As an early Christmas present (since I will be in Singapore for Christmas), my boyfriend surprised me with tickets to see the Lion King in London, last weekend.
London is still one of my favorite places in England. Although I studied and lived close to London for three years and visited the city many times, I still feel like I barley know my way around it. Every time I go there I discover something new that I absolutely adore.
We left Manchester Saturday afternoon and got to London at around 5.30 pm. We had about two hours to explore the area around Trafalgar Square.
Before moving to the UK, I lived in Japan for a little while. Ever since then I have a small obsession over Asian things- mostly food but not limited to it. So when we walked out of the underground and I saw K. Minamoto, a Japanese sweets store, I so had to get something. Whenever I see a promising Asia store, I make sure to check it out. But the Japanese candy selection is usually limited to some standard Mochi and maybe Pukka sticks.
K. Minamoto sells more of the traditional (and expensive) kind. From white peach jelly to Matcha (green tea) Mochi to Tokoyo (Yuzu (citrus fruit) peel coated with sugar). I did get some Tsuya. A Japanese style pancake which is filled with sweet red bean paste. It was really good! For three pounds, I didn’t even think it was that expensive.
While walking further down the road we found Kimchee. Although we originally decided to only have a small snack before the musical and go for a meal after, I just couldn’t resists. Just like with Japanese sweets, finding a good Korean restaurant isn’t easy (around Manchester at least). Kimchee is the Korean equivalent to itsu.
You can get already packed Korean takeout- hot and cold- or you can order a freshly cooked, hot, dish.
We got some already packed yang yeum chicken with Kimchi on the side which completely stuffed us. Most people around us opted for hot pot dishes or fresh food from the grill which looked so much better to be honest. While our food was good I really think we missed out on the actual experience there. I still recommend the place just because I rarely ever see Korean restaurants with such an interesting selection of Korean dishes, drinks and dessert. I hope I get to go soon again to try some more things…
We then made our way to the theater. London in December is especially pretty. You can find Christmas markets and buildings with lavish Christmas decorations everywhere.
We took a few pictures before making our way to the theater.
The Lion King used to be one of my favorite movies when I was younger. I don’t even know how long I have been wanting to watch the Musical. I heard so many good things about it from friends who’ve seen it and it really did not disappoint. Everyone who likes Musicals, or the Lion King, should really go and watch it. The actors were amazing (I especially loved the little kids who played young Simba and young Nala). The stage design, props, lighting and the transitions were absolutely fantastic. And let’s not forget the costumes and of course the songs! I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like about it. The theatre was also gorgeous. Maybe a bit too much kitsch here and there and the chairs felt like they were still the original theater chairs, but non the less it was charming.
After a good two hours of Musical we found ourselves walking around town again. While looking for a not-so-busy place to have some drinks at weended up in China Town somehow.
It’s there that we found a restaurant/ bar that I can easily count to my top 5 restaurants/bars of all time. Ichibuns in Soho is a pretty cool American/ Japanese fusion restaurant and bar with a decor that’s different, playful, retro and just really cool.
It’s one of those places you walk into and it’s an experience. We ordered some of the side dishes and snacks, cocktails and tried some of their recommended sake.
Everything was absolutely delicious. The sake was smooth and came with some homemade crisps. Although it came in a plastic cup, the cup was placed inside a traditional “masu“, a wooden box which Sake used to be traditionally sold in. That was quite cool.
We ordered a some cheeseburger Harumaki (Japanese spring rolls) and it was quite odd. I never had a spring roll that tasted exactly like a cheeseburger. Unfortunately we were still too full to try their real burgers, because they looked perfect! I also really recommend their cocktails.
Altogether we had such a great time. A big thank you to my amazing boyfriend, his friend and everyone else we met that weekend ❤