Girl’s Dinner @ Patara Soho

Yesterday, a bad weather descended upon Britain and even though London escaped from its fiercest might, the heavy rain drenched evening commuters and Christmas shoppers, including me. I was there to meet up  with my dearest girlfriends, Fei, Letizia & Alex, for our pre-Christmas feast at Patara on Greek Street, Soho.

Around 7pm on Carnaby Street, the sky started to spit tiny raindrops but no one was yet to anticipate that it would turn a proper downpour shortly…

Image

Fei and I met up at Topshop first and scouted the shop floor for her headdress and cape for her office Christmas party. Upon leaving the store, we were confronted with a stormy rain and a herd of shoppers taking shelter. Why there is no cab when I want one? We gingerly unfolded our umbrellas and headed towards Soho. Oh my, what an epic journey it was! Our folding brollies were too flimsy to brave the elements and we could hardly see where we were walking into. Therefore, it was a great relief when we had a sign “Patara” glowing on the facia in our sight.

Once all of us got together at their bar, we were ushered to our table…

Image

The Magnificent Four!
Our appearance was slightly dishevelled by the elements…

Image

Year 2013 had its ups & downs for all of us. However, we stuck together and weathered it very well. Without them, my year would have been a much dimmer one because of my unforeseen health problem. I am truly thankful for their love & support. I love you, girls!

For our feast, we ordered three starters to share as well as a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc…

Image

Kong Nueng Ruam…

Image

Assorted steamed handcrafted dumplings with prawn, chicken and pork fillings.
The purple one had pork filling and tasted sweet. Very interesting flavour for dumpling. It was non-spicy and Hubbie would like it.

Kamon Bueng DIY…

Image

Do-It-Yourself Thai tacos of chicken and prawn with cucumber tomato salad. My apology for an out of focus pic. The taco filling in the bowl appeared deceptively benign but it was fiery! I was caught completely off guard.

Then, we favoured this Yum Nua Yang the most…

Image

Grilled sirloin beef spicy salad with rocket and onion. The beef was tender and dressed exquisitely.

For main course, I ordered Gae Yang Somtam…

Image

Grilled herb-marinated tender rack of lamb, accompanied with sweet rice rolls, spicy salad & chilli sauce. The lamb was succulent and flavoursome. And the rice roll, its delicate sweetness was a perfect accompaniment to the meat.

Letizia & Fei had Pla Hima Tod…

Image

Grilled black cod, accented with savoury ginger and pickled yellow bean sauce.

And Alex opted for Pia Yang Bai-tong…

Image

Sea bass fillet char-grilled with herb curry in banana leaf.

In the middle of main course, our wine ran out and we ordered another bottle.
Then, for dessert, Fei picked Tart Sangkaya…

Image

It was coconut custard baked pudding with ginger flavoured ice-cream. Again, the flavour was delicate but far from dull.

And the rest of us had Chocolate pudding with mango sorbet…

Image

Normally, I would opt for more tangy fruits such as berries to eat with chocolate pudding. But their fresh mango as well as the sorbet added the  sweetness and depth to the otherwise bitter chocolate pudding. The marriage was quite successful.

In spite of the restaurant being busy, the service we received was attentive and pleasant. Therefore, I highly endorse this beautiful eatery in Soho.

After lots of hugs, kisses & holiday wishes to each other, Alex & Letizia headed to Tottenham Court Road station and Fei & I beelined to Piccadilly Circus.
At Piccadilly Circus, we saw the Eros in a gigantic snow-dorm…

Image

Then, a cheeky intruder jumped in the frame!

Image

A complete stranger! Still, the mood amongst the crowd was buoyant and good-natured. This must be another Christmas magic…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Sneak Peek @ Fortnum & Mason

It may sound like being a kill joy but I am not a big fan of Christmas in general.
Every time I see the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street leading up to Christmas Eve, I can’t ignore how commercially driven our modern-day Christmas has become. A supposed to be festive and charitable season now appears to be marred by anxiety and frustration which stems from materialistic obsession. Gifts, parties, drinks, nibbles, expenses, weight gains, etc…

Image

Hubbie is not a kind of guy to make much fuss about Christmas either, therefore, it doesn’t help. I would love to be more starry-eyed about the biggest festive season of the year. Maybe I should make more noise. Should I decorate my window side with brand-new decorations this year?

Before the brunch date last Tuesday, I dropped by Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly in where Mrs.Bentley and I were to rendezvous.
Even someone like me who was a semi-cynic about Christmas, their festive shop floor was captivating…

Image

It was all commercial, no doubt. However, the charm, glamour and opulence of traditional Christmas was oozing from every merchandise on display…

Image

Hmmm…, nostalgia must be one vital component to create the elixir of Christmas tradition, I admired their splendid ornamentation…

Image

Regrettably, my visit was all too brief, not long enough for a pre-Christmas conditioning therapy.
I must go back there very soon for a proper gift hunting…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Egg Benedict @ The Wolseley

The Wolseley had been one place I always tempted to visit but never managed to do so for no apparent reason. Therefore, I eagerly included the Wolseley in my short-list and forwarded it to Madam Bentley when she suggested a brunch date last week. She must have picked up my secret plea from my email because she proposed the Wolseley from the list. Yippee!

The good old Wolseley. Can’t remember how many time I walked past you. But today, I am walking in instead…

Image

The inside of the restaurant was already a hive of activity.
Under its arched ceiling, chandeliers with a contemporary twist were suspended elegantly. A midday sunshine was flooding in from the large west facing windows, making the Wolseley’s signature monotone interior decor even more striking. As smartly clad diners chatted to their companions animatedly and their cutlery clinked, waiters glided between the tables briskly without lacking their professional grace…

Image

Soon, Madam Bentley and I were ushered to one of the tables and settled into it nicely by their smily receptionist…

Image

Madam Bentley, fresh from her romantic weekend in Brighton…

Image

What did we order for our brunch? Yes, as you probably have guessed it from the title, it was Egg Benedict…

Image

I must say, their Egg Benedict tasted better than the Shepherdess’s. Having said that, it was rightly so because the dish was nearly five times more expensive. Madam Bentley and I munched through our delectable breakfast and chatted about the events of the past four weeks.

After relishing our first visit to the Wolseley, we walked up Old Bond Street, admiring a row of fine jewellery stores as well as their opulent Christmas decorations.
At the junction with Conduit Street, we turned right towards Regent Street…

Image

The sky was full of dramatic looking clouds after early morning rain. It resembled a giant tiger print…

Image

A perfect backdrop for Christmas decorations…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Blog at WordPress.com.