Friday, June 22, 2012

Lunch with Mr Thanh at Huong Ly

Today Mr Than (who owns the kindergarten at Kien An) invited us out for lunch. Trang Anh picked me up in a taxi and we went to 386 Lạch Tray, only to find it was a tiny little cafe nowhere big enough to accommodate all of us. That's because the restaurant was way down the laneway next to 386. It's called Hương Ly and it's quite surprising. One minute you're travelling down a typical crowded laneway, and next thing it opens up and there's a wide driveway beside a pretty lake!

That yellow building over on the right is the Star Hotel, where Ian and Lesley live.

There were several rooms for private dining... all with a clear view over the lake, so we dined in air-conditioned comfort in our own dining room!

Mr Thanh, Becki, Trang Anh, Lesley, Ian, Gene, William and Emma.

Isn't Leslie lovely?  Everyone over here loves her.

Gene and William and Emma have all taught at the kindergarten too.

This was the rice soup served at the end of the meal - cháo ... very delicious.

Mr Thanh and Ian go back a long way... he was one of the students in Ian's first class, and they've been mates ever since.

That gorgeous house in the background belongs to the owner of this restaurant complex. Everything about it speaks opulence... even the pond in the garden...

..shame that opulence didn't include the monkey... she didn't even have any water. This Asian culture has a very different attitude toward animals than we have in the west and sometimes it is very confronting.

However, monkey aside, we had a very pleasant lunch, once again enjoying the company of our delightful host. It is amazing to find such a beaut place tucked away down a back alley... a place none of us would have been likely to ever find, that's for sure!   Like Gene says "So many laneways to explore... and so little time!"    I am constantly reminded how blessed I am to have Vietnamese friends.

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