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Anne Le

John Cain sounds like a Brit stuck in the miserable Great Britain rain. He probably prefers heavy salty potatoes and meat, which thankfully isn't on any Asian menus! He does sound jealous and unhappy (probably because of his poor diet). I know I am every time I open up your blog and see all the amazing experiences you are having on a daily basis.

John Mc

Fuck off, indeed.

Steve Jackson

err Anne Le -I'm not sure you're helping the situation by adding to the stereotypes.

But yes, he does sounds like an arsehole.

Crazy Cake Lady

lol, nicely done. I don't know why people bother to spew hate like that. It's so unneccesary, especially when those energies can be used for something good and productive.


Good on you! I'm travelling to vietnam shortly and I can almost smell taste all this delicious Vietnamese food when I read your posts. I'm a blogger as well and some people just have nothing better to do than criticise. oh well!


I think all bloggers must know the feeling you had when you read that comment. As a blogger, I tell myself to expect garbage comments but every now and then, one will get to me, and it's not always logical as to which one cuts through. I still get quite indignant over it. It's my "house" and you're a guest, please keep your feet off the coffee table and use a coaster.

I do sort of know where this guy is coming from, in both good and bad ways. I've lived in Hong Kong for 12 years and I hit these periods where I get absolutely fed up with Cantonese cuisine. It's always the same. No one advances it. It doesn't have the complexity of Escoffier.

And then I hit my positive moods. It's fresh, it's nutritious and often quite reasonably priced and it rocks the taste buds. And if it's relatively new to you, and you're sharing with the world, where's the issue?

If Asians will eat anything and westerners won't (not true, of course), then couldn't one say that Asians have more respect for life and ingredients by not letting anything from the animal that died for their dinner go to waste? Poor cultures have spent hundreds if not thousands of years figuring out how to make these bits tender and tasty and that's an accomplishment worthy of respect.

And in terms of Asian cooking being the antithesis of art, one word: Japan.


Just a few words to say that as a French Vietnamese (blogger too, but nothing to do with food) who loves Western and Asian food, it's a real pleasure to read you.
Keep up your good work. You "passion" is extremely stimulating.



I've come to view occasional random aggressive e-mails/comments as par for the course and find a good course is just to delete and forget. They don't deserve the the time of day!

Oh, also, for some reason I'd always thought you were a local with an amazing grasp of the english language ... thanks for clarifying!

ps - By the way, I recently bought French roast chicory coffee in the UK as a Vietnamese substitute. It kind of works but not quite - you just can't beat the real thing.


You were way to polite with that man.
I did not do Vietnam during that previous unpleasantness - I was at a bomber base in Thailand. SE Asia has the best food in the world! Alas, with two tours of duty in South Korea -I cannot say the same for them.
Great blog. I visit you daily.
Oh, we Americans prefer to use the term, "asshole". Same thing I imagine.

Indianapolis, In


Kha Dang

Maybe John Cain has a dirty mouth. If he clean his mouth maybe he can get a better taste of Vietnamese foods.


so wrong, pho is ambrosia from the gods. It's what I want for lunch.


I'm Vietnamese and I think your blog is great. The fact that you live in Vietnam and write passionately about the food, I think the guy who left you that note is a moron. I go to your blog because I'm so envious that you are enjoying all the food there :)


writing a blog is like producing a magazine or making a product. it was never meant for EVERYONE! dude, if it's not the "product" for you, then move along.

only really negative people choose to expose themselves to content that is obviously "not for them" and then complain about it. umm, as an adult, surely you have a choice.

as for me, i think i am part of your target market, and i "fawningly" await new content! ;-)

p.s. yeh, when i first had pho, i wasn't that enamored. but now it's like really nice toast and jam. yeah, it's simple, but i want it the way i want it.


Holy cow, in this case, Holly kangaroo, this is food blog. Let's talk about food.there is an old saying "in death and in food we are all brothers", so no body "f*ck no body off, all rite?


Great site.

Don't worry about the hate mail. Many people do not understand Asia.

I am an American, who first went to Asia in 1967: Vietnam War. I feel in love with Asia.

Since then, I have been to 31 Asian cities, to Japan two times, Korea five times, and China nine times. My wife is Chinese, ex-PLA.

I am returning to Vietnam in September, going to Saigon, (which I have been to three times before, in 1968) Quy Nhon, (where I was stationed in the US Army) and Hanoi, which I have never been to.

Yes, Asians eat anthing!! So what?? They do not waste. I eat almost anything.........at least once! Asian food is so exciting. Quite a challenge for some westerners who grew up on meat and potatos.

I am looking forward to exploring your site and getting some tips on food in Vietnam prior to my return in September.

Keep up the good work.

Lucie J.

It's one of those things where you could say - it's so bad, it's good. I actually found it quite hilarious to think that there is someone out there with a mind that is narrow enough to come up with a letter like that. Love your blog. Keep it up.


Keep up the good work. Great reply to that hater.

Hal Medrano

Oh Ghod, that guy's letter was absolutely hilarious!

You know where we, your loyal readers, all stand. Keep showing us where to sample the best thin noodle soups and all the other tasty morsels Vietnam has to offer - whether or not they crawl out of the bowl!



Wow. I have a blog myself and have never received such venom. While i admit to not being a big pho fan, I like Asian food (I am not Asian or of Asian descent myself) and this is just racist, stupidity of a high order


I love Asian food and am a proponent of all for which you stand!


I enjoyed your reply to that poster. Fuck Off is my favorite retort!


Wow! I love ur reply! This is the first time I am visiting your blog and the first thing i saw was the first entry and ur reply.


Annerly Cooper

Oooo ... Sticky! You were WAAAAYYYYY too nice! You know me and I'd have given him a mouth full of m*tha f*cka's and then some! Only have one thing to say to that dumb a$$ .... CLICK ... as in onto another webpage!


I must say I'm overwelmed by the response to this and that it was not my intention to engender all this lurve! Thank you! I really was not that offended by the criticism on the personal front - I'm pretty thick-skinned and, as I said in the post, I do try to keep myself nice, so kind of knew that I didn't really deserve it - I just thought it was amusing more than anything else, except when the blatant racism became evident. That I can't tolerate.

My Mum did say she would have preferred that I hadn't used the f-word but I find for some situations, it is the only word and I quite like a good swear every now and then! Hope I didn't turn anyone away with my obscenities.

Thanks also to those who emailed me with some kind sentiments, particularly the Vietnam Vets who feel so passionately about this country. I feel privileged to be able to live here during more peaceful times than they experienced.

And, Annerly Cooper, my darling, I wish I had co-operated with you on the wording of my response! X

Again, thanks everyone.


lol Sorry I'm late to the party, but that was pretty funny. That fellow was what we in California would call a "douche bag." And to think he was calling YOU pretentious and self-important. hehehe Poor guy. He has a wonderful grip on language, but just the fact that he grouped all asian cuisine into one simple chunk just shows how ridiculously uneducated he is on the subject. Some of the cooking styles are about texture, not looks. Some are very carefully prepared with presentation as a chief concern. And some of these cultures are the oldest in the world and the SOURCE of various refinements we enjoy every day. Ugh. I could go on.

John Cain, you superficial bastard, get over your own self.


This John Cain guy is surely a pisstake, are you sure its not one of your mate having a laugh? I find it hard to imagine anyone above over the age of 10 can be so narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful and ignorant, and I do apologise to any 10 years old reading!

I just wanted to add my voice to the many already spoken and say that I enjoy your blog immensely and I hope you keep it up! I find great joy in the fact that you have delved in my homeland with such love and dedication.

Cheers from one Aussie to another.


its a shame that a person with such command of language can have such ideas....i would like very much for him to elaborate on what he means with his fancy words...what is meant by "asian cooking is truly the antithesis of food as art"...i think we do a whole thesis on this.


Keith...that thought did pass through my mind but even if it were a pisstake, surely deep down the person really believes it...so I don't think it's a mate! Cheers to you, too!


Yee Haa!! You Go Aussie! Thats was the best reply. Short and to the point.
Love from another Aussie foodie who also loves Vietnam


Asian food has character and taste! Most European food and American food is bland and crappy. So even tho' I don't know what John Cain likes to eat, he obviously doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. And a further thing, even if some folks don't agree with you, you must speak your mind and offer your honest opinion on things. That are the reasons why people read your posting -- to learn more about different kinds of food and to read opinions about the looks and taste of how dishes are prepared by different chefs/cooks.


If sort of feel sorry for the bloke, I mean, he obviously doesn't have any friends to hang out with so he's got to sit at his computer and insult mere strangers semi-anonymously. I wish I'd thought to write a food blog when I was still living in VN. I'm really glad that such talented people, like you, are out there doing it...and doing it very well, might I add! Keep up the great work and long live pho!

Mister Cat

interestingly it was the chinese that invented what is now known as "pasta", thus art it may or may not be, asian cuisine is proven to be an inspiration to others.


If John caine is british, here is one for you: Sir Lawrence Olivier one said in a movie "There is only one thing worse than British music, British food"


just keep up the good work, stickyrice.
you've been of much help to me in my Hanoi getaway back in Feb 2009.

thanks again.

Aron Solomon

I travel 200,000 miles a year. Yeah, I get to eat at "fine restaurants" in Paris and London and the like. Pho and Bun Cha are the greatest foods IN THE WORLD. So, as always, we echo your sentiment and stand behind you.


I need to stop by more often, the buncha post I mean, it was real good.

I used to get one a month but then my blog covered many aspects of a culture and country including a tiny insurgency. My rule of thumb was post em if they didn't have the F word, guess I'm old school like your mum ;-) A lefty political blog I participate in saves the best for a Sunday best of feature, lota hate and a lota laughs.

My favorite from Mr Cain, "sycophantic swooning" knows how to turn a phrase.

Baw Ben Yang as they say.


I lived in Japan for 3 years and i traveled to SE Asia and i adore the food!...Im currently living in Latin America and let me tell you that i rather read your blog and prepare my food at home than pay a ridiculous amount of money. Ignore those jerks...as a blogger i understand how annoying it is. You have a great blog!



This guy is quite sad. He who has balls enough to send that in a private email should surely have them to post it to an open forum. Fool.

Take not the flak, it's just that - flak. It's meant to bring you down, destroy and mame. Keep up the great work. We all love it here and will continue to do so despite arrogance of jealous fools.

Maybe this will cheer everyone up: I found another great wine review site, and as per usual, I have put the link in my name (click on my name) if you're interested.

Thanks again for your great articles. We support you!!

Melody S.


Why the vitriol aimed at John Cain? He's spot on about pho - it's thin, watery noodle soup, usually containing poor quality ingredients, made for people who just want to refuel cheaply. I'm continually baffled by foreigners here in VN (both tourists and expats) who fawn over pho as if it's some Michelin starred creation.

There is some fantastic food in Asia, but very little of it is to be found in Vietnam. Thailand, Singapore, China sure. But compared to Italy & France? Just not in the same league I'm afraid - and this is coming from an Asia-lover who's been in Vietnam nearly 7 years!

Mr Burns

Not that I'm religious, but as a boss told me once - it's better if we let God deal with the retards.


I think he's from Singapore. Only people from that country type "Expat Brit" without capital letters.


Some people just like attention and try to get it however they can, including random nasty e-mails to people they don't know. He's probably digging being published here along with all the comments. It's a cheap thrill for those with no life.

So he hates Asian food. More for us then!

PS - love the blog!


I just found your site on google reader's recommended sites and this caught my attention. I too got my fair share of hate mail this week for posting a controversial chinese dish on my site. You handled your response with class and wit, while I handled mine with...sarcasm. Also, I like your writing, it makes me chuckle.

Rick in the kitchen

Some young Vietnamese guys recently opened a restaurant in neighbourhood in Oakville, ON. I simply can't get enough of the pho in all it's variations. Not sure why this troubled individual choose to rant about it. My guess is he hasn't really had good pho.

Mademoiselle d'Essex

Re: Sarge

Sarge, Koreans don't like your negativity and attitude, either.


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Cracking email you got. It must be boring reading encouraging remarks from people who read and appreciate your posts. I expect it arrived in your inbox like a Spring breeze taking all those old, positive emails from friends and family and replacing them with something new, exciting and well versed.

Look at it as a positive...it has encouraged a large number of replies and 'John' can now see the amount of support you have from people who love following your blog. I've only just discovered it in researching for the creation of my own foodie blog and will happily read through it while tucking into a steaming bowl of Pho and a cup of weasel coffee.

Btw, loved the final kick in the balls...you're an Aussie!

All the best from London



As a "real" expat Brit living in Indiana, USA I can't help but think that John Mc just has to be a total fraud!!

Hey .. I found your blog today having, last week, made my first Pho! I think I fell in love when the first slurp passed my lips .. honestly! Yeah .. I cut the Cock sauce in half but otherwise long hours and many miles searching for ingredients should have kept us a teeny bit authentic.

Anyway .. my love affair is in its infancy and I'm going to be snooping in on your blog for a long time to come.

Cheers Aussie .. yer doing a great job. Thanks!

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