Tag Archives: food

Happy new year!

Hello! I got The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Bottton for Xmas, and it was such an absorbing read that I finished it in 2  days. It is quite a slim book. I learnt more about Epicurus – he says that the most important thing in life is to indulge, to indulge in friendships/relationships and food. That’s why I’ve been very happy the past eight days. I have spent it with great company and eating lots of nice food!

Jamie's Italian restaurant

Jamie's Italian restaurant

I would also add ‘spectacle’ – nice spectacle that is, not horrid or macabre ones. For NYE 2008 I saw on a big screen at an East End pub how wonderful the London fireworks were. Since then I harboured a wish to be close to the action, in relative comfort. I’d have to be on a boat. So I got entry tickets to a boat/floating pub on the Thames right in front of the London Eye. Wow! The fireworks were so amazing, it was the best! It felt like heaven! Like I could walk amongst the sparkling stars! 10 whole minutes of fantastic pyrotechnic action! Then we danced to some great music. Although the journey home was quite apocalyptic, I will treasure my NYE experience forever!

Fireworks on the Thames

Fireworks on the Thames

Epicurus got a house and filled it with his friends, dining together most of the time. I think he also said never to eat alone; you should always enjoy food with company. He and his mates also tried to be as self sufficient as they can – growing veg and rearing farm animals. That would be fantastic I think, to be able to buy a great big house with enough privacy and space for everyone and share one big kitchen and hire a part-time maid to keep communal areas tidy (rota system is a bit… student-like). Even if we are not in the same house, living close by to friends/family is so helpful. I recall being able to cross the road and visit my collegemates when I fancied a chat.  That alleviated many a lonely time!

So anyway, happy new year… I am starting to read Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis – another Xmas gift and recommended by Tim Ferriss,  The 4-Hour Workweek guy, I think!

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A snapshot of my day

Today I:

  • read History of Western Philosophy (yes, still reading it… very thick!)
  • helped put together a sofa-bed – just arrived today, thanks made.com
  • worked, of course
  • wrote one page-r recommending Zmags, a really cool digital publishing platform
  • texted lots of friends. My mobile’s normally forgotten
  • chatted with sis
  • bought Pet Shop Boys tickets
  • a bit of grocery shopping online
  • recorded myself singing Winter Wonderland. Don’t ask
  • cooked for Hari Raya Haji, without oni0ns (Salam Aidiladha everybody!)
  • prayed
  • booked appointment to do a presenter headshot for Spotlight finally!
  • scheduled to put a little bit of money in Aberdeen Asia Pacific fund – I love Asia so much I want to invest in it. Almost a quarter of it goes to S’pore companies so that’s good for me
  • renewed library books.

My happy, chilled out life, low stress no strife! 🙂

We all know how Reggae Reggae did it…

… but how about those countless other sauces? It is necessary to have massive capital to get started? I’m just curious.

There are a lot of aspects to ensuring a company makes (and continues to make) money from selling food products to people:

A bit of a random list I know; hope to find out even more over the next few weeks.

Delima Restaurant at Paddington

Had an early dinner at Delima Restaurant today, to take advantage of the London Evening Standard offer. It was a big place, in fact almost too big, as they could have cordoned areas off better to make it more cosy. It looks very new and the decor, modern and clean. Service was very friendly, despite the few occasions where it was very hard to attract their attention because of where we were sitting, which was a lovely spot by the window. Initially, the lack of music and noisy chatter contributed to zero ambience, but they started playing music by the time our meal was served.

We had beef satay and prawn fritters (?) for starters – the prawns were big and succulent, served with sweet chilli sauce. Definitely worth a try. The beef satay looked like the real deal but a bit on the small side individually, although collectively it is enough for one person. Taste wise, it’s OK, could be better – my brother used to own a satay stall in Singapore, and his satay was absolutely delicious, so I have very high standards for satay lah.

The main meal comprised ikan asam pedas and beef rendang. My partner had been desiring beef rendang for ages. The beef rendang was tasty – it’s the dry type, hence more authentic. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to taste much of it as my partner promptly ate the lot, his eyes smarting from the spices. The ikan asam pedas was pretty good too; we even had enough to take home. Quite bony, so do take care – eating with your hand helps…

To round it off, we had sago gula melaka and goreng pisang topped with ice cream, which were both lovely and enough to keep us full for the evening.

A clear, beautifully handwritten bill (what a rarity at Asian joints!)  was handed to us at the end. They had the misfortune of having all satellite /telephone signals cut off, which meant they could only accept cash, which came as a surprise. Even all the cash machines in the area were not working. We ended up paying £4 less than stated on the bill as that was all the cash we had on us.

So, all in all, Delima is a pleasant, clean, modern-looking restaurant with decent meals, and very friendly, flexible and accommodating staff.

However I’m not quite clear what kind of market they are targeting; there’s something amiss, nothing that really stood out, other than the staff, and possibly the karaoke (information on which was not readily available unless you asked, which we didn’t). Maybe they could pay more attention to how they can marry the music with the surroundings. Since they’ve got the space, maybe they could cordon off some areas to make it more cosy and aim towards a more romantic ambience. For instance, Bonda Cafe is cheap and good, with a great logo; Satay House, which is very close by, has that primo feel; Tuk Din has superb knock-out food (both times), soft, muted decor and a kind of ‘kampung’ name; Tuk Tuk is all out canteen with super quick service; not to mention Georgetown restaurant in all it’s colonial splendour… I really can babble on!  Would be interesting to see if Delima are indeed getting it right – watch this space.

Puji Puji restaurant in Islington

The first in my Metro Malaysian restaurant 2 for 1 offer adventures!

The Puji Puji website looks great. Could do with a more extensive menu online, but apparently it’s seasonal so it would be a pain to keep updating a Flash site.

The restaurant had a cosy, warm decor with some nice touches like an original ice kacang grater I’ve never seen before – even the loo was given a spa look with the pebbles on the floor… don’t see that that often in London. The very friendly lady proprietor, with the help of a waiter, ran the whole show – it was a weekday night but it was very busy. But because it was busy, the cosiness turned into being cramped on occasion as people rushed and brushed past us to and fro.

Anyway, onto the food! The stuffed sea-bass (Ikan Sumbat with something) was inspired – it smelled of Otak Otak, and it was two pieces of beautifully grilled, juicy fillet held together with two pandan leaf ribbons. It was interestingly presented, unlike the usual slap-on style of nasi campur or just a fish on a dish. Each ‘element’ of the meal had it’s own place on the squared dish – fish parcel in one corner, rice in the other, with the sambal and veggie accompaniment in two matching square saucers. Judging from how orderly it looked, I tentatively picked at it with a knife and fork, but upon discovering many little bones I attacked it with my bare hands instead.

We also had the Ayam Percik – it looked scrumptious and tasted nice and juicy. Now THIS is ayam percik, not the sorry excuse for one at Jom Makan Trafalgar Square many moons ago! Behind the bar, our dynamic proprietor continuously fans the grill, serving up varieties of satay, and am pretty sure this chicken was on there for a bit too. Yummy. Would love to try out the venison satay one day.

The portions could be bigger, for a someone who loves big portions like me (Tuk Tuk, anyone?), but sufficient enough not to need dessert. I still think Tuk Din was better value for money though, for the space and the food – just hope they haven’t increased the price since I was last there!

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Metro Malaysian food offer!

YUMMY!

If you live in London like I do, enjoy this 2 for 1 offer at Malaysian restaurants from Metro!

Enjoy: 2 for 1 Malaysian dining

Now I can’t wait to open my own Singaporean Malay restaurant…

Noodle Oodle on Queensway

This restaurant amuses me. Tables have a touchscreen that you can play trivia games on and look at funny pictures. Somebody had the foresight to include the option which lets you ask for service or the bill by touching a button, but sadly this ingenious idea was routinely ignored by staff. Hail the good old days of making eye contact.

Anyway, on to the food. A lot of reviews seem to slag this place off. It’s actually pretty good, and cheap if you bother to ask. We noticed a sign outside saying £5.80 dine-in lunch. We went in and were thrust with an extensive ala carte menu and an £8.80 lunch offer. Upon querying the waitress, we got the cheapo menu. Looks more like it: Choose one of three dishes – BBQ chicken char siew(?), roast duck, and smth else, plus one free soft drink. You can choose whether you want it with rice or noodles; dry or soup. I had roast duck noodle soup. It was yum. The noodles did stick together, which was a little annoying, but the duck was delish. I love duck anyway. And my dish had more duck than noodle.

Today was my second time there, and the first time round was even better as we ordered some interesting a la carte dishes – but can’t remember what I had! Apparently Gordon Ramsay had been round  to learn some noodle-making tips from these guys, judging from the newspaper article proudly displayed in the glass. Service is nothing special – Tuk Tuk are better.

I’m sure there are much better noodle places for the connoisseur, but decent halal Chinese restaurants are not that common in London. (Note: Chinese cuisine, not Chinese-owned) After my misadventure with vegetarian buffet chains, give me meat anyday.

Oh yes – students, remember to flash your student card to get a 10% discount. This normally means they just take off the service charge.