Monday, 30 April 2018

Ichibuns Japanese Restaurant イチバンズ - London, Wardour Street

Finally eating at this place. Ichibuns. It was opened some time last year, but didn't have time to go and the poor weather stopped me from going out too much. Excuses, excuses as my friends would say!

Ichibuns sounds like a pun for ichiban 一番 (いちばん), which means "number one" or "the best". (The things you pick up from Japanese language classes and self-learning). So Ichibuns in Katakana is spelt as イチバンズ (ichibanzu) or it could also be this in Kanji 一番図 meaning "The first figure". 

All in all it just means "Number One/The Best Buns". 😅😅😅

As always, I was sat by the window since I'm a loner these days when eating out. No way am I ashamed of eating alone. It's one of the best things ever. No splitting bills or whatsoever. (Sorry my friends, I'm a selfish Geek 😝).

It wasn't so bad sitting by the window. I got to se the beautiful decor on the walls and ceiling. When you go in, take a closer look at the ceiling, you might be surprised to see what those white blobs are. 😉

I was actually surprised (in Ninja style) how this ended up in front of me! So cute! The owner has a very cute Japanese attitude towards dining. 😄

Here I ordered the Hong Kong Colada at £8.50. Sweet, didn't feel alcoholic. Was it supposed to have alcohol? Oh well I think it needed a tiny bit more rum. 😆 (I've become an alcky!) 

Well this is what I had. The Ichibun Burger and fries. Was not impressed by the slightly burnt out fries. 

I think the cheese was quite salty compared to the beef burger. I think it may have ruined the taste a little bit. Considering the cost of Wagyu beef, I can understand why this burger was quite small. To be honest, it wasn't the "best" burger I have had. ごめなさい!Needed more onions and sauce to compensate.

All the burgers have to be served medium rare, I guess to get that fatty and raw taste in our mouths.

After eating... I met Arale in the wall. I am very impressed at the owner's hard core Japanese animé decor!

Total came to around £23 (if I remember correctly - inlcuded service charge I think). You will need to order a few more dishes to be totally full. The food I ordered only half-filled my stomach. 😭

My geeky rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌟 4.5/5 (mainly for the decor)

Good points:
- Very decorative interior - I love the fact that the owner really went out and displayed a lot of my favourtite anime characters on the walls and ceiling (I really, really love the decor!!).
- Polite service

Bad points:
- A little expensive
- Have to buy a lot of miniature style foods to feel full
- Think the fries were way overcooked!!

Address: 22 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1D 6QQ
Tel: 020 3937 5888

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Chung Ying Cantonese Restaurant 中英 - Chinese Quarter, Birmingham

Free time means blogging time. 😉

Dim sum feast time!!!

The last time I went out to eat dim sum was a week before going to Birmingham! 😂

We went to a Cantonese restaurant which was Miss Wine's choice, as originally she wanted us to try a Malaysian place a few doors down, but it looked busy and there was nowhere to put Baby B's pram...

Chung Ying 中英 (Canto: jong ying; Mando: zhong ying) could have several meanings: "Chinese and English", "Middle of England", "In England/Britain". I don't know what the owners intention was but the name fairly fits in. 😆 It's located in the middle of Chinese Quarter in Birmingham.

So we had a few minutes wait before going to our table.

And on the menu was KANGAROO! OMG. A Cantonese restaurant selling kangaroo meat. Woah. That was totally unexpected. Did I order any? Of course not!

We all ordered our dishes and dim sum... I think I ordered too much. But it makes up for the evening meal on the train journey. A sandwich for dinner. A feast for lunch the next day. 

I ordered my favourite Shredded Pork Crispy noodles. Practically had the whole plate as the other two didn't like the mushrooms in it. ¬_¬ Seriously, why do people hate mushrooms?

Miss Pinky had her squid as usual. It was definitely fried differently. A different type of batter. It tasted quite crispy.

Miss Wine ordered the veggie spring rolls... Tasted ok!

Fried prawn balls with thousand sauce on top. Yummilicious!! I could eat these all over again!

Fried beef balls. Very different! Interesting to be honest. I would order these again. ^_^

Some steamed dumplings...

Elks in curry sauce. Yum yum. A bit spicy. Miss Pinky thought they look slimy.

Miss Wine ordered this... Not sure what this was to be honest. Hahahahah.

Miss Pinky had the gizzard / tripe. She loves the stuff.

But she found the ribs not to her liking. I think she thought they were the ones with extra sauce like the ones you get in the American steakhouses. She hardly had any of this... Too bad.

Total came to £52.10. Not too bad for three people. Although I feel like I ordered the majority. Roughly ~£17 each. It's good. I paid the majority and Miss Pinky the rest. LOL! Treating our host Miss Wine. 😉

My geeky rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Good points:
- Polite service, one of the waiters even helped me with Baby B's pram down the stairs even when I said she's a bit heavy (sorry Baby B 😅)
- Reasonable prices... we apparently chose the ok cheapish dishes on the menu
- Very spacious restaurant
- Food came out reasonably quick... and steaming hot

Bad points:
- Can't think of any! It just tastes as good as the stuff in London.

Address: 16-18 Wrottesley Street, Birmingham China Town, B5 4RT
Tel: 0121 622 5669

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Birmingham Birthday Weekend

Yay! It's my birthday (well it was on March 25th)! It's been a long time since I've written some long posts, it's been a tough working life at the moment - I will survive even if my colleagues tell me to take a break, I will do my best to take time off!!

Think Miss Pinky has been feeling neglected since I don't usually like celebrating my birthday... It's a tiresome activity having to please others with things they've come up with. 😒 Sorry friends and family. Just give me vouchers and money so I can treat myself! 😝

So Miss Pinky really, really wanted to spend some time with me and Baby B, plus one of her uni friends who I have mentioned in this blog (we went to Comic Con with her), but not sure if I gave her a nickname. Hmmm. Miss Wine (because she likes wine a lot!). So we ended up booking train tickets to Birmingham where Miss Pinky's uni friend lives.

The train journey was from Euston Station to a destination just outside Birmingham central. We took the slow train, well the cheapest option which was over a two hour journey. Miss Pinky forgot to tell me that Baby B can only manage over an hour before she starts a tantrum... ¬_¬"" ... We finally got to Birmingham after 11pm, there were a few mishaps along the journey and we had to tell Baby B off a few times. The taxi journey was almost a nightmare. I think Miss Pinky thinks I'm like Mr Picky. We won't go into the details, but apparently we were cheated by £3 as the driver took us the long route to Miss Wine's place... Whoops!

We got in and didn't sleep until 1pm... sleeping arrangements kept changing, but we finally managed to make everyone happy that night. 😁

Next morning we went out for a walk with Miss Wine's dog, Poppy...

Apparently everytime Miss Pinky visits Miss Wine's place, they never explore Birmingham. Really?! 😏 Guess I haven't taught Miss Pinky enough to be more adventurous and to explore a place... So since it was my first time in Birmingham, I really wanted to look at the China Town in Chinese Quarter... And that's where we went! Miss Wine took us on a drive, we saw the unfinished hospital which was being built by Carillion and went into liquidations. It's a shame, it looks almost finished... We got stuck in traffic a bit, and saw the slums of Birmingham, the city area reminds me of Hammersmith in London. Concrete and bricks.

Well we got to the Chinese Quarter and walked around a bit... I think it's a big area, but it could be more utilised with more Chinese businesses. It feels much bigger than the London one but fewer restaurants around. 😐

There was a protest going on that morning and we saw lots of men with banners... It seemed like a working class era protest, whereas in London we see more of the protests against war and new laws which don't benefit the lower classes of society.

Anyway, at this point we stopped off for food which I will write in a separate post.