A bit more on the culinary adventures of living in London…
I went to the grocery store yesterday (although it was more like a glorified AM/PM) in search of tea, milk, sugar, chips, and salsa. The tea, sugar, and milk was in plentiful supply (this is the home of “tea time”, after all) but I was unable to locate any tortilla chips. They had Sainsbury’s salsa…the generic store brand, but no tortilla chips! ARGH! So I ended up buying the salsa and potato chips (or, as they call them here, “crisps”, since chips are britspeak for french fries). Now, I am pretty sure that mixing potato chips and salsa is a crime in California punishable by up to 6 months in prison, but I was desperate for some salsa, so hopefully the judge will have mercy on me. Anyways, if anyone knows where I can buy some tortilla chips around here, do tell, because I’ve been to three different grocery stores and haven’t found any. Oh, and I miss guacamole, too.
[EDIT: So, a few hours after I wrote this I went with one of my friends to a "Costcutters" store not too far from the Southwark tube station, and guess what, they had tortilla chips! YES!!!]
Last night we went to Chinatown in search of food. We ended up in front of this random Chinese restaurant and decided that this is where we would eat. The menu looked fine, the diners seemed to be enjoying their food, the usual marks of a decent restaurant. There was a lady standing in front of the door, and we assumed that she was some sort of hostess…she told us to go upstairs. A guy up there took us to a table, and said “Seven pounds, ninety pence. You pay now.” Ummm, OK…We paid, and he brings us back our dishes, whose cleanliness is questionable. You see, it was a buffet, all you could eat for �7.90…there was no menu…it was really sketchy (or “dodgy” as the Brits would say). The restaurant downstairs seemed really nice, but upstairs was an entirely different story…the windows were all painted over, and the food was all on this buffet bar, which, of course you had to stand in a line for. I loaded up my plate with chow mein, rice, some fried meat things, onion rings (???), pineapple, and these weird pieces of sesame toast. I’m not really sure what I was eating at times. It could have been seafood, but maybe it was pork…I’ll never know. Let’s just say that it’s one of the few times I’ve been to a Chinese restaurant and actually longed for Panda Express. Hell, I would have even taken the dorm food from Bankside House…at least it’s predictable.
When you want more food from the buffet, you have to take your dish with you…they don’t give you a clean one…DODGY AS HELL. My friend asked for a clean dish but they wouldnt give him one, but they allowed him to clean it himself. Uhhh…yeah.
Also, I think we were pissing off the people next to us, because they seemed to really be enjoying their food, while we were like “WTF is this?” We were also ripping on George Michael (somehow the conversation turned to 80s music…it’s amazing that no matter what country a person is from, you can all talk about 80s music) and perhaps the people next to us were huge George Michael fans.
So anyways, the food there sucked. If I knew the name of the restaurant I would post it, but I have purged it from my memory. Basically, if you end up in front of a restaurant in Chinatown and some sketchy Chinese lady tells you to go upstairs, DON’T. Go to McDonalds instead!