A few weeks ago, a left the office a wee bit later than usual, and with my mind firmly on the subject of food. Between the office and the bus stop, I passed two men just as one said to the other, "Ever been to Wagamama?" and that was that.
By the time I got to the bus stop I was thinking of little steamed chicken dumplings and dipping sauce. By the time the bus drew in, I was dreaming of noodles. By the time the bus got to Victoria I knew that anything else for dinner would just not do.
So I went to Wagamama. Alone. I filled my boots with dumplings and noodles, all accompanied by the clamour of kitchen and diner, and a good book, and it was fabulous. I enjoyed every. Last. Bite.
My solo dates at Wagamama have become a bit of a guilty pleasure. I've been a few times now. I love the people watching and noise of the place, and I love the small luxury of dining alone. There aren't many places where I'd be comfortable just being by myself, but there is something about the convivial sharing of tables which makes it ok there.
I was there this evening, and smugly thinking "well, I'm good most of the time" when I realised, to my shock, that I'm not. I started counting off the dirty little food secrets on my fingers, and had to start on the second hand.
I need to salve my conscience. Please hear my confession...
My job requires me to regularly go to shopping centres. At least one kiosk in just about every shopping centre in the country is occupied by those wonderful people from Millies Cookies.
They aren't really cookies at all. Really they are little patties of slightly warmed dough. You can buy them individually. But why would you do that, when you can pick 'n' mix a selection? In my world, a drive home from Bluewater starts with a bag containing six biscuits, and finishes with an empty bag, and a queasy feeling. And even knowing the unpleasant sensation of yukkiness (real word?), I can guarantee that next time, I'll do the same.
Should I tell you, then, about the speed with which I can devour a bag of liquorice comfits? Does everyone know what they are? They look like this and are little sticks of liquorice covered in brightly coloured hard sugar. No-one else in my office likes them, which means I don't have to share. Frankly, if they did, I still wouldn't. They are just lovely. The crunch of the shell, the chew of the liquorice. What's not to like? Mmmmmm.
Is it wrong that I'm dribbling a little?
I've always like a frazzle. Who am I kidding? I can inhale one of those weeny bags in a mere second. No bacon in the world ever tasted like the flavour of frazzles, but I do love that they put those bacony coloured stripes on them for authenticity. It's very convincing.
But recently I discovered something really dirty. Red Barn make a fake frazzle. A fauxzzle if you will (that's not my joke. It's someone else's. But I like it a lot, so I'm passing it off as my own). They come in a much larger bag, taste slightly more strangely unbacony, and are made of a fluffier corn stuff. I bloody love them! There's a bag on my desk right now, just in case, on Monday, I have a need for a wee snackette.
But ... I've saved the worst for last. And I feel a bit grubby just writing this. **clears throat** I like KFC. Not the burgers, or the chicken strips, or the nugget things, but the proper, original, joint-from-no-part-of-a-chicken-that-I-can-identify chicken pieces. There is something fantastically tempting about that secret blend of eleven herbs and spices which just knocks me batty. I do know that it is about the worst food that you could put in your system ever (I suspect that in some parts of Europe, it's not even recognised as food) and therefore I don't have it often. It's very much a special treat. Lucky me! The chips are terrible, but used to scoop up the coleslaw, they come into their own. The corn cobbette is, of course, the side order of choice. But ultimately it's all about the chicken. I am pleased to be able to report that it's finger lickin' good.
Phew! I feel better for that! I feel like a weight has been lifted. Ironic, really, since just reading this post has probably caused us all to add a few pounds.
Now ... I think it's time for a cup of tea and a jaffa cake ...
house of eels: july 2017*
1 week ago