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4.1 out of 5 stars10
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 22 March 2014
A good read as I was travelling around Asia, good to take note of the recommended restaurants etc. bit of a ramble in places though, but ok.
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on 13 May 2013
In Down and Out, would be chef Lenny navigates a precarious path in his quest to set up his own restaurant in a place in the sun.

Whilst this travelogue follows the usual backpacker circuit of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, (the standard destinations for those 'doing Asia'), Down and Out stands out in that it takes you well off of the culinary beaten track and the staple dishes that feature in your Lonely Planet guide food section. Your taste buds tingle from the exotic flavours and street foods that Lenny seeks out with sweaty determination, tempting even the most seasoned traveller to want return to take a braver step in their digestive exploration of this part of the world.

But as always, the longer you stay, the more you see and Lenny has his mettle tested in this seemingly exotic idyll by its less attractive underbelly made up of a strange collection of misfits who have long since lost their grasp of reality and in some cases, their moral compass, if they ever had one.
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on 7 May 2013
Down and Out In South Eat Asia is a great read from start to finish. It takes you from the grim reality of 'The Hill' with it's truly bizarre characters to the food markets of Vietnam and Cambodia, where some of the of the best eating is to be found. Finishing the book made me look into a holiday in South East Asia and I might just do it, but I will be giving 'The Hill' a wide berth.
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on 23 May 2013
I loved this book, and it made me slightly ashamed of my own rather pedestrian gustatory experiences in Asia.

This is no hippie-dippie 'how I found myself in Asia' travelogue: Alex shows us the darker, grittier side of life in another world, generously spiced with well-researched helpings of real Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking.

I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Asian food or travel.
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on 10 August 2015
Promised so much, location, dream and passion. But almost no structure, lazy editing means it reads how it was originally written, disconnected diary notes. Endless series of barely interesting vague recipes and rants against fellow travellers. My teenage nephew's travelogue of South America is a better read.
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on 16 June 2013
An education in a few areas of South East Asia which I have yet to visit. Shocking and educational in equal parts. Not sure I'm ever going to visit Cambodia, but loved learning about the food.
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on 21 October 2013
I have read this authors other books and to be honest this one is right up there with them . I loved to hear about his travels.. the way he gives us the recipes.. ( although not too much detail ) was almost like listening to Rick Stein. I felt by the end of the book I had been tagging along with him.. Loved it.
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on 25 June 2013
Anyone who appreciates good writing and food must surely get this! Humorous, emotional and utterly engaging, Alex paints a personal and interesting picture of his travels in S.E. Asia in the pursuit of good food, cooking and living a dream. Get this, you won't regret it. I didn't.
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on 31 December 2013
Read it while on holiday in Cambodia and Vietnam. Alex visits the same places and eats some of the same things. Easy reading, enjoyed it.
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on 10 June 2013
Well written book describing the travels of a young chef in S E Asia .Some hilarious tales of Food and experiences along the way as the chef searches for recipe's.
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