Sunday, May 31, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The old man's pub -Parliament Street, Whitehall. Right across from No.10 Downing Street. I wonder if the Brown's have ever had a pint here?
Our platter which had some mystery bread, which I found out was garlic bread. It looked like small brown sponges!
Monday, May 25, 2009
It was colorful, loud, fun, full of great food, lovely family and friends and a very artistic henna woman with a smattering of Indian dancing. Am not sure what the food was but Momma Amin made a lovely layered dish which consisted of a bottom layer of crispy stuff, then chick pea and potato stuff, fresh pomegranate, green mango chutney, hot spicy chutney and other layers that I can't remember. All I know is that it was delicious! bottom crispy layer
chick pea and potato something
my henna hands
and the chutney of something? I don't ask questions, I just eat!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Verdict: the food was fantastic, the margeritas were super strong (was that 2 shots of tequila?), the service was great and the company was even better. After a long day at work, the margerita went straight to my head and the crazy decor and flashing lights everywhere were wonderful! My chicken burrito was stuffed with chicken and the salsa and hot sauce were divine. I wasn't that hungry but stuffed so much Mexican down my gob, it was great.
I recommend going and am going to try and go there more often as I can roll home from there!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Last year, Café Rouge reported a record number of Brits tucking into one of France's favourite delicacies - the humble snail. Apparently 24 May is National Escargot Day and the restaurant group has created a special Escargot Day menu to mark the event. Available until 31 May, guests will have to 'shell out' just £4.95 to get a taste of the slimy little mollusc in a variety of tasty sauces including rich garlic butter, melted goat's cheese and spinach and mushroom.
Get down there to eat some snails (for those of you who don't know what escargot is!) I might have to go and have a taste, otherwise I will go hunt for some of the creatures in a park and cook them myself, I just need to call my Aunty in Canada for her special recipe.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
(My comment: why are they making it so difficult and expensive for these vendors when those dirty hot dog vendors never had to go through all of this expense and training, and probably never will?!)
May 15, 2009
city hall bureau
Seemab Ahmad will be among the first out of the gate as Toronto's new street food program gets launched.
"It's a sheer thrill,'' said an excited Ahmad, whose family owns Quick Pita on College St. As of Monday, he'll be serving central Asian/Persian dishes to adventurous street eaters.
Both Ahmad and fellow vendor Blair Bonivento will offer their fare at Nathan Phillips Square beginning on Victoria Day. Six other vendors who are part of the long-anticipated pilot project will set up at their assigned locations soon after.
Ahmad will offer biryani and salsa karahi, served with pita, chapati, naan or rice. To drink he'll have mango lassi, a smoothie-like drink made with homemade yogurt and mango pulp. He'll also have fresh-squeezed juices.
Bonivento will have Greek-themed food and breakfast sandwiches.
Nancy Senawong, a vendor who will take up her spot at Mel Lastman Square early next week, got her cart just yesterday. From it, she'll be offering tasty dishes like Thai barbecue with salad or rice, and pad thai with fresh rolls and cashew nuts – the same as what you'll find at Thai Angels, her family's restaurant on College St.
"I learned to cook from my mom in Bangkok when I was 8 or 9,'' Senawong says.
She says the key to making authentic-tasting – and looking – pad thai is using tamarind sauce, made from a tropical sweet-sour fruit. Some Thai restaurants in the city use ketchup and vinegar instead, which is cheaper, but doesn't taste nearly as good, she said.
She'll operate her cart along with sister Peggy and brother Wattana.
Peggy said she was shocked at how large and heavy the cart is. "It's big, heavy – and expensive,'' she joked yesterday, explaining the family had to take out a bank loan to get it.
The cart has a grill, a sink and a freezer, and they'll need a trailer to transport it.
Seemab Ahmad drove out to Brantford to get his cart, manufactured by Crown Verity Inc., the supplier to all eight vendors. They were trained to use the equipment safely by the company and a Toronto public health inspector.
The vendors, all independent entrepreneurs, have paid between $21,000 and $28,000 for new carts chosen by the city of Toronto. They must also pay annual location fees ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
Ahmad has three workers already trained in food handling and plans to be selling his food at Nathan Phillips from about 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, a few hours later on weekends.
The program requires owners to spend at least 70 per cent of the operating time at the cart themselves to ensure they are owner-operated.
Only 19 applied to participate in the Toronto a la Cart program – it's believed the rigorous requirements and high costs for the carts dissuaded many – and 12 finalists made it to a taste test with a four-chef judging panel.
In the end, eight vendors were selected through a process that included scoring for nutrition, food safety, locally produced food, ethnic diversity, taste and sound business plan.
Monday, May 18, 2009
His friend gave me a look when I came in as he must've thought I was a big fan - I had my trainers in a Chelsea FC bag, (I got it ages ago when I went to the game with work). JLo didn't recognise him either so we just happily chatted and drank our drinks at the bar. He is quite cute in person.
My second visit was to the Covent Garden location for an early dinner. The food and service was just divine both times. The steaks are amazing, they remind me of cottage bbqs back home, the rib eye steak is just gorgeous there and the chips are also addictive...soo good.
On my second visit we shared the Mississippi Mudsling chocolate dessert which was also tres yummy! Oh what a great foodie weekend. I like this Sophie, am going to Google her to find out more. As for Lampy, he scored a goal at the game today and Kent said the crowd chanted a song with his name in it...awwh cute. Next time I will flirt a little more, he is single now and quite fit.
Get on down to Sophie's Steak House, I would visit the Chelsea location as the crowd is much more interesting.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I saw this book advertised on VSL (Very Short List) and thought it might be interesting to pick up. I think I could've submitted a few notes from my time flatting. A few may be:
- Who is eating all the toilet paper?!
- No Rexi I didn't eat your jar of Nutella in the middle of the night
- One eyed freak, can you stop prancing around in your see through nighty whenever my boyfriend is up early ironing his shirt, considering you are unemployed and never wake up before 11am! He doesn't need you to make him tea.
- Make sure to lock the windows as the neighbours crawl through when they're drunk
- Wise-mayor! That bastard went through our rubbish.
- Please don't leave your 'ass towel' in the bathroom.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Spice Market, Istanbul
We spent a few hours in the Grand Bazar which takes you from leather goods to carpets made out of cow hides to trinkets and the poofiest wedding dresses ever (true 80s nightmares) to finally the spice part which is right at the end near the Bosphorous river (or is it the sea?). I took this photo with my Blackberry which didn't come out too bad, non?
It was an exciting walk through the market and the spice bit is the most colorful and fragrant. We ended our trek with lunch at Hamdt restaurant overlooking the Bosphorous where we ate a load of starters, which am not sure is normal but Kat who is German connected with the Turkish waiter, who lived in Germany for a few years, so we were in good hands.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Does anyone know what these are? I saw them in Chinatown and they look very interesting although I think I wouldn't know how to eat, peel or cook these Kiwanos?! I think someone needs to help solve the mystery fruit query, maybe Mrs. Lau??
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Prawn sandwich and a packet of crisps from Marks and Spencer. She lurrves this combination, sometimes I persuade her to go to Pret a Manger or even once we had a dirty kebab, but the Barbarella loves the prawn mayo sarnie; maybe it's a Northern thing. I love guessing what her lunch is when it swooshes around in her little green bag nearing my desk, the smile on her face gives it away and I am correct about the little pink fish nestled between two slices of bread. I especially love the lovely Northerner, working with her is always a pleasure. Too bad I cannot eat the divine Spanish food at her Mallorcan wedding in a few weeks. How do you say doggie bag in Spanish?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The Candyman's bread was a little undercooked in the middle but it still made for a good sangwich. My uber pet peeve is when people say sangwich! It is sandwich, with a d - unless you are illiterate than you should not say sangwich!
Big Gino's (chavs) in the T-dot say this and I have to admit a member or two of my family say this and it drives me wild. It is like they are in the Sopranos.
With a little toast action, Candyman had a lovely turkey sarnie. (And he told me that after the triathalon he is back in the land of sugar highs!)
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I must stress this loud and clear, don't eat it! In Istanbul, for 50Turkish Lira (50p), you can buy a hot and delicious looking piece of corn from one of the many street vendors. I say 'looking' as when you bite into it, like I did, I almost vomited as it stank and was rotten!
After my Turkish friend pulled out my first piece, I did ask him to dump it back into his bubbling pot and find me another piece that didn't have a black tail. He pulled out a few that were all the same and reassured me that they were fine. I thought that maybe it was a Turkish thing to have a brown tip?!
I soon realised that the water was probably boiling street rats at the bottom of it too and that the corn had fallen off a truck about 6mths ago and these street vendors then sell it off to stupid tourists, like me! After my horrific bite I spat it out in disgust and then Kat decided she didn't believe me and took a bite too. Bad move, she hurled her bite into the nearest tree - people were staring. It was so awful an experience that we immediately laughed as I probably would cry if I knew how old that corn and water was.
I love corn on the cob and did have an amazing one off a street vendor in Budapest, Hungary a few years ago (you can read about it here) so didn't think I would need my stomach pumped after purchasing this one. Well, lesson learned!
Monday, May 04, 2009
I was starving! I had to ask for some nibbles to stave off the hunger. I do like these little BA snacks, these were sour cream and chive flavour and after 4 packs I was doing fine!