Wednesday, 14 November 2007

New York, New York...

I return from the US having eaten most of the delectations that we hear about only in books over here. Admittedly some were in places of dubious repute, but try this on for size:

Wednesday

Egg soda (some touristy place where we also got a "parfait" cake with cream and fruit and some waffles) (This is a pic of my sister)

Chicken udon (Japanese)



Thursday

Corn muffins (dry things with sweetcorn in but with crispy top) (au bon pain)

Cinnamon bun (cold the gits)

Cosi's flatbread sandwich with pork and brie

Bubba Gumps stuffed shrimp (weird that what they stuff it is is so rich - crab, and that it is less stuffed, more balls placed on top of flayed shrimp)


Friday

  • Pax breakfast wrap
  • Beef and Sesame chinese in Chinatown
  • Magnolia cupcakes (only the red velvet one was wow enough for the trip)
  • Japanese sushi for dinner

Saturday

  • Cafe Bari for redpepper ommlette wrap with breakfast potatoes (hash browns)
  • Baked ziti at Rocky's Diner (italian cafe)
  • French toast rice pudding with roasted peach topping (omigod, so great, so gorgeous - Rice to dreams)
  • Pink Berry frozen yoghurt with chocolate chips (my sister was horrified she queued that long only to find what they were selling was YOGHURT and not ice cream)
  • Chicken Rice soup and biscuit (dry-ish, like a scone but with buttermilk)
  • Pumpkin Pie (Wholefoods store, tastes soft but smooth-ish)
  • Snickerdoodles cookie (nice buttery biscuit)

Sunday


Cholla french toast (Ellen's star dust diner, yummy yummy and with singing staff)

Steak (Tad's steak - place where mexican's eat cheap food with Mash and gravy. Seriously their "garlic bread" has butter from a vat poured over)

Maxies on Times Square Meatloaf and potatoes.



Monday

  • Oatmeal with fruit and brown sugar (Pax. Omigod I never knew porridge could taste that lovely)

  • Trump's Grill fixed price lunch - caesar salad, burger and brownie with ice cream

  • Sbarro Pizza at the airport - god that base is hard!!

Separate section for the Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. Much hyped, it's in a difficult to get to area (take the address and a map) and it's teeny tiny. Like someone's front room. Too warm, most the cakes around the room weren't cup cakes. They had a lot of staff for the size of the room and a guy who basically worked the door like a club doorman. Would I visit again? Maybe if I wanted a full cake, we just went to try it out and despite the hyped up multiple flavours, we only saw two trays we could pick stuff up from so my sis bought a chocolate, I bought a vanilla and bought a red velvet since in the UK we don't do it. The red velvet one was worth the hype. Lighter frosting, really moist and soft sponge in the despicable red. The other ones just weren't as nice.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Mi amore

If you're wondering why I posted three times in one day, it's because

a) I'm enjoying my recently installed wireless.

b) I recently discovered food blogs as opposed to just random dialogue about life.

c) Originally I posted because a guy was late picking me up.

Now I'm procrastinating, I have a room to clean, a suit case to pack and my appointment card to find. Here comes the random dialogue, for a foodie, I am in hell. My usual life (stresshead treasury person) which is eased by a chocolate affliction, has pushed me to a ulcer-ridden person. The *pop* was 2 years ago exactly and now post going back to my normal life it seems to have reared it's head again and now all sharp, spicy and hard foods are verboten to me. Goodbye toast! Goodbye crisps! Urgh. Funnily enough, the majority of soft foods are sweet foods. Good in some ways, bad bad bad in others. Have a picture of what happened to the banana my boss left me one day. White chocolate chip and banana muffin.

Macaroons and Ice Cream Parlours

My gorgeous macaroons. Courtesy of La Duree. When they first opened in the UK I knew I had to visit but it wasn't until I came across them in Green Park where they opened in Burlington Arcade when I got to try it out. Now they are like my overpriced luxury item of choice. And the perfect reasoning to why I have never tried caviar. I really want to, but I don't think I can afford a £50 a pot habit. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, you may as well do my abbreviated tour. Stop off at Green Park station. Start on the opposite side of the road to the Ritz. Walk towards Piccadilly Circus and you will find La Duree (humanahumanahumana) and for me the must tries are Caramel and salted butter, vanilla, and raspberry. Moving along you get La Maison Chocolat, which whilst the cake I bought wasn't THAT nice, it was the smell of molten chocolate in the shop that made me high. Right next door to that is a japanese shop called Minamoto Kitchoan which sells japanese jellies for the most part. This is purely for asthethic appeal but they do it very well and I'm sure a box of their cakes would go down very well as a dining gift.

If that's not enough, Fortnum and Mason's is opposite. Whilst it lacks the big moon-eyed effect of the Harrods cake section they now have an ice cream parlour on the first floor, called, wait for it, The Parlour. Whilst I would recommend it on the dinkiness - nice decor, tiny coronets of icecream with your coffee and whilst there was nothing wrong with the knickerbocker glory I ordered. It was at least 20 minutes before we were served our order. Put it this way, I was born a restaurant girl. If you see a customer sitting in front of them with nothing, not even a drink, you check. At the very least you serve water or something!! And after we cornered the manager and she said it would be a few minutes (from the looks of it our original order never made it to the kitchen), it took ten minutes more? And they forgot the extra whipped cream my sister ordered. Funnily enough when we didn't pay the service charge but left the exact amount of the ice cream and mineral water on the table, within a few seconds of us walking out a waitress was dispatched to find out why we wouldn't pay our service charge (this is by stalking us round the shop floor) , to which I bluntly replied "because we waited over 20 minutes" and she went back to report that to her manager. Why would I recommend you go there? Well you never know, you might have a good experience compared to me. Plus, there was that appeal of somewhere other than Haagen Daz.

Alternative ice cream places around Leicester Square:
Ciao - behind the capital radio building on Charing Cross Road, whilst I find the stuff a bit sweet, it is worth going just to look at the menu - ice cream forms spaghetti and lasagna dishes or even fried eggs! If that's not enough they do a Ferrero Rocher sundae which could never live up to the name.
Rendevous - right on Leicester Square with huge vats of swirly ice cream. Only problem is: a) the staff get confused if you ask for a sundae, so just ask for number of scoops b) there is no bathroom.
Haagen Daz - hard to miss and hard never to have tried. It's been renovated to a more club feel with cocktails and sofas but what I really miss is the way we miss things in the UK. Whilst we did have the ice cream fondue available, the UK has never had - the Haagen Daz cream tea as featured in Shanghai (multi-tiered ice cream stack with small cakes) and more importantly, the ice cream mooncakes seen in HK. I have never managed to go HK at the right time for these, but just about everyone waxes lyrical about them. BRING THEM HERE!!!

The first...

Well I was going to call myself foodb!tch but just in case I disturbed the masses, hey. I'll see if I can change it. After getting wireless and discovering a world of food blogs, I was upset (oh dear god if I got upset about that I would be sad!!) Okay, um, perturbed that they seemed to be mainly aussies writing them. Brilliant natural lighting for their food pics I have to admit, but I figured I'd write one from the UK before searching for more british blogs.

Another moan and groan seems to be this obsession that unilaterally all these bloggers are focussed on Nigella Express. HELLOOOOOOOOO. Do these people have tvs? Now I understand it must be hard on the other side of the globe. But here is what you see on good old BBC2. Nigella eating her "express" lunch of noodles WITH chopsticks on a red double decker bus. This is London. Noodles on a bus? Don't get me wrong, I love Nigella. I own several of her books. I have to cut down the amount of sugar and butter that goes into her recipes to make my family eat it, and me in fact. I don't like my dentist and she is most definitely his friend.

Here it goes. My list of idols. Nigel Slater. Watch the original series of Real Food. My sister and I both would readily sleep with him based on watching him make icecream. Unfortunately they never replayed the series on terrestrial tv and we don't have UKFood. Nigella is second on the list. POSSIBLY followed by the likes of the Yorkshire man Brian Turner who admittedly I only see on ReadySteadyCook. I like Bill Granger to watch because he's so camp and because the production team are brilliant. But unsung and I'm guessing unknown to the other side of the planet, from one of my favourite shows "The Best" which never got repeated, Silvana Franco, Paul Merrett and Ben Donaghue (aussie!) They actually had decidely different cooking styles and more importantly it looked a) doable b) edible. Now. For my eye candy. I'm sure he can probably cook but I only saw him on Saturday Kitchen once - he took the spot for fastest ommlette, Jun Tanaka. Therefore, where other women look to Brad Pitt, please see attached for my decidedly middleaged type fantasy objects.