Sunday Roast @ Foodhall, Barbican EC2

The recent weather in London has been rather temperamental. It swings between faultlessly glorious summer to a miserably soggy sorry early autumn. On a bad day, grey clouds puff up their plump cheeks and threaten to spit over our heads…

A couple of Sundays ago, Hubbie, Mr.B & I visited the Barbican for lunch…

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An overcast sky above Lauderdale Tower…

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The Foodhall was busy with Sunday lunch diners…

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A chef carving a juicy hunk of roast beef while we stare at his hands gleefully…

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Voilá, my roast beef & Yorkshire pudding! They were accompanied by roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese and sautéed carrots…

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The dish was very tasty.
It also received a big thumb-up (paw-up, to be precise) from our undercover food critic, Mr.B…

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‘Is there any more roast beef on its way?’

Once our stomachs were nicely lined, we moved on to the gallery on the 4th floor…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Saturday Lunch @ Charlotte Street W1

Even though the amount of grass pollens in the air was at its highest, Hubbie, Mr.B and I decided to have a leisurely lunch on Charlotte Street last Saturday.

We waited for Hubbie on tha pavement while he brought a car out of the underground car park. It was rather breezy and Mr.B looked like as if he was being blow-dried…

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We parked our car near Hubbie’s office and walked towards Charlotte Street.
BT Tower was standing tall against the sky decorated with wispy clouds like an Olympic torch…

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We found a table at Côte.
Mr.B was excited to be greeted with a basket of bread…

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Across the street, I saw Josephine’s Filipino Restaurant

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Come to think of it, I never had any cuisine from Philippine and am very intrigued.
I suggested Hubbie if we could have a go at the place one evening. However spice-shy Hubbie suggested that I should look for an alternative dining companion… *RAT*

We tucked in steak and French fries. The sirloin was slightly overdone which I found rather regrettable…

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To accompany the steak, we shared tomato, shallot & basil salad…

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Then, we rounded up our meal with apple tart with ice cream…

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After lunch, we strolled to Park Camera off Oxford Street to buy a tripod.
Mr.B waited patiently in the carrier while Hubbie pondered which one to buy…

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Being ever so workaholic, Hubbie couldn’t help checking his inbox while Mr.B looked up to him quizzically.

‘What are you looking at?’

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Charlotte Street glows in the mellow afternoon sun…

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On our way back to the car, we came across Pollock’s Toy Museum on Scala Street…

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The museum has been a place which I was meant to visit for years but not yet done so. I must must come back to it very soon…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Lunch @ Les Deux Salons, William IV Street WC2

When Alex and I discussed what we fancied for lunch, her first suggestion was Thai. Since I would never be able to take my chilli-shy Hubbie to any Thai restaurant, I was more than happy to follow her proposal. After lunch, we were planning to visit the Somerset House for their Christmas Arcade, therefore, we hopped on to Victoria Line, heading South East. We alighted at Charling Cross and found ourselves a little lost at in front of St.Martin-in-the-Fields, because we didn’t know any Thai eatery around there. Then, Alex suggested that we could have a quick bite at a French bistro she knew near Trafalgar Square Post Office.
It was cold and we were getting increasingly peckish so we agreed to postpone our Thai lunch for some another time.

During a festive season, everywhere I had been so far was adorned with Christmas trees and Les Deux Salons was no exception…

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A beautifully decorated tree stood next to their well-stocked bar area, adding a fuzzy joyful atmosphere.
And the dining hall was already teeming with lunchtime diners…

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We were ushered to the upstairs and seated by the balcony overlooking the ground floor…

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For a starter, I had cream of cauliflower & potato soup while Alex settled on green salad…

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The soup was hearty and delectable. It warmed me up from the inside.
For our main course, Alex opted for fillet of cod while I decided upon roast chicken and gratin dauphinoise…

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The chicken was succulent and the gravy was seasoned just right…

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The gratin was creamy but not too heavy. A perfect lunch for a chilly December day…

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Even though the service was a little too slow for our liking, their foods were absolutely delicious. If one is not in a hurry, the place is an ideal place for dining, chatting & people-watching. Highly recommendable…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

How Not To Grow Old…

I bumped into a guy at Shoreditch Grind this lunchtime.
While I was sitting alone at the table for four, munching on my toasted croissant, a man in 60s strolled in and ordered flat white. This guy had an air of impatience and groom around him. Once he settled the bill, he threw down a copy of tabloid paper on my table and sat down heavily like a sack of potatoes. The impact of the paper landing on the table was such, I couldn’t help eyeing him with alarm. Shortly afterward his coffee was brought to the table and he received it without a word, completely ignoring the staff then proceeded to open the envelopes he had with him. Watching this man’s behaviour in close proximity, ‘What a miserable man’, I thought. Do people become grumpy and cynical when they grow old? I hope not. I don’t want to be an insensitive and disdainful old person, ever…

The latte at Shoreditch Grind was damn fine as usual. Since I tasted their coffee, I wouldn’t dream of spending my money at the Starbucks next door…

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And my scrumptious toasted croissant…

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I am sure it could tasted even batter if that gloomy guy wasn’t sitting across the table, looking like a bulldog chewing a wasp. Why on earth did he decide to sit here when the table next to ours was empty?

The staffs at the cafe were cheerful and friendly as ever…

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I sincerely hoped their cheerful disposition would rub off on him…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Polo Bar @ Bishopsgate

Argh, what an unpleasant noise! Someone is using a bandsaw, making horrendously loud sound in the courtyard. It reminds me the drill of dentist…
I woke up with yet another head full of cold this morning. While being assaulted by a torrent of sneezes every now and then, I contemplate my next move. Since Hubbie is still in NYC, I have to perform Mr.B’s morning duty. With the hair resembles a bird’s nest, am I gonna pull on a hoodie and pray for the best that I won’t bump into anyone I know?

Anyway I was out and about last Tuesday around Liverpool Station.
The time was nearly lunchtime and I was getting peckish. Around me was a wave after wave of city workers, striding to all directions at a brisk pace, apparently wanting to waste no time during their precious lunch break.
I stood at a pedestrian crossing, wishing if I knew where I was heading like they did. Then, I saw a sign of Polo Bar across the street…

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Even though I walked past this part of Bishopsgate countless times, I completely failed to notice this small eatery.
The patch the cafe opened its door to was probably the busiest part of the street, facing the main entrance of Liverpool Street Station. This mainline station was the terminus of two main lines: the West Anglia Main Line to Cambridge and the Great Eastern Main Line to Norwich. There were also local commuter services to parts of east London, Essex, and Hertfordshire. Plus, Liverpool Street was the terminus of the Stansted Express, a link to London Stansted Airport. The station was also a gateway to one of the most popular weekend markets in London, Spitalfields Market, therefore, the area was awash with ceaseless pedestrians 7 days a week.

I stuck my head in the cafe and asked a staff if any table was available for lunch…

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Even though the ground floor was full up, a friendly waitress ushered me to their basement dining area.
The shape of the cafe resembled an eel – oblong and narrow. Their decor was simple but warm & cozy…

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The brick wall was adorned with a family crest…

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The menu was mainly consisted of sandwiches and burgers…

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I opted for their salt beef sandwich with skinny latte.
Shortly afterward, my sandwich was brought to the table…

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It was rather shame that the  sandwich was not exactly what I had in mind.
The bread was not rye bread and the gherkin was mixed into the filling. Still, the sandwich itself was tasty and I was very hungry. So I polished off the plate in no time.

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The cafe is one of the very few independent eateries around the Bishopsgate area in where any available scraps of land are eagerly taken up by large chain stores and restaurants.
Even though their food doesn’t have much to rave about, a properly cooked food which is free from a cardboard & cling film packaging is available 24/7.  And I would happily recommend them to anyone who happen to be in the area with empty stomach. Long live Polo Bar…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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