Women, food & wine

These days, my favourite day of the week is Monday. Yeah, no office blues on Monday mornings! Every week, a bunch of expat women gather at my place for conversations in English – to build confidence, improve vocabulary, socialize, whatever. (We are all members of Hanoi International Women’s Club, and this is one of the activities that I’m in.)

Over the past few months, we’ve got to know each other quite well, shared stories on how we met our spouses, memorable experiences, cultural exchanges, activities in Hanoi, and so on. Come December, and the start of the western holiday season, we decided to have a potluck lunch after class. That day was today.

For the first time, we had ladies come in later than usual, probably due to putting all the finishing touches on their preparation. As each one came in, I saw that nobody was in the mood to talk about anything except the food. We had Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Pakistani, Indian, and enough desserts to open a café! So we chatted about the food, ingredients, recipes, and they all sounded exotic and mouth-watering. Let me try to list it all down, mainly for Reva’s benefit (before I forget some of the dishes, because I’m sure to get a third-degree from her).

Much easier to do it by looking at the pictures –

Spring pillow (spring roll stuffing with a ‘pillow’ shaped cover)

Vegetable Quiche

Vietnamese-style pineapple & vegetable salad

Chicken biryani

Egg rolls

I forget what the rice dish was called (sorry, Misao!), but it was Japanese

Tofu patties (called hamburg, I think – from hamburger, without the bread)

Dahi bhallas

Hot plum juice (I can’t get over how delicious this was)

The dessert spread was equally impressive, especially considering many of them were homemade –

Tea and marmalade cookies

Sesame balls



Chocolate brownies

Apple tart

Strawberry cake

Chocolate mini-cookies

Did we have fun? Oooooh, yes! What did we talk about at lunch? Umm, …. calories, figures, clothes, and why we shouldn’t be eating what we are!

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