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DH has invited a Vietnamese colleague for dinner....

(27 Posts)
Issymum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:16:32

he's 50ish, works out of the Saigon office and will be staying in the UK for about a week (so will have the opportunity to eat plenty of English food). The dinner is next Thursday.

What shall I give him? I thought of trying to do something traditionally English, but that might be very bland for a Vietnamese palate. Anything Vietnamese I tried to cook is likely to be vile. It also has to be something that doesn't require much preparation on the night as I'm working in London that day.

Any thoughts?

catgirl Thu 02-Jun-05 11:25:39

personally, (and I only have two dishes I can 'cook') - I would do something that is easy for you to cook and that you know you can cook well iyswim - and cheat with pud - something like sticky toffee pud from M&S! But as mentioned, I am no cook (dh does it all!) - have fun!

almostanangel Thu 02-Jun-05 11:27:08

be polite actually ask is there anything you have been hoping to try while here ,,,like roast beef all the trimmings etc....

bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 11:27:30

what would you cook for any other dinner party where you had time constraints?

bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 11:31:32

some more thoughts

start with steamed asparagus and hollandaise sauce (you could cheat on the sauce or just serve with butter and black pepper).

grilled steak with mustard/horseradish, served with a rocket/watercress salad. new potatoes with herb butter.

berries with raspberry coulis and good quality icecream.

something like that would be simple with opportunities to save time.

bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 11:32:17

...also seasonal.

poached salmon with horseradish and dill mayo?

bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 11:33:29

spinach, bacon and avocado salad with pine nuts.

porcini risotto.

berries and ice cream.

this is not so trad english - obviously.

Issymum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:35:59

Bossykate: I don't actually cook for dinner parties any more. I used to but appear to have lost the ability to do so after the arrival of DD1.

Catgirl: You've just mentioned a magic word "M&S". It's highly unlikely that DH's Vietnamese colleague will have eaten anything from M&S and so I can probably get away with something great from there. We will take the unusual step of using the dining room table - I'm a bit concerned that it may be disrespectful to him to serve the meal in the kitchen - so I can easily hide the packaging. Any particular M&S recommendations ladies?

My other strategy would be to ask our nanny to cook for us . She's a way better cook than me. She's also slimmer, more stylish, better at looking after the DDs and an all-round nicer person. But that's a whole other thread.

tamum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:38:14

A combination of the M and S idea with bossykate's droolingly delicious sounding menu would be to get some of those Aberdeen Angus steaks covered with peppercorns from M and S. That way you'd do a bit of cooking but with near-zero effort, and it would be slightly spicy

catgirl Thu 02-Jun-05 11:38:15

ohhh - you have to get M&S ultimate mash - it is divine.... creamy and buttery yum yum yum - just lots of tubs of that I would think!

Issymum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:42:04

Excellent suggestions ladies.

I think I'll go for BK's starter and pudding and an M&S main - who wouldn't like a salad like that and fresh berries and ice-cream? I like the idea of steaks with peppercorns. Steak is not something that's readily available in Vietnam. Although a fish dish would also be nice and perhaps a little more 'familiar' for a Vietnamese person.

Issymum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:43:19

Oh. I've just seen BK's first suggestion of asparagus. That's a great idea. Really local and seasonal.

purpleturtle Thu 02-Jun-05 11:43:33

You lot have made me hungry - and I'm supposed to be on a diet!

bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 11:44:23

betcha M&S do a hollandaise sauce...

Issymum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:49:25

betcha? I'm betting on it!

Actually I'm very proud of DH inviting this guy for dinner (DH is rather reticent). DH is his 'virtual mentor' and it's such a nice gesture to someone who is so far from home.

DD1 is Vietnamese, so there is also a special connection for us.

bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 11:53:15

or if you want to go the whole m&s hog - so to speak - you could try this

mancmum Thu 02-Jun-05 11:57:18

why not send the nanny and vietnamese bloke out to a restaurant !!

motherinferior Thu 02-Jun-05 16:43:01

I have just spotted this thread and am drooling into my keyboard.

cod Thu 02-Jun-05 16:55:51

Message withdrawn

cod Thu 02-Jun-05 16:56:42

Message withdrawn

Issymum Thu 02-Jun-05 17:00:42

Well remembered Cod!

No this is a different nanny. The car-crashing nanny stayed on for three more months then returned to Australia for a while. She's now back in the UK, working in special needs and lives just around the corner from us. We still see her frequently. It's forgive and forget in the IM household!

Our current nanny is totally perfect in every respect, but is returning to NZ at the end of October to take up an excellent job in her church and then start a family. Can't argue with God and babies.

I'll look out for the Maille hollandaise.

cod Thu 02-Jun-05 17:02:26

Message withdrawn

Issymum Fri 10-Jun-05 10:44:02

Just reporting back.

Dinner was great. Thanks entirely to Bossykate and our absolutely stellar nanny who bought all the ingredients/food from M&S and pre-prepared Bossykate's salad and the potatoes. All I had to do was cook the ready prepared salmon, chuck some fresh peas into boiling water and assemble the berries, coulis and icecream (also a la BK) and be gracious.

Our nanny's mother is staying with us at the moment and when I got back from work I found that she'd done a couple of beautiful flower arrangements and laid the table . I would seriously recommend long-stay house-guests if they are under-employed, Kiwi, super-housewives.

It turned out to be a fascinating evening. I learnt a huge amount about the Vietnamese revoloution, recent history and the North/South divide through our guest's eyes.

With the combined force of Mnet, our nanny and her extended family, I'm wondering if I might even be able to increase our dinner party count beyond the current once a year!

bossykate Thu 16-Jun-05 15:44:10

issymum, how did it go?

bossykate Thu 16-Jun-05 15:44:32

oh, duh

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