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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Everything London #36 – Sticks n Sushi, Wimbledon

October 8, 2012 1 comment

A pleasant surprise as soon as you walk into the restaurant as I love nicely decorated restaurants because you feel like a VIP. I was sold already. A friendly waitress took us to the table and offered us picture booklets which were menus. Without further ado, I kick off with a lovely cocktail called Geisha Girl in a classy glass – sweet.

It’s also hard to review fusion Japanese food, because it’s not cuisine you can find in the country I so love. But I can also appreciate the creativeness and presentation which is to be congratulated on. My eyes were caught on the squid salad and I was not disappointed with a nice blend dressing flavour. Their seaweed salad is also very authentic and nicely done. Sushi platters offer a good variety with fresh quality fish. Their wasabi is to be complimented, none of the wishy-washy stuff, this has a real decent kick to it. The small delicate deserts are the best way to finish off a nice meal – not too much but not too Japanese.

After finding out that it’s a Danish originated chain, it has stirred an interest to visit Denmark which surprisingly I have not visited yet.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

 

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Everything London #34 – Sushi bar Atariya

Freshest sushi and sashimi in London.

Better than Cafe Japan in Golders Green.

Enough said.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

30 hours in Luxembourg

Transport

The airport bus 9 or 16 en route to city centre goes past the business district where offices of banks and other multi national corporations lined the streets. Surprised to find Luxembourg is the largest private banking centre in the Euro zone due to its political stability backed by a good legal and regulatory framework.

Luxair serves food and drinks even during the one hour short flight from London city airport. Their staff is super friendly. You can check in your bag at no extra cost. You don’t have to pay to get extra legroom or to use the toilet. Thumbs up.

Eat

In the pedestrian area I stumbled upon a heart-felt soup cafe – a la Soupe, which was just perfect in the cool weather and after strolling around the city for half a day. Good range of healthy soups which are very tasty. Must go!

Surprisingly, Luxembourg has the most Michelin stars per capita of any city in the world. restaurant does not disappoint. The one we went to (and I’m gutted I forgot their name) served my fish soup from a mega teapot. Desert was refreshing – I had fresh strawberries with yogurt. The panna cotta was really nice.

Excursion

Vianden is a good day trip you can do with great transportation access from central station just for tourists, even though you have to change a couple of times but it’s easy enough to manage. You can buy a day ticket from the main train station which includes entry to the castle, chairlift ride and transport to and back. It was good to explore a bit of the country side views with fresh air and sunshine.

30 hours in Luxembourg was just right and it is perfect for a short sweet weekend getaway.

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Snowy Niseko@ Hokkaiddo – Japan

The Japanese are humble cultured so when they call themselves number two ski resort in the world that really says something. I have been skiing / snowboarding in Australia, Austria, Italy, France, China, USA and now Japan. Each time it’s a completely different experience depending on your age, fitness, weather, accommodation and of course people you go with as well.

This time was absolutely awesome. We stayed in a self serviced apartment with laundry and kitchen facilities which is always convenient. It is a little bit further from the chairlift and gondola but they have free and frequent shuttle buses to take you around so it’s manageable with all the gear.

I’m impressed with how they have organised their resort with good transport facilities like buses to nearby shops and supermarkets for your essential needs. Nightly buses to nearby towns so you don’t have to be ‘stuck’ in Niseko all day or all week. They even offer excursions to the nearby Sapporo and Otaru city for those who want to do some sight-seeing or souvenir shopping.

The weather was out of my comfort zone. Since it is famous for its powdery snow, it snowed pretty much everyday that we were there. But visibility was extremely low and it was hard for me to navigate where I was going. On the day where we decided to embark on a cross mountain adventure, I could hardly see 10m ahead of me with fog. Lucky everyone was dressed in very sharp red, yellow and green gear so it stands out a bit. Lucky their slops are very wide compared to the European mountains which is a big plus especially for beginners who want to learn and not be afraid of falling off the cliffs.

They have three mountains areas offered although if you are only there for a few days just Hirafu would be good enough. I’m impressed with the variety on ski passes as well, you can purchase by hours or days depending on your needs with a selection of just Hirafu area or all three mountains.

Japan has top-notch service with always well-mannered staff even on the chair lifts they treat you like royalty as you get on. After a tiresome day of highly active sport, you can relax in one of their hot spring or bath houses. Of course everyone knows I love Japanese food, I had my fair share of sashimi, sushi, sukiyaki, ramen, curry rice and ice cream made with Hokkaido farmed milk was the highlight.

There was a funny thing – I saw and met so many Australians there in the few couple of days I almost thought I was in Australia. Even the apartment owners and some shuttle staff were Aussie. I suppose Australia’s snow mountains aren’t that great and Japan would be an ideal easy to reach option.

Everything added together made a great trip but something complimented my week even more. We had 20 of us which were a fun, active, out-going, adventurous bunch. We had great laughs even on the 5 minutes chairlift rides. We sharing quality food during all three meals of the day and most nights we cooked which was quite homely. After that we had alcohol infused poker nights.

Nice apartment. Good food. Nice slopes. Good snow. Great company.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

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Everything London #26 – Velo

An unnoticeable fast food style Vietnamese shop slightly off the busy buzz side of London Bridge with a slogan of ‘love making food’ – which can be interpreted as you wish.

In Mascot Sydney, there is/was a tiny bakery shop that did the best Vietnamese baguette ever – and luckily it was close to my old job. I was just thinking that there is no such thing here in London until I found this newly opened shop. Well actually after my first visit, I then realised that Pret a Manger now does a type of it which is yet to be tried, but they are a chain so already I have my prejudice. Anyway so Velo doesn’t exactly reach that top-notch level but will make do as they make it when you order which seems fresh enough. Seeing they only open on weekdays it looks like they cater for the office workers around that area. They have ordering machines so you can DIY if you do not wish to speak to anyone during your precious lunch break or you think it might be quicker. I found their loyalty card quite interesting which gives me the impression that the owner or their team must be quite an innovative bunch.

On my second visit, I tried their vermicelli which was loaded with warm meat and nice salad but more flavour can be added. Maybe I was looking for more sweetness from their fish sauce base or in their marinated carrot and turnip sticks. To test any Vietnamese food will definitely have to depend on their Pho soup base and I am super fussy and picky about it so it is still untested. Maybe on my next visit I might try it but I take the risk of being disappointed.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

 

 

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Everything London #25 – Boxpark Shoreditch

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

A bus ride through Shoreditch High Street caught my eye as I see a whole row of shops lined the streets in identical rectangular shaped doors with brand named labels. It created enough interest to venture out there to explore this new hip and heavily invested area as the next up and coming, apparently.

I always love boutique shopping, especially in Asia or sometimes if lucky in Europe as well. Although the outlook is very greyish metallic, border line boring but it makes you look carefully on each of the individually decorated stores and food shops which attempts to attract your visit.

After a brief stroll on a windy evening, we decided to sit down for a meal and choose Bukowski. Well actually only because Pieminister was sold out and it reminded me of that episode on The Apprentice where they had to make their own fast food chain and the team that did pie was a big success. Anyway their Wild Burger, which is burger of the month I think, is to be highly recommended. Not cheap for a burger but definitely worth every penny with their incredibly fresh and organic ingredients – very juicy meat with lush mushroom and nicely done bun. Their fries are made with tender love and care topped with their mayo is just amazing. I don’t quite like their homemade tomato sauce but that’s just I’m a slave of Heinz. Definitely try their homemade lemonade though. A nice casual meal with a good friendly environment and staff.

***Photo by journeyexplorer

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Everything London #23 – Cafe Japan, Golders Green

February 18, 2012 3 comments

A small cosy restaurant with open kitchen with legendary the most freshest sashimi in London at very reasonable price. I went back for the first time after 3 years and things are never as good as before or as you remember them. I suppose there are the dangers of getting fresh fish from Japan now because of all the radiation after math. Prices have maintained but I think sushi portions have become smaller. It was still a good night out with good food and even better hot sake which just warms you up from the inside. Never mind since I’m off to Japan next week for 10 days then I can taste more local cuisine. Yay! Can’t wait!

This place always require booking so remember to call in advance. But if you did turn up and there are no seats, at least get takeaway. Please remember they are closed Mondays.

***Photo by journeyexplorer
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