Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Sunday after

And then there was the Sunday after. My original plan had been to take things easy and clean the rest of the stuff up (basically wash the remaining dishes and do laundry, including the table cloth I'd shipped over from the States which had been my faithful standby even during my dinner parties in San Diego), but Two had stayed late with me in the night and invited me to dim sum the following noon with a girl we'd met at a previous Internations event, oddly with the same name as me. Well I couldn't turn down dim sum! And I remember this girl being pretty awesome, so I said I would go.

Dragging my butt out of bed after four bottles of grape-related fermentation and staying up until 1:30am cleaning and eating was surprisingly difficult. Especially after being naturally woken up by the sun at 7:30am (I'd decided, lamely, to leave my blinds open in an attempt to not have to use an alarm...too early, too early). I still made it, though I did feel the strange disoriented feeling of living in a dream. Riding a tube has never been so tiring (that's not true, but this was close to one of those times).

I found the girl, who I'll call Aussie J, and the restaurant (located in Chinatown, right down the street from where I met my friend from uni and her husband for the delicious duck several months ago), right on time. She was waiting inside for Two and didn't know if I was coming (she'd invited me as well but didn't have my number).

We recognized each other immediately and started chatting. Eventually they seated us, despite Two and Olive being a solid twenty minutes late, for which Two apologized immensely.

Aussie J explained beforehand that the dim sum at this place wasn't fantastic in comparison to Sydney, or likely San Francisco, but as a Chinese person, it made do. Sometimes you just accept what is in the country you're in and let things slide. It was cheap, in the middle of the city, and a nice restaurant. Plus it was pretty alright, not terrible.

She wasn't wrong. It was alright, not terrible, but not great. I've certainly had worse and better. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this place to people looking for good dim sum, but I wouldn't turn people away from the place either. It's a good standby, in other words. Exactly as she'd said.

We ordered quite a bit of variety, having waited to eat until Two and Olive showed up. We got:
  • An entire plate of char siu (at Olive's insistence)
  • Char siu buns (steamed)
  • Cheung fun (both beef and mixed protein varieties)
  • Ha gow (shrimp dumplings)
  • Shaolong bao (soup dumplings)
  • Savory meat dumplings (steamed)
  • Savory meat "footballs" (deep fried)
  • Fried taro balls
It was the perfect amount with the multiple pots of jasmine tea. I have no photos but I think you know what dim sum looks like normally. This place, btw is called the Golden Dragon (hilariously located next to other restaurants called things like, and I kid you not, the Oriental Dragon, and the Golden was ridiculous walking down the street and seeing all the variations of names you could come up with that basically revolved around the same thing). I laughed out loud, literally. When I told Aussie J and Two about it later they said it would have only been appropriate if afterwards I came upon the Golden Dragon II and III next. That would have only been proper.

Afterwards we separated ways and we met up with Two and Olive's friend, another Australian Asian, who I'll simply call Actor. He moved around the same time as Two as pure coincidence. What followed afterward, since I had no plans that day but to maybe nap and clean my apartment, was a mishmash of stopping into different stores and coffee shops (since Olive and Actor love coffee) and then eventually ending up at an amazing gourmet hamburger place. Unfortunately since I'm still a failure at eating, this just meant I ordered the thing most dear to my heart that I've not been eating much of lately...nachos. And fries.

Chicken nachos with guac, sour cream, and salsa. To be honest I was disappointed with these, and at £9, they were not as gourmet as they should have been. I should have known though; the British have always ruined nachos for me, even at nice places. And this place was really known for its gourmet burgers. I just wasn't hungry enough for that yet. I'm still not hungry enough for that. This is what cooking for a half a day does to me, plus just general non-exercise. Clearly I need to go back to the gym. And soon.

The fries, although promisingly labeled as chili cheese, were also disappointing. The chili, usually incredible to me in all its forms and varieties, was too sweet. I never thought I'd see the day. I always add sugar to my chili (I know, this seems sacrilege). This just...wasn't right.

Needless to say I didn't eat much again. The burgers everyone ordered looked and smelled fantastic though, and good conversation was had all around. I didn't notice the name of this place, but the atmosphere was adorable and it was located in a cute little back alley in Soho. That's all I can remember about it. I'm sure if I asked Two and Olive they'd be able to tell me right away. Apparently it's Olive mission to try every gourmet burger London has to offer. Or at least it's an unconscious goal. He's apparently eaten 2-3 burgers a day before, to try different places. I see this is something he holds as important in his life. I've not known anyone else to do something similar. That's a lot of burger.

We wandered around a little bit more after that but eventually headed home. The sun had already set an hour ago at 5pm. It's disturbing when the sun sets so early. Makes everything feel so late. I got home by 6:30pm but I was exhausted, having missed my ideal window for napping. I finished the rest of my cleaning and laundry and went to bed at 8:30pm. It was the best plan ever.

End to a great weekend, and another great one to look forward to.

Things with Don are really starting to look up. I think this relationship could really work.

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