Tag Archives: soho

a dinner treat

18 Jul

london 10.17pm 21.3C rain tuesday 2017

i have just got back from a dinner treat by a friend , who took me out to dinner in chinatown. he called me out of the blue and ask if i would like to meet him in chinatown for dinner.

during our meal, he tells me he eats out a lot, does not cook much at home. it does surprise me because i had assumed that as one goes older, one eats in a lot more than out. because it costs so much to eat out nowadays.

our dinner was a simple one, one all in dish… he got duck and barbecued pork over rice, i got fried ho fun with beef and choy sum. i enjoyed my dish very much, the beef was very tender… something that i always find chinese restaurants know how to do very well. i wonder how they get to make it so tender… and choy sum is a chinese veg that i dont eat often. his dish was disappointing at least to me just visually. there were very few duck and barbecued pork, even though his dish costs £1 more than mine. mine was about £7.50. chinese tea for two was £2.40.the bill came to about £18.50 but he put down a £20 note and we left. not sure if the service charge is included. then my friend wanted something sweet even though he got diabetes and should not be eating sweet things. but his sweet tooth is very strong.

he said he would eat 5 danish pastries a day before he was diagnosed as diabetic. then he said, all that time he believed and had been telling people that he dont eat suger… because it never connected in his mind that danish pastry is suger loaded. just because he dont add suger to his drinks he thinks he is not eating suger. i think he still eats danish pastries now. because i remember once being with him in his car, going somewhere and he stopped at a petrol station and bought himself a pastry. i hope he just limits it to one a day…

he is controlled by metformin. i googled it and find it caused a lot of problems. its side effects are horrible, and what is more it can cause hypoglycaemia, and u have to take glucose to treat it. it sends conflicting signals. patients are supposed to stop taking suger in their diet, and yet taking the metformin can cause them to suffer low suger in the blood, with its symptoms, and then they have to take glucose tablets. what a mess of conflicting messages to the brain of those patients. 


when i was in university i was told that type 2 diabetes is not caused by excessive suger eating.but i think that might have been overturned now and they are saying there is a strong correlation between excessive suger intake and  type 2 diabetes. all the latest articles seem to assume that it is caused by excessive suger intake… i myself wonder how true it is… and what is excessive anyway…some people may be able to process the suger more efficiently than others. for those who are not good processors of suger , perhaps no suger is the answer to them. and you wont know how good your body is at processing suger until u come down with type 2 diabetes. maybe just dont eat suger in any form, as far as possible, as a preventive measure.

that is the way for me. no fizzy drinks, nor suger added to my tea or coffee. and no sugery snacks and that includes chocolates, sweets, etc. people may think it a deprivation, but to me it is how i have been living all my life. first because we were too poor to eat those things. my parents just dont buy them. then as a dentist i have seen the harm it does to teeth, that was another incentive not to eat suger… 

we wandered around soho him going into shops to fulfil his suger cravings… and me being a spoilsport reminding him that he should not be having it… so much so that he got to asking me to read out how much suger in whatever he picked up. haha. they all have lots of suger in them. 

in the end, he got himself a coconut drink, which still contains 3teaspoonsful of suger. coconut water from the fruit is a slightly sour tasting drink, but of course once they sell it in those cartons, they will have to sweeten it or no one will drink it. i think it overpriced but there you are… haha. anything is overpriced when i fill up my water bottle with tap water.

my friend’s craving for suger is so strong. i am glad i dont have this craving for suger. plain water is good enough for me, because if i want water it will be to quench my thirst. and nothing is best for quenching thirst than plain water. so i carry a bottle of tap water with me .

though this time, i am not wanting any water as i did not go to the toilet to piss after our meal, and all that chinese tea was having its effect. haha.

 i was feeling very full to bursting and want to go. so when he left me at my bus stop , he going on to his parked car, i swiftly walked up to the shop window and the pillar there and took out my trusty empty bottle which i keep for such this purpose and pissed into it. haha. whilst pretending to look into the shop window. it is my all -purpose piss bottle. i can tell you i am right glad i got it. it has saved me loads of anguish trying to keep in a full bladder. now i just get relieve anytime, without having to hunt for a toilet. i would recommend it to everyone. haha. but anyway i enjoyed that dish i had.

it is rare for me to go out after dark like this. so it was interesting to see soho at night. and being reminded of ourselves when we see those young guys sitting outside the coffee shops cruising …to think we were like that so long ago. it feels like another country. and a bit sad that those days are long gone for us.

there were a lot of policemen gathered together in a group with their motorcycles and police car. and we saw two of them come out of bar italia, carrying coffee , and they were armed. 

added 8.48am wednesday 19.7.17 20.3 sunny. i thought i shall ask google what is the cause of type 2 diabetes. interesting that no mention of suger intake being the cause. it seems it is genetics, and lack of exercise and obesity. genetics also include hereditary. the closer the relative , the higher your chance of getting it. but also asians are prone to getting it. age is another cause. just growing old . sigh. it confirms for me that going old is a big factor to everything… my friend is in his 70s. and he tells me he went to the doctor recently about a skin lesion. turns out to be a skin cancer, and he is to have it removed. see what i mean about going old. it piles up and on, health problems comes one on top of another…depressing isn’t it? 

added 4.09pm wednesday 19.7.17. i went to chinatown today and thought i shall have a look at the wong kei menu. and found that they charge £5.80 for a ho fun fried noodle with beef and veg. almost £2 cheaper than that place we went too . though wong kei does over salt their dishes. i got chatting to a family who were also looking at the menu and they ask me if wong kei is different. i said it has the cheapest menu in all of chinatown. if not london. haha. she liked shrimps, and i looked at the menu and saw prawns, so i said here we call them prawns. and when i said i find that wong kei tends to over salt the dishes, she said her husband likes to put salt on his food. and she pointed out her husband and i saw he is quite slim youngish looking guy. so he should not have much problem with high blood pressure so salt should be ok for him. i think. haha. anyway we had a pleasant time talking of food.

the price in wong kei is still very low . they dont do duck pieces on rice, only pulled duck. another restaurant, a few doors down from the one we went to , have rice and duck for £6.60. which i thought was quite reasonable. and i think better value than what we got . 

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?


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.