Mexican Dinner @ Santo, Portbello

The air last night was so chilly (>.<)
I went out with just a blouse & a leather jacket and found myself desperately wanting a jumper & a scarf to top them up! I tell you that our teeth were chattering when Letizia & I were quick-marching from the restaurant to the station. Autumn is definitely here…

Letizia & I attended Portbello Film Festival 2012 last night.
Under the overpass of West Way, off Portbello Road, was turned into a temporary cinema…

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And we were treated with the film titled “Spirit of Portbello 2012”.
The film was constructed with interviews in which the locals describe the charm & the vice of Portbello…

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As anyone who has visited Portbello will agree, Portbello is a mixed community, ethnically and fiscally.
Portbello Road is teeming with market traders. Comparing with more sanitized & somehow boring Kensington High Street or Kings Road, the street is definitely more alive and closer to its serving community…

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In my opinion, the range of interviewees was too limited. The film focused on a particular section of the locals. Why so many so-called artists? More from local business establishments next time, perhaps?

By the end of the film, we were starving and cold! After all, the venue was virtually outside.
So we headed to Santo, the Mexican restaurant nearby.

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With a glass of Mexican wine, we caught up with each other’s life since last Sunday, nibbling Totopos & salsa  – tortilla chips & hot salsa.

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My knowledge of Mexican cuisine was so limited.
The knowledge ended with American Tex-Mex style or worse, Taco Bell (how embarrassing).
So, we followed our attentive waitress advice and ordered Birriab – Lamb stew with chile New Mexico, served with onion, coriander, radish & chile de arbol salsa.

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And Tiras Albañil – Strips of chicken, pan-fried with bacon, onion & chile verde.
The dishes were accompanied with a basket of warm flour tortillas.

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We also ordered Guacamole with tortilla chips.
I must admit the Guacamole I had at Santo was a full of flavour of the fresh ingredients (avocado, tomato, onion, coriander, green chile & lime). It was the best I ever had.

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Especially, Birriab was very tasty. The spiciness of the stew was just about right when it was eaten with tortilla. About Tiras Albañil, the taste was a tad too bland? To be fair, lamb had more distinctive flavour as meat, comparing with chicken’s, especially the breast which was more delicate and if not neutral. Therefore, Birriab was more memorable than Tiras Albañil for me.

For dessert, we polished off a piece of chocolate cake with a glass of wine…

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On our way home, it was soooooo cold!
I wished if I had an enough wisdom to pack pashmina in my tote bag…

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Hockey girls @ Ittenbari, Soho

Since our last practice on the 20th, a majority of our hockey team girls weren’t very happy with the way it was run. So, we decided to hold an informal meeting after work.
The source of our discontent was that our team was forced to merge with another team this season because of mainly financial and partly political reasons. It’s very much like a marriage of convenience. Both parties prefer not to be with each other but we have to. That is why we have been griping ever since we have received this “thunder-clap” decision from the league.

Anyway, the girls met up at Boots, Piccadilly Circus, and walked to Ittenbari on Brewer Street.
Despite being a normal weekday, the noodle bar was packed with the diners who was busy slurping noodles from their bowls…

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We ogled the menu for a while, muttering “I am starving!” intermittently.
Once the order was settled, we chatted about our grievances.
Happy looking Eva & me. But our thought towards the club’s immediate future was troubled…

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This is my Miso Ramen Noodle.
The soup was a touch too salty for my liking but it was flavoursome. Their description on the menu said it has Marmite in it as a part of their secret recipe!

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Becca ordered Shoyu Ramen.
She was pondering for a quite long time if she wanted noodle or curry.
I hoped she didn’t regret her decision…

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When it came to settle our tab, we were told that they did not accept cards. Our bill was almost £70 and they had no facility to process our payment other than cash???
So, each of us scraped the bottom of our bags and managed to find enough money to pay up. Phew!

In order to counteract the saltiness of our dinner, we decided to have dessert at the coffee shop nearby…

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I often passed by this cake shop but had never been inside.
The sweets on offer looked like Persians…

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Nougats, candied fruits, nuts & dried fruits…

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In the end, I ordered a small cone-shape cake with icing sugar and decaf latte.
How did I find it? Mmmm… It wasn’t my cup of tea. Too much rosewater in the filling.
Becca’s choice was much better though. She bought a block of beigy slab dotted with pistachio.
The nougat like morsel tasted like peanuts butter! Later, I learnt that the sweet was made from tahini, the paste made from ground sesame seeds. No wonder it was so nutty and delicious…

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Over sweet & coffee, our chat & giggle was endless.
Eva & Becca…

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Me with a funny face & Zsofi…

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Becca & me…

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Jana & Maria…

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We firmly agreed that we could get over any crisis as long as we were sticking together.
I love my teammate. They are the best. I shall stand up for them. And they shall for me.
We ARE kicking some serious a** next Monday for sure…

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69b @ Broadway Market

A British short summer has definitely departed.
Everyone I have come across so far seems not too happy about the way our moody summer behaved this year. I imagine that S/S 2012 must have been a disaster, the sales-wise. I didn’t want anything, even from the sale, because I thought I wouldn’t have any opportunity to wear it due to the cr*ppy weather we were treated with.
Since my knitwear line only does autumn & winter, no spring & summer, the freaky summer didn’t affect me at all which I found myself extremely lucky. I only hope that people are now itching to invest the money they didn’t spend in summer sale on my A/W 2012 collection.

Binne & I paid an homage to one of my London stockists, 69b, on Broadway Market…

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Merryn Leslie, the owner & founder of the boutique, used to style in Vogue & I-D.
Her exquisite taste reflects on her well-chosen collection which caters for sophisticated Shoreditch women…

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My friend, Ana Meneses‘s jewelry collection.
Her work is so clean-cut yet very dynamic. “Architectural” is the word which pops up in my head every time I see her work…

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Binnie is snooping around.
Found anything interesting?…

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No, sir.
We are not going to downstairs yet…

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My Greta gilet in black & khaki green will be coming in September…

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& the Armure jacket in black & khaki green will be available from October…

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Weekday on Broadway Market is so quiet & mellow.
Nothing like a hustle & bustle of Saturday…

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At Lock 7, I enjoyed a cup of decaf latte.
Binnie & I also shared an almond croissant. Oh, I mustn’t forget brushing his teeth…

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Girl’s outing @ Shoreditch

The last bank holiday before Christmas came and went.
We ate a lot and laughed a lot. Even though we didn’t go anywhere exotic, I am left with a warm reflection of the past few days. It must have been a good bank holiday. So I am happy.

After enjoying a leisurely Sunday roast with my hubbie, I strolled down towards Liverpool Street Station. At Bishopsgate, I met up with Fei and we headed to Brick Lane. She left her sunglasses in one of the stalls in the Market last week. So we were there to retrieve it.
The weather was definitely more like autumn’s. The sky was higher and the breeze was crisper…

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The crowds were having a merry time.
I love the chilled-out atmosphere of Spitalfields. All young & free at heart…

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And an amazing medley of foods on offer…

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After a bit of confusion and a flurry of semi-panicking text messages & phone calls, Me, Letizia, Beatrice and Fei managed to rally at the Vintage Emporium on Bacon Street…

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Letizia, taking a well-deserved gulp of tea and describing her escapade.
She lives in the middle of Portbello. Therefore, every year during the Notting Hill Carnival, she ends up being boxed-in in her flat with police cordon.
The same thing happened this year and it trapped her in a maze of blocked off traffic. Poor Letizia walked to all over the place to find a way out! Well done, you…

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Look at this gentle giant.
She is a mascot of the Vintage Emporium…

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After catching our breath, we walked to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant on Kingsland Road.
Beatrice & me, smiling but itching to grab our chopsticks…

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We ordered Fried Squid with Salt & Chilli, Vietnamese Pancake with Prawn, Pillow Dumpling & Soft Summer Roll with Pork to share as starters.
As you can see here, the chopsticks were reaching out from all directions. We were hungry…

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Mmmm… My favourite starter…

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For main course, I ordered Vermicelli with Roast Pork.
I loved the lightness of the dish. It was like a salad with noodle. Enjoyed the variety of textures too…

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With our stomach nicely lined, we headed to The Bridge.
This place is one of the very few places in Shoreditch where you can order tea & cake as well as beer or cocktail into early hours.

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It must have been our lucky day because we found our table in this popular Shoreditch haunt as soon as we walked in!

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Being comfortably planted in their plush boudoir chairs and sipping latte, we talked and talked…

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The world without good friends and tasty foods, the life in it would be a much bleaker one, wouldn’t it?…

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Sunday roast @ William IV

My Sunday started with a Sunday roast at William IV.
I love a Sunday roast, don’t you? A generous chunk of meat, roast potatoes, carrots & parsnips, cabbage and gravy. The meal which keeps you going until evening.
A stomach being nicely lined, any afternoon in rain or shine, will passes with a leisurely pace… It sounds so agreeable, doesn’t it?

We grabbed Sunday Times laid out in front of the fireplace and settled down by the table with an enormous leather backed bench.
The news of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, passing away at the age of 82 put me in a contemplative mood. I knew he was an intensively private man. He never sought a fame and any wealth, byproducts of being a celebrity. Other than in a handful of interviews, he never shared his private thought on the Apollo 11 mission. Since he never penned any autobiography as such, we would never know about him other than being an infallible American hero. I would have loved to read about his inner thoughts – the fear, the expectation, the joy, the excitement, the frustration and of course, about the love.
Oh Neil, you were such an enigma. R.I.P
My hubbie & I read on the paper quietly…

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My ginger beer. I opted not to have any alcohol. No more headache…

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Then, two plates ladened with the roasts were brought to our table.
Roast Pork Belly. What a sight to behold…

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The pork, especially the crackling, was absolutely perfect.
And the roast potatoes, they were just so tasty. I bathed my yorkshire pudding in the pool of delicious gravy before having a wonderfully flavoursome mouthful. Mmmm… I was in seventh heaven.
What a lip smacking feast we were treated with.
Unfortunately, we had no more room left for their Sticky Toffee Pudding though. Damn…

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