posted on: May 12, 2015

Some people go to London for the shopping.  Others go for Musicals.  I go for the food – in this case, for Ottolenghi.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Ottolenghi, it is a delicatessen owned by British-based chef and cookery writer, Yotam Ottolenghi. Known as the man who ‘sexed up vegetables’, Ottolenghi takes the humble bean and turns it into a spectacular affair. His food, though it may seem simple at first, is complex in colour and flavour. Ottolenghi himself describes it as “full of harmonious contradictions: it’s vibrant and bold yet familiar and comforting; it’s beautiful to look at yet close to its original form; it’s full of surprising drama yet always comes together as one; it’s noisy yet peaceful, lip-smacking yet warm, simple yet daring.”

If you ever do find yourself in London, I highly recommend a visit to at least one of the 4 delis (Notting Hill, Spitalfields, Islington, Belgravia). It’s definitely worth it.

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Introducing NOOK

posted on: April 24, 2015

Today is an incredibly exciting day for me. Today is the day that I get to share with you my latest project – NOOK.

Opening in July 2015, Nook is a creative and positive space offering wholehearted food, drinks and a thoughtful curation of everyday products.Inspired by the slow movement, Nook caters to those wanting more then just a place to eat and drink. It’s a place that encourages connectedness and creativity.

As soon as you step into Nook, you’ll feel a sense of community. It’s green. It’s inviting. It smells (and looks) nice. But most importantly, it’s a space that encourages you to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

Like SAAT and A.HA, Nook combines my passion for all things lovely. It has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember, and today I get to share this dream with you. So if you have a moment, please visit our website and see what we’re about. I hope that you will get as much out of it as I do.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.


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Noodle Soup with Braised Beef

posted on: February 10, 2015

Okay, so today I’ve decided to interject all the Vietnamese dishes that I’ve been posting recently with a Cambodian favourite; Noodle Soup with Braised Beef.  A popular dish in Southern parts of Cambodia, particularly in Muslim communities, this soup has a slightly sweet yet aniseed-y taste. I have to admit I had never tasted this dish until today.  My my, was I impressed. Consisting of rice noodles, braised beef, carrots, onions, chilli, herbs and spices swimming in a fiery red broth, it was the featured breakfast today at  The Strand – Knai Bang Chatt.  Those of you who are regular visitors to a.ha will know that I’m a huge fan of Knai Bang Chatt.  It really is one of my favourite places in the world…and now with this new dish to entice me, there’s one more reason to love it.

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Vegetarian Noodle Salad with Spring Rolls

posted on: February 8, 2015

This food stall, which is run by a very friendly Vietnamese family, offers vegetarian versions of popular Vietnamese dishes.  This dish is very much like Bańh Hoí Thìt Núońg (see previous post) but instead of pork and fish sauce dressing, it contains vegetarian spring rolls and a very delicious soy sauce dressing.

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Bańh Hoí Thìt Núońg / Steamed Rice Pancake with Gilled Pork and Meat Balls.

posted on: February 6, 2015

I could eat this dish all day, everyday. Consisting of steamed rice cake, lettuce, herbs, peanuts, shallots, chilli, Asian spices and grilled pork which has been marinated for several hours in lemongrass, this dish, known to locals as Bańh Hoí Thìt Núońg, is commonly found all over South East Asia.  Each country has their own variation of this dish.  For example in Cambodia they tend to add coconut milk and dried shrimps, but I must admit the best versions I’ve had (other than my mum’s) are the Vietnamese versions.  This comes as no surprise though seeing as it originated it Vietnam. Served with a dressing made of carrots, daikon, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar, it’s one of those dishes that you can’t seem to get enough of.

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Bánh Mì Châ Cá

posted on: February 4, 2015

I could really do with one of these right about now. Known as Bánh Mì Châ Cá in Vietnamese, these delicious savoury rolls are similar to Bánh Mì, only instead of pork and pickled vegetables they contain fish cakes, cucumber, chilli and various Vietnamese herbs. Sold for 15,000 Dong (about 75c) each, they’re so cheap you may want to order two!  And sorry guys… they are only available in Vietnam.

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee

posted on: February 2, 2015

This may come as a surprise to some but I don’t drink coffee. I gave it up 8 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. However, there are moments when I miss it, not so much for the taste, but for the experience. On my recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City I decided to break my coffee hiatus and try one of the famous Vietnamese iced coffees, and I must admit, I really did enjoy it.

Known to locals as cà phê đá, Vietnamese iced coffee is a staple in this region. It is enjoyed at all hours of the day, usually hot in the morning and iced in the afternoons.  Made with coarsely-ground dark roast coffee, the servings are individually brewed using a small metal French drip filter into a cup or glass containing a good dose of sweetened condensed milk.  These coffees are incredibly strong and if you are not used to such an intense brew then you may want to ask the vendor to go easy on the coffee…but if you’re anything like me and would rather have it the way locals do then I suggest go the full monty and deal with the consequences later. It’s totally worth it.

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Yet-to-be-named Vietnamese Dish

posted on: February 2, 2015

I’m rather embarrassed to say that really have no idea what this dish is called, nor do I know what the main ingredient is. All I know is that it is incredibly delicious and not like anything else I’ve ever had before. Consisting of eggs, shallots, chilli, soy and an unusual starchy-like vegetable (which taste somewhere between potato and daikon) this dish really has me lost for words…and not in a bad way.

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p.s If anyone know’s what this dish is called I’d love to hear from you.


Bánh Bao Chiên Măn

posted on: January 26, 2015

I must admit I have a soft spot for anything wrapped in pastry. Danish, dumplings, pies and pastries, if it comes wrapped in dough, I love it. So you can imagine my delight when I came across these cute-as-a-pie parcels. Consisting of pork, water chestnut, quail egg and herbs and spices wrapped in a light and fluffy pastry, these parcels, otherwise known as Bánh Bao Chiên Măn, are incredibly morish. They make a wonderful afternoon snack and go perfectly with Vietnamese ice coffee.

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Bańh Canh Cua Giō Heo

posted on: January 25, 2015

This dish in Vietnamese is called Bańh Canh Cua Giō Heo.  According to Goodle Translate, Bańh Canh Cua Giō Heo means ‘pork noodle cart’.  I don’t speak, read, or write Vietnamese, but I’m pretty sure this is wrong. So for the purpose of this post, im going to say it how it is; Noodle Soup with Pork, Tofu and Crab Meat. Similar to Lao’s Khaobiek Sen (which I’ve featured in previous posts), this soup features noodles made from tapioca and rice flour. Despite the fiery red colour of the broth it’s a relatively mild dish.  Though, it still packs-a-punch in terms of flavour.

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