FAR EAST DELIGHTS IN THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN
“Vietnam” is a word that excites very different emotions in people of different ages. For the young and adventurous it can mean a back-packing holiday with a difference. For the welloff it may mean comfortable hotels and touring a large country enjoying lush scenery and varied human activity, from a train window on the “Reunification Express”, which travels the 1736 kilometres from Hanoi (capital of the former communist North Vietnam) to Saigon (old capital of the American-supported South Vietnamese regime). For most of us older folk it evokes memories of the terrible war between North and South from 1965 to 1974, a culmination of literally two thousand years of invasion and occupation. The last of the colonisers, who left in 1954, were the French, who didn’t do a lot for the country, but who did give some assistance to the development and scope of the Vietnamese kitchen.
Happily for us, today Vietnamese food is gaining ground in the hearts and minds of Westerners, through books, newspaper and magazine articles and TV food shows, as well as a restaurant or two here and there.
I have eaten Vietnamese food on several occasions. I remember the first very well; I was on an assignment in the, then, French colony of the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, I sampled wonderful food cooked by a Vietnamese lady at an open air restaurant overlooking the lagoon at Abidjan. Later, deep in England’s south-east county of Kent, we found another lady from Vietnam who would make gorgeous meals for you.
Which brings me to Moon Waters of Pissouri and a report by Francis Geldart, friend of this page, a veteran far-eastern traveller and devotee of good food. of water, fizzy and flat. The total, great value at 25 euros per person. Try to get the same quality of food and wine in London, Paris or Geneva, and reckon on double at the very least! Vive l’ ile de Chypre!
Moon has an academic background spanning nearly ten years spent in Hanoi and Cambridge. Her lead subjects were International Relations and English. Her real passion is, however, cooking; so four years ago, she and husband Brian launched their catering business based in Pissouri. Apart from Vietnamese evenings at various tavernas, they provide home catering based on individual customer needs for parties of between twelve and forty people. The cost is from 17 euros per person depending on dish selection.