We went to see David Hockney‘s latest show ‘A Bigger Picture’ at Royal Academy of Arts on a cold day in mid-winter. It has been a while since I last went to the countryside as it just seems to be dull and cold most of the time.
‘Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006’, 2006. Oil on 6 canvases. 182 x 366 cm. © David Hockney. Photo credit: Richard Schmidt, from RCA website.
This show has been widely anticipated and was said to be likely to be as popular as the National Gallery’s exhibition for Leonardo De Vinci. How was it? Click here to find out >>
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!
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 >>
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.
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! >>
With large numbers of people now owning smart phones with built in cameras, there has been a great amount of press regarding the new spate of augmented reality adverts, where one can simply point their smartphone at something, and a virtual layer can be superimposed over the real world. Today I decided to visit the world of augmented reality.
I had not stumbled across the augmented reality adverts in real life before, I had just seen them discussed in news articles etc, but while in a camera shop, I came across a number of advertising postcards for Panasonic‘s new G3 camera. The cards stated ‘To bring this card to life, download Aurasma Lite from the App Store. Point your smart phone/device at the image to access special, extra content.’
It was almost something out of Harry Potter, especially with the instructions on how to ‘bring things to life’. Continue reading about Augmented reality >>
Just in time for summer, Heston Blumenthal, chef of Fat Duck ( the 3 Michelin starred restaurant and one of the top 3 restaurants in the world) and Dinner (which explores ancient British recipes) collaborated with high- end supermarket Waitrose to create two special ice-creams- Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Caramel Popcorn (photo above). I decided to have a taste off – really just an excuse to have 2 tubs of ice-cream at the same time! So which one is better? 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!
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 »
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 >>
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 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 >>
According to Victoria and Albert museum, Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto “became internationally renowned in the early eighties for challenging traditional notions of fashion by designing garments that seemed oversized, unfinished, played with ideas of gender or fabrics not normally used in fashionable attire such as felt or neoprene. Other works revealed Yamamoto’s unusual pattern cutting, knowledge of fashion history and sense of humour. His work is characterised by a frequent and skilful use of black, a colour which he describes as ‘modest and arrogant at the same time”.
I have never seen the work of Yohji Yamamoto with my own eyes before so I looked forward to learning about this famous Japanese fashion designer.
As we entered the room, we were ‘greeted’ by a sticky sheet of plastic, instead of red carpet, on the floor. I am not sure what it was for, perhaps to get rid of the dirt from our dirty shoes so that it would not ruin the light grey rubber on the floor? It could also be a sharp reminder that we should now pay attention to texture.
Over 60 creations of Yamamoto were displayed on mannequins together in one room with double height headroom (Gallery 38). It was flooded with bright white light- Together with the
decorative steel scaffoldings, it felt informal and welcoming. Visitors were allowed to wander around freely. As the garments were not kept in glass boxes, they could check out the details in close distance. They were not supposed to, but a lot of them could not help themselves from touching the garments. Apparently no photography or even sketching was allowed. Many still did so but the security guards were not that bothered to say anything. Read the rest of this entry »
I did not realise that I was surrounded by closet alphonso mango lovers until I happened to order a box of them while making an order online for my Lock & Lock airtight containers (curiously my suppliers of Lock & Lock containers also sell boxes of mangoes) . I started to get requests for add-on orders from my mango loving colleagues! And when the boxes of mangoes arrived, I received moans from others for not letting them know I was ordering in the first place. Apparently, alphonso mangoes are everyone’s secret favourite mangoes! (Ok, at least by those who sit around me in the office!)
What is so special about Alphonsos mangoes?
They are Continue reading >>