Chef Andrew, GM Alex, their sister Allison and Mama Le have just returned from an epic trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a research trip but also a life affirming one that culminated with Mama Le returning to her family villa 64 years later, after she and her family moved south to Saigon after the Communist party defeated the French colonialists and took power. It was an emotional visit, since it was also the first time for Mama to meet her cousin, who resides in a small room in the house with his family, while the government rents out the rest of the villa to other tenants.
But even with this bittersweet tone, for the most part, it was an amazing culinary experience filled with people who really nurtured us during our one week stay there. Hanoi is a city that is full of wonderful, caring people with simple pleasures and the inherent desire to share Vietnamese culture and all its filial roots. Vietnam, at its core, is matriarchal and you can see how Hanoi folks, especially the women, completely "mothered” us -- People that helped us without any hesitation because they wanted us to enjoy Hanoi.
A perfect example is when the ladies at a particular street food eatery "kidnapped" Mama Le to get her medicine for her cold and also took her to the salon to get her hair done. Oh, and they filled our bellies with nurturing Vietnamese food that swelled our souls.
Here are some select photos from our trip.
So, we are back from the motherland, full of ideas and in the coming weeks and months, you’ll see our inspirations in future iterations of the menu. Oh, but there is one thing we need to include sooner than later — Vietnamese EGG coffee. All of us were hooked and in search for the perfect cup every morning.
In addition, it’s perfect timing for Chef to return to Hawaii because it’s his birthday this week! If you see him, give him a big bear hug and he celebrates with friends and family.
Finally, the holiday seasons are upon us so why don’t you consider The Pig & and the Lady for your office Christmas party or have lunch or dinner in the restaurant. For more info, head over to reservations.
Also, we are resuming our regular farmers market schedule this week:
Wednesday, Nov 30
Blaisdell — 4pm - 7pm
Thursday, Dec 1
Kailua — 5pm - 7:30pm
Saturday, Dec 3
KCC — 7:30am - 11am
As always, the full menu and schedule is over at the Farmers Market Page.