Friends and Family, Guests, Life in London
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Joram and the HardKores

Featuring a lot of food, some moshing, and a surprisingly high number of anuses (ani??)


Writing about my time with Szym in Szymgapore has made me feel incredibly guilty about not managing to write about all the other amazing friend times in the last months years.


Here goes Joram.

Joram arrived late Thursday evening, at which point I was feeling not entirely well, so Sameer kindly brought him back home, we had a bit of chats, and then sunk into sleep.

On Friday, I had to work in the morning, so Sameer took Joram towards some traditional English Gail’s Bakery Breakfast, and then left him to roam a bit in the wild like a good street photographer. (^moody english bus photo by @Joram)

Once I was done with work and had popped a few pills to de-fog my brain, we continued our day with more drugs, this time some hipster coffee at Prufrock.

Where Joram looked very pretty against the green and peach decor.

Our plan of the day was to walk and eat our way across London. But to really test our appetites, we first stopped in the Hunterian museum, a medical collection grown by John Hunter throughout the mid- to late 1700s.

This is a warning that if you’re not into gore of the medical kind, you might want to skip forward a bit.

As someone who has acquired hoarding genes from both sides of my family (my parents are have literally just built a fourth shed/garage to keep more of their/my things), it’s always a bit of a shock when I see a collection and think ‘hmm, you might have gone a bit far with that one’.

I think what really did it for me is the fact that the collection is grouped by… body part. And adding to this is a sense of unease coming from the fact that human bits and pieces are shoved in next to those of other (exotic) animals.

So for example, here is my collection of anuses (anii???).

From left to right. Deer. Lion. Human

Oh yes and next to that? it’s brain and spinal cord sections from a lion, a partridge, and an elephant!

I found some of the disease ones really fascinating (look at bone cancer!), and was completely drawn in by the uterus.

But have to agree with Joram (who has a bit of a higher ick factor), that some things were a bit off-putting.

I personally loved the Evelyn tables, made in the 1640s in Padua, Italy (Evelyn himself, also a John, was the importer). These are made from real (human) vessels and nerves which have been carefully dissected out from the rest of the human form.

And the overall impression of all of those jars on jars on jars is definitely pretty amazing.

As it turns out, the many many rectums and other delights, are just a tiny fraction of Hunter’s original stock: an incendiary bomb destroyed the Royal College of Surgeons’ building during WWII, and two thirds of the collection was lost.

First up, I took him to Seven Dials, to try the Sameer Approved (TM) Chai from ChaiGuys, as well as some Panipuri.

Panipuri is basically a thin bubble of crunchy dough (we’re somewhere in ‘cracker’ territory here), which has had a small hole punched in the top.

Into the hole, you add some sort of solid- maybe potatoes or chickpeas, as well as – as a topping- various flavouring and texture based treat. The pani part (pani means water), is that just beore you scoff it down you have to pour over some spiced sulfurous water.

Cruchy and spicy and creamy and all of the things, panipuri is a pretty perfect snack.

I don’t remember it being present in Indian food growing up in Australia- perhaps because it’s more on the ‘street food’ side of things. But when I went back in the last couple of years I did see it popping up here and there.

In any case, the panipuri was a bit spicy, a lot wet, and hard to eat delicately. And the chai was spiced and very very hot.

So Joram got a full hit of Indian Shock and Awe.

From Seven Dials we headed into China Town.

We stopped at the bakery because I wanted Joram to try the sesame balls- which my sister and I used to love and fight over as kids.

Also on the menu was tiny custard filled taiyakis, and pandan chiffon cake.

Joram is a huge fan of Waldmeister, a german herb which has an english name (woodruff), but – as far as I can tell- is never really used in English speaking countries. In Germany, waldmeister is formed into a syrup that is used to flavour beer, or more commonly formed into children’s candy.

The taste of waldmeister is a bit impossible to describe- the closest I can get is that it belongs to the same dettol-y family that tonka beans cluster in. Slightly medicinal.

Anyway, pandan is nothing like that, but instead is a fragrant, grassy vanilla, that combines well with coconut. My sister and I used to also love the small layered cakes with coconut rice on the bottom and pandan coconut jelly on top (malaysia’s seri muka), and about three years into life in Germany I found myself completely craving pandan flavoured things and had to import some flavoured gel into the country.

The pandan chiffon cake at the Chinese Bakery in London’s Chinatown is not quite pandan-y enough for my liking, but still serves as an ok introduction to an otherwise indescribable thing.

We also took some buns from Bun House- a savoury one as well as a flowing sand custard bun.

(The beautiful dark moody photos above and below are all from Joram)

And then it was time for Bao, because it was incredibly important that Joram try the Horlicks (malt drink) icecream bun.

There was a bit of shopping in a fancy children’s store, a bit of calling home, and a bit more wandering.

Before we had to make our way to New Cross Inn.

Prior to his visit, Joram asked if Sameer and I wanted to join him to see the hardcore bands Haest and Discharge at the New Cross Inn.

I said yes, sure, didn’t really look much into it, and then had an interesting conversation with my housemate where he was like ‘ok, but you know the New Cross Inn is proper punk, right?’

And it was.

When Joram and I rocked up, me wearing a fairly demure Indian dress and him dressed as a nice man from the suburbs, the doorman looked us up and down, and politely enquired if we were doing ok. The punks around us seemed unbothered by our presence.

We went for some beers and pizza down the road, and then got ourselves matching fake tattoos and headed on into the Inn.

It was Intense!

Sameer and I mostly stayed near the back of the crowd, bopping politely, while Joram was released into the mosh pit to do his thing, before returning to us dripping in sweat.

And then that was it.

Joram, and the HardKores returned home for a well earned rest.

20th October 2023

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Joram and the HardKores go Eating – Fish with Whiskey

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