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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SPiS – Kiruna Restaurant

20150402_174909(Vegetarian burgers with fries and coleslaw. It was a bean patty and eggplant. It was so big that I had to open mine up and eat it one side at a time with coleslaw on top.)

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We decided to go out to dinner on Thursday and wanted to try one of the restaurants in Kiruna we haven’t been to. SPiS is pretty new and we’d heard about it but not been. It was amazing! We went for dinner but they also serve lunch earlier in the day. They have a deli with meats and cheeses and bread as well as some other foodie goodies.

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Bread while we wait. It was great! I would have loved this place if only for the bread. The darker one had fruit in it and the lighter one was some sort of sourdough.

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I ordered the garlic bread (more bread, I know) with veggies for a starter. Really yummy.

 

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Phong had the shiitake soup and this was pretty interesting because it was made with shiitake mushrooms grown in Kiruna. There’s a lady here who grows shiitakes underground and sells them to local restaurants.

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It took a while and a bit of teamwork, but we did it! This meal was so good that we didn’t even get dessert. We will definitely be visiting SPiS again and I would recommend that you try it too if you ever find yourself in Kiruna.

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Väla – Largest Mall in Sweden?

When we were in Skåne this summer we went to Väla in Helsingborg. It’s a big shopping mall with something like 180 stores and this time when we went I took the opportunity to photo stalk Phong all over the place. So, if you’ve ever wondered what’s going on inside Väla, or less specifically Swedish Malls, here you go! If neither of those things interest you, than you can play ‘Where’s Phong?’! I’ll give you a hint, he’s the guy in just about every picture.väla1

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Most of the stores I’m putting in here are clothing stores but there were also a bunch of game shops, tech shops and candy stores. Swedes love candy. I know you think your country loves candy, but it’s just not the same. I’ll cover it in another blog entry someday.

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This was iems! I’m still not sure how to pronounce it but it was my favorite of the stores. Phong found a sauce that matched his shirt, as you can see. I bought a fancy black umbrella here that somehow went unphotographed. To the right you can see the teapot I’ve wanted every year we’ve visited this mall but still never bought because I dread trying to get it home.

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Odd Molly was cute but super pricey. Phong took one circle in it, realized there were no jackets for him to try on, and then went for the motorcycle. I love Accessorize! It’s super cheap and so cute. I buy a new wallet whenever I’m there.

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Naked Juice Bar! Okay, so we seem to love juice and smoothies. It was great! There was also a yogurt place but we chose juice.

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In case you haven’t met Phong before, he was looking for a jacket. A leather jacket. He has an amazing habit of making friends wherever he goes in this search.

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Despite the search, no jacket in all the stores of Väla was found. Sure, there were a few to try on, but none that got the great honor of being added to his collection.

And now for food!

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Phong had a vegetarian burger with a fake chicken patty and veggies on the side (because he’s that one person who actually doesn’t order fries, it kills me because it means I can’t eat his when I don’t get a burger). His burger was great and he was super happy with the veggies. My pizza on the other hand was super greasy and a little under cooked.

We also found an amazing Gräddbullar place but I’ll put that in a seperate post tomorrow. I even made a GIF out of Phong for it, so look forward to that!

-cheryl

 

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Stuffed Tomatoes and Onions

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This is one of those recipes that’s really simple and flexible and tasty but actually looks like you knew what you were doing.

I sautéed some mushrooms (cut them smallish first) while I cored the tomatoes and onions. For the tomatoes, it’s kind of like gutting a pumpkin but a lot faster and a little more delicate. I just cut the tops out and then use a spoon to scoop out the insides. The onions take a little more muscle and finesse to get out as much as possible without breaking the onion. It’s best if you only have one or two layers of onion left for the shell. And save your onion shavings! You can use those for other things!

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I mixed the mushroom with thawed spinach, chopped up feta cheese and some fake bacon bits (I’m vegetarian by the way, has that come up yet?). I’ve also made this using fake ground beef and different cheese on top of the filled tomatoes. You can really just do what you want here and fill it with what you like.

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Tips! If you use real meat, make it small and cook it first. And, because I tried, I learned that this is a lot trickier if you try to add egg to the mixture in the tomatoes because the tomatoes are already quite juicy and the liquid just makes it really hard for the egg to cook. Learn from my mistakes!

 

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