Tag Archives: restaurants

older cars to be charged in london , cheap flights

12 Oct

london 11.58am 15.9C cloudybright wednesday 2016

they keep saying london air is polluted. i cant see it, literally see it i mean, because the air dont look dirty. so i guess they must mean chemical pollution.

this morning i got this circular via an email asking me for my opinion . they want to impose a charge for any vehicles cominginto london that is 10yrs old or older. and extend the zone charged , and add a extra charge for heavy goods vehicles. hmm, i dont have a car, but simon has, i wonder if his car is over 10yrs old. it is quite a expense if he has to buy a newer car  just to escape this charge, if it is implemented. ah well, i suppose they want to discourage old car users. or rather they just want to discourage people from driving in london. you can see the logic of it, because a big city especially london dont really need more drivers coming into it, when public transport is so good.

then i read in the local newspaper, the westminster and city news, that restaurants are being squeezed out of central london by rocketting rents. all because they use the benchmark of what rent to charge by what is most recent, and this would be superrestaurants chains like 5 guys or shake shack, who can afford the high rents charged for prime locations, and this raises the rents for the others. well, i remember chinatown restaurants were complaining of this too. and no one is championing them. so i guess we shall see more restaurants closing to be replaced by chains, and costs of the menu items just increasing.

the thing is tourists dont really mind, or they dont know any better. or they have to eat out so what to do. haha put it down to the cost of being a tourist. and now with the £ being cheap for them, they dont-mind even less, to the detriment of the locals who want to eat out. what it means is the poor locals will just have to suck it up, or eat out less, or go to cheaper joints like burgerking, or eat at the street food pop ups (where u can get a nice meal for £5). come to think of it, london do have a huge range of prices for eating out, and a huge range of food choices from all over the world; so in that sense it is very competitive. the streetfood pop ups play a big part in that , i think. london is copying the street stalls in s.e.asian countries like bangkok , malaysia. it is genuinely street stalls, along the streets. unlike in malaysia or singapore where street stalls dont exist anymore, they are all collected in food courts now. the use of disposable paper plates and cutlery have negated the need to wash dishes etc. 

i suppose we cannot complain really, it is part and parcel of the cut and thrust of a free market. in fact, without it there would be no eating places at all, if u dont make it possible to adjust to the market so that these guys can make money. if they make a loss, they will soon go out of business. maybe what the local restaurants are complaining is that they make less profits if their rents increase. 

added. i just saw an advert in the telegraph, malaysiaairlines.com offering £399 to kl.no credit card charges too, and 30kg luggage allowance.  closing date 31 oct. for travel up to may 2017. that is the cheapest fare i have seen. i wonder if that applies for malaysians travelling here. that would be a bargain for them, what with the £ so low. i tried with a flight in may17, and it was true, there is availability , total came to £402 for a flight 24may to 20june17. hmm, tempting, but not for me, though would be worth it for a malaysian wanting to visit london, if it is possible to get this fare from kl to london.

the advert is in conjunction with liverpool fc. it seems they are partners . is something happening in the football world at liverpool fc from now till may2017 that would make a liverpool fc fan from malaysia want to visit uk?

added. 7pm 13.9C dry . i am now getting adverts appearing on my screen saying £475 rtn lon-kl. so why is that? have all the £399 rtn fares sold out? just as well i am not interested in going there. added. it looks like a different advert, for one thing, it expires 15oct, and travel before june2017. so the telegraph advert might be the newest one offering this cheaper fare. well, even though low, it is still £400 , so one must ask is it worth it to spend all that just to be able to eat nasi lemak, or laksa in kl. haha. ah well, if i have my parents still alive in kl, i would go back for a visit. 


london’s first naked restaurant

10 Jun

london 4.25pm 23.9C sunny friday 2016

read in today’s evening standard that the naked restaurant that i heard about is opening tomorrow at elephant and castle and called bunyadi. it is only open for 3months. so it is a pop up restaurant; which seems to be the rage nowadays… it is like trying to gauge the interest and whether it can be extended to a full restaurant if demand is proven to be there.

u cannot just go there though, but have to register and be put on their waiting list. currently the waiting list is 40,000 strong. costs £69 for a 5 course tasting menu there. and diners are separated by bamboo curtains round each table. maybe very private but does not sound interesting. sounds very commercial and business -like, and gimmicky.

can’t help thinking that there are allready lots of naked places here in london , they are called saunas… so if all you want is to relax in naked comfort, those places are better venues for it. and in terms of participating in a naked  social activity, the naked bike ride that takes place tomorrow in london might be better for it… 

i got a birthday treat of a free krispie kreme from the company. so i redeemed it and had my nutella filled krispie kreme with the free waitrose coffee, whilst sitting in victoria station. it is nice now and then to enjoy these snacks, especially when they are free.haha.


fusion dishes

22 May

london 7.19am 12.6C sunday 2016

london has always indulged in mixing and matching, taking local indigenous dishes and mixing it up with their version. one example comes to mind, the invention of new indian curry dishes here in indian takeaways and curry houses   that u cannot find in india. america does it too… chop suey being a famous example.

usually it is the native cooks of those countries , coming to live here, who have adapted their traditional dishes from their countries of origin who have altered the dish due to the lack of ingredients or cater to local tastes… this article asks why thai foods have not been given that treatment… and now it seems some white chefs have done it… thai fusion foods has arrived. what is different this time is that it is done by white guys who have gone to thailand and tasted the dishes come back here to try to recreate it and have to adapt the ingredients they can get as well as apply it to new ways. that is how fusion dishes come about. and it looks like thai dishes are getting that treatment. when we hear that indian curry houses are finding it hard to get traditional indian cooks from india into this country because of the obstacles imposed by govt against such immigration, maybe the answer is here… to train locals or to allow locals to create their own version of indian foods… i think there are some indian restaurants that do this …fusion restaurants.

 when u can buy traditional dishes from supermarkets, it might be traditional curry houses are doomed. and fusion restaurants may be the ones that flourish and will be the future.

“Pad Thai is not even a very traditional Thai dish,” laughs Ben Chapman, co-founder of Smoking Goat. “It was basically introduced by the Thai government [in the 40s] to get people to eat more rice noodles.”



a display of flowers being manipulated to spell a word, or create a display. i saw it at my local library, to commemorate father’s day perhaps.

no doggy bag from fancy mayfair restaurants

25 Mar

london 11.54am sunny 12.9C good friday 2016

on a day when christ died i am talking of doggy bags from posh restaurants. haha. that is what happens when a religious day is not relevant to the many of us who dont observe it.

though all of the working people are happy to take the day off, nevermind who died to make it possible.

to those of us who think all religions are a nonsense, i am dedicating this post to you all non believers, to lighten your day and  for laughs. 

it seems some mayfair restaurants wont allow u to bag the food u cannot finish when u eat there for u to takeaway. the convention is to say u are taking it for the dog… though i must say i would be real offended if i am a chef there that u would give it to the dog, food that i have slaved over… might it not be more convincing and flattering to them if u were to say it is so delicious, i dont want to waste it, so let me bring it back to eat when i am not so full. i think we chinese say that when we are at a chinese restaurant and there is more food than we can eat. usually after a 10 course dinner.

 i cannot imagine any food being left over at a posh restaurant… because their portions are so small. but in a chinese banquet, it is often that by the fried rice ending of the 10 course dinner, most diners are full. though i remember at one dinner, even though we were all full, the fried rice was so delicious, we could still finish it off. 


stockpot to close

2 Dec

london 7.32am 12.7C cloud wednesday 2015

read this in the standard just now, bring back memories, as i go there during the 80s and 90s , those times were my heyday.

i had forgotten them, actually and that might explain why the young dont go there. not many people may realise that u can still get a 3 course meal for less than £10.

the trouble was there is another stock pot near there, and its prices are not as cheap. this stockpot branch in old compton st i dont pass by at all, even though i do go to that street; and so i have not seen its menu, and i was unaware of it. so i thought the old style stockpot was gone. now i hear it exists but only when it is about to close. pity to hear of it only when it is closing.

there is another stockpot in knightsbridge, and one in chelsea,but they might well be long gone, or has gone way upmarket if it has kept the name; so people might well get the impression it has got expensive. i myself was unaware of this old compton st branch still keeping to the old style.

i googled it and find the chelsea menu. it looks like typical prices for eating places (£8 or £9 for a main dish) , certainly u cant get 3courses for less than £10. so u might excuse the public for thinking that the prices in one branch applies to all the stockpots. 

now you know it pays to advertise and get people to know of you esp if u dont conform to the others. i wonder who owns the franchise.

it makes me wonder if there is any point in keeping prices low. it is a losing game as price is not a big factor in a bustling city with lots of visitors, tourists, business people, (transients,i call them)with money and are not price sensitive. they are looking for experiences, and willing to pay for it.

in the past eating places cater to locals who dont have kitchens , and have to eat out everyday. people live in bed sits or rooms. it was so in s.e.asia like malaysia, where single people moved to the city , no one cooks . everyone eats out. 

when i was a university student in singapore,after graduating, (during studenthood we ate our meals at our residence halls so no need to do this ) but after we graduated, i remember we would get together , a bunch of us, and contract the restaurant to cook dinner for us, giving them a fixed monthly fee and only specify how many dishes, leaving the restaurant to cook what is available that day.

but nowadays i dont think anyone does that anymore. do they?



15 Jun

london 5.52pm monday 2015

to most, monday is going back to work after a weekend, and so its gloomy monday to them. haha. not me , or for john, who is going back to bournemouth this morning.

every day for me is a holiday and i am really happy it is so.

i got an email from metro, a free newspaper distributed at tube stations every working morning, and it tells me i can win a 12month free membership of tastecard. i just have to enter their draw, and they are giving away 2015 memberships.

but i have allready applied for my free tastecard membership from the dailymail, by just collecting 3 of their daily numbers. it will be sent to me in the next 15days. no prize draw needed.

i think tastecard is doing a publicity thing, and trying to gain more members. their success depands on more members who will go out to eat and patronise the restaurants that are in the scheme.

i am not sure if it will be of any use to me, but since it is a free membership for 12months , and i dont see any catches there, (for eg, asking us to give them our bank account number or credit card number so that they can charge us when the 12months is over and hope we will forget to cancel it… but no such requirement was asked or i would not have bothered.) it is like they giving us a 12month trial offer to see if we like it. who knows many might, after all if they go often to a restaurant, or a national chain of restaurants, it is attractive to get it at half price or a 2 for 1 price.  

well, i shall report on the experience, if i find a restaurant i like that will take them.

London bar denies homophobia after kissing gay couple ‘thrown out’ and woman ‘called fat dyke’ – Home News – UK – The Independent

7 May

London bar denies homophobia after kissing gay couple ‘thrown out’ and woman ‘called fat dyke’ – Home News – UK – The Independent.

this is the consequence of straight owners buying a gay restaurant and making it into a franchise.

the original balans in old compton st is now so straight, it is banning gays kissing there.

balans has an unusual pay structure. their waiters dont get a salary, they are all paid by the tips and it is lucrative, many have been known to pay money to be allowed to  serve.

it encourages them to get people to eat and get out quick, not to linger. they constantly come round asking if u want to order something when u have finished ( they make it like they are being very attentive to you, making out like american waiters do because in america the tips are what pays their wages too but in balans the waiter gets all the tip money)  and making it so u feel uncomfortable sitting at the table not having food in front of you.

that is why i think they dont allow kissing, it takes up time which can be devoted to eating and makes people linger using that seat which can be rotated with new customers.

when it first started, at that time when old compton st was not the gay street that it became later; i can remember we used to go there often as it felt like it was our space. and their plates are huge and portions enormous, haha. like the american system, huge portions… so that u can share a dessert and feel full. and forget about having a starter,just have a main, it will fill u up.

but i think the original gay owners sold out long ago,and it is straight owned now, with branches everywhere.

i wondered why the original owner chose to call it ‘balans’. i googled it and it means balance, but it also means 

balano-, balan-,

combining form meaning “the head of the penis in males; may also mean the glans clitoris in females”: balanoplasty, balanitis.
that sounds more like it. haha. nice cheeky title, haha.