When I say not having a kitchen has forced me to eat out a lot, I don’t really mean it.  I have a fridge and a microwave and I ate a ready meal the other day.  It was better than I thought it would be.  Really the no kitchen thing has been a good excuse to get out and about and do things.

On Saturday I went to Parkrun and afterwards ate breakfast (porridge and a kale smoothie, good solid hipster food) at the Finsbury Park Cafe.

A photo posted by Sarah (@nlondonkitchen) on

I was there on my own but I bumped into someone I knew from running, Anna, and a couple of her friends, and I had a lovely time. On Sunday I went to Tottenham Green Market for lunch. I took my roti canai across to the communal table where a couple of young families were sitting and asked if they minded me sitting down. They welcomed me to the table and offered me a glass of Chardonnay.

Despite these moments of calm it has been a hectic week. A couple of days ago I passed a mother at the end of her tether. “BE QUIET!” she shouted at her little girl who was in full on meltdown mode. “I don’t want to be seven, I want to be two again” wailed the girl. In that moment I knew exactly what she meant. I honestly thought when I started this blog it would be a way to project some sort of glamorous, competent persona when really it has become a forum to share the love I have for local food but also to be honest about my worries and insecurities. Yet, this week has seen salary negotiations, booking a solo holiday, instructing workmen, and making decisions.  I’m beginning to feel a little bit like a competent adult.

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This brings me back to dining alone. This evening was the first night of Teochew Kitchen’s monthlong residency at Craving Coffee. I hadn’t managed to persuade any of my friends to go with me but by the time I headed there I was looking forward to some time alone, in a room full of people – if that makes sense! I found a table, drank dry cider and read Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run.

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Appropriate to the reading material, everything I ate tonight was vegan:

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Smashed cucumbers. I haven’t eaten this dish in years but I remember it being spicier than cucumber had any right to be. So I was suspicious of the 1 chilli rating on the menu. Fortunately this turned out to be Singaporean mild, not English mild – so that by the end of a portion of this, the heat level has built to the point where your sinuses feel pretty clear and you’re glad of a cold drink next to you.

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Chilli ginger soy choi sum. Try saying that five times quickly. I was craving vegetables and this tasted clean, green and delicious.

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BBC – broad bean, bean curd and Chinese chutney with steamed jasmine rice. I think this was actually edamame. Yum. Also, the rice made me want to never be lazy about my rice preparation habits again.

I was also given a complimentary little pot of Szechuan roast almonds – delicious. All in all it was proper feel good food.

Teochew Kitchen will be at Craving Coffee all May on Thursday and Friday evenings. I’m already trying to mentally plan when I might have time to go back.

Craving Coffee
Unit 3, Gaunson House, Markfield Road, N15 4QQ
http://www.cravingcoffee.co.uk/
@CravingCoffeeUK