Saturday, 29 January 2011

In Dubai with Pinkberry

Natural and Pomegranate Swirl Frozen Yogurt - Pinkberry, Dubai International Airport

I had a little time to kill when I was laying over in Dubai (again!) and I chose to spend it in the company of Pinkberry. My twirled natural and pomegranate with crushed Oreos, dark chocolate niblets, crushed hazelnuts and sliced strawberry Pinkberry to be precise.

I've been having frozen yogurt withdrawal symptoms lately (damn Yog! Sorry the post hasn't gone up yet but it will be going up shortly) and I couldn't imagine my luck when I saw the Pinkberry man handing out samples. I think I'm in danger of becoming one of those obsessed frozen yogurt fans I only ever read and laugh about :)

The Pinkberry verdict
Taste wise I was hoping (expecting) something a little more tart. The portion size wise it was grossly tiny. The yogurt was piped to the centre of the container leaving a pretty gap on the sides. The amount of the 4 extras that came with small size were grossly stingy. Considering I paid just over £6 for the yogurt and a small bottle of Evian I expected a little more. I certainly get a larger portion for a third less of the price at Yog. However, I think I may have got my own back when I took 2 bottles of Evian by mistake :) Shhh I won't tell if you don't.

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Shoes, Holidays and Cake - Aubaine, Selfridges

I've done it! I survived my yoga session on Saturday and I finally got round to booking my flight to distant lands where the sun shines everyday and the temperature is never below 25 °C. At the moment my body hurts like crazy and my bank is on the verge of calling on the IMF AND the European Union to bail me out. But hey ho .... I'm going away on holiday (imagine me dancing a wee online jig)!

Large Skinny Latte - Aubaine, Selfridges

I'm off in a couple of weeks but until then a girl has to keep her spirits up and what better way than a long overdue visit to the new Shoe Galleries at Selfridges? 35,000 sq ft, 150 brands, 4,000 pairs on display and 55,000 pairs in stock at any one point - that's a lot of shoe stats. It was intense shoe pleasure - I wriggled my toes in Louboutins, shimmied around in Choos, glided around in Ginas and I even dared to ignore the eagle eyes of the old bats down at Chanel and copped a feel or two of their goods before rushing out (just in case they saw through me and called security!). High on heels (flats and everything in between) we headed for the one section of the shoe area we could possibly afford - Aubaine.

Stuffed to the brim with ladies who shop and men who wait for ladies who shop, Aubaine's limited space was packed. To maximise every inch, tables were jammed together. Customers tried hard to ignore conversations around them and very likely failed. Well, I did ... I became quite fascinated with the stories the 2 girls from New York (very much Londoners for the moment, apparently) next to us were regaling each other with. They too in turn looked suitably horrified the moment after I suddenly exclaimed to my friend, "Oh, have I told you about the guy who's stalking me?". The stalker story is very much true but that's for another time.

Salt and Chilli Squid - Aubaine, Selfridges

My shoe fanatic-in-arms suggested we share a portion of salt and chili squid, unsurprising since she has a bit of a thing for deep fried squid. The dish was actually rather lovely. The squid was pipping hot, the batter was light and crisp and the whole dish was seasoned well. This in the middle of the shoe department in one of the city's most exclusive departmental stores. I'm really quite impressed. They did, however, let themselves down on the lime aioli. Under seasoned and just a tad bit lame.

Strawberry Macaron - Aubaine, Selfridges

This was what we came for - cake. Well, I did anyway and ended up ordering their over sized strawberry macaron. Topped with a light handed sprinkle of poppy seeds, the macaron was fine. Not particularly exciting but good. Crisp, light shell with a jammy centre.

Strawberry Macaron - Aubaine, Selfridges

My companion chose the raspberry tartlet - yes, raspberries in the middle of January...imagine! Little sweet/tart nuggets sitting on crème patisserie and a crisp, buttery pastry. Served with a squiggle of raspberry coulis. She seemed incredibly happy with it and my little bite tasted just fine.

Raspberry Tartlet - Aubaine, Selfridges

So what do I now know about Aubain that I didn't know before the weekend?
I now know that Aubaine does a heavy cup of skinny latte, the staff don't know their white wine glasses from their red and the food served is actually rather scrummy, albeit on the steep side. I also know that the service is pretty decent but with slight dips here and there ... like the guy who kept insisting on arranging piles of forks in strict military precision on the service counter right next to our table ... imagine .... *clink, clink, clink, clink, clink ....*

Selfridges, 2nd Floor - 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB

Aubaine at Selfridges on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A Half Cheat's Fish and Chips

So the tale of Miss Grumpy Pants continues ....

I've been eating more than what's good for me and had room for more. Plus dessert. Hopefully I'll be up and running soon. I have a yoga session today - with some luck I'll survive to tell the tale. Until then I leave you with a super large dinner that I made recently - my odd version of fish and chips.

Deep Fried Sparts and Hash Browns

I lightly dusted some sprats (bought right off the fishermen when I was down on the Kentish coast right after the new year) in equal parts plain and cornflour. Deep fried until lightly golden - 2-3 minutes. The "chips" were your run of the mill supermarket hash browns. I did make sure I bought the smallest bag possible, simply because there was no space in the freezer for any leftovers. *Tah dahhh ..... * Fish and chips :) Hope your weekend isn't as painful as my yoga session!

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Meal for a New Year

I have been such a scrooge this Christmas. I didn't mean to, promise! I actually made vow to myself in November that I would be nice .... and try to actually enjoy the festive season for once.

Then .....

The the weather took a turn for the worse, the snow came and I tumbled - or sank into a miserable heap into the ice. In the last three weeks I have battled a cold, a tummy bug, immense tiredness followed in equal measures by insomnia and because of all of the above, total and utter boredom at being stuck at home. So whilst the parties went on ... I shuffled around the flat cursing the evils of the holiday season.

New Year Meal - Joy King Lau, Chinatown
Shredded pork with Szechuan perserved vegetable - probably not what I was expecting. I gave it a blank stare when it arrived. I was anticipating a stewed dish with lots of lovely gravy.

But hey ho, it's a new year. Fresh starts and all that. As for the colds, tummy bugs and all that ... nothing a good Chinese meal can't put to rights :)

New Year Meal - Joy King Lau, Chinatown
Dau mui with garlic - my favourite vegetable.

New Year Meal - Joy King Lau, Chinatown
Fried chicken with preserved red beancurd sauce - with a surprise of black fungus and golden needles (dried lily flowers) cooked in fermented beancurd hidden under the chicken.

Joy King Lau
3 Leicester St, London WC2H 7BL