Archives for posts with tag: London

Ever since El Bulli was closed, all projects by the Adria brothers have created a lot of excitement. Albert Adria’s pop up restaurant at Hotel Cafe Royal, 50 Days, was quickly booked out. We initially only booked the cocktail menu but luckily managed to get a table through a last minute cancellation. Keeping asking helped!

The meal started with a cocktail at Cafe Royal’s Oscar Wilde Bar, which would look extremely OTT in bright lights but with dimmed lighting, it offered the perfect setting for the cocktails and snacks, which were the ”starters” of the tasting menu. It was followed by the main meal, which was served in the hotel’s restaurant Domino.

Some of Tickets‘s signature bar snacks were on offer to compliment the two cocktails: Elote and Ephimere. Ticket’s Olive beautifully became part of the ornamental decorations. It was a gem,  releasing intense flavour from 6 pressed olives. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is so busy at work these days, I decided that unless it is an amazing experience, I would not be bothered writing about it here. Aulis at Fera is certainly one worth spending the time for!

There have been too many chef’s table on offer in London lately and to be honest, I am not particularly excited eating in a busy kitchen. Aulis is different. It is a Chef’s table in a private kitchen within the professional kitchen at Fera at Claridges, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant famous for its creative and natural take on modern British cuisine. The chefs who prepared the meal are from the development team of Fera, and the dishes are yet to be offered in the menu of the restaurant outside. Yes, we are guinea pigs in that sense and what a pair of happy guinea pigs we have been!

Beautiful and glamorous as it is, Claridges always feel a bit too formal and restrained. The journey from its main entrance, through Fera’s reception, dining area hall, via the professional kitchen into the compact private kitchen full of gadgets set the scene to something more playful and experimental.


Read the rest of this entry »

Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
After watching China winning  gold in 3m springboard synchronised diving, we were high in spirits when we stumbled upon a curious red and white pavilion. I suddenly recalled a friend telling me about the Coca Cola Beat Box– It has been built!

Unfortunately, the concept drawing looked a lot more interesting than in real life, as the mass of the core in the middle killed what was supposed to be light red and white interlocking panels (which produce special ‘beats’ when the sensors hidden in the panels are triggered). The beats are supposed to resemble that of Olympic disciplines but the narratives are too forced in my opinion. The best part of it is actually not the design of the pavilion, but what is waiting at the top……

Touch pad-Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012

Olympic torch photo opportunity  in the Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Light installation  in the Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Yes, you guessed it right! Check here to see the answer >>

The Front Row at London Fashion Week 2012
I had my little Anne Wintour moment at London Fashion Week 2012. Oh well, kind of. It was my first time attending a fashion show. I was excited.

Somerset House, London Fashion Week 2012
It was surprising to see how many people bothered to wake up early on a cold winter’s day to go and see the show. I woke up even earlier than I would do in a week day! That is the magic of fashion, I suppose? Continue reading to check out the fashion show >>

1888 Mural in Horse and Dolphin Yard, London Chinatown
1888 is an outdoor mural (8 metre by 5 metre) which I created for London, to celebrate the heritage and vibrance of its Chinatown. It was unveiled on 18.08.08 (18th August 2008). Today, it is 3 years old!

Vistors reading the plaque
It is composed of 1888 photos which are related to Chinatown, donated by the public. ‘8’ is a good figure in Chinese numerology – it symbolises fortune, so a triple eight is especially good. The number one, in Cantonese, sounds like the word for ‘every day’. When I created the mural, I wished that it would bring good fortune to Chinatown every day.

It started as an art competition, which I only discovered 6 days before the submission deadline. Even though I am an architect, I have never really entered anything like this – but I felt strongly about it and the ideas just kept coming. 1888 combined my passions (food, photography and event organising) with my attachment to Chinatown. The final idea came to me very quickly. And I won! Continue reading to see how the mural was made (video) and more >>


The Corner Room, London
I am lazy. If it was not for my friends visiting from US, I probably would not be bothered to head East for food, especially when the destination was a restaurant that does not take bookings. In this case, my friends decided to head there early to get a table. When I arrived at 7pm, the place was still not full so at least it was not a frustrating start to the evening.

Corner Room is the breakfast room of a boutique hotel, which was converted from and named after The Town Hall in Bethnal Green. It is strange to see such a smart hotel in a scruffy neighbourhood like this. I think in modern terms, that is ‘hip’. Like its big sister Viajante, Corner room is also run by Chef Nuno Mendes.

Mackerel with melon, pistachio & gooseberry granita at Corner Room, London
The dining area was lovely- simple and full of light. There was a lot of seafood on the menu. We had Mackerel with melon, pistachio & gooseberry granita (photo above) and Stone bass ceviche & broad beans (2 photos down) as starters. They were fresh, firm and well-seasoned. Though the mackerel was served in a curious straight line, offset from the centre of the circular plate. I did not realise at the time, but it was actually a preview of the bizarre presentation style that was to continue throughout the whole meal. Continue to see more! >>

Takashi MurakamiI have not heard much about Takashi Murakami’s work before, but as I grew up in Hong Kong where Japanese cartoons are shown daily on TV and Japanese manga is pretty much part of people’s life, I am not a stranger to Japanese sexual fantasy, especially how women are usually portrayed as figures that have big breasts, short body and super long legs. Takashi Murakami has ’embraced’ this part of Japanese culture by making two 3 metre high sculptures of what would have been palm size dolls. You can check them out in the Gagosian Gallery, which held an amazing light exhibition of James Turrell earlier this year.

There is also a 2 metre high golden penis standing alongside an equally tall silver vagina. Both have a smiley face on top.


A series of paintings of naked women were on display on one side of the wall. They have been mounted in such a way that your eye level lines up with the level of their genital areas.

Hmmm…. Continue reading >>

The Summer House is a pop-up restaurant near Little Venice. With tables by the canal, it was a great hit last summer. Back then, I went there with a group of friends and it was a lovely evening. It took me a month to arrange as it was so popular!

The Summerhouse
Sitting by the canal at the Summerhouse
This year, the Summerhouse was the top of my list when I came up with this impulsive idea of meeting my friend E on the longest day of the year. I was surprised that I could still book a table with only a day’s notice. Though it did not take me long to understand why. Read the rest of this entry »

Coca Cola 125th Anniversary Special Edition ‘Hutchinson’ bottles and 50's style soda bar at Selfridges
I went to check out the Selfridges sale and got distracted by the heritage inspired Coca Cola bottles! They are special editions to celebrate their 125th anniversary, sold at £1.99 each.

Some are straight long bottles called Hutchinson, which were first created in 1899. Others are classic curvy ones with the words ‘Coca Cola’ cast in the glass. They are sold in special white paper boxes at the Selfridges Food Hall or chilled at the Soda Bar on the Ground Floor, in the fashion department. It is manned by 50’s styled waiters and waitresses. Continue reading >>


Menu at the Bonnie & Wild (M.Manze's traditional Pie & Mash hall)
Bonnie & Wild is a ‘part-time’ (they insisted that it is not ‘pop-up’!) restaurant named after Bonnie Gull Ltd and Wild Game Co. The former specialises in fresh Scottish seafood and the latter Highlands seasonal game. It is not hard to imagine what the menu of the Bonnie & Wild would be consisted of and I really looked forward to it.

It will open on Saturday evenings from July 2nd but we managed to get a preview meal!

the Bonnie & Wild (M.Manze's traditional Pie & Mash hall)

the Bonnie & Wild (M.Manze's traditional Pie & Mash hall)
The venue blew me away. It is at M.Manze’s in Chapel Market, Angel. Between 11am to 3pm, this 1905 Grade II Listed shop is a traditional English pie and mash shop. Apparently even David Beckham goes there!

Not much light was turned on the night we went. It kind of created an old English charm. We were led to one of the classic wooden booths in the middle of the hall, with seats that were not very deep- a bit like the pews you would find in old churches. As I am petite, I found it comfy. But I cannot imagine how anyone bigger than my size could squeeze in there! In fact, the seat bounced up and down when the diners behind tried to get in and out- kind of charming! Continue reading to see the food >>