Friday, November 30, 2012

Three Brief London restaurant reviews.

Leong's Legends (Chinatown)

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A friendly enough place with some amazing starters (the egg tofu thing photographed above was by far the highlight) as well as nice ambiance with its cheesy pop soundtrack and fast waiter turnover rendered Leong's Legends overall a pleasant, if not earth-shattering, culinary experience. The mains had too much of a "what's new" vibe about them. The meat wasn't cooked fantastically and for the prices you were paying, the portions really should have stood to have been much more generous. There were some hits (the bubble tea was exquisite), but sadly in the vast range of foods ordered, only one or two diamonds in the otherwise selection of mediocrity. There are much better places in Chinatown. B-.

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TGI Friday's (Leicester Square)


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This American diner chain is always a favourite with the little brother, who is drawn to their kitsch appeal and amazing Jack Daniels sauce. Terrifically moreish, unapologetically unhealthy food that tasted sensational, but the prices were a little steep for what they are, and the service cheerful to the point of being false. Still lightyears ahead of GBK, however. B-.

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Thai Tho (Ealing)

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Now here was a restaurant I was actually impressed with, with its service that was effective without being intrusive, fast turnover speed and all round delicious meals, for very reasonable prices once we'd used Tastecard. The pictures don't do the meals justice -- they were fab! A.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Emsy's November Playlist.

Otis (Kanye West ft Jay-Z)

Something that both Kanye and Jay-Z do very well indeed is big themselves up. It’s for this reason that they rub quite a few people up the wrong way, but as I’m someone whose head is so massively over-inflated that it’s a surprise I can fit it through corridors, I love how much they love themselves. And when you have this much swag, why shouldn’t you bum yourself a little bit? This song is a massive backpat; Kanye bigging himself up (“I made Jesus Walks so I’m never going to hell”), Jay-Z bigging himself up (“Or the big face Rollie I got two of those”) and both stroking each other’s egos as well. It would irk a lot of people, but the sampling of Otis Redding's Try a little Tenderness is probably one of the finest usages of sampling another song Kanye West has done, second only to the usage of Ray Charles’ I Got a Woman in Goldigga. And some of the rhymes really click, “Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive” and my favourite big-headed line of them all: “Photoshoot fresh, looking like wealth, I’m about to pull the paparazzi on myself” (which basically means Jay-Z thinks he looks so cool that it’s worth being hounded by the pap.) Ah, how the other half do live.

Boarding School (Lana del Rey)
A very, very beguiling song, which, as with many of Lana del Rey’s tunes, has massive Lolita overtones, but without her obligatory mention of heart-shaped sunglasses. It’s all about the amorality of being a nubile young woman, “Baby, let's do drugs / Make love with our teachers”, and her vocals suit these kind of songs best, where she practically purrs the sultry lyrics. A very arresting song rife with dirty lines, perfect for doing a striptease to (one would imagine).

 Cola (Lana del Rey)
Another saucy song from my beloved #1 gurlcrush Lana, there is nothing subtle about this song. “My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola” Lana sings, half-teasingly, half-boastfully. And, again, Lolita imagery is rife, “I gots a taste for men who are older.” The refrain is my favourite part, where she basically reels off a litany of her identity, “Drugs, suck it up, like vanilla iceys, don't treat me rough, treat me really niceys. Decorate my neck, diamantes ices.” It’s all a bit superficial but then again so am I, so there you go. I’m more of a Coke girl than Pepsi tbh, but I’m sure I could make an exception for her.

On the Metro (Girls Aloud)
Of the four songs Girls Aloud released on their TEN album, this is by my favourite, followed closely by the girl power tune Something New. Nicola Roberts, my second favourite Girls Aloud member, wrote this song, which probably explains why I have such a soft spot for it. It wouldn’t sound out of place on her fantastic album Cinderella Eyes, actually, with its heavy disco tempo and electro-synth beats. In terms of deepness of lyrics, it’s hardly up there with Call the Shots or Untouchable, but it deserves plaudits for managing to conflate the bittersweet lyrics telling a story of losing a guy you met on a night out with a cheery up-tempo beat. Plus Cheryl Cole’s voice sounds - *gasp* - pretty decent on her verse(!!!!!)

Skyfall (Adele)
I only saw Skyfall two weeks ago, and loved it! Poor form for leaving it so long to watch it, but what that did mean was that when the opening sequence begun, set to Adele’s fantastic Shirley Bassey impression, I knew all the words of the theme song. I'm not quite as good at bellowing the high notes out as Adele is, unsurprisingly.

Number One (John Legend ft Kanye West)
This is a silly one. Number One is nothing but an ironic tribute to infidelity (since my viewing of Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, that theme - adultery - seems to be prolific all over my favourite art forms, bizzare), opening “you can’t say, I don’t love you, just because I cheat on you” (well). But both Legend and West are so knowingly tongue-in-cheek, which is what makes the song so hilarious. Kanye West’s lone verse in particular really takes the self-indulgence to new levels, “I try to jack off, you ask me who is you playing with? / but I know he love you, he told me you is his favourite.” Who said romance was dead?

Red Planet (Little Mix ft T Boz)
Ahh! I got Little Mix’s DNA album this month and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. Stereo Solder is arguably the catchiest with its rhythmic drumming but Red Planet is my favourite aurally – as with DNA, the girls’ voices definitely sound better on songs written in a minor key, and the electric guitar, not-so-understated lyrics offering the “red planet” as a metaphor for bunging and occasional bits of harmonization render the song the closest thing to a modern day Spice Girls substitute.

Life While We’re Young (One Direction)
Because I have to have a One Direction on any kind of playlist, obviously. Zayn kills it in this song, proud of him. (DAT REFRAIN~~~)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

All in all, it's not been a terrific week for old Bunginho here, what with Chelsea sacking club legend Robbie Di Matteo and replacing him with - *shudders* - Rafa Benitez. To pour salt into the wound, on a night out yesterday, I broke my Lolita sunglasses. It seems almost apt, in fact, that when the news was announced that Benitez would be ushering Lampard and Cole - two of my favourite players - out of the door in the Summer, the heart one the sunglasses broke. It was almost a metaphorical symbol of the way my heart will break when those two leave. But yes, enough pretentious pseudo-astrology bullshit. As when Lampard and Cole leave, instead of crying over what is no more, I'll try my best to smile over the good  times. And with my Lolita sunglasses, as with them, there were so, so many good times...

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With Luke for pre-drinks at Vodka Revs, feeling like the Sex and the City gals with our cocktails.

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There are a lot of hearts in this picture, both on my top (it says "Chelsea girl", just sayin) and my brother's I love NY T-shirt!

Sidenote: Tom has much larger eyes than me, and fuller lips. *sighs* Some people have all the luck...

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The Lolitas came to Paris with me!

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on a night out in Bristol.
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What now? Well, I'm going back home next weekend and will probably stop by Camden to pick up a replacement pair of heart-shaped glasses. Currently I'm thinking I'll get either a white, yellow or pink pair.

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Hopefully I'll have many fantastic memories with them as I did with the original Lolitas! u

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review of the songs in the “Dynamic Duets” episode of Glee.

This episode was all about duets, and started with the Glee club, rather bizarrely, in a meeting for superheroes. My favourite of the rather eclectic bunch was Tina's guise as Asian Persuasian, naming her great power as Manipulation. Superheroes goes on to be a theme for the episode, as the singers don superhero attire in their performances. As Coach Bieste explains, when you don a cape, you become another person, not dissimilar to the effect of what happens when performing on stage. To that end, then, it seems an apt motif for the Glee club to take on this week.

The love-triangle of Marley-Jake-Ryder gets going too, with the two boys getting up into each other's face. "You wanna know how I know you're a badass? Cos you ride a razor-scooter. Nothing says badass like a razor-scooter." (For the record, I am Team Ryder. Everyone likes a bad boy but his straightforward charm shats all over Jake's ~tortured soul. As Ryder argued, no one likes guys who lead girls on, only to blow them off.) Later in the episode, Jake gets diagnosed with dyslexia, something he suspects he has had all his life but was too scared to act about, and it’s actually Jake’s helping hand that gets him the help he needs – a rare display of people showing genuine fraternity in Glee.

Quite light on the song front this episode, with just 5 songs.

The Dark Side - I didn't care for the cheesy way it started, but the thing that Glee was trying to illustrate - how well Blaine fits in musically with The Warblers - was illustrated. He definitely has natural rapport with them and the choreography was simple but effective. The song itself didn't particularly grab me - regulation pop - the kind of stuff that serves Blaine so well - but it was a good performance. Oh, and Sebastian is looking GOOD. Just sayin'. B+
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I Am Happening - Ryder and Jake, who patently despise each other team up for this 60s classic. They are both serenading Marley, in suits (lucky girl), and in the build-up to their performance have some amusing trash talk, with Ryder saying his superhero alter ego is Mega-Stud, to which Jake retorts, “oh, so your superhero choice is to be me.” #banter. The choice of “Mega-Stud” is amusing because Artie and Finn don't know what the MS on their shirt stands for. The performance escalates into a fight which kind of detracts from the performance, which had energy but vocally nothing special. C

Holding out for a Hero – now this was fun! Kitty is a nasty piece of work and an all-round pain the backside but she is a top performer, with a great voice and in her cat suit outfit she also has a whip as a prop, which she is very adept at using (knowing her streak of Machiavelli, I was terrified she might use it to accidentally on purpose injure Marley, but she didn’t. Surely whatever evil plan she has planned for Marley will be much more subtle than that). Anyway, Marley lacks the sparkle that Kitty has, but vocally she is sound, as well as gorgeous to look out. A popular ditty (it was immortalized, for me, in Shrek), sung very well. A-.

Heroes - chilled, mellow acoustic version of David Bowie starting with Sam (who supplied much of the mirth of this episode with his impressions of George W Bush and Bane from The Dark Knight Rises) also playing the guitar, with Blaine belting out the power notes. The contrast between Sam’s dulcet tones and Blaine’s more show-choir voice is exactly the sort of quality one looks for in a good duet. My favourite rendition of this song remains that in Moulin Rouge!, however. (after this rendition they go to Dalton to steal their Nationals trophy back, and as they're running off the letters BAM and SLAINE hit the screen. Classic ship names! Glee is down with the kids, I’ll give them that.) A-.

Some Nights - Another Fun. cover from the Glee club, except whereas Rachel took centre stage in their cover of We Are Young, Blaine, the new leader in her abscence (despite his flirtation with the Warblers in this episode) leads this one. Some really lovely harmonization between Marley and Kitty's voices (given a nice bit of dramatic irony by Kitty rolling her eyes after) But the best bit is Joe Hart delivering the refrain, a singer who rarely gets to display his vocal talent. Overall, the kind of high-energy "Don't Stop Believin"-type performance that Glee are famous for but haven't given in quite a well, finishing with Finn looking on proudly just like Mr Schue used to. The music video for this song is set during the American War of Independence, whilst it was a very powerful, sombre setting, I’m more of a fan of New Direction’s ~rainbows and butterflies~ slant on the song. A.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

La, love, lick you like vanilla ice.

Photos of nice meals I've had this week! Me and the housemates had a huge Chinese food haul, so the vast majority of pictures this week are from the deliciousness then!






(favourite dish of the week)












Monday, November 19, 2012

Favourite One Direction Lines

Yes, I am a little bit obsessed. Some of these are for the poetic value of the lyrics, or the way the boys sing them (such as the way Zayn belts out #8).
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01. “Shot me outta the Sky, you’re my Kryptonite” – One Thing (Harry)

02. “The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed” – What Makes You Beautiful (all)

03. “It hurts me to think that you never cried” – Stand Up (Niall)

04. “I lie awake just to convince myself this wasn’t just a dream” – I Should’ve Kissed You (Liam)

05. "I'm blinded 'cause you are everything I see" – More than This (Liam)

06. “I hear the beat of my heart getting louder whenever I’m near you” – I Wish (Harry)

07. “And if we get together, yeah get together, don’t let the pictures leave your phone” – Live While We’re Young (Zayn)

08. “And giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl, you and I, we’re ’bout to make some memories tonight” - Live While We’re Young (Zayn)

09. “So come one, you got it wrong, to prove I’m right I put it in a sooooooooong” – What Makes You Beautiful (Zayn)

10. “I would walk through the desert, I would walk down the aisle, I would swim all the oceans, just to see you smile” – Stand Up (Liam)
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11. "I used to think that I was better alone / why did I ever wanna let you go?" - Rock Me (Louis)

12. “Get out, get out, get outta my head, and fall into my arms instead” – One Thing (all)

13. “It feels like I’m constantly playing a game that I’m destined to lose” – I Would (Louis)

14. “I’ve tried playing it cool, but when I’m looking at you, I can’t ever be brave, cos you make my heart race” – One Thing (Liam)

15. “Now I’m climbing the walls, but you don’t even notice at all, that I’m going outta my mind, all day and all night” – One Thing (Niall)

16. “When he lays you down I might just die inside” – More than This (Harry)

17. “I see you every time I close my eyes, what am I gonna do” – I Should’ve Kissed You (Liam)

18. “Then I see you on the street, in his arms I get weak” – More than This (Louis)

19. “It took a minute, girl, to steal my heart tonight” – Stole My Heart (Harry)

20. “There is no place I’d rather be than right here with you tonight” - Stole My Heart (Zayn)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two Amazing new Häagen-Dazs Creations.


There are two incredibly tasty new inventions from Häagen-Dazs that I just have to talk about!



The first is their Meringue & Raspberry Fondant Secret Sensations, which will be sold in packs of two mini-pots, each of which is the perfect size for a post-dinner dessert. Flecks of meringue are embedded throughout the ice cream (the colour of the meringue means that it is almost invisible amidst the vanilla, so when you initially taste it, it's a hugely pleasant surprise), and it really gives the dessert some volume. Even better is the raspberry fondant hidden at the centre of the ice cream, which goes incredibly with the vanilla to really make for a scintillating treat.


The raspberry fondant has a jam-like quality, and indeed, first discovering it in the ice cream is like finding the strawberry jam in a doughnut, except with ice cream, it goes even better.

Absolute delicious, Secret Sensations have played another blinder. The portion, texture and overall taste are fantastic. Go taste some!

Another festive treat being released by Häagen-Dazs are their Ice Moon Cakes:


As you can see, this is a hugely layered dessert is created to replicate the inside of a moon....


...with the outside also looking remarkably like a moon!

To get your hands on one of the Christmas desserts - which can feed 6-8 people - to visit the ice cream brand’s Facebook site buy one for £50, which will then be delivered to your door by a butler.




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I want you to hit the pedal, heavy metal, show me you care.

Obligatory Wednesday food photodump!

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Noodles, £2, Student canteen.


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Cheesecake, Slug & Lettuce (part of deal with two other things below, £10)


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Fish & chips, Slug and Lettuce.

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Giant platter, Slug and Lettuce.

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Chicken nuggets and chips, (cooked myself. ie I put it in the oven ;P)

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Toffee nut cappuccino, Starbucks.

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Full English with fruit, Liverpool Hilton (free for guests).