Sofitel Legend Metropole – Hectic Hanoi’s Oasis of Calm

(The Sofitel Legend Metropole exterior – colonial style at its best) Driving into central Hanoi is like entering a battleground of traffic and people. The broad avenues invite seas of mopeds and cyclos and bicycles to fill them, with all the noise and hustle that goes with a dense population getting about on zippy two-wheeled…

Hanoi – from Honking to Hairdressers

(Hoan Kiem Lake in Central Hanoi. Don’t be fooled by how calm it looks; there are tens of thousands of mopeds buzzing around its perimeter!) Flying into Hanoi saw my nose pressed firmly against the window, craning to view the Red River in all its glory. With such a bird’s eye view it was possible…

Viet Grill Me!

It doesn’t seem to matter that Viet Grill is located a good twenty minute trek from the nearest tube station; last Friday evening saw it bursting at the seams and I’m quite certain it wasn’t Rent-a-Crowd. Monsieur and I were there to review this well-reputed bastion of Vietnamese cuisine in London and, in spite of…

Vietnam – Tell me what YOU want to know.

When Monsieur and I travelled through Vietnam some time back, this fascinating country and its people had such a profound effect on me that I haven’t yet blogged about it. Every time I think of our journey, my mind fills with such a kaleidoscope of vistas and tastes and people and experiences that it overwhelms….

Learning to like tofu

LiKo (Little Korea Restaurant) 2-3 Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BG, Tel 020 7434 1601 In the darkest days of January, when we were still in the throes of post-Christmas empty pocket-dom, a pair of my colleagues and I conjured a carrot to dangle before our noses and lead us out of the gloom: we decided…

A Package for The Planet (a.k.a. The Monkey’s Uncle)

Some while back, My Friend, The Planet (otherwise known as Planet Ross) sent me his blue monkey. He’s a funny little figurine with a pointy hat that probably has some sort of spiritual significance, but the only spiritual influence he’s had so far in London has been scaring one of my colleagues so much just…

A Thai Bride at The Blue Elephant

At long last I am proudly able to say that I’ve dined at The Blue Elephant, here in London. It’s one of those landmark places that I’ve been hearing about ever since moving to London. For a long time my commute took me past its blue neon sign twice daily but until last week, I’d…

Epic and the curious Vietnamese “spice”.

Monsieur and I were floating about on a junk in Ha Long Bay, the Unesco wonder site that is a maze of jagged islands and floating fishermen’s villages, when we encountered a tasty condiment on the lunch table. It appeared with a plate of cucumber slices with floral edging, an indicator of Vietnamese cuisine’s obsession with…

The Blue Elephant, Bangkok – and the orchid travels…

Following on from our ‘date’ at Sirocco, high above the bustle of Bangkok, Monsieur and I descended the sixty-something floors with ears popping in the express elevator and jumped in a cab to The Blue Elephant. Our driver looked more like a cutting edge DJ than a taxi driver (perhaps he was both?) with long…

Monkeys at work

You may recently have read my post about the Blue Monkey that Planetross sent me from Japan. Well, here’s a link that all monkey lovers out there should truly appreciate. This is a Japanese restaurant with a different sort of staff, and it’s already on the Epicurienne list of Must Eat There One Day. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7654267.stm

Blue Monkey Oracle Visits London

Planetross has a Blue Monkey Oracle who gives him Life Advice. Blue Monkey got tired of doing that in Japanese and decided to travel to London to stay with me and learn Engris. He got here yesterday. PR had warned me that the packing was plentiful and it was; Blue Monkey arrived intact, although a…

Yoshi Sushi Bento

I love having Bento for lunch. It’s a great way to eat Japanese – a partitioned lunchbox contains a balanced offering of salad, tempura and/or some sort of meat or fish, rice and some palate-cleansing fruit to finish. I used to work near a place where you could have a Bento lunch box for £5.00. Apparently…