Sunday, 13 November 2016

Ippudo Review

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this blog is turning into a food blog, and although I'd love to get paid to eat delicious food and write about it, I think I will probably stick to clothes. Plus, my own restaraunt reviewing abilities don't really go further than 'oh, this is nice' and 'what's the cheapest wine on the menu?' Still, when the lovely people at Citizen M offered to wine and dine me for an evening, I wasn't about to let that opportunity slide. Maire and I headed to Ippudo at St Giles place to try out some of their Japanese ramen and have an afterwork catch up like the career women we are.
Ippudo 1

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Turning up at Ippudo I was really impressed by the fact that it is basically a glass box, it felt far too swanky for riff raff like me! The massive windows for perfect for people spotting and generally made the atmosphere feel really comfortable and open. We cracked open a bottle of white wine and ordered some starters, which I cleverly photographed halfway through eating because I was far too busy eating it and got carried away. Maire went for anchovy cream cheese and I chose Goma Q, cucumber drizzled in sesame dressing. It doesn't sound like the most exciting starter in the world but it was seriously, seriously delicious. So good that I still fondly look back on it and I'm even considering trying to make it at home myself.
ippudo 3
For the main Maire chose a couple of small plates and I went for the veggie ramen, which I had been so excited to try! I dug in with my chopsticks, which are usually a bit of hindrance for me as I'm completely inept (also, white) but it was seriously good and very filling. It was mainly fried tofu with thin noodles, spring onions and bean sprouts all in a mushroomy broth, which meant there were so many flavours going on (particularly garlic which I love the most).
ippudo 7
Ippudo is perhaps on the more expensive side, with small plates costing around £8 each and ramen mains coming in at around £12, but no more than anywhere else in Central London. Generally the place has such a lovely atmosphere, the food came quickly and the staff were so polite, attentive and friendly to us. I'd say that it's absolutely worth it if you want to have a relaxed evening sampling some authentic Japanese food, and I definitley will be visiting again!
ippudo 5
Thanks again to Citizen Mag for sending me! Check out their original review here and Ippudo's website here. 

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Becoming Vegan

I've been thinking about writing this little update post for a while, but there's been a few reasons why I have held myself back. Mainly I guess because I will be covering facts and expressing opinions that ultimately don't match up to the way I currently live my life, and worrying about the kind of response I will get. If I've learnt anything over the past 10 months it's that the choice not to consume, use or wear animal products is a controversial one. It goes against everything I have ever been taught about food and lifestyle more generally.
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Since, it's World Vegan Day, I wanted to talk about my current relationship with food and processing the information I have actively sought out over the last few months. It started with my friends. I noticed that some of them had adopted vegan lifestyles, a thought that had seemed so extreme to me before that I could barely concieve someone doing it without crumbling into a pile of shrivelled bones. After this, I looked to Youtube and noticed a thriving vegan community on there, one which urgently shared opinions and facts that, perhaps begrudgingly at first, made sense to me. I couldn't hide from the facts anymore, I could no longer be apathetic. The mass suffering and brutality that we inflict on animals almost every second of the day is beyond imagination.

Each year we kill over 56 billion farm animals for food. These animals are often kept in tiny cages for the duration of their short lives. Cows are branded with fire and have their horns chopped off whilst still conscious. We let these animals live in intense suffering because we feel that they are beneath us, not as intelligent, thus they deserve to be tortured and murdered. The concept of ethical omnivorism falls flat when you consider that you are taking the life of a creature, entirely uncessarily, who probably understands what is happening to them. What is this all for apart from just habit and profit? Humans do not have the same characteristics as other omnivores yet most of us eat meat.

For milk (and cheese), mother cows are kept pregnant constantly, causing irreparable strain on their bodies which leads them to die much earlier than their life expectancy. Baby cows are ripped from their mother at birth and taken to be reared for slaughter. The mother understands the loss of her child and will shout out for their lost child for days, and all of this just so we can drink the milk meant for the baby cow. For eggs, male chicks are ground up as they are of no use on the production line. There is no justification for this level of cruelty.
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Alongside this animal agriculture is one of the top causes of greenhouse gases, uses up astronomical amounts of water and is a significant cause of deforestation. Strangely we never hear about this. In terms of health, a meat-heavy diet strongly increases your chance of developing heart disease and cancer, and the meat itself is filled with hormones that can cause all kinds of other problems, from cancer growth to acne.

This obviously doesn't make for pleasant reading, but these are some of the factors that have led me to change my diet. Although I can still only define myself as a vegetarian, I am making small steps everyday so that I can live a lifestyle that no longer supports the staggering exploitation of animals and destruction of our earth. In this time I have found a lot more peace within myself (sorry to go all hippy-dippy but its true) and truly learnt to enjoy vegetables, which I honestly thought would never be the case. Because my options have now been limited (although not nearly as much as people would lead you to believe) I have also learnt to appreciate food in a way I never have before, savouring the experience of finding a new vegan restaurant or discovering that something I love is vegan. Generally I am trying to become a more mindful person and the food that I consume is a significant part of that.

We have the ability to greatly reduce animal suffering and the strain upon our earth. By becoming vegetarian and vegan you can quite literally save animal's lives and reduce your carbon footprint. Really there is no better time than now to make a change.

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