Ray's Gigs

Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!

Monday 08 April 2024.

Monday 08 April 2024....6.30pm to 9.30pm... SHANGHAI NOIR - showcase - Old Westminster Fire Station, 4 Greycoat Place , Victoria, London SW1. What happens when you inject a little piece of Chinatown into an old fire station in the rarely-visited territory between Westminster and Victoria? Shanghai Noir, that’s what. A brand new opening, Shanghai Noir, with its deep teal walls and oriental iconography, transports you back to the achingly glamorous 1920s. An Indo-Chinese brasserie, your senses will spin around Asia as soon as you arrive. Not least because to get to Shanghai Noir on the lower floor, you first have to walk through Indian restaurant, Yaatra. Being led through a different restaurant into a subterranean secret makes Shanghai Noir feel tantalisingly 007. We had a mix of soup , then shared plates , then mains with sides, then desserts and washed down by a bottle of red wine and a bottle of sparking water. For anyone not familiar with Indo-Chinese dining – a food concept that is apparently taking the US by storm – it fuses Indian and Chinese (via Thailand, if our green papaya and mango salad was anything to go by), with a bent towards the traditional comfort food of Indian migrants. This translates as Chinese classics with an Indian twist: five-spiced beef with wild mushroom bao; paneer garlic cream with mushroom, and spatchcock chicken in a Glenmorangie fire sauce featuring the world’s hottest chilli, Bhot Jolakhiya. Palettes readied, we savoured crackers with prawn pickle (it works!) before going in on black bean scallops, which were firm and juicy but in a sauce that was perhaps just five percent too sweet for yours truly. Luckily, the papaya salad, with its zingy lime freshness, was the perfect antidote. And the chilli paneer was dangerously addictive. Next up, we were graced with short rib beef that disintegrated at the gentlest prod of a chopstick. My steamed sea bream was equally as tender and flavourful, thanks to a delicate filling of ginger and spring onion. Dots of crispy chilli oil created a wonderful texture contrast. A side dish of garlicky charred pak choi wedges made the perfect accompaniment. We rounded off with lychee pannacotta, which rivalled the smoking dragon for dramatic presentation, and a surprisingly refreshing mango pudding, rich with sunshine and Asian sweetness. What a whistle stop tour of China to India, and everything in between. Needless to say we had a fantastic three hours here. Old Westminster Fire Station, 4 Greycoat Place, Westminster, London, SW1P 1SB www.shanghainoir.com -------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- Saturday 06 April 2024. COCK SPARRER live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Cock Sparrer are a band that have had their career in reverse, more popular now than at the height of punk. They were part of the Oi Skinhead movement. I have seen them a few times, including their last London show at The Roundhouse in Sept 2022. Cock Sparrer have released several albums , and this is a special show for the release of their new album ' Hand On Heart'. ----------- Level 3 is closed , and Level 2 is half empty, but stalls and Level 1 are full. Maybe 1300 out of 2000 tix sold. As expected the crowd is 90 per cent older males. A very lively atmosphere as the bars are very busy. COCK SPARRER are on stage for 1 hour 55 mins over two sets of 45 mins and 70 mins. The band are all dressed head to toe in black. The played a few tracks from the new album , and many of their classics which were in the second set Lots of moshing and crowd surfing. The footie type crowd are singing loudly along. Great to see them play their anthem ' England Belongs To Me'.....a great show. COCK SPARRER setlist highlights included.... Riot Squad What's It Like To Be Old Running Riot (debut single from 1977) Because You're Young Take 'em All Where Are They Now? England Belongs to Me We're Coming Back