Our gourmet weekend started on Friday evening with a visit to our favourite local Vietnamese restaurant with friends. Thien An was the first local eatery Orlando and I visited when we moved here. Its multicoloured chairs and canteen feel were welcoming on a cold spring evening. Six of us squeezed in beside another couple, in such close proximity that the lady beside me formally introduced herself (Chris), and when leaving, thanked us for a lovely evening. There is no standing on ceremony here.

We chose Thien An’s famous Vietnamese rice paper rolls or spring rolls to start, then variously selected noodle soup or fried noodle dishes to follow. All the food was delicious, freshly made with the freshest of ingredients. We washed it all down with green tea served from stainless steel flasks to keep it warm.

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