kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I despaired at the falling-down-ness of my house.

On Tuesday I did a big pile of work and very little else.

On Wednesday a plumber came to fix my house! Again! We don't appear to be leaking any more, though we still have no downstairs lighting circuit.

On Thursday I went to Hawksmoor for [personal profile] bob's birthday. It was pretty damn good. I shared a porterhouse with [personal profile] ewan — his first ever steak. I wish my first ever steak had been that good (though I seem to remember it was in the Star back when the food was as good as the beer, so it can't have been bad).

On Friday I played Guitar Hero and watched girly TV with Richard.

On Saturday I did a little bit of Discworld hacking then had a takeaway from Banzi which consisted almost entirely of breakfast foods (congee and banh mi, though the banh mi was actually a pre-emptive strike on tomorrow's breakfast). Oh Banzi, your food is tasty, why do you not have online ordering? I would abandon Royal Margin (except for pho) if you did.

On Sunday I had banh mi for breakfast! Then I did a big pile of work.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I had Ecuadorian lunch at El Rincon Quiteno in Holloway, then went shopping for Burmese groceries at Mum's House in Wood Green. After that, I trundled across to Walthamstow to have a half of locally-brewed beer in the Olde Rose and Crown before grabbing a quick bite to eat at Priya (RGL review to come) and then getting a bus down to choir in Leyton.

On Tuesday I cleared a backlog of admin stuff and had another (failed) bash at making almond burfi.

On Wednesday I went to the Ledbury in Notting Hill for [personal profile] ewan's birthday meal. The food was good, but the service was completely lacking in rhythm and terribly slow. [personal profile] superpitching and I left before dessert because it was getting on for midnight (and we'd sat down just after 8pm).

On Thursday I was in pain.

On Friday I tried to sort out some of my photos from the Ledbury, but there appears to be something weird going on with colour profiles in one or all of: Snow Leopard, the GIMP, Firefox, Preview, and Safari. (Yes, I know the default gamma has changed — I always used to set my gamma to 2.2 anyway, so I doubt it's that.)

On Saturday and Sunday I slept. A lot.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I was supposed to go to choir, but I felt too manky. I did some vague bits of admin stuff instead.

On Tuesday I went to Waterloo to look for Taste Malaysia, but it wasn't there, so I had a not-very-interesting bagel at Smalands instead. Then I got the Northern Line into town to take a few RGL photos, then got back on the Northern Line to head up to Colindale where I was due to meet [livejournal.com profile] catsgomiaow and [personal profile] bob for dinner at Feringgi Bay. I realised on the way that I was going to be ridiculously early, so I stopped off at Golders Green to pick up a few things we needed from Seoul Plaza.

Once in Colindale, I visited the New Chandos (no real ale, friendly enough though) before heading over to the Moon Under Water (a fairly standard Wetherspoons) to meet the others before dinner. Dinner was v.g. — see the RGL review for more.

I didn't do very much exciting stuff on Wednesday, but I did make some lentil soup which bagged three spices for the Snake Soup October challenge. Similarly, the most interesting thing I did on Thursday was make some masala tea that put me another three spices further on.

I have nothing to report for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, except that our house continued to fall apart in increasingly amusing[0] ways.

[0] In the "you have to laugh or you'll cry" sense.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I had an East London adventure! I started off fairly centrally, with lunch at Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch, then wandered eastwards, taking photos for RGL along the way. I'd intended to stop for a break at L'Oasis, but it was closed (I found out later that it's closed for good), so I went to the Wetherspoons instead for a 30p pint of lime and soda.

Next, I got the Tube up to Upton Park, where I wanted to hunt out the Quality Foods branch I'd heard about. I found what I thought was it (and later confirmed the address was right), but it really didn't look too brilliant so I didn't bother going in. Maybe next time. Instead, I wandered across to East Ham and had a decent enough dinner in Thattukada (RGL review coming soon) before getting the Overground to Leyton for choir.

I have forgotten what I did on Tuesday and Wednesday. Probably just work.

On Thursday I went on a Metroland adventure! First of all, I went to Willesden Green, intending to have lunch at Sushi-Say, but alas it was closed. So I went round the corner to check out Taste Malaysia, but it was also closed. I ended up having a not-entirely-satisfactory fishcake in the Queensbury. But then it was back on the Jubilee Line, to change to the Metropolitan Line at Wembley Park, to change to the Chesham shuttle at Chalfont & Latimer.

And then I was truly in Metroland. [personal profile] ewan has described Chesham on RGL as “a bucolic village in Buckinghamshire, far outside London and only connected by the Metropolitan Line”, which is a fair enough assessment. The main reason I was here was to visit the Queens Head, a Good Beer Guide pub which needed a proper RGL review, but my research had also revealed the presence of a bookshop (which I browsed around in but didn't buy anything from). Not only that, but on approaching the bookshop I spotted a couple of pubs, the Misty Moon and the Cock Tavern, which I of course had to try out. Then on the way to the Queens Head, I saw that the George and Dragon had reopened, so I had to go in there as well. By the time I reached the Queens Head, it was getting late, and a few sums revealed that there was no way I was going to get to Waterloo in time for the book group meeting I was supposed to be going on to — so I sent [personal profile] ewan a quick SMS and headed back to Willesden Green to meet him for dinner at Sushi-Say (who initially said they couldn't fit us in since we didn't have a booking, but relented and squeezed us in anyway when we made it clear we were prepared to wait).

On Friday I did some work and then cooked saag and prawn patia for dinner.

On Saturday I overslept and missed the Tube Walk (but I did really need the sleep). In the evening I made saag aloo with the leftover saag from last night, and also did baingan ka bhartha to go with it. Then I killed my laptop by knocking a glass of wine all over it. Argh.

On Sunday I mourned my laptop and ate pizza from Cucina.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I had a North London adventure! I'd intended to have lunch at Jai Shri Krishna, but it was closed, so I bought a few groceries at the Turnpike Lane Food Hall and wandered up towards Wood Green (via the Big Green Bookshop) to see what I could see. I didn't hold out much hope of finding anything interesting, since Wood Green High Street is basically chain central; I did spot a tiny restaurant with only Chinese writing on the frontage, but the menu looked uninspiring. I ended up having a bowl of decent enough pho at a Vietnamese restaurant called Ha Long Bay.

I then wandered southwards into Harringay and popped into the Old Ale Emporium and the Garden Ladder, to update the RGL reviews. The Old Ale Emporium had been done up since my last visit; it's looking pretty nice now. Finally I had a quick dinner at a Bulgarian restaurant called The Village, before getting the Overground to Leyton for choir.

I can't remember what I did on Tuesday and Wednesday. Probably just work. Oh, I did cook pig's ears, in collaboration with [personal profile] bob.

On Thursday I went on another North London adventure! This time to Hampstead in the company of [personal profile] ewan, [personal profile] superpitching, and [livejournal.com profile] claudacity. We had lunch in the Olde White Bear, coffee (and tea) in Ginger and White, beer (and cider) in the Holly Bush and the Duke of Hamilton, and finally dinner (and sake) in Jinkichi.

I can't remember what I did on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (I'm writing this a week late, and backdating it). I think maybe I did some programming on the Discworld MUD, but I'm really not sure.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I went to choir! It was the first rehearsal after the summer break, and it was great; also good to see [personal profile] techiebabe again.

On Tuesday I went on the first leg of the New Good Beer Guide Pub Crawl, visiting the White Swan in Whitechapel, the Hamilton Hall in Liverpool Street Station, the Hand and Shears and Fox and Anchor in Clerkenwell, the Museum Tavern in Bloomsbury, the Courtfield in Earl's Court, and the Leinster Arms in Bayswater. [personal profile] ewan, [livejournal.com profile] shermarama, [personal profile] superpitching, [livejournal.com profile] mjg59, and [personal profile] wildeabandon joined in at various points along the way. We'd intended to eat at the Leinster Arms, but they were running short of food, so instead we went to Kiasu for Malaysian food.

On Wednesday I did the second leg of the New Good Beer Guide Pub Crawl, starting in Harrow-on-the-Hill with lunch at the Castle. While waiting for the bus to take me to the station ready for the next pub, I had a chat with a chap also waiting for the same bus. He told me he'd lived in Harrow-on-the-Hill for 40 years, but couldn't suggest anything interesting to do in the area — a shame, since I forgot to photograph the pub and hence will have to go back some time.

I also ended up having a conversation in the next bit of the journey; having got the bus to Harrow and Wealdstone, and waited 20 minutes for a train, the train got cancelled and I found myself chatting to a lady who'd also been hoping to catch the cancelled train. I never found out her name, but I did find out that she has a pretty similar attitude to life-work balance to me, and her sister is poly. When a useful train finally did turn up, the journey to Watford seemed to take pretty much no time at all, thanks to her company. In Watford, I went to the Estcourt Arms for a quick one, then headed to Watford's other station to get the Metropolitan line down to Eastcote, where I visited the Case Is Altered for some not-very-good food in an almost laughably bad environment, then beat a quick retreat to the Black Horse for a soothing half to get over it.

Thursday saw the final leg of the New Good Beer Guide Pub Crawl, a much more compact affair covering the New Prince (not actually a NGBGP but it needed a review) and the Lamb in Surbiton, the Boaters Inn in Kingston, the Builders Arms and Adelaide in Teddington, and finally the Railway Bell in Hampton. I'd intended to get food at the Railway Bell, but in contradiction to what both the Good Beer Guide and the pub's own website told me, they only do food at lunchtimes, so I drank my pint quickly and ran off to find a chip shop.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I alternately worked and rested, though I did cook a fine roast dinner on Sunday evening, featuring expensive organic chicken roasted on a bed of black pudding, braised parsnips, celeriac stuffing, tamarind gravy, roast potatoes, and a tiny fraction of the frozen-pea mountain from the freezer.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I sorted out photos and did some wikignoming as prompted by [personal profile] badgerbag.

On Tuesday I did a big pile of work.

On Wednesday I went to Hendon to have lunch at Atari-Ya (v.g.), then popped into the Greyhound for a half. I then headed to Earl's Court (stopping off at Hampstead for a pint at the Olde White Bear) to meet [personal profile] bob and have excellent Sichuan dinner at Number 10 restaurant.

On Thursday I did a big pile of work.

On Friday I went to Colindale to have lunch at Feringgi Bay and pick up some Chinese pastries from Wonderful Patisserie.

On Saturday I did a big pile of work, then ordered a not-very-satisfactory takeaway from Jasmine Garden.

On Sunday I went out to play with the [livejournal.com profile] tubewalkers! We walked from Euston Square to Great Portland Street, then had a swift half in the Albany, then walked around for ages looking for a bus stop (no Jubilee Line), then walked from Finchley Road to Swiss Cottage, had a swift half in Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, then escaped to the Clifton for better beer and some food.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I went on a Southwest London adventure! I started in Norbiton, with a very nice lunch with [personal profile] bob at Roz Ana, a surprisingly good modern Indian restaurant. Then Richard joined us for pubbing at the Albert, the Norbiton and Dragon, and the Spring Grove. We then walked up to Kingston Station (in a wiggly line so I could take some more RGL photos of places like Wagamama and Lush) and got a train to New Malden, where we had dinner at a tiny Korean cafe called Hamgipak and then a final beer at the Glasshouse opposite the station, before heading home.

On Tuesday I did a big pile of work, then made mangetout and oregano soup and gormeh sabzi for dinner.

On Wednesday I had lunch with [personal profile] bob at Le Vacherin in Chiswick, then visited the Brook and the Andover Arms before meeting [livejournal.com profile] mjg59 and bob at the Salutation. Then we went to Indian Zing for some very tasty Indian food.

On Thursday and Friday I don't think I did anything except work. Though I did have some fun figuring out Korean transliterations and stuff from the bill we got at Hamgipak earlier in the week.

On Saturday I cooked an enormous feast: tomato rasam, cumin fried potatoes, cabbage with lemon and coconut, courgettes with fresh coriander, dal makhani, tarka dal, lamb chops marinaded with yoghurt and chilli, carrot achar, and basmati rice. Astoundingly, [personal profile] bob, [livejournal.com profile] uon, and I managed to eat most of it.

On Sunday I went on a Southeast London adventure! I dragged [personal profile] bob down the Southeastern Main Line to Chislehurst, where we drank beer in the Queen's Head, the Gordon Arms, the Bull's Head, the Crown Inn, the Ramblers Rest, and the Bickley. Then we had dinner at Denny's and got the train home.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
The week before last...

On Monday and Tuesday I meant to go on an adventure in East London, but was foiled by temporary loss of mojo. Worked instead.

On Wednesday I wandered round the City and took some photos, then headed over to meet parents (in town for the week) and have dinner at Vanilla Black.

I think I mostly just worked the rest of the week; can't really remember doing anything exciting, though my memory does suck.

Last week...

On Monday I went for an East London adventure with [personal profile] ewan. We had lunch at Saravanaa Bhavan then wandered around Upton Park in a big circle, taking photos on the way. (We tried to go to the Newham Bookshop, but it's closed on Mondays. Why don't they mention this on their website?)

Then we got the District Line to Upminster Bridge, from whence we wandered through endless depressing suburbia (only about half a mile in reality, but so much further psychologically) to reach the Optimist Tavern, an Ember Inn resembling nothing so much as a hotel bar. And then it started raining.

Upminster improved from then on in, though. Ewan headed off to take some pub photos, while I did a little research tour of the restaurants on Corbets Tey Road and St Mary's Lane to find somewhere for dinner later. We reconvened in the Mason's Arms, which we were pleased to discover was a proper pub, and much less chainy than the others we've experienced in the area so far.

My restaurant research tour had revealed little of interest. La Grolla is probably the best in the area, but I'd already been there quite recently; and the Othello Taverna offered nothing for vegetarians. We eventually decided to go to Yin Court, once [personal profile] sashajwolf joined us, on the strength of its having an actual vegetarian set menu — and it was actually pretty decent, particularly the beancurd dishes.

I think I may have had enough of Upminster for now, but Ewan and I are both interested in exploring its neighbour, Cranham, at some point. It has at least two pubs, if nothing else!

On Tuesday through Sunday, although I was having a very slow work week, I felt too manky to go out and explore. I mostly did admin stuff — updated the London bookshops map and the vegetarian restaurants/cafes in London map, among other things. (Do let me know if you have any suggestions for things missing from either map).

I also spent some time playing on the Discworld MUD. Programming is a lot of fun, but sometimes it's good to reconnect to the game as a player, and talk to the other players as an equal. It's also a good way to find bugs :)
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
On Monday I had lunch at Han Kang, a decent Korean restaurant just off Oxford Street, then took some of the RGL photos that I'd been putting off because the places were all inside Oxford Street department stores (example), then went on a mini pub crawl around Bayswater with Richard.

I have forgotten what I did on Tuesday. Probably just work.

On Wednesday I had lunch at Madsen in South Kensington and bought some expensive cheese at La Cave à Fromage, then headed over to Richard's place to play Rock Band. We had a break in the middle to go and eat some not-very-good roast pork at the Coach and Horses on Kew Green.

On Thursday I went to the pub with [personal profile] bob and others, specifically the Prince Regent on Gloucester Road. We tried lots of the food, and found some to be very good (the steak) and some to be very bland (the spinach soup).

On Friday I did loads of work and also made pork chops with rice noodle salad for dinner. I might even have done some washing up as well. What a good Kake I am.

On Saturday I went on the Epping to Theydon Bois Tube Walk and took some photos, including one of an unidentified flower. Do you know what it is? On the way home I stopped off for a drink and a snack at Parade in South Woodford.

On Sunday I fixed stuff on the Discworld MUD and made braised sausages for dinner.
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
Here are some things I did last week. I don't normally lead such a decadent lifestyle; I'd given myself a week off work because I'd been working too hard and I needed one. (Links lead to my writeups and photos elsewhere.)

On Monday, I had lunch at Sedap, a new and pretty good Malaysian restaurant on Old Street. Then I wandered westwards (via a half in the Trader on Whitecross Street) to take some photos and check out some reported closures for RGL, ending up at the Queen's Head and Artichoke near Regent's Park, where I tried (and quite liked) the pork belly skewers (photo) from their tapas menu. Then I walked back along Drummond Street, buying some almond burfi at the Ambala Sweet Centre on the way, to meet some friends at the Bree Louise, where we sampled the milds they had on gravity and ate heretical pies (photo).

On Tuesday, I met a friend for lunch at Inn Noodle in Bayswater, which claims to be the UK's first pork-free Shanghainese restaurant; the dim sum were a little disappointing, though. Then I wandered around the area doing some more RGL research and photography, popping in to the Prince Bonaparte for a sit-down in the middle. Finally I got the Tube over to Hammersmith for dinner with [personal profile] bob at Tosa, a Japanese restaurant on King Street specialising in tasty grilled things on skewers. I took a lot of photos, and made a photoset of them on Flickr.

On Wednesday I went out for dinner with [livejournal.com profile] uon to Royal Palace (photo), an unassuming-looking Chinese restaurant near our house which turns out to have a secret Chinese menu with Sichuan and Northern Chinese specialities on it. I don't read Chinese, but the waitress helped me pick out a few dishes. I'll be going back next week to try a few more before I write the RGL review; I think she gave us the "safe" options, which is not a good basis for a review.

On Thursday I went to the bleak industrial wasteland of Park Royal with [livejournal.com profile] hoshuteki, and had lunch at Omnia, a small deli-cafe attached to a Middle Eastern bakery and wholesale business on a one-bus road lined with small-scale factories. Then we got the Tube back into town and had some wine and a few bar snacks at Terroirs, a surprisingly decent wine bar just off the Strand. I was very pleased with the boquerones (photo), less so with the duck scratchings (photo).

On Friday, I did my tax return!

On Saturday, I went out for dinner with [livejournal.com profile] secretlondon, [livejournal.com profile] lozette, and [livejournal.com profile] uon to Kyrgyz Kazakh House, a Central Asian restaurant concealed within a hotel on Camberwell Road. The food was OK, but it was the decor that truly amazed us (photo).

On Sunday, I rose from the dead rested.

(Let me know if this post is interesting, and I might do another one next week!)

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