Sunday, 29 April 2012

Guangzhou – Too little time

There is really not too much I can write about Guangzhou, as we were there for only 2 nights, and only spent one full day wandering the streets of this Megacity.
It would be a disservice to say that Guangzhou was just another Hong Kong. It isn’t. They really are totally different in many ways, but being so close to each other as cross border neighbours they do have many similarities.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Friday, 27 April 2012

Foto Friday # 100

I cannot believe I've been putting these fotos up for nearly 2 years now. Wow how times flies.
I thought I'd put one of the best meals I've had since i started travelling. There were too many choices I can tell you.
But I've managed to narrow it down not only to the meal, but also the place and country as well. Everything was pointing to Bali Guling at Ibu Oka in Ubud.
Everything about Indonesia gripped me and i have a burning desire to return and visit many more of its islands, and also to eat some more Babi Guling. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Indian @ Sheba Brick Lane

I’ve never actually eaten at an Indian restaurant on Brick Lane before, as from what everyone who has eaten there has told me, it’s for groups and tourists. If you know curry you give this street a miss.
So when I got an invitation to sample the food at Sheba I was a little shy of saying yes. But in the end I decided what the heck let’s see if it’s as bad as everyone says.
I normally never down that way at night, mainly because I hate to run the gauntlet down Brick Lane, running past and dodging all the restaurant touts.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Foto Friday # 99

Fried fish for sale at the local market in Saquisili in Ecuador. Normally served with rice and/or greasy fried potato's and a simple salad. A very cheap but filling lunch.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Guangxi Province - The Dragons Backbone

This was not our first visit to Guangxi province, this we did on our second visit to China 7 years ago. Unlike some of the other provinces we had visited on this trip,  Guangxi is one of the most touristy areas, but even though it gets far too many tourists for its own good, there are still some stunning areas of natural beauty that have not been spoilt.

Monday, 16 April 2012

China Videos Part Eleven - Ping'an

Ping'an in the Longji Rice Terraces or the Dragons Backbone in Guangxi province is the most visited village in the area, and with good reason. The walks and views from the vantage points are breath taking, during the high season you will be jostling for space amongst all the day trippers from Guilin, but it's a small price to pay for such beauty.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Foto Friday # 98

As this is the Cherry Blossom season in Japan, I thought I'd post to remind me how beautiful it was there.
I still remember those poor office boys having to sit all day on a piece of tarpaulin under a tree, waiting for the rest of the office to arrive later that day for some drinks. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

China Videos Part Ten - Dazhai

A short video of the small, but relaxing hamlet of Dazhai in the Longji (Dragons Backbone) rice terraces in Guangxi, China.
This village is much less visited than its more famous neighbour of Ping'an, but it is definitely worth the extra effort to come here for a day or two. The walks around are amazing.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Fish n Chips @ The Crown and Greyhound

To say I’m still peeved over the fish n chips we had at the Crown and Greyhound is an understatement. It ranks up there with the one and a half roast potato’s I got at the Bull on Upper Street. Something I will never forget or forgive.
Dulwich Village is as it says it is, a village. A small piece of the country firmly settled in South London.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Foto Friday # 97

Where I'd love to be sitting right now. Just to be away from it all and not have the worries of the world.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

An Overdue Return to Song Que on the Pho Mile

I miss Vietnam. I have been thinking about this wonderful country for a while now. I want to return, but then again I want to return to a lot of places, but this weekend Vietnam had been playing on my mind.
It had been quite a while since our last visit to Song Que, and it was due a revisit. The reason for this is, as with most cities, too many choices to be had.
As I live at the other end of Kingsland Road in Stoke Newington, it’s a brisk walk that builds up your appetite.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Sunday Roast @ The Ship Tavern

The Ship tavern is situated down a small back alley behind Holborn station. The pub is a small, old and pretty gloomy looking place. Sometimes first impressions are deceiving.
An ale house has been situated on this sight since 1549, refreshing the locals  and workers of Holborn for nearly 500 years. Catholics used to hold secret masses here during the reign of Henry VIII, when being a Catholic was not in vogue. Maybe the Church would get more people to mass if they again held the 6pm service in a pub. A thought.
As Holborn is pretty empty and most of the shops and offices are closed at weekends, I’d imagine this pub is pretty lifeless on Sundays.
The downstairs dimly lit bar had two old geezers sitting at opposite ends of the bar looking distantly into their beers. Great atmosphere.

We ventured upstairs to the Oak Room restaurant. It wasn’t much better, but at least some Japanese tourists were speaking to each other. But as we were both nursing some bad hangovers from a night of Polish vodka and Chilean pisco sour drinking. The small chit chat was a welcome.
The Sunday roast menu is pretty good, we were tempted by the whole chicken (£20) to share, but somehow it would have been a bit too much, and with the way we were feeling it could have been the worst thing to have.
Pork or Beef that was the question. I needed some hair of the dog to level out my blood/sugar/alcohol level. So a pint of 1549 house ale was ordered whilst we made the moist important decision of the day.
The ale arrived in a tankard. I cannot remember the last time a pub, especially one in the city serving beer in a tankard. Very old skool.

As with a lot of pubs these days, the prices were a little on the higher side, but we were in Holborn. (Roasts between £12 - £14).
My topside of beef was well cooked and thinly sliced, and there was plenty of it. Amazing. It was nice and juicy and had a good taste, although I don’t normally eat topside as my roast, but it was pretty good.

The pork came as two large slices of thickly cut belly, great crackling and well was probably the tastiest piece of pork I’ve had in a long long time. Really bloody good. We couldn’t finish one of the slies, and it made some great sandwiches that night at home.
Both plates came with the same accompaniments. They really do serve a good yorkie, large crispy and damn tasty, a Yorkshire granny would have been proud of that. The tatties were soft and fluffy with a slight crispy outer. The only downside was the veg, a small portion of sautéed cabbage, a few carrot sticks and a small floret of cauliflower. Where were my peas.

A couple of other tables were occupied by the time we left, which on any other Sunday would have made this an average place, but with the way we were feeling it was just perfect. But Holborn at the weekend, you cannot really expect anything else.
I’d love to return and try this place in the week, as they have a pie night every Tuesday. A pie and a pint for £10. Can’t be bad. On Wednesdays is Moules night.
This had been my first roast in a while and it was a bloody good one. If you are in the area, I’d definitely give it a pop especially if there is a crowd of you, as the atmosphere could be lacking. But the food and the staff do make up for that.

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