Walking home after a night shift on a Saturday night/Sunday morning.
I keep meaning to blog about recent times, the summer and everything else, but work and uni have been keeping me busy (despite being on a break from the latter until I resume my second year in October). Some recent changes to my life and circumstances have meant that I've been forced to keep busy, so one of the ways I've been doing that is through enjoying lots of my favourite eateries, as I've always been a bit of a foodie.
I keep meaning to write about all my favourite Japanese eateries, of which there are many, that I regularly frequent. I'm often in Machiya on Panton Street on some nights after work, though it has become a little more popular as of late (as a result of Japan Centre relocating to the corner adjacent to the restaurant). There are also the 和菓子 delights of Minamoto Kitchoan and Wasoukan. Thankfully, all of these places appear to be free of complete and utter weirdos, and the fact that the staff are quite happy to converse in Japanese too gives me good practice outside of uni, especially as I tend to struggle with 'te' and 'nai' forms, as I'm too shy to venture outside of teineigo 丁寧語, the most polite form of speech (and certainly with less worry over verb conjugation; don't even get me started on jisho-kei 辞書形...)
That said, nothing beats something local. Here in Ealing, we're very lucky to have quite a lovely and thriving Japanese community. Just a short walk or cycle-ride away, the warm smell of baking from Tetote Factory wafts around on the South Ealing Road, but for cakes, I'm a sucker for the patisserie delights of WA, situated on the corner of Haven Green. Whenever I'm going to/from work via London Paddington, I have to give in to the sheer impulse I experience whenever I step out of the railway station at Ealing Broadway; the urge to turn right and stroll a few paces up the street is irresistible, and I'm always left wondering what will be left on display in the cases, as it's not the first time that I've arrived on an afternoon and been faced with the disappointment that my favourite matcha roll cake has sold out for the day.
WA markets itself as a "Japanese Patisserie", but they do offer a great range of drinks. There is the option to sit in, but as the cafe is very small, it can get quite busy, especially on weekends, and it's not uncommon to find that some of the lovely patisserie items are sold out by the early afternoon; the general rule of thumb is that if you don't see what you want in the window, there's definitely nothing in the kitchen either.
The matcha latte, as pictured at the top of this post, is my go to on the drinks menu. I do enjoy sitting in to drink it, especially in the winter. They do also offer it cold, which has been a quite popular choice given the warm weather lately. The black sesame latte is pretty good too. To accompany the drink, matcha roll cake is a must for me, but then my fallback is always the strawberry shortcake, which is so light. Many people sit around to take multiple pictures of their treats, but I just about manage the one before I have to practically inhale what I've purchased.
For what it's worth, WA recently opened up another branch of their patisserie in Covent Garden, so I'm hoping most of the people that travelled out west (including weirdos) go there instead.
I always end up taking treats home with me. The matcha sablé go really well with my morning coffee.
Nothing lasts very long when it does go home though, though the lovely cake boxes ensure the treats do actually make it home in one piece, and everything is so carefully wrapped and placed as to not disturb any of the cake toppers. As the cakes are made fresh daily, it means that they're only in the fridge until later on in the evening as they're a sweet treat after supper.
WA, 32 Haven Green, Ealing, W5 2NX