London Part 2

Towards the end of Day 2 Grace arrived from Newcastle. And with three English interstate children (Grace from Newcastle, Hillary from Bristol, Jun Wen from Manchester) and one Swedish-Australian-Malaysian social leper, our party was complete. We had supper at a Japanese diner after grossly miscalculating how late it had gotten after Grace arrived and ended up crashing to bed around 2 am.

Grace and I went to the Borough Markets the next day.

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The Borough Markets were one of my favourite places the last time I came to London with my family. Thus I really wanted to go back and also bring Grace as she’s never been even with this being her third trip to London.

P1000723-3As I was taking this photo I couldn’t stop marvelling that I was here in this exact spot with one of my oldest friends. I am sure eight year old Sam and Grace would not have fathomed a friendship blossoming out of 2 Jaya at SK Taman Megah would follow us to this very day.

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The Borough Markets is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. It embodies everything I love about food, aesthetics and taste. The fresh fruit and vegetable displays have layers of colour that would be the envy of Pantone. P1000725-3

In hindsight perhaps I am a little grateful I did not end up in London for exchange. I’d be perpetually broke and overweight.P1000733-4

I don’t even think my tastebuds have the refined capability of discerning the taste in different kinds of olive oils. This didn’t stop Grace and I from sampling every type available, even the sample bread pieces were wonderful.

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Grace actually ended up buying this mushroom pate. Mushrooms are like the flavour powerhouse of the vegetable world, and these at only 4GBP a pot would’ve sold me if I hadn’t had a liquid allowance on my hand carry back to Stockholm. It was great that Grace bought one though because then I stopped feeling guilty as I went back for seconds of samples.P1000739-6

This was our first meal of the day (the infinite freebis we tried don’t count), a duck confit sandwich. Having tried this on my previous trip I knew that it was delicious. It might be our Asian tendencies talking but duck is an exceptional red meat. We’re most versed in roast duck and Peking duck but in the rare occasion that a duck confit comes along I have never known any of my family members to refuse. If anyone frequents Ms Read back in Malaysia they’d know which pasta dish in particular I am talking about.Duck

Somewhere in the day it became a thing to take photos with all the food we’ve eaten.

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A bread roll stuffed to the brim with duck skin, fat and meat so soft it was still falling apart in our hands as we attempted to devour it with the class of an 18th century Duchess.

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This is the second greatest thing we ate that day. It is a raclette which hails from Switzerland to mean either the cheese itself or this dish below. The wheel of cheese is heating by the metal panel above and then scooped off hence the French word ‘racler’ which means ‘to scrape’.

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Seriously, boiled potatoes with a liberal amount of sea salt and black pepper topped with a thick blanket of cheese. These are what heart attacks are made of but oh god is it delicious.P1000755-9

I also managed to pry myself away from purchasing a loaf of bread. I know this makes me incredibly weak but considering how much we had already and that we needed to have yum cha with the rest of the group within the next hour, Borough Markets, me and my pathetically tiny stomach concede defeat.

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We met up with everyone else for lunch! Unfortunately no photos of lunch because everyone went Malaysian style and attacked the food pretty swiftly. I haven’t seen Weichern thus far this trip so I was really happy we got to sit down and catch up. This was also my first time meeting Isabelle and I was so surprised to find how much I liked her! I usually hate girls! She’s younger than me though which made me a little sad, I wish I was as cool as her when I was that age.

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I don’t think there’s much more to say on this blog that would be of interest to anyone else. We spent the remainder of the day with Adrian and Isabelle (with Jun Wen and Weichern coming in and out from their various other appointments, such socialites) walking around Covent Garden, stopping for tea and cake where we would talk about the past, the present and the future.P1000763-2

Perhaps aside from Burger & Lobster there was nothing new and novel I did this trip that I hadn’t already done before. But from the get go I knew this trip wouldn’t be about that. From the incessant guilt tripping and bribing I did to the three non-Londoners in forcing them to make the trip with me, to the incredible hospitality of those living in London who walked with me everywhere and allowed me to make all the calls when it came to food. Coming to London was all about meeting old friends and revisiting these bridges that although weren’t broken, they hadn’t been used in awhile. For all the time everyone gave up to spend with me I could never get rid of feeling so paiseh yet so grateful.

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We had ramen at Shoryu as our last meal. While not exactly birthday yi mein, noodles are commonly associated with life and longevity which I hope will be a testament to our friendship!P1000768-5

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The past few days had been gloriously sunny and a dynamic change from Stockholm’s weather. The morning I left for the airport, London was back to being dark, wet and gloomy. Yet arriving in Stockholm at a ridiculously balmy 9 degrees was almost like I’d never left the warm company of my friends back in the UK. I silently gave thanks to Kinorohingan (inside joke) and made my trek back to Lappis.

samanthawxlow

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