Saturday, February 20, 2016

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Le Garrick (Covent Garden)

I’ll keep this one short: Le Garrick is the best French restaurant I’ve encountered in London. The food was absolutely superb! I had duck breast and mashed potatoes (pictured below), and the whole meal was delicious. I'm not sure how they got the duck to taste so well-cooked considering the order took less than 20 minutes, but I'm definitely not complaining. The sauce complemented the meal very well too, and I respect the restaurant for adding some greens to the meal, as opposed to other places which just give you a plate of carbs, all but forcing you to spend more money on a side of salad. On top of that, you’ve got good, attentive waiters and a beast of a wine collection. Win win!

If I had to point out any gripes with Le Garrick, it would be that the tables perhaps weren’t as large as they could be, given that you need to fit food, wine bottles, as well as water glasses on the table. But that is but a small concern in what was otherwise a damn near faultless tasting experience.

Grade: A

Continuing with the tradition of watching bad movies with my queen in...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2016 BAFTA predictions.

I never get these right, and if my predictions come true, I'm going to be a very unhappy bunny tonight. But here goes.

Film: The Revenant [sigh] (alternate: Carol. It's Valentines Day. Please, god, make this happen)
Director: Iñárritu, The Revenant (alternate: Scott, The Martian)
Actor: DiCaprio, The Revenant (alternate: Thirsty Redcarpet, The Danish Girl)
Actress: Luminous Sersh, Brooklyn (alternate: Brie Larson, Room)
Supporting Actor: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation (alternate: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies)
Supporting Actress: Rooney Mara, Carol allow me these delusions goddamnit (alternate: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs)

British Film: Ex Machina (alternate: 45 Years)
Original Screenplay: Inside Out (alternate: Spotlight)
Adapted Screenplay: Steve Jobs (alternate: The Big Shit)
Outstanding Debut: Alex Garland (alternate: Stephen Fingleton)
Documentary: Amy (alternate: Sherpa)
Animated film: Inside Out (no alternate necessary)
Film not in the English Language: Wild Tales (alternate: Force Majeure)
Music: Sicario (alternate: Hateful Eight)
Cinematography: The Revenant (alternate: Sicario) Carol should walk this fricking category
Editing: Mad Max Fury Road (alternate: The Big Shit #ByeFelicia)
Production Design: Star Wars (alternate: Mad Max Fury Road)
Costume: Carol (alternate: Cinderella Sandy Powell dressing up Cate Blanchett for the motherfudding win!)
Make up and Hair: The Revenant (alternate: Carol)
Sound: Mad Max Fury Road (alternate: The Force Awakens)
VFX: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (alternate: MMFR)

Basically, I expect  a lot of The Revenant cleaning up where Carol should be winning, aka Mad Bung Fury Road. But I've already resigned myself to this, and if Saoirse Ronan can pick up a gong for her lovely work in Brooklyn, I won't be totally pressed. Especially as Handsome Domhnall's presenting!

I turned predicting the BAFTAs into a wee competition with my brother:
it will be a tad awkward if he beats me, given I pay a lot more attention to film awards than he does!

*says a little prayer* It's Valentines Day today. Please, please, please, can the movie gods award the beautiful, precise, nuanced romance that is Carol above the subtletly-free, brazen awards hungry The Revenant? Ta.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Rooney Mara pre-fame...

Was still freaking adorable.

REVIEW: Christmas Dinner at The Fable (Holborn)

The Christmas package at The Fable consisted of a three course meal, bubbles when we arrived and after the meal, and an entire floor rented out for disco dancing, complete with DJ.

The food

I had seafood for starters and main, and I regret nothing! The starter was a little sparse for my liking, but it certainly succeeded in piquing my hunger for the main, which is pictured, but the photo really doesn't capture the full deliciousness of it. There were tiny pieces of crayfish embedded in the rice in addition to the seabass, making this heaven for seafood lovers like me!

There was a nice selection in the cheeseboard, which is what I chose for dessert, although the jam (orange block at the back of the photo) wasn't liquid enough to spread across the biscuits, unfortunately, so you ended up eating that separately, as you did with each piece of cheese.

The dancefloor
The dancefloor was absolutely huge and very well staffed; you could go to the bar and be served promptly. My only issue was with the DJ, who was fairly set in his ways. I requested 'Goldigger' by Kanye West, as that is one of my all-time favourite disco songs, and he didn't play it for ages. It wasn't until I prodded him again that he did. This wouldn't have mattered if the music that he did play instead was good, but it was infuriatingly inconsistent. For every 'Uptown Funk' there would be some undanceable 80s track that he'd obviously shoe-horned in, thinking he was appealing to the older audience, but it wasn't working. So my advice to the DJ is to, ironically, do a little bit more listening to what his people want in the future.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

BAR REVIEW: Devonshire Terrace (Aldgate)

An elegant, well-staffed bar in the City to chill out in, it boasts some delicious, meticulously constructed cocktails. 

The cocktails are on the pricier side, making Devonshire Terrace a bar to visit when celebrating an event, rather than a frequent haunt, but if you do choose to come here, you will be served swiftly, almost certainly have somewhere to sit (we went on a  Friday evening and seating was ample) and the dim lighting and non-intrusive music all contributes to the pleasant ambience of the place.

On the negative side, such is the spaciousness of Devonshire Terrace, that I felt at times it felt a little sterile.


RESTAURANT REVIEW: Ermei Sichuan (Chinatown)

I went to Ermei Sichuan restaurant with a British person who didn't seem familiar with the principle that usually it's the worst foods that are flogged on the set menus, and, being too polite to bruise his fragile male ego, let him go ahead and choose the set menu.

The food was plentiful, and, some of it, delicious. The egg-fried was good compared to some of their lazier Chinatown neighbours, and the liquid element of the chicken soup (pictured at the far right) was precisely what one needed on a blisteringly cold January evening. However, the actual chicken component of the soup itself tasted underdone, and the meat thing (bottom, centre) was full of cheap fatty pork and practically inedible.

However, I'm willing to be generous, given that we basically did ask for the worst foods (anyone who knows Chinese restaurants you should stay clear from the set menus), and the wines were very reasonably priced. Furthermore, the waitresses were extremely obliging and helpful, especially, given the spiciness of the food, I asked for tissues and water countless times.

So overall, a very pleasant dining experience, and one I will probably visit (I hear they have karaoke booths). But in future, I will be attending with people who have enough street-smarts to know not to order the set menu, which almost always consists of the bastard stuff no-one wants to eat.


OOTD: What I wore to get drunk with my best friend in Barrio Central Oxford Circus

Hoop earrings: H. Samuel
T-shirt: New Look
Chinos: Marks and Spencer

As for the thirsty photobombers in the background, a lyric from the Ariana Grande song 'Focus' comes to mind:
I can tell you're curious, it's written on your lips,
Ain't no need to hold it back; go ahead and talk your shit.


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House and Gardens

Thanks to a friend who was able to get awesome preview tickets to the Magic Lantern Festival which properly opens tomorrow, I got to have an amazing walk-through the gorgeous lantern parade yesterday! Here be some of the photos.

The photos really don't do it justice tho -- check it out!