Monday, 16 October 2017

Okan Ramen and Soba おかん - London Coldharbour Lane

Still craving for more ramen...

One evening after talking to Miss Pinky about tonkotsu ramen, so I ended up looking for local Japanese restaurants with ok reviews. I was also watching Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san, a Japanese drama about a school girl who loves ramen. I think I shouldn't have watched it! Lol!!!! ^_^

... In the end I came here...

Okan Ramen and Soba おかん opened last year in April 2016. It's not far from where I work and it's about a 20 to 30 minute walk away or a 10 minute bus ride. Wow. So close, and I've never been?! Walking to Brixton is actually really, really close... Had I known (as the bus swerves in and out of the roads) I would have walked to Brixton to eat after work! ^_^ It might happen more often...

Forgot to check the opening times for this place, and so I ended up being 40 minutes. That's when I decided to walk around a bit. Walked around Brixton Village, then went back the other way in some heavy rain and did my food shopping in Tesco... The walk back was about 10 minutes, but carefully walked back as it was still raining... It was 6 o'clock when I got there. It wasn't opened yet, but the door was opened!! So I went in and made some sort of polite noise... First customer of the evening!

Their website doesn't show their full menu, so I took a picture of it, unfortunately it didn't come out clearly here...

It's a very cute restaurant. Reminds me of those ramen bars in those Japanese dramas, but it might be more pleasant if they remove those plates from the counter top... 

When the guys started cooking my orders, I could smell an aroma like garlic and ginger just lifting my moods and opening my appetite... I was ready to eat!!

I resisted a lot to order two starters, but I just couldn't help myself! This is fried aubergine. Yum, yum, had the right sort of seasoning... not overly cooked and not too oily... Could have more of this!

Came with a mustard dipping sauce...

And this was my second starter... I like Japanese fried chicken... This was really hot when it came out... Tried to resist eating it all in one go before the ramen came out...

And finally my tonkotsu ramen came out! It already came with the sesame seeds inside and other toppings. Unlike some other Japanese restaurants where you can add your own bits and pieces in you can't seem to this here in Okan...

So what about the soup? It was nice and creamy, not too salty and not too bland. The noodles were nice and thick, not the typical thin sort of ramen you would see in the Central London restaurants. It came with only one piece of chashu which was a little disappointing but I guess the soup does make up for it.

I wanted another helping of ramen, so I asked for another portion (couldn't help myself, just watching that Ramen Girl drama drove me to do this!)... It was nice and warm, and when I added it into the soup, the soup felt like it was all warmed up again. ^_^

The soup felt it was never ending, but I drank the lot...


Total cost came to £27.55 which includes a £3.05 service charge. I ordered no drinks but had their water. If I had ordered any drinks, I think I would have bursted at the stomach. ^_^

Ramen craving over for now! Well more like tonkotsu ramen craving over. ^_^ Will definitely come again!

My geeky rating: 4.9/5 (more chashu in the ramen please!)

Good points:
- The soup is good and will satisfy people's stomachs
- Love the starters
- Polite service

Bad points:
- A tiny bit expensive (but worth it)
- Should add a bit more chashu in the ramen!! A bit stingy with it...

Address: 338 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8QH
(Please be aware of opening times during the weekdays 6-10pm and longer hours on the weekend)
Tel: 020 3441 1084

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Aizu Seimen Curry Ramen 合図製麺 カレーラーメン

I am a curry and ramen addict. I confess! ^_^

Bought this giant packet of Aizu Seiman brand Curry Ramen 合図製麺 カレーラーメン from Japan Centre. I was going round and round in circles trying to find things to buy, so I bought this. There was a dipping version, but opted the safer option where I wouldn't splash myself with curry soup.

I was a bit upset with the Destiny 2 Ramen at Kanada-ya, so I hoped this packet of ramen would fill in an empty spot in my stomach.

The dried ramen doesn't come in straight lines, instead they're bent. I'm not sure of the reasons for this method of packing.

After cooking it came out like this... I think I should have added more water...

It tasted ok. Not too spicy. Wished I added more water to make it look more soupy. There's enough for 1 person, but could be shared amongst two people.

Price: £4 something... Had a look at Japan Centre's website, and looks like this was limited, and sold out! I think this packet of ramen is definitely worth the price by the amount of ramen give. ^_^

Wow!! It might expensive, but thankfully I had a chance to try this once!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Japan Centre - London Panton Street (is this the final move?)

よし!Alright! I'm hoping this is the final move for Japan Centre. Fingers crossed that we don't have to keep travelling to find this Japanese store. I think I've encountered their four stores and three moves from when they were on Piccadilly Street to Regent Street St James's to Shaftesbury Avenue and now Panton Street.

Stay where you are now Japan Centre! (Fingers crossed in the meantime).

As you enter you'll see a food counter and a bit home-ware...

Liking the light bulb arrangement!

Then you go down some stairs and you're greeted with a big food area and I feel the shopping area has gone a little smaller... maybe because lots of stock had gone beforehand. Hmmm.

On exiting to the till area, you'll see a lot of raw meat, fish and a whole big section of sushi.
I'm trying to cut down on the rice, but that might not be possible if I came here all the time!! ^_^

Usually I spend a lot in Japan Centre, but on this day before the end of September I received a text message offering a discount! So in the end I spent under £15. So happy, but I think I should have bought more.... :( 

Think the layout is not super great... The magazine section is right next to the takeaway hot food section - bit of a bother if you wanted to browse. 
The toilets are right next to the till areas, it means you have to pass the queue to get there... 

Maybe a re-layout needs re-thinking!!

At the end of this short visit, I decided not to eat in Japan Centre, but instead went to the neighboring Kanada-ya of Panton Street and tried out the expensive Destiny 2 Ramen. The waiter said it was super spicy... hmmm... I didn't think so. Soup was quite bland too, so I wasn't too impressed. Maybe I should have ordered something a bit salty. Oh well!

Address: 35b Panton St, London SW1Y 4EA
Tel: 020 3405 1246

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Tombo Fitzrovia とんぼ: Hello Kitty Café pop up - London Windmill St

Update 13/10/2017 - good news! Just received an email from Tombo(!) on one of my personal emails (how?)... The Hello Kitty pop up is being extended to October 22nd 2017!!! Yay!!!

Have you been waiting for this post? I've been dying to get this post out, and I'm almost up-to-date with most of my posts!! Yay!!

Had a disastrous morning trying to find this Hello Kitty Café! Was searching online before I went but I think Google was giving me past events and another Tombo branch! ¬_¬"" What is wrong with Google Search... give me up-to-date stuff please!

After almost two hours of travelling here and there and everywhere, plus meeting up quickly with Miss Money to give her a very early birthday present, I finally found this Japanese restaurant along near a side street on Tottenham Court Road and not far from Goodge Street Station.

The Hello Kitty theme at this restaurant is a 6 week event and ends on October 8th. So sorry for my late posting for those extreme Hello Kitty fans in London!!

This is the limited edition of the Hello Kitty menu.

The Hello Kitty section wasn't over the top (but my food pictures might be a little OTT) ^_^ some kids brought their own Hello Kitty toys along...

Had the Yuzu Kukicha, which is a citrus green tea. This tasted really nice, like a hot lemon tea. It came in a double walled glass so that you wouldn't fill the heat of the tea. I think I want one of these glasses! The tea came with a green tea Hello Kitty cake. Cool!! ^_^

I ordered the Hello Kitty Poké which came with a free Hello Kitty soy sauce bottle that you are allowed to take... This is the only reason I got this dish. LOL! 

There were so many Hello Kitty shaped veggies, but the best thing is, is that it all tasted great! Rice was not over filled with sugar and vinegar (some places really go over the top with the vinegar and sugar). The salmon tasted fresh. The only thing I didn't eat were the flowers as I didn't realise they were edible.

I knew I needed a dessert too. I was already hot from all the walking around. I ordered the Matcha Berry Sundae.  Yatta!! やった!!
I enjoyed the rich green tea flavour in the ice cream but the sweetness of the strawberry syrup and the white chocolate and biscuits made the green tea flavour dissappear... Well, at least the dessert made up for the rest of the empty stomach. (^_^)b

This was one of the café's I mistakenly went to in Soho...

And this is the other Tombo I ended up in. However they do sell the Hello Kitty merchandise!

A good experience in getting lost in London. I must say, even the geekiest Londoner gets lost in London!! Just don't forget to go before it ends on October 8th!!!!!!!

Total came to £25.31 which included a service charge of £2.81.

My geeky rating: 5/5 (just being able to get lost and able to take pretty pictures was a good enough for a good rating)

Good points:
- Nice seating area, limited space
- Felt like I was placed into a Japanese environment
- Polite service
- Prices were reasonable

Bad points:
- Have none... I got a free Hello Kitty soy sauce bottle!! ^_^

Address: 4 Windmill St, W1T 2HZ
Tel: 0203 205 0001

Monday, 2 October 2017

Ibis Hotel - Gloucester

After looking at a bunch of places of AirBnB, it was decided by Mr Games that we should stay in a hotel... I can't remember the price at the time he booked, but it was over £50 per night. We stayed for two nights.

Mr Games booked two rooms with double beds. There were no twin rooms available. :(

From entering the hotel you got this canteen looking area.

I made sure Mr Games requested an extra duvet as I'm usually the victim of the other person taking the duvet. There was enough space for both Miss Money and I.

Shower was amazing! Toilet could have been a better option. Toilet roll could be placed somewhere more accessible.

The coffee drinkers (Mr Sensible, Miss Money and I) weren't really impressed with the selection of coffees... the coffee machine outside at the breakfast buffet was more decent!

Overall the hotel was generally quiet. Even our neighbours hardly made any noise. You may hear someone's shower or TV but it was ok. Could advise on another bin in the room as well...

Address: Corinium Ave, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3DG
Tel: 01452 623650


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