Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hyper Japan 2013 - London Earl's Court

Sometimes I think my friends and colleagues encourage me to blog even though they don't mean to! I also think I have told one too many friends and colleagues that I blog ¬,¬" ... Well one of my colleagues (calling him Mr B... he keeps sending me stuff to go to! I can't keep up mate) sent me an email weeks ago alerting me about a discount from Amazon Local to go to Hyper Japan in Earls Court. The ticket was £12 for two people, and children under 10 could go in for free!! Woah, an offer I could not turn down... So that ticket was for me, Miss Pinky and Master H.

So I got this ticket, and tweeted it to the world... and then a week before the event I had to get one more ticket from the Hyper Japan website (they were selling them at full price at this point), and this one was for Mr Picky... that was another £12 not including the extra £2 something charge. :(

Hyper Japan is an event about Japanese culture. It unites the gamers, foodies, anime / manga fans, shoppers and anybody who likes kawaii things! An all-round event for me then! I think this event started last year or in 2011, actually it was in 2010, and not too sure how it all came about... I wanted to show Miss Pinky the Japanese culture so that when we go to Japan one day she knows what she wants! Hahahah :D

Our Saturday started out early after 10 am. Miss Pinky, Mr Picky and Master H had breakfast but I already had something to eat! We got to Earl's Court before 12 pm, but we didn't see how long the queue was until we reached the end... 
Outside Earl's Court 2
Unfortunately the queuing system was not brilliant, as at one point it was curved around for some reason - that's before we even got there... and we think a few people jumped the queue. It was annoying as the car park entrance was also next to the massive queue! OMG!!!!! It took a long while before the volunteers and staff to sort us out, we had to lean against the wall, and some were advised to come back at 4 pm as it was a one person ticket in and one person ticket out system... That's just silly... And also tickets were also being sold at the door... That would just make people who already have tickets more frustrated!! It just wasn't fair... Our umbrellas were out, the sun was out, and we were all hot... I know I'm British and queuing is our thing (but the British actually hate queuing), however I'm also Chinese and when I see disorder it must be organised straight away! Argh! ... 
Queuing the wrong way round

Looks like these two characters needed a break! ^_^

And this was just part of the queue... It got longer... as you can see people had their brollies out as it was hot

Character from Kingdom Hearts (my brother doesn't know which one!)
After an hour of queuing, a volunteer said we could go to the fast track queue as we had Master H as our saviour!! :D I have thanked Master H so many times on the day... Yay we got in!!!! Sorry for all the people in front of us! (as they would have been queuing for a bit more longer...)...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

My Old Dutch - London Holborn

Miss Pinky mentioned this place the other day, and I realised that these guys follow me on Twitter, and I haven't made the effort to go and try them out. Well now I am, and this time I'm going to go with Miss Pinky and her new boyfriend who I am still stuck trying to give him a nickname. He looked offended when I suggested one name! (Yes, the new boyfriend knows I blog too!)... So I think I will call him Mr Picky, as he is apparently picky with food. (He might not appreciate this but I like it). (^_^)v Good thinking Geek!

I got there early and was sitting and waiting for them, plus passed a level in Candy Crush... It does start getting easy-ish by the way. Just have to work on your gaming skills.

Before I came here I had looked on the website beforehand just to see what the pancakes, desserts and savoury foods were like. They all sound great, but I wish there were pictures I could see. On the pancake section you can hover over the item and you can see a picture... That's not really a good design feature by the way, because it doesn't work properly on Google Chrome...
Outside My Old Dutch
My Old Dutch in Holborn is very close to the station so you won't get lost at all. As we stepped in we got seated straight away...
Sorry for fuzzy picture... The inside
We all needed time to decide what to eat because we haven't had a savoury pancake for a bit, and I have never been to My Old Dutch before. In the end this is what we had...

Friday, 26 July 2013

Shiro Japanese Restaurant - London Percy Street (NOW CLOSED)

As I was walking back down from Paperchase heading towards China Town I was dying to eat Japanese food. Ramen especially. On Tottenham Court Road there are a few places that serve Japanese food, but there is this one place I have passed many times and have wanted to try out their food for a long time... According to other blog posts I have read (after I've been there) they didn't seem to have a good experience... It was empty. Not a single soul in this restaurant. Only the cook and a waitress. Anyway, I entered thinking I must try it out and to see why no one is in there!
Outside Shiro Japanese Restaurant
Well for one thing, I'm not even sure if the staff are Japanese. The place was very clean but no music. What a shame that there were no customers...
Inside the restaurant

Opened door

Empty restaurant :( ... 
There was a lot of choice on the menu, but I had my heart set out for any noodle dishes on the menu. So in the end I chose the shoyru chicken ramen and ebi prawns plus a calpico drink.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Paperchase - London Tottenham Court Road

How could I forget about Paperchase?! It's a CUTE store too!

As I couldn't find many cute, cute stalls in Camden Town, I stopped back off at the back street of Tottenham Court Road and went towards Paperchase after stopping off at Waterstones... Tottenham Court Road is a one way street unfortunately, so if you're going computer shopping, you have to walk all the way back down. :(

Paperchase is one of my favourite stores in the entire of the UK! And I really mean it! There are stores everywhere, Waterloo Station, Victoria Station, Strand and various other places... But the big one is in Tottenham Court Road.
Outside Paperchase in Tottenham Court Road

Look at all that cute stuff in the window!! ^_^
It has 3 floors altogether that includes the ground floor...
2 floors upstairs...
I love this place because of the amount of stationery they sell. If I lived in a big place, I think I would have majority of my stationery coming from here...

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Camden Town... no cute stalls?

It's very hard to find cute stores elsewhere nowadays. I remembered there were quite a few in the old days and especially around Camden Town. Unfortunately there's not many of those anymore around this area of London. So you really have to look hard for the cute stalls.

For me, it's really easy to be like a tourist or a person from out of London, so taking some random pictures of the Camden area is easy and fun... Because I've been to Camden Town so many times in the past I know which areas to look for cute things...

Here's a few stalls you could try and find in the stable market area... There's a lot of stalls that sell antique and vintage objects, so have a good look around.
So many different bags!!

Lots of antiques and vintage stuff

Loads of bags and purses

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Best Kebab - London Walworth Road

I didn't forget to blog about this place. Just got too busy... ¬,¬""

The Best Kebab which is situated along the Walworth Road... It's where all the drunks go at night, the mothers who like a cheap meal for their children, a place for family gatherings and for others to enjoy a good kebab!

I like coming here, as you get a good portion size for small and large appetites. They are reasonably priced too... I think just over a fiver for a meal... (Sorry for bad quality pictures by the way, I used the LG phone for this post).
Outside The Best Kebab
Miss Pinky and I went here after playing a board game at Mr Games' place a few weeks ago... And apparently I had to treat her for this meal!  What?! ¬,¬ ... that doesn't make sense!

Anyway we had the following... I forgot the names of the dishes, but I think you can just admire all that meat, bread, salad and chips in this post! ^_^
Miss Pinky's food

Pita bread - stone oven baked!

I think this was mine :D
It was a cheap meal of a total cost around £13-£14. Not bad for two people right?! So if you pass by, and you want something to eat, try The Best Kebab. It's also Halal... I actually wanted to take my cousin here but we ended up at that one in Leicester Square... Too bad!

My geeky rating: 5/5

Good points:
- Cheap and good portions of food
- Tasty and delicious kebab
- Pita bread is baked in a stone oven

Bad points:
- Not many bad points... I can't really think of any... Maybe toilets shouldn't be for both males and females...

Address: 294 Walworth Rd London, SE17 2TE
Telephone: 020 7703 7383



Sunday, 21 July 2013

My Old Place 老地方 - London Middlesex Street

Mandarin classes finished for the year, but that doesn't stop me or many others still speaking in Mandarin... I'm still bad at it. Still need to listen more. And I need to stop finding and watching Korean dramas!! One classmate decided to have a gathering between her old classmates and this years classmates... Unfortunately a lot of them couldn't make it, so it ended being only three of us! That's a shame... couldn't order many dishes... :(

It was decided we would go to My Old Place 老地方 (Mando: lao di fang, lit. Old Place) which is situated in the East Central side of London. I rarely eat in the East Central side... I think I need to find more places in the East! This is a much talked about place from the Chinese as well as the English, as the food is cheapish and it's a place to eat spicy food, northern Chinese style. I rarely eat northern Chinese food except for Peking duck and dumplings, so it was a different experience coming to this restaurant...
Outside My Old Place 老地方


Still outside


A bad picture of the lower ground floor...
My female classmate had already booked the table, we were just waiting on people... The others never turned up, and the restaurant was already packed with Chinese people, plus a bunch of English people throwing a surprise party for a guy named Archie! Heheh. (Didn't take a picture of the guy, I don't think he would have wanted me to blog about his birthday surprise!). 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme

A colleague of mine (who is replacing Mr Bear's seat for a few months and has a few more weeks to go with us) went to New York for two weeks! I gave her some of my loose change from when I went to Dallas as I knew I won't be in America for a while yet! I asked her to buy me something different and unique that the UK hasn't seen yet, and she brought me back a Hershey's bar! ¬,¬"" I'm sure I remembered that I told her not to buy anything Hershey's... Oh well... From my last Heshey's review I had a long foul aftertaste in my mouth, so I'm expecting something similar in this one...

Well this is not just any Hershey's bar, it's a Cookies 'n' Creme Hershey's Bar! Yes, another cookies and cream flavour. Do chocolate companies go to each other and say, "Hey, I'm going to make this flavour, I bet you can't pull off a better version than me!". That's just me over thinking, and I'm sure I've said this before in another post somewhere, but how many versions of the same flavour can you get?!
Another Cookies and Creme flavour from Hershey's this time!!
Unfortunately it's a bit damaged by the time I got it...
My damaged Hershey's Cookies and Creme white chocolate bar >.<
However it tastes awesome with the unfortunate aftertaste, but not as bad as the milk chocolate one... There is a distinct creamy taste to the white chocolate, which I like and it's sweet. But the best bit out of this chocolate bar is the cookie bits that they've added in. I didn't see this in the Kit Kat versions, and I think for me Hershey's has beaten Kit Kat in the overall Cookies and Creme (Cream) chocolate bar / snack!!

Very unique indeed! And now my colleague wants a piece!! ^_^ I hope I don't eat it all before I give it to her :D

By the way, does anyone know where one can buy this in the UK? Shops or online? I have a feeling my colleague will be on the hunt for it, as well as Mr Bear who wanted a piece too!! :D

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thames Indian - London Waterloo

Going to Belgium and back to London in less than 24 hours was incredibly exhausting! And by time we got to our almost final destinations (our own homes) we had to eat dinner. Miss Pinky wanted Indian, I didn't mind, and final decision was left to Master H. It was Indian food in the end... So we went to Miss Pinky's favourite Indian restaurant, the Thames Indian based in London Waterloo. She always goes here when she has the chance... I've grown to like it too. How many times have I been there? About 4 or 5 times in the past few years... (I promise I do eat at home, but I seem to eat out a lot these days!!)... Just before we went in I think a couple of Londoners thought we were tourists as we blocked this woman and her partner going into the kebab next door, she gave me that tut tut look (the glimpse over of like "pee off")... I assure you I am not a tourist in London. Just one Londoner that's better than some! (My fume is now over!!).

So here we are, I didn't take a picture of the inside or outside, I was absolutely exhausted, but I seemed to manage to take pictures of the food except for the poppadoms which are served with 4 different toppings / sauces. Heheh. 

I wanted duck, so I ordered the duck jalfrezi with special fried rice. It's a 2 chilli dish and it's mega hot! Thankfully I had a beer with my dinner otherwise I don't think I would have survived even with the air con on!! Oh the special fried rice was good too! It wasn't greasy and very tasty too. :)
Duck Jalfrezi - 2 chillies!!


Special Fried Rice... good for an Indian Restaurant!
Master H wanted special fried rice but with king size prawns (he got the smaller ones)... and he needed to order a curry with it. The waiter suggested a prawn or vegetarian biryani for him... (which he didn't eat). Secretly I think Master H likes Chinese food more than Indian, but wanted to keep her sister a little happy that evening. 
Biryani... I think it's vegetarian


Master H's special Special Fried Rice. It's with additional prawns
I forgot what Miss Pinky wanted... but this is her dish... was it a lamb and spinach dish? I can't remember!! And she had plain white rice with it... I think you'll get bored of me taking pictures of the white rice (well only because Miss Pinky started digging in before I could take it!)... ^_^""
A lamb and spinach dish I think!


Can you see Miss Pinky has almost finished her beer, and is quickly eating!! I haven't even started mine yet!! ¬,¬"
Phew!! Dinner over!! Overall, I love curry, and I'm always happy to eat in an authentic Indian restaurant... There was an Indian family sitting behind us who weren't pleased with one of the dishes... Too sweet they said... Well authentic or out of the ordinary dish this place is still a good restaurant... There are many Indian restaurants I have seen with no customers in it at all in South London, and this one always has a customer!! ^_^

Total cost came up to £48 something (Miss Pinky tried to confuse me with the final bill, I think she wanted to split it in half, and I think I was supposed to give her £5, but she asked for £10! Huh?!!! .... I took the change in the end:P ... Or maybe I should have paid £10, and then given her £10. Is that what she wanted me to do?).

My geeky rating: 4.5/5 (Miss Pinky would give this place 5/5 for sure!).

Good points:
- Polite service
- Tasty food and I think it is authentic... probably more for the British taste??
- Very near to Waterloo Station
- Reasonable pricing for 3 people!

Bad points:
- Tables are a bit squished together leaving less room for people to get in and out of their seat, but I understand it's to get a high turnover...
- Food was a bit slow getting to the table


Address: 79 Waterloo Rd, London, SE1 8UD ‎
Telephone: 020 7928 0909



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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bruges, Belgium - A Coach Trip!

Another trip out of London again?! Yep... I love London, but there are times when you just want to get out of here. Away from everything and everyone, and just enjoy a trip elsewhere...

Miss Pinky and I decided to go on a day trip to Belgium after seeing on my work noticeboard that a person was selling their tickets, but I couldn't get hold of the person so I decided to have a look on the Internet to see if there was something similar we could go on. There are lots of Internet sites, but sometimes you have to really look for them! In the end I found East London Travel, where they offer day trips via coach, and also 3 day holidays. I think it is worth going on a day trip via coach if you find trains too expensive! I bought 3 seats as we were bringing along Master H. He has never been outside of the UK before, and this is his first European experience... Miss Pinky called it a tester for him! Heheh.

It was an early start to the day. I woke up at 3.15 on Saturday morning had a bit of breakfast and then left to meet Miss Pinky and Master H at Canada Water Underground Station. We had to get the first train to Stratford for the pick up at 6.10 am! It's not hard to find the pick up, just go out of the station and turn left into Great Eastern Road, keep walking left until you see the Theatre Royal... I saw a beautiful sunrise by the way... (This is when I realised I left my SD card in my computer! :( )
Sunrise in Stratford


Somewhere around Kent
There are several pick ups along the way, so make sure you're in the right seat beforehand... Someone sat at my window seat, which I had booked... I wanted that window seat to take pictures!! Nevermind!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Amusing Adverts

I had one morning off before I went to work last week, and I passed by Elephant and Castle during that morning where I had spotted these quite amusing adverts...

First one is from Miele, a German manufacturer who sell household appliances. This advert is quite amusing showing a vacuum cleaner that has been transformed into a suction monster! Very amusing. We all think that vacuum cleaners are a bit of monster when they suck all the dirt or start playing up, and then you have to buy a new one (personal experience!)... Heheh. I generally like this advert. It's just so simple and brings imagination to advertising! A bit like a Transformer.
Miele - Monster Suction advert
The second one is from Lurpak, a Danish dairy brand mostly well known for their butters. I saw this one, and thought why would you be optimistic about adding butter to your cooking...?! And then I read the rest... "Built, Baked and Drenched in Custard"... what's that supposed to mean? The bread that gets drenched in custard in the picture? The butter that gets drenched in custard? What was I not getting? I don't know, but I had to read it on this website to understand what Lurpak was advertising...
Lurpak - OPTIMISM, Built, Baked and Drenched in Custard
... Hmmm.... Optimism is hoping that these breads will turn out well once they have been built, baked and drenched in custard using Lurpak! Hah!! ^_^ Very amusing!!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Bulmers Tube Advert No. 3

Was supposed to have blogged about this weeks ago, but got distracted from losing my phone and having a laptop with a motherboard that needed to be replaced.

One day on the Tube I spotted another Bulmers advert. I wonder why they have switched to the Tube. Will more people see it? Yes. Will more people want to have a drink of Bulmers after sitting on a hot, non-air conditioned train? Yes. Good idea Bulmers! ^_^

They've continued with their In The Beginning theme, and this time they've added curvy, rainbow-like message heading towards a Bulmers bottle of cider...

Miss Pinky had sent me another version, but I've lost that picture, not sure if she still has it!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

IKEA advert - One Room Paradise MV

oOoOoOoOooooOOoOooo... What a scary music video advert from IKEA! This looks like something that the BBC writers would write for Dr Who, or for an upcoming sci-fi...


What's so scary about it? Well for one thing they're using "dolls" to show us IKEA products and also, I guess, a single parents life with a creepy looking son. Couldn't tell you what products they're actually advertising, probably the beds, the desks, draws, shelving and lighting... Not sure about the doll house though. That's probably on display in the IKEA stores. :P

The changing faces showing emotion just makes this advert really creepy. It's probably like watching that film Chucky, which I haven't actually watched in all the years it's been out... I think I'm too afraid to watch it! ... I wondered how much time the designers had to spend on those faces just to get it right for each scene. Seems painstaking.

So go on then, have a look at the video, and see what you think of it! Scary or not scary?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cookies and Cream Kit Kat - Japanese (from Oyatsucafe.com) and UK version

Another Kit Kat. Another flavour. ^_^ @grocerygems had already blogged about the Passion Fruit flavour which you can see here. I tried to order it, but I have a feeling they were sold out. So instead I ordered a couple of limited edition Pocky and a 1000 Yen chocolate bar which I will blog about in another post. :D

This time I managed to, and successfully used the voucher code GROCERYGEMS on Oyastsucafe.com and got over $2 off the total price!! ^_^ Yay!! I love discounts!!

Here I am going to compare the Japanese and the UK version. Both are "Cookies and Cream Flavour"...
Top one is the UK version, Bottom one is from Japan

Top: UK version; Bottom: Japanese version
The Cookies and Cream Kit Kat from Japan is of course the mini version at 67 calories per bar. I wonder when we'll get to see the bigger versions on sale on the web... This one tasted more vanilla in taste than a creamy one. I couldn't taste much of the cookie flavour, but you can taste it after several bites. It tastes rather sweet too. It's kind of like has a Danish cookie taste to it. This isn't as good as the other Japanese Kit Kat's I have tasted so far... but nevertheless, it is worth trying it out.
Japanese Cookie and Cream Flavour Kit Kat

Close up of the Japanese version
After receiving my package, I ventured into Tesco one evening, and guess what I found?! The UK version of Cookies and Cream Kit Kat! WTH! It is a bigger version at 107 calories per bar, and the appearances are very different inside and outside. It doesn't have that cute Japanese packaging unfortunately. >.< The UK version is slightly bigger. There seems to be tiers on the outside, white chocolate or cream on top, and chocolate at the bottom. It tastes rather biscuity. I can't actually describe it... Just like a boring biscuit that has no texture and quite bland. It's as sweet as the Japanese version and the white chocolate / cream part is quite gooey, which I didn't particularly like from this Kit Kat...
The bigger UK version

Close up of the UK version
Out of the two (I had to try them both twice for this post and to make sure I knew which one I liked!), I like the Japanese version. There's no gooey texture, and quality wise I think it tastes better than the UK version.
Top: UK version; Bottom: Japanese version
So order from Oyatsucafe.com for the Japanese version... And don't forget to use the voucher code!! ^_^

And for the UK version, they are being sold in supermarkets right now.

Update 29/09/2013
p.s. My colleague just mentioned to me that the Japanese version tastes a bit like pina colada the drink... I must agree!! The wafer gives it that coconut kind of taste, and the white chocolate tastes of the cream... :D

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Wildlife Aid Open Day

It's not often I go out to the outer skirts of London and into the South West side, well I used to back in the old days when Miss Pinky ventured out into the wilderness during her post-uni days, and also when I went to uni, I went via this way too but only up to Wimbledon, and also when Mrs Travels went off to Guildford University for her masters degree... It's been a long time...

My friend Miss Goldilocks who volunteers at this place Wildlife Aid, which is situated in Leatherhead, had invited us to go to their open day. I love wildlife, and to get to see what wildlife aid centres do is a treat for me! I had a choice of going to my workplace's open day or this one, and both happened to be on the same day! I chose this one as it was already in my diary to go... :P
At the entrance
I went with Mr Games, Miss Pinky and Mr Sensible. It was difficult to decide where to meet up, Waterloo or Vauxhall? So in the end I met up with Miss Pinky at Waterloo, and then stopped off at Vauxhall to meet up with the guys. By the way, if you're travelling with 4 people, it's cheaper to get a group ticket when you're travelling on National Rail.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Cuppacha Bubble Tea 喀杯茶 - London China Town

It was a very long Saturday last weekend! Spent a long time with my cousin who was choosing baby clothes for her daughter and friends babies... So after I left her, I decided to have big bubble tea drink at Cuppacha 喀杯茶 (canto: kaa bui cha; mando: ke bei cha) which has opened for a few months now in China Town. I first went there during the Terracotta Film Festival, but lost my pictures and so I couldn't blog about it then. :(

Now weeks later, I have come back to enjoy another bubble tea, the same flavour to be exact! This place seems very popular compared to some others that I've walked passed. When I went in the previous customers left. I sat there for a few moments and suddenly there was a queue! What the...! For a large cup it costs £3.50. Wow! Compared to other places this is a bargain price with a bigger cup size! XD Not sure how much the smaller cups cost but it's worth just having the bigger cup.
Queue building up as I left!! Mega busy in this place!!

The counter 
The pearls are very chewy and the tea has the right tea strength for me. It's not too strong and not too weak... I am sure you will not be disappointed in whatever flavour you get!!!
Cuppacha flavour... normal tea flavour
I think I must come to this place more often to try out the other flavours. The only problem for me is that there's no visible bin. So you either have to find a bin outside or probably ask the staff to throw the cup away for you! They were too busy for me to ask really...

Not going to rate it... But I'll be back for more (^_^)v ... ah, might as well, 5/5 from The Geek!


***

AND before I came here, I ate at a place called Fiori that doesn't sell the best kebabs. This is by Leicester Square Station. It's popular with the tourists... Always pass it and it's full of people! (I will blog about another place that does GREAT kebabs later). Here's our chicken kebab...

Chicken kebab in pita bread
And I tried to take picture of the place which is beside Leicester Square Station, but had "Clapham Tranny" in my picture! Apparently he/she gets about, and doesn't always stick to Clapham! XD
"Clapham Tranny in front of Leicester Square Station"... Fiori is in front!
***
Address: 23 Newport Court, London WC2H 7JS
Telephone: 020 7998 0313



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