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Mall tourism/Cabana

We made our first trip to Westfield City Stratford yesterday, aka what will be the Olympics gift shop, in effect. Restaurant magazine has been covering interesting new concepts there since it opened, and it was a chance to try out a new movie complex.

The mall was very crowded but functional in the late afternoon on a Saturday, but information-gathering while waiting for a transit-delayed C meant I found how to navigate much of the mall from the much more tranquil exterior. The interior has a decent number of comfy seating clusters, especially at the end furthest away from the main entrances; although these are in places that look like they may yet be rented out to stalls and kiosks once the still-fairly-new-mall has filled in more of its space gaps. Waiting, I appreciated the cluster of coffee shops and quick food places right near the front.

Amusingly, there's a "2012 Viewing Platform". I think that would be a fantastic place - symbolically, not in practice - to spend next New Year's Eve, seeing in the wrong year. Really, it's a view out toward the Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Olympics.

Cabana is in one of the cluster of shops outside the main building of the mall (Chestnut Plaza). Two layered, busy, and people-intensive, it's a Brazilian barbecue place, food on skewers, plus sides and starters. It's casual sit-down dining, expeditious and decent. I had a lovely, refreshing coconut drink which was, as C put it, more than the sum of its parts. The starter packet of melting cheese was made interesting by smoked chili oil.

The parmesan-coated pork tenderloin was a taste highlight for me, as were the sweet potato fries - fluffy within, crunchy without. The grilled corn-on-the-cob was negligible, and the sticky short back ribs - C's highlight for their falling-apartness - were well-flavored, but my portion was too gristle-intensive to be much pleasure. Chili cumin lamb offered decent depth of flavor.

A major point in Cabana's favor is that everything we ate had sufficient flavor of its own that the provided house sauces added nothing we needed - spiciness which overwhelmed the flavor range already built-in. We had a very leisurely dinner in all of 45 minutes, in the quieter upstairs section which only has room for tables for two or four.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
'Westfield Stratford... aka what will be the Olympics gift shop.'

thank you, I've been trying to articulate that sentiment for years now. More power to you.
Mar. 11th, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
Credit to me only for propagating someone else's sentiment! Although it's been enough weeks, I couldn't credit which specific person or article I've to thank for the phrasing.
Mar. 13th, 2012 09:54 am (UTC)
I have been to the previous Stratford shopping centre on a number of occasions, and do not think that Westfield Stratford is sustainable post-Olympics. It feels even more white-elephanty than the rest of the Great Insanity, because no thought appears to have been given to what happens afterwards.

Reports are that current shop takings are very low, which is sort of what you'd expect.

We have eaten at The Real Greek, which we thought rather poor, and Wahaca, which we like a lot. When I went with Marianne, she asked for sushi, which allowed us to discover that Yo Sushi is cheap on Mondays.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )