And so what is the new way with noodles offered by Sri Owen? Pretty much the same as the old way, as it happens, with a few unexpected ingredients and flavour combinations thrown in. But, since the old way with noodles is as good a way of eating quickly and extremely well as anyone has ever come up with, there is nothing to complain about and a great deal to celebrate. Most especially when a cook as accomplished and cosmopolitan as Sri Owen is in charge. We are dealing specifically with noodles here, rather than the broader family that includes pasta, so the general emphasis is on Eastern Asia and its outposts--Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Sri Owen's native Java, Vancouver. Noodles of all types are included, from the robust buckwheat soba of Japan to the delicate "cellophane" noodles made from transparent bean starch. The recipes are quick, well within the technical capacity of anyone who has clashed wok on stove, and unfailingly delicious. Many are one-dish affairs, like the elegant Soba Noodle Soup with Shiitake Mushroom and Tofu or the wonderfully spicy laksa recipes; there are tangy, refreshing salads (Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Herb Salad stands out); while others are main dishes, with the noodles usually forming a dressed bed for a main item such as fish, chicken, beef or pork. There is even an exquisite recipe for boned quail stuffed with noodles and herbs. All this is backed up by information on the main noodle varieties, with instructions on making them where suitable for the home. Stocks, spice pastes, relishes and condiments are also on offer. An invaluable book, then, not only for noodle addicts but for anyone willing to let themselves be seduced by the pleasures of companionable slurping. --Robin Davidson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.