London China Town – Outdoor Eating

Have you been to China Town recently?

I know it’s a bit too scary to actually eat out… I’m afraid too. So most of the time I buy takeaway.

Photos were taken at the end of July, but all this Geek can say is, to remember to wash your hands before and after eating, and remember to keep your distance from passerbys and the next tables.

*Now that daily cases are going up, be ABSOLUTELY CAUTIOUS!!

What did The Geek do during Lockdown?

What have I done during the lockdown? That’s the question to myself.

I’ve knitted, I’ve crocheted, I ate a lot, cooked a lot, went to work (workplace and home), tried to be flexible and traveled between work sites, invested in a lot of masks (disposable and reusable), bought a new laptop – so disappointed that I had to spend a tiny fortune, a new hand blender – needed a new one anyway, a nail cutter and various circular needles. Did my tax return from when I worked as a freelancer for a short period of time last year, watched a lot of K-drama, J-drama, variety shows and also listened to a few books on Audible……. (and now listening to Finding Freedom, which is about Harry and Meghan’s fight to freedom from Royalty. It reminds me of the book/movie: Crazy Rich Asians; it also makes me think that not everyone in this world is perfect). 

I attempted to knit socks on 2 needles but I hate sewing, so I attempted about 3 times to make socks for Baby B. I’ve now knitted/crocheted 4 scarves, 1 snood, 3 hats and 2 pairs of socks, all in four months. (Also just finished 1 pair of baby booties).

Computer breakdown. 😦

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Out with Miss Pinky during lockdown eating ramen at Koi Ramen in the new Elephant and Castle site.

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Cooked a lot… I made more than this (mostly noodles, heheheheh).

After breaking my beautiful black shot glass, I was in search of another. I didn’t the cheap ones in Poundland and most came in sets, so in the end I went to Japan Centre and bought a couple of pretty shot glasses… When I was going home, I realised that there was going to a Black Lives Matter protest in Westminster! The crowd was incredible…

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Thought I would throw in this funny street art poster which I saw on Walworth Road. I guess it’s representing the lies about coronavirus… 😦

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I also went to Miss Pinky’s and celebrated Master B’s first birthday! It happened just after lockdown was lifted. This was an amazing cake made by Miss Pinky’s sister-in-law. So tasty!

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Well, that sums up what I did during lockdown. What did you do?

Thank you to our NHS Adverts

Working in the public sector is not an easy job (have experienced it, still experiencing it, you feel like you can do more but you can’t). 

We’re seeing more digitized adverts across the UK. They’re even digitizing their thanks to the NHS! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

This advert is quite clever! Reversing NHS to SHN and hash-tagging it to “Stay Home Now”. 

Not a fan of this ad from HM Government, looks grim, too much red – maybe it’s supposed to scare people. Reminds me of the horrific cigarette packaging campaign to stop people smoking. I guess the government think using those similar colours will make people think twice. Maybe.

Let’s praise the NHS and to the people who are sticking to the social distancing rules!!!!  👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 Far too many people are still not listening … 

Just remember to keep washing those hands, stay indoors and remember to social distance yourselves…

Simple Pizza Toast

In times of being cooped up during a pandemic (of Coronavirus), it’s the best time to start learning to cook and finding out ways to use up your leftover bread, vegetables and other things that have a short shelf-life. Here’s a very, very simple recipe that you really can’t go wrong with.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Slices of leftover bread
  • 2 tablespoons of Tomato paste
  • 2 tables of Tomato ketchup
  • Olive oil
  • Cheese (mixture of mozzarella and cheddar)
  • Basil (optional)
  • Other toppings (optional)

How to make:

  1. Pre-heat oven to gas mark 7.
  2. Mix the tomato paste, ketchup, basil and a teaspoon of olive oil (basil and olive is optional here)
  3. Bring over your leftover bread and place onto a baking tray. You can add a baking sheet on top of the tray to avoid getting the cheese stuck onto the tray. Using a knife, spread the tomato sauce mix.
  4. Add cheese on top (and any other toppings you like)
  5. To get the slightly toasted cheese look, drizzle some olive oil onto each slice
  6. Stick it into the middle part of the oven and bake it for 20 minutes

         7. Once done, leave aside to cool for about 10 minutes before you devour!

And that’s how I now make my pizza toast. ^_^ Mr Games gave me this idea a few years back… We’re pizza fans!

I’m sure the Internet is filled with similar recipes as this. I also have a sweet palate, that’s why I like to add ketchup… 😋😋😋

An Empty China Town (during Coronavirus Lockdown) ~~~

Are you all at home? You better be! Keep washing those hands too!

It was my birthday a few days ago and since I’ve been working my butt off (in a stressful sector), I haven’t been able to go out as much. Thankfully I booked some leave a long time ago. So I needed to go to a Chinese bank and buy some essentials from the Chinese supermarkets… So this happened in less than two hours. Essential Travel!!!

Traveled to China Town by bus. It was completely empty with very few people walking about in Leicester Square.

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I bet those pigeons felt lonely…
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Shaftesbury Avenue was deeply quiet.
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Just walking up and down China Town felt lonely…..
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At least one restaurant was opened for takeaways…
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Poor Trafalgar Square was completely empty…
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Well, let’s keep Central London empty and quiet for a tiny bit longer.

My neighbourhood has never been so quiet for so many years! No planes flying across. No motorcyclists zooming through. And simply no arguments can be heard from anywhere – apart from inside the dreaded supermarkets!

How many more weeks of emptiness we’re going to have in the UK is unknown…

Make sure to keep your distance, wash your hands and stay at home (unless you’re going to work or in desperate needs to go to the supermarket).

The Gang of Four goes to Paris – Days 1-4

Before I start, let’s fight together and beat the new strain of Coronavirus! Wash your hands with soap and water. Use hand gel (if you have any). Stay hygienic and eat healthily. My March and May time holiday has now been suspended/cancelled so staying at home for the time being. 😭😭😭

The Gang of Four includes myself, The Geek, Miss Money, Mr Games and Mr Sensible. Our last trip was in Wales a few years back and we haven’t been away together since then. After our Christmas meal last year, we had planned our small getaway. So before the news of Covid-19 we had already booked everything… It was actually too late to cancel (and the tickets were non-refundable anyway).

Friday 14th February 2020

Yep. We went to Paris on Valentine’s Day. It was the start of the Spring half-term, and it was the only time Mr Sensible could take off (as he’s a teacher). Covid-19 was still in its early stages before it became a pandemic, so we weren’t too worried, but we was cautious at the time (we’re still are)!

We entered Calais, our French journey has begun!

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We reached the station before 6pm, and immediately went to the place we were going to stay in. We passed a lot of wedding shops before we reached our Airbnb flat. It was a cheap small flat that seemed to have been split into two.

We weren’t going to sit and rest, we had to do some exercise before dinner (Mr Sensible’s idea)!! 😦 The mini cakes below was my motivation!

Our exercise included a walk up a hill. A large hill! The Montmarte has a Roman Catholic church on top, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. It’s free to go in but there is a security guard. The area was quite full of people with many tourists and lovers.

We had dinner at Le Panorama after a bit of searching around the town. I had my usual snails which was drenched in a herb dressing plus steak and fat chips. Mr Sensible had salmon and pasta. Mr Games had a round pizza. And Miss Money decided to have a fat pizza, which had loads of ham and egg inside. Very ham-my. Mr Sensible had cheese for dessert (it looked disappointing) and I had a pie. I wished it came with ice cream! The white wine was good though…

Address: 20 Rue Gérando, 75009 Paris, France

Time to sleep… zzzzzzzz

Saturday 15th February 2020

After a restless night, couldn’t sleep well… grateful I didn’t choose the living room or the room with the window. I would have been grouchy. It was time to walk, be tourists and find breakfast.

France have a wide range of macarons!

We had breakfast at Le Studio Cafe. Unfortunately they served me the wrong coffee. Wanted something without cream. Breakfast was not great. Thumbs down!

Address: 15 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France

Time to tour around Paris…

And now up the Eiffel Tower – when I went there last with Miss Pinky in 2014, there wasn’t much security, but now there is! I decided not to walk up. I think I would have died half way up the staircase. So I waited in the queue… for almost an hour or so… The others went up the stairs. It was incredibly cold up at the top, so I wrapped up with my scarf and gloves. People would have probably thought I had Covid-19, but to be honest it was so cold, I really had to wrap up! It reminded me of going up the Empire State Building in New York. 

I decided to walk down the stairs with the gang… might as well carry on with some more exercise. 😦 Because we didn’t have lunch I think I was feeling grouchy… Sorry guys!!

That night we scoffed down a kebab dinner, and Mr Sensible had a Burger King. Hungry!!

Dinner was followed by some tourist videos of Alice in Paris.

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Exhausted! Goodnight!

Sunday 16th February 2020

Along a different street, we had breakfast at Odette and Aimé. Quality was better! Thumbs up!

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Address: 46 Rue de Maubeuge, 75009 Paris, France

After breakfast it was time to walk through some Paris arcades. They reminded me of some of the ones in London. Very beautiful! We ended up in the Royal Palace at the end of one of the arcades.

Then onto the place I’ve wanted to visit since reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code! The Louvre. Woohoo!! It was spectacular to see the glass pyramid after passing through the museum’s entrance.

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Next was another long walk to a famous Steakhouse! Le Relais de l’Entrecote. There’s no menu at this restaurant apart from the dessert menu. My god, we spent €148.30 between the four of us. Wow. It was salad with two servings of your steak and fries. That’s all they served. Well, we didn’t have to wait long, which was a good thing. Miss Money, Mr Sensible and I were quite drunk from the red wine… worth every penny!

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Address: 20 Rue Saint-Benoît, 75006 Paris, France

As drunk as we were (apart from Mr Games) we went walking around. Found desserts (Miss Money and I got one free macaron each! Hahahahahahahah!!!). We saw how bad Notré Dame became – it’s still under construcion… Then it was shopping time… I don’t think I could walk anymore. Maybe it was because we were walking too slowly.

Had a microwave dinner that night… Cheap night!

February 17th 2020

It was our final day in Paris. Three days in Paris is enough if you don’t have much to do. 

Garé de Nord has luggage lockers, so we placed our stuff inside a large locker – make sure you have some coins!!

We then found a really nice place for breakfast which wasn’t too far from the station. Unfortunately it was near 11am, and I think they just ran out of breakfast items… It was the best out the three places we went to!

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Then another long walk around…

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Tea break at Cafés Richard…

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And then an American lunch… service was incredibly slow…

Finally home time! SNCF offer short stories at a touch of a button in English and French… Mr Sensible, for some reason had the longest story ever! And I got two traditional stories. ¬_¬”

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We separated at different stops on the London underground… tired!!

End of our Paris trip – until next time!! (Hopefully they’ll forget about having to climb up a mountain if we ever go on another trip together… LOL)!

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Unfortunately, I won’t be travelling for a while, hopefully Covid-19 will end sometime in the middle of the year!

Keep safe as always!! Remember to wash your hands!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moxie’s Fish Bar – London, West Hampstead

Last week I met up with Mr YellowCloak and Ms LüFù and another friend who I haven’t named, but will call him Mr Czech as he’s from the Czech Republic. We were supposed to have a lovely dinner at The Czech Club in West Hampstead, but unfortunately a new owner took over and changed the extensive menu to a new smaller menu and also changed the name to Bohemia House and so that ingredients were fresher. How unfortunate. I was looking forward to having the battered cauliflower. 😣 Ms LüFù who’s dined there for 25 years was the most disappointed… Hopefully the menu will be changed again to our favourites.

So in the end we took a walk up the other end of the high street to find food, but we ended going backwards to Moxie’s Fish Bar which is a few doors away from The Czech Club.

It took us a while to decide and order our food. A pie or fish? What sides? A restaurant I’ve not been to kills me coz I haven’t looked at the menu beforehand. 😆

Ms LüFù ordered a beetroot salad and chips.

Mr Czech had a grilled fish bap (sandwich).

Mr YellowCloak ordered the “Mothership” with the Moo pie.

And I had the Moo and Blue pie with coleslaw and chips, and a ginger beer. My dinner cost £12 something with the drink. Not a disappointing meal. Lots of chips. The pie tasted of mixed stilton cheese and beef. I think I love stilton cheese too much. There was a lot of coleslaw but I mixed that with the remaining chips.

A worthy place to eat if you’re disappointed to see the change in the old Czech Club’s menu. All my friends seemed to enjoy their meals… we even sat and talked a lot about Brexit. Again! The British Government better give us a mighty deal, otherwise I’ll kick their f****** backsides!!

My geeky rating: 4.7/5

Good points: 

  • Cheap and cheerful

Bad points:

  • No toilet

Address: 96 West End Ln, West Hampstead, London NW6 9LU

Website: https://www.moxiesfishbar.com/

Doughnut Time – London, Borough High Street

Happy New Year, Happy Lunar New Year too!

I’ve been trying to find a better way of blogging, as in blogging on the go, but I also needed to find a way of bulk watermarking photos on the go too. Thankfully I found an Android app called “Add Watermark”, and so far it looks good!

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Have you had a very expensive doughnut (donut for the Americans and Canadians) before? Nope neither have I, until a week ago when I was sent to a workshop/meeting during lunchtime around the Borough/London Bridge area.

After the workshop/meeting, I needed a bit of lunch, so I had chicken katsu curry in Wasabi… Afterwards I started heading back to the offices of where my colleagues sit, but ended entering Doughnut Time. 🤣

The first doughnut 🍩 I chose was the Hans Rolo (named after Hans Solo from Star Wars – haven’t watched the last film yet, so shush). It’s a massive doughnut. It will take you a lot of bites to get through this. The Rolos were a bit hard, so I think these were refrigerated beforehand. I wished there had been a custard filling inside. It would’ve tasted better.Next up is the PB and J-Lo (peanut butter and jello). Typical American style. This doughnut was supposed to be for Mr Bear or myself if he didn’t accept it. Well, unfortunately, Mr Bear is on another diet AND his (and mine) colleagues banned him from eating sugary foods (although he ate a load of cupcakes and chocolate pretzels 🤣). The peanut butter was smooth and the jam was sweet, but it felt like a rough ride between the two flavours that was separate by the bread doughnut. Such a shame.

Total price came to £9.00. That’s right, 9 frigging pounds! It was worth trying out and this place would definitely break my bank balance if I went there daily. So only try the doughnuts one at a time peeps!

My geeky rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Good points:

  • Big massive doughnuts!

Bad points:

  • Expensive

Address: 55 Borough High St, London SE1 1NE

Website: doughnuttime.co.uk

Abeno – Christmas Special 2019

Sorry peeps. One more Christmas post just before the year ends. I actually haven’t had the time this year to view any Christmas adverts.

This year as you know has been a bit wild and hectic, continuous Brexit fears, a pointless General Election, people go on protests and riots around the world, and me just being all over the place (I really needed all those breaks). Anyway, due to all those hectic things in life, I didn’t have a chance to go to any work parties this year. (More like I wasn’t invited to most of them, and there were a couple I just couldn’t go to but one of them got cancelled anyway). Boohoo.

So this year, I’ve ended up having my X’mas Dinner with the old gang of four. Miss Money, Mr Games and Mr Sensible. It was actually being with these three people than my gossipy work colleagues. Hahahahah!

I decided to have the Christmas-yaki since I wouldn’t be eating any other Christmas dinners. The Christmas-yaki consisted of turkey, stilton cheese, topped with brussel sprouts, cranberries and chestnuts. Interesting combo. I was quite hungry, as I kept eyeing it being made in front of me… Mr Games was probably smirking at me in the background because I wasn’t listening to him. Hah!

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It had quite a savoury taste. Not sure about adding the cranberry sauce was going to make it great. But the okonomiyaki sauce sauce did it’s job to make it taste good.

Here’s all four of our okonomiyakis! Mr Sensible had his cooked elsewhere due to prawn allergies. Silly Miss Money ordered an okonomyaki with prawns…
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Here’s again to another year of surprises, travelling and Brexit. Boooooo!!

Happy New Year Geeks!!! ^_^

Monga 艋舺雞排 – Taiwanese Fried Chicken – London, China Town

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about a new restaurant in China Town. I feel as if I’m making a new comeback after starting my new new job. ✌️

Monga 艋舺雞排 is a chain brand, not sure where the original store came from, but from searching online there’s a store in Canada and another in Malaysia. 艋舺雞排 (Canto: maang gap gai pai; Mando: měng iá jī pái) literally means “small boat chicken breast/ribs”. Monga, according the website is also a place in Taiwan. Interesting. Honestly, not sure how they came up with the name.

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As you enter, it actually feels like a takeaway store. I think they have an upstairs seating (I hadn’t asked) because you can eat in.DSC_4088DSC_4089DSC_4090

Anyway, it took a little long for my order and the queue already started building up as I was waiting. Wow!

I ordered the Chee-Z Signature, which is a chicken breast, (not flattened) topped with mozzarella cheese and ketchup or a spicy sauce. I chose the spicy sauce, but it didn’t taste spicy enough to me. Basically it wasn’t mega, spicy hot. As I started eating it, I realised how big this piece of chicken breast is! It felt like it was never-ending. The crispiness of the chicken was still there, and the cheese was overwhelming. Wow. Until I got to the end where I was met with a piece of bone. Just eating one of these will fill you up for the rest of the evening. DSC_4091DSC_4094DSC_4095

On top of the above I also ordered the Taiwanese Style Popcorn Chicken. Gosh. I think they were marinate in some sweet soy sauce. The coating was incredibly crunchy. I had o save some of these for later… Too full!
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And finally the last item were the Sweet Potato Chips… Woooow! I could eat these forever. The batter just made it hold all the flavourings of the sweet potato.

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Fully stuffed. I think I need to go again and try something else. I think any fried chicken lovers need to try this place out.

My geeky rating (haven’t done this for a while!): 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Good points:

  • The chicken keeps warm and the crunchiness is still there even when you buy take out
  • Polite service

Bad points:

  • A bit of a long wait
  • A tiny bit on the expensive side (but well worth it)

Address: 12 Macclesfield St, London W1D 5BP

Tel: 0208 617 1870

Website: https://mongauk.com/