Saturday, July 20

Food: Kinkao Click for more info

I guess that the law of averages is immovable. Just as I was expressing how nice it is to be discerning about where I eat - so that all visits remain special - I end up visiting Kinkao. Generic, bland and normal are the adjectives that spring to mind, and the £25+ per head paid at the end was enough for me to fundamentally question the whole point of eating out, and whether it's just safer not to.

Service was with a smile and the place was roomy, but to be honest that's just me trying to fill up this review a bit more. It's not that Kinkao is a bad place, just that if a measure of success is to have felt like an experience is one to be remembered, Kinkao is as solid a failure as it is a restaurant.

Wednesday, July 17

Film: The Dead Don't Die Click for more info

What could have been outstanding kind of fell flat from the start. I'm happy to accept that I just didn't "get it", but for me The Dead Don't Die was a hot mess from the start, and just gets messier and messier as its run time hits its end.

And it's not just the plot that's nonsensical - the acting leaves a lot to be desired too, although the rest of the production is passable. Perhaps if taken as an experiment there might be some value in watching this film, but for the rest of us it's one to avoid.

Wednesday, July 10

Food: Amber Click for more info

As my personal circumstances and preferences change I find myself going out less and less for for meals out - I've always maintained that I've never been much of a foodie and as a placeholder for socialising restaurants just fall by the wayside for more wholesome and intimate options.

That said, there are times when eating out is fully appropriate, but the re-framing of food as a poor social pastime means that I'm much more discerning about where I'll go. All of which made it quite fortunate that Amber was really really good. I suppose "Mediterranean" is the closest word I could use to describe it, but it was much more interesting than the usual med fare. We decided to get a spread for the table and so got to sample 14 hour shoulder, pide, meatballs, halloumi fritters and a selection of salads, all complementing each other perfectly. We even went all out with dessert, the hit of which was a pomegranate topped orange cake.

The place was smart yet open to facilitating a good time - breezy maybe - and service was always provided with a smile and generosity. And the cost was a pleasant surprise too, with the bill coming to under £25 even though I felt we have slightly over-ordered.

It'll definitely be a future option if I'm ever in Aldgate for dinner. Recommended.

Film: Midsommar Click for more info

If there's anything to take away from this review it's not to make the same mistake that I did and go into this thinking it as a follow up to last year's Hereditary. That's not to say the difference in pace and tone is to the detriment of this film, no, but it pays to go in without a specific framing in mind.

Midsommar is probably just as interesting as Hereditary though. It's a film that is equally steeped in bizzaro world as it is in human normality and it's in that juxtaposition that the genius lies. A (fatal for me) consequence however is that there doesn't seem to be much of an ending to the film as it just potters off to inevitable conclusion.

If you're looking for something different, then Midsommar definitely fits that bill. Whether it wholly satisfies or not is less of a certainty.

Wednesday, July 3

Film: Spider-Man: Far from Home Click for more info

In what is a clear case of us having just been plain spoiled, the latest Spider-Man film was never going to live up to expectations. In any other year this film would have been great, with our friendly neighbourhood web slinger swooshing and webbing and growing to face a foe that started with that upper hand. In the world of the MCU formula isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the flaws here are just way too apparent in the shadow of Endgame.

The romantic story is clumsy and schizophrenic, while he constant calling back to Iron Man is suffocating. Jake Gyllenhaal was great though, and in my view managed to carry most of the film.

The hope here is that as the Avengers double finale fades into memory comic book adaptations will have a more realistic baseline to aim for. Whether that pans out or not we'll just have to see.