Street Eats @ Borough Market on 23Aug2014

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

son & i went to london’s most famous market, borough market, on morning of 23.8.2014. took northern line from king’s cross to london bridge.

we were planning to try out the several famous street eats here. :-)

borough market started in the current location from 1755, though records from 1014 listed it as a market  for fish, grain, livestocks, fruits & vegetables.

the wholesale market opens weekdays 2am-8am. the retail market opens wednesday to thursday 10am to 5pm, fridays from 10am to 6pm, and saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

duck confit sandwich

1 of the famous eats is the £5 duck confit sandwich, and that was also the first we tried. it was pretty good. the confit duck rillette was tasty & tender & did not disappoint. the ciabatta bread though was not very exciting, kind of tougher to the bite.

roast selling beef, crispy pork belly & bacon sandwich

roast selling beef, crispy pork belly & bacon sandwich

beef, crispy pork belly & bacon

beef, crispy pork belly & bacon

crispy pork belly sandwich

crispy pork belly sandwich

the next we tried was the £6.50 belly pork sandwich at roast. a queue built up rather quickly! it came with ok pork belly & a sheet of crispy skin. sad to say, for me the “crackling skin” was about the standard of my failed belly pork attempts & quite unedible. :-( the bread was softer & better than the ciabatta of the duck confit sandwich. we didn’t try the beef sandwich, perhaps that would be better, :-)

brindisa chorizo buns

brindisa chorizo buns

brindisa chorizo buns

brindisa chorizo buns

we had the single chorisa bun at brindisia. though a blogger mentioned it was more worthwhile to have the double chorizo for £4.95 instead of the single £3.95, my son disagreed, he thought it would be too salty with 2 chorizos, and i had to agree with him after trying it. :-)

of the 3 my preference would be (1) duck confit sandwich (2) chorizo bun (3) belly pork sandwich. :-)

salt beef (corn beef) sandwich

salt beef (corn beef) sandwich

we found the salt beef (corn beef) sandwich shortly. it looked really good. my son thought it looked better than it tasted. in any case we did not have space for it. nor the other food.

paella

paella

seller was offering free tasting with a small plastic spoon. the taste was ok but this was like a mass cooking & well below my own seafood risotto, so held no attraction for us.

seafood, calamari, cajun chicken etc.

seafood, calamari, cajun chicken etc.

they also served other dishes like calamari, cajun chicken etc.

prawns, jellied eels, whelks, crayfish salad

prawns, jellied eels, whelks, crayfish salad

dorset crab

dorset crab

1 stall was selling fresh cooked seafood, from prawns, jellied eels, whelks, crayfish salad to dorset crab.

excellent mushroom pate=GBP4 tub

excellent mushroom pate=GBP4 tub

the homemade mushroom pate was very flavourful. my son bought 1 tub for £4.

borough market

borough market

exotic stuff - kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, elk, ostrich

exotic stuff – kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, elk, ostrich

there were exotic burgers including  kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, elk, ostrich.

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

famous olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead

and the olive & cheese sticks at bread ahead was another famous stall at borough market.

borough market

borough market

quite crowded close to noon on a saturday.

whole roast pig

whole roast pig

they had whole roast pig too!

free wifi at borough market

free wifi at borough market

& there was free wifi at the market.

overall, the few famous dishes were pretty ok though nothing really caught my fancy (too much bread/carb for me anyway). it was still better by miles than the very poor poppies fish & chip at camden which we had on 24.8.2014.

c.h.e.f andy

Worst Meal in London @ Poppies Fish & Chip Camden on 24Aug2014

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

thought of having fish & chips since we were in london.

son went to google & found this place poppies fish & chip at camden. as we were taking a morning walk along regent canal to camden town to primrose hill, this seemed a good place to stop for lunch.

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

it was however a bad choice. :-(

poppies was evidently among the top 10 fish & chips restaurants in london (the sign said voted No.1) & had quite good reviews on trip advisor. somehow it just did not agree with me or my son.

we ordered the cod large for GBP13.90. somehow, everything was wrong with this fish & chips – “cod” fish was dry, quite tasteless, even with lots of salt & vinegar, didn’t seem fresh or bouncy, batter was thick & poor, & fries were tasteless.

and the price = GBP13.90+ was doubled those on the streets…

but whatever the price it must taste good first! so this fell squarely as our worst meal in london, worse than the street fares like duck confit sandwich & crispy pork belly sandwich & even the chorizo bun at borough market, & even the GBP3.50 gyros (& the fries that came with it) we had earlier at the camden market was many times better than this. totally surprising to me but there it is! :-(

i no fan of fish & chips but old brown shoe (now closed) fish & chips was way way better than this!

c.h.e.f andy

 

Interesting Mid-Eastern Lunch @ Honey & Co on 22Aug2014

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

had a very interesting mid-eastern lunch at honey & co on 22.8.2014. :-)

place was recommended by son. i knew little about mid-eastern food and didn’t think its the kind of food i would like much. but i googled about honey & co, and the reviews were all very good.

honey & co wareen street

honey & co wareen street

it’s a small restaurant by a husband & wife team, aarit packer and itamar srulovich. we were greeted by very friendly & cheerful staff. :-)

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

we enjoyed a very nice GBP15.5 2-course lunch, which came with a messe appetiser dish & a choice of main course. as the main courses on the menu were like GBP14.50, it made sense to do the set. :-)

the messe for 2pax included warm feta bread, chickpea hummus, beetroot with mint, kalamata olives & another dip with pomegranate & grilled corn on the cob. every item was very nice. i especially liked the beetroot with mint, and the pomegranate dip. the regular chickpea humus was good too. :-)

roasted sardines

roasted sardines

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

we had 2 mains recommended by the server. the roast sardines was excellent, very fresh & flavourful & not liked the fishy stuff i usually associated with sardines, something i would take again. the braised lamb shoulder with cous cous was truly superb, a braised dish that was tender & very tasty & not so sinewy. just purely for comparison of a braised item, i would put this as better than the ox cheek at joel robuchon and about par with the wagyu at hkklondon.

cheese cake

cheese cake

cheese cake

cheese cake

& the GBP6.50 cheesecake with blueberries, almonds & a crispy fill like base was almost out-of-this-world. liked it a lot, so much that i had another order to take away. :-)

love the food & the service. there was no service charge so we gave a like 15% tip. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Roast Duck (烧鸭) & Roast Pork (烧肉) in London @ Goldmine on 23Aug2014

1 whole boneless roast duck

1 whole boneless roast duck

goldmine is 1 of the favourite places my son & his friends go to for roast duck in london.

i came here once with my son 2 years back & wanted to try the place again. :-)

the reviews were mostly good. we took the hammersmith line from king’s cross to edgeware road & changed to circle line to bayswater. goldmine was just 100m from the station & the street was lined with chinese restaurants including four seasons. i will probably try four seasons if i come again this trip, though not likely.

stepping into goldmine & seeing the 师傅 deboning the roast duck, one can see straight away that it was good. the roast pork looked amazing too. char siew looked ok. :-)

son booked table of 5. only 2 of us were there. a son’s friend came shortly. the rule though was that only when all 5pax arrived then they would seat us. i spoke cantonese with the server & managed to get seated but they said we had to vacate by 750pm (we booked 630pm). i supposed it was fair enough under the circumstances. anyway we didn’t need to when the time arrived though restaurant continued to be quite full, but not overflowing.

watercress lie tong (例汤)

watercress lie tong (例汤)

roast pork (烧肉)

roast pork (烧肉)

char siew (叉烧)

char siew (叉烧)

hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐)

hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐)

fried kai lan

fried kai lan

i ordered 1 roast duck deboned, 1 order each of roast pork (烧肉) & char siew (叉烧), and the watercress lie tong (例汤) which son wanted. son ordered the hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐) & fried kai lan. :-)

we were not disappointed. roast duck was very good. to me it was like hong kong standard. & 1 roast duck for GBP22 is cheaper than most restaurant prices in singapore. i thought the roast pork (烧肉) was really excellent, looked amazing & tasted incredible, so tender & the skin crisp. i can do this again. the char siew (叉烧) was quite average, not poor but no comparison with (say) imperial treasure teochew’s charcoal broiled pork collar or char siew.

son & friends loved the hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐). it was very average though, the coffeeshop zi char standard & no comparison with (say) braised tofu at a good zi char like kok seng.

overall cost for 5pax came to GBP80. for me it was an enjoyable meal & i would be happy to come back again. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap & Good 2-course Dinner + Drink @ Big Easy Covent Gardens on 22Aug2014

plate of mussels

wood roasted mussels (hot & spicy)

son knew his place around london. :-)

he booked this big easy place in king’s road covent gardens & we went there for late dinner at 10.30pm after watching a play “the curious incident of the dog in night time” at gielgud theatre on 22.8.2014. :-)

restaurant had 2 levels & was crowded almost full, looked quite happening. we sat in the basement level, nice & roomy place. & they serve this cheap & good GBP9.95 lunch (till 6pm) & late night menu. :-)

plate of mussels

wood roasted mussels (garlic sauce)

we ordered the 2-course with free brew, slushy or wine menu.

we had the wood roasted mussels. son had garlic sauce & i had hot & spicy. mussels were good, sweet, succulent & tasty. garlic sauce was the better sauce. there were around 15+ to 20 mussels.

margarita

margarita

i tried the margarita. it was good though not my thing.  will take a red if i come again.

bbq 1/2 chicken

bbq 1/2 chicken

bbq 1/2 chicken

bbq 1/2 chicken

prawn fritters & chips (fries)

prawn fritters & chips (fries)

i had the 1/2 bbq chicken. it was done beautifully. chicken was very tender, moist & flavourful, though i am not a fan of the american styled bbq sauce flavour. i took about 1/2 the chicken, and had nothing to complain about.

son took the prawn fritters with the fries. they were large & plump, batter was light enough & all said, again very well done really.

best thing of course was the price. really i mean a walk around borough market would cost more than this & not 1/2 as good. :-)

it was a bit of the hearty & robust type of food for me, so not something i would really do again in a short while during the same trip (also for equally robust food, my preference would be to go for roast duck & roast pork at goldmine etc), but i would certainly do this my next visit to london. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Watch A Play in London=Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (on 22Aug2014)

went to watch the play “the curious incident of the dog in the night time” at geilgud theatre on shaftesbury avenue with son yesterday on 22.8.2014.

timing wise was great as we had morning walk along victoria embankment, house of parliament (big ben), westminster abbey to buckingham palace etc then late lunch 1.30pm at honey & co.

so we had some rest in the afternoon before theatre at 730pm & went for cheap GBP9.95 2-course dinner at big easy at king’s road covent garden at 10.30pm, & returned to apartment as zombies.

gielgud was home to yes prime minister & avenue q, now “the curious incident of the dog in the night time” after national theatre & apollo (where the ceiling collapse-not intended- at the ending some months back)

book by mark haddon was award winning so was the play & current christopher is played by mike noble.

usually we watch musicals (not so intellectually challenging.. haha).  the play (& book) was about a 15 yr old boy christopher with what was described as high functioning autism or savant syndrome, a mathematician with behavioural difficulties, finding the neighbour’s dog dead with a garden fork. police was called & he reacted violently when touched, was arrested then released & later found out his father’s been lying to him about his mother’s death 2 years ago after he found his mother’s unopened letters to him dated few months back in his father’s room…etc…

the synopsis did not quite excite me but i guess the acclaimed play (& book) must be quite good.

anyway the performance by christopher was quite captivating. remarkable how stage actors can memorise all these lines, there is no “NG” & reshoot on stage. he was able to portray a brilliant mind who receive constant overdose of factual & emotional stimuli & emotionally unable to relate to people etc..

production was great & innovative (with technology as well) with 3rd person narrative by christopher’s teacher as he wrote the incident & his investigations in a book & the past & present scenes were acted out as the teacher narrated the “book”…

christopher was assembling a toy train railway track on stage in real time in the midst of frantic dialogue & later the train actually moved representing his journey to london to look for his mother…

still we fell asleep during parts of the second half after a 20mins interval.

overall i quite enjoyed the play, but probably would not go out to get the book to read. not sure maybe my son have the book with him.

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Turtle Soup 7pax Lunch @ Tan Ser Seng on 20Aug2014

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

really enjoyed the turtle soup lunch @ tan ser seng today on 20.8.2014.

we all decided to go early. at 1130am, the – at lor bachok (TSS is at shop unit No.29 lor bachok, alongside geylang lor 21) was quite empty. one friend managed to park along the road right next to TSS. :-)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

2xS$50 turtle soup (medium)

we had 5pax taking the turtle soup. the server advised us to get 2xS$50 turtle soup (medium).

2 other friends ordered the S$13 black chicken soup & S$13 cordyceps chicken soup.

i really liked the soup. it was so flavourful, intense yet very smooth. i had turtle soup recently & fu he (OR hock hoe) turtle soup at berseh food centre on 10.8.2014. anyway tan ser seng supplied slaughtered turtles to 15 stalls including all 3 turtle soup stalls at berseh food centre. :-) fu he was very good too. i could not be sure, but i think tan ser seng was even better & tastier.

it was more expensive as 2xS$50 shared by 5pax=S$20pax whereas we had S$40 shared by 3 at fu he. but i felt i had more turtle meat which included all the good parts – the legs, the jelly (soft shell) & little bits of fat. overall i am very happy with this lunch.

they have this rule restricting soup refill to 1 time, but the bowl was kind of tiny for refill for a S$50 bowl. at fu he, we got a huge refill of soup. for me though, it was enough & i didn’t need so much soup even though they were wonderfully tasty. :-)

S$13 black chicken soup

S$13 black chicken soup

S$13 cordyceps chicken soup

S$13 cordyceps chicken soup

the black chicken & cordyceps chicken looked great too. again S$13 was kind of ex, but important thing was it must be good. :-)

S$1.30 yam rice

S$1.30 yam rice

& we all decided to order the S$1.30pax yam rice! felt like kook, but white rice also S$0.70. anyway the rice was good. :-)

i will definitely come back here again to enjoy this yummy dish. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Decent Mixed Beef Soup (牛杂汤) @ Scotts Hwa Heng Beef Noodles B4 Ion Orchard on 19Aug2014

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤)

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤) – S$5

went to uniqlo at ion orchard B3 to buy something, so dropped by food opera at B4 to check out the stalls.

ordered a S$5 mixed beef soup (牛杂汤) w/o noodles or rice at hwa heng beef noodles.

heng hwa beef noodles

hwa heng beef noodles

heng hwa beef noodles

hwa heng beef noodles

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤)

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤) – S$5

there were just 2 or 3 slices of beef, 2 pieces of braised beef, 3 beef balls & quite several cut of stomach – decent enough portion for S$5 here i guess. the soup is the usual singapore hainanese beef noodle type soup (stall was supposed to be from 1948), which is slightly sweet & light closer to vietnamese “pho” than thai. pretty good. don’t have the robust beefy flavours & punch of HK beef noodle soup which was ok as i was not expecting it to.

my preference would still be beef noodle soup at thai noodle house, the beef brisket noodles 牛腩面 at noodles restaurant and at  Lao Jie Fang 老街坊 Mei Chin Food Court. but i am also quite happy with this for a change. :-)

overall, pretty ok.

c.h.e.f andy

RI G20 Dinner @ Hung Kang on 18Aug2014

suckling pig

suckling pig

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.42.38 am

we had our monthly dinner 11pax at hung kang last evening on 18.8.2014.

last time i came here was the birthday whole suckling pig birthday dinner for my brother & sister in Jun2013. :-)

menu still the same but saw some inflation from S$438 to S$468.

longevity buns

longevity buns

i liked the longevity buns though it was just tau sah. :-)

appetizer platter - spring rolls, jellyfish, chicken, trotter jelly

#1 appetizer platter – spring rolls, jellyfish, chicken, trotter jelly

#1 appetizer platter of spring rolls, jellyfish, chicken, trotter jelly was pretty ok though presentation (look) not the best. spring roll was good. trotter jelly just average. jellyfish the usual, chicken didn’t look great but tasted fine. :-)

fish maw soup

#2 sharkskin & fish maw soup

#2 sharkskin & fish maw soup was good very tasty! :-)

suckling pig

#3 suckling pig

#3 suckling pig good also. though i thought that chui huay lim & even ah yat were tastier.

white cereal prawns

#4 white cereal prawns

#4 white cereal prawns. nothing much to comment, but i liked the usual cereal prawns much better.

teochew steamed pomfret

#5 teochew steamed pomfret

#5 teochew steamed pomfret was very good! not “chow chor” aka fishy taste. excellent dish. :-)

sliced abalones with jingbai

#6 sliced beiling mushrooms with jingbai (京白)

#6 sliced beiling mushrooms with jingbai (京白) was pretty ok.

fried noodles

#7 fried noodles

#7 fried noodles was just ok.

orh nee

#8 pumpkin orh nee (金瓜芋泥)

#8 pumpkin orh nee (金瓜芋泥) was ok. but not as good as many other places though, like chui huay lim or even muliangzai liang kee.

c.h.e.f andy