ASSA 아싸 Korean Restaurant – London St Giles High Street (Now in Romilly Street)

Remember many blue moons ago when I blogged about ASSA Yorimichi, which has now unfortunately gone and has turned into another Korean restaurant, well now I’m going to blog about ASSA the Korean restaurant. No idea what ASSA 아싸 means. I’m sure someone can enlighten me. ^_^
Miss Pinky wanted to go this restaurant a few months ago but we ended up in Woo Jung (which I liked). So what are we going to end up with?
Well after a few drinks in Vauxhall, we finally got to ASSA around 8.30pm. Miss Pinky went off to find a cash machine nearby (but they take card Miss Pinky!) and I ended up taking a seat on the lower ground floor (so sorry, I don’t have pics of the interior).
ASSA 아싸 

Menu cover
I already looked at the menu, and just waiting on Miss Pinky… and in the end this is what we ordered (which came out very quickly!)…
Side dishes

Hite beer. Love the picture on the glass (look closely!)
I had the ramen, rice cake and dumpling dish with additional rice. I was a little disappointed in my dish, because the dumpling was already split, and there was only one dumpling. 😦 The noodles they used are the Nongshim spicy ramen noodles (which are very popular) but I think they could have added something to the soup to make it more unique… maybe like cheese. ^_^
Ramen, rice cake and dumpling

My rice… I had it with the squid
Miss Pinky ordered her usual beef bibimbap. She had the whole thing, and made a joke to the waiter that she couldn’t see anything in the bowl (meaning she loved it). I think this food is her favourite dish! (Must take her to Bibimbap Soho next time!!).
Bibimbap
We ordered a plate of spicy squid because we felt Korean food is a little bland without this dish. (We should have ordered some kimchi cabbage – but forgot!). The squid was good, but we felt not as great as Woo Jung’s or as spicy as Po Cha’s. I think Miss Pinky and I have had a fair amount of spicy squid dishes in our lives. XD
Spicy squid
Total cost came to £33.90 including the drinks and free side dishes (forgot if they did service charge). We split the bill and left.
My geeky rating (with Miss Pinky’s point of view): 3/5
Good points:
– Very friendly service
– Food came out really quick (we advise you to go here if you want super quick Korean food)
– Food prices are ok – but similar to the ones next door
Bad points:
– My dumpling was disappointing! 😦
Address: 53 St Giles High St, London WC2H 8LH —–> Moved to 23 Romilly Street, London W1D 5AQ
Telephone: 020 7240 8256

Nongshim Potato Noodles

Been a bit lazy recently. I’m blaming the weather! 😛

Koreans (and simply Asians alike) love weird food, so potato noodles are definitely one of the weirdest food products I have seen from a Korean convenience store.

This one had to be tried, and for 99p it is probably worth it. Some grocery stores are selling them for over a £1!

Nongshim Potato Noodles

Back of the packet

 Well potato noodles I haven’t seen before, so I wondered how the noodles would look like… They looked ordinary but massive!

 They almost could not fit the normal pan I use to cook noodles…

Almost couldn’t fit into the pan

 And it came out like this in the end…

Very spicy soup!

^_^
Well, what did I think of them?
They tasted a bit springy, it felt silky in the mouth, the soup was spicy has a finishing potato taste, but not too a lot of that creamy mushy potato taste. You also taste some potato bits
It maybe a bit too spicy but I think this could be more creamy soup or a meaty soup instead.
Probably won’t buy these again but it’s a nice difference to the other packet noodles we eat these days. 🙂

Nissin Black Garlic Oil Flavoured Noodles reloaded

Following on from a comment (more like being told off) I received about Nissin’s black oil flavoured noodles, I decided to re-blog about these noodles… I have cooked the correctly this time!
I still find this one salty, the soup is creamy and it’s not too garlicky. I don’t particularly like this version compared to the one I’m going to introduce to you next… I remind you, this one is a Hong Kong limited version, so probably can’t be found everywhere. They still sell them in See Woo Supermarket for less than 50p. 
Black garlic oil tonkotsu flavour noodles

I put the soup base after cooking the noodles!

Glistening black garlic oil

Soup remains in this bowl
The next one I’m introducing is very hard to find. It’s Japanese ramen – Kyshu Black, named after a prefecture in Japan. Not many (or none) Chinese grocery stores sell this, and I happen to have come across them in the Japanese Rice Wine Shop located in the back streets of Soho (82 Brewer Street, W1F 9UA). Unfortunately their website is completely in Japanese, so it might be best if you go there.
These noodles are also Nissin brand, but the main difference is that this is a product of Singapore! And the noodles are very, very different! In this version, the noodles look like spaghetti, the soup is very, very creamy, it’s less salty but compared to one above, the oil disappears into the soup and noodles giving it a very nice combined flavour. I think this is less garlicky than the one above. But overall I like this version because it imitates the ramen we have in Japanese restaurants. Good stuff. 

And as you can see with the last picture below I drank all the soup! This one costs 69p, so a tiny bit expensive to the one above.

Nissin Kyushu Black

Ramen looks like dried spaghetti here

In goes the soup

And the black garlic oil

Plus a few dim sum

I drank and ate everything!

I like the Kyushu Black rameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!

Buckingham Palace – The State Rooms Tour (ノ≧∀≦)ノ

I live less than half an hour away (by bus) from Buckingham Palace, I am practically the Royal Family’s neighbour (well about 3 miles away with the River in between). Heheh. Lastminute.com are selling cheap tickets to enter Buckingham Palace at the moment whilst HRH The Queen is on holiday, and I found myself thinking I need to at least to do something this summer (because I’m not going on holiday until later in the year). So yeah, I’m going to Buckingham Palace. 
I’m not a crazy fan on the Royal Fan, but I like the updates (from the media) of their lifestyle etc., etc… I find them as normal as any other family however richer with a status.
So I went on Sunday 17th (yesterday), the tourists were up and ready to explore London already. Most of us Londoners would be asleep at the time I went out (that was 9.15 am)! Most shops don’t open at this time of day, but at least Buckingham Palace did … I walked from Westminster, alongside St James’s Park and just about to cross the road when a small army of guards appeared on horseback. ^^
Guards on horseback
The ticket office is right next door (to the left if you’re entering via St James’s Park) of Buckingham Palace Gate, all signs are very clear, so you can’t miss a thing!
Got my ticket, and there was a little wait to enter (I think they opened around 5 minutes early), you will be going through a security check just like if you’re at the airport… and the only unfortunate part of this tour is that you can’t use your mobiles or take pictures inside the palace. 😦 So sad.
My ticket
I took an audio tour (which is useful if you can’t take pictures), and the tour takes about an hour and a half or less if you whizz around the rooms and don’t stop to look at the displays and pictures… Just imagine yourself in a big castle and an art gallery combined together!
Waiting in the queue
I didn’t buy any books or souvenirs, but I did stop by the Garden Cafe to enjoy some cakes and ice coffee.
The Chocolate Biscuit Cake caught my attention, so I had to get that… and I do like a Fraiser (unfortunately the strawberries were sour)… But the ice coffee was brilliant!! I think coffee shops need to have a taste of this, it tasted sweet and was definitely made with quality coffee. (I wonder what brand of coffee they used).
Caaake!! ^^

Chocolate Biscuite Cake

Fraiser

This cost around £13 altogether – expensive!

Yummy!!
Well we couldn’t take pictures of the inside but we could from the outside… The Royal Family’s garden is massive, and I’m sure they enjoy long walks around the gardens. ^^
At the back of Buckingham Palace

The Royal Garden – basically the backyard (a massive one!)

There is a shop, but everything is expensive!

Very pretty cups, but too expensive!! People like me have to be economical…

Under the tree view

An American Coot – very strange to see in the garde

Massive lake!

At the end, you will end up in Grosvenor Place… so make sure you know how to get home or back into Central London!
I enjoyed the tour but I think it’s a tour mainly for the tourists. I think most Londoners would not enjoy this tour unless they are super fans of the Royal Family, like art galleries or simply want to visit a palace. Simply put it this way – I would rather go to the National Gallery or the British Museum for free. ¬,¬”” But your ticket can be converted to a year’s pass, but my ticket couldn’t as I didn’t buy it directly from the Palace.
p.s. Staff are everywhere, so don’t even attempt to take your cameras or phones out!

Yao Yao Cha 搖搖茶 – London Earlham Street

As you know I’m a big bubble tea fan so when I was invited (by the PR Team) to come and try out Yao Yao Cha’s bubble teas and shaved ice, I thought why not, (plus I read @GroceryGems review and thought I needed to give this place a try). Do I need to explain what bubble tea??? (Nope, I don’t think I need to).
Yao Yao Cha 搖搖茶 (Canto: yiu yiu cha) literally means “shake shake tea” because before you drink bubble tea you must shake it for the tapioca bubbles and toppings to be loose. Yao Yao Cha is located in Seven Dials which is not far from Artbox Covent Garden and it is quite close to China Town – basically a small distance away from most of the competition around the area. ^^ Yao Yao Cha is owned by Susan Fang, a Taiwanese born lady who has traveled the world and has ended up in London according to their website. 
Yao Yao Cha in Earlham Street

As soon as I arrived (today) I was greeted by the friendly staff, I think they are all from Taiwan (forgot to ask) but they speak English and Mandarin (but I spoke in English as I think my Mandarin is still not good). ^_^

Inside Yao Yao Cha
Menu on a large screen

Shaved Ice Special

Like them on social networks!

There is a large selection on the menu like with all bubble tea menus, but particularly I wanted to try out the Cherry Tomato Frappé which I have never seen before in any other bubble tea stores. Unfortunately they are no longer serving this frappe (probably not popular). 😦 So my second option was the Matcha Green Tea with Red Beans. Luckily I looked at the menu online beforehand! I chose to have it medium sweet with ice and with tapioca balls… and the verdict?

It actually tastes good! The tapioca balls were very chewy. I was told by staff that they cook fresh tapioca balls every 4 hours and so that’s why it’s so tender! Wow. The red beans were crushed into smaller pieces. They weren’t soft but it tasted like bits of nuts inside the drink. All of it combined together tasted great, and I was quite pleased with my choice!

Matcha Green Tea with Red Beans

Sealed on top

Next is the shaved ice… Ah, shaved ice, I’ve wanted to try this type of dessert for a long time. I didn’t get a chance to try it in Hyper Japan the other day because I was so hungry and needed food rather than a dessert. Not sure if there are any places in London that sell shaved ice, maybe Boba Jam, but this is one place you should try out if you get stuck looking for shaved ice. I wanted to try out either the mango or the strawberry shaved ice and ended up having the mango one. I was given a choice of 3 free toppings so I chose the coffee jelly, strawberry balls and blueberries plus some added mango syrup. This was a special shaved ice on the menu (as shown in the picture menu above), so extra toppings are usually an extra £0.50 each.

Mango Shaved Ice with 3 extra toppings

Blueberries and large mango pieces

Strawberry fruit pops on the left

Coffee jelly in the front

Yummy!!

This was very different, it didn’t taste like a slushy. It was very much sliced ice with mango syrup and it wasn’t too sweet. It is very ideal for very hot weather conditions. The blueberries were different, they burst into my mouth as soon as I bit into them. Same goes with the strawberry bubbles. Nice! The coffee jelly was very good indeed. (Remember the time I had coffee jelly in Hong Kong, which was not so good…). Anyway, there is very tasty coffee taste in this jelly. Not too sweet and just right. The mango pieces were of course cold but not too sweet either. Yummy yummy o(〃^▽^〃)o.

Love the tiny tray!!

And guess what?! I was given another bubble tea as soon as I said the coffee jelly was good. The manager said I should try out the Crème Brûlée with the coffee jelly. This tasted very creamy, and yes the coffee jelly went well with the Crème Brûlée… I think I had too much to drink at this point. So I had to go and walk around for a bit and to find a loo!!

Crème Brûlée with coffee jelly
Coffee jelly!!! ^^

Staff working hard 

Staff working very hard

Blueberry taster… not a flavour for me

Finished!!!

I said I would come back to try out one more, and I was given one more Milk Black Tea with tapioca balls for free. Oh my. I really wanted to pay at this point because they gave me so much! The manager told me that every Taiwanese that came to the store would say that this Milk Tea reminds them of home… I’m sure it does as majority of the ingredients come from Taiwan! Again this was medium sweet but without ice as I was taking this away… I’ve had this type of flavour before which contains condensed milk and of course very chewy tapioca balls. It had a rich black tea taste but not like royal milk tea which we see in most bubble tea stores. Very good.

Nice board

Milk Black Tea

With tapioca balls

Overall I was very, very satisfied. I think the price for all of this would have been £15.50. I hope they expand into China Town one day and get more customers!! Anyone in Covent Garden for the day and can’t be bothered to head towards China Town should head to Yao Yao Cha! ^__^ Will definitely go again (most likely with either Mr Bear or Mr Picky – they love sweets!).

Was asked by the staff to see which of the above was my favourite, it was the Matcha Green Tea with Red Beans. Not sure why. It didn’t taste too sweet and I think it just matched my tastebuds. ≧(´▽`)≦

My geeky rating: 5/5

Good points: 

– Very friendly staff
– Nice range of bubble teas (it’s a shame they took off the Cherry Tomato Frappé)
– Love the different toppings which are very strong in flavours
– Nice to know where to find shaved ice!!

Bad points:
– Can’t think of any, but you just need to find a loo somewhere if you have drank and eaten a lot 😛 (don’t be like me)…

Address: 24 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LN
Telephone: 020 7836 6081

Website: http://www.yaoyaocha.com/ (menu just needs to be updated on the website)

Prices:
Regular bubble tea: £3.50
Large bubble tea: £4.50
Frappés: £4.00
Shaved ice: £5.00
Extra toppings: £0.50

Bamboo House Choco Mochi Bar with Milk and Peanut

Another weird Asian snack. Yes that’s right!
So what can one do with a mochi? Fill it with peanut butter and cover it with chocolate? Yes, that’s what this snack is. It’s a mochi snack from Taiwan. The Taiwanese always invent weird looking snacks! Some good, some bad…
Chocolate Mochi with milk and peanut

It has nice big packing, but then when you look inside there’s only 5 mochi bars. I thought there would be loads of mini bars in a neat looking tray like you see with Cadbury or Galaxy chocolate rolls. None of that here I’m afraid.
5 rolls in a massive box

A mini bar

When I opened the packaging there was a boring looking roll inside.

Ugly!

At the first bite it tasted a little plasticy, bleurgh, but as I started chewing I could taste the mochi and peanut butter with the chocolate blending in. It tastes a little weird altogether, mostly because of the mochi rubbery taste. The sweet peanut butter (not salty) tastes good, and the chocolate melts quite quickly in your mouth…

Looks like a sushi roll inside

But I’m afraid I will definitely not be buying these again because of the texture, however definitely try it out especially if you’re a mochi chocolate fan!!

Cost: £1.85 from See Woo Supermarket