Tag Archives: cute

Yalla Yalla Lebanese Restaurant @ Oxford Circus

Oxford Streetのすぐ北、Winsley Streetにある、人気のレバノン料理店、Yalla Yalla(ヤラヤラ)。SOHOの本店(→過去のエントリー)に続き、2010年末にこの第2号店がオープンした。黄色と黒がベースの外観は同じだけれど、狭い本店に比べ、スペースは倍増。一方の壁が全面窓の超縦長の店内は、広々と明るく、洒落た作りになっている。

本店のことを取り上げた時、「味は普通」と書いたけれど、今回頼んだHommos(フムス)、Tabboulé(タッブーレ)、Baba Ghannouj(ババ・ガヌーシュ)、Falafel(ファラフェル)、Batata Harra(ソテーしたスパイシー・ポテト)と計5品のMezze(メゼ)類はどれもフレッシュで、予想を覆す美味しさ。値段もお手頃、オックスフォード・サーカスで買い物の折りに、気軽にランチできそう。見直した。本店のことを悪く言ってごめんなさい!

SOHO’s popular Lebanese restaurant, Yalla Yalla opened its second venue in late 2010 on Winsley Street, just off Oxford Street in the north (see past entry for SOHO branch). Black & yellow appearance is the same, but the space is doubled the claustrophobic original venue. Long side of the restaurant is covered with windows, and it makes the place look bright and spacious. The interior is more sleek to match the fashionable Oxford Circus than sleazy SOHO.

When I talked about Yalla Yalla SOHO, I said that the food was “just normal”, but new Yalla Yalla pleasingly betrayed my anticipation. We ordered 5 mezze,  HommosTabboulé, Falafel, Batata Harra and Baba Ghannouj, and these dishes were all fresh and authentic. The price is reasonable, and perfect place for lunch or snack when shopping around Oxford Circus. I am sorry for talking negative about Yalla Yalla in the past!


Maison d’être Coffee House @ Highbury Corner

Highbury&Islington(ハイベリー&イズリントン)駅横のラウンドアバウト東側に最近出来たキュートなカフェ、Maison d’être(メゾン・デートル)。 黒く塗られた上品な外観とは対照的に、こじんまりした明るい店内は、フレンチ・カントリースタイルの使い古されたテーブルと椅子が並び、壁にはアートがさりげなく飾られたりと、まるでパリの裏通りにあるカフェのよう。カウンターの上には美味しそうなスウィーツ類、その奥には、紅茶専門店・teapigsのティーバッグが入った、可愛いイラスト付き容器とカップ&ソーサーがきちんと収まった備え付けの棚。レトロな牛乳瓶に無造作に活けられた花や、ミントの入った水のボトル、ジャムの瓶、アンティークのティーカップに入った砂糖が置かれたテーブル(写真)と、細部まで気配りがされている。

多くのケーキ類は手作りで、毎日配達されるケーキやパンは、グリニッチとノッティングヒルに店を構えるPaul Rhodes bakery(ポール・ローズ・ベーカリー)、そしてコーヒーはNude Espresso(ヌード・エスプレッソ)から仕入れている。サンドイッチ類や週末のブランチは作り置きせず、注文してから作るなど、フード&ドリンクにもこだわりがあり、オーナーは大層情熱を傾けているのだろうな、と感じられる良いお店。



Maison d’être coffee house is a cute newcomer on Highbury Corner, on the east side of a big roundabout, next to the Highbury and Islington tube station. On contrary to its chic black appearance, inside is bright and cozy, looking like a café on a small back street of Paris, with rusty French country style tables and chairs and art subtly decorated the walls. Everything is cute and well-thought in this place: handmade cakes and pastries on the wooden counter; antique cups & saucers and glass containers for teapigs‘ tea bags with illustrated labels, neatly placed on a wall cupboard; fresh flowers in an old milk bottle, a water carafe with mints inside, jam containers, and sugar in an antique cup on a table (photo); etc.

Maison d’être also pay a great attention to their food & drinks. Many of their delicacies and treats are home-made, as well as some cakes and bread are delivered daily from Paul Rhodes bakery, and their coffee comes from down-under coffee pioneer Nude Espresso. Also all the sandwiches and weekend brunch are freshly prepared to order. I can feel that the owners are very passionate about this place. Very nice café in Islington.


Two years on: June 2013. We went the cafe again after long break. Their sandwiches were deteriorated, with strange combination of ingredients and the bread was dry. Service was slow and rude, but to be fair, one person was bad but the other was always smiley but unfortunately serving other people. They seem to be doing well, as people came constantly, but because of that, the place was loud and no more relaxing again. They put more tables than you see in the photos, and you have to squeeze yourself at tinier space. Lots of mums & kids, lots of nomad workers (I am sorry but I don’t like people working at the café).


There is also a sitting area in a small garden on the back of the café.


Toasted sour dough sandwiches with goat cheese, grilled aubergine, caramelised onions (£4.20/above)  and prosciutto, mozzarella, sund dried tomato and pesto sandwiches (£4.20/below) – fresh and nice. A petit fruit tart (£2/photo) is guilt-free size and was gorgeous.

Hydrogen Bus @ Southbank Mix

Bankside Mix(バンクサイド・ミックス)に最近オープンしたVapianoに行った時に見かけた、Hydrogen Bus(水素バス)。調べてみたら、EUのCUTE(Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe)プロジェクトの一環として、2003〜2007年に試用期間を経て、昨年12月から本格的に運用開始されたという(tfl informationガーディアン紙記事)。同時に、イギリス最大の水素供給ステーションが東ロンドンのLeytonにオープンした。



We saw a hydrogen Bus stopping at a bus stop in front of the Bankside Mix, when we went to newly opened Vapiano at the Bankside Mix. After a trial of three hydrogen buses in London between 2003 and 2007 as part of the EU-sponsored CUTE (Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe), the UK’s first permanent hydrogen bus was launched in December 2011 (tfl information / the Guardian article). At the same time, the UK’s largest hydrogen refuelling station opened in Leyton, east London.

It is said that more than 4,300 people lost their lives in London due to poor air quality every year. All that comes out of these hydrogen buses is water vapour and the vehicle can operate for more than 18 hours without refueling. RV1 route, where currently hydrogen buses are operated, connects popular tourist attractions such as the Tower of London, the Tate Modern, the South Bank arts complex, the London Eye and Covent Garden – perfect to appeal ‘clean’ London to visitors. Green-obsessed London mayor Boris Johnson aims to encourage a minimum of 150 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road by 2012 including 15 hydrogen-powered taxis. Great, but isn’t the number of hydrogen taxis too small? Probably cost conscious self-employed taxi owners don’t want to spend too much money to upgrade to low emission vehicles under this recession, even with some financial incentive from the city government.

By the way, I recommend Vapiano at the Bankside Mix when you go to the Tate Modern or nearby Borough Market where restaurants around are always packed – it is spacious and bright with plenty of sunshine coming through floor-to-ceiling windows, and not many people know it at this moment as opened recently.


↓ 東日本巨大地震チャリティ情報 / Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Charity Information

Banh Mi Bay Vietnamese Baguettes and Pho Café @ Clerkenwell

先日バスに乗ってる時に見かけた、クラーケンウェルに最近オープンしたベトナム・カフェ、Banh Mi Bay(バンミー・ベイ)に行ってみた。インテリアが素敵でカジュアルなベトナム・カフェは、ロンドンではあまり見かけないので、バンミー・ベイのオープンは嬉しい。その名の通り、バゲットに肉、キュウリやチリ、ハーブなどを挟んだベトナム風サンドイッチ、バインミーもあるるけれど、それ以外にもフォーBánh canhの麺類、Bún(ブン)と呼ばれる麺を使ったサラダ、ご飯の上に串焼きの肉類などをのせたCom Dia、生春巻きや春巻き、そしてデザートなど、他のメニューも豊富。

ベトナム・レストランに行った時はいつもフォーを頼むんだけれど、今日は初めてBánh canh Thit Heo(£6。写真手前)にトライしてみた。豚からとったスープに、米粉やタピオカ粉、または小麦粉を混ぜて作った、半透明でモチモチした食感の太麺と、トッピングの豚肉とカニ肉が入っている。正直、この太麺はあんまり好みではないけれど、スープはコクがあるけれどもさっぱりしていて美味しい。サイドディッシュの生春巻き(£3.50)は、通常の材料以外にスライスした豚肉が入っていて、その塩味が隠し味となって、なかなかいける。でも個人的には、ピーナッツの入った海鮮醤(HOISIN SAUCE。中国の甘味噌)のたれより、魚醤のほうがさっぱりしていて好きなんだけれども。食後は、コンデンスミルクのたっぷり入ったベトナム風アイスコーヒー。カロリー高そうだけれど、やっぱり美味しい。

Banh Mi Bay * 4-6 Theobalds Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8PN * tel 020 7831 4079 * nearest Tube: Holborn | Chancery Lane

We went to Banh Mi Bay, newly opened Vietnamese café in Clerkenwell. I found the café when I was looking outside in the bus. It is hard to find a cute and casual Vietnamese in London, and the opening of Banh Mi Bay is welcome for us. As the name suggests, Bánh mì, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich, is their specialty, but also a variety of dishes like Phở and Bánh canh noodle soup, Bún rice vermicelli noodle salad, Com Dia (steamed rice served with meat of your choice or tofu), and a selection of appetizers such as summer rolls and spring rolls are also available, as well as deserts.

I always order Phở every time I go to a Vietnamese, but today I tried Bánh canh Thit Heo (£6, left in the photo below) for the first time. Bánh canh is half-transparent thick Vietnamese noodle that can be made from a mixture of purified rice and tapioca powder or wheat flour, and their Bánh canh is in light pork broth, with pork shoulder and some crab meat on the top (front in the photo below). I am not a big fan of the glutinous noodle, but the soup had good flavor and was quite nice. We got summer rolls as a side, and their summer rolls are made of sliced pork as well as usual ingredients inside, and it adds extra nice savory taste to the dish. But I don’t fancy thick and sweet Hoisin sauce, and I wish I had the summer rolls with fish sauce instead. The Vietnamese iced coffee with plenty of condensed milk after the meal was tasty (of course because it was sweet!), though probably very high in calories.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Battersea Pie Shop @ Covent Garden

コヴェント・ガーデンの喧噪のど真ん中にある小さなパイ・ショップ、「Battersea Pie Station」。Market Buildingの地階の角にひっそりと存在している。外から見たら、あんまりぱっとしないけれど、その店内は、白のタイル壁に白いライト、大理石のテーブル、木製の椅子で明るくセンス良くまとめられていて、狭さを感じさせない。でも建物内は観光客でごった返しているのに、中は人気があんまりない。外から見ると入口が暗い感じだからか、イギリスのパイに馴染みがないからのか、ちらっと除いてそそくさと出ていく観光客も多く、思わず引き止めたくなる。ロンドンの食文化はずいぶん多様化・進化しているにも関わらず、外国人観光客の「イギリス料理は美味しくない」という思い込みは未だに根強く、結局多くは、面白みのないチェーン系レストランや、無難なチャイニーズやイタリアンに落ち着く。せっかくイギリスに来てるのに、もったいない。

Battersea Pie Stationsのメニューは、ステーキ肉をギネスビールで煮込んでパイに包んで焼いたステーキ&ギネスパイ、牛肉と牛の腎臓を使ったステーキ&キドニーパイといった伝統的なパイのほか、インド風のベジタリアン・ローガン・ジョシュ(伝統的なマトンカレー。でもマトンの代わりに野菜を使っている)など、ちょっと工夫を凝らしたパイなど7種類のパイ(イート・イン£5.00/テイク・アウト£4.50)と、マッシュポテトやベイクド・ビーンズ(トマトソースで甘く煮た豆。イギリスの国民食の一つだけど、私は苦手)、グリーンピースなど、6種類のサイドディッシュやソース(£1.00〜£2.75)が並ぶ。さくっとしたパイ皮やフィリングはなかなか美味しいけれど、ちょっとドライで、食べている途中、やたら喉が渇くのがちょっと難点かも。

Battersea Pie Station is a small pie shop in the heart of chaotic Covent Garden. It is located in the corner of lower ground floor of the Market Building, surrounded by ugly tourist traps. Iit looks boring outside, but inside, decorated with white tiled walls, matching white lamp shades and simple wooden chairs, is very cozy and cute. There was only few people in the shop, though the building was full of tourists. Some timid tourists came in but left quickly – maybe because the entrance is a bit dark or they are fearful of British pies, but I tried so hard to refrain from shouting at them not to leave. I often encounter a foreign tourist’s strong belief that “British food is bad”, even after a while London became one of the culinary capital of the world. It is a shame that many of them end up in a safe but boring chain restaurants or easy-to-understand Chinese and Italian restaurants in a touristy area.

Battersea Pie Station offers 7 kinds of pies (Eat in £5.00/Take away £4.50); traditional pies such as steak & Guinness pie (steak cooked with Guinness beer) and steak & kidney pie, as well as unique pies including vegetarian Rogan Josh pie. You can also add a side of your choice from British’ favorites (£1.00〜£2.75), such as mash potato, peas, and baked beans (sweet beans cooked with tomato sauce – personally I am not a big fan of it).  Its crispy pastry, tender filling, and tasty gravy were quite nice, but the pie and mashed potatoes were a bit dry and I had to drink a plenty of water to swallow.


There is a photograph of Battersea Power Station on the wall, which the name of the shop came after.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]