Sunday, April 30, 2006

Restaurant Review - WasabiSabi : Cooking As A Performance Art?

As it was Jane's birthday last Friday she booked a table at WasabiSabi on London Road. There were eight of us in total and Jane thought it would be good fun and a little different if we ate Teppan-Yaki. This is where you all sit around a large hot plate and your own personal chef cooks your food in front of you.

Neither Victoria nor I had eaten Japanese food before and were not too sure what we would be eating. It turns out that there are six set menu's and you all select one. The chef then cooks the food a bit at a time for all of you, so you get say a plate of Scallops followed by a plate of Prawns then a piece of Salmon and so on.

Victoria and I (and most of the others) chose menu 3, the Sakura menu. This was the 'fishy' option and cost £25.50 per head. Phil chose menu 5, the Niku menu which was the 'meaty' choice at £28.50 per head and Chris chose menu 1, the Ume menu which was the 'veggie' choice at £19.50 per head.

Firstly you all get a salad and a bowl of Miso soup. Both very nice. Then the chef comes over and starts preparing your food. He cooked Chris' first as he went for the veggie option as I guess cooking meat and fish on the same hotplate may have annoyed some of the veggies. This was the only dissappointment of the night really as Chris got all his food at once and was eating while we were enjoying getting ours a bit at a time and watching our chef entertain us.

Entertain is the correct word. This guy was great!! He was juggling the salt and pepper. He was throwing the food around and making big flames appear!!! He was even juggling eggs and catching them in his hat, which was really funny when one of them broke. :-)

The food was excellent. After the salad and soup we had Scallops, Jumbo King Prawns, Salmon, Seabass, Vegetables and Egg Fried Rice. This was followed by a Wasabisabi Pancake and Ice Cream and a coffee or green tea. It may not sound like a lot but by the end of the main course(s) we were all getting a bit full. It all tasted wonderfull. There was nothing to let the food down at all.

I would recommend Wasabisabi to anyone, especially if you are going out in a large group and go for the Teppan-Yaki rather than the a la carte menu. Saying that, Victoria and I want to go back for a menu based meal as we want to try Sushi and Sashimi.

Total bill including drinks came to £37.50 per head. A bargain if you ask me. Excellent food, service and all-round entertainment.

After the restaurant we went to Menzels for a drink. Apart from it being REALLY expensive I've never seen so many desperate women in their 50's dressed as if they were in their 20's. It was scary. They all seemed to have spent too much time on a sunbed and too much money at the Coles make-up counter as well. :-)

And it used to be such a nice place to go when Michael owned it.

Restaurant pictures are available here.

Friday, April 28, 2006

8Mbps Broadband - Update

My new faster broadband has, as those of you who are interested in such things will remember, been giving my some problems. Varying speeds from under 1mbps to 6.5mbps.

Well I am pleased to announce that these initial issues have now stopped. The speed does vary still but it seems to be going from 3 - 7 mbps which is more reasonable and it seems to be more related to site congestion rather than my Zen internet connection.

I can now say to any of you that are wondering if they should make the upgrade to ADSLMax, yes, go for it. Just don't expect a big speed boost for at least 10 days.

I now just need to find a site that can actually provide downloads at 7mbps. :-)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Beggars Belief

As the offices that I work in are in a non too salubrious part of town I am used to being accosted by vagrants and beggars asking me if I "have any change". I of course walk past with a comment such as 'Yes, I have loads of change, now get a job scruffy and you can have some of your own'.

These people at least just sit in the underpass and just mumble at you. The more annoying ones are those who accost you on the street with something along the lines of '' 'scuse me mate, I've lost my bus fare and need to get to Rotherham. Could you lend me some change?"

These people are if anything more scummy than the tramps. They are obviously trying it on just to get a few extra quid to supplement their benefit, which they have already squandered on fags, booze, drugs and pieces of mystery meat bought in dodgy pubs. I always walk by with a stern "No, now get a job you scrounging git and you can buy a car".

Yesterday, on the way back to my car I met a new breed of scum. I stopped at a cash machine and after I had finished I turned round to walk away and was accosted by a dodgy looking bloke holding a shiney blue cloth in his hand who then said " 'scuse me mate, I was just wondering if you wanted to buy a Newcastle United shirt?".

What? I thought?

Which city does he think we are in?

Does he really think that he will cold sell a football shirt by asking on the street?

More worrying is the fact that he thought I could be a football fan (a game played by un-educated homosexuals and watched by chavs).

I said something along the lines of "No, now get a job stinky" and as I was walking away he shouted after me "Only I was supposed to meet a mate but he has not turned up". Was this supposed to make me think that I did actually want the shirt?

As I crossed the road he finished his 'sales pitch' by shouting "He's coming from Doncaster". Did he think I cared?

What must these people be thinking? Does anyone actually buy stuff from people in the street?

I wish the company I work for would move offices to somewhere nicer so I could get away from these 'people'. Either that or for the law to be changed so that it is legal to shoot them.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Tracy's New Blog Site

Another blog site appeared on t'internet yesterday. My friend Tracy has decided now is the time to shre her thoughts and opinions with the world.

Tracy is one of my oldest and dearest friends. In the many years I have known her (about 15 years) she has constantly entertained me with her high jinx and crazy adventures. I can honestly say that had I never met Tracy my life would have been much less fun.

Tracy is 42 with a 16 year old daughter (Danielle). When I first met her she was rather loaded and used to let me borrow her Mercedes SL to take young ladies out. Very nice of her. She unfortunatly had issues with the whole 'earn money and pay half of it as tax' system and eventually got a tax bill bigger than the US defence budget. No more Merc or nice house on Abbey Lane. Still, Tracy's bankruptcy meeting is such a pleasent memory ;-)

When she was younger Tracy went to the cinema to see 'Private Benjamin' She thought that the army looked like so much fun she signed up for a couple of years.

She also has two horses. I think that people who keep horses are a little weird. If you ask me the French have it right when they eat these majestic yet obviously stupid animals. Tracy has two of the things. I'm sure that her blog will be full of horse related entries but what she won't tell you is that she play's with the boy horse's willy. She gives some pretense of it being a necessary part of horse grooming but I think she just likes it. :-)

I could tell you more about Tracy but I think the internet police would instantly shut down my site for publishing such filth.

Knowing Tracy as I do I can honestly say that under her hard, gobby, abrasive exterior beats a heart of gold and a lovely person. I am sure her blog will be full of the ramblings of a 42 year old woman but I can guarantee that it will be very funny.

Pay her site a visit, but wear sunglasses as it is VERY pink.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

8Mbps Broadband

I get my internet access from Zen. I have been with them for almost 3 years and they have been most excellent.

I originally had a 1/2mbps ADSL connection with them, growing to 1mbps and then 2mbps. All the time I have been with them I have never had any speed variances or dropped connections. In fact until this month my ADSL connection has been up for 103 days!!!

BT have recently upgraded all (except 106) their exchanges to support ADSL Max. This means that I can now get an 8mbps ADSL connection with a 468kbps uplink. Excellent. The only downside with upgrading my Zen connection is that I am limited to 50GB per month download. Not a problem as I normally download about 30GB per month so there is plently of space available.

My faster connection went live last Tuesday. I looked at the sync speed on my router and it was happily sat at 8192kb. Most excellent!!!

Unfortunatly I was still only downloading at 2mb. My uplink was much quicker but download speeds were the same as normal.

Looking at the Zen forums it appears that it can take 3 - 10 days for your connection to settle down. It could also be 3 days before BT remove your bandwidth cap to allow the extra speed.

After a week of testing I seem to get connection speeds that vary from 0.9mbps to 7.5mbps. This seems to change depending on the time of day, and I don't mean it is a congestion issue. My connection at 06:59 is just under 1mbps and at 07:01 is between 6 and 7mbps. Every day it changes at the same time. Very strange. My router is also showing disconnects and line errors. Not good!!!

I'm a little dissappointed by my new ADSL connection. I don't think it is Zen's fault for a moment as they are depending on BT to provide the service but I still feel let down.

Hopefully things will get better by the end of the week. For now though if you are thinking of upgrading I'd wait. This is new technology with BT at the helm which is never a good thing.

I'll keep you informed of any changes.

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