Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tenshi Restaurant

I must say that I love Japanese food. I recently realized, while browsing through my London photos, that most of the restaurants I have talked or will talk about are Japanese. Therefore I hope you enjoy this kind of food as much as I do! I promise I'll talk about other kinds of food sometime soon.

On 61, Upper Street there is a little restaurant barely noticeable between all the food chains surrounding it (such as Caffè Uno, etc.). Well, when I say barely noticeable I may be lying a bit, it's not like you can't see it, but it's not obviously there either. Or, whatever. Here is a picture of Tenshi Restaurant, so you can recognize it if you ever decide to go. Please notice the highly professional framing of the picture.

That CLOSED sign is a total LIE because right when I took this picture, two girls went inside. So don't let them fool you. Anyway. LOVE IT. I've been reading reviews about this restaurant on the web and they all agree on the fact that this is a good restaurant (the food, the service, the place, etc.). Apparently it opened recently, but soon the second floor will be available too (it is currently only open because the toilets are there).

Check out the first floor:

As far as the food is concerned, it is also very good. Or at least it was the two times I went there. But I have to admit that I always order the same thing - chicken teriyaki with rice. But there is a wide selection of dishes on the menu, including, of course, sushi, noodles, and more. Personally I think that one of the best options is ordering, for 8,95 pounds, the "Bento" menu, which comes in a wooden box (a Bento box) with several compartments where the food is served. If you ask the chicken teriyaki one it comes with chicken (obviously), rice, salad, vegetable tempura and a piece of omelette (though the latter may vary). It also includes miso soup. So good!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spitalfields Market

Hello friends. I recently found out about a pretty cool band called Cults, and I can't stop listening to this song. It's pure MAGIC.

Now let's talk about London. After mentioning it a couple (or hundred) of weeks ago, today I'm finally going to talk about the Spitalfields Market, an awesome market situated five minutes away from Brick Lane and Liverpool Street.

In this picture you can see a big part of the market. As you can see it basically consists of tons of stalls selling different things depending on the day. There are also shops surrounding these stalls in the red-brick buildings that are also worth checking out (there's a chocolate shop, a toy store, and more) and a great number of restaurants, so you can spend the whole day there. Well maybe not since it closes quite early in the afternoon. Anyway, I can't say much about these restaurants except that they look good, and that I ate at Wagamama, which is a chain of asian food that is quite good! Of course there is always the possibility of going further into Brick Lane and having lunch at independent restaurants.

As you can see on the website, the stalls change every day. From Monday to Wednesday only the shops are open; on Thursday the stalls sell antiques and vintage items; on Friday you'll find art and fashion; on Saturday there are only shops and on Sunday there is everything! On Thursday and Friday they open from 10h to 16h and on Sundays they open from 9h to 17h. I think the shops close a bit later, but I'd only go there for the stalls!

And obviously, my favorite day is Thursday. I love antiques. There's even a little stall where they sell cameras, film, and other items related to photography:

Basically, it's a must. As you can see there are a lot of interesting things to see and do in the Liverpool Street area. If you plan on going there I'd recommend you spend more than one day, especially seeing the closing times of most of the businesses.

Lastly, here is a picture of the market at night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Café 1001

Dear friends, Yann Tiersen is awesome. I don't listen to him that much, but right now I'm living a highly emotive moment listening to "La valse d'Amélie" (the orchestral version).

But let's focus on Café 1001. This place, located in front of Rough Trade on Dry Walk (near Brick Lane and the Liverpool Street or Shoreditch tube stations), is a must. In order for you to (sort of) see it, here is a photograph that, although blurry, shows how cool this place is:

In these pictures you can see the top floor, or rather, the "mezzanine", but downstairs, as you enter the café (where you can buy the food) there are more tables. And I also believe that upstairs there is another room which is usually closed but that you can rent. I'm not sure, though. Personally the area I like the most is this "mezzanine", because it's very cozy, there's usually a good amount of people, the lighting is very nice, there's a little library, and there are tons of different and comfy sofas. There's also a tiny stage in a corner of the room where bands sometimes play live, but usually there's a DJ.

Another nice thing about this café is that the food is pretty good (I love the chocolate chip muffins), and you can enjoy it all day long until midnight (which is when the café closes). This is something very important to mention since lots of places close very early in this city. The big cafés like Starbucks, Eat or Prêt-à-Manger close around 20h. In fact I recently went to the Post Office to send some letters and it was closed at 18h. Which I think is a total JOKE. Anyway. The food is really good and there are vegan and vegetarian options, and they're all quite affordable. And when the warm weather is back, we'll go to the tables outside to have BAGELS. For example.

Lastly here are two pictures of total strangers that I post hoping they don't sue me. Please don't sue me. As you can see a lot of people bring their laptops, because there's free wifi. I don't see a reason no to go to Café 1001! (No they didn't pay me to talk about it) (Sadly). Peace.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blaze On

Hello friends.

These days I can't stop listening to Laura Veirs, especially her song "Where Gravity Is Dead", from her album Year of Meteors. I don't think she is the best singer ever, but her songs convey feelings of tranquility. Back in London I couldn't stop listening to Saltbreakers.

Also, I'm currently reading Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury and for now I can't understand a thing, as in, it's divided in four parts and the first one is told by a 33-year-old mentally handicapped man, and the second one (the one I'm reading now) is told in the mode of the stream of consciousness. But I've read that little by little the story is unveiled. I definitely hope so. I recently finished Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and I enjoyed it very much. He rules.

Now, I'm here to talk about London mainly, so I'll stop straying from this topic and talk about Blaze On, a nice little shop one can find in Camden Town.

It's a little chain (little, because there are two or three stores as far as I know) owned by a family. After travelling through Thailand, they decided to start this business that focuses mainly on illuminations. I must say though that a lot of these lights are a bit corny (for my taste), with flowers, fairies, and stuff like that. But others are pretty simple and really nice, which you can see in the top part of the picture or in their website. My favorite ones are the white lanterns and the "radiant/ambient lights" (which I own, by the way). And the prices are affordable, so if you want to decorate your room, you know where to go.

Here is a picture of what was my bedroom in London, where you can see the lights I bought (some of them were blue and green even though you can't really see it).