Coq d’Argent – French Restaurant – London, Bank

SURPRISE to my Australian colleague who will be leaving at the end of the year!
It’s 6 weeks (now 4… actually his contract ended, I hope he doesn’t work for free for the rest of the time he’s here) before he returns, but before that, some colleagues decided to throw a surprise dinner for him.

Was my Ozzie friend surprised? Yes he was! LOL. Trying to keep a secret from him was almost easy… Was actually looking at the menu at work when suddenly he burst into my office (I’m not going to miss that!).

I’m not sure how his friends chose this restaurant (although I think he would have liked a less fancy one… well I would have chosen a less fancy for him 😝), but we ended up going to a poshy restaurant – I’m sure Miss Posh, who’s still out there in the southern part of England freezing herself, would have been jealous… First off was the outdoor bar, where there were too many heaters, we were practically sunbathing in the cold. 😑 Drinks are fairly expensive… so choose a little wisely…

After surprising our Ozzie friend – he kind of high fived me because he was so ecstatically happy! 😅
We went to our tables quite late… and we also ended up looking at a completely different menu that was given to us!

Ended up sharing a bottle of red wine (I actually wanted the glass of wine that would have suit the dinner I was going to have … 😞). But this was ok! Not really a wine drinker anyway.

First came out were the starters. I had this Tortellini a la truffle… Wow… If this was a main menu with that green sauce I would have been absolutely thrilled. I wish I had some more bread to scrape it all off. 😅 Now I know what truffle really tastes like. I’ve had truffle before but as truffle dust or stuffed into something. There was a light mushroom taste to it. Exquisite.

The other starters… Crabe (crab salad and Melba toast).

Saumon fumé… basically smoked salmon with Melba toast and something else.

Right. So in the beginning of this surprise party I was going to go all pescatarian… But in the end I became a carnivore. Food chains matter in this case. 😅 I ended up choosing the Chevreuill… haunch of wild roe deer… 😑… it was either this, rabbit, fish or go vegetarian… Hmm. 
The slivers of deer meat tasted different to other meats. Smooth, chewy, almost like the texture of smoked salmon or fresh raw squid. Wonder if this will be the last time I’ll eat deer. Anyway this was a nice combo. Sauce and veggies were nice too.

Other menus, Cuisse de lapin, the rabbit leg dish… Unfortunately the person eating this couldn’t eat after 10pm…no appetite… so it was practically untouched. 😦
Dessert time! Ananas et passion, pineapples, passion fruit and mango ice cream.

Fondant au chocolat… with pistachio ice cream.

And for some reason I was given 5 of the same macarons when the menu said 6 flavoured macarons. I thought there would be at least 3 or 6 different flavours. How disappointing… I gave the last one to one of my ex-colleagues. Seemed like he was still hungry. 😆

I have no idea of what the total price came to… There were 19 of us… So predicting at least £1500-2000 😲 … well I can’t complain. My Ozzie friend paid for my side of the bill… Ah man! I did try and get it back it from him, and I wasn’t even allowed to take a peek of my bill… Predicting around £60-70 for what I had.
By the way, most of these colleagues of mine are on the high earning side… I’m a mere admin person who seems to like the high end stuff once in a while… ^_^
My geeky rating: 4.5/5 😑 (The Ozzie gave a 4/5 rating… I tried to explain I did some “Internet thing” – as he doesn’t know I blog! 😉 … he thought I gave ratings via Trip Advisor… 😅… Food was great but service was bleurgh).
Good points:
– Love my starters
– Reception and bar staff were great and accomodating
– Food was great
Bad points:
– Waiting staff were a bit on the harsh side (might be because of the French snobbery thing… guess I’m used to it)
– Disappointed I only had 5 macarons and for it to be only one flavour was ridiculous 

Address: 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ

Tel: 020 7395 5000

The Laughing Cow – Apericube Sucré / Salé Cheese

One of the most intriguing food items I bought in France were these Laughing Cow cubes of cheese made into different flavours. I thought the Japanese were weird with their food flavours, but the French as well!
I came across these and thought of Baby B, as Miss Pinky said I needed to buy cheese for my goddaughter. ¬_¬”” OK. French cheese it is then.
I bought a pack for myself to try out. It says it’s “sugary (and) salty” at the front – sucré / salé. Flavours are chevre and miel (goat and honey), figues and noix (figs and walnuts), emmental and raisin (no need to translate)  and bleu and noix (blue cheese and walnuts).

Realise this picture is upside down. Hahahahah. But you get the gist of what’s inside the packet.

I tried a piece of all flavours. Erm. Not my favourite flavours for a soft cheese. I think I liked the blue cheese and walnuts… and the only one that made sense in terms of flavours was the emmental and raisin. 

Hmmmm intriguing indeed. Probably wouldn’t buy these for myself, but would recommend to add them onto crackers for taste I guess.

Mr Picky’s mother liked them, and I think Baby B liked them too… Strange tastebuds the French have!

Brighton Day Out in March

It’s been more than a year since I’ve met up with Miss Rock (I hope you all still remember her). We last met in 2014!!!! OMG. And our last trip was to Oxford. ¬_¬”” I didn’t realise it was that long. Our schedules are definitely not in sync, apart from that we’re both Aries and Chinese, and both of us have been brought up in London. ^_^
Anyone from London (well most Londoners) would have gone to Brighton at least once in their lives. Miss Rock picked a few places to go to but we ended up in Brighton. I haven’t been for a while, 4 or 5 years maybe… Before I started this blog. And Miss Rock hadn’t been since she was young. I chose to go in March because I thought it would be slightly warmer (wrong!).

So we met up at London Bridge, it was a shock to see her look so young but also wear glasses! Yay! Kept telling her to wear glasses for the sake of vision. 🙂
Miss Rock and I caught up on the train… it was surprisingly an empty carriage on a Saturday, after 10 am… Hmmmm. I can’t remember what time we got to Brighton though. ¬_¬””

First thing was to head to the rocky beach. Watch the sea. The English Channel to be exact. (>_<)"

We did a bit of walking, it was quite chilly that day… thought it would be slightly warmer in March (well warmer than January and Feburary, it was surprisingly warmer on my birthday weekend). It’s actually quite hard to walk on a stony beach, the best thing is to wear comfortable walking shoes on such beaches… :p

We ended up on Brighton Pier…

Then of course it was lunch time!!! It’s always hard to decide what to eat when I’m with Miss Rock, maybe because I’m the fussy eater, and I like to eat anything really. Anyway… I saw Café Rouge (English translation: Red Cafe… LOL!)! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to eat in Café Rouge. My brain said go and try it. 
The waiter came and took our orders, and I couldn’t understand his accent when he said if we would like bread… 
I didn’t realise that it was a real French restaurant. ¬_¬”” OoooOoOoOoOooo… I had the Marseille Mule (coz I’m going to Marseille soon 🙂 ). A very odd drink but tasted ok (I actually can’t remember what the taste was like).

I ordered the l’escargot starter… Miss Rock skipped… They were de-shelled so no burning my fingers with their hot shells. I think there were mushrooms added. Slightly salty taste but I enjoyed it.

Miss Rock had the burger and chips. She enjoyed it. ^_^

I also had the boeuf bourguinon, I can’t pronounce bourguinon, how embarrassing. But this tasted awesome. I could taste the red wine, beef was very tender, mashed potatoes and veggies went well with the beef stew. I could’ve have had more. 

Forgot to take note of the total cost. But I think it was around £40ish… Might be wrong.

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Good points:
– Ok service (although I couldn’t understand the waiter’s accent – sorry)
– Food was delicious

Bad points:
– Small portion size
– Expensive

Address: 24 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HF
Telephone: 01273 774422After food, we did a bit more walking…

Then back for a bit more food! Dessert!! Brighton has a Dum Dum Donutterie, but they ran out of cronuts when we got there. 😦 Had to settle for a normal donut and a flat white coffee.

Miss Rock is really brave. She can eat ice cream at any time of the year. I think I can only eat ice cream in cold weather if I was in a hot restaurant or had lots of spicy food. 

After this short break it was time for another walk…

We started a very long walk from the main town centre across to the west side… I think if we walked anymore further west, we could have ended up in Portsmouth… ¬_¬”” Not really, that would have taken us hours if we did an endless walk. 

It was time to go home, we took a train after 5 pm. At least we didn’t sit down at the station, as the train’s platform was showing a few minutes later from when we got to there. Phew.
Very tiring day, train was very packed. Had to start talking quietly, and try not to fall asleep. -__- zzzz
Thanks to Miss Rock for suggesting we go to Brighton.
I hope we go up north next time!! ^_^ Miss Rock, we need to go up nooooorth!!! 

Wagamama and PAUL Bakery – London Covent Garden

It’s been a long time since I’ve been out and about eating out, the last time was at the Czech Club. Everybody seems busy, but I have this feeling it’s going to be a busy Christmas affair this year! I’ve already had Miss Pinky, who I shall convert to calling Miss Picky if she doesn’t stop being so picky, being demanding of my time… And also Miss Posh (who I went out with to Burger and Lobster last year) is being demanding of my time too!!! Arrrgh! Anyway…
Yesterday I went out with Mr Games and Mr Sensible. Both had operations last year and they were celebrating their survival. Lol!! It was very short notice so I was the only one who ended up going out with the two. ^_^
We first went to Wagamama in Covent Garden. I always pass it, and I never go in. I think this is the fifth Wagamama I have visited in my whole entire eating life. Since I’ve already written about Wagamama before, I’ll go straight to the food.
Mr Games and Mr Sensible both had the chicken katsu curry. It seems nearly the whole restaurant was ordering the curry that night. But lots of kids were eating the noodles. Mr Games also had some extra pickle (I think it’s called fukujinzuke) but I think I lost the picture on my phone…
Wagamama’s Chicken Katsu Curry

Whilst the two boys dug at their food I had to wait for mine… It seemed like forever, and I was actually a little hungry that night! I had the NEW grilled duck ramen (I obviously checked out the menu before I came). I was quite happy that I ordered this dish although it arrived warm and not steaming hot as it was probably sitting by the kitchen for 5 minutes. 😦 You know what, they should get themselves a tiny bell like those big and some small restaurants have to indicate when food is ready!! Enough complaining!!

Wagamama’s Grilled Duck Ramen

Small bowel of kimchi fo £1

The duck was well seasoned, it was succulent and easy to bite into. It had a little fat on the skin, but I didn’t mind that. The noodles were ok… nothing much to say about that. The soup was so so. I thought it needed some extra kick in it, maybe a little more stock to coincide with the duck, but it was a little spicy as there were chillies in the soup. They added way too much coriander in the dish too… I don’t think this dish is supposed to be Vietnamese, or is it? The dish cost £12.95…

Total price came to over £37 including our drinks.

On this visit, my geeky rating: 3/5
Address: 1 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PG
Telephone: 0207 836 3330
So the night was too early to end without a dessert. We were all still hungry. Mr Sensible mentioned that we should have had some sides at Wagamama… I agree there! We passed the centre of Covent Garden where they were holding a mini concert, the lights were up and the Christmas tree looked wonky from where were standing (Mr Games pointed that out!). Hahahaha!!
The lights in Covent Garden 2013

Tree was a bit wonky

Marching band getting ready to play

We were deciding between Patesserie Valerie and other dessert stores…
Didn’t enter Patisserie Valerie… Limited desserts available

And we ended up in PAUL Bakery. This is one of my favourite French bakery stores in the entire world! Mr Travels used to treat me to cakes from there… And every time I pass any Paul Bakery, I have wanted to stop, eat and enjoy a nice cakey dessert but never did… ^_^

PAUL Boulangerie / Patisserie (bakery)

Inside the shop

Our purchases

We were all deciding, and I knew I wanted a cake… Mr Games was paying too!! 😀 This is what he had…

Mr Sensible had this giant green macaroon. I’ve never tasted macaroon, but I got a bite of this. It’s really sweet. I have no idea why I’ve never tried it before! I think I will buy some from somewhere in the future.
Massive macaroon!

Mr Games wanted an eclair, so he chose this almond eclair (Éclair Paris Brest)… I only tasted the almond as he said it tastes like Ferrero Rocher… Yep it did!

Éclair Paris Brest

And of course I was the greedy one. I asked for two desserts but the person gave me one… and then I asked for the other one which I paid for… The person gave me this fig custard tart (Figue Tartlette) first, but I ate this last. Figs were nice, the custard was set and the crust reminded of a thick apple pie crust. Very nice stuff! ^_^

Figue Tartlette

If I ever get married or have a birthday at PAUL Bakery or if anyone wants to treat me I’m going to order big slices of this cake… Le Fraisier… This is the ultimate light fluffy cake with strawberries and cream with a green marzipan icing that tasted a bit like kiwi… I was in dreamland with this cake… (っ˘ڡ˘ς)

Le Fraisier – £3.50

We were all so full. My stomach was satisfied!

Don’t know how much all the desserts were but the Le Fraisier was £3.50.

My geeky rating: 5/5… 100%… that’s how much I love this bakery!! ^_^ (So biased I know!)

Good points:

– Tasty, tasty desserts

– I just want more cake!!

Bad points:

– None from me!!

Address: 29 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9ED
Telephone: 020 7836 5321 / 020 7836 3304