The Veggie Review: Byron

Hi everyone!

Second year of uni is fast approaching so I thought it would be a good idea to resume blogging. One thing I regret is not blogging at all throughout my first year… even though I was actually looking forward to writing all about my experience! I guess I got too caught up in the new atmosphere…

Anyway, this isn’t another ‘I’m going to blog more frequently you guys, I promise!‘ post, it’s a veggie review. I’ll be reviewing a series of vegetarian options at various restaurants located in both London and Kent. I am aware that reviewing Byron may be unfair, considering they specialise in hamburgers but if there’s a veggie option, there’s a review.



Restaurant: Byron

Type: Burger joint

Location: Covent Garden

What I’m reviewing: Mushroom burger

What’s inside: Grilled Portobello mushroom, goat’s cheese, roasted red pepper, baby spinach, tomato, red onion and aioli

Price: £7.95



Visually, the Mushroom Burger itself looked very appetising however the overall presentation of the plate was so-so. It could do without Byron’s signature wedge of pickle on the side and be replaced with fries or coleslaw, in my opinion. Moving on to the actual burger, the bun was squishy and fluffy but didn’t hold the components well enough to eat the burger without any fuss. The supposedly ‘grilled’ portobello mushroom wasn’t as smoky or flavoured as expected and was rather soggy, much like the peeled pepper which, by the way, I just had to remove. The goat’s cheese melted nicely with the spinach, tomato, onion and the hint of garlic from the aioli, but considering the main component is the mushroom, I was left slightly disappointed.

I only entered Byron with high expectations due to the hype surrounding the chain but whatever, at least the carnivores are pleased. On a serious note, I was surprised Byron even provided two seemingly appealing vegetarian options to begin with, the other being the Bean Patty, so I can’t complain that much. I just wasn’t blown away by the Mushroom Burger. I am, after all, a huge fan of mushrooms. In fact, I will definitely be trying the Bean Patty next time as the flavours in the whole burger did work quite well. If I replace the mushroom with a bean patty, I’m hoping it’ll be my preferred veggie alternative.

Rating: 3/5


-Lara, still alive


An apology and updates on my whereabouts

I sincerely apologise to my 0 readers out there. I am a bad friend. I am a bad blogger. I am just a bad person. SO I’M SORRY, OKAY? I was sOoOoOOo busy, you know? (I was so busy delaying this apology post…) No, but seriously…I was. So here’s just a post to first and foremost apologise for my absence (Lord, it’s been over 7 months?!?!) AND to update you.

  1. I’M SORRY.
  3. I’M SORRY.

Okay… so now I feel much better (We all know this is actually an apology to myself, really, it’s not like you give a damn).


Well my birthday happened (like, 5 FAHRIGGIN’ months ago)… aaaand so I’m 18 now! Woohoo! I have successfully completed my A levels! I got into my firm choice – University of Kent – to study Journalism and the News Industry! (Wow, I already know that I’m going to have a hard time… I can’t even update my blog once) And now I’m suffering from stress! WOOHOO!

On a serious note, I’ve been busy preparing as I’m going to be staying at Kent. I mean, it’s not too far away, but it’s a different experience. I’ll be staying in dorms, meeting different people, cooking for one -cue All Byyyyy Myself- so I’m basically growing up fer real. God, I’m making this sound so dramatic, please bear with me. Aaaanyway, I’m hoping to make a post soon about university essentials. Not that you care, I mean, YouTube exists. I still have quite a lot to buy though and a lot to pre-read so that explains my stress. I just feel like I have so much to keep up with yet I keep binge watching anime, kdramas, Friends and just a bunch of unnecessary things. Wazzz goin’ awnnn?

HERE’S A FUN POP QUIZ: Am I taking this too seriously? Tick yes or yes.

And to sum up this pointless, melodramatic and, I just realised, pretty narcissistic post, I’m sorry and I’m off to university/cry myself to sleep in 2 weeks.

-Lara, dramatic piece of shiitake mushroom. (Yes, I referenced Spy Kids.)


My Take On Feminism

‘If feminism is a theory about the equality of the sexes, then why is it called feminism?’

On, 81% voted that feminism is sexist, while the other 19% voted that it was not sexist.

My argument is about how the idea of feminism has been tainted – not by feminists, but by anti-feminists. I’m not saying I agree with all ‘feminists’ but I do agree with the theory. If I had to define myself or associate myself with a movement, I would be both a feminist and an egalitarian. I believe in equality. However this continuous stereotype of the ‘man-hating butch feminists’ dangerously exists and pervades the internet. If feminists were to abandon feminism, society will degrade for both sexes.

The theory is, by definition, the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes. The theory itself is not sexist. In the concept of feminism, women are not considered any better than men and they are certainly not ‘man-haters’. Full stop. However, feminists can alter their beliefs, just as others choose to change people’s perception of feminism.

As a feminist, I want men and women to be equal. This is my belief. And until this equilibrium is reached, then there is no need to say feminism is sexist and should stop existing just because a few women have radical views or it’s bothersome to see women thrive in society. Feminism still needs to exist today. There are so many issues that need to be addressed – particularly in other cultures. The scrutiny of women and men in areas dominated by males/females was (and still is in some places) exceedingly high – and feminists aspire to end this.

Prejudice, whether religious, racial, sexual and gender discrimination, is something I cannot tolerate. And I’m sure you wouldn’t too. Feminism is about freeing ourselves from the social constraints that entrap us. It is feminism because females are generally perceived to be the inferior sex – not weaker, which we biologically are – but inferior. You must know that feminism is not exclusively for women – it’s a concept made for everyone. Where would both men and women be if it wasn’t for feminism? Although it is indeed a response to the patriarchy, it has helped women evolve, satisfying their true desires and not just existing as mere ‘sex creatures’. Men have been liberated from economic reliance, and they don’t need to be as ‘macho’ anymore – they can choose to be themselves. It is no longer an aberration to pursue a career that is gender-dominated so you can choose to become a police officer or a fashion designer. It has undeniably given everyone more freedom of choice. This is feminism.

-Lara, feminist


Bath and Body Works vs The Body Shop


Two great companies. Two great sets. One great scent.

I did express my undying love for the smell of Japanese Cherry Blossom in my previous post. So I decided to compare these products.

BBW – Bath and Body Works (left): Body lotion, shower gel, perfume

TBS – The Body Shop (right): Body lotion, shower gel, perfume

And huzzah! The resemblance is uncanny! (it’s not like they’re the same scent or anything…)

The Body Shop’s products are easier to open and apply, however Bath and Body Works feels smoother on the skin. The Body Shop has a more light, feminine smell to its products, as it they are more natural and less processed. BBW products are more overpowering, last a little longer. I remember hearing that BBW care more about the scent whereas TBS cautiously use natural scents and ingredients, making them less artificial and processed. So if you’re more concerned with the ingredients and the overall making (environment-wise) of the product – then I suggest The Body Shop. However, if the scent, range and price are more important, then Bath and Body Works is the one for you.

-Lara, Japanese Cherry Blossom fanatic


‘Only’ Lyric Video Review

It’s not the song (I actually like it). It’s obviously the video. The audio clip was released two weeks ago on Nicki Minaj’s vevo and 59,435  people liked the video and 4,058  disliked it. This is typical of most ‘music’ videos on YouTube. But a week later, a video, not even the official video, but the lyric video was released, garnering 80,066  likes and 40,045  dislikes. This was most probably due to the depiction of the totalitarian regime in the video, otherwise representative of the Nazi regime led by Hitler, an action Minaj took full responsibility for, despite being unaware of these evident references. It was even thought to be ‘glorifying Hitler’ in a sense. The man responsible for the art behind this video is Jeff Osborne who retaliated by stating, “…if my work is misinterpreted because it’s not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I’m not sorry.” This provoked a mass of hate comments and accusations of antisemitism towards Minaj, despite her insistence on her video producer, videographer and even her boyfriend (who?) being Jewish.

In my opinion, I do not think Nicki had intentionally agreed to this Nazi imagery in her video, let alone gather this much criticism. I mean, come on, who would want that? I thought Minaj was meant to represent female power and freedom from oppression – but obviously it was badly expressed. I mean, could the swastika-like flags, with the record label’s (Young Money) initials, be any more obvious? The person behind it was Osborne, and he doesn’t seem very keen on apologizing anytime soon.

 “The reason I’m not apologizing is because neither I nor the video are anti-semitic. I can’t be sorry for something I’m being falsely accused of. The video represents Young Money as a generic totalitarian regime, which takes images and symbols from several countries and time periods, one of which is Nazism.”

Nicki Minaj is obviously not an anti-Semite and no, that conclusion is not a result of her continuously naming many of her Jewish acquantances. I just genuinely do not believe she had any purpose of doing this and she obviously had no clue what such a video would do to her image. She could claim that it was inspired by Metalocalypse (cartoon network television series?) and Sin City all she wants, but that’s obviously not what the artist said… it’s okay though, Nicki. I believe you. Just don’t do it again.

-Lara, mastering the art of understanding




Makeup Debate

People are entitled to their own opinions, I know. But sometimes it goes a bit too far. This was circulating a while ago.


The sheer number of people that tweeted ‘This is why I don’t trust women’, ‘This is why I have trust issues’ and that people who wear makeup ‘trick’ everyone surprised me.

It’s frustrating to see how people, boys and girls alike, believe that makeup is to trick you into believing that one is beautiful. Beauty comes in different forms, whether it’s aesthetic or innate. When a woman, or even a man, chooses to apply makeup, it is not in an attempt to ‘trick’ others. For some, makeup, a form of art, is an expression of one’s self, while for others, it merely enhances their existing beauty.

Do not let anyone push you into feeling like an outcast for whatever you choose to do with yourself. Do yourself a favour – not others, and if you feel confident with or without makeup then don’t let anyone bring you down. Be true to yourself, and that doesn’t necessarily mean to embrace your natural beauty. Of course, embracing one’s natural beauty is advocated all the time to counteract the media enforcing this image of the ‘ideal woman’ on society, but then again, someone is bound to complain. In the wise words of Rihanna: People gon’ talk whether you doin’ bad or good.

If you hate makeup, good for you. If you love makeup, that’s even better. But there is no need to incessantly judge and ridicule one’s appearance. If you happen to wear a lot of makeup, or no makeup at all, then so be it. Don’t let another person feel bad for not holding the same opinion or priorities as you. “You look tired, you’d look much better with some mascara on” or “I don’t wear any makeup, people who wear it look like clowns”. You can advise someone and politely express your opinion, but there is no need ridicule them for their own or make assumptions i.e. ‘tricking’ others. Of course, makeup is seen to be a remedy for insecurities, but then again, everyone is insecure in some way and not everyone is blessed with natural beauty. However, everyone has the potential to be innately beautiful by being a better person.

– Lara, girl who finished venting and is now laughing at the Simpson’s gif (attached)