Archive | Drink RSS feed for this section

Drink Viennese coffee

6 May

As much as I enjoy clocking out at 5pm on a weekday, it is a pain when your friends only finish later and make arrangements to meet at 7 one tube stop away from the office. So what do you do with 2 hours spare? Go shopping, stay at your desk and answer emails, have a drink somewhere? With the first two unappealing (not enough hands and it had been a long week), I opted for the latter, but not alcohol (it had been a heavy drinking session the night before here) and went for coffee.

Camden Passage in Angel is always an area I walk past on my way somewhere else where I end up saying to myself: ‘Must remember to come back here,’ so with dinner only a street away from it, I took my free evening paper and went in search of Kipferl – a Viennese cafe that had been highly rated by bean hunters in London.

With the gloomy weather we’ve been having lately, the interior was cosy in a pared-down, Continental way and as I’ve never been to Austria was reminiscent of the great cafes I visited in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg.

The back is a restaurant specialising in Austrian fare, particularly sausages, while the front is a cafe offering Austrian coffee and cakes like strudel and Sachertorte. Keeping it simple (I was going out for dinner after all) I ordered a latte and a vanille kipferl – a buttery shortbread crescent dusted in icing sugar.

It was great to sit back, sip my good latte, nibble my kipferl and finish the crossword without feeling harassed by the staff to hurry up and give up my table for someone else.

Was really glad I did remember come back that way.

PS The dinner date was a birthday celebration here. And though I’m not an eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet fan, the mood was festive, food tasty and plentiful – and on another spectrum to my two hours before. But that’s London, eh?

Slurp udon noodles at Koya

22 Apr

Koya in Soho keeps to the Japanese minimalist tradition. The interior is white walls and communal wooden tables and chairs (not benches though) in one small space and the menu’s focus is the udon noodle. Have it hot, cold, in broth, or with a dipping sauce. Eat it with tempura, seaweed or a poached egg. And in keeping with Japanese tradition – it delivers excellence.

We started with steamed asparagus and miso butter. Making a second choice was a lot harder and after much deliberation, I ordered the kamo hiya-atsu (hot broth with cold udon noodles and duck) while my friend Sam went for the special of hot noodles in broth with tempura ginger and peas.

We slurped it all and though my duck was lovely and not too fatty and my broth not too salty, I think Sam’s choice was the winner of the two.

We definitely got our zen at Koya – simple yet tasty food, friendly, speedy service, affordable prices, and of course, a chance to catch up over a Kirin beer or two.

Drink London beer

31 Jan

I grew up with the metric system, so food is measured in grams, distance in metres and liquid millilitres, especially beer. But here it’s a pint.

There are many breweries in London, small, independent ones, pub-housed ones and big-name brands. One of these is Fuller’s – a brewery I pass in a traffic-driven rush whenever I ¬†head out to Heathrow airport – and one of the beers they make is London Pride (not linked to the march, which comes up first on Google!). A distinctive ale that’s quite mellow, it’s rather enjoyable for a lager-drinking lass like me. A pint of which is obviously an experience that’s pure London.

PS I’ve just clicked on to Fuller’s website and see their outdoor campaign for London Pride is ‘When In London’. Pure coincidence, I promise you!