Friday, 30 November 2012

Mille Feuille

A thick layer of whipped cream and a layer of jam sandwiched between puff pastry all covered with sweet, gooey icing.

This is one of the best things I have discovered ever since I started living [and eating] in London.

And probably one of the worst as well, if you would take a second look at the first sentence.

Anyway, this is what Tesco calls it:

when it is actually Mille Feuille, but missing a layer.

An actual mille feuille from Patisserie Valerie

Mille Feuille, also known as Napoleon, is a French pastry dessert which looks like the one above but with another layer of pastry in the middle. Seems like Tesco just got lazy. But I'm not complaining, because it is still a delectable combination of cream, pastry, jam and icing.

There is no way to eat this without making a bit of a mess. Whether you slice or bite into the pastry, you will be greeted with whipped cream oozing out of the sides while the pastry stubbornly stays in one piece. I have not yet discovered the true technique of cutting into the mille feuille, but I will get it with, um, regular practice.

Everyone must try the mille feuille at least once in their life. Unless you're me, you'll probably find that once is enough – if otherwise, you'll be addicted to the guilt-inducing but extremely luxurious pastry dessert.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Assa (Korean food)

Before coming to London, Korean food was just something I had never encountered or bothered to try, maybe because I assumed that Korean dishes were nothing more than thrown-together variations of Kimchi, or because of their long, complicated names. Also, I was probably contented with my Japanese food obsession, and felt that Japanese food was the only other type of Oriental food I needed in my life. I don't know if this is a good comparison, but it's like if you took up French as your second language and went around rambling 'comment allez-vous' and plus belles phrases en français, I don't think you'd be in a hurry to learn Danish and greet someone with 'hvordan har du det' anytime soon.

Anyway, it was a busy Saturday night in Soho, and all the restaurants were piling up with people. Thank god for Chinatown, which has several rows of Asian food-places. My friends and I settled on Assa, a Korean restaurant on Romilly Street, and we got in after about 15 minutes of waiting time.

Google images helps the lazy blogger

As one of my friends pointed out, it was one of those places which would make your hair reek – one would inevitably leave the restaurant smelling like a walking Kimchi stalk. Nevertheless, the place was filled with the warm, happy and comforting aroma of Asian food which only served to entice our appetites.

Like many other cheaper Asian restaurants in London, you are there for the food, and not the atmosphere. The tables were small and rectangular, and the place was noisy and busy – not an ideal place for long conversations or catching-up, something in-common with most Asian restaurants in London. You are rushed in, you are served, you are shoved out via implying stares from waitresses.

A must-try in Assa is the Kimchi fried rice. (Kimchi 'Bokumbop') We had two plates of those but I would've been happy with two more. It is served with a fried egg atop, yolk still runny, and sigh-inducing when leaked and eaten with the fried rice. The rice was made tasty with the kimchi, and had a lovely smoky taste that all good fried rice dishes have.

Then we had Kimchi noodle soup and a Kimchi hot pot which seemed like nothing but a whole lot of Kimchi to me, but filled me up decently.

We then got a Kimchi pancake, (kimchijeon) which was Kimchi and who-knows-what-else deep fried in a golden tempura-like batter served with tempura sauce. (Or the Korean equivalent) It was crispy, warm, tasty and absolutely yummy.

After the dinner, we hung out at Starbucks until they chased us out onto the streets with the partygoers and drunken people at 11pm. Central London in the night is satisfying in a strange way whenever you are out with friends.

23 Romilly Street
UK W1D 5
020 7734 9050

Monday, 19 November 2012


One of the things which gives me cheap thrills here in London is the ability to eat on the train. In Singapore, there is the penalty of a monetary fine if you are ever caught eating on a train. This results in very clean public transport facilities, but also starving commuters. (I doubt it's just me who would suddenly be overcome with hunger during a 20-minute train journey, yes?)

It is rare to see a picture on this blog without a bite stolen out of impatience

I gleefully picked up this Chocolate Chunk shortbread from Marks & Spencer's in Richmond station yesterday while on the way to Central London to meet my sister for lunch. I usually have the impression that M&S is where all the rich people do their grocery shopping, but my friend Emily had to go grab a sandwich for lunch, so I followed her into the shop and chanced upon the bakery section. This shortbread was 62p per piece, and I always knew that Marks & Spencer's would never disappoint when it comes to shortbread. I had it on the train and it was really good and satisfying. The shortbread was light yet sweet, and the sugar on top was a treat, and the milk chocolate chunks were just right.

More M&S shopping with my sister resulted in this purchase. 

Shortbread is one of the things that really makes me wish I wasn't going through the abnormal-appetite teenage phase. After having one, you just can't help yourself to another. But shortbread is so buttery and sugary – by the time you gobble up your third, you can feel your stomach double in size.

But, heck, shortbread cookies are on the top of my gluttonous list, alongside stuff like chocolate-coated digestive biscuits and eclairs. And for as long as I stay in the UK, I don't think they'll be escaping my wrath anytime soon.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Great British Bake Off

In BBC's The Great British Bake Off, sometimes you are greeted by this shot:

Followed by some of these:

I mean, what could you possibly not like about a show like that?

The Great British Bake Off is a competition TV show by BBC which is filmed on-site in a big white tent where contestants are given three challenges per weekend, which they have to bake and present to judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. (How apt is her name?) In each episode there is a 'Star Baker' (i.e. the person who's absolutely blown the minds of Mary and Paul with their dessert) and some poor chap who gets eliminated because they messed up the pastry or murdered the recipe.

Although it is a competition, there is a light-hearted atmosphere in every episode with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins providing some British witty humour, and judges who are honest and straightforward, yet do not verbally abuse the contestants. coughgordonramseycough The contestants are a pleasant bunch – nobody steals nobody's flour and nobody tells the guy behind the camera that they're the best. Nope, none of that America's Next Top Model shit.

In every episode, I look forward to seeing the creative ideas of the bakers, and their mouth-watering desserts. I get so inspired to

But unfortunately I'm not allowed to cook/bake in the Cs', lest I ruin the kitchen. (In my own home, I once tried a 2-minute microwave brownie which actually blew up. The entire house reeked for a day.)  This pretty much sucks because it means that I have to wait for three more weeks until I get back to Singapore, then bake frantically for twenty days before flying back to London. NOOOO.

Alternatively, I could go over to one of my friends' places where they are allowed to cook/bake. But there's just something better about baking on my own... I am in complete control of the whole process, and, whatever the outcome is – whether they are perfect little macarons or flat and tasteless soufflé cakes – I know that it's the result of my effort, and that I can reward myself afterwards in the form of cake/pudding/tart without a voice in my head going, "Ah damn, she didn't beat the egg whites enough," or "Argh, I told him – brown sugar, not white."

There isn't a better way to end off this blog post than a few screenshots from season 3 episode 3 of The Great British Bake Off.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rice pudding

Dinner – or as the English people call it, 'supper' – at home is usually technically a 3-course meal. First is the salad bowl and bread basket, or sometimes soup, followed by the 'main course' which sometimes comes in two parts, then the dessert – or, again, as the English have named it, 'pudding' – which can vary from melon to trifle to eclairs.

Rice pudding was one of the first few 'puddings' I had when I came to London. Ever since moving to a new country I was determined to be courageous with my food. (Just last night I had mint choc chip ice cream which I usually hate, because it tastes like toothpaste. But now I don't hate it -- I just dislike it.)

I'm glad Mrs C makes rice pudding because I am absolutely in love with it. When she doesn't make rice pudding, I get this from Tesco:

What? My table, messy? No...

Müller sells yogurt and rice pudding in supermarkets here. The rice pudding comes in several flavours: original, strawberry, apple strudel and vanilla custard. You can have it hot or cold – rice pudding is supposedly a hot dessert but it's fine cold as well.

This isn't the most good-looking picture of rice pudding around, I admit. The brown stuff is Nutella – I heated up the rice pudding in the microwave before adding a blob of Nutella into it which softened and added a nice flavour to the dessert. Mind you, this is acceptable because the original flavour is simply plain rice pudding with a hint of vanilla. The other ones have their flavourings at the bottom of the pot – strawberry sauce, vanilla custard and apple strudel – which makes the whole thing taste heavenly after stirring.

If you haven't had English rice pudding, to try to find some way to get hold of it.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Bonfire night

I was told that something involving fireworks would occur early November, but I had to get the full story through many very international-student-like questions.

So basically, sometime ago, this guy called Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the parliament, (i.e. Big Ben and the golden building around it) but he got stopped, and at this time every year, people celebrate the fact that they didn't get blown up, by releasing fireworks and having bonfire parties.

I wasn't too sure of who this person was until I did a quick Google search.

Just a little bit creepy. Just.

Of course, that isn't actually Guy Fawkes, but it is the mask featured in the movie V for Vendetta (which I have to admit I haven't actually watched and should probably get round to doing it) which was inspired by, er, his face.

Anyway, Mr C brought us round to the house at the end of the street, together with some cheddar and feta cheese, bruschetta (which were burnt in the oven, thanks to Fuyumi and I, but saved, thanks to Mr C) cucumber, breadsticks, and salami slices. It was a mini garden gathering on a very cold night, but it was all pleasant thanks to the bonfire and extremely powerful patio heater.

Fuyumi and I nicked some food from the party despite knowing that there was pasta waiting for us at home. I made ourselves a wrap containing veggies, salmon, chicken tikka and yogurt. Sounds dodgy but actually made for a pretty interesting flavour combination. We also had some thick omelette which I initially mistook for quiche, and a few sausages as well as a roasted marshmallow each. The whole atmosphere was lovely, with stars blinking in the sky and fireworks blooming like flowers occasionally, across the neighbourhood. We fired some from the garden as well, going "oooo" and "wooowww" every time one shot up.

I wish there was a bonfire night every month, it's such a nice way to experience the English suburban nights.

When we got home, we had a tiny portion of pasta (rigatoni and penne mixed) alla something-with-tomatoes-and-meat-in-it-probably-Bolognese-but-i'm-not-so-sure with grated parmesan on top, which is always comfort food.

Hm, I think I'm actually going to try to develop that salmon and chicken tikka wrap combination one day.


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Mr C's Aglio Olio

It is day two of Mrs C's holiday, and, this evening, Mr C has done it again.

It was pure delight gobbling down this place of Aglio Olio, and this time, I had the delight of witnessing it being made in the kitchen! There was no fancy hocus-pocus involved, just mostly kitchen ingredients and, I guess, some special Italian instincts.

Aglio Olio (translates to 'Garlic Oil'. Mr C makes a point of telling us as much as he can about the food that's being made)
for 3 people


1. Faux Italian instinct:
This recipe is going to require a little italiano voice in your head going "a little bit more of this," "how about we add this in," "this should do" and some "mamma mia!" for good measure, as the quantities stated here are pretty much estimated and figured out. But don't back away now, it's your chance to feel like an actual chef instead of using recipes like textbooks.

2. Oil
Mr C picked up different bottles of oil which were conveniently placed beside the stove as well as a mini jar of chilli pepper oil. I just went back to check, and they are a) extra virgin olive oil and b) sunflower oil. The chilli pepper oil was home-made – the Cs simply dunked a few hot chilli peppers into a jar of olive oil and apparently the taste spreads after four days. You also will need a bit of oil from a jar/bottle of anchovy fillets.

3. Three anchovy fillets
Bottle says: 19% extra virgin olive oil with garlic and... something. I've been down to the kitchen twice and I'm not going back a third time to find out what the last component is, because I'm simply lazy, but Google tells me that the anchovy fillets from Sainsbury's are in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and herb. I'm guessing that's the one. These anchovies will get mushed up in the process so they're there for the taste, really. You will hardly notice them.

4. Three cloves of garlic which are 'quite big'
Chopped, diced, blended, grated whatever you like, as long as they are little tiny pieces for sautéing.

5. Bacon

Sliced into little fingernail-sized squares, and not too much to make a salty, oily mess, but just enough to divide sparingly between three people.

6. Broccoli
This ingredient really helped out the recipe and the overall texture of the Aglio Olio, and I'll tell you why in a minute. A bit like the bacon, just get a fair amount to be divided between three people, but you can be a little bit more generous with this one.

7. 1/2 packet of spaghetti
Finally! An ingredient with actual, precise measurements! If I were you I wouldn't know exactly what defines the size of one "packet," but just take it as something slightly bigger than a dancer's forearm. This is as accurate as I can get – everybody's forearm is different. What if you happen to be a rugby player? Or an anorexic? Or a chubby person? Or a highly intelligent gorilla?

8. Mini eggplants, halved
This ingredient is a guess. I spotted some sort of sweet vegetable in the dish. It had a dark purple skin and soft, juicy brownish insides, and it was cut lengthwise. Just a few of these, not too many.

9. Grated parmesan cheese
A must for every pasta we have at the Cs'.

10. Salt
You probably need it.

11. Soya sauce
You need a little bit.

12. Anything else you fancy
Mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, gummy bears – I don't know.


1. Sautée the bacon, eggplant and garlic in olive oil in a normal frying pan. Be generous with the oil and add sunflower oil when you feel like it. Drizzle chilli pepper oil over it, as well as the oil from the anchovy jar. All these shouldn't be drowning the ingredients like in a deep-fry, but enough to cover the pan and coat the ingredients. Like a thick puddle. (I do hope these explanations aren't putting you in a fix. Calm down and let the Italian instinct take over.) Er, I think you have to add salt as well. Also, add about a teaspoon of soya sauce. After you are done, set this aside.

2. Fill a pot with water and put the spaghetti in, moving it around to let it soften and sink in. Once it's all in, throw in the broccoli and leave it for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Oh, you have to add in some olive oil to prevent the spaghetti from sticking to each other or to the pan. I have a feeling that one of those doesn't actually happen, but I'm hoping that you are as clueless as I am. Add salt too, about two teaspoons.

To check whether the spaghetti is al dente, (firm but not hard) bite into a strand and make sure there is no whiteness in the noodle. And while you are chewing it you can probably tell as well. Don't worry if it's a teeny bit chewy, it will have a nice and crunchy (in the pasta sense and not the biscuit sense) texture once on the plate.

3. Drain the spaghetti and broccoli once they're ready.

4. Heat up the other stuff in the frying pan if you wish, and pour the stuff over the spaghetti. (Doesn't matter if it's in a serving bowl or the pot) Mr C used the spaghetti to swipe off the remaining oil in the pan to prevent wastage. Mix it well.

5. Serve it with grated parmesan cheese on the top.

If you completely skipped the recipe because you have no interest in cooking, here's where you should resume reading.

I have to tell you the interesting bit about the broccoli. First of all, I should let you know that I particularly like it when I can feel the mushy parmesan particles in my pasta instead of it all disappearing into the sauce. The little buds from the broccoli which disseminated into the spaghetti made this similar effect, and I thought it was a really great touch. And if all this doesn't make sense to you at all, I understand completely.

The end product is an extremely tasty and aromatic warm spaghetti Aglio Olio. The spaghetti is just right, and the different oils used make for a delightful taste spectrum, especially with the touch of anchovies. Mr C's estimation skills also ensured that the spaghetti was neither drowned in oil nor dry and sticky – at the end of the meal, there were no puddles of oil left on my plate, something that often happens with Aglio Olio.

I can't wait for the next dinner. With all this Italian food I'm probably going to turn half-Italian by the end of the week.



Mrs C is away on a vacation in Turkey this week, which means we have Italian food by Mr C every night.

By the way, I say 'we' because there are two of us in this house.

We were left with microwave dinner that week because the Cs were on holiday.

Fuyumi hails from Japan, and she has a love for food like I do, except she is less of a glutton than I am, and has a more reasonable amount of self-control than I do.

Anyway. So I've introduced Mr C's risotto, and now I'm going to talk about Bruschetta. (Ah Italian food always sounds so sophisticated (´ ▽`).。o♡  )

Last night, Fuyumi and I helped out with this antipasto, (the word for Italian appetizers, in case you don't live with an Italian who cooks) and it was a pretty easy job. Firstly, we got a slice of hot toast and a clove of garlic, and we were told to rub the garlic onto the toast, cheese-grater style. I started off uncertainly, but as I went on, I realized that the garlic was indeed getting smaller. I never knew you could do that with garlic! I feel like I've discovered a new magic trick. Involving food, of course.

Then we had to flood the toast with olive oil, and place the sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes on its surface before cutting and serving. Bruschetta is such a warm and comforting food item to have in such cold weather. Actually, toast itself usually saves the day. But the mushrooms and tomatoes add an extra yumminess and preparation for the meal that is to come.

More, please. Can't wait for tonight's dinner!

By the way, antipasti is plural for antipasto.

Just saying.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Student budget lunches

I can never restrain myself from taking bites from my food before I reach the doorstep.

This is what my desk looks like when I have an uneventful Saturday afternoon and I choose the practical option for lunch, while Tesco express (one of the major supermarkets) is a 5-minute walk away and so is Express Coffee

I guess this is the start of recovery from the week of indulgence in which I told myself, "Hey, since I have a half-term break in London, I should try getting as many good lunches in while I can."

Thank you Google Street View. But nowadays the scaffolding is gone and the kiosk is beige.

On an unrelated note, I walked past a man outside Express Coffee who asked for the time and afterward told me that I smelled lovely. He seemed to be a pretty nice man but I got worried for his olfactory senses because I had just finished a three hour long dance rehearsal at school and I'm sure I didn't smell anything like flowers.

Anyway, when I found out this shop had about ten jars of Byron Bay cookies, I instantly appointed myself as a regular. The first time I had Byron Bay cookies, I was on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney and they handed out these Triple Choc Fudge cookies. My friend had motion sickness, (the pilot for that flight was particularly bad) so I gladly took her cookie after savoring my own.

This time, I got a Butterscotch & Pecan as well as a White Choc Chunk & Macadamia Nut. (£1.35 each) Funnily enough, I cannot find the former flavor on any of Byron Bay's websites or related Google searches.

Look at those big fat pecans

Whitey goodness

For the first, the pecan nuts were generous but the butterscotch taste took a while for my taste buds to discover. The white chunks and macadamia were well placed.

Okay this review sounds pretty dry because... the cookies were sort of like that. I hate to say it because I hate to believe it, but although they had the thickness of shortbread, they were crumbly and rather dry for my liking. Maybe it's because winter's coming and the jars aren't well-made, (as compared to the sealed plastic wrapping of the servings on the plane) or maybe it's a personal preference. Or maybe because I've been having a Ben's Cookies (stay tuned for its own review) spree this week. Either way, I do wish the cookies had slightly more buttery goodness which would further enhance its taste as well.

All hope is not lost. A few weeks ago I had the Lemon and White Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake flavored cookie. That was just so yummy. I usually avoid lemon in desserts and baked goods, but I gave in to the cheesecake. The combination of the two was harmonious – the lemon light and tangy, and the cheesecake bits sweet and satisfying.

I'm definitely not going to stop trying these cookies. Their bestseller is apparently "Dotty," which is "a rich, golden cookie that is packed with premium creamy European milk chocolate and then smothered in colourful ‘choc drops,’ " and they have a Strawberries & Clotted Cream flavour which I'm definitely getting. 

Express Coffee (but my receipt says 'The Little Pavilion')
167 St Margarets Road
St Margarets TW1 1RD

£1.59 (u.p £1.75)

My desk was messy and so were my taste buds as I stole bites from my cookies and sandwiches alternately while I typed out my homework.

I wonder if the sandwiches were placed tactically from not-so-nice to nicest, because that is the order I found myself eating them in. On the far left of the picture above we have the Branston pickle-spread with two slices of cheese. At this point I have to tell you that I can't differentiate one type of cheese from another unless they have a different consistency, such as grated parmesan, melted mozzarella, or white feta cubes. Anyway, I'm sure someone else might enjoy the sandwich with the pickles, but for me, the pickle spread had a salty-sweetness which clashed with the natural saltiness of the cheese slice.

In the middle we have raw tomatoes with some sort of cheese (cheddar...? #wildguess) and there's probably mayonnaise in it but I'm not too sure. I kind of detest (who ever "kind of detest"s? I do.) raw tomatoes so I pretty much suffered on this sandwich. However, when I managed to get rid of the last tomato, the remaining cheese with a hint of tomatoey taste was actually quite good. The last sandwich is a blob of cheese and onion bits, which was my favourite of the three, as there was a consistent mushiness which I quite liked, along with the savoury goodness of cheese and onions.

You might be thinking, "Who the hell reviews supermarket sandwiches?" Well I think it's pretty relevant to formally review an everyday food product such as the Tesco sandwich. I often find myself stuck infront of the refrigerated shelves at Tesco Express for ten minutes trying to decide between the fishy-sounding 'Seafood Cocktail' (see what I did there?) and the safe but boring ham and cheese. It's pretty helpful to know the kinds of sandwiches one should stick to or avoid, isn't it?

Or maybe I'm the only sad, broke student who resorts to Tesco sandwiches for lunch on a Saturday.

Tesco Express
129 Saint Margaret's Road
Twickenham, Greater London
Tel: 0845 026 9348


Mr Falafel

"The Best Palestinian Falafel" are some big words for a shop like this:

I'm sorry for the Google image

And the thing is I can't tell you whether those words ring true.

Because this little shop near Shepard's Bush Market stole my falafel virginity.

Apparently in Denmark they have falafel places everywhere which are frequented more than McDonald's. I know this because my Danish buddy Astrid told me so. And then my Portugese buddy Inês had a recommendation from her brother to try out Mr Falafel, so the hunt began.

Initially I thought we were getting kebabs with a fancy name but then Google told me that they were basically vegetarian Arabic meatballs, but I'm fine with that because Arabic food always turns out alright, and hummus is a perfect example of a food which can never go wrong.

For your reference

Anyway we took a 40 minute bus ride from Richmond to Ealing Broadway due to Mrs C's recommendation, plus the sun was out and we wanted to see stuff instead of being stuck underground listening to screeching train wheels. We enjoyed this for about 10 minutes before the clouds turned grey and the rain came in. Sigh.

It was then another agonizing train journey from Ealing Broadway to Shepard's Bush. Agonizing because it was almost 1pm and we were hungry kids.

Then there was the walk from Shepard's Bush Station to Shepard's Bush Market itself which was bloody cold and impended the risk of getting lost. I was the one with the smartphone so the pressure was on me to get us to our happy place.

By the time we found Mr Falafel we audibly rejoiced and poured into the warmth of the little, humble shop. We were greeted warmly by the chefs/cooks/falafel-makers/angels who took our order and made our wraps on the spot. I got a... Falafel & Ful Medames wrap (I had to look up their menu online to remember its name) which was "served with boiled and mashed broad beans flavoured with cumin, garlic and lemon juice," (£5) while the other two got a Supreme Falafel wrap "served with Hommous, tomatoes, fried aubergines, feta cheese, oilves, avocado and pomegranate syrup." (£5)

The wraps came and they were about the length of my forearm, but thicker in terms of width. The first thing we girls did was hold the warm paper-covered wrap in our icy palms, then subsequently to our numb cheeks. And of course the sigh was a reflex. The mashed broad beans in my wrap was just what I needed for that cold afternoon – it wasn't too mushy yet had a satisfying texture, much like having warm baby food. Except I don't remember how baby food tastes like, but I hope you know what I mean anyway. I can't tell for sure what was what in my wrap because the beans covered everything, and it was like one big yummy mess. But I'm sure the falafel tasted good. There was a perfect amount of veggies in the wrap as well, and the perfect kind. I've been a victim of onion overload in my Subway subs (well then I guess you can't blame the chefs, because you create your own sub after all...) but the pickles in this wrap were, although distinct, not too overbearing in its taste and fit in fine. The chilli was not too spicy yet not too mild, a good in-between level to add a little something to the wrap. (I guess this depends on the individual)

The Supreme Falafel wrap must've been good. (see end of paragraph before) I had a bite off both their wraps, and it was the feta cheese which stole my heart. It complimented all the tasty stuff so well, I think I rolled my eyes with happiness while I chewed. There's something about cheese in wraps which spells perfection. There's something about cheese which spells perfection.

On our last few bites, our eyes started to hover to the menu to select our next prey. Next time I'm getting a Falafel & Spicy Potatoes wrap, with additional feta cheese for 40p.

"See you," we yelled to the chefs as we stepped out into the bloody cold, "very very soon!"

Mr Falafel

New Shepherd's Bush Market 
11 Uxbridge Road, London, Greater London W12 8LH
Tel: 07798 906668

By the way I apologize for the lack of pictures, the idea for this blog sparked only after getting home.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

London Glutton

It is Thursday night and I have three more days left of half-term break, meaning three more days until it is back to the routinely five days a week of lazily-thrown-together-at-six-in-the-morning cheese, ham and lettuce (occasionally) sandwiches for lunch.

Breakfast and dinner are always provided at the Cs'1 nice, typical English house. And when I say typical, I say it because everyone else says it's typical and not because I know it to be. I've been in London for only almost two months, so I'm not in the best position to say that something is 'typically English.'

Breakfast is basically a loaf of bread and boxes of cereal laid on the counter as well as two cartons of milk in the fridge, and there are options of tea, espresso, coffee and hot chocolate, and I always go for the latter. (Not recently, as my throat has been unkind.) I completely ignore the cereal (They are the wheat-y, fruity nutritional kind diluted with raisins and I only see the point in cereal if they are honey-coated or chocolate-stuffed.) and go for a nice slice of hot toast with Nutella generously slopped on one side. And another slice with peanut butter. And then they both join in harmonious marriage, spread-sides facing inwards, and they live happily ever after in my tummy.

Although I think Mrs C disapproves of this marriage as I found the peanut butter strategically placed behind and within other bottles of jam and mustard this morning. Okay, one spread at a time, I get the message.

Mr C is an Italian sixty-something who loves him some golf, tennis and wine. I'll cut straight to the point – his risotto to me is like water is to fish. It is warm, tasty, hearty and authentic. Filled with carrots, peas, mushrooms, rice and some sort of ingenious, magical sauce thing.

Anyway now that risotto-analysis has come into the picture, let me explain to you who this London Glutton is. I moved here early September to undergo full-time dance training, and I have an ironic love for food.

If you're in London you have to do it. It's the rules.

Maybe Singapore is to blame for being my hometown. Singapore is a complete Asian food paradise. But that is irrelevant because it is London and it is time to put some English food on my plate. And after I do that I will blog about it.


1I have abbreviated the names of my host family because my sister said it would be nice to keep them anonymous and I agree with her, also because they are such nice people and I don't want future homestayers to see this and judge them. It sure would be a pity if they forfeited Mr C's Italian risotto.

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