There are a few things I have decided for 2013, one of them being that I will be starting a personal journal, one that I will write in. I am so excited for this and can't wait to go out and buy myself a journal book to write in :D hehe
As I type this, I am sat at the kitchen table waiting on some butter cupcakes to bake. I am excited and the kitchen smells divine. If I could choose just one food to live on for the rest of my life, it would be cake. Cake in all forms, cake. Just cake. I love cake so much I really could just eat it all the time if it wasn't that bad for me. Ugh, why are you so nommable, cake?!
Anyway, I am here to type about Jun, Cheryl, Diana and my trip to London last weekend. Also included will be addresses to just about the super most delicious meals we've ever had in London as well. So leggo!
We hosted a Christmas Party on Wednesday (will blog about this in another post) and since we had a bus to catch at 4.40AM we decided to not go to sleep and spend the rest of the morning cleaning up the place, showering etc. Very well planned if I must say so myself. Also, a few of us had a little too much to drink (guilty as charged) so it made the 12 hours bus journey even better. HEHE
|Waiting for the taxi... can you find the hidden Diana?|
Upon arriving on the Thursday, we went straight to our Hotel, the Ibis at Earl's Court, dropped off our luggage, took a refreshing shower and freshened the hell up and proceeded on our hunt for dinner. Mind you, being on a bus for 12 hours with leftover turkey sarnies, wannabe doritos, popcorn, chocolate brioche and a whole load of assorted chocolate really does bring about an appetite!
Our first stop for food during our food weekend is:
63 Dean Street, Soho
We ordered some Japanese beer in order to replicate the authentic Japanese Ramen eating experience. I've ony ever tried Asahi so decided to go for Sapporo this time round and it was an excellent choice. (^_^). We also ordered a portion of Prawn Gyoza, Pork Gyoza, both £5 a plate of 5 and a plate of Tori Karaage, which if I am not mistaken costed us £6 for a plate. All three dishes were superb and the Gyozas were freakin' amazing. Bursty and full of flavour, definitely oishii! Even though it was a full house and there was a queue for seats, food arrived fairly fast and these three dishes only lasted about 5 minutes on our table before they were gobbled up by us 4 hungry goobers.
Since there are only 3 ramens on the menu, two non-vegetarian ones and 1 vegetarian one, everyone besides myself went for the signature Tonkotsu Ramen (£11) while I went for the Tokyo Ramen (£9). I figured one of us should at least try the Tokyo Ramen just so we know what it tasted like. There were also added options for a garlic shot (in which they hand you a garlic press loaded with fresh garlic), extra noodles or extra egg. Cheryl and Diana went ahead with the garlic shot but both commented that it made the soup too zingy for their liking but still good nonetheless.
The Tonkotsu Ramen was the ramen with the milky pork broth and more QQ noodles whereas my Tokyo Ramen came with a mix chicken and pork clear broth and more eggy noodles (like kolo mee noodles) but they both came with sliced pork belly, half a boiled egg with a gooey yolk, bamboo shoots and spring onions.
|Tokyo Ramen (£9)|
|Tonkotsu Ramen (£11)|
Needless to say that we all enjoyed the meal very much. So much that Jun and Diana decided to share another bowl at the end of the meal. Hehe.
After our lovely Ramen eating experience we headed to Golden Gate Chinese Dessert House in Chinatown for some dessert. I forgot to take pictures here but this place is a staple for me when I come to London. Allisan and I found it one day and ever since then, I have always gone back, bringing new people with me always.
This trip, I ordered a peanut soup with peanut filled glutinous rice balls. It did not disappoint. The rest also ordered different variants of soup and rice balls and everyone had happy full bellies at the end of the night and we retired back to the hotel for a good nights rest. :)
The very next morning (Friday) we headed down to Liverpool Street to Duck & Waffle for our breakfast reservation at 10AM. This is one of the places I had been looking forward to for months!
DUCK & WAFFLE
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate
The restaurant is located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower and it overlooks London so it was pretty freakin' amazing. However, London's weather wasn't on our side so much that Friday and it was gloomy and rainy but still pretty impressive and I am sure on a bright sunny day it would be spectacular to wine and dine while looking out to London town!
I have been lusting over their breakfast menu for months, ever since we made the reservation for Breakfast and I couldn't decide on their signature Duck 'n' Waffle or their Steak 'n' Eggs Benedict. Both sounded divine. In the end, I went for their Duck 'n' Waffle since it is what the restaurant is named after so I can imagine that it must be pretty scrumptious. The rest of the girls also ordered the Duck 'n' Waffle which Jun decided to be different and ordered the All Day Breakfast.
Let me talk about the Duck 'n' Waffles for a bit. It is a piece of Duck Confit (which is really just a duck leg preserved in duck fat and baked till crispy and lovely.. oh I love Duck Confit eversince I was introduced to it 2 years ago by Remi who brought some back from home/France) on two lovely pieces of waffles-- I am guessing to be buttermilk waffles because they are light and oh-so-lovely and a fried duck egg served with a maple & mustard syrup. I was a little apprehensive regarding the fried duck egg as I've only ever had it Salted or Preserved (pei tan) so to have it fried was definitely new to me.
This dish was the bomb diggity. It was scrumptious, fragrant, decadent, sinful, delicious, SO FREAKING GOOD. My mind was blown. The duck egg is genious! The yolk is so much more buttery and rich which really complimented the duck confit. The syrup was genius and makes the dish the perfect example of something sweet and savoury. My two favourite flavors combined together. It was one hell of a dish and we had no regrets ordering it.
|The Duck 'n' Waffle (£15)|
Jun's All Day Breakfast wasn't a disappointment either. He had a choice of eggs (scrambled, fried or poached-- he went for poached) and his eggs were done perfectly. His beans were freshly cooked in some sort of lovely tomato sauce and his hash browns were to die for. I am not kidding. He cut off a portion for every one of us and our eyes immediately lit up. Lovely hash browns. Best hash browns ever. Sausages were also lovely and juicy and filled with very nice aromatic flavours and his bacon was so crispy it sounded like he was eating pork crackling instead. Overall, Jun didn't regret his dish as he initially thought he would since it was a little normal compared to our Duck Confit dish.
|All Day breakfast (£12)|
I would love to return to Duck & Waffle soon again and this time to try their Steak 'n' Eggs Benedict with the hollondaise sauce to the side because I am not the biggest fan of it. It was such a lovely breakfast and definitely left with a satisfied tummy and a happy smile on my face! :)
After such a heavy breakfast we decided to go off shopping and since it was awful weather we mainly just stayed in the shopping area (Regent St and Oxford St). We had Noodle Oodle for lunch at Bayswater and Diana and I had Beef Fried Kway Teow which is always really good in Noodle Oodle. Just the perfect amount of "Wok Hei" and Jun ordered the chicken crispy noodles and Cheryl ordered Wa tan Ho with Seafood. Everyone was happy with their meals :) Noodle Oodle never disappoints. HEHE
At about 6PM we headed down to Leicester Square to meet up with Shim for dinner.
17-18 Great Newport Street
(Just opposite the Leicester Square tube entrance, next to the pub)
My first experience with Okonomiyaki was right here when Fauzi introduced it to me and Allisan. Since then I have always made a point to head down there because it really is something different and something really yummy. There are so many choices to choose from and there are two sizes: Deluxe and Super Deluxe. There is also an option to add noodles to your Okonomiyaki for an added £4.50. The Deluxe size is the perfect portion size for one person whereas, if you would like to share (like Jun and I did) the Super Deluxe would be just perfect and even more affordable.
Diana, Jun and I ordered to same mix: The London Mix with consisted of cheese, bacon, and salmon. Cheryl ordered the Sapporo Mix (if my memory isn't failing me) which consisted of Pork and Corn and Shim settled for one with Kimchi and Pork. Everyone was very happy with their choices. After making the okonomiyaki, the chef cum waiter will advise you on what toppings to put on your okonomiyaki, for example, kewpie mayo, seaweed powder, fruit sauce and fish flakes.
Prices are between £9 to £12 depending on what is in your okonomiyaki and size.
Besides Okonomiyaki, they also serve other starters and rice items. They also do special seasonal menus!
After the delightful dinner, we decided to do a pub crawl in SoHo! My first time going out to drink in London and boy was it fun! In Aberdeen, we are not allowed to go out of the bar/pub to drink but we were allowed to do so in London which probably meant they had special license for it etc but I was really sakai about it. Hehe
It was really good to be able to meet up with Shim since I have not seen him in over a year! I am very glad we got the opportunity to meet up as it was very fun and full of good banter and catching up! (^_^)
The following day (Saturday) we had lunch Jun's brother and friend and Jun's brother treated us to Dim Sum and then brought us to a Christmas Market to jalan for a bit. It was good time well spent and we all had some good food to fill our tummies.
The main highlight of Saturday was mainly for Jun, Cheryl and I because it was the day for Big Bang Alive World Tour 2012!!!!!!!! Also my first ever concert so was definitely stoked for it!
I don't really know what or how to explain. The first time Big Bang came onto the stage I stood in awe, staring with tears streaming down my face. I really couldn't believe that I was standing there watching Big Bang perform live. I mean, after watching their music videos, performances over and over again on YouTube, to see them in real life was really surreal.
All three of us ended up with sore throats by the end of the night from all the screaming and were sticky from all the dancing and jumping around hehe. It was definitely an experience I wouldn't have ever wanted to miss. So glad we made the trip down for Big Bang guys! It's a shame Allisan wasn't there for the concert, when T.O.P and GD'ss Knock out came on, I was screaming like crazy because at one point it was really "our" song. HAHAHAH We were 'poooogiyayoooo poogiga po po po' all day long at one point. hahahaha Such a shame, such a shame.
I was really happy when they played Last Farewell at the end as well as it is one of my favourite songs! :D SO HAPPY and feel so blessed to be able to experience it.
I just need to see Rain/Bi/비 in real life and I AM DONE. Haha I think if I was at Rain's concert I would be full on sobbing or on the floor passed out from being too light headed. (Yes, for y'all wondering, still the biggest fan of Rain. That lovely man will only be released from National duty in July 2013. CAN'T WAIT. I hope he makes a major comeback with a tour that I will be able to attend!!!!! FINGERS CROSSED PLEASE!)
After the super enthusiastic concert, we made our way down to Central London to meet up with Diana and Shim for a very late dinner (this was at 10.30pm!)
74 Welbeck Street
I am always on the lookout for the perfect burger. The burger with the perfect bun, the perfect patty, the perfect accompaniments, the perfect burger. When I first read of Meat Liquor, the name itself already attracted me.. Meat and Liquor two of the most brilliant things in the world. How can you not enjoy a restaurant with such a name?
Upon walking into the establishment, there is already good music playing and a waiting list-- always a good sign. We head up to the bar to get some drinks while waiting.. they have a variety of cocktails and wine that were superb and we all ordered a glass to have. Later on Jun and I decided to share a bottle of red which went perfectly with all the meat that we had.
Finally, we are given a table. I had already know what I wanted to order even before I knew where the restaurant was. I didn't go for a burger, instead I went for a Philly CheeseSteak (Cheryl went for the same one as well) while Shim ordered a CheeseSteak and Jun and Diana both ordered the Dead Hippie. The burgers are all affordable, between the prices of £7 to £12 and all in very good proportion as well. In addition to this we ordered cheese fries and two portions of coleslaw to share. Both were very appreciated.
|All the FOOD.|
Did I mention, the dead hippie also has two burger patties and from what Diana and Jun told me, it was pretty darn amazing?! Also, Cheryl and my Philly CheeseSteak was so extremely well made that all the sticky cheesy goodness was under all that meat and when you eat it, it oozes out and oh my gah. I am salivating just thinking about it. T^T
In this picture below me, is after we had all finish our meal and because there are just so many good options to choose from, Jun and Diana decide to share a spicy hotdog (not just any normal hot dog-- trust me) and here they are tempting me to have some. We also ordered an extra portion of Philly CheeseSteak FRIES. IT WAS PHENOMENAL. (T^^^^^T) Why don't we have this CLOSER to Aberdeen?! ARGH. hahaha
|Look at all that melted cheese!?!!??|
Word of Caution: YOU WILL SMELL LIKE MEAT AFTER EATING AT MEAT LIQUOR! hehehehehe Jun and I had to wear the new Jeans that we had bought from Uniqlo cause our old ones smelt too much of MEAT! lol
Unfortunately Diana left on that Sunday back to Brunei so it was Jun, Cheryl and my last day in London before heading back to Aberdeen on our 11.45PM bus! There was a little drama with the ticket as I had booked it for a Monday night (I swear, all these dates gets me so confused!) but luckily it was easily changed and all drama and problems were averted. HEHE
We had brunch on Sunday with Shim.
THE MALL TAVERN
71 Palace Gardens Terrace
We were very lucky to have gone early and found seats as the whole pub had been fully booked. So we were given a table for 1.5 hours which was just barely enough time to enjoy the food that was served.
|The two dashing young men :)|
|Cow Pie (£14.50) A pie dish filled with the loveliest beef stew you can ever manage to find with a very nice pastry on the top and a marrow in the middle topped with some sort of stuffing that was delicious and went with the stew very well.|
|Chicken Kyiev (£14.50) This was Shim's dish and it was oozing out with cheesy goodness when he cut into it.|
|My handsome boyfriend! *heart* *shameless* hahahaha|
After such a hearty meal, we took a walk through Hyde Park where we went to Harrods to look at their beautiful Disney Princesses window display. They were absolutely gorgeous!
We also then made our way to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park which was completely filled with people. Rides were expensive but we all decided to go on one ride:
It was bonkers!!!!! Jun totally enjoyed it, Shim and I screamed our lungs out and Cheryl started crying. LOL It was definitely an experience. Not only was it swinging us round and round, each "hand" was also rotating. It was CRAZY. This is definitely one of the most scariest ride I had ever sat on. It was totally worth the £6 we paid for almost 4 minutes of exhilaration! hehe
After the experience, we headed to a nearby stall for some ApfelShorle (for Cheryl), Gluhwein (for Jun and I) and some sparkling white wine for Shim. It was nice to just sit and relax and unwind after all that screaming :P
Since we had an hour to spare before dinner, we all decided to rent out a karaoke room for an hour. It was a lot of fun and definitely something that took out a lot of energy from us. Hehe :)
We then headed to Asadal Restaurant for some good fulfilling Korean food. Unfortunately, the lighting was HORRENDOUS and I could not take any good pictures. Safe to say though the food was good although portions might have been a little small. Still good though. Cheryl ordered the Ginseng Chicken Soup, Jun ordered the Gal Bi Tang (beef rib soup), I ordered an oxtail soup and Shim ordered a Beef BimBimBap. All the soups came with a portion of rice which was really appreciated. :)
And then we parted ways with Shim and thanked him for being such an excellent host! Cheryl, Jun and I then made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and to pick up our items and then it was off to Victoria Coach Station for us for our bus at 11.45PM.
This trip was amazing, to say the least. I always enjoy myself when I visit London and this time was no exception. There is something about London that really gets me going and is exciting and exhilarating and oh-so-fun. I hope to visit London again soon! :D And hopefully try more places to eat.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post that did take me 2 hours to type out and that I hope you will try some of my recommendations when you do visit London. Let me know if you do! :D
Lots of love,