Thursday, December 29, 2005

jazz cafe

jazz cafe is one of london's most famous nightspots for live music. they have a truly impressive line-up of artists and attract some big names from newcomers with a lot of buzz like the gorgeous greek musician athena andreadis to eternal favourites like stevie wonder. just a minute's walk from the camden town tube station, jazz cafe is an unpretentious jazz bar that is a restaurant as well.

h and i decided to show up without any advance bookings so we did not score a table for dinner a few nights back. but we showed up early enough to get one of the few tables in the standing room only section right in front of the stage that is on the ground floor. the restaurant overlooks the stage from the first floor so i'm sure it must be fabulous dining experience while enjoying great music. i must come back and try the food at some point.

we watched roy arters and his group perform. this world-renown funk and jazz artists was animated and fully engaged throughout the performance. he played some of his big hits like "everybody likes the sunshine" and "can't you see me". he and his saxophonist, ray gaskins, made a lot of fun of the brits and londoners. he's playing all week till january the 1st.

jazz cafe
5 parkway
camden town
london nw1 7pg

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


wagamama is a chain of japanese fast food restaurants all over london. it is consistently rated at the top of the charts by zagat’s and is counted amongst the best of london eateries by many of my friends and colleagues. i woke up yesterday craving hot and spicy food (but not indian!) so decided to check out the wagamama’s at oxford circus after browsing through the sales at selfridges, h&m etc.

we had a lazy start to the day so didn’t actually get to lunch till well after 3pm. i was stunned to see a long line of hungry tourists and londoners waiting patiently for a seat in the packed cafeteria-style establishment this late in the afternoon. surprisingly, we were seated within 10 minutes and our food arrived shortly after ordering.

though this is a japanese restaurant, you won’t find any sushi here. wagamama is modelled on the ramen bars popular in japan. expect noodle soups, chilli men (curried noodles), tepen and lots of interesting side dishes including edamame and gyozas. vegetarians have a nice variety of dishes to choose from including soup, noodles and rice-based choices. i ordered a nice big bowl of mixed vegetables and tofu in a miso soup with noodles. i add lots of chili oil to spice it up. the soup filled and warmed me up simulatenously! i washed it down with apple and lime juice.

h and i also shared a side order of vegetable gyoza that was brought to our table much after the other items so the waitress took it off our tab which I thought was a very nice gesture. wagamama reminded me a lot of republic at union square in manhattan. delicious food, communal atmosphere and excellent value for money.

101a wigmore street, london, W1U 1QR
tel: + 44 (0) 207 409 0111

back to blogging!

it feels great to be back to blogging after a week's hiatus. i arrived in london last week and am staying at corporate housing in kensington. unfortunately, the building does not offer wireless service so i have been quite disconnected from the online world. i finally found an internet cafe nearby from where i can post to my new london blog. i have already had quite a few food adventures that i am dying to share. stay tuned!