We meet again London: Burger & Lobster

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Much delayed blog post for this. I left it with the photos in the draft since 11 Feb. Every time when I have nothing to do, I tell myself that I needed to finish this. But look at the date now. So much for self-discipline. My last entry about London, I mentioned that the next time I’m around town, I will make a visit to Burger & Lobster.

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And so I did!

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Was thinking to order me a lobster, however upon seeing the price and calculating the cash on hand, I opted for something else. Full lobster shall be for another day. I have forgotten how pricey it is too. My server recommended me to have a starter in which of course I am up for it, they are fresh oysters after all.

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I’ve got one each of the oysters that were recommended to me. Jersey oyster (small, left) and Poole oyster (big, right). The Jersey oyster has a much stronger flavour which is to my liking, whereas the Poole Oyster has a much lighter flavour. I’ve paired my oysters with some spicy mignonette sauce. With a squeeze of fresh lemon and the sauce, I was slightly in oyster heaven while I slurped them down.

As for the main course, I could not decide what to order while I am on my limited budget. Since I am in a place of burger and lobster, I got myself a burger with lobster in it too!

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The Beast Burger with an extra order of fries on the side. It is an 8oz beef patty topped with grilled lobster meat, brie, truffle and tarragon mayo, fennel and Chinese cabbage. I love the serving portion of it. For the price I am paying, the portion of lobster meat and burger patty were not disappointing. I enjoyed every bite of it.

Who else eats their fries first before digging into the main dish?

In total, I’ve spent GBP 36 (including tax). You could find many branches of Burger & Lobster around London.

I would love to dine in Burger & Lobster again when I do have more cash with me and maybe other companions to have a sharing platter.

Till then, stay sane!

Madrid’s Food Market & Churros

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This would be my third time going to Madrid. The last that I came here was almost a year ago. Has the place changed? Not that I’ve noticed. However where I wanted to go still remains the same. After all it is still a tourist spot to say the least.

First stop, to the food market – Mercado De San Miguel

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Too many food choices, too little money. Walked around the whole market to see what’s there to offer before starting my food spree.

When in Spain, you gotta have some tapas, any kind of tapas.

I settled for some seafood tapas as my starters – octopus, salmon, and muscles. The first two are 1.50 Euros each and the muscle is only 1 Euro.

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They have cheese tapas too but did not get any as I am afraid that my stomach cannot handle the dairy since I plan to be out for a while for my food spree.

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This too was from last year. A small salmon open sandwich tapas. Next stop, time to get some liquid in. Sangria is a must. Had the red. Cost 3 Euros. It comes with a side of olives too. I really tried to like it but I just couldn’t. Cannot have the olive by itself  or in my food. The only olives I fits with my taste buds is olive oil. Even so, in minimal quantity.

One year ago, this is their menu.

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Their serving glass has also changed or were these their special sangria drink. Could not remember.

Next, I really wanted to have these crab meat.

Did not have these as they were way out of budget, like way out. If not mistaken, half of what’s on the left is minimum 20 Euros. I think I could get something else better elsewhere.

Had these crab patties instead for 4 Euros. I could not taste the fresh crab meat but it was alright.

Next.

More seafood!!!

Gotten myself a half a dozen of oysters. Yes, I had all of them to myself. Fresh oysters for 15 Euros. Had some with lemon and some without just to taste the difference. I still would put a little lemon juice on top if not knowing they are super fresh. The next day however, I had episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting. Not sure if the oysters are the main contributor or the whole seafood spree I had.

How about a year ago?

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These were way better. It was from a different stall. They go by pieces instead of per plate. I should go back to this one instead. You get the price you paid for.

All they have here are different kind of salmon dishes. A mini Japan for me all in one stall. They recommended the salmon tartar.

And salmon tartar I got. It is basically smoked salmon, not fresh salmon. That I will leave it till I get to Japan again. The serving size makes me really happy. For 9 Euros, I will still get it if I have to choose again.

And how can I leave the city without getting some churros. Sought help from my trusty Google and Google maps to find this place. Apparently it is so famous that they have photos of famous people visiting the chocolaterie on the wall.

Chocolateria San Gines

You will always know it is a tourist spot when there is a long queue outside.

I gotten the 6 churros with hot chocolate for 4.20 Euros. One thing about this premise is that you need to order first before sitting down. They have a system going on as it is always busy with tourist, so do not expect any kind of service here other than taking your order, paying at the counter, and getting your food served. If you would like to have some water, you gotta get it on your own from the counter. The people aren’t that friendly either as they are always on the move to take the receipt form and delivering the meals.

Churros and hot chocolate wise, they were not that boom boom pow for me. The hot chocolate taste is just right for me. It is not those milky kind of chocolate which I like. Their churros are also super fresh since the demand is continuously coming. You could also see how they make the churros through a viewing window. However if there are not many people flocking there, I am pretty sure the waiters will be kinda annoyed.

Took a stroll around after all the food in my stomach. The weather was really nice.

Walked all the way to the royal palace of Madrid. Of course I just stroll along the gates outside.

Bonus feature. These were taken a year ago.

They have a lot of street entertainer or performers. One of them were these statue looking performers. They would only move when somebody drops a tip for them or when there is a group of people lingering around or near them, then they would move slightly or change slight expression to get attention. This was near Plaza Mayor.

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Or like some singing performance which I managed to stumble upon.

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I always will give some tips especially if I am going to take pictures or videos. They put the effort, so I should also do my part a little.

This next eatery is worth a shoutout. It’s a Mexican tacos place in Madrid – Takos. I repeat, TACOS, not tapas. The best part is each tacos cost 1 Euro. This is definitely a steal. A colleague suggested this place. The restaurant opens at 12pm. When we reached there, albeit 20 minutes earlier, there was already a long queue.

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Can you imagine each of these tacos only cost 1 Euro?! I need to visit this place again when I am in Madrid again regardless of the weather. Of course, hoping the restaurant opens when I am there.

p/s: For me to even finish this blog post, it took me almost a month to get the words out. So much of procrastination.

Money spent on the day:

Train return ticket – Euro 3.40
Seafood tapas 3 items – Euro 4 .00
Sangria Red – Euro 3.00
Crabs buns – Euro 4.00
Fresh oysters  – Euro 15.00
Salmon tartar – Euro 9.00
Churros + hot chocolate – Euro 4.20

Total: Euro 42.60

📍 Locations 📍

Mercado De San Miguel
Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Chocolateria San Gines
Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Takos
Calle de la Abada, 2, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Till then, stay sane!

London – Avobar – Ramen fun!

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Each time I come to London, I try to find an area to go to rather than running round the whole of Central London when I have about 10 hours or less to explore. Well given that I only have 24 hours or less in the city from the time I arrived till I gotta hop on a plane and be off. So yeah, that would leave me about 10 hours since I got to sleep as well.

This time around, I have bookmarked a few new food places, 4 places to be exact. Managed to only visit 2 places as my stomach was already giving me warnings of a toilet break needed.

I got off at Covent Garden to make my way for brunch. Saw this rave about this place called Avobar. They serves everything with avocado. Okay, not every single item on the menu.

Gotten myself a cup of flat white which I know I shouldn’t have gotten any coffee in the first place and an avocado tuna poke.

Flat white – GBP 2.80
Avo Tuna Poke – GBP 12.60

This place has a  similar vibe to Evelyn’s Café Bar in Manchester. Instead of getting the classic avocado toast, I opted for avo tuna poke as I was kind of hungry. Then again, rice is filling to start my food spree.

The poke is served on spicy jasmine rice. The rice is spicy indeed, does pack a punch. I like that little awakening on my palates. The ingredients are all being served cold. I’m thinking the vegetable on top is called sweet baby pea. I only had them cooked before but not raw. There’s a hint of sweetness in that veg. They don’t hold back on giving you your share of tuna. Even with every small bite I have with a piece of tuna, I’d still have some more laying around. 

I do like my alone time now having a meal in a nice cafe, people watching; walking down the street, people watching. It is a very interesting activity.

Next, I walked to get me some ramen!

Kanada – ya

I was there right in time for their lunch menu. Ordered their tonkotsu x. According to their menu, it is exclusive only in London.

To make a perfect pair, got to have some green tea love. I wasn’t disappointed with this at all. Including tax, this meal costs GBP 11.25.

I was craving for some Japanese food. How I miss going to Japan just to have them. I barely able to finish everything as my stomach was already in its last warning to me should I pack some more food in it. Still had to ride for an hour to get back to my hotel. So probably next time, I am going to have my Burgers and Lobsters again. Also, I have a budget to work with. Got to keep them as low as possible but still being able to enjoy the wonderful sight and taste of a city.

Money spent on the day:

Train (return) – GBP 11.80
Avobar – GBP 15.60 (excluding tax)
Kanada-ya – GBP 11.25

Total: GBP 38.65

📍 Locations 📍
Avobar @Avobarlondon
23 – 24 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London

Kanada-ya @kanada_ya_ldn
64 St Giles High Street, London

Till then, stay sane!

 

Manchester vs My stomach

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I want to show what I’ve done in Manchester for 5 hours.

I totally need to get the videos and pictures out of my phone as soon as possible, else it’s just gonna be a space taken up with nowhere to go. So here I am pinning my thoughts and food journey here. Also a way to make use of this space as I always neglect it.

This is my second time to Manchester but spent my time in Liverpool the last time as many around me said that there’s nothing much to do in Manchester. This time around, I’ve decided to explore Manchester for myself and decide if it is that boring as what I’ve heard. I’ve set my mission now for any places that I visit is FOOD! Did my research through Google a night before. Bookmarked the places so I can visit the next time too whenever I am here again.

Let’s get exploring Manchester city with me!

I started my journey from Manchester Piccadilly train station. According to Google, the first location I wanted to visit was supposed to be open when I started my journey. However upon reaching the place, it is not opened until 12pm. There goes having a bowl of pho for breakfast.

Came all the way here just to take a picture of the Chinatown arc. Yup, gotta visit my roots wherever I can.

Asian breakfast is a no-go, will just settle for an English brunch. It was kinda hard to locate this cafe. I had to walk around the block just to find that the cafe is facing a parking lot building. So much for adventure.

The Evelyn’s Cafe Bar.

I got the Avocado toast with poached egg (GBP 7.50) and a Rose latte with cardamom and honey (GBP 5). They give a good amount of avocado. Such a healthy meal that I couldn’t believe I’m consuming it.

Most of the places close by aren’t open until 12pm. Instead of wondering around the street till restaurants are open, I saw there’s a cat cafe nearby. At first I thought of not going in as I didn’t see a lot of active cats inside there. But there’s this one cat near the window just had me going in. Also I need to kill some time.

It is literally called Cat Cafe. It cost 1 pound per 5 mins and drinks are unlimited. Well, I think normally people would be there for at least 30 mins. That’s how long I spent there. The best place to sit in the cafe is near the drinks counter. That’s where the staff will mingle more with the cats and help to bring the cats around by enticing them with toys. I just like the ambience there, calm and lazing around just like the cats.

I found the next place through one of the list in an article. They recommend their Korean Fried Chicken. Now this is not a Korean restaurant. But I’m down to trying what is recommended. It is called Common.

The fried chicken was already a given. As I was flipping the menu (only 2 sides by the way), I was intrigue by this dish – popcorn cockles. It has been a long time since I ate cockles. Since it’s under the ‘snacks’ category and was mentioned as the best bar snack, not that I have any to drink, I ordered it without hesitation,

Korean Fried Chicken – GBP 5.50
Popcorn Cockles – GBP 5

I guess I never learn about eating Asian food not from an Asian restaurant. The fried chicken wasn’t that bad. It comes with kimchi and gochujang. However still not quite there. The fried chicken is not crunchy enough. As for the cockles, it was way too salty and sour for me. Half way through, I was just mixing a mouthful of chicken followed by a mouthful of cockles.

Came to Piccadilly Garden and had to take a picture here. It is a nice place to hangout but the main focus of this picture is …

PRIMARK! Somehow I still can’t figure out why is Primark such a big thing. I get that the price is really cheap but then how much clothes and items do you need from Primark? Maybe in the future I’ll change my opinion about this.

Moving on.

The next location pop out in my Facebook as a recommendation. I got to get my tea time the English way with an Alice in the Wonderland theme.

Richmond Tea Rooms

The Alice Tea set for GBP 7.25. 2 scones and a tea of your choice.

Honestly I thought that I need to spend at least 10 pounds in here. Let me tell you, 2 scones are way too much for me. Like seriously. Especially after all that eating. But those clotted cream is so good. So good to clot your artery as well. haha. The place is very cosy with different tea rooms. I’ll probably go there again.

So much food to eat but so little time and space in my stomach. Total cost for an afternoon of food spree – GBP 36.25!

📍 Locations 📍
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar
44 Tib Street, Manchester, UK

Cafe Cafe Manchester
103 High Street, Manchester, UK

Common
39 to 41 Edge Street, Manchester, UK

Richmond Tea Rooms
Richmond Street, Manchester, UK

Till then, stay sane!

It’s good to be back

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and FOOD!

The time when I stuffed myself with delicious familiar food. On top of that, they are cheap!!! (compared to how much I spend on food now)

I couldn’t have all the food on my list due to the fact that my stomach is now accustomed to accommodate only 2 normal portion meals a day. So I’ll just get whatever that is available to me.

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Pork Noodles with egg

You get to choose noodle of your choice. Served with minced pork balls, pork balls, sliced pork, and pork liver (optional). Freshly cut small red chilli dipped in soy sauce on the side for that extra spicy kick.

I opted out the pork liver even though it is high in iron. I need to dip it in a lot of soy sauce and some red chilli to mask the taste.

Chee Cheong Fun aka Rice Noodle Roll

The rice noodle batter is poured on a white cloth over a streaming tray. You can choose to have char siew (barbecued pork), prawns, or just them mixed. I prefer to have the prawn fillings instead. It is then drenched with this light soy sauce mixture and some chilli mix on the side. This is the kind of chee cheong fun that I like.

Cendol @ Mustafa Cendol

I like the classic cendol: ice, cendol, brown sugar, and coconut milk. Perfect for that hot and humid weather almost all year round.

Fried Mee Hoon + Wild Boar Curry

This seems like a fancy breakfast but the price is about RM7. It is so good. My stomach is rumble just by looking at this picture.

Curry Noodles

Another day, another breakfast.

Toast

Can’t pass on toast. Missing out on the eggs.

Penang Laksa

Food from weekly night market. Wanted to get something else but they are still in holiday mood. Another time I guess.

When I’m home, food is well prepared for me. Gotta have them veg, meat, and soup!

Other than food, when I’m back, I gotta breathe in some vitamin Sea.


The serenity listening to the waves breaking is a bliss. A steal in a moment in life.

It will be a while before I’m back to a world of not doing anything and just chill.

Till then, stay sane!

A Quick Trip Back

Packing, unpacking, repacking is a norm for me now. I can get my bags ready for a 4 days trip in less than 15 mins provided I’ve already decided what I wanna wear throughout the trip. Most of the times it’s fairly easy. A slipper, a jeans, a sweater or 1 or 2 t-shirts, 1 dress, 1 shorts, and 1 set of pajamas. However, this is still overpacking at times. I’d still need to slim down on my toiletries so that it can go pass as a hand carry. Don’t really like to repackage the liquids to smaller containers when the sizes that I bought is already travel size. As an individual item itself, you wouldn’t see it as a problem. When you have a set of skincare to bring, hair oil, make up remover, toothpaste, and some other necessities, it adds up to the volume and weight. Currently that’s the heaviest sub-bag I have in my luggage.
Anyway, back to the story. I took the opportunity of having 4 days off to come back home. Technically it’s not home home, but close enough – home country. Coming back during the weekdays allow me to settle errands that requires offices that operations during business hours. Yup, that’s why it’s good to have a person that doesn’t have to work during weekdays. Don’t fancy taking leave to settle these adult responsibilities.

2 main reasons why I came back and 1 minor reason.

Minor reason: Having 4 days off and have no plans with nobody around to entertain me.

When you’re in a foreign land and ramadan season is strictly observed, there’s nothing much to do during the day. On normal days, I’m already hiding in the comfort of my room. So staying at home for 4 days, not really a nice option for me.

Main reason #1: Settle adult responsibilities

‘nuff said

Main reason #2: A surprise dinner party for a friend who is getting married with some high school friends.

I didn’t manage to get some groceries to bring back, oh well. At least I satisfied some of my taste buds with tasty food. Wanted to go on a movie marathon in the cinema, sadly time wasn’t permitting.

Didn’t tell anyone that I was coming back except my attendance to the surprise party. So the only announcement of my arrival were in Snapchat and Instastory.

The day I landed, I’m already out of the house after chucking the luggage away. Wasting no time. Messaged a few ex-colleagues to see if anyone is free for a lunch date. Managed to sneak in an impromptu moving outing with sgrmse to catch Wonder Woman in the afternoon too.

What is dieting in a place where I know the food will suit my tastebuds.

After the movies, went to 320 Below Nitrogen Ice Cream @ 1 Utama.



I wanted to some some brownies and the sgrmse wanted to have some ice cream or dessert. The ice cream flavour was some fancy Horlicks concoction. The brownie was really just so-so. No brownie points there. The ice cream though was nice.

Then, jet lag kicks in at night. I think I fell asleep around 3am and that carried on throughout my whole trip.

Another highlight of the trip is FOOD! Only took some photos of the food that I had because tasty food is more important to go into my stomach first than having the camera ‘eating’ them.

Finally tried out Burger Lab @ Cyberjaya. Something for a change other than my regular pork noodles that I had the day before this.

Went to Sunway University area. My first time being in that area actually. Searched for ‘cafe’ and got After Black as a result. They have a not too bad rating on Google of 4.2 stars. Well, it’s around there.

Started off with a Oreo Mille Crepe. I’ve been craving for a crepe cake or just any cake for awhile now.

This is a Salted Egg Spaghetti. The first mouthful I had probably had a bit more of the salted egg, so first impression done right. However after a few more mouthful, the salted egg is not as strong as I expected. I guess my expectation on food is really high and really lie to have a flavourful meal. Gosh, my tastebuds are not that sensitive to taste?!
Got this Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken as well. Saw some reviews that mentioned this dish, so I gave it a go. Well, very normal and tasty.
Finished off with another crepe. This is a Raya promotion that they have. It’s the Onde-onde Mille Crepe. Err… the coconut flakes are those sweeten kind. Nope, would prefer to have the real coconut shavings on top. Other than that, the crepe is okay. Just the coconut flakes killed it for me.
This time, I managed to satisfy my durian cravings. Durian prices now are so expensive. Got a Mas Pahang that goes for RM45 per kg. Followed by a kampung durian that costs RM25 per kg.
I did suffered a little 2 days after consuming durian. Down 1 dissolvable tablet of Vit C. The damaged for 2 durians and 1 coconut water that doesn’t even taste nice was RM 110.
I’d still got a lot of food that I wanna eat. Till next time when I’m back again.
‘Nuff said! Tata ~