Sunday, April 18, 2010

Next stop.....

was suppose to have been KL

KL Twin Towers

for some ab-fab hawker food!!

Instead, I'm still here, in London, like the rest of travellers in Europe who are stranded as a result of the Iceland volcanic explosions and closure of the London Heathrow airport.

It's not a bad thing. A few days ago, when I was on the last leg of my London trip, I was lamenting to friends of how I wish I had a few extra days to spend in London, to see a few more things, enjoy the lovely spring weather and revisit places that I've often walked past but never gave a moment of thought to..

Look at how things have turned out. I got my wish! and because it would be extremely unfair if one had everything go in one's favour, I am on an extended stay in London on the expense of my long overdue catch up with the cousins in Malaysia (and friends in both Singapore and Malaysia). It's a little sad, I was really looking forward to catching up with the cousins. We haven't seen each other for 3 years now and I had missed one of their weddings; but.. I digress..

So, what does one do when one has some extra days to spend in London? One spends the first day outside on this lovely spring Saturday. =)

We began the day with a late lunch at Necco, in Exmouth Market. A little Japanese diner decorated in shades of pink and yellow, colourful knitted drinks placemats, kitty motifs and tiny little tables and chairs. The menu was extensive, from ippin ryori to the usual omakase sushi/sashimi platters, donburi and udons. The food was along the lines of home made japanese mum cooking. It was tasty, hearty, MSG free and relatively cheap.

We wolfed down a plate of omakase sushi, tori kara age (coz who doesn't love a good fried chicken), sunomono (a cucumber and wakame seaweed salad), nasu dengaku (broiled miso eggplant) and a spicy salmon donburi and sipped on sencha and yuzu tea in between dishes. Between the 2 of us we spent about £40 worth of food and drinks (plus desserts to go). Hmm, not sure how that happened...what pigs we are!!!

As we left Necco, we walked past a crowd gathered in front of Brill, a music shop that offers cds, coffee as well as entertainment. Entertainment, came in the form of a man with his guitar and a harmonica playing country tunes. I thought the singing was a little soft, considering he had a big crowd and it was a little noisy. But the atmosphere was great and all those who gathered seems to be enjoying music under the sun.

Performance in front of Brill, Exmouth Market

Leaving Exmouth market, we decided to spend the rest of the lovely day somewhere outdoorsy for a bit of alfresco dining with the takeaway desserts we purchased from Necco. So, we took a long and leisurely stroll towards Regent's Park via King's Cross.

King's Cross
(The Oysterhouse Lighthouse, on the intersection
corner of Pentonville Rd, Euston Rd and Gray's Inn Rd in King's Cross)

Regent's Park, BT Tower in the background
(Regent's Park, BT Tower in the background)

Regent's Park was buzzing with activity - families with their prams and kids in tow and couples with their picnic rugs laid out on the grass; everyone was out to enjoy the lovely spring sunshine.

Regents Park

When we finally settled down on a spot, we took some time chatting and absorbing our fair share of the sun before digging into our deserts.

The first dessert we got suckered into was a Green Tea tiramisu, a rich layer of mascarpone, followed by tsubu-an (red bean paste) and green tea sponge topped with a love shape sprinkling of matcha.

Green Tea Tiramisu from Necco

The second dessert, was a Green Tea tower, layers of whipped cream, green tea sponge, tsubu-an and matcha jelly, topped with a light sprinkling of matcha.

Green tea tower from Necco, Exmouth Market

Now, if only we were enjoying the same delicacies under the beautiful cherry blossoms in Japan...

Ah well, if we can't go to Japan, we can just pretend that Japan is right here in the heart of Regent's Park...

Spring in London, Regent's Park


K and S said...

sorry to hear you couldn't catch up with your cousins, at least you got to do the things you wanted to in london. be safe!

Manggy said...

Ooh, I love the parks of London. If you can't be with family might as well have fun right? :) I hope you don't run into any more problems!

ilingc said...

Kat & Manggy: Thanks for the well wishes. I am trying to soak up as much of London on these extra days as I can. Latest news is that Scottish airports will be opening tomorrow, so fingers crossed, I can get home to Melbourne by Friday!

Chef Gulzar said...


nice blog! I love the parks of London.Thanks for the well wishes.

James Parker….
Chef Gulzar

Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said...

That Green Tea dessert looked very intriguing. I'll bet it would be very refreshing on a hot summers day.

DiseƱo Web said...

Very inspiring

Anonymous said...

i love your pictures of the blossoming trees in the park. beautiful!