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It’s time to eat British asparagus!

As I’m sure you won’t have failed to notice, it’s British asparagus season – and it won’t be here for long. I’ve celebrated 1) by buying loads of the stuff and 2) by writing the first of my new blog series for The Food Network on the lovely green stalks. You can read that here….

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Nha Trang: the land of dried squids and bling coffee

First published on the Spectator’s website We emerged from our deceptively named ‘sleeper’ train to the hot fug of Nha Trang and the imitable stench of dried squid. It was early morning, but vendors lined the station’s platforms, proudly gesturing toward the fetid, dehydrated cephalopods which had about as much chance of getting near my…

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Hoi An: Vietnamese cookery classes and market karaoke

First published on the Spectator’s website The Vietnamese are masters of the two-wheeler. People carry their entire lives, families and livelihoods on the back of their mopeds – no matter how diminutive. On the lush, green three hour drive past the rural expanse of paddy fields from Hanoi to Halong Bay I saw a man…

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Good morning Vietnam!

I first tasted the sour, sweet, savoury and fragrant cuisine that is Vietnamese food in Song Que restaurant on the Kingsland Road in east London. It was there one dark and resolutely grim Shoreditch night that my palate was ignited by the herbal deliciousness of grilled beef wrapped in betal leaf and soft shell crab…

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In transit: miso and char siu in Hong Kong

Phew, touch down. For now, at least – just a couple of hours to kill before my connecting flight to Hanoi, and what better way to spend it than in the Cathay Pacific lounge at Hong Kong airport slurping on miso. Flights always make me feel super-lousy, especially when there’s a grown man sitting behind…

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Canapés in the desert dunes: homemade rotis and kachri chutney

We make our way out to the desert on camel carts – I the only sore-thumb Westerner amid chef Vivek Singh and his appointed motley crew brigade (put together from some willing travellers from our vessel – the Maharajas’ Express). As we’re pulled along by the plodding creature, children greet us with precocious shouts of…

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Henry the prawn-eating dog

I went to Whitstable a couple of weekends ago. Though a little too Northcote Road-on-sea for me to really fall in love with it (I prefer the less gentrified, but equally charming Kentish coastal town of Deal – but then, I’m bias), the place is obviously famous for its delicious fresh seafood, and I can’t…

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Restaurant Review: The Greenhouse

(Originally published on Foodepedia) Antonin Bonnet has held a Michelin star at The Greenhouse for the four years he has been working there, and it is thought by many that he should have been given a second this year. It certainly fits the French two star mould – silently swooping waiting staff who pull out…

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