Sunday, October 23 2016



Update: March, 20/2016 - 09:00
Robert Bick Nell

By Robert Bicknell

What the heck has been going on with the weather here in the north lately? Its becoming almost a cosmic joke as our phone weather apps continue to predict 26-29 degrees ans sunny skies. Instead, we keep getting mist, clouds and temps around 19-20 C.

And it’s not just my weather app, my secretary and superintendent also have apps on their phones – different apps mind you – and they are wrong too.

It must be some kind of conspiracy and, given the state of the world right now, who knows because it might be true.

As for me, I actually got some time off, yes half a day, to get my hand checked in Hanoi at Vietnam Medical Practice (aka Family clinic) and had the chance to stop by Chris’s new restaurant “Republic” and it was fantastic.

You might want to ask why a restaurant get’s mentioned in a golf column, but Chris came to Vietnam as the F&B Manager of Chi Linh Star Golf Club in 2002 (I think…I could be wrong) and then moved to Hanoi Tower to manage a restaurant there. Now he has his own place behind the Sheraton and everyone kept telling me it was fantastic, so I dropped in for lunch.

Yes, it was fantastic.

I’ve known Chris for many years and the food and service at his restaurants have never disappointed me. If I had to pick one place to have a meal with my last dollar, I’d go to where Chris was. Yes, it is that good and, sorry, it will cost more than a dollar.

I am a sucker for good nachos and Republic has mountains of them, even though they have a very strong resemblance to Doritos, it’s the toppings which make them great. If that wasn’t enough, I tucked into a really good burger – something I haven’t done in a while (Carl’s Jr doesn’t count as it’s a chain restaurant) and was in heaven. Really nicely done and the French fries were perfect. My friends ordered other dishes and were equally pleased.

The menu has some really funny names for the dishes, most of which I cannot say in a family newspaper, but suffice it to say I actually laughed out loud while reading it. I have a warped sense of humor from playing golf for 50 years in the hot sun without a hat, but nonetheless, it’s something that most people will find funny.

The view from the terrace makes for a relaxing visit and one of my consultants spent the entire afternoon there before his evening flight, although I suspect they had to pour him onto the plane that night.

So, if you’re a golfer and want to support another golfer then go check out Republic and tell Chris I sent you. You will not be disappointed.

OK, now then on to more traditional things, like The Masters…

When it comes to golf tradition, there are only a few clubs in the US which hasn’t caved in to current trends and fads. To me the two biggest would be Pine Valley GC in New Jersey and, of course, Augusta National. When you visit either place (which you can’t anyway, but more on that later) it seems like time has stood still and you almost expect to see Bobby Jones strolling into the restaurant.

Both clubs are heavy on tradition and focus on golf. VNS

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