Not much information on Vietnamese cooking has been published, so those who have become acquainted with this light, vegetable-laden cuisine in restaurants should find this book interesting. The recipes cover many of the dishes commonly seen in Vietnamese eating places, among them pho bac, which is a north Vietnamese beef-noodle soup; cha gio (spring rolls), curry-flavored beef stew, grilled beef with lemon grass, charcoal broiled pork and, for dessert, fried bananas.
This is a luxury book in the Stewart, Tabori & Chang tradition, with expertly styled photographs. Handsome, expensive cookbooks are common now, but at least this one supplies information that is not easy to find elsewhere. Saigon-born Routhier, who is half French and half Vietnamese, lives in New York.