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Food & Travels: Asia



Written, photographed and designed by Alastair Hendy

‘This gritty yet beautiful book recording his expeditions through Asia makes you wish you were travelling beside him’ The Independent

Award-winning food writer, cook and photographer Alastair Hendy has travelled through India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia, eating his way through their food markets, street stalls and kitchens in search of the best home cooking – scribbling down recipes and taking pictures of everything delicious that lay in his path.  A journey of dawn starts, sundown climbs, mosquitoed nights, and dodgy boat and plane rides in far-flung outposts of the globe in search of the ultimate Asian experience. The result is Food & Travels: Asia, a gastro-led travelogue of Asia captured by a sensitive eye and with a passion for all things Asian.  His first book to capture both his inspirational food writing and recipes, and his breathtaking photography. 

“We rest at a food stall, and sit on doll’s house-sized furniture, to eat delicate plates of papaya salad made by a plump women, with a face as broad as a bullock cart.  She squats stalwart, a large tin platter of expertly cut fruit and herb shreds, piled like mini mountain ranges at her side. One hand does dainty things, nimbly mixing and kneading, the other slings fists of stuff at the monkeys to keep them at bay.  She pours and trickles things, as if preparing a libation for the gods”.

Alastair has experienced the simple and the wonderful in lost worlds, ancient capitols and chaotic cities in order to let us experience Asia’s vibrant and diverse food culture from the comfort of our armchair or dining table. His sensual travelogue transports us to a Far Eastern haven of fragrances, flavours and images, through his story writing, notes and recipes.  Alastair has collated over 100 back-home do-able dishes, that celebrate the food, lives and worlds of generations of Asian home cooks, from the classics, such as Hanoi chicken noodle soup, Dim sum ribs with salted black beans, and Hill station curry; to the more exotic - Burmese Green ginger river prawn curry, Mandalay Hill noodles and Lime and chilli butter clams; and from the houses of the spiritual, Laos Aubergine with sweet chilli shrimp sauce, Mount Popa green papaya salad, and Balinese Temple rice.

No.1 cookbook of all time

Deputy Editor of the Financial Times, Tony Tassell, wrote in May 2020's FT that Food & Travels Asia was his number one cookbook of all time. 

Best cookbooks in publication

Both Food & Travels Asia and Home Cook were listed in The Independent’s 50 Best Cookbooks in Publication, Alastair being the only author to have two books listed.

Awarded Best Designed Cookbook by Grand Gourmet

Online cookbooks CKBK says

“Written and photographed by the lauded (and talented) Alastair Hendy, this book set the standard for the food-and-travel-writing genre when it was published in 2004. Hendy’s location shots and luscious food photography set a moody tone, and his beautifully written, close observations of the sights, scents and surrounds are utterly transporting. No library of Southeast Asian food is complete without this book.”


240 pages


Published by Mitchell Beazley

Dimensions 30 x 24 x 2.5cm

Please note: the plain orange jacket is no longer available - only the picture cover, as depicted in the final image.

If you would like your book signed by Alastair and a message included, then please state with your order.  Please note, books that have been signed cannot be returned.