Breakfast at Aqua – The Shard

It’s the summer bank holiday. It’s raining and the only good thing about today was I got to eat a posh breakfast at Aqua Shard with Miss Posh who says this place is her “local pub”. Joker! ¬.¬” Well she’s called Miss Posh for a reason on this blog!
A table was booked for 9.30 am. I was dead on time, but I don’t think that was early enough for Miss Posh as we wouldn’t be able to get a window seat she says… We got a window seat. 😛

We caught up with gossip for a little bit, ordered our morning drinks and was deciding what to eat all at the same time.
We had placed our order for two Shard Full Breakfast’s… and it took a long time to get to our tables… quite a long time. So we ate the danish pastries, kept on talking and watching London go all grey with the lovely rain spilling over the city. It reminded me of going up the Empire State Building in the rain. ^_^
The danishes tasted ok, a bit crusty so you may experience a lot of flakes coming off… Hmmmm.

Rainy London!
Apparently they usually do re-fills for the orange juice but maybe because it was a bank holiday this didn’t happen… Don’t know…
Orange juice (tasted sour) and my sweet apple juice

Flat white coffee
Finally the breakfast arrived. 
Shard Full Breakfast… as it appeared

Miss Posh said we needed to move the items around to make the plate look a little colourful. Hahah.

Miss Posh’s plate

My plate
As I started eating I felt full after a few bites. Blimey. What do they put in the food? How can this plate of food make me so full already! Miss Posh gave me her black pudding and I gave her a piece of bacon. Swap! Black pudding was nice, better than what I’ve had before, beans looked different, they weren’t too sweet but tasted good. Sausage, mushrooms, bacon, half tomato and spinach all tasted good and was well seasoned. One of my poached eggs was slightly overcooked but I was ok with it.
Brekkie time!
Managed to eat all of it, but the bread was really dry so I left the crusty bits.
This is the bar part…
Total cost came to £65.25. Yeesh. Expensive for breakfast, but as Miss Posh and I see it, we’re paying for the view…>_<""
My geeky rating: 4.5/5
Good points:
– Nice view
– Breakfast is good
– Service is ok… 
Bad points:
– Expensive (but worth it for the rainy view)
– Can be a long wait for the breakfast
Address: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
Telephone: 020 3011 1256

Miss Pinky’s Baby Shower!!

Gone blank with the blogging lately – I’m hoping September will become lively.
But before September comes, it’s baby shower time. For some reason none of my friends invite me to their baby showers (or I don’t organise any)… I wonder why. ¬,¬” I have a lot of friends who have had babies… maybe they think I’m cheap (that’s what Miss Pinky thinks :p).
Just before the baby shower, I managed to finish two cardigans using the Knitty Gritty book and learnt how to crochet a heart and star via YouTube videos. The power of video learning. Phew.  Hard work in about 6 weeks.
Baby cardigan for 3-6 months

 This one is to help Mr Picky cope with the fact that it’s a girl coming out! ^_^

Same design as the one about but with pink fringles

 Learnt crochet within one week and managed to make these ^_^.

Here’s a few pictures from the baby shower… didn’t know you had to play games and eat baby food. Ugh baby food is actually very disgusting. bland, tasteless, I feel sorry for babies having to eat that stuff. >_<"

Don’t like baby food!!

Well the wait for Missy Baby B begins!

Seoul Bakery/Cafe is Back!! – London Great Russell Street

Oh yes! Seoul Bakery/Cafe is back! But will they be changing their name to something different?
Yesterday was their grand opening and I absolutely wanted to join in and re-see happy faces eating Korean food in this tiny cafe. I walked past the cafe twice as there was no sign on top of the shop (which I think will be up soon). I practically walked up to the British Museum! ¬_¬”
Well I crossed over the road, counted the door numbers and found number 14 Great Russell Street. It looks small inside and only seating up to 15 people, whereas in the old cafe there were only seats up to 13 people. 2 extra seats is good enough!

The place looks similar to the previous one but of course with bare walls. So the first thing I did was write on the wall!! Whoopee. I can’t do this stuff at home or work so at least I had the freedom to write on someone else’s wall. ^_^ 
This is what I had… menu is practically the same. They had no cold noodles so I had to order something different.

I had iced coffee… and for some reason this tasted good, better than the last time I had it!
Pancakes came out first… I actually ordered one with cheese on top, so I think this was someone else’s… Indeed I had someone else’s pancakes and took the other one home as takeaway. 😛 Pancakes are of same consistency.
So instead of cold noodles, I had the beef thin noodles. With yesterday’s heat I think I could handle this as this wasn’t spicy… It was hot… the soup was good, clear and just had the right flavour. 🙂 … You know what, I want these metal bowls for cooking… where can I find them?

Total cost came to £24.15, the waiter took off £1 but I thought there was no need so I added an extra pound to cover costs… service was a bit slow but that didn’t really matter. As long as I got my food!!
Not bothering to add good and bad points or geeky rates as you know this place is a great for the Korean fans!! ^_^
p.s. It’s cash only 

Macbeth in Cantonese @ Shakespeare’s Globe

Wow-wee!! Woohoo!! The Tang Shu-Wing (鄧樹榮) Theatre group are back in London!
After seeing these group of actors perform Titus Andronicus a few years back and have never seen being performed in English I thought I should come again and watch the opening of the Cantonese version of Macbeth.
I’m a big fan of this play and watching this in Cantonese was going to be a challenge because of the context and translation. So lucky I’ve already read the play, studied it in secondary school and watched it in English a few years back!
The stage before the opening
I found the play in Cantonese very challenging. Most of the dialogue was in old Cantonese, philosophical style and would require lots of knowledge but it was easy to follow (if you know the play well… and also read the side screens explaining each part of the play). Many people left in between the play – probably totally lost in translation!! I was quite surprised that men were playing the three witches, but that was mostly common back in the 1600’s for men to play the women parts. Heheheh. 
Macbeth in Cantonese could easily pass as a TV period drama or a film as most of the cast wore old style Chinese clothing. 
The cast

It was wonderful to see how much dialogue they had and I think it must of been hard for them to memorise it all. 

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth taking a bow
So well done to the Tang Shu-Wing Theatre group! Hope to see another Shakespeare play from them soon – with lots of complex dialogue >.<".
There are still two more shows, so if you want to see it… book it now.

Wimbledon Stadium Dog Racing – a fun night out ^_^

August is the time when I slow down with blogging. Everyone just goes on holiday, but fortunately some don’t. ^_^
It was Mr Picky’s Birthday a week ago and had invited a bunch of us to go to Wimbledon Stadium to watch some dog racing (tickets purchased via Groupon, so I don’t know how much the tickets were). Some of us went via Waterloo to Wimbledon Station, then we had to take a bus 493 which is located on Alexandra Road, (turn right from the station, turn right from HSBC and cross the road). 
We got off a few stops early… Mr Picky wanted to smoke. ¬,¬”” (a habit that will stop – hopefully).
Well, we got there – late (Mr Picky was aiming for 5pm… Miss Pinky was a little peed off with him as we got there after 6pm, heheh), got our free drink and then I got a burger later in the evening…
I never knew these friends of mine liked to gamble… I always thought it was the older generation (my parent’s generation). Well, I guess in life we’re all gamblers!!

I did make a few bets, won twice but lost a few. Didn’t win a lot. £7 in total. >_<" Better than nothing I suppose.

It was a good night out (yesterday)! I would love to go to a horse race one day… get the adrenaline pumping!!

DC Superheroes Origami Book Review

Once summer is out I become a lazy blogger ¬,¬”” … 
Wow. This is the first time I’ve done a book review on origami. Not just any origami book but a DC Super Heroes origami book by John Montroll under the company Curious Fox. (^_^)v
Got the book in the post. It’s quite a big book with 46 DC comic designs, 256 pages plus an extra 96 sheets of illustrated origami paper at the back. John Montroll is a famous American origamist who has published more than 40 books around the world. He’s pretty famous for his single square usage, folds and making sure there’s no cuts or glue used in his designs. Phew. All the illustrations are by Min Sung Ku who is as American illustrator.
DC Superheroes Origami by John Montroll

Back of the book
There are four collections of models in this book.
Contents page
I flicked through the book and some of the designs looked quite hard. So I tried a few of the easy ones…Make sure you tear the paper out carefully as the paper is light and it can easily rip.

Each design has a little background history of the character, symbol or weapon.

The paper is at the back. I could admire the designs all day long!

Some of the designs in the book.

The levels are starred to indicate difficulty level.

Daily Planet Building – this was easy but then I had to do some squash folds at the top which I couldn’t do properly.

Wonder Woman’s Tiara – this was definitely easy!!
Green Lantern symbol was easy but I believe I used the wrong side of the paper. ¬_¬””
Storm is Aquaman’s seahorse. I think I did this correctly but then I got to the tail and thought I was using the wrong side of the paper… The head was difficult to fold.
Then I tried a difficult three star fold – Robin, Batman’s sidekick. This was too hard for me. 😦 I got lost after fold 12 and 13. I think I need Mr Montroll to come and teach me. >_< Heheh.

Unable to finish Robin
Will try more of the difficult designs later.
Good points:
– Something to do when you’re bored
– Some fun designs and models
Bad points:
– Where do you buy the paper in case you want to make more?
– The difficult models are for the expert origamists
Release date: September 10th 2015
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 9781782021582 
Publisher: Curious Fox
Have fun folding!! ^_^

Simple Cantonese Roast Duck – DaddyChef’s recipe

I did say I was doing more cooking this year! Hopefully I can come up with more recipes. Heheh.

I’ve mentioned in the past that my father DaddyChef is an ex-Cantonese chef, has worked in many restaurants and was once a head chef – Gordon Ramsey style (as in lots of swearing and volcano eruptions in the kitchen – I heard this from MummyGeek). Back in his days I think Gordon Ramsey style was an in thing for chefs. ¬,¬” Thankfully I have never seen him in a restaurant’s kitchen, otherwise I think I would have keeled over by now. Heheh.

Well one recipe which DaddyChef has taught MummyGeek is how to roast a duck. Cantonese Hong Kong style. And I’ve loved this recipe since I was very small. 
With permission from my parents (as this recipe is quite popular – but not the exact same ingredients are used throughout) I’m posting this version on my blog. I wonder if DaddyChef had any disciples that know this version…
– Small to medium sized duck (if frozen, defrost this overnight). We used a large duck here and a couple of smaller ones later.

Stuffing Ingredients:
– 3-4 Crushed Star aniseed (you can use the powder version if you can’t find this OR use hoisin sauce OR charsiu sauce)
– 2-3 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spices
– Garlic (1 teaspoon) dried or fresh
– 2-3 Spring onions chopped
– 1 small chunk of Ginger chopped
– 2-3 tablespoons of salt (use less salt for a smaller duck)
– Half a mug of White wine vinegar or any type of vinegar can be used
– 2 heaped spoons of Maltose (if you can’t get this use Golden Syrup as suggested by my parents)
– Water
– Metal (or wooden) skewers 
– Metal hanger – you can find in cooking shops or make your own using metal coat hangers

So the recipe is in photo order. Good luck.

1. Gather the ingredients, duck and utensils… salt is not in this picture

2. Add the garlic and crushed star aniseed

3. Then add the chopped ginger and spring onions. We used a blender to chop everything. Easiest way!

4. Add the five spices.

5. And finally the salt. Mixed these ingredients well with a spoon.

6. If you have bought your duck whole and frozen you may get a duck with its head still attached! Yeek. If you don’t want to roast the duck head, then I suggest you chop it off. Disgusting to do I know.
Take the duck out of its packing. Start washing the duck in cold water.

7. From the bottom end, there is hole where they have gutted the duck and may have left the kidneys and stuff inside a plastic bag – if you see this, take the bag out and discard.

8. Keep washing the duck. Now take the wings and make them into folded arms on the back (not the breast side – this is the meaty part)

9. If you have chopped off the neck or if there is an opening on the head side use a skewer and sew the skin and meat together… so prick, twist the skin and meat over the skewer and then prick again. Repeat until the opening is completely sealed.

10. At the bottom end, add the stuffing. You may use your hand or a spoon and spread the stuffing around the inside.

11. Then again as with the neck, seal the bottom with a skewer.

Ta da! Isn’t my mum cool!

12. Heat a wok or a massive pan and add water. Boil the water.

 13. Add the duck into the wok and start bathing it! Yes, give it a bath!!

14. Add the vinegar into the water.

15. Then add the maltose into the water. This sugary syrup is really tough! So put some strength into it to get load out. >.<""

16. Make sure you coat both sides of the duck with the water – do this for about 10 minutes. This gives the skin a crispy sweet coating at the end of roasting. ^_^

17. DaddyChef made these metal hooks using metal hangers. So cool! And inexpensive!
Put the metal hangers underneath the duck wings.

18. Now hang to dry – add newspaper on the floor in case it falls or lots of fluids come off. If you are doing this at night, let it dry overnight. If from morning, then a good 5 to 8 hours is recommended depending on the size of the duck.

19. After a long time of drying place the duck on a baking tray with a rack on top so that the juices can drip into the tray.

Here’s some extra duck legs we bought…

20. Preheat your oven to gas mark 8 or 9 – depending on what type of oven you have really. Highest heat gives the best result. It is recommended that you have a gas oven to roast this.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the duck.

21. Now take out the duck and turn the tray over to roast on the other side. Roast again for 20-25 minutes.

22. Take the duck out again and now turn over to roast the back of the duck. Repeat roasting as above (steps 20 and 21).

23. Now it’s night time…
Completely remove the duck and leave to cool before eating!! Remove the metal skewers before chopping up. ^_^

Forgot to turnover the duck legs… but tasted ok.

And here’s another smaller two ducks that we bought from ASDA… but were kind of rubbish because they chopped of the legs and so it was harder to seal one end – improvising was needed here using several metal skewers and string.

Now it’s your turn!! Roast that duck away. Yum yum!!

Happy geeky cooking!! … if you still get stuck cooking this then I suggest you have a look on YouTube for some tips. 

Shibuya Soho – London Shaftesbury Avenue

There’s nothing like trying out a new restaurant in China Town especially when it’s Japanese style.
This cute little restaurant along Shaftesbury Avenue called Shibuya Soho is like one of those cafe places you see in Japanese or Korean dramas (I think this place is Korean owned by the way with some Japanese and Korean employees). They make both main foods and desserts but is probably going to be a popular place for dessert.

I had a little think of what to eat and decided on the chicken katsu curry which is named differently and a few other items… I was hungry as usual and only had breakfast that day. 😛

So here’s what I had…

Yasai juice (vegetable juice). Definitely tasted of vegetables.

My chicken katsu curry which was around £9 something came with miso soup and some extra vegetables and chicken – not seen a Japanese joint do that before! The curry was good, sauce was not too thick and the chicken katsu was cooked nicely. Definitely not like boring Wagamama’s!

I’ve always wanted to try out chawanmushi which is steamed egg in a cup with a few different sauces and some extra ingredients like chicken and prawns are added inside.

It was hot, steaming hot. But it tasted like the Chinese version. MummyGeek makes steamed egg with meat a lot for me – when I ask for it really. This was ok. Not the best steamed egg I have ever tasted but good enough. I thought it would taste sweet but it didn’t.
Fish cake and pickle on top of the chawanmushi

Chicken and prawn inside the chawanmushi
And finally I had this matcha sundae which consisted of coffee jelly, cream, granuola, doriyaki, matcha green tea ice cream and sweet azuki beans… Gosh it was delicious! I could eat more of these. This cost around £5-6.
Matcha Sundae

Total cost came to £24.15. I think this may have included service charge but not sure.

My geeky rating: 5/5 … just so filling and dessert was good

Good points:
– Serves sushi, hot foods, appetisers and desserts!
– Cute cafe shop

Bad points:
– A little bit pricey

Address: 110 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5EH

Update 28/10/2015… here’s some extra photos…
It seems the bing desserts which people are saying is a Korean dessert rather than Japanese is very popular in this place, so I tried out the regular sized Strawberry Bing for £5.90. The flakes are made out of milk rather than iced water. It’s served with lots of strawberries which were a bit sour and there’s a tiny pot of condensed milk. These desserts are actually popular all over Asia in varied forms. In Japan they call this kakigori. 
I also had an Americano just to make sure I don’t freeze from the dessert. Total came to £9.20.
Below the café is a hidden sushi bar… and by the way the toilet for the ladies is really, really cramp. I suggest you lock the main door when going!!