Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Mum Mum Vietnamese restaurant

November 13, 2018

I revisit the Vietnamese restaurant Mum Mum where last week they offered me two cold spring rolls. I order pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. Again from the fridge which they hot up.

Calling it chicken, is probably stretching trade description to the limit, yes theew are a few fragments of chicken. Pot is compostable, the fork wood, but the spoon plastic. Given a cup of water, not compostable.

Why not serve in a bowl? Why not bowls of rice?

In terms of value for money, Pho is better, loathe as I am to recommend a chain where service is terrible.

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Bananas rotting on the shelves in Waitrose

November 10, 2018

Not for the first time I find bananas rotting on the shelves in Waitrose.

Not the first time I have to draw to the attention of staff, bananas rotting on the shelves, but no one cares.

Bananas rotting on the shelves in Waitrose, sweating and rotting in plastic bags.

Pomegranates in plastic boxes.

A handful of sliced green beans in plastic, shipped from Kenya.

Are the customers of Waitrose so lazy, so useless, they cannot slice beans? And why ship green beans from Kenya?

The service no better. Only three tills manned.

As I am leaving I mention the rotting bananas. Not the first time I have raised bananas rotting on the shelves.

No one cares.

This is the norm for Waitrose, piss-poor service, fresh produce packed in plastic.

Waitrose and M&S, with their high prices, are the two worst supermarkets for piss-poor service and obscene use of plastic.

Contrast with Hisbe, fresh produce loose, cereals, nuts and dried fruits loose, liquids for example organic shampoo top up own container, and excellent service.

And yet Iceland has a TV commercial banned for highlighting damage palm oil plantations cause to rain forests.

Iceland’s palm oil Christmas commercial banned

November 9, 2018

Palm oil plantations are among the biggest driver of deforestation, threatening the orangutan with extinction. — Iceland Foods

Palm oil is bad for people and planet.

There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil plantations, it is an oxymoron.

Palm oil plantations are monocultures devoid of life apart from the plantation trees.

Palm oil plantations are destroying rain forests.

Palm oil is high in saturated fat, higher in saturated fat than pig fat. At room temperature palm oil is solid. It used to be known as axle grease as that was what it was used for. The only reason it is liquid at room temperature is because it has been chemically processed.

Palm oil is used to bulk out products from foods to cosmetics. It is used because it is cheap.

It is ok to advertise and sell products containing palm oil, even though bad for people and planet. Even to mislead people that it is healthy.

Whole Earth peanut butter is padded out with palm oil.

M&S are selling so-called healthy spreads where the main ingredient was palm oil, and yet called olive spread.

Oxfam shops a couple of years ago were selling peanut butter in a plastic jar padded out with sugar, palm oil, and salt.

OK to advertise palm oil products, but try to air an advert that highlights why palm oil is bad, and your advert will be banned for being political, as Iceland learnt when their Christmas advert was banned.

We have an obesity epidemic. We have a type-two diabetes epidemic. But it is ok for McDonald’s to promote their junk food, Coca-Cola their sugary drinks, but not to suggest we eliminate palm oil.

M&S have a stupid Christmas advert claiming they went around the country asking people what they wanted for Christmas.

Would it have not been better to have toured their shops, sorted out their piss-poor service, tills not manned, lights turned out ten minute before store closes, fresh produce wrapped in plastic?

But then M&S is a failing retailer, and with this level of contempt for customer service, it is easy to see why.

Hisbe

November 5, 2018

Serendipity I chanced upon Hisbe.

Only fake milk in The Longhouse, owner suggests I try nearby supermarket for a coffee with real milk.

Perplexed by her suggestion, I went in search of a supermarket serving coffee.

I find HISBE serving coffee from Coffee at 33.

A  downmarket version of Infinity Foods, or as they would term it, a radical alternative to Infinity Foods.

I had only just had a cappuccino at Coffee at 33, and therefore did not try the coffee.  A little area set aside for coffee, including cakes.

How radical? An open coop, accept faircoin?

Where Infinity source organic, HISBE source local, though may also be organic.

I have never been impressed by the quality of fresh produce in Infinity Foods. Quality at HISBE comparable to what I find on a good market.

HISBE, How It Should Be, minimise waste.

Grains, nuts, cereals, empty from a chute into a bag or your own container. Different liquids, for example shampoo, bring and fill your own own bottle.

I would have liked to have seen more nuts, more dried fruits, and bars of chocolate, chocolate coated nuts, as I see in Athens and on local markets in Athens.

It is more than reducing waste, supporting local seasonal producers, paying a fair price, selling at a fair price.

It is how your local supermarket should function, a  partnership with local producers and the local community.

Not as the big corporate supermarkets function, screw the suppliers into the ground, intimidate suppliers that they dare not speak out at the widespread industry malpractice, screw the customers, fake offers, buy one get one free, everything excessively shrink wrapped in plastic, piss poor service.

Contrast with Waitrose or failing M&S, who talk the talk but the talk is greenwash and bullshit, fresh produce wrapped in plastic.

I tried fermented green tea from Old Tree Brewery. Smells of rotting apples, tastes of apple juice.

There are many quality independent businesses in Brighton, be they food stores like Grocer and Grain, Infinity Foods, HISBE, restaurants like Iydea, Infinity Foods Cafe, or coffee shops like Coffee at 33, Gazed, Pelicano.  What they should now be doing is looking at how they can create their own cooperative  network, and one way is through creation of a North Laine local currency and through a digital currency such as faircoin.

The supermarket I visited was on London Road. There are plans to open more across Brighton. The London Road store was seed funded via crowdfunding.

Ελληνικα Καλουδια – Ellinika Kaloudia grocery store

October 31, 2018

Ελληνικα Καλουδια, Ellinika Kaloudia, a lovely little deli behind the Acropolis Museum.

I picked up green olive oil, first of the season from Crete, regarded as the highest quality olive oil. Only one bottle left.  Next of the new season olive oil to arrive will be from  the Peloponnese

Nearby Little Tree, bookshop and coffee shop, books, food, coffee, craft beer.

 

Warehouse

October 21, 2018

I vised Warehouse last year. Service terrible, coffee awful.

I passed Taf on my way to an autonomous farmers market in Exarchia Square. I looked forward to a coffee on my return but sadly closed.

As Warehouse was nearby I decided to revisit.

Warehouse is more of a wine bar serving coffee than a coffee shop. In the cellar a couple of hundred different wines, wine by the bottle or glass, plus food.

Water was brought as soon as I found a table.  This is the norm in top coffee shops in Athens.

Curious, did they serve craft beer? Yes a choice of three, I chose one from northern Greece, one I had tried at Little Tree a few days earlier, the other from US I wasn’t interested in.

It is one of life’s ironies more likely to get a craft beer in a Greek coffee shop than a failing English pub.

What I had was excellent, reminiscent of Punk IPA.

What I did not like, strongly flavoured savories to accompany.

I then decided on a cappuccino. A choice of Ethiopian or Guatemalan. I chose the Guatemalan.

It was far better than what I had on my last visit. But not as good as the best coffee shops in Athens have to offer.

Service had improved since my last visit, but still not great.

I was there all afternoon until it got dark, chatting to a pleasant young English couple. Then,  and there is a first for everything, asked to vacate the table as booked.

We then walked in the direction of The Acropolis, through Monastiraki to Plaka.

Autonomous farmers market Exarchia Square

October 21, 2018

Autonomous farmers market held in Exarchia Square in Athens.

An informal market of local producers in the heart of the anarchist district of Athens.

Goats cheese, nuts, fruit and vegetables, honey, peanut butter, olive oil, wine, soap.

First and third Sunday of the month.

I bought excellent goats cheese, peanut butter and pistachio nuts.

Exarchia is a dangerous are of Athens. be wary.

I was informed faircoin in use on the market. I saw no evidence of this.

There was food, free food, but by the time I had looked around, all gone

I learnt of another market every day bar Sunday, in a squatted building, no prices, pay what you wish.

I then climbed a nearby hill.

On the way there, I passed Taf, which I thought I would visit later. Sadly closed.

Warehouse nearby, which I paid a visit.

Moussaka at Restaurant Plaka

October 16, 2018

Excellent moussaka at Restaurant Plaka in the heart of Plaka.

For starters vegetable soup.

Red wine to accompany the moussaka.

The best moussaka I have ever had.

I never look at the menu. I go to the kitchen and ask what they have.

I thought it would be too cold to sit outside, but no, pleasantly cool. But by eleven turning cold and cold walking through Plaka half past eleven.

Open air theatre had a film starting 22-15. Maybe tomorrow.

Lunch at Lazarís Bakery Bar

October 16, 2018

Lazarís Bakery Bar is a sensitive restoration of an old building, a bakery cum coffee shop.

Everything speaks quality, the bread, the cakes, sadly not the coffee which is a corporate brand coffee.

We decided on a quick lunch, for me yogurt with fresh fruit, honey and walnuts. It was excellent, as was what my friend’s choice.

It would have been pleasant to sit outside but not possible due to noise of building works and pollution from passing traffic.

Why oh why does Larnaca not pedestrianise this area around St Lazarus Church, the back streets and the seafront, and for good measure an electic shuttle bus running from the marina along the seafront to Mackenzie Beach? This would be a far better investment and value for money than redevelopment of Mackenzie Beach which is little more than a gravy train for contractors with no public benefit.

It was then to Nick’s Coffee Bike but sadly no time for a coffee.

Spartiatis

October 7, 2018

Spartiatis is a fish restaurant overlooking Konnos Bay, not that can see anything at night.

Walk down an unlit road, passed a run down block that appears to be inhabited by gypsies.

Only half a dozen tables occupied with diners.

This is now the norm for Protaras, many restaurants have closed, many more are expected to close at the end of the season. The result of all-inclusive hotels killing the local economy and bringing in the dregs of the tourist industry and Cypriot politicians with heads stuck in the sand refusing to accept they have a problem let alone acting.

Brought a starter, not sure what it was, appeared to be fried thinly sliced courgette.

Sea bream as main course, a side plate of very poor quality chips.

I had asked, and was told came with a small salad. I do not think a couple of slices of cucumber, a couple of thin slices of tomato and a limp leaf of lettuce constitutes a salad.

Sea bream was ok, the oil overdone. Nowhere the standard of Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River where I had lunch of white bream last week.

Was then brought a small piece of cake, mama’s cake.

Meal spoilt by pig-ignorant loud-mouthed Germans at a nearby table disturbing the entire restaurant. They should have been asked to keep their noise down or leave.

I was tempted to hop on a bus into Protaras for an ice cream at either Café Amárena or Patisserie Amelie, but decided on yoghurt from nearby shop.

Try Papa’s fish and chips (a fish restaurant)  or Kamasias. Both are in Paralimni.

The place to not eat, Ocean Basket, the McDonald’s or KFC of seafood, the fish not fresh.