In all our jaunts across town, I rarely hear English being spoken between people, unless it is a business transaction. The guys from whom we bought our phone connections were from India and Sri Lanka. Our Coffee Shop guys all speak fluent Italian (I still follow bits of conversation) and I had a broken Arabic conversation with an Algerian managing a French Pattiserrie. We had a brilliant meal last week at Daquise - a Polish restaurant. Our neighbours in the building are from Japan and Australia. Yes, we seem to have landed in the middle of a much larger melting pot.
For groceries, we have tried Waitrose, Sainsbury, Selfridges (we were in the store browsing) and Marks & Spencer
So far, I
think I love the raw ingredients and cold meats from Marks &
Spencer the best. Much superior in taste and flavour to Waitrose.
is good for last minute buys and general groceries and cakes, but we
didn't like their sandwiches.
Selfridges has a lot of premium products
and organic produce, but the readymade food costs as much as eating in at an average restaurant.
Waitrose has very high quality Organic products and their spices are fantastic. (turmeric, jeera, corriander), but I did not like their cold meats at all, especially when compared to Marks & Spencer.
My local grocer is from Egypt and has a meat section which sells things like gizzards. I've asked him to keep an eye out for tongue for me.
Borough Market was brilliant and I can't wait to go back. However, I'm still getting used to the cold and don't like shopping in the open air in the current weather.
My fridge in this house is miniscule compared to my 600Litre fridge, which I had to leave behind in India - no way I would have been able to fit it inside a kitchen in Central London. So I'm learning to buy in smaller quantities (Brajesh who helps in carrying the groceries here, would not agree to this statement :) )
But the range of food and quality of meat is excellent and I'm loving cooking with all these ingredients. Such a massive change after our last posting in Ahmedabad, where I had just 2 places to choose from to buy meat and there was hardly anything new in the vegetable markets to try except the winter specialties. - fresh turmeric, amba haldi etc
Fingers Crossed, that I will be blogging more. Lets see.