Archives for posts with tag: London


The Dock Kitchen is weird. Is it a good weird or a bad weird? I don’t know. It started as a pop-up restaurant but it is not a pop-up anymore. It does not seem to know what it is- is it a restaurant in a lighting showroom (you know, a bit like the restaurant inside IKEA)? Is it a brassiere? a canteen? a restaurant? After eating there twice, I still have no idea, and this bugs me.

The Dock Kitchen
The Dock Kitchen shares the same building as Tom Dixon, the lighting designer who sometimes also designs furniture and interiors. There is a staircase that leads you directly to the toilet and the lighting shop. Everywhere in the dining area, you can see Tom Dixon’s lights- A LOT of them. They are put in clusters in zones and the furniture (some also designed by Dixon) varies accordingly. The chairs on our table were not that comfy. The back was low and I had no idea where to put my long coat. (p.s no cloak room facilities) Some of the lights look tacky and it was hung so low that 2 of us hit our head by accident when we stood up to leave the table.

The service was borderline between amateur and bad. (I blame Michel Roux’s Service TV series for making me pay more attention to this) Continue reading >>

 

Nopi is the latest restaurant from the group behind the successful Ottolenghi chain of restaurants. Its cuisine is an exciting mix of Asian and Middle Eastern influences and they postively encourage diners to share dishes, making for a fun and informal way of eating a wide selection of dishes. Ideal for the diner who craves variety.

rose veal carpaccio
There were originally different menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. But apparently they have decided to keep it simple for now and just serve lunch and dinner. Dishes for lunch and dinner are arranged in 4 simple categories: meat, fish, vegetables and sweet.

All the dishes were beautifully presented, like the rose veal carpaccio, beetroot and kashk (photo above). They were in small portions, similar to that of Spanish tapas or Chinese dim sum, as they were designed to be shared.

Scallops at Nopi
We played our favourite game of ‘what tastes Chinese?’

The seared scallops, pickled daikon and green apple (photo above) were a delight, they were seared and served with what we assumed was a variation of XO sauce. Scallops served with a sauce made of dried shellfish and oil. Continue reading about Nopi >>


{Post last updated on 7th June, 2011}
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is Heston’s first London restaurant. We had our Chinese New Year Eve’s meal there, before any restaurant critics wrote their review. We decided to do so solely based on Heston‘s reputation (as the chef of Fat Duck, the 3 Michelin starred restaurant, one of the top 3 restaurants in the world), and that of the Mandarin Oriental. We then went back twice more to try out the menu and shared our experience with friends!

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Beef Royal at Dinner By Heston
Meat Fruit (c.13th to 15th century) was my favourite starter as it was fun and playful. We were happy to see the mandarin as in Chinese, it has the same pronunciation as ‘gold’ which is what we like having for Chinese New Year! What looked like a perfect mandarin was actually a chicken liver parfait enclosed in a thin layer of mandarin ‘gel’. The parfait was smooth and it was perfect with the subtle mandarin gel. What you see is not what you eat is also the signature of Fat Duck. Does that mean Dinner is a twin of Fat Duck?

Meat Fruit at Dinner by Heston
Not quite.
The dishes at Dinner have much stronger historical references than those of Fat Duck. They were so proud of their source of inspiration, that they actually told you at the back of their menu where they got the idea from for each dish and from what time period the dish is from. Continue reading about Dinner by Heston Blumenthal >>

 

Minamoto Kitchoan is a traditional Japanese cake and confectionery shop based in Kamakura, Japan. This shop in London has been opened for quite a long time. It is a lovely place to buy special cakes for Japanese festivals, gifts for friends or for yourself!

Japanese cakes at Minamoto KitchoanJapanese cakes at Minamoto Kitchoan
Here is a little secret that few know (as they do not advertise it): Continue reading about the secret >>

French Toast is one my favourite Hong Kong Cafe food. It was inspired by the French pain perdu. The Hong Kong  version is to use a thick slice of white bread, soak it in beaten egg mix for a few minutes until it gets ‘saturated’, and then deep fry it till golden. The finished ‘toast’ is then served with butter and golden syrup. They complement each other very well.

Fench Toast by Cafe in Hong Kong
I know this dish has even more calories than my other favourite, pineapple bun with butter. But it is very tasty!

As a fast moving city where every minute counts, Hong Kong loses a lot of cafe which makes French toast the good old way now. Most cafe ‘cheats’ by putting peanut butter between 2 thin slices of bread Continue reading >>

Dearest Li Ching,

It is hard for me to believe that you have left this world. I still remember vividly the last time we said goodbye to each other (when I visited Singapore)- you and your husband, together with your child in the middle, walked hand-in-hand to see me off to the stairs of the complex you lived in. We just had lunch with your family. You showed me your wedding photos and I laughed at your cheesy poses. I did not expect that was the last time we saw each other.

It is even harder for me to believe that you took you own life. I had heard that you had complication with the birth of your 2nd child when I started searching for you. But I did not expect that suicide was how your life was ended.

You will always be the bubbly Li Ching I once shared the hall of residence with. We did not study in the same universities in London but fate led us to stay in Cartwright University Halls. You were the bright student who was awarded a full scholarship to study Economics at LSE. You were so clever that you did not seem to need to study much. Remember the night when you were due to have exam the next day, but you kept chatting to us? I had to physically move you back to your room so that you would get ready! Of course, you passed everything with flying colours. (Even after you graduated, you passed all the 3 grades of financial analysts in no time.) Continue reading about the remarkable Li Ching >>

4 stars
I have always been fascinated by the 3 bird roast. Why did anyone come up with the idea of cooking a bird inside a bird inside a bird? In the old days, a multiple bird roast was about showing off the wealth of the host, as not that many people could afford such extravagance. Nowadays, the most common 3 bird roast is Turducken, ie. chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. I am not a turkey fan so I was very keen to try out the one served at the Fountain. It was Goopheaken – chicken cooked inside a pheasant inside a goose.

3 bird roast at the Fountain

I was a little disappointed to see that the waiter did not serve the whole Goopheaken decorated with feathers of the animals, like they did in the old days (according to some old cookbooks) but that was kind of expected. I knew at the back of my head that it would only be in my dreams that the chef would put a chicken through the bottom of a pheasant through the bottom of a goose. In reality, the animals are all deboned and rolled up in layers, with stuffing inside. At the Fountain, it was all done neatly with delicious orange, chestnut and pork stuffing right in the centre.

I was given 4 different choices of condiments- Cumberland sauce (red currants and oranges), game relish (cranberries, red currants, lemon and Fortnum’s port. The waiter told us that it has rabbit fat in it!), cranberry sauce (cranberries, Fortnum’s LBV port and zesty oranges) and red currants savour. I tried all of them (of course!) and found that Continue reading >>

It was the most surreal yet amazing experience I have ever had! This was how I felt after I came out from Bindu Shards– one of the latest pieces of work by the brilliant light artist James Turrell at the Gagosian Gallery in London.

After walking through a dark corridor, I was greeted by a lady in a white laboratory coat, standing under the shadow of a gigantic white metal sphere and its platform. After confirming my identity, I was asked to sign a form to confirm that I do not have epilepsy and nor am I pregnant- it sounded like I was about to experience something dramatic! I was also asked if I would like it ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ as if I was going to have an egg! Apparently it was to do with the intensity of the experience. ‘Since you are confident, I suggest you go for hard’, the lady said. ‘Ok! Hard it is!’ I answered with great anticipation.

After taking my coat and shoes off, I was ‘wheeled’ into the sphere on a ‘bed’- exactly like when I had my MRI scan, including the part when I was given a headphone to wear and a panic button to get out if I felt claustrophobic half way. ‘I need a panic button to see an art installation?’ I thought. The whole build-up was exciting but also a little spooky! Strangely, she suggested that I take off my glasses as I would have a better experience. ‘I do not need my glasses in order to “see” an installation?’ I was intrigued.

Even though I was aware of that fact that technically I was lying down, looking up to  the inside of hemisphere, I felt that I was engulfed by blueness. There was no beginning and no end. The lady was right about no glasses as my vision would have been framed by them unnecessarily. A lot of dark patterns started to emerge first slowly then very quickly in different rhythms. I felt a bit unease and for a split second, I started to worry what if I actually had epilepsy without knowing it? Before I managed to finish this question in my head, I noticed that tears started to drop alongside my face. Continue reading >>

Surround Me is a series of sound installations, which only takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in a few locations in the City of London. It was created by Susan Philipsz (edited: winner of  Turner Prize 2010) and commissioned by Art Angel.

Winky says:
It was strange to walk around the city of London during the weekend. It was deserted. We were left with the streets, architecture and the space created in between. Arriving at Change Alley, I had no idea what to expect. Standing right in the middle of the junctions between four alleys, I was a little confused. Just when I wanted to ‘phone a friend’, a lady started singing ‘New Oyster, new oyster……’ The singing started at the other end as well and the sound was echoed by the surrounding buildings. The ghostly voice subtly unfolded history of the place. It was magical.    Continue reading >>

One of the reason why I like visiting Japan so much is their lunch bento box. The variety is huge and packaging is art. Sadly, this kind of bento boxes cannot be found in London but simplified versions can be found in Japanese supermarkets (like Japan  Centre ) and Japanese restaurants. Among all, Eat Tokyo‘s teriyaki chicken bento box is the best.

chicken teriyaki bento box

At lunch time, customers can order grilled mackerel, chicken katsu or port katsu takeaway bento boxes from Eat Tokyo though my favourite is the chicken teriyaki. It is amazing. I have craving for it nearly every other week. The cook to order chicken (a generous portion) was tender and succulent, served on a bed of hot and soft Japanese rice,  complemented by a small salad (with its own dressing in a small bottle), a small miso soup and pickled vegetables. For £4.80, it was the best lunch bento box I have ever had in London. To eat-in, this meal would have cost over £7. The takeaway option is a bargain! Continue reading >>