Friday, March 17, 2006
At least I had a great breakfast in Tokyo.
Anyone who knows me will know that I am a huge breakfast guy. I love a rich buffet of fruit, bread etc. but I am guite conservative in my breakfast choice. The idea of having an egg Benedictine or sausages and potatoes for breakfast is simply so off putting that I could not handle it. I have a theory and that is that breakfast being the first meal of the day should not contain any surprises. What your body is used to having, it should have. There are big cultural differences in breakfasts and when I travel the world I can often tell where people are coming from depending what they are having for breakfast. The Brits have their egg and bacon and in particular beans, and some tea. In US the tea is substituted with coffee. The Scandinavians would have cold cuts on bread a 5 minute boiled egg. The French a Café au lait and Pain with apricot jam. If we think of all the amazing fusion of food going on in restaurants there are no fusion trends in breakfasts. Like for all rules there has to be an exception. I love American Pancakes for breakfast. Everytime I have them, I think of my American host Mother I had as an exchange student in Oregon. We used to have them on Sundays and sometimes with blue berries. My problem with the pancakes is that I could not only have pancakes for breakfast and hence I often get strange looks when I order a bagle, some musli some fruit. I try with various success tell them I like a little of many things for breakfast, sometimes I end up with a whole table of stuff and a feeling of guilt. Breakfast habits are hard to shake.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Nokia Lifeblog 2.0 is out of the labs - Congrats!
Today visitors at Cebit will have a chance to see and play with Nokia Lifeblog 2.0. It is a major overhaul of Lifeblog which should improve and expand the product. I am looking forward to the increased metadata, promised speed improvements and more robust sync. The support for Audio notes, could bring a very interesting twist to liferecording. Getting a record of Calendar notes as metadata is great.
Since I left Nokia I have not seen it, so I am eagerly looking forward to upgrading, I just need to wait for the version compatible with older NSeries devices. I am still using my N90 Transformer and running Lifeblog and Y! Go on it. I am still Liferecording at similar pace. Today my Lifeblog has 17887 items in it, 11161 images, 4889 sms's, 30mms, 843 videos, 405 notes and 286 posts.
My big concrats to the team, who I know has worked extremly hard to improve the product.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Neal Street Restaurant is a piece of Italy in Covent Gardens
The Neal Street Restaurant is one of my favourite places in Covent Garden. I often come here for a business lunch. It is haute cuisine with a bit of serving theatre. They finish the dish in front of your eyes, mixing the spagetti or carving truffle on the risotto. First I was a bit amused by it, but I have come to like it, it does feel sincere and authentic. It adds to their personal very professional service. The linen is clean, starched and the glasses are clean. When seated you look upon some abstract art on the walls, the light in the place is nice and subtle. It quickly consumes you and you forget the computer with all those unread e-mails and can focus on a nice conversation with your business partner. I like the big mirror at the end of the restaurant, it gives size to this rather small place. Afer 1PM its gets very busy with the Soho media influencers and food lovers. It gets vibrant. It is a bit of a paradox, but it works.
When seated they bring out a bit of bread, fresh olive oil to dip in and most importanly the most amazing olives I have ever eaten. I can only describe them as fresh olives. I have not asked what they are, but make sure you taste them.
They are big on fresh mushrooms and I a good dish is to ask what daily specials they do with the mushrooms. Their tagliatelle with forest mushrooms is very italian. They do a wonderful risotto well wort the 30minute wait. Their Carperese is innovative, with cherry tomatoes lightly grilled with fresh buffalo motzarella. The Carpaccio is great. I have had their calve liver, it is great for those into it.
Their desert list will certainly calm the sweet tooth and build the mass in unwanted areas.
The great service and good food comes at a price, so if you are looking for a casual quick lunch this is not the place. With that said I do think it is value for money. I have been their many times and I do go back.
The Restaurant is the creation of Antonio Carluccio a well know restaurant entrepreneur in London. He has open several Carluccio café, we have one in our neighbourhood. He is not cooking at the Neal Street Restaurant, but italian chef Maurilio Molteni is responsible for the food and he does a good job at it.
World Food Café is a lunch sanctuary
World Food Café is in the hearth of Covent Gardent, maybe it is the hearth of Covent Garden. This eden of food has become one of my absolute favourite places to eat lunch. It is utterly authentic, pure good food. It is not haute cuisine, but true cuisine, almost like eating at home.
World Food Café is a vegetarian restaurant serving a set of dishes from around the world where the common element is fresh vegetables. Inspired by the world travels of Chris and Carolyn Caldicott, where Chris is a travel photographer. The menu drawn on the chalk board by the entrance is dynamic, but there are classics There is the Indina Thali, The Middle Eastern Meze, The Peruvian Special.. The food is sometimes served on steel plates, one drinks out of steel cups. One can sit at the bar and look into the central little kitchen or at one of the three tables seating 6 or 8. It is in other words a small place. I would say the room is no larger than 30m2. At the tables one gets a view over Neals Yard with restored buildings in vivid colours.
I was immidiately attracted to the place, the down to earth atmosphere and the strong focus on serving good stuff makes a successful formula. I have been back a dozen times as it is just around the corner from the office. I have taken business guest there, OK only ones I think has a tolerance for something special.
I am big fan of their mint tea brewed with fresh mint ofcourse . I like their soups. The Peruvian is very good with a nice stew and a salad with a coriander balsamic dressign giving a bit of a sour sting to the rather sweet stew, topped with a avocado salad.
The Specials are about 8.95 per dish, the soup and salad combo is 5.95. They also serve a nice carrot cake for the sweet tooth.
For some of the most authentic London cuisine stop by the ladies at World Food Café I do not think you will walk away dissapointed.