Posts Tagged ‘vietnamese’

As customary on Easter Monday we are invited to lunch with our Vietnamese relatives. The meal takes place at ‘the officina’ or the factory where the hosts live and work. There’s plenty of space although it’s a bit different to have a feast among screws and sheet iron, metal shaving and machinery. Odder still when at two minutes to two the siren for change of shift goes off leaving you feeling that we all should get up and swap places like a turn at musical chairs.

Anyway, after being asked in Vietnamese and broken Italian to dish out the pickles and help lay the table (all actions that must be carried out  according to a particular ritual on pain of death apparently) and performing these actions after a while of toying with the words and trying to figure out what wanted going where we all sat down to eat the grilled meat in sandwiches called Banh Mi.

The home made pickles (very smelly by the way) that go in these sandwiches:

And my all-time favourite spring rolls:

And another crepe/dumpling concoction filled with prawn and dressed with some spring onion and lemon flavoured olive oil:

The puddings were extraordinary as usual. Two fruit salads with ice jelly (the black one is apparently made from the stem of a plant that is very good for you) and one that I would find practically impossible to describe! Extra linking to anyone that manages to tell me the full list of ingredients!


We had taken Ezzie with us so he could have a run in the garden while we ate. Unfortunately, egged on by the host’s fluffy mongrel (one of those dead vicious butter-wouldn’t-melt sort of fluff balls), he destroyed said dog’s outdoor bed with vigorous shaking and chewing. Mother in law insists it can be fixed, but aunty says we owe her 54 euro so all in all this was an eventful end to the Easter hols.


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My mother in law delighted us with one of her delicious Vietnamese specialities the day before we set off to the UK. Once quoted to have said about my own parents ‘they give me chocolate biscuits and I like them for that’, the amazing offerings my mother-in-law brings me are at the root of the utterly frictionless relationship I have with my  in-laws.

I’m not a bad person really, just easily coaxed with food.

Looks like a tomatoey broth with some basil floating about, but is bursting with flavour. A light dashing of chilli and lime make it absolutely mouth-watering.

All we had to do was prepare the noodles and truth be told we often use very thin pasta instead of regular noodles and it works just fine.

Pouring out a bowl of goodness…

Like many Vietnamese dishes the warmth of the broth is set off by the crispy and fresh addition of soy on top.  So get slurping!

And for those looking for Vietnamese soup ideas I’ve found the perfect website with instructions to recreate your own little patch of VN http://www.vietnamese-recipes.com/vietnamese-recipes/soups/



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The passion this restaurant inspires in the Towers is proverbial- Ping Pong makes the best dim sum (pretty, glistening and delicious) I’ve clapped eyes on in this continent!

(Please correct me if I’m wrong as I’m always willing to go on a dim sum trawl and check out any venues I don’t know about)

Perfectly marketed as ‘steamed little parcels of happiness’, you feel you could eat a million as they are a feast to the eyes as well as the palate.

Lazy Sumdays, a promotion that allows you to order all you can eat for a set price of £18.49 (minus: drinks, desserts and chef’s specials) saved us £24.

My favourites are Chive dumplings (king prawn and chive in green dumpling-think alien spaceship), the scallop and shitake dumpling, the seafood and the coriander dumplings, but ping pong also do fried vietnamese spring rolls, duck rolls (also fried), char shui buns and king prawn and scallop sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves.

Ping Pong Westbourne Grove London

Atmosphere: Smart but not OTT

Food: Mouthwateringly excellent

Price: don’t expect to spend lesss than £20 without drinks. Alternatively there is a great ‘all you can eat’ promotion on Sundays (Lazy Sum Days) with a set £19 for any food.

Would we go back? Of course, I’m addicted!


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