Sushi Takeaway Dinner – Tsuru, Bankside

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Heatwave! The past couple of days, the weather has finally taken a turn for the better with bright sunshine, nice cool breeze and plenty of flabby, pasty looking skin on show. With the weather forecast not looking too great for the weekend, thought I tempt the Boom with a cold sushi dinner tonight and in exchange, he sponsor the booze. As usual, when it comes to food, the Boom is always keen.

So took a walk to Tsuru at Canvey Street, Bankside and bought a collection of sushi bento boxes for dinner. The last time I wrote about Tsuru, it was the Chicken Katsu Curry and I have yet to try the scotch egg version which I’m told by the Yank that is fab. I’m hoping that of the boxes I have picked up, it will match my expectation. Run down of what I got:

Edamame with Chili – £1.95

Potato Salad – £1.95

Prawn and Sashimi Salad – £5.95

Salmon and Tuna Box – £6.95

Tempura Prawn Maki – £4.25

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Compared to Wasabi, not exactly cheap with the total at £21.05 but as dinner for 2, I think it’s not half bad. A quick run down of what I think of the items.

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The Salmon and Tuna Box and the Tempura Prawn Maki were pretty nice, the fish was fresh and seeing that the Tempura Prawn Maki was premade, was not expecting it to be crispy. Not blow your mind fantastic but not too bad either. Perhaps it might be slightly overpriced?

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Both the Boom and I enjoyed the Prawn and Sashimi Salad. There is a tendency for rice to be dry or bland but the rice in this salad box was a joy! Moist but not mushy with scattered sesame seeds throughout, we were happy to just eat the rice on it’s own.

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I bought the Potato Salad on a whim as I thought the presentation was rather quaint, molded into 2 quenelle shaped lumps. This is not the Western potato salad one would expect. It’s more like a colcannon, mashed potato laced with chopped onions, chives and carrots. Interesting but it needs more seasoning.

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There seems to be a fad to spice up the humble edamame recently. Was at another Japanese restaurant just last week and apart from the normal version with rock salt, there was a kimchee version which turned out not half bad. Unfortunately, the Edamame with Chili was not well received. Generous lashings of what I think was shichimi togarashi seasoning was added to this version and the taste of raw chili overtook the freshness of the bean completely. Boom also thinks the beans were under cooked while I think it’s just because they are served cold.

In all, it was an alright dinner but I think what I bought today is better off served as lunch.

Tsuru
4 Canvey Street
London SE1 9AN
0207 928 2228

Thai Red Beef Curry – Bangkok Kitchen, London Bridge

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Had to run an errand and a trek to the Post Office was required. Remembered there was a small food truck next to the London Bridge Post Office and there a long queue the last time. Asian food stores with long queues always piqued by interest.

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Scoured around on the interweb, realised that the Bangkok Kitchen food truck is the offshoot of a small takeaway joint in the Southwark area which I came across during one of my walks around the area. This food truck only opens from 1200-1400hrs and all dishes are £4.50 served with either rice or noodles.

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There were 4 steamer trays on display today and I think there was a normal stir fry chicken, a Thai Red Beef Curry, Thai Green Chicken Curry and the last tray was filled with pad thai noodles. Chicken is not my meat of choice so beef it shall be! Well, at least I hope it’s beef 🙂

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Like Mama Thai, you can help yourself to the condiments on offer to customise your meal to the way you like it. Chose from crushed peanuts and a few different chili sauces. They were thoughtful enough to provide small containers so you can keep your condiments separate from the main meal. I really appreciate such small gestures, its the little thought that counts!

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So at the bargain price of £4.50, was the Thai Red Beef Curry any good? I have to say that it’s not half bad. The curry was thick and rich with coconut and spiced generously with star anise and kaffir lime leaves as well as the usual culprits that makes up a Thai red curry paste. On the veg front, you have big slices of green capsicum and crunchy green beans. Like the fact that the veg are not cooked to a mush. Both the beef and rice portion were more than generous and the only complain I have is that the beef was a tad chewy. Then again, you pay for what you get; don’t expect top grade filet steak at £4.50.

Bangkok Kitchen
Next to London Bridge Post Office
19A Borough High Street
London SE1 9SF

Chicken Ramen and Hosomaki Set – Deli Mama, Eastcheap

IMG-20130412-delimama_lunchA colleague from the US office was in town this week for work and I was asked to take a walk with him for lunch today. He had a couple of things he wanted to buy which took us across the river. Seeing we have made the trek, decided to go by my regular haunt when I was based out in Monument.

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Deli Mama is located around the corner from the Monument and is an independent Japanese/Korea takeaway joint ran by a team of Korean staff. There is a range of hot dishes which you can have with either rice or noodles at the steam tray counter.

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Or you can also pickup tubs of udon, ramen and a selection of bento boxes and sushi set from the fridge units. As you can see, the selection is pretty good and all pretty affordable.

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I decided on my old favourite which is the Chicken Ramen where I got the spicy broth added when paying at the counter. Also added a small box of Hosomaki Set. The ramen was £5.80 while the Hosomaki Set was £3.75.

IMG-20130412-delimama_chickenramenAs you can see, the noodles is not exactly ramen but more like the korean ramyun style instant noodles. Other condiments in the noodles includes bean sprouts, shredded carrot, big bunches of coriander and sliced up fried chicken breast. I highly recommend you top up the container to the brim with extra hot water as the spicy broth has a tendency to be pretty salty. perfect comfort food on cold wet days.

IMG-20130412-delimama_hosomakisetI really enjoyed the Hosomaki Set. There are 2 Gunkan style sushi, one topped with chopped salmon and mixed pickles while the other is with a smoked mackerel salad and fresh cucumber. The one in the middle is a inari pocket with tuna mayo and pickled ginger. The last two are normal nigiri with cooked prawn and fresh salmon. Strictly speaking, these are not Hosomaki as they are the small skinny rolls but I will let that rest since they were really fresh and tasty.

When the weather gets better, I will be sure to visit Deli Mama more often. The quality and price of the offering is worth the trek!

Deli Mama
2 Eastcheap
London EC3M 1AA

Chicken Yakisoba – Chozen, Borough High Street

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Today’s lunch is truly a lunch on the move! Got some admin and health thing to take care of so left the office at lunchtime. Wanted to grab something to eat while travelling to make best use of time but did not fancy anything bready.

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Did think some sushi rolls might do the trick and since Chozen is on the way to the tube station, pop in to see what’s on offer. The boxes with nigiri and sushi rolls were totally over priced I think at close to £7 per box. You can get double that amount for the same price at Wasabi or other sushi chains. The only other candidate were the salad boxes at £3.95 per box but thought it would be a pain trying to cram pieces of lettuce and cucumber into my mouth while on the tube.

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Against my better judgement, I settled on the Chicken Yakisoba from the hot counter with 2 pieces of Chicken Karaage as a side. Total came to be £5.95, yes I resisted the temptation to upsize.

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The smell from the takeaway box was luring me on the first leg of my tube journey but the tube was too packed to eat comfortably. Finally managed to tuck in during the second leg and was sorely disappointed. I was not expecting anything spectacular but this is utter rubbish! Worse then those mish mash stir fry noodles you get from music festivals and markets! The egg noodles were soft and mushy like baby food. Thought the pieces of chicken, baby corn, capsicum and carrots were generous, they were fried to the death! The overall seasoning was way over the top! Wonder how many bottles of teriyaki and soya sauce they used!

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I was lucky when I decided to pickup a can of soft drink at the last minute to the tube station. If not, I would perished from umami overdose!

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Chozen
59-61 Borough High Street
London SE1 1NE
0207 403 0031

Duck Confit Sandwich – Le Marche du Quartier, Borough Market

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I hate Borough Market! Ok, I know that sounded a tad strong. I’ll correct myself and be slightly more PC. I hate Borough Market from Thursday through to the weekend! When I first came to London and visited Borough Market, I used to be in awed by the variety of food and produce available. But nowadays, not only have the variety dwindled, most of the clienteles on full market days are 90% tourist! They mill around like mindless sheep, getting into everybody’s way and buys nothing serious. Makes my blood boil!

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Enough of my ranting, on to today’s post. So last Thursday, feeling guilty about not blogging as much as I used to, I decided to risk a walk to Borough Market wanting to checkout a Caribbean Jerk stall which was opened the day before. When I got there, it was not opened and I was at a lost with what to get for lunch. As it is I was running out of time as I have meeting soon and the throng of tourist did not help. Anyway, finally decided to have the Duck Confit Sandwich from Le Marche du Quartier which I have been promising myself to try.

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Le Marche du Quartier also known as The Market Quarter is a french shop selling french supplies. You can find tins of confit de canard, pate, goose fat, foie gras etc. Typically french stuff. When the shop is open, they also have a make shift stand selling shredded duck confit stuffed into a ciabatta with a few token fronds of rocket. At £5, it’s pretty affordable by Borough Market standards. If you look carefully at the picture above, you can see a blue movement behind the steam. That’s the chap busy mopping up the fat from frying the duck confit.

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As you can see from the gleam of the filling, this is seriously fatty stuff! I was a tad worried that apart from being fat, it will be really salty as well. Luckily, the hearty ciabatta overcame the saltiness of the duck confit. The portion was very generous but I would prefer to have more rocket which will also help to cut down the fattiness of the stuffing.

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If you are not a fan of fat, suggest you stay clear of this. Even 5 thick sheets of napkin cannot overcome the power of the grease!

Le Marche du Quartier
Middle Market area
Borough Market
Stoney Street
London SE1 9AA
020 7378 8679