Steak, Guy Bourdin & Christmas Tree…

I am very sorry for abandoning my blog again.
Nothing drastic had happened during the silence except my daily fight with muscle fatigue and aches caused by the all-out hockey action which has commenced since last September. When one’s body is much too tired, one’s will to do anything other than absolutely necessary wanes, and as the result, my thumb dancing had been on pause over my iPhone screen for quite a while. Now, a quick sit-rep of my household. My.B is doing very well by the help of medications. He is comfortable and still full of beans. And Hubbie is the same old himself, busy, busy & busy. So, it is all good & happy in my household!

Last Saturday, Hubbie and I went out for an early Christmas lunch at Hawksmoor, Covent Garden. We had dined at their Shoreditch branch on Curtain Road some years ago but this West End Restaurant was new for us.
We were both in the mood for serious meat eating, and therefore, we opted for 850g of Porterhouse steak to share. We also ordered tender stem broccoli, salad with vinaigrette and beef dripping chips.

Waiters cross the numbers out from the blackboard as the cuts were sold off…

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After about a half an hour of waiting, our foods were brought to the table….

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And they were great. The seasoning was exquisite and the way the steak was done was perfect.
Especially, their beef dripping chips, they were so wickedly tasty. Sorry my arteries and hello to my cholesterol…

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After settling our full stomach with cappuccino, we waded through The Piazza which was awash with Christmas shoppers as well as tourists.

A lone silver reindeer on the display…

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‘I am just a reindeer! Get me out of HERE!!’

It looked like as if the deer wanted to be free from the madness of Covent Garden in weekend.
Even there was a mass exodus of Santas on BMXs…

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Modern Christmas becomes more and more insane, don’t you agree?

Somerset House, here we come…

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We were there for the Guy Bourdin exhibition…

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It was great to see and understand his method of creating the works. Hubbie told me about his sad demise towards the end of his career. Guy Bourdin was a perfectionist who would have hated to work with someone like Anna Wintour for sure…

After the exhibition, we walked around an indoor Christmas market, expecting it to be the same as the last year’s. However, I was disappointed because there was no independent traders but all Fortnum & Mason. I had nothing against one of the most famous London stores but I just didn’t want those big names in my face everywhere I went. I would go to Piccadilly if I wanted to shop in F&M, thank you very much! So please leave some chance encounters with small retailers at Somerset House next Christmas.

An opulently decorated Christmas tree in the courtyard…

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Then, we grabbed a cab on Aldwych and sped home where our dear Mr.B awaited…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Tramshed @ Rivington Street, EC2

Don’t mention the “C” word, please!
I mean no “Chicken”, “Chips” or “Cider”. Hubbie & I dined at Tramshed on Rivington Street and were stuffed with roast chicken & chips up to our throats. On our way home, we kept on reminding each other, ‘Don’t mention the C-word!’

We arrived at the restaurant on foot at 13:00 sharp…

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I remember that there used to be a large steel shutter in front of the building. The original electric generating station was so discreet that I didn’t realise it was there at all.
Now, the shed offered an airy multi-story dining space and artworks by Damian Hirst…

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In the middle of the main dining  space, Damien Hirst’s cow & chicken in formaldehyde was hoisted up…

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How do the cow & chicken feel about us gorging ourselves with steak and roast chicken?

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I felt a pang of guilt while being seated underneath the sculpture.

The main course was deadly simple – roast chicken or steak. We opted for sharing their barn-reared Indian Rock chicken with wild garlic sauce and chips.

For starter, we nibbled on Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken liver…

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Ahhhh, overly keen (& hungry) Hubbie snatched the Yorkshire pudding before I had a chance to take photos!

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The whipped chicken liver was delicious. It was bursting with flavour without being too rich.

For drink, we tried Temperley’s Mulled Cider…

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It was concocted from Burrow Hill cider, apple juice, Kingston Black aperitif, blackberries and spices.
I must say it was simply divine. We both agreed that we could drink it all afternoon!

Then, our plat de résistance, roast chicken with chips…

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I don’t know why but the way it was presented – the chicken’s feet tied up, reminded me a painting by Francis Bacon. While we beheld this unusual sight, a waitress produced a large kitchen knife, with which she sliced off the chicken’s feet and then carved off legs for us…

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A large spoon was stuck in the rear end of the chicken so we could dig out the stuffing from inside. The scene was how should I put it… rather brutal.

For side dish, we ordered sautéed Brussels sprout tops…

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My plate before I commenced the assault…

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By the end of the meal, I was utterly defeated by the volume of the serving. Hubbie struggled on a little longer but had to throw in the towel. The roast chicken with chips would certainly feed three adults, not two. For dessert, I am afraid to report that we didn’t sample any of it because we were too full. Therefore, we just settled the bill and left the restaurant.
I think the place will be a fun venue to dine before embarking on a night out in Shoreditch. Even though the restaurant is well-known for their carnivorous menu, they also offer a vegetarian & pescetarian menu too. So nobody will be disappointed or go hungry.

With our stomach stuffed more than full, we staggered out to Rivington Street…

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Mirror-balls as a Christmas decoration. What a brilliant idea! Can we have a street party?

Then, we walked to our favourite bookshop, Artwords Bookshop

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I just love standing there turning pages forever…

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They inspire me endlessly…

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The wind was blowing relentlessly and kept the temperature low. However, because of it, the sky was largely cloudless…

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I brought home a magazine “The Gourmand“…

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But I am still too full to read it. For tonight’s supper, we are eating another “C-word” food. Guess what? It’s gonna be toasted crumpets & jam!!

A few more days to go through and it’s Christmas. How time flies…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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