Food Adventures in London

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Yo! Sushi. This is a chain of conveyor-belt sushi shops. We saw a bunch of them while walking around and finally stopped at one to scratch Linn’s sushi itch. I, unfortunately, do not like sushi. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty and tidy and I’d love to love it- but I don’t.

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Our hotel was in Earl’s Court and there was a bunch of restaurants (plus Earl’s Court Station) just around the corner. On our first night we were so hungry that we checked in, dropped off our stuff, and then picked the nearest open place we could find that looked good.

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Zizzi was a great pizza and pasta place in Earl’s Court. They had a huge pizza oven you could see and a bunch of different choices. I went adventurous and took a white pesto sauce pizza with pine nuts, balsamic vinegar, spinach and sweet potato. I also tried a lemonade. It was tart. Very tart but very good.

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Mooboo! We tried bubble tea for the first time. Tapioca bubbles in fruity tea. The staff was super helpful and explained our choices and the difference between the kinds of bubbles.

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Linn liked it. I did not. Despite not liking it, I drank it all because, well, it had a straw and was cold and London has almost no trashcans.

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On our second night we were in Soho looking for a place called PingPong but ended up finding Masala Zone instead. There were a few vegetarian choices. I really wanted to get the paneer but it had a three chili rating that I was told by the waiter was serious and could not be altered so I decided not to tempt fate and picked a one chili dish instead. I was right to be careful. The one chili rated dish was a good level of spicy and I did not need spicier, not even for cheese.

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Linn got a mixed plate that looked really good. I was a bit jealous but mine was good too.

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For dessert we had chai teas. I haven’t really been a fan of chai in the past but this was really great.

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The next day we found PingPong in time for lunch! It was warm out and we were pretty excited to start off with iced teas.

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The baby bok choy was AMAZING. Everything was really good and the menu is set up so that you can order small amounts of multiple things in order to try a lot of different dishes.

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Mushroom stuffed bao and two different kinds of vegetarian dumplings! Of course they had lots of meat dishes too. I know Linn had as many dumplings/bao as I did but with meats. Clever, because then I couldn’t steal any of hers.

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This was probably our favorite restaurant of the trip. The others were all really good, we didn’t have any bad experiences with our food adventures, but this was just extra amazing. There’s a pretty good chance we’d come back again next time we’re in London.

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Last was Byron in Earl’s Court. We were wiped out and hungry after a full day running around London so we decided to go back to our hotel, drop off our stuff, and then try another place close by. This time we went for burgers.

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I had a mushroom burger. The patty was a grilled portobello mushroom with goats cheese, roasted red pepper, spinach and aioli sauce. I also had mac&cheese and fries. Linn had a cheese burger and sweet potato fries.

All of our food experiences were really good. There was always vegetarian options (and not just one) and we never ran into anything we didn’t want to finish.

Pictures of me were, of course, taken by Linn.

Our cafe experiences will be in another blog post, coming up soon!

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Afternoon Tea at The Orangery

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The Orangery is located just on the other side of the Kensington Gardens, so we booked a teatime there, planning to take a look at the palace first. It worked out great and afterward we took a walk around the gardens.

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We had afternoon tea. I took Assam tea and vegetarian sandwiches. We each had our own pot of tea, which is good because when we share we run out quickly.

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This is the Royal Palace tea set! So pretty but so pricy. It was available for purchase in the Kensington gift shop.

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Scones, clotted cream, and jam. I was not overly impressed by clotted cream but Linn liked it.

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Finger sandwiches! They were cuter than they were tasty. I think the cheese one was my favorite and the pickle one my least favorite. Of course that meant that I got two of the pickle sandwiches because that’s just kind of how the world works–even when having afternoon tea in London. But because it was afternoon tea in London, and a new experience, I ate both of my pickle sandwiches quite happily.

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Desserts! So pretty. The cake was spongue with a raspberry filling and the macaron was, well, a macaron, but the chocolate-orange mousse was really nice.

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Upcoming blog posts: Food Adventures in London and A walk through the Victoria & Albert Museum.

 

 

 

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Dumplings in Stockholm

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We spent the weekend in Stockholm and managed to go to three different dumpling restaurants. They were all pretty great.

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Beijing 8 is a chain of restaurants, super inexpensive but really good. I was really surprised how much I liked the tofu bao. I’m not usually a fan of tofu but it was great.

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And the dumplings were good! I’d definitely go into a Beijing 8 again.

eatEAT was a real sit down, dinner time, restaurant. I’ll admit, I’m charmed by a places that gives me a cup of tea to start with while reading the menu.

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Phong finally got his hands on noodles. They were in a curry sauce, a little spicy and really good.

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I tried both of the vegetarian dumplings on the menu. The mushroom dumplings were AMAZING. The purple ones in the pictures are kimchi filled dumplings in a beet dough. I did not realize they were in a beet dough when I ordered them. The filling was good but I’m really not a fan of beets, it overpowered the whole thing which would have probably been great if I liked that flavor.

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Holy Monkey! Located in the train station in Stockholm. We went here on our way in from the airport. We were so hungry! Cute little place and the food came out really quick. I was sitting next to Linn so I took a picture of her sushi too. The vegetarian dumplings were good and I really liked the plum sauce. I wasn’t a fan of the cold noodles underneath but both Phong and Linn liked them.

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Biskvi

A what? Biskvi!

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I first encountered the biskvi on my very first trip to Sweden. It is a stapel of swedish pastries but, I feel, often goes unnoticed next to the prettier, brighter and larger treats in the glass cases of the cafes. I originally mistook this little guy for a cookie. It is not a cookie. It has the sugar intensity of a whole cake crammed into cookie size.

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The classic biskvi is a cookie bottom (usually crunchy outside and soft inside) with a mound of butter cream coated in chocolate. It is intense but, in my opinion, not all that great.

After my first couple biskvis I was pretty much done with them. That all changed when I saw a white biskvi with purple on top in the pastry case at Cafe Kakmonstret in Umeå. Unfortunately, every time I get my hands on the violet biskvi at Kakmonstret, I eat it so quickly that I never get a picture. -_-

And so began the dawn of flavored biskvis!

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I wouldn’t mind if biskvi became the new sugar fad. If you’re in Sweden you should give them a try! I, obviously, suggest flavored biskvi over original.

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Sunday Tea in Umeå – Part 2

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Linn and I had such a great time at Sunday Tea last time I was in Umeå that we made sure to go again this time. Truth be told, we might be going there every time I’m in town because that’s how much fun it is. Sunday Tea is at Umeå’s Stora Hotellet.

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I can imagine that teatime may not be for everyone. But Linn and I can easily spend a couple hours taking pictures, drinking tea, chatting and eating our treats one at a time. We start with the scones, then the toasts, and finally the sweets. We even eat the sweets in descending order of suspected goodness.

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We were so happy with the scones that we bought marmalade on the way home and made our own scones that night. We even imagined making our own marmalades, though neither of us have actually done that yet.

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We went vegetarian so our sandwiches were cheese and chanterelle mushrooms. The mini croissants and mini cinnamon buns were really cute.

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Here’s a link to the original post with more detailed info about the place and our experience. I definitely recommend a visit here if you find yourself in Umeå on a Sunday.

And, as usual, both pictures of me were taken by the amazing Linn.

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