I had a relaxing weekend, finally well enough to make it out of the house on Sunday. I forgot to mention that last weekend we finally checked out the Wagamama in Kingston and it was as we expected. We shared some duck gyoza and I had sake and the alien egg sack-looking chicken katsu curry. Also went to the Japanese store where we bought genmaicha (my favorite green tea with roasted and popped rice), miso, green tea noodles, soy sauce, and soba noodles.
The past week was a blur of dreams and lemsips and I had to pass on meeting up with our friends Andy and Zoe, but on Saturday Jocke and Caz came over and I could stay awake for a full movie which was Pirates of the Caribbean. The main reason I wanted to see it was because Max's father acted out the entire introduction scene for Johnny Depp's character for us and he had me laughing so hard I knew I had to watch it. I enjoyed it, but I think Philip's reenactment was funnier. Sunday we drove to the Chinese supermarket Wing-Yip in Croyden and stopped in the bakery to pick up some egg tarts and two moon cakes; one lotus flower and the other red bean.
In the market we picked up a bunch of cooking staples and random bits such as bamboo shoots, spinach noodles ("you're not buying more green noodles, are you?" - Max), tiger prawns (really cheap and good quality at the Chinese supermarkets), young thai ginger (the best ginger in the world), edamame, spring rolls, dim sum, sake, jasmine tea, egg noodles, miso soup (for lazy days), yaki soba noodles, udon noodles, coconut milk, lychee juice and a drink called Melon Milk, which sounds like a dirty euphemism. In the Indian section we picked up some tandoori spices, basmati rice, chilli pickle, peppercorns (huge bag for very cheap), red lentils and a bag of whole red chillies. That should keep us good for awhile. That evening Max cooked Kam's curry and we watched Best in Show on bbc2. Next night I cooked some of the prawns with sesame oil, garlic, young thai ginger, and spinach noodles.
Last night I drank my last kriek while we watched Dolls by Takeshi Kitano (and beautiful costumes by Yohji Yamamoto). While watching it I had the feeling that Kitano really wanted to make the entire film about the "Bound Beggars" only and the other two stories were simply fillers. When we watched the interview extra with him on the dvd he essentially confirmed that feeling. I believe I would have enjoyed the film more if he had axed the other two stories and kept focus on the Bound Beggars, I think it would have made the film feel less disjointed. But as Kitano said, it's difficult to make a feature length film from a short puppet play. This film also had some of the most breathtaking visuals I have ever seen and Yohji's costumes were simply stunning (which reminds me that I want to watch the interview with him on the dvd before we return it).
Do you have a Chinese bakery near you? It was my first time trying both the egg tart and moon cakes. Max always talks about egg tarts whenever we pass the bakery, so we stopped in this time. They're both very good, I want to go back and get more.
The prawn dish is really easy and quick to make.
hehe this is the san francisco bay area. we have plenty of chinese bakeries here (and even more filipino ones). the best egg tarts i've had is from a vancouver bakery chain called anna's cake house. when cheryl used to come visit she would always carry a few on the plane and bring me some. next time you two are in vancouver i'll take you to get some.
i didn't know they still made moon cake. i always thought you have to wait until the month before and after the mid-autumn festival.
excellent. i guess you'll be making me some spinach pasta and prawn soon. *muahaha*
I do, although I'd prefer to have good quality sushi over Wagamama any day. I'm used to getting cheap sushi in the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver, but I rarely have it here because it's so expensive in London. Although we have everything we need to make sushi ourselves, we just need to go to Billingsgate fish market or somewhere to buy some sashimi grade tuna.
I think I had heard that before about Wagamama, but I can't remember from where... I wonder why they named their restaurants "selfish".
it is breathtaking in motion. I wouldn't say the movie is for everyone, but if you appreciate beautiful visuals this is definitely worth seeing.
well, it's not always like this.. we stock up on "beautiful food" a few times a year, but there is some boring and junky food thrown in for good measure. We order pizza, kebabs, fish n chips and other stuff. Trying to think of what the British equivalent of Kraft cheese sandwiches would be..
are there many places in london where you can get kriek on tap aside from belgo?
here a bottle of lindemans is $5. when i was in new york at a belgian place a bottle was $13. i haven't be able to find any other place here that serves lindemans (or any other kriek) either in a bottle or on tap
There are several, this website lists most of them: The London Guide to Belgian Beer. In their pub guide they list which pubs have kriek on tap. So far I've been to all of the Belgos and Bierodromes, De Hems, The Porterhouse (not on tap), and another one in the West End that I can't recall the name of. Sadly it's still expensive, no matter where you go in London (usually about £4-5). I look forward to going back to Belgium.
I'd like to check out the Abbaye Belgian Brasserie sometime. Sounds like it might be a bit more authentic than Belgos.
I had never heard of Lemsips before I moved to England. Max swears by them, but I only ever have them when I feel like I'm on my deathbed (I try to stick to more natural remedies). They come in individual sachets of powder that you pour into a mug of boiling water. They taste like liquid lemon cough syrup and contain paracetamol (acetaminophen) and some other ingredients to help with cold symptoms. It knocks me out every time, so I make sure I'm able to get to bed before drinking it. :)
Wow, you seem to be having an Eastern food extravaganza. I'm inspired that there are so many foods out there which I know nothing of, but also a little... trepidous (is that a word?), not knowing where I would start with any of it. Thanks for the tip on the ginger BTW, I'll look out for some young thai as I like good ginger. Not that you can buy _any_ of this stuff in Sheffield (our Chinese friends in Ecclesfied used to go to Manchester for their Chinese shopping, and bring us back some egg tarts whenever they went).
At the moment our fridge is full of Spanish food from my visit to Phil & Lola: amazing chorizos & hams, including some black ham which cost four times as much as any other, but tastes absolutely incredible; tiny black olives from Murcia and crispy fresh green Olives which have a bite like a Granny Smith's apple; Spanish pine nuts, slimmer, more marzipan-like and less cloying than the Chinese ones we tend to get here (s'funny, I went down to our local shop yesterday and noticed, among their new lines, a small beautifully presented box of Spanish pine nuts, £3.30 for something like 100g); and tomatoes - they had some of the pumpkin-shaped tomatoes which I've raved about before (like here) and I just had to buy two kilos of the greenest I could find, and hope they'd be safe in my baggage home. They were, and they tasted like nothing else on this earth, so sweet and flavoursome, despite the fact that at this time of year they must be forced. Next time I visit anywhere Mediterranean I'm gonna devote my whole baggage allowance to tomatoes.
Perhaps Philip should be nominated for an Oscar for his pirate acting? :-)
We're gonna be down in Teddington soon - at some point between 4th & 10th of April I'll be taking Rowan to stay with my parents, Gill may come down for a day or two as well. Not sure of exact details yet, but it would be really good to (at last) meet you and Max some time.
It's great having a big Chinese supermarket so close, simple staples that we use frequently are much cheaper there than in the regular supermarkets (which is another reason we go to Southall sometimes). The ginger. oh my god. It has a thin skin and is milder than the usual ginger, but it has a sweet fresh taste. We use it like a vegetable, cutting up large chunks of it. I think it would also go really well into making some kind of icy ginger drink, but I haven't tried it yet.
We still have a little of our Spanish/Portuguese food left. Mainly a few chorizos (one excellent quality smokey chorizo that I only need to use a small slice of in cooking because it has such a strong flavour), paprika, and olive oil. The olives and pine nuts sound wonderful, I'll have to give those a try sometime.
Hey, I'd give Philip an Oscar for his performance. The comedy factor was upped a notch by the fact that he's an ex-policeman and was prancing around like a gay pirate.
We've love to meet up with you and Gill (if the offer still stands). We're leaving for Brussels on April 9th, but any time before then would work for us. :)