Food at Guanabana, Shit-Faced Shakespeare, Easy All Stars and rainbow death feels.

16 Jul

RIGHT. I’ve been really shit at keeping track of what I’ve done, but I’m completely back on it now. Mainly because I need to delete all the photos of stuff I’ve done/seen/eaten from my phone… plus, I went into what is essentially a deep depression when the miniscule majority of the country decided to leave the European Union, so I didn’t really feel like writing anything. Summary – I’m very happy to live in London right now.

EAT: Where can you eat in Camden that isn’t just another burger place / fast food join / situated in the middle of the mental Camden Lock market? The answer: Guanabana. Not only does it tick all the boxes when it comes to the variety of food on offer, but it’s affordable, it’s close to Camden tube (5 minute walk) and doesn’t get CRAZY busy, you can book a table and the food is divine.

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Guanabana is a Latin Caribbean restaurant which serves delicious food in huge portions. It has all the Caribbean favourites (curried goat, jerk chicken, endless rice, snapper fish and fresh vegetables) but there’s the Latin element too (fajitas, jalapenos). On top of this you also get some amazing food which you don’t see that often in London, including pickles cactus fries, feta cheese mash, tofu tacos, wood coal grilled jerk chickens and coconut and pineapple crumble. If I hadn’t been so incredibly full from my main I would have totally gone for the crumble!

Only downside is that they don’t have a liquor licence, so no booze is sold here. HOWEVER – this isn’t actually a downside. It’s a bring your own booze place and their charges are really cheap. For a bottle of beer / cider it’s £1 per drink corkage fee and for a bottle of wine it’s £3. Add to this that there’s a huge Sainsburys a minute from the place and BOOM: you drink whatever you want in there, super cheap.

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I went for the sweet BBQ wood coal grilled half jerk baby chicken. It comes with all the trimmings – gorgeous plantain (honestly, it was so full of flavour and cooked to perfection), rice, peas, mango chutney, salad dressed with spicy something… and that chicken. Dip the already yummy chicken in the BBQ sauce and it’s amazing. It’s £14 for a huge plate of food – as in, the actual size they serve you up in the Caribbean. Dreamy.

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My friend and I also shared pickled cactus fries. These were wicked – who knew a cactus could be so tasty? I actually stopped dipping it in the sour cream sauce it came with because the slightly sourish cactus was lovely enough on its own. It’s technically a starter, so £4, but if you share this and use it as an appetizer it’s SO worth the £2 🙂

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(My veggie friend had the Mac Daddy burger. It was, again, HUGE. You get a bun filled with roasted portobello mushrooms, mac and cheese, char grilled peppers and sauce. It looks really good and she polished it off! She did comment that it’s got one of the most interesting veggie menus that she’s seen in a long time – you could also get a halloumi/mushroom fajita, chickpea and callaloo stew, black bean stew with feta, egg and feta, goat cheese and guava jam salad… the list goes on). I should also point out they have an epic looking brunch menu and their non-alcoholic cocktails are cheap too – basically, pay £1 to bring in a bottle of rum and just add it to the mojitos / daiquiris, etc.

Basically, the food here is great. The staff are lovely. The prices were very reasonable. The menu is SO SO good and the music also rocked (reggae, for the most part). Massive thumbs up from me!

SEE: I went to go and see Shit-Faced Shakespeare a couple of nights ago with my work colleagues. You may have heard of it; Shit-Faced Shakespeare premiered at Edinburgh Fringe Festive and it’s not at the Leicester Square theater (the one next to the Prince Charles Cinema).

So, it’s pretty much exactly what you think: one member of the case gets drunk and then they try and perform a play with one pissed actor. At the moment they’re doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and when I went, it was Helena who was drunk.

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…well, I say ‘drunk’. To be honest, she was more tipsy and massively hamming it up. Which, don’t get me wrong, was still novel and funny for the first 20 minutes or so (the play lasts for about an hour). But after that amount of time… well, it’s like being the sober one looking after a drunk friend at a party. Funny for about half an hour and then you just get a bit annoyed by it. Which is pretty much what happened here. She threw in the word “cunt” to try and be controversial and did a lot of squealing – which, actually, a lot of the audience didn’t seem to dislike. But the group of people I went with were split between not being that bothered about it and finding it completely hilarious.

To be honest, I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it. When the non-drunk guys were on stage I really enjoyed the play… so, I basically should have just gone to see a Shakepeare play. I can totally see why this did so well at Ed Fringe, it’s perfect for that space and a smaller audience, but I just wasn’t feeling it that much.

LISTEN: I went to see a band called the Easy All Stars last night at the Electric Ballroom. Well, I say band, but they’re actually like Broken Social Scene in that the musicians who perform under the name rotate. The Easy All Stars do reggae covers and two of their most famous albums are covers of OK Computer (Radiodread) by Radiohead and Dark Side of the Moon (Dub Side of the Moon) by Pink Floyd. As a ridiculously big Radiohead fan (my love for them being the thing that is big, not me…) I picked up their music a long time ago and now, on the tenth anniversary of Radiodread, I got to see them live.

They were supported by New Kingston; three brothers from NYC and their Dad on bass (I know, such a cool Dad) and they’re a rock/reggae band (mainly reggae) who performed original material. I really liked them – it’s clearly reggae but with American influence (hence why I called them rock/reggae before) with a hint of dancehall thrown in.

Open up your skull, I'll be there. Loved the Easy All Stars giving #Radiohead the #reggae treatment tonight.

A post shared by Hannah (@hannahlujah123) on

The Easy All Stars were on for about 90 minutes and played a mixed set (I thought it was going to be only Radiohead) – but actually, this pleased me more than I thought it would, as their Pink Floyd and Beatles covers were also really good. Highlights included ‘Let Down’ (my fave Radiohead song) and the resounding finale, ‘Karma Police’.  They don’t just play the songs as they are but with reggae music – they mix ’em up a bit too. Well worth seeing if you can still catch them on their summer 2016 European tour!

LOVE: Feels. (No one has tried to hurt my feelings. I honestly just love the rainbows and the death. Chill.) Although I do feel like this when I get unmatched on Tinder, hahahaha.

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