Stax Diner, Speed Dating, MS MR and taking chances.

9 Aug

EAT: Kingly Court on Carnaby Street is becoming quite the foodie paradise. I remember when I was 14 and I’d come to London, I’d head immediately to Kingly Court to rummage through the second hard ‘vintage’ stores and trendy shops. Now it’s full of bars and restaurants and there’s genuinely a little something for everyone.

A lot of these restaurants are new to Kingly Court, one of which is Stax Diner. American Deep South diners are becoming more and common in London – as the love for the London burger grows, so do the number of places with a twist on how to present the burger. Oh, and milkshakes seem to be kind of a big deal now. At Stax you’ll find burgers, fried chicken, milkshakes and various items with a cajun twist.

photo 1

I did what I usually do and went for the chicken.  “The Chickadee” to be precise. Buttermilk marinated fried chicken breast on brioche with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. Now: I’ll say that I think I made the wrong choice. I’ll tell you why. The brioche bun is big, because you get a LOT of fried chicken in the bun. The chicken is heavily battered which actually works against it because, with the bun, everything just tastes of… well dough and carbs. Plus the better isn’t seasoned in any way which would have helped. There really isn’t much point calling this a burger – a basket of chicken would suffice. There’s no real taste due to the batter and brioche. The salad was buried at the bottom of the bun, which fell apart almost immediately, meaning the salad fell out – leaving more dough and chicken. I think if I’d gone for one of the other options which had more sauce and extras to add flavour the burger it would have gone down better. As it is, the individual components were good, but all together it just didn’t work for me.

photo 2

The fries are triple cooked and dusted in a cajun spice – they’re a good choice, get ’em. There are loads of yummy tasting sides (including an onion blossom with garlic sauce. Onions and garlic rock my socks. If I could have a meal which consisted of caramalised onions in a pot of aioli I’d totally go for it. Gross as it sounds, my taste buds are so turned on right now).

ANYWAY. I’m getting sidetracked. Look – basically, the place has a great sounding menu and it does have some tasty offerings. I just think I made a bad choice with the Chickadee burger. Too much flour, not enough flavour.  I’d like to give the place another go but when I get drunk all I remember is that the burger was a bit stodgy (despite the chicken actually being good) and I convince people to go elsewhere. Hmm.

SEE: Last night a speed date changed my life. That’s not a confession, it’s a speed dating night regularly held at The Book Club and I went with three of my friends from work a few weeks ago. It was… interesting.

Now, I’ve been on many different kinds of dates. Dates in bars, restaurants, bookshops, parks, ping-pong places, a jazz burlesque bar… etc. But I spent between an hour and five hours with each date. Speed dating gives you three minutes to decide if you like the person enough to date them again. (Let’s face it – it gives you a three seconds to decide if you’re physically attracted to a person and to find out if they’re not so irritating that you might want to go on a proper date with them).

meandem This is me and Em. Ready to meet our husbands (or not).

 You’re put in a dark room and there are more women than men (which is actually quite good because it gives you time to go to the loo or get a drink when you’re sat there dateless). The men move, women don’t. It’s very dark thank god, so flattering lighting a-plenty. You’re given a pen, a piece of paper and you have to write down the guy’s name, and notes about him, as they pass around the room. This doesn’t really work because if you don’t write their name down they know they’ve been rejected. So, how do you make the whole thing easier? ALCOHOL.

Even the wine couldn’t mask the fact that the guys there weren’t for me. Most men were aged 25-35, working in a variety of professions (mostly journalism, advertising and IT) and all had very different personalities. Some were attractive, some not. One man spent the entire night balancing his jacked on his hand at a really weird angle. Another had a cigarette tucked behind his ear the whole night. I met a man whose church group visits architectural sites, a man who is the ‘king’ of the UK scooter business and another who was so determined to make it into my blog he offered to put his penis on the table (when I quickly realised I had no interest in the guy I told him I was only there to do a write-up about the night. In actual fact I just wanted to do something I hadn’t tried before with the gals from work. Ho hum).

I didn’t get paired with anyone but one of my friends DID get paired with a guy. She’s done a wonderful job of ignoring him so far because… well, three minutes doesn’t really give you enough of a connection with a person to want to really pursue anything.

But, I am also well aware that for some it’s a great way to meet new people. I’d say Last Night A Speed Date Changed My Life is a safe bet in terms of meeting a lot of people, having an easy time of it and maybe (possible) finding someone to date. It’s £14 and I’d recommend going with a friend to make the whole thing fun rather than awkward.

LISTEN: Now, I haven’t listened to a lot of MS MR yet. A few songs – but so far I quite like them. This song is called Hurricane and it’s their most popular release so far. They’re a duo from New York (a vocalist and producer) and Hurricane is off their latest album, Second Rapture.

The term chillwave has been bandied about in association with them and I suppose that is accurate – but there’s a little more to them than that. Pop is certainly an influence, but there’s a sinister edge, which I quite like. Have a listen and let me know what you think. Might update this post when I’ve heard more of them so this forms something which actually sounds like a review. Hmm.

LOVE: The kind of men I’m interested in I can’t find in three minutes. Or, maybe they’re sat right in front of me but three minutes just doesn’t give me time to realise. I blame (amongst other things) my sarcasm which mixes confusingly with my enthusiasm for bizarre things like random London facts, untranslatable words and, say, wildlife photography. Oh, and politics and music. Turns out more men than I thought don’t care about politics or half decent taste in music. No guy can ‘get’ all the aforementioned in three minutes.

Anyway, this section  isn’t really going to give you any insight or entertain you. It’s going to inspire you (joke – it probably won’t, but I’d like to think someone out there reads this crap). I just wanted to write down, somewhere, that people are more complicated than they seem and three minutes not only doesn’t scratch the surface, but it doesn’t let you find out much more than how they are and what they do. I like to give people a chance but three minutes doesn’t give you enough time to uncover something in someone who is worth taking a chance on. I think that’s why I went on so many dates with people who didn’t really seem right for me – so long as I saw potential in them somewhere, I gave them a chance. Maybe we liked a few of the same bands, or they had a passion for travel. True, it never worked out, but imagine staying at home when, if you’d gone out, something could have happened which sets off a huge chain of life-changing events.

Think about it. Tiny changes to your past could have made a huge difference. If I’d applied to different halls at Uni – or just applied three days later than I did – I wouldn’t have met many of my best friends. I wouldn’t be living with two of them now. I’d be in a different house, with different people. I wouldn’t have got my friend her job at the company I used to work at. The consequences go on and on, it’s mind-boggling really.


Which is why I like to give people a chance. Who knows; on a date which doesn’t work out you could find someone’s passport. Returning it. they could work in your industry and become a contact. Your job, and location could change. You’ll meet new people – perhaps one of them you’ll marry. ETC. It’s hurting my head just thinking about it. WHAT IF I NEVER POST THIS BLOG POST? ARRGGHHH.

(Who am I kidding, this blog post is of consequence to no one but me. But still).


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