people waiting, but not queueing. only one woman ahead of me, and so i asked when my turn came, if there was free taco, and there was, and so my number was 610. i saw three young people, a boy and two girls waiting and i asked if they are waiting for their free tacos too. the boy said they were 605. when their turn came they were given a huge takeaway bag, and 3 paper cups, which they fill up on the serve yourself drinks machine. it dispenses fizzy drinks. i think they must have ordered more than just the tacos. because when my turn came, i saw it was a small taco, filled with salad and minced meat. the taco was like a poppadom folded up on itself, so u cant really put a lot of stuff inside it, or it will break the taco. i have not eaten this before, so everything was new to me. i did not realise it cant take a lot of fillings.

they do burritos,also, but their prices are £1 more than ‘tortillas’, (its not really higher prices. i was mistaken because i have forgotten how much they were in tortilla.  like a lot of things i am mistaken about.  for eg, that bag that the kids got which i thought was full of more things than 3 tacos, i forgot that it contain all three orders , for the 3 of them.   ) tortilla is the other mexican fast food restaurant chain which have more branches in london.

actually i think there is a mexican food called tortillas, but i dont know what it is. i have to google it and found out this was what it was. they look like chapatis. anyway, the free tacos, is really not worth the bother of going specially for it. in my case, it was allright, because i live so nearby. and i just wanted an excuse to go out , seeing the night was so nice. and there was nothing on tv. haha. there was also a free offer of coffee from giraffe, the cafe chain, valid only on that day, (yesterday) but it was nightime, when i first read of that offer, and so i dont fancy drinking coffee at night. 

i have discovered that i am not missing out by not eating out.

if you are out and about a lot in london, walking  around london and seeing all these fast food places, i can imagine it is easy to feel left out, and to think that those places are serving delicious food that maybe if u are not buying them, you will miss out. but i can say to those who feel that way, that they are not missing anything at all. your own home cooked meals are more delicious, and so nobody need to feel they are missing out on anything. now if u were in s.e.asia, then i would say not eating those hawker foods, you will miss out, because they are more delicious than how you can make them… but not so with fast food in the western countries. perhaps i am biased, because i grew up in s.e.asia, and so my tastes would be influenced by foods that i have eaten all the time when i was growing up. so i am bound to like those foods more than when i have grownup and gone to live in london. your upbringing can really influence your tastes in food much more than you realise. i think. 


19 Sep

london 7.40pm thursday 2019 17C dry night

its been a very nice day, cloudless blue sky and all that.

we have been out and about a lot, eating free food, because there have been a free aubergine promotion in camden market, they give away a aubergine for u to exchange for a aubergine based dish in those restaurants that are around the north yard in camden market.

we got our aubergine quite early at about 10am when they first start giving it away, and the restaurants dont start their kitchen till about 12pm, so we decided to bus to goodge st, to a shop near it, who are giving away yaar quark bars, it taste like cheesecake, and is sold as a snack, though here they give us free samples topped with various things. it is quite nice actually as a snack.

it  is on tuesday too, and some friends went there to get it, and we met them at the virgin lounge and i got one to taste. it is quite nice esp with coffee. this time, we ate it sitting near there, and we had no coffee, so it did feel a bit too sweet, but the taste and texture of cheesecake is rather nice.

since i ate that blueberry cheesecake from john lewis’ cafe, i seem to have a liking for it now. i can see how someone can get to start eating it a lot, and upping their suger in their diet. i even went to the supermarket , lidl , and bought their frozen cheesecake. so it even got me too. for someone who normally dont like sweet stuff, it seems to have got me even… but i think i wont be eating anymore of it, not even cheesecake, because i am not buying anymore of it. haha.

i guess the downside of all this free food and samples they give away is that you do get to eat a lot of suger. like today when we went back to camden, and  i exchanged my aubergine for a vegetarian pizza… the cheese in it was lovely, all hot and gooey, and so salty, which is nice, but i can see not something you want to be eating everyday. i could only finish half of it, and pack it to take home to eat later… it was so filling. though my friend, she ate all of hers in the restaurant. and so quickly too… it just shows me up, eating mine so slowly and being full so quickly. last i saw of her, she was in another restaurant , so she was still going strong eating her way . she is 25 so when i was her age, i too could eat a lot. it seems it is true that when we get old, we cannot eat a lot anymore. but then, i know of a friend who is fat, and he is older than me, so it never is good to generalise.

 there are a lot of free eats around, i thought at first that it would die down, but no, it seems the restaurants want to advertise their christmas office parties, and are giving us free food to show us what they have, hoping that some of us would go back to the office and recommend them and so they get bookings  for the office parties. there must be plenty of offices in london all looking for venues to host their staff christmas parties. i think they make their profits from the drinks bill. i know that it can be as much if not more than the food costs. and the profit from drinks is very high and easy to serve as it hardly needs any preparation or cooking unlike foods.

its no wonder pubs were so plentiful in the old days, where someone can make a profit just by selling nothing but alcohol. except now everyone have been told how bad alcohol is for us, so like cigarettes, people have moved away from just drinking only. now they need eating as an excuse to drinking. haha. so now you not only can get to destroy your liver from alcohol, but can destroy a whole lot of other organs  from overeating too. it seems no one can win. haha. life is a losing game. and we all lose in the end, because we all die dont we? i guess we can win if we enjoy our life as much as possible between being born and death. maybe travelling for leisure is a good way of enjoying life. jetting off all over the world, seeing sights and meeting people, and eating your way through all those cultures, that is a way of spending and enjoying life i guess. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

there are some small pieces of aubergine in there. but it is nice for the cheeses in there. later, i found out from one of the others that the shop gave them the aubergine after removing the stickers and she got 13 aubergines, which she gave away to friends to cook dishes with it. i myself would not mind having a few , because they are nice in mackerel fish curry. and they go well in lasagne.

free iced latte from pret

30 Aug

london 10.38am 21C cloudy 2019

its a cloudy day today, so not ideal for the free iced coffee that is given out by pret, to its followers, if we say ‘have a iced day’. they do these promotions regularly to their followers. last time i got a free cookie from them, this time it is free iced coffee… choice of latte or americano, and a free shot, i had a hazel nut shot in one shop, and a caramel one in another. it is all within an hour from 10am, so i am on my second coffee, and still drinking it, haha. i imagine i wont be able to get a third one, as the time runs out, at 11am.

it is a fun thing to do, with this password quite a reasonable one to say, instead of some outlandish thing that might make people feel really shy about saying it. haha.

i have not tried their iced coffee before. and this latest one is a cold brew. cant say it tastes any different from one made ordinary, perhaps it is a bit more bitter, because even with a caramel shot, it tastes much more bitter than the first one i had. i am no expert drinker of coffee and wont know the difference, so it is kind of wasted on me, all this fancy coffees. that is why i dont buy coffee from coffee shops as they are too strong for me.   i like weak instant coffee so i wont blame coffee lovers for thinking i am a lost cause. haha. but these coffees are quite nice, because of the shots, they flavour the coffee and makes it less bitter, i think. at least i could drink them without need of adding suger. 

this charity boss tweeted about food poverty in today’s metro paper, saying it is no such thing and got a scolding… i think he is right, in that poverty is relative, some can easily cope, whilst others through ignorance dont know how. but his choice is a bad one. his meal to me is quite expensive . i can think of many egs where you can make a meal for much less than 97p a head. tesco now is selling a head of celery for 25p, and you can buy 3 cucumbers for £1 in the fresh market in upton park. and chicken thighs are £1.66/kg in tesco. just think how many meals you can make out of those… i would compare this to someone lost in the woods, one person can die of starvation , whilst another can survive, because one person dont know how to find food in the wild, another dies of starvation, surrounded by food if only they know how to find it.