Monday, 31 March 2014

The Geek Goes To Paris - Day 1

Day 1 - Friday 21st March

Backtracking now. It's been an eventful March! If I knew Eason Chan was going to perform in Paris I would've went to his concert today... Oh well!!

During our trip to Stonehenge and Bath, Miss Pinky and I decided to take a trip to Paris via coach. It's the cheapest and the only type of transport that Miss Pinky likes minus the EuroTunnel and ferry. Cost us £44 for a return trip to and from Paris. I actually would have preferred to take a train but EuroStar is so costly and you really have to plan in advance to get the cheapest tickets or wait until they are on sale.

We got to Victoria Coach Station before 8am. But we were actually late! I didn't realise we had to check in for EuroLines as we never had to before on other coach journeys. Thankfully Miss Pinky spotted the message otherwise we would have missed our entire trip!! Luckily we got to the coach in time. There were plenty of seats left but no two seaters so we had to sit separately. :( Nevermind!! We learnt our lesson in case we go on another European coach trip with Eurolines.

Once we were on the EuroTunnel we had another hours drive and had a short break at a gas station before moving on... Our drivers were French and unfortunately they didn't speak very good English.


The drive took another 2-3 hours on the road and finally we reached Gallieni, Paris! Next we had to figure out how to get to the hotel so we took the Metro, line M3 to Bourse which was the directions given to me on Booking.com... It is actually not the best route and we found a better one when we went back! When we got off Miss Pinky wanted a drink, unfortunately the bartender didn't speak much English so I tried in the little French I know to get her her biere... :P She got a half pint for €4. That's expensive!!!!


Now we went to find our hotel... My phone didn't give the best directions, and so we ended up in the Palais Royale area! Oh dear, we were LOST!! How did that happen?! Stupid phone... We asked a few people but they didn't know either... Finally my phone gave me the right directions after I keyed in the hotel name... It was an 18 minute walk... BOOOO!
Stumbled across Notre Dame
Thankfully we found it and we came across quite a few restaurants and we were deciding what to eat. I think Miss Pinky was about to burst with anger if we didn't find the hotel soon. Heheheh.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

陳奕迅 Eason's Life Concert - London O2 2014

Yeah! Another concert! And my birthday celebrations doesn't seem to have stopped yet!!

Last night was Eason Chan's 3rd official concert in London. First one was at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 and the second one was also at the O2 in 2012. I have only attended his first one as the second was on a Monday or Tuesday some ridiculous day that I couldn't make. But finally it seems Orientouch have got the concert days right! This was on a Friday! Woohoo.

Eason Chan 陳奕迅 (Canto: chan yik shun) is one of my favourite, favourite, FAVOURITE Hong Kong singers. His voice is just so appealing and he is one of those singers that is really down to Earth. Snobby? I'm not so sure. Funny? Yes he is! Have been a fan of his since teenage-hood, but I can't remember when exactly!

I think he forgot that majority of his fans around the UK are Cantonese speakers and spoke in English and Mandarin last night... and then resumed back into Cantonese! I may understand all three languages, but some don't!

Ok, so here's loads of pictures I chose to add onto here... Videos will be at the end as usual!! ^_^





Thursday, 27 March 2014

South Park 3D Origami

I got this request from Mr Picky during the time I was making the Family Guy characters. I had no idea that he was desperately waiting for them, but I finally made them!

They were quite easy to make... So let me shut up and show you the pictures.
3D Origami South Park!!

^_^

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Woo Jung 우정 Korean Restaurant - London St Giles Street (Now in New Oxford Street)

Uh oh, I think I got Miss Pinky addicted to Korean food now. She now wants to try the remaining Korean restaurants on St Giles Street. Uh, didn't I try to convince Miss Pinky a long time ago? Yes I did, but she thought we were going to eat raw food. That's Japanese food. And yes Koreans eat raw beef, but that's different!

So after a small trip to Putney Bridge as it was nice and sunny that day we went to find another restaurant. We at first went to ASSA but it was full, so we had to go to our second option which was Woo Jung 우정. On Google Translator it translates to "friendship". Wow sounds like a powerful name for a restaurant. A restaurant of friendship. ^_^
Woo Jung 우정 - "Friendship"
As with most restaurants sometimes I already know what I want, but I had a quick look at some of the extra stuff... But finally Miss Pinky and I made our orders...

First came the free side order which is a different type of kimchi, not the matured fermented type but the easily made refrigerated type. This is quite refreshing.
New kimchi

Beansprouts
This is the Kimchi Set. I forgot the Korean name of the set, but it consists of the main types of kimchi - cucumber, radish and Chinese cabbage. All of it was so good. The only complaint from Miss Pinky was that the cucumber wasn't cut properly and she was too lazy to separate it with her spoon and chopsticks!
Kimchi set
This is my rice grain drink. It's a small can but it was enough for me.
Rice grain drink
Next came Miss Pinky's usual dish of squid. This was different to next doors Po Chung. The squid had a lot of texture. It was a bigger dish and it seemed to have a lot of vegetables. It was also spicy too!! Yummy stuff!!
Spicy Squid
Again Miss Pinky had a bibimbap, I think she had pork in it, she made a small complaint about this one too... The meat pieces were too big and she had to cut it up. ¬,¬"" What the heck! Miss Pinky - just eat your food!
Bibimbap again!!
I ordered something completely different. I had the Korean version of Jajangmyeon (black bean noodles). This really tasted different from my own version. It was a lot less salty and I think they may had added more sugar in it. They also added small vegetables such as potatoes and carrots like you would see with katsu curries. It was not a bad meal, but may have preferred for it to be served in a bowl rather than a plate.
Jajangmyeon

The bill 
Total bill came to £34.50. Cheaper than next door!! And we practically ordered the same amount of food!! Obviously there was a 10% service charge. Getting used to all of this service charge...

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Good points
- Large plates of food
- Affordable prices
- Almost friendly service... they forgot to say goodbye and thank you to us!!!!
- Nice homely food

Bad points:
- Service charge! ... And that's all I can think of really...

Address: 59 St Giles High St, London WC2H 8LH ----> Now moved to New Oxford Street!!!
Telephone: 020 7836 3103



Here's Putney at one of its finest moments this year...
At Putney Bridge
And I also had two coffees that night in the Elephant and Castle Pub!! I did manage to sleep that night. ^_^
Drinking coffee...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Hikari Sushi and Noodle Bar - London Kennington Road

After a disappointing Italian I wanted to eat something different. Didn't want to eat at home because I didn't want to cook and plus I had no one to go out with that evening... I've passed this restaurant called Hikari many times, and I think it was time I had to try it out!! I think it used to be a pub many years ago and now converted into a restaurant. I have been waiting for Miss Pinky to come with me, but she takes forever...
Hikari Sushi and Noodle Bar
As I entered I realised it was practically empty. There were a couple of people there already, but they were about to finish their food... I also realised that I seem to go to a lot of empty restaurants... Why's that?! Not popular, not blogged about, no one cares or people just want to keep this place as a secret location???... So once again The Geek strikes up the opportunity!
Empty restaurant :(

Condiments
Once seated, I kind of already knew what I wanted to order but I just needed to find it on the menu! When I had a look at the menu it looked very pan-Asian to me, as in there was a wide variety such as Chinese dishes, Thai dishes, Malaysian dishes as well as Japanese!

So here's what I had...

I had a lemon iced tea. Gosh this was really good. Not too sweet and had all the right elements to it.
Iced Lemon Tea
I had this rainbow sushi which had 5 different types of fish on top. When I saw it, I thought wow I can't wait to try this!! All I can say about it is that it was delicious! Probably better than going to a Japanese takeaway. The sushi rice was not too vinegary and it tasted so fresh that I actually left it to last to eat the remaining  pieces. You can get these sushi rolls in 5 or 8 pieces for different prices.

By the way, I think they make their own wasabi paste as it tasted quite sweet!
Rainbow sushi roll

From the top
Next I ordered the Spicy Chicken Ramen. It looked quite stunning when the chef brought it out. I thought I was actually going to enjoy it... But then when I looked at the ramen, it was the Chinese yellow thick noodles. That was a little disappointing. What was also disappointing was the amount of chicken pieces in my noodle soup... not a lot in there... Also they used choi sum (Chinese leaves) instead of any Japanese style vegetables. But soup was good, it had a lot of spice in it and at least I got half an egg!
Spicy chicken ramen

They used yellow noodles
 In the end I did ask for some takeaway sushi and I ordered the dragon sushi roll. 
My takeaway dragon sushi roll
Total bill including the takeaway came to £25. I so recommend this place. So if you are near the Waterloo area, or just coming out of the Imperial War Museum or just need somewhere to quietly eat lunch (maybe), then definitely try it out.

p.s. I think the owners are not Japanese but the waitress can speak Mandarin!

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Good points:
- Very fresh sushi
- Friendly service
- Affordable 
- Quiet place to eat lunch and dinner

Bad points:
- Not the right ramen was used in my noodle soup

Address: 2 Kennington Rd, London SE1 7BL
Telephone: 020 7401 3976



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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Jamie's Italian - London Shepherd's Bush

Did you know I was once a Jamie Oliver fan? Still am really. I watched his cooking show on BBC 2 with such fascination because of his random ways of cooking and how he grew herbs on his window sill. But when he switched over to Channel 4 I think I lost interest, plus I was entering university at the time and didn't have time to watch that much TV! 

I don't own any of his cookbooks or tv shows but just watching what he does with cooking is amazing! I feel like I'm watching my parents cook as they don't use measuring cups, weighing scales or special gadgets except for tin openers. ^_^

I've wanted to eat at a Jamie Oliver restaurant for a very long time, but every time I mention it to a friend they would look at me to say, "are you joking?" Why? Is it that bad??? Anyway, I decided to take a long bus ride to Shepherd's Bush as I was looking for a rucksack, and also decided to visit Jamie's Italian. I wanted to try out this place as Jamie Oliver is opening a branch in Hong Kong, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about...

Jamie's Italian is actually quite hard to spot in the Southern Terrace of Westfield Shopping Centre. It's separated from all the other restaurants in that area but you can easily spot it with the blue ice cream van in the front.
Remember to find the ice cream van to find Jamie's Italian in Shepherd's Bush!
I dined alone that day and was extremely hungry... I think the waitress was surprised to see a lone diner (I wasn't the only one) and I almost thought I had to seat myself!
Some diners were already there

Lots of seating
I had a very handsome waiter taking my order (just wanted to point that out to the ladies!). I wanted to try out the seafood bucatini but the sound of the white sauce didn't appeal plus it was expensive! So in the end I ordered the Cauliflower and Cheese Fritters and a Simple Baked Lasagne. I asked for it to be served at the same time...

Here's my drink... a bitter Refresher drink. Too bitter to drink really. Needed more elderflower juice in it. There was too much ice in it as well...
Refresher is too bitter
It was a little wait for the food, so I sat there listening to the diners next to me and playing Pet Rescue Saga. The diners next to me were having a boring conversation which did not interest me one bit that's why I constantly played on my phone! ... Finally the food came...
My food
I tried the Cauliflower Fritters... Humph. I was quite disappointed really. It was warm nearly cold. The cauliflower already lost it's crunch. Tasted as if the cauliflower were cooked beforehand. How disappointing. I think I would have preferred a bit of crunch in my veg like they do with Japanese tempura. If this is how Italian cauliflower fritters taste like, then I'm just disappointed! ¬,¬""
Cauliflower Fritters and Cheese sauce
Next I started on the Simple Baked Lasagne. Presentation wise it looked good but not sure about the salad leaves though. But taste wise I was again disappointed. It was kind of salty, no sweet tomato taste and a bit watery to my liking. Nevertheless I ate the whole thing as I didn't like to waste my money.
Simple Baked Lasagne 
You know what, I think my face said it all... Disappointed. I think the waiter could see it although I gave him big smiles just to hide my disappointment. 

The waiter asked if I wanted dessert. I thought why not, maybe this would make up for the lunch... How wrong was I?! Ha. I ordered the tiramisu. I've had a lot of versions of tiramisu, and this was the most disappointing of them all!! Just a dust of coffee on top of a sweet cake. ¬,¬"" What?! Disappointed again!!!! I think a little bit more coffee powder for the coffee lovers would have helped a bit more...
Tiramisu
Most of the diners ordered the burgers. I should have went for those. I think they were regulars to the place and probably knew what to order. Next time if I ever, ever come again, I'm getting a burger...

Total price came to £23.45 which isn't bad for a famous chef's restaurant. But too expensive for an "Italian" restaurant according to some friends. One friend said there are better places to eat Italian. Jamie's is bland and overpriced they said... Agreed there!! Sorry Jamie Oliver...

Well, good luck in Hong Kong. Chinese people have big expectations with food. I hope some of the recipes will have improved once they open in the summer...!!

Here's Jamie making attempts at speaking Cantonese... I give him credit for trying!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiIiJZ-Bki0

My geeky rating: 2.5/5

Good points:
- Good service
- Nice big restaurant 

Bad points:
- Food quality wasn't the greatest as expected 
- Pricey for Italian food
- Not the greatest restaurant for Italian food

Address: Unit 1078, Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, London, Greater London W12 7GB
Phone: 020 8090 9070

Website: http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/


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Monday, 17 March 2014

Po Cha 포장마차 Korean Restaurant - London St Giles Street (Now in Lower Marsh, Waterloo)

Oh dear I had a hangover... I also did some overtime that same weekend... Never drink a bottle soju (mixed with lemonade) by yourself the night before you're supposed to meet a friend or work overtime. It's been a long time since I've had a hangover. I never thought I would be having a hangover after mixing my drinks that night. I thought wrong. Never again will I drink a  full bottle of soju by myself. XD

On this day Miss Pinky, Mr Picky and I were supposed to go and try out a Korean restaurant in Bermondsey called The Old Justice, but unfortunately we had to book a table. Mr Picky held his frustrations really well that night. Well done Mr Picky!! Miss Pinky on the other hand was really hungry as she didn't eat that much that Saturday.

So off we went... Miss Pinky and I went to find Korean food and Mr Picky left us to find it. ^_^ Still hangover, we went into a pub first (St Stephen's Tavern Pub) by Westminster where all the poshy politicians drink during the weekdays. Miss Pinky wanted to go in there but found that the b****y politicians hogged the place too much!! :P (I had a diet coke by the way... no more drinking). My face was telling Miss Pinky to hurry up because I was feeling tired, but she didn't get it... Arrrrgh!!

Finally we got on the bus and made our way to St Giles Street. We chose this place called Po Cha. Korean name is 포장마차 Po-Jang(Chung) Ma-Cha . The name means "stalls", but I think it means "food tent" or "food cart", which you will see around in South Korea. 포장 Po-Jang means "packing" and 마차 Ma-Cha means "carriage". (Here's the Wiki page meaning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pojangmacha)
Po Cha 포장마차 

Inside Po Cha
Miss Pinky was feeling rather chirpy that evening. Not sure why. ¬,¬"". Anyway we took a seat... it took a while for the waiters to hand over a menu to us as they were so busy! Nevermind, I was enjoying the atmosphere... By the way, all the waiting staff and cooks are male! No female presence that night.

We both ordered our food and also went to the mixed gender loo. ¬,¬""

I ordered the pickled cucumber. I think this is the only thing I could eat that night unfortunately. Getting over a hangover takes a very long time. Miss Pinky has massive experiences unlike me... The pickled cucumber didn't taste that great. Reminded me of the taste in Corean Chilli...
Pickled cucumber
Next came Miss Pinky's dish of spicy squid and mixed veg. I ate a few pieces. This was ok. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I weren't so tired.
Spicy squid and vegetables
Both Miss Pinky and I ordered this spicy pork bibimbap. I must have looked dreadful because I really tried to eat this after mashing it up like any normal Korean would. I just didn't have the appetite unfortuntately. That's a real first from The Geek!! :P But the bibimbap tasted good.

Miss Pinky really enjoyed her bibimbap so much that she took the rest of mine home to eat... *blink blink*. What? Miss Pinky and I swapped roles that night! Wow! LOL!
Spicy pork bibimbap
Miss Pinky said to me days later that why didn't I take her to more Korean places in the past... Miss Pinky! I tried to in the past... you just refused!!
The bill
Total cost came to £38 including drinks and service charge. Not bad! Really good price for two people. 

Didn't say my usual thank you in Korean that night though...

My geeky rating: 4.5/5 

Good points:
- Lots of seating and didn't need to book a table
- Good service
- Affordable food

Bad points:
- Service charge as usual 
- Pickles not that great unfortunately
- Place was so dark inside (why do Koreans like dark restaurants?)

Address: 56 St Giles High St, London WC2H 8LH -----> Moved to 30 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, London SE1 7RG
Telephone: 0207 379 7381

Menu: http://www.menuspring.com/restaurants/po-jang-ma-cha-menu-london-uk-4855


This is the place that Miss Pinky, Mr Picky and I want to go into... I have booked my table now, so watch out for a review of this soon!!
Miss Pinky and Mr Picky entering The Old Justice... I will be there soon!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Koba 夕火 Korean Restaurant - London Rathbone Street

Finally I met up with Miss Posh a few weeks ago. It's been almost a year or so since we've been out to eat together. We're such busy ladies that we can't find the time to enjoy a dinner together. Plus I got moody with her at one point last year. My bad!! We're both bad ¬,¬""!!

Miss Posh wanted try out Koba after her friend went there and showed off some food. I've actually wanted to come here in the past, but the prices looked so expensive!

We got to the place too early as they don't actually open for dinner until 6 pm. And if you don't have a reservation you'll be seated nearer to the door unfortunately. Anyway before we dined there, Miss Posh and I walked around the area as we had a good 20 minutes to wait!! I never knew that behind Tottenham Court Road there was a whole load of eateries hidden away from all the electronic shops and homeware stores. I have a feeling I would be visiting Tottenham Court Road more often than usual. ^_^

Koba's Asian name is 夕火 (Canto: jik fo; Mando: Xihuo) which are Chinese characters. This literally means "evening fire". So when it's dusk and the sun sets it creates a fire like sky. Nice name! I'm afraid I don't know the meaning of Koba, it might be the direct Korean translation to the Chinese characters, (just guessing here!).
Koba 夕火

Koba from across the street

Inside Koba
We got there by 6 pm after touring around the area. We were going to turn away from Koba as there were so many different eateries to choose from. Plus we were both hungry! Miss Posh and I were seated neat the front of the restaurant as we hadn't booked a table unfortunately. It was cold that day but we beared it.

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