Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong 2 (2012)

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Released 6-Feb-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Additional Footage
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 250
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Donnelly
Madman Entertainment
Starring Michael Donnelly
Nicole Frisina
Luke Nguyen
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music Me-Lee Hay

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Luke Nguyen is an Australian celebrity chef who has a successful restaurant in Sydney, Red Lantern. He was born in 1977 in a refugee camp in Thailand while his family was on their way from Vietnam to Australia. His successful Vietnamese restaurant has led to a number of published cookbooks and now three television series for SBS in addition to guest appearances on shows like MasterChef. Luke's first television show was Luke Nguyen's Vietnam in 2010 which was followed by a second season, Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong and now the series which is the subject of this review, Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong 2. All four seasons are available from Madman Entertainment on DVD.

     In the first series of Greater Mekong Luke explored the Mekong River delta outside of Vietnam, covering China, Burma & Thailand. In this second series he spends his time travelling, cooking and eating through Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam. The approach is part travelogue but always with a food focus and part cooking show. As he goes he sets up and cooks in a variety of exotic locations, none of which are kitchens. Examples include sitting on a rock near a waterfall, on the roadside, standing in a watercress farm (which is grown in running water) or in a food market. The recipes are easy to follow and quite well explained although many ingredients might be a little hard to find in a supermarket, such as fresh duck's blood, grasshoppers, larvae, mouse, buffalo skin and more. He is a genial host but perhaps a little lacking in warmth to camera (although never to the people he meets and cooks with).

     This series appeared on SBS in Australia in late 2012 and includes 10 episodes, each of about 26 minutes.

     An enjoyable travelogue/cooking show.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio for this show. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp.

     The colour was very good showing off the good looking food and the beautiful locations.

     There were no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read in SBS yellow.

     There are no noticeable layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is good.

     This disc contains a English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to hear and understand throughout.

     The music provides some of the show's atmosphere, without standing out.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     Decent extras.


     The menu included music.

Vietnam to Melbourne (8:02)

     Luke visits some Vietnamese people in Melbourne, interviews them and cooks with them.

Cambodia to Melbourne (5:53)

     Luke visits some Cambodian people in Melbourne, interviews them and cooks with them.

Laos to Melbourne (8:02)

     Luke visits some Laotian people in Melbourne, interviews them and cooks with them.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This show is only available locally at this point.


    Another travelogue/cooking show from Luke Nguyen as he travels South East Asia.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    20 minutes or so of extra scenes.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, April 12, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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