Day #4, Good Food and Friends Heal

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July 19, 2016

Yes! I finally did it! I got up at 7:30 for breakfast this morning. I have been wondering how wonderful the English breakfast would be, so the curiosity won against my sleeping habit.

Was it worth it? Nah… Well, at least not for me…

There were skimmed milk, 4 different cereals, boiled eggs (one per person please), yoghurt, white and brown (supermarket) thin toast bread, butter, some kind of red berry jam, orange jam and coffee. Wow, it sounds good enough for a hostel when written down! But for a person who has to be careful with dairy product due to lactose intolerance, no milk therefore no cereals, no butter, no yoghurt, so what’s left is an egg, 2 kinds of jam on toast and coffee. Pretty boring. I know I am a bit picky on food because I am very healthy concerned, but this time is not because of my pickiness, it’s my intolerance to dairy stuff. I thought there might be soy milk, as they have in most cafés in London, but there wasn’t.

So the first thing I did after breakfast was to go to the closest supermarket and get some granola, a pack of soy milk, a pack of OJ and a few nectarines, and a spoon and a bowl from a £1 shop. When I get sick of cereal and soy milk, I will get some good sourdough from a bakery and PB&J!

Actually, I don’t mind staying in a hostel even if I have to share the bathroom and the toilet, because I get to meet so many interesting people from many different cultures, but the food is very problematic. I need to have my own kitchen and cook for myself. I already feel that I am getting fat around the belly and becoming unhealthy.

Having had such a shitty breakfast (I would rather skip it and get some more sleep), I felt like a revenge. Healthy looking decent meal in a nice café will do. That is, my long-time favourite Aussie chef Bill Granger’s Notting Hill restaurant, Granger & Co. I’ve never been to any of his restaurants before, but as his royal cookbook follower, I was sure his restaurant wouldn’t disappoint me.

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It was not even 11am when I got there, there was already a line outside, but I could have a seat straightaway at the bar because I was alone. I ordered a soy latte and studied the menu for a good 5 minutes, and asked for Poached Eggs on Sourdough with Tomatoes and Kimchi (They even have Kimchi! How cool is that?).

Now, what can I say? I will tell you this first – anyone who happens to be in a city where there is Bill’s restaurant (there are a few cities), just try. You will understand why Sydney is well known for its healthy-modern-fusion culinary culture. I felt like I was in a café at Darlinghurst.

Great atmosphere, smiling staff, efficient service, perfectly poached eggs, grilled tomatoes (with cumin seeds on it, wow!), super fresh baby spinach, crunchy sourdough, and (this is the hit) authentic Kimchi as good as in Korea! The uncooked halved cherry tomatoes at another café and disappointing breakfast will be all forgotten. Again, I can’t wait to have my own kitchen and get Bill’s cookbooks sent. I’ve got four of them at my parents’!

I really enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere, I ended up staying at the restaurant for 3 hours (with a second coffee). The price? It was less than £20, and it feels like nothing compared to the quality. I think I will become regular of this place. I might meet Bill in person one day, who knows? I am gonna ask for his autograph on his cookbook if I ever meet him.

Back at the hostel, I did job searching and sent CVs. It was so so so hot today, and with my heating laptop it was unbearable.

I met Jane, Rose and Carlotta (an Italian uni student) at dinner table, and we decided to go to Hyde Park after dinner. There were so many people at the park, and we settled in front of the pond. We started talking about what we were doing here in London and I ended up telling them my heartbreaking story, and I realised it didn’t hurt anymore. I don’t shed tears anymore when I talk about it! Wow, time really heals. We then shared about each other’s family stories and so many other stuff until it got dark and chilly. It’s always good to talk with newly made friends, not only about their nationalities and jobs, but also about personal things and thoughts.

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On the way back, we bumped into our hostel-mates on the lawn, Eduardo and Andres from Spain. They were drinking cider, and they were not very happy that they couldn’t buy beer because it’s sold only in 4 packs. Apparently they are not big drinkers, aren’t they?

We promised to get together again, and said good-nights.

I think I’m going to fall asleep with happy feeling tonight. That’s what friends do to you, I guess.

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