July 30th, 2009

Fishy Circumstances


On Sunday, we met sushidog in Victoria Park for our first go at rollerblading in a year. My muscles seemed disproportionately sore for not much distance, so out-of-practice was I. The paths are fairly level and moderately smooth, so it's a good place to skate. Rain meant we'll try their well-reputed café some other time.

In other "exercise" news, we've been playing frisbee golf on Wii Sports Resort. We've been playing other games too, but none are as good as the reason for being given it in the first place. I played Ultimate fairly seriously in high school and still relate better to frisbees than, say, ball sports. The physics engine is one of the best parts of the game. Hit the water from the right angle, and the frisbee bounces off of it. Hit the edge of the cliff, right up at the green, and the frisbee will teeter before yielding to gravity. Bouncing off trees sometimes means an out-of-bounds frisbee will fall back in to safety. The water effects are very pretty.

Tas Bloomsbury

Location: 22 Bloomsbury Street, near the British Museum and not too far from Tottenham Court Road. London

It may have been our most efficient trip ever to central London. We went in to have dinner with hungry_pixel, and a lovely dinner it was. Tas, a small Turkish chain with an outlet in Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum, was well-lit, casually elegant, and very effecient. A little over an hour later, she was off to catch her train and we were heading home as well.

I started with a vibrant salad, Findikli Nareksili, lettuce with plenty of toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds, with a piquant dressing. hungry_pixel's green salad was appealingly dressed, enlivened too by mint. The Hunkar Begendi was a delight, roast, puréed eggplant and cashar cheese, surrounding cubes of lamb and raw, shredded vegetables. The gentle richness of the purée was sublimely good. C. polished off his falafal and mixed grill, so he must have liked those too.

The portions were substantial enough that curiousity more than hungry drove our interest in dessert; as a result, we ordered one to share between all of us. Kaymakli Kestane wasn't at all what we thought "candied chestnut topped with pistachio and fresh cream" was going to be, and all the better for it. Candied chesnut cream was marbled with thick dairy cream in a thin layer across the expanse of the plate, and topped in the middle with crushed pistachios, ideal for sharing.

Tas has a nicely varied menu, efficient service, and a good location. They had quince juice available (!), sort of like store-bought apple juice suffused with celery and floral notes. The bread, with which we began, was pretty good. The only real downside was an inadequate supply of toilets. (They have one for each gender in a relatively large restaurant.) I'd be happy to go back: there's plenty left on the menu that I'm curious about, and equally, I'd really love to have roasted, puréed eggplant with cheese again.