Friday, December 29, 2017

Restaurant review: EAT TOKYO (Covent Garden)

Over the past few months, I’ve been to Eat Tokyo twice, and if I’m ever in Covent Garden and struggling to decide on somewhere to eat, this restaurant will be at the forefront of my mind.

Just with Dishoom and On the Bab, it doesn’t take reservations and you have to queue. This suggests the restaurant cares more about profits than comfort of its customers. However, the fact that there are always droves of people queuing outside the Covent Garden branch of Eat Tokyo means that these people deem the food is worth queuing for.

The first time I dined there, I had a salmon teriyaki bento box. There are a variety of bento boxes at Eat Tokyo, ranging from sashimi, chicken katsu and vegetarian. They range in price, but the most expensive bento box is £18. These two are both less than that (~£16 and £8.50, if I remember correctly):

Authentic Japanese food at its best!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

OOTD: Office Christmas Party

On Friday December 15th, I went to one of two Christmas parties our Institute is invited to (the second will be after the New Year - keep your eyes peeled for an OOTD then!). Naturally, this was an opportunity for me to get my gladrags on!

Dress: Jane Norman
Ring: Accessorize
Necklace: New Look (I was going for a Carrie in Sex and the City-style aesthetic!)
Earrings: Topshop

Bit of an oversight...

Dunkirk has released its third For Your Consideration advert, and, just like last time, I noticed an omission in who they were campaigning for. Except unlike in Harry Styles' case, this snub is for one of the best, if not the best element of the film, and thus, totally unacceptable:

They've asked for consideration in all categories and outlined the ones that are most relevant to Dunkirk. Yet there's no mention of Hans Zimmer's incredible score!! Given that the music in the film was so tension-amplifying, that the BBFC even mentioned it in their extended information, that really is quite the oversight.

The only possible explanation is that Warner Brothers thought the score was so good, it didn't need highlighting; the quality spoke for itself. Which it does. After all, Zimmer's collaborations with two other single-word-titled Christopher Nolan movies, Inception and Interstellar, were both nominated in the Best Original Score category at the Oscars, and both those films had less Best Picture momentum than Dunkirk has.

But, still, it would have been nice to pinpoint it anyway, just to be on the safe side.

Being beady-eyed when it comes to nerdy film things, I also noticed that whoever made the ad has rejigged the order of two of the actors:

To jog your memory, this was the order of actors in the previous FYC:

The poster creator obviously didn't like this film that much, then!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Restaurant review: CARLUCCIO'S (Smithfield)

Carluccio's is a spacious, welcoming Italian restaurant, with very reasonable prices. I dined there for a team dinner a few months ago, when we all had the set menu (3 courses for £17.99, a £3.50 surcharge for the steak).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday in New York, 2017.

Earlier this month, I spent five days in New York City with my best friend Anna (the gorgeous lady who this blog is named after).

Here be a picspam of our time there (including a day in New Jersey) and some random non-sequiturs as and when I can be bothered to type!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Nobody's gonna drag Harry down.

I was perusing Awards Daily's FYC gallery when I noticed this ad Warner Brothers put out for Dunkirk:

In case that shade was a little too nuanced, here's a list of actors who WB are campaigning for:

It's of trifling importance as bar Mark Rylance, none of the cast really have a shot at an Oscar nomination (and even for Rylance, with no show at the Golden Globes, SAGs or even the London Film Critics' Circle, that's an uphill battle), but I couldn't help thinking that Warner Brothers are shading Harry Styles somewhat by not listing him here.

I wasn't bowled over or anything by Harry Styles in Dunkirk (he did what he had to do, no more, no less, but was definitely more successful transitioning into acting than his former beardgirlfriend Cara Delevingne), but given he got to act 'angry' and Christopher Nolan used both of his PG-13-mandated allowances of the f-word on Styles, it seems somewhat amiss not to at list him here. It certainly couldn't hurt, IMO, and bar Rylance, who was the standout performer, the gulf in acting quality between Styles and the rest of his co-stars certainly wasn't that palpable.

So it's a bit harsh for Warner Brothers to be tacitly saying 'young Fionn Whitehead is worth the adspace... but you? Nah.'

As a side note, back when Dunkirk first hit UK cinemas in July, I was tickled by this e-mail we got from the Odeon:

Interesting that here, they've focused on the two Peaky Blinders and Inception/Dark Knight Rises actors, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy (who British audiences would more likely to be familiar with), thesp Kenneth Branagh and of course, the pretty boy Styles himself, yet omitted Oscar-winner Mark Rylance as a result.

It reminded me of what Nolan said about casting Styles in his movie, 'I saw thousands of young men, but Harry just had something that the rest didn't.'

I believe that 'something' in question is the ability to draw in randy teenage girls by their droves. ;)


I saw this pun in The Sun, and I kind of loved it:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Free STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI posters up for grabs.

My brother and I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Wednesday at midnight when it came out, and as a reward for being 'dedicated Star Wars fans' (I'm anything but), the Odeon clerk gave us two copies of each of the posters above.

They're A1 in size, and if you would like them and are willing to travel to central London to pick them up, they're your's! I'm happy to give them to a good home. E-mail me at if interested.

Here was us at midnight:

Friday, December 15, 2017

The world can be a nasty place.

I recently watched Thirteen Reasons Why, the Selena Gomez-prouced Netflix TV show essaying a High School student, Hannah Baker, who commits suicide, and leaves behind 13 tapes outlining why. 

Whatever one's thoughts on the show and how dangerously close it sails to romanticising suicide, I have to admit that, drama-wise, it is certainly compelling to watch. Episode 9, 'Tape 5, side A' contained a rather unsavoury sexual assault of one of Hannah's friends, and was rated 18.

I e-mailed the BBFC querying why this episode was an 18, as, horrible as it was to watch, an episode of Orange is the New Black featured Pennsatucky getting raped not once but twice, by two different men, and was only a 15:

Depictions of sexual violence in two Netflix shows 
I am writing to ask about the depiction of rape in two Netflix shows, Orange is the New Black season 3 episode 10 (A Tittin' and a Hairin'), rated 15, and Thirteen Reasons Why season 1 episode 9 (Tape 5 Side A), rated 18. 
Both these episodes contain rape scenes which are aversive and disturbing, as likely intended by the directors. The level of detail in both episodes are comparable. 
Yet in the 15-rated OITNB episode, the same character gets raped by two different men in the same episode, whereas in the 18-rated Thirteen Reasons Why episode, the character is raped once (albeit with the scenes shown repeatedly). 
I was wondering why this was, and if it perhaps due to the ages of the characters? 
Because speaking as a viewer, I found the OITNB episode more distressing to watch, not least because in the second attack, the blank expression on the character's face suggested she was 'resigned' to being raped. Furthermore, the cumulative effect of watching the same character getting raped twice and its impact on her (already precarious) mental state was more distressing. 
Thank you for taking the time to read my email and looking forward to your response.
This was their response:

This is by far the most complete response they've given to me (for reference, see these two emails I sent them last year: un et deux). 

I would just quibble with their saying depictions of rape at 15 'must be discreet', mind, because Wind River, a 15, showed the naked buttocks of the victim when she was being assaulted, which I would say was even worse than showing the attacker's bum. But I CBA to e-mail them; e-mailing back and forth about sexual violence is not my favourite thing to do with my spare time!


Remember how perturbed I was to see a full stop where there ought to have been a comma in Get Out's BBFC short insight? Well, checking the back of the DVD, I was happy to see they removed that error for DVD distribution:


For more film rating nerdiness click here!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thoughts on the 2017 Screen Actor Guild Nominations.

The SAG nominations were announced yesterday and they concretised some actors’ positions in the Oscar race, whilst throwing doubt on others. Here be my thoughts on the film categories (I don’t watch enough TV to be able to comment on those).

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading RoleJUDI DENCH / Queen Victoria – “VICTORIA & ABDUL” (Focus Features)
SALLY HAWKINS / Elisa Esposito – “THE SHAPE OF WATER” (Fox Searchlight)
MARGOT ROBBIE / Tonya Harding – “I, TONYA” (Neon)
SAOIRSE RONAN / Lady Bird McPherson – “LADY BIRD” (A24)

Dame Judi Dench is the surprise nominee here, who takes what many had predicted would be Meryl Streep’s slot (although the complete omission of The Post altogether has led some to speculate that it probably screened too late for SAG voters, who post their ballots in early), means that there are more English actresses here (Dench and Hawkins) than American ones (McDormand). 

Margot Robbie’s shameless Oscar-begging appears to have paid off (whenever a beautiful woman de-glams, awards bodies shower them with awards) and she’s likely to be nominated for the Oscar in this category along with Hawkins, Ronan and McDormand, leaving fifth place up for grabs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Reflections on Monday’s Golden Globe nominations

The awards season is officially underway! I was on holiday in NYC when the Golden Globe nominations dropped on Monday and didn’t have time to do a reaction post, so here be my rather delayed Good, Bads and Uglies on the nominations. 

- Dunkirk and Christopher Nolan being nominated. Dunkirk is currently my choice for best of 2017 (having not seen the vast majority of the Oscar heavyweights as they’re released later), and the only 9/10 I’ve awarded a 2017 film.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

10 Fittest Women in Film, 2012.

I'm off to New York for five nights later, but before I left, thought I'd give a list of the prettiest women in a 2012 film (that I've seen), as 2012 was a very decent year for female eye candy!

10. Kristen Stewart, Snow White and the Huntsman (new entrant)

Saturday, December 02, 2017

A ranking exercise (part 1)

I gave an R class on Thursday, where I showed how you can sort a dataset by more than one criteria. Here, it's sorted by BBFC rating, then IFCO rating, then alphabetically to give a rough outline of all the films I watched on my Odeon Limitless card (over two subscription years) from childish to most adult

My challenge to you: within the blocks of where the BBFC and IFCO ratings are the same (so for example, the first three films in the table), re-rank them so that the list of most childish to most adult is more accurate. Obviously this is a totally subjective exercise, but, give it a go!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

10 Hottest Men in Film, 2013.

Happy Hump Day! I've been a bit lax with these lists of late, but, as we're entering the Christmas period, I thought I'd revisit these list series, to raise the temperature a bit!

The female version of the 2013 list is here!

10. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Product review: DEEP ACTION FACIAL WIPES (Clean & Clear)

Make-up remover is an essential product, because if you don’t wash off your makeup before you go to sleep, it facilitates build-up of germs, causing your skin to get greasy and look bad. The cleansing wipes that I have been using recently are Deep Action Facial Wipes. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Album review: REPUTATION (Taylor Swift)

A month shy of turning 28, Taylor Swift has been around the block and suffered a few knocks to her standing (not to mention her heart) for her troubles. Her sixth album comes at some time when some self-reflection is much-needed.

With a title like ‘Reputation’, she’s certainly cognisant of that artefact. It would be trite to dub her 15-track album as a ‘confessional’, as she’s always been very forthcoming about wearing her heart on her sleeve, and channelling her painful life experiences into song-writing inspiration, but there's a salient self-awareness in this album that was perhaps lacking in her previous work.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: Hans Zimmer Live in Prague DVD

For me, the score can make or break a film. A good film can be elevated into the realms of greatness by a standout score, and even a poor film can be rescued from being a total disaster if it has some nice music.

Hans Zimmer is a composer who has an impeccable handle on what it means to write music for films. His soundtracks always suit the style, tone and theme of the films they are in. The pieces are easy on the ears and catchy, but they aren’t so carried away with pomp that they draw attention away from the film. Rather, they capture the essence of the story.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Bar review: PIANO WORKS BAR (Farringdon)

I love singing. Whether it be Disney songs, RnB, Broadway showtunes, power ballads, I’m happiest when I’m warbling along to music (and often getting the lyrics wrong in the process). Piano Works allows you to do this to live piano music, along with a percussive and jazz band, and a lead singer, whilst dancing in a night-club-style venue. That was my Friday night sorted, then.

The band played their instruments really well, with flamboyance from the electric guitars when the occasion called for it, and more nuanced accompanying for other songs. The band shrewdly rotated singers depending on the flavour of the song. Sometimes, as was the case with Kanye West’s Goldigger, more than one person sang at a time. They had a fantastic female singer who belted out How Far I’ll Go from Moana. Given I have recently just watched Moana and the song is fresh in my mind, that in itself made that Friday one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time.

The song choices at Piano Works were on point. They played Uptown Funk, Piano Man, American Boy, Grace Kelly… basically, crowd pleasers. And the crowd was very pleased. Here’s a clip of their performance of What Makes You Beautiful. The One Direction song is only my fourth favourite of all-time, so I had a whale of a time dancing to it!

Professor Marston and the Small Screen.

I'm very excited about Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Luke Evans aka Gaston plays the title character, a psych professor who created the Wonder Woman character, who was inspired by two women: his wife, and his wife's girlfriend. 

His missus is played by the fierce Cambridge alumni Rebecca Hall, and their lover is played by Bella Heathcote, who's striking good looks were one of the few redeeming factors of that trashy The Neon Demon.

The film opens in UK cinemas this Friday, and in booking my seat, at one of Leicester Square Odeon's studios, I was struck by how tiny the cinema (and thus, the screen) was!

5 x 6 = 30, + 3 = 33.

A cinema which seats merely 33 people!

Is that the smallest cinema you've seen, or can you go even lower?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Restaurant review: COPPA CLUB (Fitzrovia)

The hustle and bustle of shoppers clambering around Oxford Circus can prove stressful, especially now, in the lead-up to Christmas. Should you crave momentary respite from crawling through a sea of shoppers, step down a side street in the direction of Soho, where you’ll find a collection of cafes, bars and restaurants. Coppa Club, a clean-lined restaurant with a bistro vibe, is amongst them.

I went to Coppa Club when I was quite hungry, on a Saturday evening. As a consequence, only one item on the menu jumped out at me: the hearty sirloin steak. As with all the steaks I’ve reviewed on my blog (exhibits A and B and C and D), I had mine rare.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Film review: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

Renowned sleuth Hercule Poirot finds himself in the first class carriage of the Orient Express, due from Istanbul to London. In torrid and icy weather, the train gets derailed, after which he discovers that Ratchett (Johnny Depp), an indecorous art wheeler dealer who was travelling on the carriage, has been murdered, by 12 stab wounds, spread indiscriminately around the body. 

In isolating the suspects to the cohort of first class passengers, he interviews each of them to find out whodunnit. However, each person he speaks to happens to be, rather inconveniently, being imprecise with the truth.

I like how Kenneth Branagh's gone for the pretence of wanting alphabetical billing, yet conveniently abandoned that idea when it comes to Lucy Boynton. I wonder why?

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Shade on the Orient Express.

Matthew Norman of the Evening Standard found Daisy Ridley's performance in Murder on the Orient Express forgettable. So much so, that he misidentifies her as another Star Wars actress:

This is a pretty egregious mistake, that any film critic worth their salt should not be making!

Friday, November 03, 2017

Restaurant review: GOGI KOREAN BAR AND GRILL (Warwick Avenue)

Having done my Masters (part-time, over two years) very close to Tottenham Court Road, I was able to indulge in all the Korean restaurants in TCR’s vicinity, which certainly gave me an appetite for the cuisine. This fondness was cemented by On the Bab, one of the best restaurants I’ve been to, by far, and recipient of a coveted A-grade on this blog.

One part of my Korean dining experience that was sadly lacking, however, was that of the Korean barbeque. This is where Gogi, situated about a ten minute walk from Warwick Avenue underground station, came in.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Weekend in New Forest.

I spent the weekend in the New Forest, Hampshire, this weekend, and it was so rejuvenating to get out of the city and soak in the verdant environment!

Some photos:

I have black nail polish on, in honour of Jessica Chastain's bitching performance in Miss Sloane.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Happy Questionnaire Day.

Before I saw Happy Death Day on Saturday, representatives from Universal presented me with this survey which is, er, comprehensive, to say the least:

Needless to say, I didn't fill the whole thing in, but, Universal reps, if you're reading, I gave your film a 7/10. I thought it was nonsense, but unchallenging, enjoyable nonsense, anchored by a fine comedic turn from Jessica Rothe (the one in the green dress dancing behind Bugeyes in La La Land) and I also enjoyed the presence of Ruby Modine (aka Matthew Modine's daughter), who is very pretty, a decent actress, and testament to the good kind of nepotism (the bad kind being Cokehead Delevingne, naturally).

Also at the cinema, I saw this rather striking poster for My Little Pony: The Movie.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cooking: salmon and pomegranate salad

I made a salmon and pomegranate salad today. It was easy to cook and tasted so delicious, so I shall share my recipe!

Step 1: Buy a few fillets of salmon from your local high street. Before putting them in the oven for the time allocated, chop a few fine chillis (as shown in the first photo) and evenly distribute these on the salmon:

Step 2: While the salmon is cooking in the oven, cut open a pomegranate. Break all the individual pieces into a salad bowl and throw in a healthy quantity of greens. Use a spoon to spread the two fruit/veg out, before drizzling delicious balsamic vinegar over the combination.

Once the salmon is ready, boom! There's your dinner! Including preparation time, this took less than 20 minutes to make, and the end result is delicious and nutritious. Am definitely going to follow this recipe again (I may make amendments) - watch this space!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bar review: THE HIDE (Bermondsey Street)

London has some venues which do some fabulous cocktails, ranging from Yauatcha to The Escapologist, and I wondered if The Hide, about a 10 minute walk away from London Bridge, would join this pantheon of greats.

I had a White Russian, which tasted lovely, although I was slightly disappointed it wasn’t served in an Old Fashioned glass (God, I love Old Fashioneds), but a generic tumbler instead. If the varied cocktail menu wasn’t for you, then there was also a decent beer and wine list, meaning it would be literally impossible not to cater for an alcohol drinker in The Hide.

Décor was low-key but elegant, and the contemporary music playing in the background straddled the line between atmospheric and obtrusive well.

However, remember what I said about how I was a little uneasy with La Trompette, because the waiters kept checking up on me? Well, those waiters were aloof compared to those in The Hide. I told the waiter I would need a few minutes to decide, and they came back almost immediately.

I was savouring my White Russian (it had been a long day, one needs #TreatYoSelf sometimes) at a leisurely pace, and another waitress came to my table, as if to pointedly say that me drinking one drink on my own wasn’t enough to merit a place at the table.

So, whilst I have no qualms with the quality of the drinks, or the range of tipples on offer, I have to take umbrage with the way they tried to railroad me into ordering more drinks than I wanted.

Those kind of games don’t work on me, fam. You won’t swindle Emma that way. But you will get a negative review for your troubles.

Grade: C


For more of my bar and pub reviews, click here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Film review: THE THIRD ALIBI (Montgomery Tully, 1961)

Composer Norman Martell (Laurence Payne) is the very definition of would pass in 2017 parlance as 'fuckboy'. Married to a devoted wife Helen (Patricia Dainton), he nonetheless carries on with her sister Peggy, which leads her to getting knocked up.

Out of betrayal and spite, his wife refuses to grant him the divorce he needs and being the nefarious individual that he is, Norma devises a plan to dispose of her, with the help of his mistress and a piece of recording equipment so that he has a watertight alibi.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

OOTD: Watching THE LION KING at the West End followed by an amazeballs Dishoom meal

T-shirt: Hollister (a very versatile piece, having worn in in this and this OOTD as well)
Skirt: Missguided
Gingerbread man earrings: Market stall

Trainers: Adidas
Faux leather jacket: TK Maxx
Toy: Disney Store

Friday, October 13, 2017

LFF Film review: ON CHESIL BEACH (Dominic Cooke, 2018)

Summer 1962. In a Dorset hotel, overlooking the seaside, two virgins, Edward and Florence, navigate their wedding night with shared trepidation, although the root of their anxiety are worlds apart. He, a History graduate from a humble but loving home, can’t wait to get his hands on his beautiful bride. She, a talented violinist from a richer family, is filled with revulsion at the thought of sexual contact with anyone.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Bar review: THE JAMAICA WINE HOUSE (Monument)

During Friday nights around Bank, it is extremely difficult to find pubs or bars where one can sit down and have a proper conversation. Not altogether surprising, given that it represents the busiest day of the week in one of the most bustling parts of the capital. But still, I like to unwind after a long week without having to strain my voice to talk, and I was certain there must be some options.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Fashion review: FLORAL RUFFLE TEA DRESS (Missguided)

When I was at Bath doing my undergraduate degree, I used to have the nickname 'Chelsea bitch', given that I was prone to making some catty comments about players of opponent teams, or taking the banter too far in order to prove a footballing point. Just think, Gone Girl-levels of batshit and petty, conflated with football tribalism. 😳

I quite liked living up to this sobriquet, which is why, despite the fact that pink is my favourite colour,  I tend to have more outfits featuring the colour blue (ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibits onetwothreefour and five). 

The way I saw it, by wearing blue, I was repping my club in my fashion choices.

So when I saw this floral ruffle tea dress on the Missguided website, I had to snap it up. It had an average 4.5/5 review score, and had such a pretty, girly print, as well as being in an adorable shade of baby blue. It would have been rude not to!

Oblig selfie: - 

As you can see from the picture above, the dress suffers from the some problem at size 10 as did the Miss Selfridge khaki dress, which is that if you're on the chesty side, then the neckline pretty much puts your tits entirely on display. The next time I wear this dress out, I'm going to be more prudent and wear a camisole underneath, because the amount of cleavage on display in the photo above is a bit much, haha!

Aside from that, I'm a fan of the dress. The fact that it has long sleeves means it's a good alternative to the Miss Selfridge floral ruffle dress (I clearly like flowers and ruffles!), for when the weather is a little cooler. And at least with the Miss Selfridge dress, I don't have to lie down in order to do the zipper up!

The shortness of the dress means I would rather wear this during the Summer, when one can get away with shorter hemlines. But if you have confidence to wear whatever you want all year round, by all means, wear this pretty blue number with pride!


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Restaurant review: LA TROMPETTE (Chiswick)

Pre-La Trompette, the closest I’ve come to dining at a restaurant with a Michelin star was at Chapter One in Orpington. Chapter One used to have a Michelin star, until it was stripped of it (bit of a kick in the teeth). So I was both excited and curious about my foray into experiencing how the other 1% do live!

Unsurprisingly, given the level of prestige surrounding La Trompette, the service is second to none. The moment our water jug was anywhere below a third full, it would be topped up, and the waiters were always offering us more bread (it was too delicious to turn down!). The bread, fresh from the oven, was complemented with deliciously salted butter. 

Everything about the venue was pristine, which meant it fitted in well in the salubrious part of Chiswick.

In part because the bar is so low for me, because I’m used to the attentiveness-levels of central London waiters that can most politely be described as ‘laconic’, and in part because I’m too self-conscious, but the elevated customer service in La Trompette made me a tad uncomfortable. But I don’t begrudge the waiters and waitresses that; they were doing their jobs exactly as they should have. This one’s on me.

The food was far more ornately made and lovingly crafted than Theo Randall, another restaurant of comparable price to La Trompette. For my main, I had the loin of Cornish cod, gnocchetti, chanterelles, cavolo nero and hazelnut pesto.

Bathing the cod in foam was an inspired touch; it meant the seafood felt more textured, despite not actually having much fat on it. My only gripe was that the portion was too small, but people who can afford to dine at places like La Trompette on the regular will understand that it’s the quality of the cuisine, not the quantity. And the quality of the fish was spectacular; succulent, and brimming with flavour. The fact that there was so little of it made me cherish the meal more!

Despite it not being cheap, I can definitely understand the ‘You get what you pay for’ adage about La Trompette, which I most certainly did not feel about Ladurée and Theo Randall, two other expensive London restaurants which charged handsome prices for ugly food. If you feel like treating yourself, you could do much worse than this Michelin starred venue.

Grade: A-


For more of my restaurant reviews, click here.