Izakaya by Sushi and Robata

This was my first stop in London. After the most stressful traveling 12 hours–stranded on the runway due to bad weather and waiting almost 2 hours in the immigration line to enter–I finally got to London.

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So, my international plan did NOT kick in, so when I first landed, I was confined to only the wifi. Which was shitty as hell. And then trying to figure out the Tube to get to my sister. And then trying to get to her. And then my parents were like “So, listen, you only have $175 for the week.” HAHAHAHAHA. Surpassed that day 3 into London. They were wild.

And then when I finally got to my sister, she told me that she had to take the Tube to go to a group meeting. So after napping for 3 hours, I ventured with her. We went into Whole Foods, where I had my pick of restaurants. I was feeling some raw fish, so the cute, expensive-looking Sushi restaurant ran by French men was obviously where I had to go. Partly because I really wanted sushi. Partly because my parents told me not spend money.

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Eating alone alone (so not doing any work while eating) is not a new thing for me in general, but I have not eaten alone since… freshman year college? So… 6 years ago? Sometimes I would eat alone and do some homework or catch up on emails. But I haven’t sat down and been conscious of my surroundings while eating alone. So this was a first, and it was pleasant.

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The aesthetic was pretty adorable. I loved the cherry blossoms paired with the more “modern” look of the place. I learned that “Izakaya” is a term for a Japanese pub, so I’m guessing that a traditional Sushi and Robata is more formal and less… izakaya-y.

To conserve my parents’ money, I decided to be kind and get the 2 courses for 15 pounds. My math is horrible and the conversion rates change, so I won’t even begin to figure out how many American dollars I spent.

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I got the dragon roll. It wasn’t on the actual menu, but it was on the pick-2 menu. It was… avocado, cucumber, topped with salmon. That’s really all I was able to get from that. It was a little spicy and very refreshing. Normally, I like my sushi with tempura flakes for a little bit of crunch and texture, but my paleo-ish self is opting out of tempura for the time being.

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I also got some spicy beef dumplings. Usually, I get them gyoza style, so this was the first time having an open top dumpling, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, dumplings made out of wheat. Yes, I’m supposed to be paleo-ish. Oh well.

I did learn how to use chopsticks better, so that was exciting. I always just used to eat sushi with my fingers, but your girl is learning! One day, I’ll be able to flip omelettes with chopsticks. Probably not, but we will see.

A friend told me a story about how one of her friends only posts pictures of empty plates. And I like that concept. An empty plate is a happy stomach. So watch for those end-of-post pictures with my empty plates.

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London, United Kingdom

Finals are over. Not only did I survive another year of law school, I also survived a year of my bioethics masters program. So to treat myself, I obviously had to travel.

I’m very much a beachy person. First choice definitely is somewhere in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. But beach town was just not in my finances. Want to know what was though? Crashing with my sister and her 2 roommates* in a one bedroom for a week while she was studying abroad in London.

Sad thing was? Sis was in the midst of finals. So, you’re going to get a lot of mediocre quality pics of everything¬†except¬†for me. Too bad I didn’t bring a selfie sick. Too bad I also didn’t trust people to take picturesque pictures of me. I miss my Cleveland food crew taking the greatest pics.

Anyways! I spent my first two days in London just sleeping. I was exhausted from finals and jet lagged. But once I started getting up, that’s when the exploring came in.

I really didn’t care much for exploring London places and sightseeing. I’m not a huge UK history person. I enjoy Italian, French, Spanish, and Greek history though… And Catholic history. I just wanted to walk around, find food places, drink craft beers and ciders, and chill, chill, chill. What I didn’t do? Drink lots of craft ciders.

So you’re going to get lots of food pictures and lots of random pics from around London.

33 walking miles over the course of 5 days. Enjoy! Every Tuesday, I’ll add greater details and photos for each location in a separate post. So stay tuned! And don’t worry… I’ll keep you updated every week.

Izakaya by Sushi and Robata:

Cute and quaint Japanese pub located right above the Whole Foods in Kensington. Sushi was great, but the dumplings were phenomenal. Really wish I had more of the dumplings. Only regret? Not getting a signature cocktail and some dessert.

Leon:

I could probably be vegan if I lived in London, at least in Central London. I wasn’t planning on being vegan in London, but I did try to be vegan as often as I could. Most places had sustainable vegan options, and for that, I applaud them. But Leon caught my eye, so I decided to give it a try. The meatless meatballs? Very good. Although, I think I’m slightly allergic to eggplants.

Pizza Union:

So my sister said that London is not good for pizza. I’m inclined to believe her. I didn’t hate Pizza Union, I actually enjoyed it. The gluten-free dough sucked, but I’m glad they had the option. The goat cheese and tomato combo was great, as per usual. And sprinkled the pizza with spicy oil and basil, which did give it some flavor.

The raspberry mojito though? Great. Too bad it wasn’t on the rocks instead of frozen.

Borough Market:

My sister said to check out this place. And I loved it. I LOVE markets. This reminds me of the West Side Market in Ohio City, Ohio. Lots of vendors setting up shop to sell you their goodies. It’s a farmer’s market… but cooler? More urban, if that makes sense. Honestly, if I lived in the area, I would probably come here at least once a week, even if just to grab some of the street vendor foods.

Fish!:

Okay, so, they had a sign outside saying that they won several awards for best restaurants. Obviously, I HAD to try it, for the blog of course. Stupid me confused the street vendor for the restaurant. The vendor (still part of Fish!) sells actual fish and chips. The restaurant serves higher end plates. I tried out a new dish: deviled whitebait, and I am a fan.

London Bridge:

I didn’t take the history tour or lesson, so enjoy the pictures. Also… didn’t realize the River Thames was so mucky. Shoutout to the two girls who saw me struggling with my selfie and decided to take a picture of me. That was the first day (of the rest of the week, ugh) I experienced the London cloudy and rainy temperature.

Tossed:

Like I said: Easy to be vegan here. I love the “technology” aspect of it. You place your order at one of the iPads, then you wait to pick it up. Took like 5 minutes. It’s like a salad place, but better. I would actually eat at Tossed at least once a week. Move over Chipotle.

I actually really want a Leon and Tossed near me…

Covent Garden:

All the high end restaurants and stores all located within walking distance? Thank goodness I’m personally broke and had no space because your girl would have been STRESS buying EVERYTHING. #TreatYoSelf #SelfCare. Ended up going to grab a late lunch at a burger joint and a speakeasy-esque basement lounge where happy hour is from noon to 9pm. Didn’t take pics. Sorry.

Honest Burgers:

A burger place is a burger place is a burger place. The rosemary “chips” were great though.

Dirty Martini:

Who doesn’t like all day happy hour, ¬£10 bottles of wine, and half-priced martinis? By the way, the hibiscus martini? Amazing. Sorry for crappy photos. My phone did not like the dark lighting? I just really enjoy the picture of me…

Dishoom:

By far, my favorite (and priciest hahaha) restaurant in London. Always packed–I’m honestly surprised I was able to find an open spot without a reservation during peak lunch hours. The food was meant to be shared, but the person who I went with wanted to get his own plates instead of ordering a lot and splitting it. Regardless, my food was bomb. And kachumber is now probably my new favorite side.

Overall, London, you’ll be missed. But also, not really. Managed to get a sinus infection and an upper respiratory infection. BUT I’ll catch ya when another one of my friends are staying in London. Maybe next time, I’ll check out more of the nightlife.

Oh, I also got lost in London. Took a bus to Shoreditch, ended up napping, ended up in Zone 6 of London. Woke up confused as heck. Since the buses don’t loop, I had to get out and find the next bus stop. Then I had to trek all the way back to Shoreditch, only to be severely underwhelmed when getting off the bus in Shoreditch. So just walked the 2 miles back to my sister’s and drank some cider and went to sleep.

Tired of the food? Feel free to check out my other random pics of London:

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As they say (or do they say?): Cheerio xx.

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*These roommates were the coolest people EVER. They also asked me to talk about them. But they legitimately were some of the chillest people, especially because they let me stay in their one bedroom, me sleeping on their floor, for a whole ass week. That’s cool.