August 7, 2016
It was super sunny today, again. It’s been grey and drizzling all week but sunny on weekends. Nice.
When the sky is so blue with only a few drops of clouds, I really feel pressurized to go out with my camera to wherever, and if I don’t do it I feel guilty.
So, today’s destination was Soho and Chinatown. There is a direct bus to Soho from here. Exploring neighbourhoods in a big city is always fun. It’s really interesting to see the different feeling, setting, people and languages among all those neighbourhoods. On the way on I passed the area between Paddington and Hyde Park on a bus, and noticed there was a long stretch of Arabic cafes and restaurants, and the street was packed with guys sitting and water-piping. I suddenly felt like Tajine, but I was on a mission to find a good Japanese restaurant for Ramen today. Tajine can wait, I’ve got at least a few years to explore restaurants in Manchester anyway. Once I tried every good restaurant in Manchester, I might feel like moving to another city again. Or maybe not, if I fall in love with this city. One of my friends who used to live in Manchester told me there were good curry restaurants too. As much as I love cooking and eating my own healthy food, I also love trying new food in good restaurants in a city where I am new.
Soho didn’t look very lively during the day. Someone said Soho these days is not quite like the used-to-be Soho several years back. It’s changing and the real Soho people don’t like it. I expected to feel the typical atmosphere of the gay centre of the city, but I only spotted a few sex shops, adult book shops and massage shops. Maybe I should come back at a very late hour?
I walked around Soho and spotted a little arch which led me to a hidden terrace setting, and that was a big restaurant and bar complex called Kingly Court. It must be a famous spot for Londoners, almost every restaurant was full of people. And there you go, I found a Ramen restaurant here! I sat outdoor, a staff came with a smile and explained their menu, I ordered their signature dish Shoryu Ramen and Kimchi for a side. I just wanted to try their Kimchi to see if it was as good as at Granger&Co, but it wasn’t. Their Kimchi was made with chilli paste, whereas Kimchi should be made with chilli powder. But it was still spicy and delicious. Ramen was also good – rich, a bit fatty and comforting. Exactly what I was waiting for. Although I don’t really enjoy raw fish, I love every other Japanese food. One restaurant to find on my Manchester list.
While I was having Matcha after Ramen, a father and a son sat next to me, and we started to chat. Actually I started to talk to the father because he ordered Matcha for a drink to go with the food. I explained to him that Matcha is some kind of Japanese espresso that you have after the meal. They live in London, love every kind of Asian food and can eat hot and spicy. We talked about food in London and in France, Japanese food, Vietnamese restaurants in Shoreditch, weather in Manchester (he said it’s very very wet over there…) etc. It was a really nice talk, and I felt sorry for him because his food got cold while chatting with me too much.
I walked around Chinatown after dinner, and it was very crowded. It looked like every Londoners came out to have some Chinese for Sunday dinner. I would like to try one of the restaurants at Chinatown, but Chinese food is usually for sharing between a few people. You rarely see a lone customer in a Chinese restaurant. Maybe that’s why Chinese takeaways are so popular, because of some people like me. Oh I feel hungry, I am suddenly craving for Peking Duck. I need to find some friends to go with. Maybe I could go with my hostel friends for a farewell dinner.
I wonder what I am going to feel like eating tomorrow, but I should cook because I did a grocery shopping yesterday. Maybe Bulgogi.