Tag Archives: lobster

sampling london

30 Oct

london thursday 2014

i can see a real autumnal change in the leaves around me now. the leaves are turning yellow. and littering the ground. so it has taken them this long to get going. and the temperature is still very mild. its really very nice.

recently i have been sampling a little bit of fast food eating by joining the queue for a free lunch at lobster kitchen. they opened a new branch, near the central ymca in tottenham court road, and wanted to publicise it. it is a very small outlet.

after quite a long time queueing, about 2hrs , it was a warm sunny day so it was no hardship;  with two guys who were behind me leaving because they have to get back to work, and a guy from the ymca giving me a free 3day pass to the ymca; me chatting to a woman who came from epsom, and when i asked her how she got to know of this offer, she said she asked people in the queue who told her of it.

she is quite a bossy woman, in that she was urging me to volunteer at the british museum, to conduct the tours. even gave me a brochure from the museum and she telling me i will feel good about volunteering and giving something back to society. later she told me her husband who is spanish had gone back to spain to live with his parents rather than stay in london with her. haha. i am not surprised as she is so bossy. 

the food was quite disappointing. but i realise it is because we did not know how to order. but still, let me say what happened and u decide. they have lobster rolls prepared and so we just ordered the topping that goes with it. there were a choice of toppings. the lobster pieces were not many, only 3 i think but smothered in the topping, which in our case was thousand island dressing, or what looks like it. they call it by some other name which i forgot.

but while we were sitting on the bench eating it, we heard a woman at the counter asking for whole lobster. the person said they dont normally include that but will make it an exception for them. (it was the end of the queue, no one else behind her) and when we saw the order that they got, i was surprised. it was lots of lobster pieces on top of salad. i asked the girl cleaning up the tables what it is called, she said it was lobster sides, the menu says the small is £6,large £11. our rolls was listed as £15, which at first i thought was a mistake but it is not so. i said to the girl, the lobster sides are better value. i cannot believe that our rolls normally cost £15.

perhaps the amount given to the women was not the normal amount for the sides. as she did say she wanted a whole lobster. so maybe the normal lobster sides are not as good as what she got. 

just goes to show if u are brazen enough with these free lunch offers,where there is no mention of what u can order, u can get a whole lobster for free. haha.

i saw in my reader the next day a blog talking of a singapore restaurant with S$21.50 lobster meal consisting of lobster roll, a side dish and chips. it is about £11. so i think a better value than what we can get in london.

added.8.11.14 sat. this article says there is a glut of lobsters now so wholesale prices have gone down by 70%. that might explain why there are these lobster fast food places opening up now. 

afterwards the woman and i went to waitrose for our free cup of coffee. haha. she did not know of that branch near goodge st, and she did not know how to operate the machine, so i taught her. she says she usually go to john lewis in oxford st, to get her free coffee from the waitrose there. 

the next day i thought i shall go to the ymca and try out the free 3day pass. i went in the afternoon. it was easy to get the pass, and i saw the swimming pool from the coffee shop as there was clear glass windows overlooking the pool and the swimmers. rather nice i thought, though it did put the swimmers on show.

the cafe got free computers to log on and get free wifi or u can use your own laptop. there is even a free library. 

i went to the men changing room but could not quite figure out how to get to the pool or the gym. so i walked back to the cafe, and asked a woman who looked like she is a member how to get to the pool. she said it is through the changing room . and i found out that the £1 coin is returnable for the lockers.

the pool is very nice, not as long as the queen mum swimming pool which i normally go to, but nice enough. and i saw a guy coming out of glass doors on the side of the pool and it turned out they are steam room, and there is a sauna further along too. it was very nice to alternate swimming with the steam room and sauna. 

later as i was lookng at their website, i saw there is a over 60 rate, £30 annual fee plus £2 per visit, or £100 for 6months. off peak though, which means last entry is 3.45pm and must get out by 4.30pm. for normal rate it is £580 a year.

it is very good value but i allready got free swimming at the queen mum, so if i join here it will be for the gym and their classes and the sauna and steam room.

i have not used their weights so i shall go again and try those. 

update 2.11.14 i went again a day later, but did not try the weights. instead went swimming and using the steam room and sauna. the weights area was not very inviting. i could see it as there is a central well, with the basketball and tennis courts on the lowest level and rising all round it are the floors carrying the running machines and at the far corner the group of weights machines. there dont seem to be any free weights area. it looked a very small area for weights and that means  i felt there will be a lot of waiting for others to finish. there were more areas for running machines and cycling machines.

i decided that i still prefer going to the queen mother’s sports swimming pool. it has natural daylight and very high ceilings which gives it a spaciousness that is lacking here. as for the steam room and sauna, i realise it is a distraction from the swimming. somehow with them being available, i dont feel like swimming that much. the tendency is to succumb to the temptation of being lazy and just flop down in there and vegetate in the heat.