30 January 2012

North London - Crouch End - Nakama

As I began to wean myself off those stupid Christmas-Party-Injury Crutches, I tried to force myself to go out seeking London spots again. One of my favourite areas, in my own back yard, is Crouch End. It may be part of London, but creep over the hill that takes you through Hornsey Rise and it's like you've found a whole new village. I've done a few pubs in the area, but it also has a wide range of restaurants that aren't chains on offer. I did a quick bit of research for sushi in the area on my Urbanspoon app and came across Nakama.

Excluding the table behind us with another American/Brit mix party of two, we were the only people in there - so I was getting a bit worried about the food.

However, about 5 minutes in to our meal, I realised I had nothing to be worried about as they served up all of my favourite Japanese dishes in very visually pleasing arrangements.

Miso soup, Salmon sashimi, Asahi beer

Tori Gyoza/Chicken Dumplings

The chef was even nice enough to throw in some free tuna carpaccio

By this time, we were quite full but our mains had arrived.  The boyfriend went for the Chicken Katsu

Chicken Katsu

And I had a pork curry

Japanese Pork Curry

By the time our mains arrived, another American/Brit party of two had arrived (are we all sourcing this restaurant from the same place?) and pointed out something (I didn't have my glasses on so I couldn't tell what it was) that was very impressive.  Not long after, our waitress brought some of this mysterious thing to our table as well!  Pretty!

Origami Swan

Sushi, miso soup, dumplings, two mains and 4 beers set us back about £50 total.  Great service, chill vibe and jazz music.

Nakama can be found at:

50 Topsfield Parade
Crouch End
N8 8PT
Nearest Tube: Crouch Hill (Overground), multiple bus routes

Nakama on Urbanspoon

09 January 2012

North London - Emirates Stadium - FT Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United

It's not very often that I get to write about the team I love here in London, but I have just returned from a very happy win in the FA Cup.

Some things to note from today's game:
  • Leeds supporters have very intricate chants involving rhythmic clapping that I can't even get some dancers to do when I teach rhythm
  • They also never shut up (which isn't saying much coming from an Arsenal supporter)
  • The Emirates stadium is freezing in the upper tiers - particularly when people start leaving their seats
  • The walk from the stadium to N19 is very nice. Walking home every day from Highbury & Islington station may be my new 'thing'
  • Thierry Henry is a BEAST
Welcome home! OH TO, OH TO BE, OH TO BE A, GOONER!

Watch the goal here

01 January 2012

North London - Parliament Hill - New Year's Eve 2012

Unexpectedly, diamond geezer seemed to have had the same NYE experience I did.

Annoyingly, due to my foot, I didn't make it as far up the hill as he had but I had somewhat of the same experience.

A simple night that at first would have been at the Victoria Memorial, then at Feeling Gloomy, then at Proud Camden ended in a night of drinking at my house and going to find a place with a view in London. Luckily, living North, getting to Parlimant Hill wasn't too much of a mission.

Eventhough I didn't make it to the top of the hill, I still had a decent view with minimal nature-blockage of the London Eye - as well as a view of some fireworks happening down south I presume, and some within the heath itself.

This being my third NYE in London, I'm happy to say I've had a different experience for each one. My first year I went to Ruby Blue in Leiscter Square, which funnily enough had no view at all of the fireworks and was complete shite. The second year I went to the Victoria Memorial, enjoyed the fireworks and then headed to Brick Lane and made my way in to the Big Chill Bar before being fed up with the crowd and going home. This year, we had drinks (lots of drinks + power hour) at home, quickly saw the fireworks, and drank at Southampton Arms near the heath afterwards.

Regardless of how I spent tonight, I knew I would have much to look forward to in 2012.

Here's wishing you and yours a very happy new year! xx

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