Restaurant: Your usual table?: Marie Helvin Ex-model

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The Independent Culture
THE KIND of restaurant I like best doesn't exist. Ideally it would be in the middle of the desert, with everyone lying around on Moroccan cushions, enjoying good food. I love to lounge and I particularly love to eat outdoors. It's a throwback to my childhood in Hawaii. I have memories of coming out of the sea, and eating corn chips with a strawberry vanilla slush. Both would get slightly salty with drops of sea water - an incredible taste sensation.

I'm not keen on the English way of eating outside, on the street. I want food that is clean, not impregnated with toxic fumes. I love the purity of Japanese food and go to Shogun (Adam's Row, W1, 0171 493 1255) for sushi. Japanese sushi chefs have years of training and are treated like national treasures in Japan, where sushi is a total philosophy, unlike here - a couple of lessons and suddenly you're a chef.

If the Shogun chef is in a good mood he lets me make the nori rolls. Japanese customers are handed crumbling pieces of rice and seaweed, which they eat because they're so polite! Fresh seafood reminds me of Hawaii and eating raw ahi fish on the beach with a little soy sauce - instant sashimi.

I have childish tastes in food. I like things you can kill, make or eat with your own hands. The Bluebird (350 King's Road, SW3, 0171 559 1222) does a wonderful Plateau des Fruits de Mer, but you've got to like your food raw and eating with your fingers. I'll travel miles for good food. I used to force Bailey to drive me to Beachy Head, because there was an excellent fish and chip shop there. And he would take me to an East End cafe where everything was served with a neon-yellow curry sauce. I tried the food once, but never again. Although I eat healthily, I do enjoy a greasy fry-up, but usually only once a year. I've also got a big Kit-Kat addiction, and buy them in bulk. I've just been stood up for lunch, and I'm on my third. That's lunch for today! ! Interview by Anna Melville- James

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