Street Art in Shoreditch (including a guided tour)

I love street art. For those who follow me on Instagram (and there’s a few posts on this blog) have probably noticed a lot of posts are of street art. It’s amazing what street artists can do once given a big piece of a blank building wall, a shop shutter or a fence with no purpose. I just love the freedom used in their art even though it is illegal, but anyhow it shows that the artists knows what’s going on in the world, and if they don’t like it they express it with their art, and not with politics and boring words. Or it might be just a personal thing and they just like to show off their lovely artistic skills.
I just love street art. Full stop. ^_^
On one Sunday afternoon MummyGeek wanted to explore areas of London that she’s never been to so I took her towards Shoreditch and then into the Hackney area. As we returned back towards Shoreditch we couldn’t find the bus stop we wanted so I took some pictures along the way towards the bus stop…
Millo

Just a sign

Made in the Shade

I love this version of Mona Lisa

Don

Millo and other artists

I think Shoreditch is just the coolest area to find street art. I so love it so much that I decided to go on a guided tour with Shoreditch Street Art Tours. It was the only way to get a better understanding of the street artists in London and why they come to this specific area in London to show off.

First off we met at Brushfield Street where there’s a goat statue. The tour is £15 and you pay on the day.

We were first introduced to the stickers of street artists. I didn’t know there were so many! And I have seen some before around London and never really knew what they were there for. Interesting. 
Street Artist’s Stickers

Street Artist’s Stickers

Next it was time to see a bit of street art heading towards Brick Lane.

Clet Abraham

Clet Abraham

In Fashion Street

Conor Harrington

Donk

Donk

SYD

TWAT

SYD

Sell Out
In a side street / car park we got to see two street artists hard at work. We were told not to take pictures of their faces which is understandable as a “3D origamist-Home Artist” I like to remain anonymous as much as possible (one day I will reveal myself – or maybe not). 
Street artist at work

Another street artist at work

My Dog Sighs … (the music sheet is upside down!)

Borondo

Squirl Art

Street art is so popular in Brick Lane and I really wonder if housing is going to be more expensive in this area one day. Compared to the actual city part we see on the outside it really is different from the inside as we got to see more. By the way I don’t like graffiti artists. They ruin a lot of the street art with their signatures which doesn’t help us see the picture…

Stik and Otto Schade side by side … very popular two pieces and have survived Brick Lane for a long time!!

Off Brick Lane … Roa, C3 and other artists

Endless

This doll looks scary!

Invader and other artists 

Borondo

Snikarts

A Banksy is ahead

D*Face and Credit Crunch

A damaged Banksy piece

Borondo

Unknown street artist

A damaged Conor Harrington piece

My Dog Sighs

Gomez – Italian artist

Various artists

Gomez

Gomez

Robot – unknown artist

A funny sticker

Sell Out 

I took a butterfly for keeps sake

Roa

Various Artists

Love Piepenbrinck

In another car park – various artists

Borondo … very intimate this piece

Roa

Stik

Is this street art or someone did a prank?

As we near the end (there were 7 of us left) we finally got to see a couple of Banky’s works. He may be famous but seeing other street artist’s works it has changed my opinion on him (a bit). I love these people’s works and sometimes it is a shame that they get blanked or painted over to show more. In this world you have to be quite tough and realise that street art will never stay the same.

Gregos

Banksy piece

Banksy and Stylo

Banksy

Ozmo

Tant
After the tour, I went out looking for more. I went to the area that MummyGeek and I stumbled across and found an alley (that no one seemed to care about). It was quite fun spotting some of the street artist’s works there who were talked about in the tour… ^_^
Gregos

Don

Invader

Invader

Stik

Ghost Writers

616

Ciro Schu

Pure Evil

Various Street Art

Bortusk Leer

My Dog Sighs

616

Mr Farenheit – U R So Porno Baby

Invader

Rots Rulebeck

Borondo – name got painted over

Ciro Schu

Jana and JS

Jana and JS

Jana and JS & Mr Farenheit

Otto Schade

I think I will have to make another trip again and explore other parts of Shoreditch with more street art! I’m sure there will be new ones by the time I go back!!
Sometimes, it’s great to be a Londoner (minus the politics).

Pionir Cokoladne Bananice

Spotting different snacks can be a challenge sometimes. This one looked a bit weird so I thought why not try it since I like bananas anyway.
I think this is a Polish snack which I found in Oli’s Foods (Walworth Road).

It looks like a piece of poop (sorry for making you throw up) but it’s a banana shaped piece of chocolate. It smells of dark chocolate too.

It tastes rather sweet in texture, and also tastes like a jaffa cake. A banana jaffa cake in fact. Very tasty.

It’s less than £2, and I recommend it if you like sweet chocolatey banana flavoured snacks. ^_^

Japanese Kit Kat – More Flavours

m(¬0¬)m Oh dear. I’ve had these for quite a while. I bought these from Japan Centre online and only had these a few weeks ago. I beg for forgiveness for not showing these earlier. <(。_。)>
These “new” flavours are very intriguing so I had to buy them. They initially ran out but I asked to wait for them to be re-stocked before they were delivered. I got these in January… Yep, I know. Procastinating blogger on the run.
4 more different flavours
This flavour is azuki bean flavour. Azuki beans are like red beans that have been sweetened. It’s similar to the red bean milk drink that you get in Chinese stores. This was very chocolatey too.
Azuki bean

This is the Hojicha Tea flavour. Not sure what type of tea leaves that are used (it’s a Japanese green tea variety). There’s a tea flavour, it has a rice taste to it and it is very, very sweet.
Hojicha Tea

The taro flavoured Kit Kat has a very satisfying taste to it. It definitely tastes like taro and it’s quite sweet from the chocolate used in this one.
Taro

And last but not least is this Ichiro Chilli flavoured Kit Kat. If you like something peppery, the this is for you. It’s dark chocolate with a spicy kick at the end. I like this one. But if you don’t like spicy chocolate then don’t try it.
Ichiro

Chocolat de France

When I went to Paris (OMG, that was months ago… I know) I bought some chocolate from the supermarkets and a gas station. It’s not everyday you go to Paris or France to get food… I mean business people could do it, but for people like me who doesn’t have a traveling job have no opportunity! 
This first one is Milka’s Cranchito Snax. Haven’t seen these in England yet, but it looks like another version of Cadbury’s Crunchems. I bet they are exactly the same really. They are chocolate covered crisps I think. They are have this salty taste to it which disappears with the chocolate. They are very nice to be honest, and should try out the Cadbury’s version. Interesting.

This is another M&M’s snack. It’s dark chocolate covered peanuts. Yeah I know we have them in the UK, but these are different (otherwise I wouldn’t be posting it here). These are massive versions of the little ones we have. The peanuts are just bigger. I like them. Haven’t finished them yet… ^_^

Last chocolate (the supermarkets in Paris didn’t have all the things I liked when I went to Marseille last year) is this Cote D’Or Citron Gingembre. Ginger and Lemon dark chocolate. Heheh. What a good combination. Lemon and ginger often go together especially as a remedy for colds. The chocolate itself was not bad. It had a tangy taste to it, I couldn’t taste much of the ginger, but I seemed to have finished the chocolate bar in two settings. The dark chocolate complimented the flavours even though it was hard to pick out the ginger… Not bad. The layer of the chocolate is very thick. I think chocolate fans will enjoy this one.

Wish I bought a bit more from Paris. Maybe next time!

Confectionery from Sweets From Heaven

Uh, I know I bought these a long time ago. And now it’s about time I blogged about them. XD Not a very good snack blogger am I?!! 彡(-_-;)彡 Gomenasai ごめなさい (I’m sorry in Japanese… still learning, more like re-learning).
Here’s an all-in-one post as I think I would be too slow to write individual articles on each snack.
Nestlé TEX is like a less chocolatey version of the chunky Kit Kat. It’s a double wafer snack bar with minimal chocolate. I actually like this but it cost £1.99!! Expensive.

Nestlé’s 100 Grand bad is something really different. It’s a low calorie chocolate bar, AND  it isn’t bad at all. It’s similar to a Toffee Crisp bar but the healthier version of it! Forgot to note down the price, but I think it was expensive as well.

Next up are these Reese’s Egg and Heart. I’m going to have to say that I really did not like this one bit. I do like Reese’s chocolates but these two just made me want to puke. I think it might have been the soft centre that just didn’t go with me. Both cost 99p each.

It got crushed!

Wonky Chewy Runts are not so special I think. We see a lot of sweets that are fruit flavoured and of course chewable. These are artificially flavoured and definitely taste like fruits.

Junior Mints is something I have never seen before. They are not bad to have on you if you have a bad breath or need something refreshing in your mouth. There’s a chocolate surrounding and a very soft, liquidy, minty centre. It’s not bad, but if you don’t like super soft centres then I suggest you have a chalky mint. 😛 This cost £1.89. Expensive.

I’m sure I’ve reviewed Dark Chocolate M&M’s before (when I went to Dallas)… but anyway here’s something you don’t get to see if main UK stores. Cost £1.99. Still expensive.

And finally Lemon Square Extra Dessert Delights chewing gum. Yes, you can buy this chewing gum from Sweets From Heaven! And yep they taste like lemon squares. Cost £2.69!!!! OMG. What did I buy!!!

I did buy a few other things but they expired so quickly so I didn’t get to try them. Oh well. The sweets and snacks are expensive, but that’s what you get for American imports. 😦

Gallus Restaurants – London Charing Cross Road (NOW CLOSED)

Miss Pinky and I went out on a very rare Friday meetup. We usually meet on weekends and on some rare occasion on a weekday. This was a totally random night out!
Every time I passed it on Charing Cross Road it seemed like it was never opened. Was it that bad that it had to close down very quickly… No… I think they were still renovating… Not sure.
Not sure what to classify Gallus Restaurants. It’s like a fusion restaurant of Asian meets Western type. Fusion chicken?
Gallus Restaurants
The restaurant is quite small and it already seemed popular amongst the people who work, study or live around Soho. Gallus Restaurant is almost like Nando’s but from the “Roman era”. The interior is designed to look like a Roman restaurant… I would call it a modern Rome style restaurant.

I had paid £20 for two vouchers worth £50 of food from Time Out London. Bargain! See it’s worth getting emails from magazines or promotional sites. You can save quite a lot of money by getting bargains and vouchers online.
Now it was time to order the food. £25 worth of food for each person! Miss Pinky and I ordered two different platters with 4 sides each plus an extra burger and drink (we paid for the extra afterwards).

Miss Pinky ordered the Wings Platter, she had jerk skewer and the Mexian one (I think) plus the burger of the day. Her wings were in a BBQ like sauce. It was good she said but in just an ordinary bbq sauce. We both agreed on the jerk chicken skewer which had pineapple with it that it was a bad combination but the chicken was nice…
Wings Platter
I ordered the Skewer Platter with jerk, tandoori and katsu skewers. They were all so filling and spicy too! I think I was full after 2 skewers… (⊙_☉) My favourite were the tandoori ones. I couldn’t taste any katsu sensation on the katsu skewer. Where’s the breaded crumbs?
Skewer Platter
Miss Pinky admired the skewers as each one were inscribed with the restaurants name. I wonder how much those skewers cost to get inscribed!
Just look at all that chicken…….. Better than Nando’s in some respects…
Katsu Skewer

Tandoori Skewer

Jerk Skewer
With the remaining money on the voucher I ordered the Gallus burger. I actually had to take this home as I was so full. But it tasted great. Unfortunately I had it cold so I couldn’t taste the spiciness that much.
Gallus burger
This was Miss Pinky’s burger. She never told me what it tasted it like, but I’m sure it was great. I will ask her next time I see her…
Special burger of the day
And of course the sides! We loved the Asianslaw, coleslaw with a twist of sesame oil. Excellent side. We also enjoyed the corn on the cob. Wow! This was the best corn on the cob I have ever tasted. Miss Pinky said it was better than Nando’s any day, and I forgot what she told me to put on this post. But we both enjoyed it all.
Sides
The only disappointing side was the couscous, if it was a bit warm or a little hot then I think it would have been a great side order. Nevermind. Restaurants can always improve themselves with time.
Cold couscous
And plus we had wedges! Blimey! Yes we were very, VERY full.
Wedges
Total price came to over £66!! But fortunately we had those £25 vouchers from Time Out London. So minus £50 we paid around £9 each… (£19 each including price of the voucher). ヾ(。◕ฺ∀◕ฺ)ノ Miss Pinky was so happy that we spent so little on a meal. It was the first time we’ve done that she said… is it???
Anyway, my only complaint is the toilets, the signs are a bit confusing because they’re in Latin. Make sure you know the Latin words for Man and Woman. σ(≧ε≦o)
My geeky rating: 5/5
Good points:
– Lots and lots of food. It is generally expensive at this restaurant but we had vouchers
– In a good location along Charing Cross Road
– LOVE the corn on the cob!!!
– Lovely service
Bad points:
– Toilet signs
– The place is a bit small, but I hope they expand with more bigger locations (it’s not an entirely bad point)
Address: 103 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DT
Telephone: 020 7734 3285

Leong’s Legends Continues… 梁山好汉 – London China Town

Next stop from St James’s Park was China Town!
I have been passing Leong’s Legends Continues… forever, and MummyGeek says I have been saying forver that I need to go to this place to try it out. And alas, I have finally made it! 🙂
Leong’s Legends Continues… 梁山好汉 (Trad. 梁山好漢; Canto: Leung Saan Hou Hon; Mando: Liangshan haohan) seems to be a popular restaurant in London but is it good for my taste buds? This restaurant is Taiwanese. The restaurant name literally means Leong’s heroes. Something like that.
Leong’s Legend Continues…
MummyGeek went to the loo at this point so I took a picture of the seat. XD
Wooden table setting
The menu comes in a book form with pictures, and all you have to do is select the dishes you want (which is in Chinese)….
I think people know I’m addicted to bubble tea and since this restaurant is Taiwanese, so why not!
Bubble Tea
I ordered bits and pieces of dim sum. MummyGeek said not to order things we regularly eat, so here it goes.

This is the pork belly bun. I thought there would be more than one, but this is how it came. There was a mixture of ingredients of pork and pickled vegetables. It looks very much like the one I had at Shoryu right? Well these buns originated in Taiwan. It would probably be nice if the bun was a bit sweet…
pork belly bun… only one given plus it’s expensive
Next came the famous Shanghai xiaolong bao Dumplings (Taiwanese style). These are very nicely presented, and very different to the normal dumplings you get in other Chinese restaurants.  They are very juicy inside, so when you bite make sure you have your head bowed towards the plate in case it squirts everywhere. The dumplings are ok, they aren’t fantastic but edible.
Xiaolong bao

Next came the custard buns. These were ok, and there was nothing special about them.
Custard buns
Inside a custard bun
The mini glutinous rice came out next… These were quite boring for me. Quite bland in taste, not the ones I’m used to. I didn’t really enjoy this very much.
Mini glutinous rice

Quite bland
The final dim sum that came out were the meat buns. These were not too bad. Very different to the ordinary char siu bao.
Meat buns

These were ok
Total cost came to £26.20… Expensive! It was confusing when they added a second total and then crossed it out. Wasn’t sure which price was the right one!

My geeky rating: 3.5/5

Good points:
– The only thing I liked was the bubble tea… and the xiaolong bao
– Service is fair

Bad points:
– Expensive for dim sum
– Quite scary going up and down the narrow staircases

Address: 26-27 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA
Telephone: 020 7734 3380

St James’s Park in April

I’m sure my family and I can’t be the only Chinese Londoners in London to be mistaken as tourists! Well you probably think so if you saw me filming and taking lots of pictures in St James’s Park. Heheheh ^_^ I really do enjoy being mistaken as a tourist because then people don’t ask me many questions – only joking.

MummyGeek and I went out for another park trip (this is mainly to get my mum to walk more which is what most of Londoners should be doing regularly…! And no, I have not turned into a geeky motivator yet… :D). When we turned into St James’s Park from Parliament Square we heard a marching band. How coincidential was that!

Here’s a short clip of the Horse Guard’s marching band… Not sure what this was for, but it’s not every day or every weekend that you get to see this stuff! Lucky geeks!

After the small parade MummyGeek and I went into St James’s Park to enjoy the flowers, trees and wildlife around the park…

American coots have ugly feet!!

By St James’s Park is of course Buckingham Palace… I hardly take pictures of it, but it hasn’t changed in the time period of my existence!

I zoomed into the tulips… ^_^

If you like eating there is a food stand in the park which sells very expensive sandwiches!

Don’t feed the pelicans!!!!!!!

Awww… I felt so sorry for this tailess squirrel 😦

St James’s Park is a very big park, walkable within an hour or less (depending if you plan to take any pictures and stuff). Beware of pickpockets and a lot of tourists that go there!!

After Taste 返尋味 Chinese Restaurant – London Elephant and Castle

I was hungry one afternoon after looking for some paper to do more 3D origami. I was unsuccessful and decided to try this place called After Taste 返尋味.
This restaurant used to be called The Well, not sure if they changed ownership, but I had been there once before with an old friend / colleague when she was in uni at the time (over a decade ago). The food used to be goo there, so I thought I would try it out again.
After taste 返尋味 (Canto: faan cam mei; Mando: fan xun wei) literally means “return-search-flavour”, but when the character are put together it really means “after taste”.

After Taste 返尋味
I ordered the King Prawn Crispy Fried Noodles… They were quite quick at cooking this!

The noodles reminded me of the time when Miss Pinky and I went to China Town in Dallas. They used a slightly thick set of noodles unlike the extra thin ones that I’m used to. It was definitely crispy. The only unfortunate thing about was the main sauce used. It was very bland. Although they had used salt it wasn’t even enough for me. Bland food and good crispy noodles are not a good combination…

Here’s an extra close up…

I judge Chinese places over there noodles and I would have to say this is so-so. There were no condiments set on the table which is unfortunate. I actually hate asking for extra things…
Total cost came to £7.60 including a coke. Not bad for lunch!
My geeky rating: 3.5/5
Good points:
– In a good location for locals
– Cheapish
– Polite service
Bad points:
– My noodles were bland
– No condiments
Address: Newington Butts, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SF
Telephone: 020 7277 0772

Battersea Park in April

After the third round in Richmond Park, MummyGeek and I went to Battersea Park. Yeah, that’s right, another park review. 😉 … As you may know by now London has many free parks that the public uses… Cyclists use them, runners use them and of course pedestrians like me use them… And don’t forget about the ducks!

I used to go to Battersea Park MummyGeek and Mr Stingy in the past and I can’t remember if it has changed much… I don’t think it has. There are still a lot of ducks to see, there’s a big pond and there’s a tiny zoo (which I didn’t go into).

So here’s loads of pictures of Battersea Park in the rain…

Pigeon!!

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of this heron

I think Miss Pinky would have liked this lamp

I think I might have to stop off there again just to picture the other side of the park. It’s a very nice park to walk around in and have a good run too!
There is a cafe within the cafe run by an Italian family so stop off there if you need food or drinks – but they are very expensive!