Three friends and the food they love


February 2016

Five reasons to move to San Francisco

  1. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana – Where the chef has won awards in Italy for his pizza, where the bartenders can guide you to the finest eating establishments around the city and your fellow diners squabble about your holiday itinerary having not known you 5 minutes ago. Order the Pizza Margherita, but the real surprise star of the show was an appetiser –  The Chorizo Mussels. Toasted bread, tomato chorizo sauce, fresh mussels, cheese. Tony's
  2. Kokkari – Recommended at Tony’s. What food! Divine sole, grilled octopus to die for. Fine dining, but a lively vibe. Go with an appetite.
  3. Hog Island Oyster Company – Recommended at Kokkari. It’s a great way to eat through a city. Happy with a meal? Ask the staff where to dine next! This is an institution attracting tourists and locals in droves. The name says it all. Fresh oysters, amazing fish soup, views of the wharf. Slurp the sea.
    Continue reading “Five reasons to move to San Francisco”

Chinese Pizzas and Hamburgers

There is something about trade. And the ancient trade routes. Proof that humanity has always needed something from somewhere else. Proof that we, as a species, are where are because our ancestors journeyed for days and years to find the things that are now found in neat ordered boxes in modern supermarkets. Proof that we decided that their food was pretty alright too, and while we were at it, it may taste better if put some of our own food and created something new.
Yunnan brings all of this alive. Like the other trading hotspots of the medieval ages. Cape Town, Cochin, Xian…think of the food, think of the influences. To this conversation, I bring you the Chinese Pizza and the Chinese Hamburger. Very modern names for Chinese flavored fillings in to flat breads that are distinctly Central Asian in shape, origin and texture.

Continue reading “Chinese Pizzas and Hamburgers”

The Island with the Not-so-secret Sauce


Sun, Sea, Sand and Skewers

We imagine tropical islands to have most of the following boxes checked to create the sauce for a great getaway. Blue seas, swaying coconut trees, markets full of fresh seafood and vegetables, welcoming locals, good food and great options to spend a day or a week tuning off from the world we know. In South East Asia, the names roll off the tongue easily – Bali, Phuket, Koh Samui, Langkawi. Destinations that have built their names over decades of weary travelers checking most of those boxes as they seek their own piece of paradise. To that list I add Phu Quoc. Some of you with bases in this part of the world may regard it as old hat, but it is relatively new territory for most. Checks all the boxes and adds the unique Vietnamese touches of robust coffee, herbs and a judicious use of fish sauce.

Continue reading “The Island with the Not-so-secret Sauce”

Platform for Peace and Infinite Yumminess


You may be a fan of Vietnamese food. You may be planning that holiday that takes in the sights, smells and sounds of natural beauty, fresh herbs and 2-wheeler chaos that is uniquely Vietnam. As you read about Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, you are planning your meals of pho, fresh seafood and the caffeine overdose that is Vietnamese coffee. What I would highly encourage you to plan for, is pizza.

A bunch of Japanese have brought craft, perfection, fresh ingredients and a very hot oven to Pizza 4P’s. Originally a Ho Chi Minh City establishment, now with a branch in Hanoi. Pizza 4P’s has been the most unexpected pleasant surprise in a long line of peasant and good things since we have set up a base there. Continue reading “Platform for Peace and Infinite Yumminess”

The Snow Dragon Tofu


Apparently the horsemen who traveled the Southern Silk Route through Yunnan would make extended pitstops in Li Jiang. What remains of the ancient trading towns are beautifully preserved, UNESCO recognized tourist traps. But it’s hard to ignore the scale of the these towns that are more than a thousand years old. In the month of December, the weather is beautiful, the air is ripe for eating and the Snow Dragon Mountain plays hide and seek with the clouds. On this particular day, it mostly hid.

But there we were walking the familiar unfamiliar streets of Shuhe old town on Day 2 of our Yunnan adventure. Starting with a late lunch of a hotpot of free-range black chicken and eight kinds of edible mushrooms, we had picked our way through a ‘Chinese pizza’, a sesame ‘Chinese shortbread’ and a macchiato that was a poorly disguised Cappuccino.  More on all of that in another post.

Continue reading “The Snow Dragon Tofu”

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