Bir Başkadır Londra’nın Sokak Ziyafeti…

Geçtiğimiz ay Londra’nın bir kısım Türkün de yaşadığı Dalston semtinde düzenlenen “Street Feast” (Sokak Ziyafeti) etkinliğine Time Out London dergisinin konuğu olarak katılma şansını elde ettim.

Etkinliğe davetli olduğum için giriş ücreti ödemedim, üstelik bir bira ve tekilalı sorbeyi de ücretsiz alabildim. Etkinlik kapsamında Londra’nın en iyi sokak mutfağı kahramanları stand açıyor. 50’den fazla değişik yemek tadabilirsiniz. Yemek tezgahlarının aralarına da barlar serpiştirilmiş, içkinizi de oralardan alıyorsunuz.

İlk denediğimiz şey Malezyalıların meşhur yemeği satay usulü tavukla yapılmış mini burger oldu. Hiç fena değildi. Birayla da iyi gitti hani 🙂

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“Chicken satay” mini burger (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Bedava biralar bayağı kötüydü, su gibi, Amerikan usulü… Sevmedik. Ama aşağıda yediğimiz ördek burger ilginçti bak 🙂

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Ördek burger / duck burger (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Aşağıda göreceğiniz Meksika fasulyesinden yapılmış tortilla (bir çeşit hamur) üstüne, yayık sütüyle marine edilmiş kızarmış tavuklu, hafif acılı tacos (Meksika usulü atıştırmalıklardan sadece biri 🙂 buradaki favorimiz oldu.

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Acılı tacos ile misket limonunun (lime) dayanılmaz çekiciliği… (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Baktık tacos güzel, aynı tavuğu bir de porsiyon olarak aldık. Gerçekten lezzetliydi. Üstünde mayonez ketçap karışımından oluşan bir sos ve yanında yine (tabii ki!) misket limonu ile servis ediliyor. Yanındaki, elimizde gezen “bidava” tekilalı sorbemiz ile biraz alakasız oldu, ama neyse 🙂

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Kızarmış tavuk (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

O güzel tacos’un ve tavukların mimarı stand, altta resmi görünen Breddos imiş.

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(Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

İkinci favorim de buydu, lezzetli mini burgercikler!

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(Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Sanırım alttaki standdan aldık bu güzelleri.

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(Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Genel ortam da aşağıdaki gibiydi. Mayıs ayı gelmiş olmasına rağmen Londra havası maalesef henüz sıcak filan olmadığı için berelerle ateş başında ısınan sefil (!) foodieleri aşağıda görebilirsiniz. “Ne çektik be!”

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(Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Bu etkinliğe tek bir eleştirim var: burgerci sayısı biraz fazlaydı. Egzantrik yemek sayısı daha fazla olabilirdi. Ama genel olarak yemekler güzeldi doğrusu.

Şanslıyız ki dünya mutfağıyla haşır neşir olmak isteyenler için Street Feast, her Cuma ve Cumartesi akşamı, 17.00-00.00 saatleri arasında aynı yerde hizmete vermeye devam edecek. Ta ki 3 Ekim’e kadar! Üstelik saat 19.00’a kadar giriş ücretsiz, 19.00’dan sonra ise 3 sterlin. Adres aşağıda:

Hartwell Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DU

İnternet sitesi: http://www.streetfeastlondon.com

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Etkinliğin afişi…

Reklamlar

A Contribution To “My Migration Story To the UK”, a GuardianWitness Project

You probably heard of GuardianWitness, a relatively recent project of my beloved British newspaper, The Guardian. This page is created to cover the experiences, opinions and ideas of the paper’s readers. There is a different theme being regularly published and anyone can contribute a related media item (text, photo or video) under that topic. A bit like a multimedia forum, really. I wanted to share with you my own migration story to the UK, which was published on the project’s website 19 February 2015. The original link is here.

I am originally from Istanbul, Turkey. I first came to the UK in 2007 to study towards my Masters degree. The photo below was taken in September 2007 at Warwick Castle. Back then, I was about to begin my graduate programme at University of Warwick. It was a uni trip to the Castle and I was amazed by its grandeur and architecture.

(Fotoğraf: Özgür Yüzak)

One of my first photos taken in the UK, September 2007 (Photo credit: Özgür Yüzak)

After my Masters, I went to Turkey to change my visa to a work permit. I was able to come back to the UK in 2009 and started to look for a job. This time I came to London planning to settle here. I was happy to live in my country, I didn’t have any serious problems there. I just wanted to experience how life in a European country is. (Although the UK is the least European country in the EU!) It was hard due to the recession, but I have finally found a job and settled in London after a couple of months.

In six years, I settled here, became a permanent UK resident and saved some money. Recently, I have applied for UK citizenship as well. I would like to become a dual citizen. I love living here: the lifestyle is straightforward and stable, people are tolerant, very polite and friendly. Although London life can be hectic at times, I still love the buzz of the big city as an Istanbullite. I consider myself as a Londoner now.

The only problem here is that I don’t have any close friends originally from the UK. Nearly all my friends are foreigners like me. But apart from that, I feel like a part of this society, totally adapted to local culture and lifestyle. I feel proud and successful to be living here. I definitely recommend this experience of living abroad to anyone: one learns to stand on one’s own feet in every sense.

Chinese Tea Tasting in The Middle of London

It was a dark evening in January. I went to Notting Hill to find the Portobello Green Arcade, with frozen hands in my pocket. Why I bothered in this weather, do you ask? Because the tea tasting experience I have booked with “The Chinese Tea Company” was about to begin. I thought reading about a tea tasting experience could warm you up in this cold time of the year.. so here I start!

“The Chinese Tea Company” is a teeny-tiny but stylish tea shop in west London. Relaxing music and dimmed lights provided a perfect atmosphere for a two-hour Chinese tea tasting. There were eight of us, all pretty excited.

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The windows of the shop…
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

During the session we have tried most of the tea varieties available in the world: white tea, “oolong” tea and black tea. Just as in the wine tasting, the method in tea tasting is also starting with lighter varieties and ending with the strongest ones. This was exactly what we did. Juyan, the owner of the shop, firstly made us smell the tea. Then she brewed white tea in a clay pot for just 30 seconds. The next step was to warm the teapot and cups up by washing them with boiling water. She served this “Silver Needle” tea in 85 degrees. This was a pretty light and mild tea. Too mild for me, to be honest…

The second tea we drank was the half oxidised “Tie Guan Yin” oolong tea. The colour of this tea produced in Il Puer region in southeast China was between green and black. Our host Juyan told us that this tea must be enjoyed in a small cup because it has a lot of flavours in it. She brewed this one for 45 seconds. This tea’s shelf life is 1-2 years. I enjoyed this tea so much that I ended up buying a pack.

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Preparation of oolong tea to service…
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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Oolong tea
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

While we were admiring Juyan’s skills for using separate teapots and tea cups for different varieties of tea, I could not stop myself from thinking “well, Chinese really know their stuff when it comes to tea.”

The last variety of tea we tasted was “Puer”, produced in the Yunnan province of China, north of Thailand. This mountainous region contributes an earthy flavour to this tea, so it is quite strong! Although it was produced in 2006, this tea was still not expired because of its “vintage” quality. You know, vintage mostly means expensive and this is no exception: 357 grams of raw Puer tea (produced in 2007) is sold for £85! Our host calmly took a big and round pack in hand and if she would not open it, one could easily assume that this was a decorative wall plate! But this was a one-piece tea pack, and had to be served by being cut with a knife! If you would like to learn more about this interesting tea and how it is served, you can watch Juyan preparing it here:

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Packed Puer tea
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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Tea.. cut with a knife!
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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Puer tea…
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

This tea’s colour was the darkest of all the teas we tasted and has to be brewed for one minute. But for me, it was well too strong.

While she prepared our teas, Juyan also answered our questions about the world of tea. Here are the important bits:

What about its history?

Tea brewing is a relatively new concept for all of us; we have been doing this only for the last 600 years. Before that, tea leaves were eaten by patients.

What are the benefits of tea drinking?

Tea also makes us concentrate: There is more caffeine in fresh tea leaves except one caffeine-free tea variety: “rooibos”. This red tea has a lot of Vitamin C and minerals. The amount of vitamin in tea is higher than vegetables.

How can we enjoy tea at its most?

To enjoy the various flavours in tea as much as possible, we have to slurp it.

How the Chinese drink their tea?

You probably know that Chinese do not add sugar to tea, not to spoil its taste. They only add some honey when they are sick. Interesting fact: they consume different tea varieties like green and black tea right after each other.

What about the quality of tea and the difference between loose tea and tea bags?

The highest quality tea is obtained from the first harvest of every year, between March and June. The practical tea bags that we use frequently are obtained from the last harvest. This means the tea that goes in the bags is the lowest quality! This also goes for silk tea bags unfortunately.

How should we store tea?

Tea must be stored in metal tins, not in glass jars. Green tea and oolong tea must be stored in colder temperatures. There are specific tea cupboards for these in China.

Now I should present you the shop… You can find 50 varieties of traditional, hand-crafted loose tea here, such as flowering teas, green teas, and jasmine teas. On the bright side, you can taste whatever tea you like before buying. Besides“Tie Guan Yin” oolong tea, I have bought “Jasmine Pearls” from here. They were both delicious and high quality. You can also buy porcelain tea sets, wooden and bamboo tea trays, as well as glass and clay teapots and tea filters in this shop. Pretty much everything about tea, really… Juyan started this shop in 2009 and she also organises tea tours to China.

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A lot of equipment is used in Chinese tea ceremony….
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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Juyan washes and warms up the clay tea pot….
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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Service
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

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One of the lovely tea sets sold in the shop
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

The Chinese Tea Company

Address: 14 Portobello Green Arcade, 281 Portobello Road, London W10 5TZ

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11 am-6 pm

Website:  Chinese Tea Company

I am published in The Guardian!

This post about Curzon Mayfair was published in The Guardian’s Film Blog on 25 September 2012. 

Cine-files: Curzon Mayfair, London

Location

In the heart of Mayfair, very close to Green Park and Hyde Park Corner tube stations. There are plenty of good restaurants nearby, making the Curzon Mayfair a good destination for film plus dinner. Cuisines on offer include French, Lebanese, Indian, Spanish and Turkish.

The exterior of the cinema  (Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

The exterior of the cinema
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

Building

The cinema opened in 1934. It has two screens and a total capacity of 420. Screen One is graced by two royal boxes. The Grade II-listed, seven–storey building is modern but not especially inviting from the outside. It’s much more welcoming once you get inside the door, though: you find a bar on your left with comfortable leather sofas, coffee tables and candles. Soft lighting, carpeting and neutral colours make for a cosy and attractive atmosphere. There’s free wi-fi in the bar, or you could just sit and have a drink while reading or chatting with friends. The staff are friendly; the bar serves summer coolers in hot weather such as Pimm’s, Bellini, mojito, cider and iced coffee. Occasionally Arabic music provides a welcome contrast to the usual 80s pop and jazz. Next to the bar there is a sales area for art cinema DVDs, where you can also watch the latest trailers. In terms of accessibility, there are two wheelchair spaces in Screen One. Both screens offer comfortable seating with ample legroom.

DVD stand with the lovely "Take This Waltz" trailer (Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

DVD stand with the lovely “Take This Waltz” trailer
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

The elegant bar with comfy seats and relaxing atmosphere  (Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

The elegant bar with comfy seats and relaxing atmosphere
(Photo: Filiz Taylan Yuzak)

Clientele

The majority of the clientele seem to be middle-aged Londoners. Ticket prices are between £8.00 and £14.50 for regular seats and £100 for one of the royal boxes, each of which seats four. Discounts are available for members. Although these prices are in the upper bracket of West End cinemas, it is a relief to have to watch fewer advertisements than in other cinema chains.

Programme

The diverse programming combines arthouse, world cinema, documentaries, independent films and auteur cinema, but it also shows some mainstream hits such as the Batman series. Broadcasts from the New York Met and the London’s Royal Opera House are also popular. In addition, the cinema hosts at least 12 film premieres each year.

Further comments

The smaller Screen Two is perfect for midweek evenings. As it is often only half-full, it is easy to concentrate on the film without being distracted. You can enjoy drinks while watching the film as you are allowed to take them inside. I like the tasteful film selection and I’m glad of the company of cinephiles who don’t make a noise during the screenings. On top of that, Curzon publishes a bi-monthly magazine, which is downloadable from its website. Free copies are also available in front of the cinema and on the coffee tables inside. The only downside, for me, is the expensive membership schemes which make it difficult to justify the prices (£300 to £950 for a year – except for Cineaste membership, which costs £50 and includes two free tickets during the year).

For the original post: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/sep/25/cine-files-curzon-mayfair