Welcome to my website. I am the author of ‘Vietnamese – Simple Vietnamese Food To Cook At Home’. I am a photographer and film maker. You can book into my supper club, Vietnamese cooking classes, buy my book, check out my photography and lots more here.
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To Dancing In Jaguar Shoes, To Family & To Eating Out
After spending a good few months writing a cook book, I felt reluctant to blog. All my words were used up in the book and I stood in the dry words desert facing untitled documents on my laptop with the thirsty cursor line tapping away in vain hope that it could fill a page, a sentence, a line, a word…
I died a death when I saw Brandi Carlile at The Islington Assembly Hall. She sang so beautifully, her country songs of love, loss and stories of people gone in the morrow broke my heart further. She touches a fractured nerve in me but somehow I love the pain of her words, sorrow, wisdom and tune. I wept shamelessly as I sat next to the only vacant seat in the house, as if I had found a Jesus in her and she knew everything I had ever felt. And that was when I was reborn again, a new skin, a new firmer, guarded heart.
Life started again with Richard Vines, (as it does), who is my liberal, generous and charming dinner companion. We went to Ravinder Bhogal‘s supper club at South Place with the ever smiley, kind and loveable Francesco Mazzei, owner and head chef of L’Amina. He has the most beautiful hands and soothing yet infectious giggles. It was as if the dead winter was forgotten as they pumped the life back into me and things just kept shinning despite our weather.
I hoovered around the legendary PD James, aged 92, at Greene & Heaton‘s (my literary agency) 50th Anniversary party and was completely spellbounded by the superior and grand aura she has as she sat there with her cane and smiled at all the young people standing around her. She inspired a string of imaginations. I saw her for weeks to come as a young woman, perhaps with strawberry blonde hair typing away on a heavy desk with a typewriter on one day and scribbling with forceful excitement on another with a wholesome wrinkled notepad. If I am lucky enough to live into my nineties, I would still hope to attend lots of parties and shout into someone’s ears about how young people just don’t get it!
The Clove Club
But then I was thrown right back into reality, into Shoreditch (with the hipsters and young people whom I am so jealous of because they are fresh out of art school and they don’t get it yet). We ventured to The Clove Club, a new restaurant by one of the Young Turks, Issac McHale. I went with Rocket & Squash (read his well informed review here). I loved it there, its 5 courses of whatever they are going to give you, you eat it. Its good!
My clan of loyal and loving friends is where its at. What better than a family get-together to swap stories, exchange anecdotes and share raucous cackle at The Scolt Head over roasted seabass and duck breasts. I love the more civilised nights too with a smaller group of friends at Vinoteca drinking prosecco on tap while lining the belly with their great tapas selection and trying all the different wines and never wanting to go home.
Like I didn’t ever want to go home when we were at The Bootleg Banquet for my friend Adele’s birthday and all my friends from Central St Martins where there. We ate so well, the lamb racks were incredible! And the party poured onto Shoreditch High Street where 15 years previous, we were the masters of the bars and knights of the party houses before everyone flooded there. We stood, stopped and still where-shall-we-go? We had become parents, purchased houses, became successful, got jaded and flew in the breeze. Our eyes had seen more than it had ever done but we still laughed as loud and as wide as we used to, if not even more so. We still ‘cussed’ each other, bigged each other up, beated each other over and then laughed and laughed and laughed and danced outrageously in Jaguar Shoes.
To family, cheers Nima who flew back from LA. To family, we all say. To family, I say, as a sister, a motherly friend, as I feel the happiest that I could ever be in the company of brothers who have such big hearts, who love their wives, girlfriends and children; who pave their own successes and failures and yet among each other’s company are still the young gifted wide eyed boys who met at aged 18.
However, the best meal I have had in a long time though came from the beautiful garden of Sophie Dening as James Lowe (Young Turks) served up a BBQ using the finest, in season, freshest of ingredients. This is just a different calibre I say to myself as I devour. His steaks were incomparable to many of the steaks I had ever had, even his salad dressings tasted like magic. This is the succulent life, this is how its all supposed to be done. It was just totally amazing!
So thats why I’ve been M.I.A and not really blogging. I’ve been eating, enjoying every bite of this delicious life and trying to cure my heart of ills and singing along with Brandi Carlile, for the sorrow will always be deep inside.
Thanks to my friend, Rosie Birkett for taking me to some of the places! She beautiful!