It seems that the hunt for ‘authentic’ Mexican food in Hanoi is the North American foreign resident’s equivalent of the search for the Holy Grail. Rumours abound the city of a passable plate of nachos being up at Tay Ho, a suggested sugary sweet Alfresco Mexican Platter leads to howls of derision, another expert swears by the burritos at Vine Cellar Door, while old stalwarts Café 129 and the R&R keep churning out approximations that seem to keep less demanding Americans, Australians and Europeans happy. Old El Paso home taco kits seem to have sadly set the benchmark in terms of defining what the Mexican, or more accurately Tex-Mex food experience is all about — e numbers, a desiccated flavouring sachet, sliced lettuce and tomatoes and reheated refried black beans from a tin. Yum. Fine cuisine it certainly isn’t.