My friend Khrystyne just had a baby. She had a baby! I mean, after the endless hours of contractions, anguish, pain and sweat, she made a baby, and they let her take it home. Little baby Emmerson, and OMG is it legal to be that cute? She gurgles and coos and gurgles some more, and forms that little ‘o’ shape with her mouth, as if she’s suckling on thin air, but probably searching for a nipple. Not mine though, bubba, you’d be left high and dry with that one.
I’ve just come home from meeting little Emmerson for the first time, and holy tabouleh my cluckiness has kicked into overdrive. I don’t even know what to do with myself. I already attend Freaks Anonymous for my uncontrollable staring at fat, dumpy babies on public transport ~ my eyes glaze over and I’m so completely mesmerised that it actually scares me a little. Now I just look like I want to gobble one up, right there on the spot. It’s definitely an urge not unlike hunger. Like I’m gonna go ape-shit insane if I don’t eat right now.
At least I can satiate my hunger with relative ease.
The Hare & Tortoise
I’ve always thought that Hare & Tortoise was a pub. I mean, doesn’t it sound like a pub? Fits right in there with Slug & Lettuce, Square Pig & Swine and my favourite, The Cock. So when I was enlightened to the fact that the Hare & Tortoise serve Asian food, I was a more than a wee bit curious. I checked out their website and there it was, not just westernised noodly things like I had expected, but full blown Japanese (sushi, sashimi, donburi), Chinese (char siu chow mien) and Malaysian (curry laksa) dishes. Wowzers.
So despite feeling like I was walking into white-man’s land, I had to give it ago.
Vegetarian duck wrap?
Browsing through the menu, so many things caught my attention such as the Chirasi Don (slices of mixed raw fish, omelette and Japanese pickle on sushi rice), Penang Prawn Mee (my usual, gotta go back for this one), and even the Spicy Wing Stick (deep fried off-boned chicken wings marinated with Chinese spices). But alas, I was dining for one and stuck to the plan.
On the starters menu is a Vegetarian Duck Wrap. Que? Vegetarian and duck don’t go in the same sentence, bro. I ordered it anyway and was pleasantly surprised. The wrap emulates a peking duck wrap with cucumber, shallots, hoi sin sauce and a light floury pancake. But instead of duck, they use a piece of sweet beancurd skin which actually tasted magnificent. So magnificent in fact that it’s on my list of starters for the next dinner party at casa de catty.
I also ordered a Deluxe Sashimi Moriawase (12 pieces of salmon, tuna, yellow tail, sweet shrimp, sea bream and scallops) which was just downright greedy. It never sounds like much but my oh my, these slices were enormous and I was actually struggling with the last piece of super fresh, super sweet sea bream. I managed to finish it all, and gave my belly a proud pat.
So the verdict? It’s actually not bad for a quick eat. I mean, don’t even think about comparing it to the Kiasu‘s and HK Diner‘s and Sushi Hiro‘s of the world, it’s not up there but it doesn’t pretend to be. But I for one enjoyed my meal and am going back for the Penang Prawn Mee.
Anyhoos, we’re off to Amsterdam tonight for the long weekend, and I’ve had so many recommendations for places to eat at ~ thank you everyone who’s looking out for my mental, emotional and gastronomical health!
Hare & Tortoise Noodle Bar
11-13 The Brunswick
Bloomsbury, WC1N 1AF