Friday, 18 March 2016

Review - Mamuska, Viet Grill

Some notes on time and spreading oneself too thinly:

- It's tricky to have headspace when you're career busy and I'd forgotten about that. Still doing OK, just about
- I spend a lot more time scrolling Instagram in the mornings when career busy as if I need to seek out the lowest, easiest form of everything, including social media, in my leisure time when I'm stressed cos any thinking = just can't deal 
- Hair and face have taken a back seat once more because sleep is more important rn
- There is only so much best self to go around and deciding how to apportion it is painful
- It is surprising to me that university and its immediate aftermath (relative to a whole life, not relative to life elapsed so far) were only training wheels to being aware of and comfortable with aloneness (as distinct to loneliness)
- It is so confusing that a sense of a place / feeling / time can feel so set and then it evolves and changes without any location change to trigger it. Maybe this is why people move to the suburbs?
- Finding a way to balance the new with the old and not feeling too homesick is an adjustment, and probably only one that I'm learning about now because I'm past the cyclical 'let's buy some shiny new toys and throw away the old ones' approach
- One should apply similar principles to friends as partners re: keeping it fresh, trying, making quality time, especially if you're feeling homesick for a time
- I should get more sleep when I'm on projects so I write less maudlin blogs

I have a surprising knowledge of South London restaurants thanks to Helen Graves but living in Bow means that I rarely, if ever, made the journey. So I'm enjoying the opportunity to go to some of them five years on. Mamuska is pretty basic as a restaurant but has hit the nail on the head in terms of my favourite brand of restaurant: cheap, bustly, feels 'authentic' (whatever that means), good food. I tried restaurant bigos for the first time (richer, saltier, less fruity). Unsurprisingly, given my love of children's frozen food, the schabowsky was my favourite. But actually, this was down to the leek salad that come with it - slightly sweet and almost aniseedy? Mama's own pierogi were filled with a surprising amount of flavour given that list of crowd pleasing ingredients. Pancakes with goulash were maybe my least favourite, but that's OK because if everything was good, maybe I'm not reflecting on what the food actually tasted like enough.

Viet Grill
Trying to find somewhere to eat near work that's not too expensive, not full of city wankers, not full of people I work with that I haven't been to before is almost impossible. In fact, to be honest, I kind of have been to Viet Grill before given the number of times I've been to Keu and Cay Tre. (They're all in cahoots - and actually I use the term in cahoots because the first time I went the pal that I went with described them as being in cahoots and it's become imprinted.) And I had my most frequently ordered thing from there too - lemongrass chicken curry. Which I don't regret as it is really great and that lemony potato flavour makes me want to kiss my fingers in that an Italian 'delicioso' way. But actually, the star of the show was the piggy aubergine. It managed to be both pungent and subtle in how it balanced the acidic vinegary taste with sugar and the aubergine was so fluffy and went REALLY well with the minced pork. The papaya salad with beef was almost as well dressed and scattered with tender bits of brisket. My only regret is that they don't offer the red sea prawn curry here which I was craving.

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