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There’s no better feeling than the one you get just after washing your bed sheets, except on those days when you’ve washed both your bed sheets AND your pajamas. I love that feeling of satisfaction & comfort you get from knowing that you’ll be sleeping in a clean bed wearing clean PJs. The clean/neat freak inside of me is utterly glowing from within with a feeling of accomplishment that I’ve crossed two more major chores off my To-Do list. The slight germaphobe inside of me is feeling a huge sense of relief that my clothes are clean, my bed sheets are clean, & once I take my nighttime shower, I’ll be totally clean all over.

I just love those days where I’ve completed washing all of the clothes I’ve managed to pile up in my tiny hamper bin, I’ve got a wash cycle washing my bed sheets, & it’s time for me to wash my hair. It’s like a trifecta of cleaning heaven for me. I wouldn’t exactly label myself as a full-on, clinically diagnosed germaphobe, but I do like cleaning & keeping my belongings & myself clean, & sometimes I can be really strict in my cleanliness to the point of being a little obnoxious about it.

On the days when it’s time to wash my hair, I do (psychologically) feel a little cleaner than on the days in between my hair washing. I also feel like a greasy weight has been washed away from my hair. The same goes for when I wash my pajamas. I tend to wash my pajamas once a week on average, & I have a strict rule of no wearing pajamas outside of the bedroom. In my mind, I’m telling myself that I don’t want my pajamas to touch anything outside of my bedroom; my pajamas are for my bed only. I can’t stand it when a non-bedroom item touches my PJs. It makes me feel (psychologically) like I’m rubbing the dirty thing(s) my PJs have been touching, all over my bed & sheets. I don’t understand how pajama bottoms once were a fashion trend, & women’s lingerie have now become sexy slip dresses, silky camisoles, & blouses. I also don’t like to lounge around the house in my pajamas. It’s just gross to me.

Then, when it’s time for me to wash my bed sheets, I feel an especially amped up sense of being truly clean. I almost get a sense of euphoria because I know everything is now finally all clean. I am a stickler for going to bed feeling freshly bathed & totally clean. I can’t imagine just taking a shower in the morning, going about my day, & then putting on my PJs & hopping into bed at night. I also like to conserve water by not taking two showers every day, so that’s why I take showers at night because it’s closer to my bedtime, & I can feel like I’m going to bed freshly washed. Also, personally, taking showers in the morning doesn’t wake me up or help me feel refreshed. A fresh, hot cup of coffee will fill that job position just fine.

OK, I think I’ve prattled on enough about washing laundry. I think I’m starting to sound repetitive & bland. I just wanted to tell you that I feel absolute bliss after I’ve gone to bed completely & utterly clean. Fresh bed sheets. Fresh pajamas. Fresh hair. I feel cussing fresh, & that’s the end of it. Cheers, mates.

Today’s song of the day:

“Blessings” by Sampa The Great

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Hamburger on wood table ,sun flare filter effect

Yesterday I sort of half-assed celebrated Memorial Day by firing up the grill & cooked Ball Park franks (a.k.a. hot dogs) & hamburgers. You can’t go wrong with traditional hot dogs & hamburgers. I’ve eaten them all of my life, from being in the Girl Scouts & going to scout retreats, to grabbing an expensive bite to eat at the baseball park, to going on yearly camping trips with my family.

It’s been so cussing long since I’ve had a really good hamburger. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a hamburger that made me speechless. Until yesterday. Let me just tell you that I love eating hamburgers (& sandwiches, but that’s a whole other story). I could eat hamburgers almost every single day (right along with sandwiches). Hamburgers give me life~! However, I think I should explain a little more about my love for hamburgers.

If you’ve read my older blog posts, you will already know that I’m kind of a “Plain Jane” when it comes to food. I’m not big on saucy foods, & hamburgers, well…you can probably guess where this is going. I don’t like sauce or spreads on my hamburgers. No mayonnaise. No ketchup. No aioli. No cock sauce (a.k.a. Sriracha hot sauce). I like my hamburgers the old fashioned way, with no frou-frou dressings &/or toppings. Just a regular, plain ol’ hamburger with cheese (yes, I know that’s called a cheeseburger).

I’m not really a fan of those special toppings like bacon, avocado, fried eggs, caramelized onions, & the like. Call me bland & boring. I don’t mind. I know I am. Why can’t I enjoy my hamburger with nothing else except cheese, preferably American or Cheddar, & sliced onions? Ok, sometimes, but not often, I will slip in a few slices of lettuce &/or tomatoes, but that’s about as far as I’ll go in terms of burger toppings. I’d much rather taste the flavor of the patty meat over the overwhelming flavor of extra toppings. Plus, I hate it when you take a bite of your hamburger & all of the unecessary extras fall out from the bottom of the buns, & you gotta scoop up half of your sloppy, messy burger like you’re eating a Chipotle burrito bowl. Just give me a juicy patty, cheese, & onions on a well-toasted brioche bun & I’ll be happy for the rest of my days.

Yesterday was the first time in a long time in which I had a delicious, fresh off the grill, no frills hamburger, & it practically knocked my socks off. I was so much in heaven while eating my burger, I scarfed it down in less than 6 bites. I was enjoying my delicious patty sandwich so much that I didn’t even speak at all, just quietly sat at the kitchen table & proceeded to cry with joy on the inside. I almost wanted to break out into song & dance just to show how happy I was at eating a hamburger. All I can say is that I ended up wolfing down TWO hamburgers without even blinking an eye. No really, I don’t think I even blinked the entire time I ate my hamburgers.

I wish I had taken a photo of my hamburger, but I was too busy enjoying it to bother with my smartphone camera. This is my usual setup for making a delicious hamburger:

  1. bottom bun
  2. beef patty
  3. 1 or 2 slices of cheese (lettuce & tomato is optional)
  4. lots & lots of sliced onion (preferably white onion, but red onion is OK too)
  5. top bun

I don’t mind if I’m eating a hamburger at a restaurant & they put their own sauce on the buns. I am not so picky that I will scrape the sauce off. I will eat the burger with sauce. The only thing I will remove on a restaurant hamburger is the pickles. I do not like pickles whatsoever. I’m sorry, I just can’t even with pickled/fermented vegetables. If I order a hamburger at a restaurant, I’d like to believe that I’m not one of those types of people who ask to have toppings substitued or taken off. I’ll just order the hamburger as listed on the menu. If there’s anything I don’t like on the hamburger, I’ll just discreetly take it off when the hamburger reaches my table. Otherwise, I’ll just eat the restaurant hamburger the way it was served. If I’m at home however, I’ll just eat my hamburgers plain, as shown in the short list above.

Today, I had hamburgers yet again. Jian fired up the grill to cook the remaining beef patties we had leftover from yesterday. We’re leaving for Los Angeles on Thursday, so we’re trying to clean out the refrigerator as much as we can before our weekend trip. To be honest, I did a little happy dance in my head when I ate hamburgers again today. Honestly, I could eat hamburgers again & again for the rest of the week & not be tired of them. As long as I can pile on the mounds & mounds of freshly sliced onions & stack up the cheese inbetween that freshly toasted bun, I will be a happy camper. I can’t wait to indulge in hamburgers again. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“I Second That Emotion” by Smoky Robinson & The Miracles

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The other day I was at a shop, & I saw a guestbook at the checkout counter where you were encouraged to write some things about yourself & share your fun facts with others. I decided to copy the lines from this fun book & write one about myself. Maybe this will help you get to know me better. I certainly would like to get to know more people better. Also, I want to make myself known more, & not be so antisocialreclusivealoneclosed off. Here goes nothing….

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Today’s song of the day:

“Submarine” by Alex Turner

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Ok. So, I want to tell you another story about another possible celebrity sighting while I was in London. So far every person I’ve told this story to does not believe my story whatsoever. I wouldn’t expect people to believe my story right away, but I am completely convinced that I saw that guy. Which guy, you ask? Well, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, & let me tell you all about this seemingly impossible celebrity sighting.

You most likely will not believe me. In fact, I am certain you won’t believe me at all. How could you? This celebrity that I sighted is practically unknown around the world outside of Europe & the Middle East. This celebrity is Turkish, & I’ve mentioned him in a blog post a few months ago. I don’t even know how to pronounce his name, but it’s spelled: Kivanç Tatlitug. He was once a big time model in Paris before returning back to Turkey to become a huge TV & movie actor, a national idol & heartthrob.


I first heard about him from watching one of his subtitled TV dramas on Netflix. There have been a lot of Turkish movies & TV dramas popping up on Netflix within the past year, & one day I was browsing Netflix in search of something in the romance genre to watch. I kept seeing this guy’s war-era TV drama popping up on my “suggested things to watch list”, & his face was front & center on the thumbnail image, so that attracted me right away (for obvious reasons). Secondly, I was attracted to the show based on the show’s description. Since that time, I’ve watched this TV drama 3 times. Hey, I won’t deny that Kivanç is nice eye candy for the ladies. 

Anyway, after watching his TV show on Netflix, I decided to do a Google search on him. I found out that he had recently gotten married at the end of last year in Paris to his long-time girlfriend. From reading about his wedding & public information on the internet, I found out that he & his new wife often frequent Paris & London (he still owns a separate flat in Paris). I know it looks like I’m grasping at straws here, but hear me out. I could have sworn I saw Kivanç leaving my hotel in London. Kivanç has distinct facial features & body shape/posture, so even with his shaggy hairstyle & a full, thick beard, it would be relatively easy to spot him. Also, his wife is pretty recognizable as well. Then, when you pair them together, it’s pretty easy to spot them in public.

So, I went out in the morning to grab a quick breakfast before going about my day. I was walking back towards my hotel when I spotted a swanky-looking Audi A7 sedan parked right at the hotel entrance. I’m a huge Audi car fan (I own an Audi of my own), so that’s why I immediately noticed the car. Immediately following, I saw a scruffy man & well-put-together woman walking out of the hotel. The driver of the Audi sedan, which I assume was a hired chauffeur, quickly got out of the car & began putting luggage in the boot of the sedan. The woman quickly kissed the scruffy looking man & headed back inside the hotel. The man proceeded to get into the car. 

I had to wait for my pathway to clear before I could continue walking, so that afforded me a decent amount of time to get a good look at the scruffy gentleman & his lady. I knew immediately that it was the Turkish actor I discovered on Netflix. I kept on walking as though nothing had happened, then proceeded to act like a completely star-struck fangirl in front of Jian. Yet again, Jian had no clue as to who I was talking about. The more I tried to explain about how I recognized the Turkish actor, & how I found out about his TV drama on Netflix, the more confused & disinterested Jian became. 

I admit, what guy wants to hear a woman ramble on & on about some obscure male actor? If I’m not talking about a swimsuit model with big boobs like Kate Upton, or some hot actress like Alexandra Daddario, or Anna Kendrick, or Jennifer Lawrence, Jian will most likely tune me out. He doesn’t want to hear me fangirl over some random sighting of a Turkish actor he’s never heard of in his life. Also, Jian is a hard person to convince, especially when it comes to sightings of famous people, even more so if it’s a famous person he doesn’t recognize. He did not for one second believe that I spotted Kivanç Tatlitug (let alone his new wife) in London. I’ve told other family members, like my sister-in-law, who also didn’t believe me right away, since the way in which I know if this actor is a bit of a stretch. Yeah, I will admit that this isn’t six degrees of separation. This is more like sixteen degrees of separation, but I don’t care what others say. I truly believe that I saw Turkish model/actor Kivanç Tatlitug on the street in London. 

One of the biggest things I should point out is that the hotel I stayed at: the EDITION London, is extremely well-known for celebrity sightings. One of the factors for Jian choosing this hotel when we first booked our trip was because he had heard that model Cara Delevigne frequented the bar at the famous restaurant Berners Tavern at our hotel. Also, on one of the nights we were drinking g at the Lobby Bar at our hotel, we had also overheard from another American hotel guest sitting next to us that celebrity chef Bobby Flay was staying at the hotel at the same time as us. That bolstered my belief that Kivanç & his wife could have been staying at our hotel. I am sure of it, even if nobody else believes me. I am sticking to my story & that is all I will say. Until next time, cheers mates!

Today’s song of the day:

“Cold Cold Cold” by Cage The Elephant



I never knew I’d fall in love like this. I never knew how closed-minded I was until now. I used to be so set in my ways & opinions. I always stood my ground on my opinion that Tokyo was my most favorite city in the whole world & no other place could come close in comparison. Man, I really proved myself wrong on so many levels during this past trip to London. London completely blew my mind away & has quickly become my new favorite city in the whole world. I know that’s quite a bold statement to make, but I cannot stress enough how much & how strongly I’ve fallen in love with this incredible city!

First things first, I would like to address one small elephant in this blog post. Jian doesn’t do tourist traps or stuffy museums, but he wholeheartedly went for it on this trip. I guess it helped that all of our friends, who at one point in their lives lived in London, strongly encouraged us to take advantage of the free admission at museums & soak up all the rich British history. Another interesting thing I wanted to note, Jian was the one who was most looking forward to eating & exploring all the food options in London, but came back feeling a little disappointed with his food experiences. I, on the other hand, was not expecting too much culinary-wise. I was excited to try a few traditionally British foods like fish & chips & meat pie, but otherwise I was mostly hoping I wouldn’t get sick on this trip since sometimes I can get a sensitive stomach (e.g. my first trip to New York). However, I was the one who ended up having the most fun eating my way around London. I mostly loved all of the food we ate, while Jian had a few critiques here & there.

I wish I had taken a few more food photos, but I’m not one of those exasperating “foodies” (I detest that term) who takes a hundred trendy food selfies at restaurants & food trucks. I can’t stand it when people, especially from my generation, spend more time artfully arranging the food & taking photos than actually enjoying eating the mother cussing food. I will say there was one incident when Jian & I were eating supper at a seafood restaurant, & a group of middle-aged women from Hong Kong were not only behaving obnoxiously but also being downright inconsiderate to the other diners at the nice restaurant by walking around their table taking flash photography (with a creepy plastic toy doll) & talking loudly. Jian was about to turn around & tell these ladies in Cantonese to stop taking photos, but by that time we were nearly done with our dinner & he didn’t want to start a fight with feisty middle-aged Cantonese women who won’t back down from confrontation. Other diners had asked the waiter if he could politely ask the ladies to turn off the flash on their smartphone cameras. These ladies were extremely inconsiderate, & im glad we left before they could annoy us even more.

I truly enjoyed our food experiences in London, even though Jian was disappointed at times. We really got to try a variety of foods which kind of surprised me because I was expecting that we’d eat more pub food, but there were so many culinary choices just around our hotel alone that we had no problems choosing a place to eat. There’s still a lot of food I would love to go back & try, but I think what we had was a goog first time exploration of food.

  • We ate Japanese ramen twice at 2 different places. First at Bone Daddies Ramen Bar, then at Shoryu. Bone Daddies was one of the meals that really let us down. We were not happy with the ramen at all. The broth was bland & the noodles were mediocre. The only part of the ramen I liked was the grilled corn I added to my ramen. Shoryu on the other hand was a hands-down winner. Our friends were seriously pushing us to eat there, so we caved in & took their recommendation & was not disappointed. The ramen chef at Shoryu came directly from Japan to open up his first International restaurant, & it was a success. I have to say though, the hitting of a taiko drum every time someone walked in to the restaurant was a little cheesy. Other than that, the ramen was pretty good.

Hakata-style ramen from Shoryu

  • Sticking to the topic of noodles, we also ate Vietnamese Phở for lunch one day. There is a hip-looking Vietnamese restaurant one block down the street from our hotel, & we passed by it several times before actually eating there. There was one day when Jian was seriously hungover from overly drinking the night before. I was feeling the effects of the alcohol as well, but was by no means hungover. (I don’t know how I managed to avoid a hangover while Jian had a nasty hangover.) All we wanted was a nice, hot plate of comfort food to ease Jian’s hangover symptoms, so we opted for a bowl of Phở. Jian was disappointed with his Bún bò Huế, saying it was too salty, but I thoroughly enjoyed my regular Phở. I’m not really a fan of the Northern Vietnamese thick noodles, but it was a good cure for all the crazy antics we got up to the night before.
  • We also ate traditional pub fare at a place where I forgot the name, but apparently it was located in an historical building that was built from the 1800s. Jian got what he wished for & had the quintessential bangers & mash, while I had a steaming hot chicken pot pie. We washed that down with 2 pints of beer & rested our tired feet after walking all day. The food was hearty & gave us our second wind back so we could head out for a night of bar crawling.
  • We ate fish & chips at a pub (Princess of Wales, I think that’s what the place was called) on one of our first full days in London, right after I recovered from my short allergy spell the day before. We shared a small platter of fish & chips along with a pint of pale ale for him & a pint of cider for me (because I love apples). I love how the cod batter was crispy but didn’t taste greasy. I was nervous before the trip that I’d end up eating too much greasy fried food on this trip, but I was lucky enough to adjust my eating habits.
  • One of our favorite meals was at a restaurant called Blacklock. I would probably call this place a modern chop house, definitely a carnivore’s paradise. We ate so many different types of “chops” at Blacklock, we ended up eating there twice on our trip. Also, the cocktails were only 5£, so there’s that too. The chops were perfectly cooked, & they come in different sizes, so you can eat a variety of meats without stuffing yourself silly. They had small 3oz portions they called “skinny chops” that most diners ordered a platter of them to share, so Jian & I did just that. We had a varietyof beef, lamb, & pork cuts plus a side of beef drippings chips (a.k.a. French fries cooked in beef gristle). The beef drippings chips were by far the best French fries I’ve ever eaten in my life, & I can say that with complete confidence.

 

super yummy menu from Blacklock

  • Who knew that we’d end up eating Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches in London? Well, we also didn’t expect to visit London during one of the country’s most important holidays: Easter. On Easter Sunday, most shops & restaurants were obviously closed, except for a few Sunday Roast places which requires advanced reservations. However, we found one Scandinavian deli, called Scandinavian Kitchen, that was open for lunch, & we wanted to eat something light so we’d have some energy for the day but also an appetite for dinner & supper. The open-faced sandwiches were amazing. I could not believe how much caviar they put on their smoked salmon sandwich!! I mean, they put a heaping dollop of delicious caviar! In America, caviar is extremely expensive. It’s also considered a high society, upper-crust delicacy, not meant for the lower-crust masses. So, when I saw how much caviar this deli used on their extremely inexpensive open-faced sandwiches, I was blown away. Although this was a casual, on-a-whim lunch, this was one of our most memorable meals…props to the caviar!
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example of Scandinavian Kitchen’s open-faced sandwiches courtesy of Yelp.com

  • On our very first day, touching the soils of London, we ate at a restaurant called Mac & Wild. It was very basic British fare, but it was so well made, it was Jian’s most memorable & most favorite meal of our entire trip. We shared a cup of beef broth, which Jian vividly recalls came in an actual mug, & it was a broth made from beef bones & slow cooked for 48 hours. I ordered a grilled polenta dish & Jian ordered a lamb dish,  up it was the cup of beef broth that really made the meal special. I was having really bad allergies that day with a runny, sniffling, stuffed up nose & low energy, so a cup of soup was just the ticket to help me recover faster.

exterior of Mac & Wild

  • Remember when I mentioned those annoying ladies taking personal photos at the seafood restaurant? Well, how about I talk about that seafood restaurant instead? It was called Wright Brothers, & it was the best seafood we’ve had in a long time. I mean based on the value, it was well worth the stuffed bellies & food coma. We paid 59£ for a deluxe seafood platter which included: razor clams, snails w/ shell, mussels, clams, langoustines, shrimp w/ head, oysters, & a whole crab. According to London Yelp standards, this place is supposed to be expensive, like $$$$ (4 dollar signs) expensive, but look. Jian & I are from San Francisco, California where the price of everything is eye-popping expensive, so these prices did not seem that crazy to us. We had a great time feasting on this culinary explosion from the sea. Then, we were just insane enough to order a side of pomme frites (a.k.a. a fancy French term for fries/chips), which we could barely eat because we were already stuffed to the gills. Oh God, I just realized I wrote a lame pun there.
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the deluxe platter (a.k.a. seafood explosion) at Wright Brothers

  • Oh I just have to mention my new favorite bake shop called Crosstown Doughnuts!! Once you have a doughnut (I don’t like to say “donut”) from Crosstown, you’ll NEVER go back to Krispy Kreme, or Dunkin, or Voodoo, or Blue Star, or Mr. Holmes ever again. I know that’s an awfully bold statement to make, but I will proclaim it proudly, here & now. I am a huge fan of doughnuts. I’ve been eating them ever since I was a little kid & my mom would bring home a box of a dozen doughnuts from Happy Doughnuts (a former chain shop in the Bay Area). After Krispy Kreme’s popularity skyrocketed, Happy Doughnuts closed a lot of their locations, & I never found a doughnut shop that I liked after that. It wasn’t until I took a trip to Portland, Oregon, when I found a renewed love for doughnuts. No, I did not go to the severely over-hyped Voodoo Doughnuts (just one look at their photos & I knew there’s too much sickly sweetness in their kitschy doughnuts). I went to Blue Star Doughnuts, & I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed eating doughnuts. I was never able to find a comparable doughnut in the California Bay Area since then. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse is pretty close I guess. They do have a good quality doughnut batter, but it wasn’t until I traveled halfway across the country, when this doughnut changed my life forever. So fresh, so delicious, & not overly sweet. I really wanted to eat Crosstown doughnuts everyday for breakfast, but Jian wouldn’t let me, so we only ended up eating there twice. I did, however, manage to stop by there on the day we were leaving & grab 2 more doughnuts to bring back home. Yes, folks. I was so in love with these doughnuts, & so determined, that I hand-carried these 2 doughnuts (one classic glazed & one chocolate truffle) on the plane & brought them home with me. I was so surprised that not only did these doughnuts maintain their shape, but also their freshness. I didn’t eat the doughnuts immediately. I put them in a food saver container & ate them 2 days later. It sounds gross the way I’m describing it, but let me tell you, they were still good days later.
  • Aside from eating whole meals, we also ate many delicious snacks along the way. One such snack that blew our minds came from a Jamón Iberico butcher/deli shop 2 blocks down the street from our hotel called Enrique Tomas Jamon Iberico Shop. Most places in the United States (like an artisanal butcher shop, Spanish restaurant, or even Costco) that offer this fatty, salty, delicious cured ham treat sell a few slivers for nearly an arm & a leg. This specific cured ham charcuterie is muy caro! For example, my brother took my mom to a Spanish restaurant in San Diego for her birthday. He ordered the Jamón Iberico,  & SIX slices cost him $300 USD!! My mom nearly fainted at the price. Costco, the giant American megastore also sells this jamón in a slim, 5oz, shrink wrapped package for $26 USD. On our trip to London, we kept walking past this jamón deli everyday & promising ourselves that we would eat there at least one time before we go home. Jian & I are huge fans of charcuterie meats, especially Jamón Iberico & prosciutto, so it was only a matter of time before we ended up at this place,  which was packed from floor to ceiling with different types of jamón & different cuts lining the display window enticing our senses. One late night we were walking back to our hotel to retire for the evening. Lots of shops had already long since closed & many restaurants were also preparing to call it a night. We were walking by the jamón shop when the guys working there noticed us staring from across the street. They shouted at us to come inside & grab a few slices. I was all for it, but Jian stopped me saying that we shouldn’t bother them if they were closing for the night. The 2 guys said they didn’t mind staying open for us, so we ran across the street to grab a late night snack. We chose a cone of jamón bits, & to our shock, it only cost us 7£!!!! What in the world?! Did we slip into an alternate universe where everything was affordable priced?! We paid for our delicious ham, profusely thanked the gentlemen who were so kind to stay & chat with us for a bit before closing. We brought our special ham back to our hotel, plopped our tired derrières at the Lobby Bar counter & continued our late night with some phenomenal cocktails to pair with our cured treat. Not only because of the extremely affordable price, but also because of its sheer deliciousness, I will never forget this experience for as long as I live.

Photo courtesy of Yelp.com

  • Have I ever mentioned how much Jian & I love to drink coffee? We love this artisanal craft roast coffee movement that’s popular right now, but we will also patronize big box chain Starbucks, & if need be will grudgingly drink instant coffee. We wouldn’t call ourselves coffee snobs, even though we hail from San Francisco, one of the epicenters of the artisanal coffee roasting trend. However, we do appreciate a good quality coffee bean roast. Of course some of the best & most memorable/life changing coffee we’ve ever had was in Portland, Oregon. We probably had coffee at least twice a day when we visited Portland. We also bought several bags of beans to bring home. How could you not drink coffee in Portland when you’re right at the heart of the artisanal coffee trend, with the likes of Heart, Barista, Coava, Stumptown, Sterling, & many more of coffee roasting’ greatest hits. We’ve also had some pretty good coffee in Hong Kong at Omotesandō Koffee & The Coffee Academics. We’ve also tried coffee in Japan right at the start of their craft coffee movement at notable places such as: Streamer Coffee, Identity Coffeebar + Gallery, Little Nap Coffee Stand, Be A Good Neighbor. Who knew we’d extend our craft coffee tour in London with some awesome coffee from Soho Grind, TAP Coffee, Caravan Coffee, & shops like Flat White & Kaffeine. Oh man, every morning we looked forward to having breakfast with a hot cuppa joe. Jian’s caffeinated drink of choice is usually a macchiato, & I like to drink lattes, but we both fell in love with flat whites (not necessarily from the shop Flat White). Flat whites are my new favorite espresso drink. My favorite part about drinking coffee in London is that their coffee cup sizes are the exact same as in Asia, especially Japan….small. A regular cup size of take away coffee in London is still slightly smaller than a child/junior/short size in America. I love that because it’s so much more manageable than the average small cup size back home. For example, when I order coffee at Starbucks, I always choose the child size, which they call a short size. I still can never fully finish this cup, & by the time I reach the bottom, the coffee has already become soggy/watered-down & cold. The coffee sizes in London are small enough that you get just the right amount of a caffeine fix to power you through the morning & the spdrink stays hot until you reach the bottom of the cup.
  • One of the last meals we ate before we had to pack up our suitcases & head home was a nice little chain restaurant called Burger & Lobster. From what I’ve heard, this restaurant started in New York City, but they’ve opened a few locations scatered around central London. We ate at the Harvey Nichols department store in the exclusive Belgravia district/neighborhood. Jian ordered the traditional lobster roll, while I went for the more meatier whole lobster. Both of our lobster dishes came with a cup of refreshing mixed greens salad & a side of French fries. The lobster was delicious, & you probably don’t already know this but I am a huge fan of lobster. I mean, it’s my favorite type of seafood. However, I’d definitely say my favorite part of the dish was the super creamy clarified butter sauce that came with my lobster. The eatery gives you a hearty portion in a gravy boat perfect for dipping your lobster meat, or for slathering your entire plate in a fatty, buttery gravy. I thoroughly enjoyed eating my whole lobster. It’s my favorite way to enjoy lobster, but I dislike when the shell is too hard to crack. I was having a really difficult time cracking my lobster shell, mostly because the shell, especially the claw, was so thick. It was quite literally as hard as a rock. I was almost tempted to ask for a hammer/mallot, or just place the claw on the floor & smash it with my foot. But…I perservered & kept going. Eventually, after soaking my figertips in clarified butter, I was able to finish my entire lobster from head to tail. If I ever get a chance to go back to New York, I would really like to track down the original chain of Burger & Lobster, if they’re still around in the States.
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photo courtesy of Yelp.com

 

 

I will sum up our London food exploration by saying I had a great time eating my way through London. Jian, however, was quite dissatisfied & unenthused about the food. He felt some of the food we ate was a bit too salty or bland. Not very many dishes wowed him, except for the bone broth soup from Mac & Wild & possibly the seafood platter from Wright Brothers. Let me just say in Jian’s defense, that he’s not a picky eater, but he is hard to impress. I, on the other hand, am a picky eater, but I’m not hard to impress, usually. I went on this trip with the preconceived idea that I would not find very many things that I would like to eat. I was putting doubts in my own mind, making myself think that there would be a lot of weird or exotic food that maybe Jian would want to try, but I would not be interested in. That was not the case, at all. I pretty much loved all the things we ate (except for the Bone Daddies ramen). There are a few places, like Yauatcha, The Breakfast Club, The Duck & Rice, & Blanchette for example, that I’d like to go back & try.

Stay tuned for more of my London vacation blog! This food exploration was only the begining… Until then, cheers mates!

Today’s song of the day:

“Friendship (Is A Small Boat In The Storm) by Chicano Batman

friendship is a small boat in the storm.jpg

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