Seoul food

As a black cat Juno always knew the camouflage benefits of going around town at night. But being an indoor cat, she was well versed in the art of not bothering!

Batman

However, those of us more adventurous cats realise there is a large world waiting out there. Taking a stroll down the Cowbridge Road, you will find yourself in a part of Cardiff known as Canton; confusing eh? You are nowhere near China; but, if you are paying close attention, some of these bright lights of Canton turn out to be Korean

We enter as strangers in a strange land, as hitherto unseen contraptions hover above dedicated diners. What can they be for? Do they deliver the food, or perhaps suck up your dosh? Or, maybe we have stumbled across some strangely ethnic ‘northern’ traditions. No, it turns out they are the smoke extractors for the adventurous diners who choose from the barbecue section of the menu… as these are the items you cook yourself at your own table!

Us less adventurous cats (or maybe just avoiding the self-inflicted food poisoning vibe) decide you can keep your barbecue, we came for authentic national food, best cooked by authentic nationals.

Kimchi might be the restaurant name, but it also happens to be the Korean speciality dish of salted and fermented cabbage and radishes. It turns out that was something nicely complemented by a side of seaweed… and a Korean ‘Hite’ beer or two will not go amiss!

Then comes the main event, with Korean specialities again taking top billing. This time it is the Stone Pot variety, with beef for the carnivore, and seafood for the vegetarian cat (whatever that is!).

Oh, and why not add a side of Korean pancakes? Beware, too many of those may be accompanied by a visit from the Grim Reaper on heart inspection duty! Just as well those Stone Pots come with a mass of fabulously fresh vegetation…

Until we speak again, this may be a Korean story, but Juno & Bella would assure you that no cats or dogs were harmed in the making of this production!

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Doing nothing wrong!

Perhaps the only good thing about a prolonged bout of illness is the opportunity to catch up on some of those TV programmes you meant to watch. Well, one of the more striking ones has been the BBC series ‘House of Saud‘. How reassuringly revolting it is to see so many mega-wealthy individuals, when confronted with the merest whiff of their own corruption, quickly resorting to the time honoured mantra of all fat cats… ” I didn’t do anything wrong!”

fat-cat

Then take the current Carillion scandal… whereby so many employees and other small businesses face extinction, or at least the loss of their pension rights and other financial hardships. But rest assured, the directors are safe in the knowledge that they could continue to receive eye-watering salaries and bonuses extended beyond the period of their natural incompetence; safe in the knowledge that they feel they “didn’t do anything wrong!”

o-CASH-CAT-facebook

Which only serves to remind me of so many politicians back in the recent financial scandals of duck moats, and paid-for penthouses in central London, who to a man (and it usually is men) were always quick to reassure us they “didn’t do anything wrong!”

Piles of money

So, until we speak again, I intend to get all hypocritical about my lack of interest in new year’s resolutions. For 2018 I unashamedly declare an ambition to “do nothing wrong!” (possibly for all the wrong reasons, if you ‘kerching’ what I mean). With hope and a fair wind my next post will be coming to you from a Caribbean tax haven.

Oh Man! The new OMG

The ‘first in the UK‘ is an enticing tag line, particularly when a couple of cats are contemplating a culinary adventure. And City Road in Cardiff has a purrfect range of representation from many parts of the globe when it comes to tickling the salivatory glands. But only Oman outwardly claims to be the first in the UK

Exterior

On first glance, the Al Wali restaurant provides a bright and welcoming interior…

Interior [1]

Interior [2]

And no sooner had the menus been consulted and choices made, when along comes a complementary mildly spiced oat soup before our starter.

Free oat soup

Whilst Junior Cool went for the Chicken Wings, yours truly came for the full on Oh Man experience, so the Kashke Bademjan (crushed aubergine with yoghurt and walnut) provided a tasty introduction to Omani cuisine; and begins the quest for how it differs from the extensive range of Arabic/Middle Eastern options in the local vicinity…

Kashke Bademjan and Chicken Wings

Kashke Bademjan

For the mains Junior Cool again went for the Chicken option, of a Biryani variety. Meanwhile, back in Oman, the menu provides an insight into a new range of culinary linguistics…

Menu page

Lamb Qalia (slow cooked in broth with black pepper, onion, garlic and ginger) definitely got the whiskers twitching…

Lamb Qalia and Chicken Biryani

It was lamb like I have never tasted before; soft flavourful meat with a spicy after-taste that warmed the taste buds rather than challenging through its heat; fully justifying my own personal claim for Oh Man to usurp the overused OMGJuno and Bella might well have been intrigued by the offerings, but the slight spicy bight to the lamb might have caused some disgruntled consternation, and demands for more of the chicken wings!

Lamb Qalia

The idea of a Karak Tea appealed, with an expectation of something exotic. Sadly the exotic was more likely to come in the form of the ordinary Black Tea. The overly sweet and milky (to my taste) Karak Tea, coming with cardamom and cinnamon was served up in the cardboard cup; presumably because the Omani diaspora love their tea to go!

Karak and Black Tea

Until we speak again, the usual eating irons should do for anything you are likely to encounter on the menu. But, if you do come across something requiring more industrial dissection, the necessary tools come wall-mounted! On first experience Omani cuisine can only be highly recommended.

Sword

Illuminating

It’s the time of the year when light triumphs over heat. Well, in the northern hemisphere at least. So, happy new year to my loyal reader, as Cardiff City Hall puts on a magical display to greet in who knows what as a new calendar begins…

For those of a more spiritual disposition, we present something resembling a burning bush…

Meanwhile, for the agnostics, and those who dragged themselves out of the local pubs to briefly illuminate routine drunken philosophising with a display of colour…

Until we speak again, Juno and Bella would undoubtedly have slept through the whole affair, unhindered by the drunken revelry occurring elsewhere; and silently wished you all a 2018 of sorts!

Pondering cat

I often wondered what Juno was thinking while she gazed out over all she surveyed…

Plotting an escape

Probably too fast…

Squirrell [2]

Definitely too slimy…

Snake Temple 2

Could be too much trouble…

Foxes fighting

Just too late for that quick snack…

Now I'm off

I hear the brains are the tastiest part?

Monkey at Penang Hill

But there is always one defining thought… lunch!

Chicken at Key Lime Inn

Until we speak again, enjoy that loving moment while you share an intense gaze with your cute and cuddly homely psychopath!

You talking to me?

Felicitations from Jose

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Christmas… the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra tour rolls into Cardiff Motorpoint Arena with special guests Ruby Turner providing soulful power

Jools Holland and Ruby Turner

And Jose Feliciano lighting everyone’s nostalgic fire

Jools Holland and Jose Feliciano

I’m not sure if Jose’s lifelong affliction inspired Jools Holland, Jose Feliciano and Louise Marshall to perform ‘Lets Find Each Other Tonight‘.

Two skydivers in freefall

And what is a Jools Holland Orchestra event without Gilson Lavis providing an amazing drum solo.

Until we speak again, Juno and Bella provide the ghosts of Christmas Past, with greetings from a festive Cardiff

And finally,  Jose Feliciano and Jools Holland Orchestra provide their official version of Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas).