Friday, May 29, 2015

Borough Market Food Tour

When I went to Borough Market last year, which you can read about here, I really enjoyed it. So when my sister and I went to London in February, I made sure it was part of our itinerary. We even got an extra bonus because one of my sister's friends, Mia, who happens to be a foodie at heart like us, happened to work just around the corner, so she gladly took us to her favorite places in Borough Market.

Hello Borough Market, we meet again!
The hustle and bustle on a busy Friday afternoon.
Note that not all stalls are there everyday, so you can use this as a Friday
food tour guide.

I had my own favorites that I came back for.

The Best Raclette (and Toasted Cheese Sandwiches) at Kappacasein
The last time I was here, I had the Toasted Cheese Sandwich on Poilâne Sourdough bread. I was travelling alone, so I couldn't over order, but I also really wanted some of the Raclette.
Kappacasein is located outside Borough Market,
with a great view of the Shard while you're waiting.
I waited more than a year to eat this! 
Totally worth the wait.

Best Freshly Cooked Paella
I had this last time. It was worth having again.
If you're unsure about having Paella, they are very generous with the samples
so you can try it for yourself before you order.

Wild Board Sausage
If you're in the mood for something different, just look for the Wild Boar Sausage stand.
Mia, our resident foodie opted to have this for lunch.
It's gamier than usual, so you'll enjoy it if you like lamb and the like.

Borough Market is mostly food stalls, but there are some benches near the demo kitchen where people normally sit down with their food to eat.
We decided to occupy the demo kitchen while waiting for a bench.
Success! Lunch at Borough Market picnic style.

To enjoy this foodie tour, you need to have a sweet tooth, because once we satisfied ourselves for lunch, Mia started taking us to her favorite places for dessert.

The Best Hot Chocolate from Artisan du Chocolat
Perfect for the cold weather, you can enjoy the hot chocolate from
Artisan du Chocolate.
They also have a chocolate selection.
But their Hot Chocolate is so rich, it's like dessert in
liquid form.

The Best Doughnuts at Bread Ahead
Mia kept on raving and raving about the doughnuts at Bread Ahead. I'm not really a doughnut fan, so I was just going along for the experience, but I must say, these donuts are really worth raving about.
Mia bought us a Salted Caramel and Chocolate doughnut
to share.
These doughnuts are so good, Mia stalks their Instagram
@breadaheadboroughmarket so she can run to their stall when her favorite
doughnut flavors are available. I've heard the blueberry is to die for.
Our doughnuts to share, which we were going to eat with the best coffee.
Bread Ahead also runs bakery classes and workshops.

The best coffee (and Flat White) in London at Monmouth Coffee
Monmouth Coffee is on Park Street just outside Borough Market
As you can see, it's very busy
They have a counter for those buying beans to take home.

Then there's a separate line for those who are ordering coffee to drink.
The place was so busy, we had to stand around to get a seat.
Officially the best flat white ever. Sugar not required.
Especially when you eat it with Bread Ahead's doughnuts.
I've never had doughnut filling this rich. Now I know why they're so famous.
We were finally able to find a space near the windows, but it was sort of
standing room only.
But you do get a good view of Borough Market from here.
and a good view of the rest of the coffee shop as well.

The Best Gelato from Gelateria 3Bis
We were fast approaching a sugar coma, but I refused to call it quits. In my mind, any dessert divided by four is nothing. Hahaha.
The unique thing about Gelateria 3Bis is the chocolate faucet.
So each cup or cone gets liquid chocolate at the bottom.
I think I ordered something creamy and rich and limone.
Look at that yummy liquid chocolate hiding under the gelato.
Thank you Mia for all the great tips, and Mia and Naty for sharing the
calories with us.

The best brownies from Konditor & Cook
I refused to call it quits, so we went in to the brownie place so we could buy some for breakfast tomorrow. 
At this point, the sight of food was sort of making us sick already. Hahaha.
They're known for brownies, but I heard Mount Hazelnut is also good. 
We bought a swirly whirly brownie which was still good when we had it
for breakfast the next day.

Borough Market from Park Street
Thank you so much Mia for the wonderful food tour! I need to come back again, because we ran out of stomach space for the famous Chorizo Roll!!! I've been eyeing that for two trips now, next time I will definitely not miss it. just saying.


Kappacasein
Park Street, Borough Market
Thursdays, 11am - 5pm
Fridays, 11am - 6pm
Saturdays, 8am - 5pm 

Paella Stand
Look for it in the main market, you can't miss it.

Artisan du Chocolat
Look for it in the outdoor market, covered area
Wed-Fri: 12pm-6pm
Sat: 9am-4pm

Bread Ahead
Monday - Tuesday (in the Green Market) : 8am to 5pm
Wednesday - Thursday: 8am to 5pm
Fridays: 8am to 6pm
Saturday: 8am to 5pm

Monmouth Coffee
2 Park Street
The Borough
London SE1 9AB
T +44(0)20 7232 3010
Monday to Saturday
7.30am to 6pm
Closed Sundays

Gelatria 3Bis
4 Park Street
The Borough
London SE1 9AB

Konditor & Cook
10 Stoney Street
London
SE1 9AD

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vintage Kimono Shop in Kuromon Market Osaka

I love travelling. I also have a thing for living like a local, buying and actually wearing local attire (when affordable) included. 

I had 2 sets of lawn collection of Salwar Kameez made when I was in Pakistan, which I actually wore to meetings in our Karachi and Mumbai offices. I have a Sari which I wore on my birthday in Mumbai. I also have a block print cloth which I wore as a skirt, like the locals do in Cote d'Ivoire, and Jem and I have matching Ao Dais, with conical hats which unfortunately I've never worn. And these are just the things I remembered buying. Hahaha.

I've always wanted to own a real Kimono, not the cheap costume version, but a real Kimono is very expensive.
Imagine my surprise, a few years back, when we found real Kimonos,
that were so affordable, they cost less than ¥1000. Of course, I convinced
Jem that we had to buy. (Tim is actually wearing Sofia's Kimono here).
I'm proud to say, I've actually worn that Kimono to work! Seriously. Ask my office mates. Hahaha.

It was only after our trip did I realize that we stumbled into a Vintage Kimono Store in Kuromon Market without realizing it. That's why Sofia's brand new (souvenir type) Kimono cost so much more than my real authentic vintage one. 

If you're like me, and would like to own a beautiful authentic Kimono without breaking the bank, you can visit the Vintage Kimono Store in Kuromon Market in Osaka to get one.

This is what the store looks like.
Sof looks like she's up to no good, while her mom
goes shopping.
The store is well organized and they have a lot of Kimonos to choose from.
Just a tip, the ones hanging inside are more expensive.
They also sell the Obi belts, but I was too cheap to buy one.
I couldn't resist looking, even if I already had a Kimono,
and I wasn't really planning on buying a second one,
so I ended up walking away with a Kimono Top.

It definitely looks like something I can wear to work, which I should actually do.

Here are the details of the shop if you're interested. Hope you find something you like, like I did. just saying.