Chopsticks – I find them really fascinating eating utensils. It is definitely a skill – handling these. Otherwise, it is daunting to think that one can be satisfied eating with these. Many years ago in Singapore, I was put to shame for stuffing my face with a fork and was not able to enjoy my hosts’ hospitality that spanned a 7- course meal. No kidding! You might say I learnt the hard way but learn I did! Looking back now, almost 20 years, I must say I am glad I ate humble pie and learnt something new and different. It is now second nature to me at any Chinese restaurant. My heartfelt gratitude to my Singaporean hosts’ wherever they are for challenging me to enjoy many Chinese meals since that embarrassing lunchtime at a classy restaurant on Orchard Road.
A couple of evenings this week we decided to drop by the Hees Chinese Restaurant in Mill Hill for dinner. We were in the neighbourhood and it felt kinda good to take in the long days and stay out until about 9pm or 10pm at night.
On both occasions as usual, service was immaculate, fast and pleasant. We have been there a couple of times so I reckon you could safely call us Hees regulars.
The place is clean, warm and so tidy. The food is absolutely delicious. For starters, try the beef satays and salted and pepper pork spareribs, the ever popular (with me that is) chicken sweet corn soup or salted and pepper squid.
For dinner, you may want to try the shredded chilli beef and fish Peking style and mixed vegetables. Ambience and sumptuous food, superb ‘express’ service and a friendly team keeps calling us back.
The menu goes on forever. That’s what I like about restaurants – long menus and feeling spoilt for choice is my kind of eatery – posh or non-posh.
As we left the restaurant smiling and absolutely smashed with great yummy morsels I couldn’t help thinking wow! Hees done it again!
Yesterday it seemed as if everyone returned to the city to check it out and take advantage of the after-Christmas sales and movie or theatre matinees. The crowds on the high street were incredible! Three things I wanted to do: have lunch at Thai Square – the popular Thai restaurant close to Trafalgar Square, go to John Lewis store on Oxford Street and to pick up some ingredients at the Japan Centre for a favourite Japanese dish.
At Thai Square, food and company were great. I even ran into someone I know – fancy that in a big city of about 12 million or so people!
After lunch, I went to Oxford Street to check something out at John Lewis. Wow! the pavements were absolutely choc-a-bloc with people – shoppers! and was so glad I could get away from there as soon as I could. It was kind of exciting in a weird sort of way.
My second last stop was at The London Picture Centre, to collect a painting. This painting caught my eye when I first walked into this gallery. I think it called me name when I walked in…but beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder.
My last stop was the Japan Centre on Lower Regent Street, down from Piccadilly Circus, to collect some ingredients I needed for a Japanese dish.
On the way home, as I reflected on my afternoon in London, I figured out a couple of things which are so mundane they seemed unimportant but I reckon food for thought nonetheless. These are my shopping tips for post-Christmas or New Year sales.
If you wanted to take advantage of the post-Christmas or New Year sales at the shops along Oxford Street and Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Street, go during the week – there are less people to jostle your way through. The other option is to be standing outside the store when it opens and be the first in.
Know what it is you really want to buy and where to get it in the shop.
If there are more than one item you are interested in, you need to give yourself at least 2 hours. Be mindful of queues outside the fitting rooms, and the sales assistant who has to check the stock shelves for your correct size while you wait.
When in a hurry enlist the help of a sales assistant to help you find matching tops to your long pants, find your correct size or match the colours that go well wth your complexion.
If the store you are in doesn’t have the item in stock ask the sales assistant to check with their other branches or stores nearby which carry the same brand or label.
Remember, most stores have a return policy so if in a hurry, buy the garment and try it at home. Ensure the price tag is still on and no marks on the item. Return it if not happy for a reimbursement or exchange it with another item of the same quality and price.
Check sales items carefully for any marks, tears or a missing button(s) etc.
If you like something you’ve seen and know in your heart of hearts that you must have it, go ahead and buy it. Guaranteed it wont be there when you go back in a month’s time. In some cases the store would have sold out on your size, colour or style.
Been driving past this restaurant for a few weeks and everytime thinking whether we should give it a try. Could have gone there a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get around to it.
In fact, I met one of the Salespersons at PC World at Staples Corner and somewhere along the line we established that we both live in the same area. Our conversation, amongst PCs and printers and so on, turned to eating places in our area. She suggested we tried Meera which she said had really nice food, ambience and great prices.
We decided to try it out on Friday evening! It being Friday evening I thought about two niggling issues – a parking spot, and whether I’d find the food as my new-found neighbour found it – great and reasonably priced.
Regardless, we went to Meera’s anyway. Well, I needn’t have worried my little head off as both issues resolved themselves and I was happier for that on this Friday night.
Walking into the restaurant I was clearly amazed. I’ve never been to India and this was probably the closest I’ve been! As one of us had to park the car, I went in first – was greeted ever so warmly and didn’t have to wait long for a table. The place was packed and that was comforting because the food had to be good. It had to be, as the place was filling up so fast. There was a couple and a family of seven waiting for tables, then there was me. I must have been standing around for less than 5 minutes. The place was absolutely buzzing and that’s what a restaurant ought to be.
I got shown to my table for four – actually there were just two of us but that was the only way to get in hoping a group of four didn’t come along. Fortunately, that did not happen so we sat down and got on with the bizniz of ordering our dishes and tucking in!
I looked around and was delighted at the decor and apparel of the waiters and waitresses. I must say these people are actually Meera’s A-Team.
I think it is a Gujarati vegetarian restaurant. I could be way off the mark here. Anyway, I noticed the dress of the waiters – wonderfully ethnic and strangely beautiful.
I knew I was going to have a great time. The interior decor was georgeous.
I felt like I was in the tropics because of the garb of the waiters and waitresses – except for the fact that I was wearing a coat and so were the other diners.
The only ones that seem oblivious to the cold were the waiters, waitresses and the manager of the restaurant – Meera’s A-Team.
When we got around to ordering and of course without knowing what kind of food was served we asked for chicken etc and were told politely that Meera is a vegetarian restaurant.
Well, we perished the thought of meat and got cracking on a vegan order helped by the waiter. Turned out to be a smart move.
I asked two of the A-Team if I could take a photo of them and their beautiful clothes and they kindly obliged – I was really grateful they did. The fabrics were stunning.
Back to the food. The food was delicious. The har-burgers were, I must say, the pick of the bunch. Who would have thought vegan dishes couldn’t possibly taste so wonderful to the palate. Aherrm….only idiots! if you ask me.
The furniture was different – chairs were made of some sort of heavy wood and a bit difficult to move around but who cares…the food and efficient service more than compensated for heavy chairs. The place has ambience and I wished we had something similar…like a Pacific eating place in London. A place like this – with all the exotic Southseas themes, music and cuisine. Anyway…nevermind about dreaming. The food had arrived and we were famished alright.
I had a good look around and everywhere I looked I must have been smiling from ear to ear. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and a great place to be on a Friday evening. The cost of the meal for two persons was very reasonable…I won’t be expecting to wash dishes there, I concluded.
I know that I’ll be coming back to this restaurant. It has beautiful decor, food is wonderful and delicious, and service is simply superb. Ah, better not forget that when placing your food order let them know that you would like your dish spicy but as much as possible not too hot. They’re very understanding and will provide the degree of spicy-ness that your mouth can bear. I’ll try medium spicy next time. Yes, next time.
Before we left the restaurant I asked if I could take a photograph with two members of Meera’s A-team. The evening was a wonderful way to end a week. A great decision I may add. I went home muttering this over and over again…”Meera, Meera…” – voila! this blog. My magic moments at Meera’s – thank you for a wonderful evening.
Last Wednesday we were craving for nice Chinese kai so I ‘Googled’ Chinese restaurants in our local area and presto! up comes Hees, a local Chinese restaurant serving Szechuan and oriental cuisine. It’s a nice little restaurant located along the main drag of The Broadway, Mill Hill. Check the link on this blog to find out more about the Hees.
We were told that the restaurant ‘chain’ has been in existence in London for about 25 years. Dinner was cooked by one of their top brass! a first for me! The Food was great and service was fast. Here are some pics of the first Chinese restaurant I’ve visited in almost 12 months in this area.
In PNG there is no problem in locating a Chinese restaurant to go to but here is something else. Planti tumas so you have to know exactly where to look – thanks to Google. Since I live soooo faraway from London’s Chinatown, Google is the next best thing. These were the dishes we ordered but oh how I miss the salt and pepper fish at Fugui Village!