Kobo Mini eReader

Shhhhhhh!! Don’t tell Miss Pinky I got myself another eReader (but of course I’m keeping my old one! I promise!). It’s a Christmas gift to myself (bought it last Sunday) for all the hard work and stress I’ve had in the past year. Miss Pinky hates me for being so technological AND being a multi-tasker. I can’t help it! ^^
I bought this one because it’s light and easy to carry around, unlike my iriver eReader which is heavy… and just heavy… ¬_¬”” But the good thing about my iriver is that it’s very good at showing comics / manga and jpeg files which the Kobo Mini is not that good at.
Seriously I’m in love with my new Kobo Mini . It was £49 in Argos (and I thought it was £49.99 – the lady at the till also thought the same too!!). 
The only trouble with my Kobo Mini is that it can’t read the Waterstone books I bought because they’re protected by Adobe DRM. Boohoo! Will I have to purchase the books again? Or will have to read them on my iriver? Oh, the trouble of finding a good eReader!!
The one good thing that I really like is that it fits right into the palm of my hand, and I really have a small, chubby hands! 😀
I am very happy with my purchase, and I hope to read loads of books next year!! ^^

p.s. I found a way of reading my Waterstones purchased ebooks on my Kobo Mini and Kobo phone app too!! :D… Follow this YouTube video ^^ (You will need to use a computer to do this!).

International Christmas Ads 2012 (Part 3)

It’s Christmas Day, and I have nothing to do this evening!! (Well I do, like watching TV and stuff, but that can wait for the moment!).

This will be my final International Christmas ad post for 2012.

So, which country to start off with???

Hong Kong – IKEA毛公仔祝您聖誕快樂!”Wish You All A Merry X’mas”. (It actually means: “Soft toys wishing you a merry Christmas). Yay!! I found the Hong Kong IKEA ad!! It was released on the 22nd December on YouTube, so I’m glad I waited. This is a cutsey ad. It’s similar to the Malaysian / Singapore one. Soft toys and IKEA items are used and they are saying thanks for purchasing the soft toys, as the money goes to kids who cannot pay for their education. In Hong Kong, you have to pay for your education!

China – Dove Chocolate 德芙-房祖名分享篇. Awww!! Mega cute, lovey dovey ad!! Dove is actually called Galaxy in the UK. I have no idea why they’ve given it another name for the international market. And Dove in the UK is a soap brand! Anyway, this ad is great. I think it’s part of a series of Dove Chocolate ads in China. The guy in the ad goes and visits his potential girlfriend and gives a box of Dove Chocolates to her… But then she gives the chocolates to her friends who are at her house partying, she then asks the guy where are her chocolates… Poor guy! He has to go and buy another box of Dove Chocolates! 😀 I love this ad!!

There’s more…..

Hungary – T-Mobile Szitál a hó. I thought T-Mobile have switched to EE with Orange!! Clearly not all around the world it hasn’t. Well, this is a nice ad from T-Mobile. I love the song. And they are “advertising” some phones in the ad. But I think it’s about price plans again!

Iceland – Tengjum saman jólin – Vodafone (Join Together at Christmas). Oooh! This is a different type of ad from Vodafone. Clearly Iceland has a very musical taste to their ads. Very Christmas-y with a school concert and showing people that they can connect to other parts of Iceland by recording videos and sending them across! Nice ad! I like!

Korea – 김수현 뚜레쥬르  (Kim Soo-hyun in Tous les Jours). Awww. I never knew Korea has a Winter Wonderland!! This is my type of ad. A cute guy (Kim Soo-hyun) is on the train dreaming of going to Winter Wonderland. But this ad is actually about the Korean bakery Tous les Jours. Yes, it’s confusing! Well for me it was… As you can see at the end of the ad they show Christmas cakes, which confused me as I thought it was about Winter Wonderland. But anyway, this is a good ad.

Searching for the Scandinavian ones… For some reason they are very hard to find!! Anyway I found this one…

Denmark – Fisketorvet Shopping Mall. Ack. Santa is a thief!! Not really. This Danish Santa goes into the Fisketorvet Shopping Mall in Copenhagen to play with toys and check out the latest sprays etc, etc. He is actually all alone looking for gifts. And somehow at the very end of the ad he ends up with all these shopping bags and gift boxes. Was there a person at the checkout? Because it looked like the shopping mall was closed. Must be a self checkout in there! Hahahah!!

Portugal – Lojas CEM. From all the Portuguese Christmas ads, I had to choose this one to show. Well. What can I say. Lojas CEM is a an electronic store like COMET or PC World in the UK. This advert seemed to have advertised one or two items from its sotre, and all I could see in this advert were too many people smiling, and showing off their teeth. What’s with this advert?! Not a very good advert I’m afraid… 😦

Slovakia – Raffaello – Viac nez tisic slov (More than a thousand words). Aww. This is a nice ad. In this ad the handsome husband picks up a box of Raffaelo before he goes home to his family. The pretty wife is decorating the tree with her children who passes the decorations to their mother. The wife has her back turned away, and doesn’t realise her husband is home who hands over the box of Raffaelo into her hand whilst she is still decorating. Pretty ad! I like it! ^_^

Spain – Burguer King – Merry Cheesemas (Burger King). Ok Spaniards. It doesn’t snow in Spain. That’s what caught my attention at the start of this advert… Or does it really snow over there…?! Anyway. This is a cheesy advert from Burger King, Spain. I still think the Spaniards talk so fast. Not sure what the girls are saying and what the boyfriend at the end with the shiny teeth is meant to be there for… It’s a cheesy ad.

Turkey – Noel Baba da Media Markt’a bakmadan almıyor! (Santa does not look at the Media Markt – that’s what I think it means). Right. Turkey got their weather conditions right in this ad, because it doesn’t snow over there too! But what makes me laugh about this ad is that there’s a doctor trying to cure Santa! I guess this Turkish Santa couldn’t find presents this year to give around and has no money to buy them because he’s busking on the streets of Turkey! And so the doctor had to take him to Media Markt where he found loads of presents! Hah! Funny advert!

And to round off this post with one last cheesy advert from…

Hong Kong – 3M Command. Yes. Hong Kong have cheesy ads too. 3M Command is a company that sells adhesive hooks that stick onto walls. So in this ad the wife says to her husband that there is no need to use nails (as it will leave holes) to hang their Christmas decorations but to use 3M Command’s adhesive hooks! Oh my… (Don’t worry I have seen worse Hong Kong ads in the past)… 

And there you go. That’s all my searching done for the evening!

Hope you all have had a nice Christmas and have enjoyed reading this post…

Why not read my other International Christmas advert posts:

Royal Margin 皇星樓 – London Surrey Quays

Yesterday was my last Christmas meetup with Miss Pinky and her brother Master H. First of all I went to the wrong section of London. I thought I was supposed to be in Waterloo, but actually I was supposed to be going to Surrey Quays!! Miss Pinky would have said “You Muppet!”. (Meaning: You Stupid!). Hahahah! So instead of them trekking all the way towards me, I went to Surrey Quays. Both of them were very hungry, and because I was late they wanted to immediately get out and eat. Thankfully Miss Pinky was dressed and ready to go (because she never usually is). 

Master H wanted Chinese, Indian or Nando’s. Miss Pinky wanted Indian food. And I would eat anything… Unfortunately, there’s no Nando’s in the area, the local Indian restaurant was closed, and so we ventured into another Chinese restaurant! Hah!

We found ourselves in a very spacious restaurant called Royal Margin 皇星樓 (literally meaning “Emperor Star House”), which isn’t far from the Surrey Quays Overground station. I didn’t take pictures of the inside unfortunately, but it was nice, although it looked very dim (as in low lighting)… It was in the middle of the afternoon, and I thought it should have been a bit brighter inside.
Outside Royal Margin

Restaurant Menu Cover

Inside the menu (check the link at the bottom of this post for the actual menu)

A Chinese decoration

Ok, so here are the starters and the drinks. We had two different starters. And as always, I seem to order the ones with prawns which Miss Pinky cannot eat…

Apple and Mango smoothie (really fresh!)

Two lemondades

 I really liked these spare ribs!! Nice and crispy!!

Deep fried spare ribs with salt, chilli and pepper

Deep fried wonton! Oddly shaped, but very nice indeed!
Here’s our main food….

Miss Pinky had the roast duck noodle soup, she said her soup wasn’t great, but her noodles were ok, the duck was ok and apparently she liked the one in Super Star where the duck was crispy and the soup was yummy! Even though I gave that restaurant an average review!!
Roast Duck noodle soup
I had the beef chow mein, crispy noodles instead of soft noodles. Mine were good. Good seasoning. A lot of crunch in the noodles. And tasty!
Beef chow mein
And Master H had the chicken chow mein, which were soft noodles. I never asked how it was for him. But he seemed to like it. Plus he was using his chopsticks too!
Chicken chow mein
Well, total price came to £40.32 and that included another two cokes – good pricing!

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Good points:
– Good service
– I liked my smoothie
– Food was nice and hot (starters and mains)
– Reasonable pricing!

Bad points:
– Dim lighting in the restaurant
– Food came out a little slower than expected… We were in a rush!

Address: 176-178 Lower Road, London, Greater London SE16 2UN
Telephone: 020 7232 5118

Website: http://www.royalmargin.co.uk/ (they also do Thai food!!)

Deers, Balls and Lights

What a strange title for this post! ^_^

Well I’m trying to fit in two areas of London that always fascinate Londoners and the visitors to London during the Christmas period. I always find this time of the year quite festive, but also quite stressful! So if you have time and you have time to stop shopping, just look around you and see what’s around you. 😀

First off is Covent Garden. The place where everyone loves to be when it’s not too busy…
Giant balls and green bush candies are hanging around the arcade parts…

Covent Garden

Big red deco balls!

Bushy candies ^^

There’s even a giant Christmas tree and a giant LEGO advent calendar outside Covent Garden!!

Christmas tree! 

The LEGO advent calendar

Forgot to take a picture of the other half!

On one side they have a giant green bush reindeer… and loads of barrels… 

Massive reindeer!

Barrels of…?

And surprisingly there were live reindeer… For real!! 

Real reindeer ^^

Covent Garden’s lights are really pretty too!! ^^

The next part to go to is Oxford Street. They have their street lights up… They seem so simple this year…

“Marmite Gold … You either love it or hate it”

Pretty lights!!!!

I like this one 😀

The lights in Regent Street are quite boring!

Enjoy your Christmas!!

Angus Steakhouse – London Leicester Square

So after going around the German Market, plus a walk around Covent Garden with my friend Miss Rock who I see only once a year we decided to eat. My friend wanted to eat Westernised style food and nothing Chinese (she’s Chinese too and just got back from Hong Kong – but I’ve just realised that she’s totally British! :-S) Hah! And so I suggested Angus Steakhouse. I have been there before, and I knew I would enjoy the food there!! (I didn’t take a picture of the outside but enjoy the pics of the food :D).

Well you can’t not order a steak whilst at a steak house in which case I ordered the New York Strip, with a side order of chips… I think my egg was slightly under-cooked, but nevertheless I enjoyed it! 

New York Strip with peppercorn sauce

I had peppercorn sauce with my steak. Now this is what peppercorn sauce is supposed to be like! Not that brown stuff from one of my previous posts!

The steak doesn’t come with sides… this is my chips 🙂

Miss Rock had the Chicken Carolina which was very filling but she wanted a salad with it! She finished it, although she had to take a break in between… 😀

Chicken Carolina

In the end, we both wanted dessert… well something cooling to finish off with. Last year we had massive desserts and couldn’t really finish everything! So we both had a milkshake. I had the banana flavour and Miss Rock had the strawberry flavour.

Strawberry milkshake ^^

Yummy banana milkshake

I also ordered a berry cheesecake. I love cheesecake, but I didn’t like the berries. A bit sour. The sauce was nice though!! ^^

Nice cheesecake! 

Total cost came up to £68.25 (includes 2 diet cokes)

My geeky rating: 4.5/5 (just for the slightly under-cooked egg and the sour berries, but otherwise A-ok!)

Good points:
– Good and friendly service
– Steak was cooked medium as it was supposed to be!
– Thumbs up for my banana milkshake
– Got seated by the window

Bad points:
– Berries on the cheesecake were a bit sour (don’t like sour berries)
– Was the service charge compulsory? Yes I think it was… No tip… Sorry… (Check out comment below – it’s not a compulsory charge!)

Address: Angus Steakhouse, 20 Cranbourn Street, London WC2H 7AD

Website: www.angussteakhouse.co.uk

View Larger Map

German Market – London Southbank

Are you still looking for that Christmas present for someone special? Or are you looking for someplace to go just before Christmas?

Well, here’s your last chance as there’s only a few more days until this German Market closes on December 24th at 10 pm. 

I went there on the weekend with a friend, who I’m going to call Miss Rock (because she’s into rock music – didn’t know that until she told me) who I only see once a year! I told her on that day I started blogging, and she thinks I’m going to start vlogging… Um no way! Writing my opinion is far better than talking about it in front of a camera (well to me anyway!). 😛

So the following are pictures from start to finish of the German Market, plus some of the entertainers along Southbank. 😀
At the start!

Loads of people at the market

Wooden tools and toys

Loads of soap

Metal ornaments

Anyone want to eat ostrich meat?

The Gingerbread House!

Lots of cute hats!

Knitted toys and knitwear

I love elephants!!

Go and drink mulled wine ^^

Cute Toy Soldier!

German food stand

Get your hot roasted chestnuts!

Oooo Crepes ^^

A children’s Merry-Go-‘Round

Some dancing entertainers

Another entertainer!

Hurry, hurry, hurry!!! Get there before it ends!!

Wahaca – London Covent Garden

So after the work party, I had 4 hours sleep, an 8-hour day at work, and about a half an hour to a 45 minute wait for Mr Games and my friends (who I haven’t really gone out with for a very long time, calling them Mr Flirt, Miss Money and my new friend Mr Sensible), we ended up at Wahaca, a Mexican food joint for a small reunion and pre-Christmas meetup, as well as celebrating the end of the year. 

Apparently the name of the restaurant and the food derives from a region in Mexico called Oaxaca. I have never tried this place before, and I was very keen to try it out.
Wahaca Sign

Its full name

Their funky wall of leaflets and pictures ^^

Nice design!

This place isn’t hard to find, it’s in the backstreets of The Strand, but unfortunately there’s construction work going on outside the building, so it was hard to take a picture of the outside.

Luckily we were a party of five as there was a table for six ready within a few minutes when we got there, otherwise I think we would have had to wait for a long time for the other diners to shove off! (Sorry for my rudeness). Thankfully I did some research on this place beforehand because I was keen to try out a burrito!! The food I found was quite similar to Cubana (the place I went to the night before). Here’s the food and drinks (the non-exciting drinks I did not take a picture of i.e. water… ¬_¬).

Mr Sensible’s food (he is a very sensible person who is training to be a teacher):

Pork Pibil Taco

Huitlacoche Quesadillas

Black Bean

Miss Money’s food (she wants to be an accountant and is fully qualified to be one!):

Passion Fruit and Hibiscus Cooler

Tender, marinated chicken Taquito

Sweet Potato

Mr Flirt (don’t need to explain why he’s called that) didn’t realise he ordered a majority of spicy food… so unfortunately he didn’t enjoy it entirely! (He doesn’t like spicy!):

A very small hot chocolate, Mr Flirt had water afterwards!

Grilled British Beef Taco

I think this is the Black Bean Tostada

MSC fish a la Pimienta – it has bones attached to it, so be careful when eating this!

Mr Games and also Miss Money had the beef burrito, which is what I had. And here’s my food:

Tamarind Twist

Chicken Tinga Taco – it was spicy!

British Steak Burrito

Inside my burrito – really tasty and this is the only non-spicy one!!

And finally the desserts! We all shared around…

Hotcake and dulce de leche – Mr Flirt and Mr Sensible had this

Chocolate tres leches cake – Miss Money and Mr Games had this

I had the Salted Caramel Ice-Cream ^^

I enjoyed it so much and I would definitely go again to have a spicy burrito!

My geeky rating: 5/5 (that burrito filled me! (^_^)v).

Good points:
– Food came quick
– Great and friendly service
– Food was filling
– Desserts were ok – I liked that chocolate cake with the peanut butter ice cream (^_^)b

Bad points:
– Slightly cramped tables… and that was it really!

Address: Wahaca, 66 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HG
Tel: 0207 240 1883

Website: www.wahaca.co.uk 
The link to the menu is at the bottom of the website but here it is if you can’t find it! http://www.wahaca.co.uk/html/ASSETS/Downloads/Wahaca_menu.pdf

I was tagged in the Liebster Blog Award

^_^ I have only just realised I was kindly tagged by Grocery Gems for this Liebster Blog Award. Check out her post about it!!

The Liebster Award Rules (I copied and pasted from Grocery Gems!):
1. Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions that I have set for you and create 11 questions of your own for the people you will nominate with this award.
3. Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
4. Remember to only tag bloggers with less than 200 followers

11 geeky facts about me (it’s quite hard to think about what to say about yourself):

1. I love puzzles and mysteries (that’s why I like Sherlock Holmes)
2. I like learning new languages
3. I don’t listen when I’m supposed to be
4. I love musicals 
5. I love a good bargain (that’s why I shop on ebay)
6. As well as Asian pop music I love the Classical stuff too… 
7. I hate being late, but I also hate being too early
8. I hate being hungry (that’s why I like snacking)
9. I love travelling but hate getting lost
10. I like funny people! The ones that make you really laugh!!
11. I love funky art 😀

And here’s my answers to Grocery Gems (Katherine) questions: 

1. Favourite breakfast cereal? Don’t have one unless you can count Tracker as a cereal bar!
2. Favourite chocolate bar? Wispa
3. Favourite TV show at the moment? Criminal Minds 
4. All-time favourite TV show? Ugly Betty (It was sad to see it finish)
5. Favourite author? I have so many! Probably Dan Brown.
6. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Frog’s legs
7. Favourite comedy film? Hard question… Most recent one is Rock of Ages
8. Favourite supermarket? My local Morrisons
9. What’s your plan of action for a zombie apocalypse? Hide underground and make a strategic plan afterwards :P!
10. Pizza or pasta? Pizza!!
11. Tea or coffee? Coffee!! (Has to be either strong or be a smooth latte :D)

Here’s my questions to the bloggers I’m tagging:

1. Favourite restaurant?

2. Favourite meal?
3. Sugar or no sugar in tea or coffee?
4. Favourite dessert?
5. Favourite pass time?
6. Favourite book?
7. Favourite country visited?
8. How many languages can you speak?
9. Fresh or frozen food?
10. Apple or Android?
11. Car or plane or boat?

The bloggers:

1. Mamabok from www.icecubejunkie.com

2. City Pig from lunchinginthecity.blogspot.co.uk

Hahahah! It was quite difficult to think of the questions and talk about myself!

Thank you Grocery Gems for tagging me 😀

Work Christmas Party at Cubana – London Waterloo

The Christmas parties have started for 2012! (Well for some people it was a week or two weeks ago!). 

Every year one of the teams I work with (I work for two teams in one organisation – it’s complicated I know!) has a Christmas get together. And every year at least one person has a suggestion on where to go. This time we were going to Cubana in Waterloo, which is a Latin American restaurant.
Outside Cubana

Cubana has been around for a few years now, and I remember a couple years back Miss Pinky and I tried to go in there once but it was fully packed!! Well, at this Christmas party, it was again fully packed!! It is a popular venue for South Londoners and for those working around the area. Plus it’s near Waterloo Station! Bonus point for that!! ^^

Close up of the wall painting

To be completely honest, I didn’t know what to expect and so I read a few reviews on TripAdvisor and one blog. They were all mixed reviews which I shouldn’t have read, and should have left it to my own experiences!

We all settled into the place quite early – as in, we settled with our drinks quite early. Some of my co-workers were in the neighbouring pub as they were VERY early! (And I even thought I was the first one there to arrive!!!). The place I would have to say is nice, however it is VERY small (that’s why we drank outside). There are 3 areas for dining. One is at the back hidden away. The second one is next to the bar, which is where we were, and the other part is like a dance area. The bar area was heaving with people, and some were even drinking outside. I guess they never thought it would be very popular.
Nice wall gallery!

We think this is a dancing area – but was filled
with other people from another company

We got seated into 3 sets of tables around 8 pm and then we were asked whether we wanted to start the food – YES! Of course!! I was hungry. 😛 My co-worker made a reservation for the Cubana Christmas Fiesta Menu which was £17 per head. (I think there were about 30 of us there!). So here’s the food which the waitresses had to move around for each table so that everyone got a bit of everything.

Plantain Chips

Croquetas de boniato y chorizo – 
Organic chorizo and sweet potato croquettes

Platanos Fritos – fried plantain 

Pollo Criollo – chicken casserole

Ensalada fresca – salad

Someone mixed in the Chorizo into the rice!!

I forgot to take pictures of the black beans and the pork dish!

My small plate of food

I liked the chicken!!

I had 3 pina coladas ^_^ (plus a G&T earlier)

I had chocolate mousse ^^

Mr Bear’s coconut flan

Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce (there are other sauces available too)

I spoke to some of my co-workers after the party, and some were disappointed they didn’t get some of the food! Plus their plates were too small for all the food. The restaurant is small. Chairs are a bit wobbly and the seating arrangement wasn’t that great – These are their comments, not mine!! 

After all that eating and drinking the tables and chairs were cleared away by the waitresses…, and the real party started with a bit of dancing!! A few of my co-workers are great dancers by the way, and one or two were a bit excessive… But it was all a bit of fun. 😀

I do recommend this place, but you should probably go at a less busy time!

My geeky rating: 4/5 (I liked the food, but the dining and drinking areas are very cramped)

Good points:
– I liked the food
– I think we had some good service (but I could see why some reviewers weren’t happy… it gets really busy!)
– The drinks just kept coming (and thankfully I didn’t need to pay… It must have been a lot of money though!)
– Good music (although a bit loud according to Mr Bear)

Bad points:
– Small space (need to rebuild the bar area… expand towards the car park!)
– Small plates
– Bad table arrangement

Address: Cubana, 48 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG
Tel: 0207 928 8778 (after 5 pm – 07582 879 389)

Website: www.cubana.co.uk (always make a reservation!)

View Larger Map

Cantonese Egg Waffles 鷄蛋仔 in London China Town

Last time when I went to Hong Kong I wanted to try this very famous street food – Cantonese style waffles known as 鷄蛋仔 gai daan jai (a.k.a egg puff or egg waffle). I think a normal waffle mix is used and the only difference is, is that light evaporated milk is used instead of skimmed milk, but anyway they use a special egg shaped waffle pans to make them.

On a recent trip to China Town (the day Miss Pinky decided to come along on my adventure looking for cute stores and eating dim sum), I saw a couple of stores making them outside in this freezing weather! But I didn’t buy any to try them out. They are always best served hot from my experience in Hong Kong. 🙂 And funnily enough the ones in China Town are made into different colours on one side, and Miss Pinky and I saw a pink one! (Miss Pinky wasn’t interested by the way)…
Pink Egg Waffle (and there’s a chocolate one next to it)

Here’s how they are served in Hong Kong (picture taken a few years ago)! They are normally put into a brown paper bag.

Hong Kong bought egg waffle ^^

Why not try them out… Tastes like a normal English waffle. They get hard when they’re cold. 😀 And sorry I didn’t check the price out… Will do next time when I pass by!! 

Which stores to buy them from: Outside Yang Guang Supermarket 阳光超市 and another one which is a couple of doors down next to the car park.
Price: 2.50 for original plain flavour; £3 for other flavours (for both stores!)

If you are looking for a recipe, try this person’s one. He uses a normal waffle mix with vanilla essence and doesn’t use evaporated milk:

More info on Cantonese egg waffles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggette