Archive for November, 2009


November 22, 2009

When it comes to food, I always like it when I find a good bargain. In the past, I thought that I had found the perfect value restaurant for sushi (see the Taro review), but this month’s sushi restaurant is a revelation. If you have dined at Wong Kei’s Chinese restaurant at Chinatown, you probably did not chose it for the lushness of the surroundings or the politeness of the waiters, but for the fact that it serves uncomplicated, delicious and – above all – cheap Authentic Chinese food. Misato restaurant, a little bit further down the road from Wong Kei, is the Japanese equivalent but without the rude waiters.

If you go to Misato and not find a queue of eager diners waiting to be seated, you should consider yourself lucky. The first thing you will also notice is the windows would definitely benefit from some cleaning. Meanwhile, little Japanese waitresses run ferociously like little ants to take orders, deliver food and make the tables ready for the next people in line. But the true revelation starts when you are seated and handed the menu. Don’t get me wrong, the food is not equivalent to Nobu (if you still think that Nobu is the top sushi joint), but the food is plenty, tasty and above all cheap. Before you order, take a look at the tables nearby and glance at the portions the waitresses are carrying. Then delve in the menu and try to make a decision among the variety of bento boxes, rice dishes and noodle soups.

I ordered the Bento Sushi, the california rolls and the prawn tempura. While the tempura mixture could have been better and tastier, the other choices were more rewarding. In fact, I found it considerable difficult to negotiate all the food in the sushi bento, as it contained 7 sushi pieces, 6 maki pieces, 2 california pieces, crispy seaweed and a small salad with chicken, all for £8.80.

Only after finishing your food at Misato, you realize that even though it is nice to eat at a posh place, it can be even nicer to dine at a budget, yet delicious, eatery. And please consider leaving soon, as other people are waiting to be served.


P.S.: Misato restaurant is located at 11 Wardour St, London, W1D 6PG (Google Map, Streetview).

UPDATE 2011: Unfortunately, after visiting Misato many times the previous year, I have now come to the conclusion that the quality of their food has deteriorated below acceptable levels. I am unfortunately driven to change my recommendation and suggest that you do not chose this establishment for food. You will, however, find other restaurants I recommend for an outing.


Catch It. Bin It. Kill it – inspiring and uninspiring advertising

November 8, 2009

If you live in London or in the UK, it is impossible not to have noticed the Department of Health and NHS advertisements on how we can contain cold and influenza germs and avoid infecting surfaces by using a tissue to catch a sneeze or cough. The campaign was made because of the recent H1N1 flu pandemic, also known as swine flu pandemic. The campaign shows how fast germs can spread by a person sneezing in various surroundings and visualizing how the particles spread by painting them white or green. The copy of the advertisements is simple: “Cold and flu germs can live on some surfaces for hours. Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Bin the tissue, and to kill germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel. This is the best way to help slow the spread of flu.”. The first series of ads, ended with the strapline: “Catch it. Bin it. kill it”.

This is very simple, efficient and inspiring advertising. Lately, we have also seen some commercial advertising that capitalises on the success of the “Catch it. Bin it. Kill it” NHS campaign to sell various cleaning products. The advertisements sometimes use the exact catchphrase of the NHS campaign or minor modifications and sometimes they use similar images. This is uninspiring advertising.

Below are some samples I could find:

Advertisement for antiviral tissues, using the same strapline as the NHS campaign

Advertisement for antibacterial soap, using similar strapline as the NHS campaign


Advertisement for cleaning liquid, using similar images as the NHS campaign

I do not have any objection with companies and advertising agencies supporting the NHS campaign by embedding the strapline in their advertisement, although I do have some objections if the public associate the strapline with a particular product. It’s just that if one company can do this, so can another, which is evidently what happened in this case, making the idea of associating a product with the strapline of another campaign unoriginal.

And a small note for the public: you do not need a particular brand of antibacterial soap or cleaning detergent to get rid of flu germs and unwanted bacteria. If you do your cleaning properly, a simple soap or ordinary detergent is equally efficient in removing all traces of flu germs.


P.S.: You may also want watch the NHS “Catch it. Bin it. Kill it” TV ads.