Review: Tastecard + Tastecard App

One of my favourite perks about living in London is the affordable prices of eating out.  Eating out often is often seen as a luxury in many countries.  In Japan, Australia and Singapore – all the countries I’ve lived prior to my move here had a common thread.  Eating out in restaurants were expensive.  A night out with friends in an average restaurant would cost about 30 SGD per head.  If we take this value as a dollar-to-dollar value not accounting for difference in currency value, it is astoundingly high!

Eating out in London with the tastecard is very reasonable.  You can walk out a meal paying just 8-10 pounds per head.  The tastecard gives you either a 50% discount or a 2 for 1 deal in thousands of restaurants across UK.  This even works in Dublin, Scotland, Wales.  I’ve used it in all those countries.  It makes travelling across UK more affordable as your daily budget factors less money to food.

Tastecard has an app which makes finding restaurants near your radius simple.  Often we try new restaurants based solely upon the fact that there is a 50% discount.  That proves to be an incentive to try an unknown restaurant.  We have discovered many hidden gems this way.  I’ll be reviewing must-eat restaurants in London that are part of the taste card group!

This is the home screen of the app:

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It allows for easy reference to history, recent search and allows you to search.  I’ve recently searched for afternoon teas – as you can see!  I love good afternoon teas!

If you click on the search tab below, the screen would look like this:

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This allows users to make specific searches.  It helps me narrow down restaurants to the cuisine that I feel like eating 😉  (A girl needs what she needs!)

I strongly recommend this app to anyone who has tastecard.  And if you do not have tastecard and live in the UK – you should get an annual subscription now.  It’s usually 30 pounds (on offer).  One of the best inventions in UK!

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Foodie Fridays: B’s Quorn Teriyaki Steak Sushi

I absolutely LOVE sushi.  I guess being brought up in Japan does have something to do with that.  Japanese food is definitely an acquired taste.  However, in recent years the growing exposure to different cuisines has played a huge role in people experimenting with different flavours.  Japanese food is now everywhere.  Being vegetarian, the variety of sushi is limited in restaurants. 😦  Anyways, when you have a creative mind and hands that are willing to get dirty (dirty with food is always ok, not with mud. There’s a difference! I’m not an outdoor-hiking-kind fyi) then there’s no limit!

Having a love for aesthetics, the food I eat has to look as good as it tastes.  The taste is always takes precedence though, I will never compromise on taste.  Saying that, I would compromise on it just if it is very unhealthy and I’ve just come back from cardio. The cliche aphorism works well for me – health is wealth.

Ok, so you got the point.  The fact that the sushi looks impeccable and it is healthy makes it a winner.  Here’s a picture of the sushi I made:

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Please stare at it in awe as I did.  My husband thought it was very professional!  And I got tons of likes on Facebook and Instagram which boosted my ego.  Small things make me happy.  Happiness then leads to big things 🙂  So try being happy with small things in life, don’t just wait for the big things as they might not come and you’ll end up being a grumpy-old lady by then! I’ve met many, and boy are they unpleasant.

Back to Sushi –  just went slightly off tangent there.

B’s Quorn Teriyaki Steak Sushi Recipe

Makes: 3 rolls of Sushi (about 24 sushis – depending on the size) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Japanese Rice
  • 6 Tbsp Sushi Rice Seasoning
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Cucumber, cut in strips
  • Quorn Steak Strips (half the packet)
  • 3 Nori Sheets

Method:

  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker.  Japanese rice takes less water than normal rice, so be sure to check the instructions. The ratio of the rice I use is 1 cup rice to 1 1/3 cup water. Let the rice cool down, don’t refrigerate it.
  2. In the meantime, pour a bit of teriyaki sauce in a pan and cook steak strips.  Add water as needed, but make sure the end result is sticky steak and not watery.
  3. Add seasoning to the rice.  If you like it more on the sour side, add more.
  4. Oil Sushezi a bit before putting the rice inside, and follow instructions.  See the video- that’s what I did as this was my first attempt!
  5. Put cucumber on one side of your rice mixture, and the Quorn Strips on the other.
  6. Place glossy side of Nori downwards, and you’re ready to roll.
  7. Use water as a glue for the end of the Nori.  Refrigerate the roll for a while, then cut the sushi.  And put the cut pieces back in the fridge.  Sushi is best served cold with Japanese ginger and Wasabi.

Note:  Hands might get sticky with rice.  Keep bowl of water nearby and dip your hands in often to remove stickiness.To remove stickiness of knife when cutting sushi,  I like dipping knife in water after each cut.  Keeps the sushi clean and pretty!

Enjoy! Itadakimasu (いただきます)!  Have I mentioned I speak/read/write Japanese?  Ok so I do.  Not as well as before though, as I don’t have much practice anymore!

The phrase above translates to Bon Appetite 🙂

App Review: Flipboard

Flipboard is one of my most used apps on my iPad (it’s the mini, in case you were wondering!  And I absolutely love it.  It was a gift from my husband 🙂 I should bake him more cookies, it seems to be working ) 🙂  It’s become a digital age magazine, where while watching TV you can browse through saved sites, RSS feeds etc.

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This is how it looks.  I love the format, as its easy to use and easy on the eyes.  Nothing too complicated – which is good as that would contradict the very notion of it being like a magazine.  It’s meant to be relaxing, not complicated.  I usually browse News, Recipes, Blogs, Fashion, etc.  Since I have a blog now, I’ve added it to Flipboard 🙂 And besides, the brownies look far too tempting for it to be denied attention!

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The latest update allows users to save articles to read later and personalize their very own magazine.  This magazine would consist of articles that interest them which they have selected.  I think this feature is extremely helpful when users are commuting on the tube.  That is if they get a seat.  I can’t imagine using my iPad while standing in the tube next to thirty thousand other commuters.  The tubes here are a nightmare.  London should really learn from Japan.  The train system was brilliant 15 years ago compared to the present day tubes.  I seem to be going off tangent! 😉  If you lived in London you’d empathize with me completely.

In a nutshell – things I love about it:

  • Easy to Use
  • Digital Magazine Style that has gone right!
  • Saving articles for later is a brilliant idea (esp for commuting)

 

VERDICT:

TO DOWNLOAD OR NOT TO DOWNLOAD:  TO DOWNLOAD

 

 

About Me

bandhnakaur Hi there! I’m Bandhna pronounced as ban-the-na.  It’s a bit tough for most people. but what’s life without a challenge?  It’s a Sanskrit name that translates to worship – just FYI.  My friends call me B – easier on the tongue I’m guessing! Welcome to my bubble, my world.  I love all things that sparkle and try to add a bit of spark to my everyday life. May it add spark to yours too! Multiculturalism – I’m a living example of that! A Singaporean Punjabi, brought up in Kobe Japan.  Moved back to Singapore after 12 years due to a literal earth-shaking experience, “The Great Hanshin Earthquake 1995”.  Which was terrifying I must add, but I guess what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.  Subsequently, I moved to Singapore for 7-8 years.  Then it was time to move again.  This time to a different continent- Australia.  Lived in Sydney and at foundation year topped the cohort in Legal Studies (was given prize money and an award – yaey!)  Subsequently, I enrolled in a double degree (BA + LAW).  However, Law didn’t seem to be right for me and I ended up deferring my law degree.  I completed my BA with a double major in Economics and Sociology and graduated 🙂 The bells of destiny rang once again – it was time to fly to Singapore for my wedding with a Malaysian born Punjabi who resided in London. TIME TO MOVE ONCE AGAIN. So now, for now, I live in London.  I try to make the most out of life and try to explore Europe whenever possible. All this moving has made me appreciate anthropology and the study of different cultures.   I have a natural flair for travelling and I think “B” could very well stand for Butterfly!

This quote describes my passion for travel:

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page””– St Augustine

In this blog I hope to capture interesting parts of the world through my eyes.  Perception stems from background, and I believe if your background is so diverse your perception will not be limited due to a greater exposure and understanding of the world. My interest lies in Apps, Globe-Trotting, Fashion & Vegetarian Food – all of which I will be writing about.  My passion is wide-spread as you can see 🙂 ONE STRONG PASSION I DO HAVE IS FOOD – I absolutely love food. It’s the love of my life. I’ve been vegetarian for 10 years now and love experimenting with new recipes, so I might make you hungry with some of my eats.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you! My biggest accomplishment so far is summed up in one word –  ENVYLOPE.  An app that was approved at the first submission to Apple with zero prior knowledge on how to make it.  I recently self-learnt U/I Designing for Apps and am so thrilled to say that I am the Co-Founder of Envylope.  My husband (sole-developer) and I launched our own company – Appsolute Pixels where we intend to bring all sorts of Apps.

I like ‘likes’ and I love ‘comments’.  Look forward to hearing from you! xx B