Potato latkes are the epitomy of Chanukah - and latkes at Bubala are the finest in London

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope, I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.”

Greta Thunberg, Davos World Economic Forum, 2019

 

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The year is 160BC. The temple is on fire. The Seleucid Army is threatening to annihilate the Jewish community in ancient Judea, whose existence is poised on a knife-edge. But then come the small plucky band of Maccabees. Through their dedication and self-sacrifice, they manage to repel the might of the empire. Yet when they discover the temple all wrack and ruined, hearts turn from joy to sorrow: there’s barely a drop of oil to keep the sacred flame alive.

But this drop miraculously ends up lasting for a whole eight days. And so this story is celebrated – year after year, century after century – as Chanukah, the festival of lights. To remember how a community saved themselves against extinction. And how one little light fought against the dark for so long. View Post

Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in a family photo

 

LONDON, MAY 2016 [on Twitter]

⏩ Hi Shahnaz! Just booked your supperclub! Can’t wait! Aaron

⏩ Yay! Look forward to meeting you! 🙂 Shahnaz

⏩ Me too! Just a chance I might be late. I’m a doctor, so never know what the day will bring.

⏩ You’re a doctor? So, this is a bit of a random question – but did you have a relative who was also a doctor in Manchester in the 1970s? My mother has always spoken very fondly of a Doctor Vallance..

 

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Kaki, review of a restaurant in London serving Sichuan and northeastern Chinese food

Entering this place, it feels like a crime-scene. Except there’s been no crime. Victims maybe, but technically no crime. There was never a police cordon or chalked silhouette on the floor; forensics never dusted the furniture for fingerprints.

After all, the incident never happened here, not within these four walls. Instead, it was committed over the austere pages of a national broadsheet, in a review of this restaurant published this time last year.

If nothing else – and what a lot of angst and hurt and anger that phrase just circumvented – the review told me about Kaki, this place across town that specialises in the cuisines of Sichuan and northeastern China. But to be honest, that really seems the least of it.

It’s not often that a restaurant review gets embroiled in accusations of racism. The first I heard of it was through the maelstrom of distressed and angry tweets that had quickly formed in its slipstream, and which compelled me to read the article for myself to see what the furore was about. View Post

Shittake mushroom bao is an umami hit at Daddy Bao in Tooting.
I remember when it all came to an end. I was 13 years old, much older than I cared to admit to my friends at the time. And when it was all over, my dad and I took a while to come to terms with our shared loss.

For that was the moment – sorely conflicted, but with my mind decidedly made-up – that I told my dad the time had come: from now on, there’d be no more bedtime stories.
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To survive Brexit chaos, how about The French House in Soho, London.

Trump. Terrorism. Death. Okay, so not perhaps the most obvious of topics to stray into a restaurant review. But having somehow managed to do just that in some of my previous posts, what’s now left is a big Brexit-shaped elephant in my blog-room that’s still to be confronted.

But I cannot remain silent anymore. A deal has been negotiated. March 2019 is fast approaching. It’s time to talk Brexit.

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