I’ve never read Oscar Wilde’s only novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ always meant to, but somehow never quite got round to it. So when my friend invited to me see this new stage adaption of the novel I was intrigued. It’s sometimes easier to watch a play than read the book and anyway I knew the main gist of it. To avoid his beauty fading Dorian Grey sells his soul in order that a portrait painted of him ages rather than himself. The play was performed at the Jermyn St Theatre, I’d not been to this particularly theatre before, but it’s tiny and makes for a very intimate performance. The play only had 4 actors and a somewhat basic set. Certainly not the usual slick West End type production, that saying that it was well acted and I did enjoy it and it has definitely inspired me to finally read the novel.
I absolutely adore ramen. It’s one of my favourite things in the world to eat. It’s so delicious and comforting, even thinking about it now I’m salivating. I get proper cravings for it. If you’ve got a cold or feeling a bit under the weather there’s honestly very little better than a hot steaming bowl of ramen. There’s now handily many great ramen restaurant in London to choose from, however my absolute favourite has to be Tonkotsu. I’ve tried loads of different places, but I always end up coming back here. They’re famous for their tonkotsu ramen that the restaurant is named after. They enrich their broth with extra lardo and it’s just the best. Invariably I almost always go for it, though their chicken ramen is also great. They’ve got several different branches across London now. The one in Selfridges Food Hall is particularly useful after a hard day’s shopping in the West End. I do wish they had non-mushroom gyoza on the menu there though as they have in their other branches. Also worth picking up while you’re in the restaurant is a jar of their delicious ‘Eat the bits’ chilli oil which is delicious to keep at home and used to add spice to just about anything.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is another book I read as a teenager while at school. When it was first adapted for the stage at the National I was really keen to see it, particularly after it got such rave reviews. However I just never seemed to get round to it. It transferred to the West End, opened on Broadway, went on a nationwide tour and yet still I never got round to seeing it. Anyway finally I saw that it was about to close and thought I really should get my arse in gear and see it. So I booked tickets with my friend Rup to see it. I’d vaguely remembered most of the basic story of the play, but there was still some nice surprises in the play of things that I’d forgotten, including who crucially who killed the dog. The play was beautifully staged and I enjoyed it. Really glad that I finally got to see it. Make sure you stay for the end where they explain the maths problem.
This was my second time at Blacklock and I’m a big fan. Annoyingly it’s another of those no reservations restaurants however if they don’t have any space they’ll put your name on a list and they give you a time to come back when they can fit you in and thankfully this being Soho there’s lots of nearby bars and pubs in which to grab a drink while you wait. Also most importantly it’s actually worth the wait. This restaurant is a meat lovers paradise. They serve great big platters of grilled meat. Though they do have vegetarian options, I would definitely say this is not really a restaurant for your vegetarian/ vegan friends. Brilliantly they’ve also done away with happy hours and have any time £5 cocktails instead, bargain.
For £20 per person (min 2 people) they do what they call an ‘All in’, which includes pre chop bites, beef, pork and lamb skinny chips all piled high on a charcoal grilled flatbread to share with a side each per person. The pre chop bites include cheese and pickle, pigs head and kimchee, and egg and anchovy. They come in bite size canapés type portions. I had two of each and JP who I was dining with had six egg and anchovy as they’re his favourite. A delicious way to start the meal off and perk up the taste buds. The massive platter of meat comes next and it’s pretty impressive, stacked high on a large serving plate for you to devour, with the flat bread at the base which soaks up all the lovely meat juices and is a delicious treat when you get down to the bottom. By that time we were completely stuffed, but if you do want dessert they do a white chocolate cheesecake which looked great. Highly recommend this place. Pretty good value for all the delicious food you get as well. Apparently they also do a mean Sunday roast as well.
I used to got to Quaglinos a lot in the early noughties when I first moved to London, I’d not been for years though. So when my friend JP invited me for Sunday brunch with some of his friends I was delighted to return to an old favourite. We were going to their ‘Soul Sunday’ brunch which for £49 each includes a starter, main course, a pudding and unlimited wine. To start I had a lovely chicken liver parfait with compressed apple. Then for main I had roast beef and all the trimmings. Unfortunately they had completely ran out of roast beef and so gave me a ribeye steak instead, which although very nice and considerably more expensive was not exactly what I ordered or was expecting. however they did very kindly knocked it off the bill without me even asking which was very good of them. For pudding I had a lovely, if a little small, treacle tart. It was lovely and rounded the meal off very nicely though.