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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Bone Daddies, Old Street

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪'Cheap Thrills' - SIA ♫♪

I have known about Bone Daddies for a while now. They are known all over London for their tasty ramen soups and Japanese dishes that you won't find anywhere else. Very much the pioneers of authentically modern Japanese cuisine.
They have just opened shop in Old Street, near Shoreditch, so all the hipsters around there can finally get their fix of incredible ramen.
Hannah and I headed down to the press launch party to check it out.
I am the ramen walrus...


Sadly, ramen wasn't actually on the menu for this launch party, but Hannah and I got stuck into the other dishes.

Salmon tartare - delicious with the perfect amount of kick from the chilli and flavour from the coriander leaf.

Next up was something we were not expecting...

Crispy  pardon peppers, bacon and cheddar skewers. The best starter dish by far!
Perfectly crisp on the outside, with gooey cheese and a flavoursome combo of pepper and bacon - yaaaaaaaaas!
We then opted for this crispy duck ramen dish. For us, it was way too greasy due to the duck fat and cooking oils, but the flavours were great and I still ate it all! 
Crispy duck  Aburamen with pickled padron peppers, roast corn and duck fat
Feeling a wee bit sluggish after the duck course, we topped up our drinks and then picked up some of these delightful icecream bites. Boy, they are delicious! 
Sesame seed and coconut ice cream bites
The coconut was a clear winner, so we nabbed some more!
They are the perfect size and are incredibly refreshing. The waitress informed us that they also do salted caramel and hazelnut, so we will be back to give them a try.
Cheers!

Thanks so much to the Bone Daddies team for having us. We will be back! 

Unit C 211 Old St,
London EC1V 9NV
(Behind Shoreditch Grind)
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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Huggle App Launch Party

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪'Chelsea Dagger' - The Fratellis ♫♪

The Huggle app is all about connecting with people who like to go to your favourite places and spaces.
I've never seen an app like this before, so that's why I downloaded it and wanted to show my support at the launch party.
Silly me didn't save the snaps from my Snapchat (joelle.owusu) story, so the pictures of Rosie Fortescue, Hugo Taylor, Kimberly Garner and Oliver Cheshire have disappeared. So you just have to take my word for it that they were there!
Beautiful entrance to the party
Hannah and I headed to Bumpkin, Chelsea (after a little mix-up at the South Ken Bumpkin) and were greeted with all things blue and festival-themed. Blue food, blue drinks, blue decor, blue models at the door...
Huggle App Launch Party
I'm not joking!
We then headed to the talented Shine Shack team who hooked us us with prety festival-style glitter makeup. Isn't this a wonderful idea? Glitter has come back in style and festival goers can't get enough of it these days.
Huggle App Launch Party
Huggle App Launch Party
Crowning glory
Huggle App Launch Party
You can't have a festival-themed party without floral crown, right? Luckily, the very generous Huggle team had many stacked around the place, so we all got a pick of the lot.
Huggle App Launch Party
Huggle is all about discovering your tribe - the people who are into the same places and venues as you. So going along that theme, we had a wonderful performance from three Maori men.
Huggle App Launch Party
Braids and cornrows have always been a part of my Black culture, but it's good to see them finally being embraced by the masses these days - I'm all for it.
Hairdressers were around braiding in patterns and styles I have never seen before.
Huggle App Launch Party
Hannah's heart cornrows
Many thanks to the Huggle team for having us down to celebrate the launch of the fab new app. I have it and can't wait to 
Download the app HERE!

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Sunday, 19 June 2016

10 Foreign Language Films You Need To Watch

A note from Joelle... 
I know, I know *eye roll emoji*, there's something rather pretentious about being a lover of foreign films. We automatically critique the acting, the storyline, the camera quality, because it's not standard, glossy Hollywood.
It can also be draining trying to follow a story when your eyes are glued to the subtitles, but boy, the following films are worth it - you need to trust me on this, as a former foreign film-snubber, myself:

Psst! Click the title of the film to watch the trailer.


1. Palm trees in the Snow - 2015 (Spanish)
Set in both 1954 and 2003, the film follows a girl trying to find out about her dying uncle's first love, a local woman from Guinea. The film then tells the story of her uncle, Killian and his older brother, Jacobo, who travel back to their birthplace Spanish-colonised Guinea in West Africa. Whilst Jacobo is keen to put his African workers in place (common colonial racism), Killian is keen to integrate with the natives, however is met by distrust from both sides - even more so when he falls in love with a native girl...who is married with a child. 
There's a lot of nudity, but it's not distasteful and the visuals are stunning. 
The acting a chemistry between the two main actors is so pure (maybe that's why they are together in real life!). 
Even though the film is stunning, it's incredibly brutal at times and should be classed as a drama, not a romantic film. Of course, the romance and perseverance of that romance through hardship is an important factor, but Guinea's heartbreaking colonial history (that only ended about 50 years ago!!) is not overshadowed.

2. Mustang - 2015 (Turkish)
critics-associated.com
Five orphan sisters living with their uncle in modern day Turkey are accused of being indecent around their male school friends. One by one, they are married off, but things spiral out of control when the youngest sister decides to save her sisters and escape to Istanbul. However, there's lots of tragedy, as not all the sisters have the chance to leave.
The child actress who plays the youngest sister is incredible - simply incredible, and the film is so well-written.
It reminds a lot of people of The Virgin Suicides, but this film is a lot better in my opinion.

3. Mon Pere, ce Hero (My Dad, the Hero) - 1991 (French)
www.film4.com
A comedy about a teenage girl called Vero on holiday with her father in Mauritius - seems legit. But when she becomes bored and bitter about her parent's divorce, she convinces other that her father is her abusive boyfriend.
French acting legend, Gerard Depardieu plays the hilariously confused father in this sweet film.

4. The Baader Meinhof Complex - 2008 (German)
http://www.vitagraphfilms.com/Films/Baader-Meinhof_Complex/Baader-Meinhof_Photos.htm
The film tells the true story of the founding members of the Red Army Faction (RAF) in Germany during late 60s through to the late 70s. The members were part of the Baby Boomer generation (born after WWII) who vowed to undo their parent's fascist mistakes, at any cost.
The far-left group were militant and conducted kidnaps, robberies, murders, hijacks and bombings in Europe.
To some, they are heros, but due to their unapologetic violence, many were captured, imprisoned and/or killed for their terrorist activities.
The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 2009 Oscars and at the Golden Globes, so I am so glad it got that nomination, but it main more people in the UK and USA got a chance to see it.

5. Populaire - 2012 (French)
www.alliancefrancaise.org.sg
She's an awful secretary, but has a talent of typing really, really fast. So she is trained to become the fastest typist in the world by her boss and romance blossoms in a sort of My Fair Lady fashion (without the music or Cockney slang).
A really sweet and uplifting romantic comedy that will put a smile on your face from beginning to end.

6. Cinema Paradiso - 1988 (Italian)
cinema1544.wordpress.com
Set in a small Sicilian village just after WWII, a little boy, Toto persuades a cinema projectionist to teach him about films in the Cinema Paradiso. However, the films shown are heavily censored by the local vicar.
A warm friendship blossoms but as Toto gets older, he becomes more involved with with a young girl, whom he is tries to win over.
The ending scene is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen and even if you're not into the film, the last scene is still worth a watch! Bring some tissues, because it's simply joyous.
The cinematography is so beautiful and the theme music running through it is so pretty.
It's very funny, but also a tearjerking rollercoaster!
Deservingly it on an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film in 1990 and can be found on Netflix.

7. Les Choristes (The Chorus) - 2004 (French)
ablibberinghumdinger.blogspot.com
I think this was the first foreign language film I ever saw in a French lesson in secondary school.
It follows a failed musician-turned music teacher who is sent to an all-boy's boarding school.
He, rather naively, tries to control his rowdy glass by turning them into a choir, but then finds that many of the boys have issues that is stunting them from success. The plot is great and the music is really catchy.
The film was nominated in two categories at the 2005 Oscars.

8. The Class - 2008 (French)
http://www.aceshowbiz.com/still/00005232/the_class17.html
My sister introduces me to this film a few years ago and I wasn't sure about it at first. Mainly because, I didn't realise it was a film. Because of the way it's shot and the improvised-style of dialogue, I just thought it was a documentary about a problem school in a French urban city. Kind of like a very long episode of a French 'Educating Essex'.
Lots of the kids have issues, but so do teh teachers.
The actor who plays the French Literature teacher actually wrote a book about his experiences in teaching problem children and then turned it into this film.

9. La Vie en Rose - 2007 (French)
www.theaterbyte.com
Marion Cotillard won an Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of French singer, Edith Piaf and this film follows her rise to international stardom and early demise. This musical film features her famous songs La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien.

10. Dil Se.. (From the Heart) - 1998 (Hindi)
www.indiatvnews.com
The romantic thriller (yep...) stars one of the most popular and influential actors in the world, Shah Rukh Khan aka SRK.
The dubbing is awful, but you kind of let it slide because the overall quality of the story is pretty decent.
The film contains one of the most famous Bollywood musical scenes, which is performed on a moving train. The song was written by A.R. Rahman who also composed the score of Slumdog Millionaire.

What do you think of Non-English films? Do you have a favourite that you'd like to share?
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Friday, 10 June 2016

REVIEW: Babaji, Soho with citizenMag

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪'We Could Be The Same' - Manga ♫♪

Right in the centre of Soho, London is a wonderful Turkish delight you need to put on your radar.
In collaboration with the team at CitizenMag, my sister and I headed down last week to see what this Turkish experience was all about.
Situated on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue, opposite the theatre showing Les Miserables, Babaji is not easy to miss with it's sleek brown interior.
Babaji London
Babaji London
We were seated straight away in the upstairs section, which is the best section by far! The huge, clear windows allow you to view all of Soho and Chinatown rushing down below, while you chill out with on the padded seats, separated by pretty cushions. Good start.
Babaji London
Babaji London
The starters came really quickly, which put them in our good books straight away because we were both starving. We went for a bit of halloumi cheese and a pide dish (stuffed flatbread).
I have only had halloumi from Nando's, where it was rubbery and bland. This one is soft, flavoursome and melts away in the mouth like it should and rests on some fresh and sundried tomatoes.
We ordered a minced lamb and tomato pide, but were served one with kasar cheese, caramelised onions, courgettes and walnuts
Instead of telling the lovely waitress she got our order wrong, we just tucked in and convinced ourselves that it was indeed us that made the error - we are so very British!
Both dishes were delicious and it was actually good that we ate veggie starters, because the main courses were a meaty feast!
Babaji London
Babaji London
Up next was a nice, generous portion of lamb tandir and rice. It was cooked to perfection and I honestly didn't want it to end. A little dollop of pepper dip added a nice fiery kick to it too.
Ama went for a lamb Kulbasti which consisted of flatbread, lamb, tomato stew and yoghurt.
Full to the brim and beaming from ear-to-ear, we left Babaji promising the staff we would return soon.
Babaji London
The place was chilled, the decor was beautiful, the views were great and most importantly, the food was exceptional. The waiter's traditional Turkish uniforms were really pretty too and somehow helped to make the overall vibe even more great. 
I am known to have a super-small stomach and never finish meals, but my sister and I completely and would have licked them clean if it were socially acceptable.
I just wish the website wasn't so confusing!

P.S. have a look under the table for the rolly foot massager!
Psst! No need for a reservation - just turn up!

53 Shaftesbury Ave, 
London 
W1D 6LB
*collaborative post, views my own - of course!
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