London Series: Grapes Tandoori on Uxbridge Road

I think RR must be waiting for this blog entry. :-)

In a previous trip to London, I had an Indian dinner delivered from Sipson Tandoori. RR. whose late father founded the Sipson restaurant, found my posting on the internet. We got in touch and exchanged a few emails and she invited me to try the other restaurant also started by her father, the Grapes Tandoori. I did go to the Grapes Tandoori on the first night I was in London.

Getting from my hotel to the Grapes Tandoori, although not really far, still requires a a taxi ride. I really hate taking taxis in London. They have this minicab services which does not use meters and charges arbitrary. Well, for the short taxi ride of 5km, it costs me 14 Pounds. Sigh … the disadvantage for being a visible foreigner …

Locating Grapes Tandoori was easy. It was right on the rather busy Uxbridge Rd. The taxi driver did bring me to the wrong Grapes, the Grapes Pub which obviously did not resemble anything like an Indian restaurant.


I got in early and there were only one other customer. Man, I must say that the service was attentive to say the least. I have never seen so many waiters in a restaurant, very unlike in Canada where a restaurant of this size would perhaps have 3-4 people max. Kind of unnerving, if you ask me. Because there were just two customers, the waiters were milling around my table and I do feel so … watched.

Started with a drink. Wanted a cocktail but I guess either it’s not big in England or they don’t have it in Indian restaurants. Anyone can tell me why?

Ordered the Sherry and Port which costs 2.50 GBP. I don’t really know what it is and when I asked the waiter about it, he told me he does not know either because he had never tried it before. I asked for recommendation but he could not either. Oh well, I just went ahead and ordered it.


The waiters came by with a platter of condiments. I was really curious what it was but I guess I ran into some communication problem. :-) So, what I found out was that they were not spicy and one of them is onions. They do tastes good though.

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London Series: My Photography Gear

Since ChubbyPanda and LotusRapper commented about the topic I have a passion for yesterday, I decided to snug (sp?) in another blog entry … this time about the photography gear that I used for the trip to Europe.

I know, I know … most people in their right frame of mind would balk on carrying so much equipment. But then, I find it really relaxing taking pictures … taking my own sweet time and alone.

I have a simple dSLR — the Canon Rebel XT which I got for quite a bit of staff discount from the days when I was working for Best Buy/Futureshop. The Rebel XT is also known as the 350D or the Kiss in other parts of the world. Anyway, I learnt that Rasa Malaysia had just bought the same camera.¬†You absolutely must check out her shots.

The camera does almost everything I wanted from it. Frankly, to me the body of the camera is not the most important part of the photography gear. What is the most important is the lens.


I brought along three lens for the trip. My favorite is the 17-40mm F4L — it is my so-called walkabout lens and the primary lens I used for my food shots. The better lens is the 70-200mm F2.8L, the long white one. This lens is a classic and simply the best, in my opinion, of all the Canon line-up — it is super fast with great bokeh. The problem is that this lens really make people notice you. It’s also a heavy lens at 3lbs … just the lens alone. The other lens, the 28-135mm IS USM is versatile but I used this lens the least.

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London Series: British Airways Inflight Meals

I went on a two-week trip in Europe a few weeks ago. During that time, I had amassed over 30 blog entries on the travel and the food I tried. This means that I’ll be blogging the next one month and Suanne will have a long hiatus from blogging … i.e. no recipes or cooking class for the next little while.

I had a scheduled 4-day training in London. I thought that I take advantage of the free flight there to visit a bit more of the parts of Europe that I had never visited before. Over the 16 days, I was in London and the cities in the “Low Countries” — Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. It was a great trip.

I bought some new photographic toys for the trip. Besides doing the normal touristy stuff and trying out the food, I planned to have a great time taking lots of pictures. So, I went and get myself a new long lens, the Canon 70-200mm 2.8L. The lens is a classic among the extensive Canon lens lineup. I also got myself a new Manfrotto tripod and a new software that allows me to make HDR (High Dynamic Range) pictures.

The picture below is taken at the YVR Airport of the Spirit of Haida Gwaii. It is extremely difficult to produce a shot like this in a dark indoor but with the HDR technique, one could bring out the details all round.


Enough of photography. I traveled for the first time on British Airways from YVR to LHR. Overall, it was much better than Air Canada. Trust me, if you travel in this sector choose BA over Air Canada anytime. It is an economy flight. During the 9 hours flight, they serve drinks, a main meal and a snack box.

The main meal is pretty normal, consisting of bread, salad, dessert, chocolates and coffee. British Airways does not publish their menu on the inflight magazine like other airlines. So, I had no idea what was really served except that there is a choice of chicken or beef.


The bread as usual is nothing to shout about. Airline bread for some reason is just soft, dense and not crusty.


The tomato and cheese salad is OK. I like the cheese though. It’s a tasteless type but am not sure what this type of cheese is called. What is this called anyway?

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