When looking back at pictures of 2018, I found tons of delicious food.
In January, we spent two weeks in India, where I got my fill of wonderful curries, delicious breads, and tantalizing sweets. In Udaipur, we had a paratha breakfast on our hotel rooftop.
In general, places with rooftop dining seemed to be higher quality than many of the other restaurants. If in doubt, this is something to look for.
For whatever reason, we didn’t keep any other pictures of our main food, but our driver did get us a pretty cool anniversary cake, complete with a flower candle that started as a bud, played music, and opened into a flower.
A Taste of Home
And when Jeremy and the boys got sick of Indian food and needed a taste of home, they were pleased to find a McDonald’s. Of course in India, there is no beef on the menu, but my Spicy McPaneer sandwich was quite good. Definitely one of my better experiences at this restaurant chain.
In April, the best food we had during our two weeks in New Zealand were the pot pies. Of course, we didn’t photograph them, but try to stop by the pie shops at least a couple of times. I found the lamb ones to be amazing!
Milkshakes and Home-cooked Farm Breakfasts
And when we were in Dunedin, we encountered $2 Tuesdays (gigantic milkshakes) at a little grocery store. Even better, were the breakfasts that our host cooked at our farmstay. Her fresh eggs were amazing!
In Queenstown, we visited “The Best Burger Place in the World,” at least according to some people. After waiting in a very long line, I found that it tasted like a burger, albeit a very good one.
Kangaroo on a Stick
While touring the Rocks Markets in Sydney, I knew that I needed to try “kangaroo on a stick.” Delicious! Definitely should have gotten two.
Bali had amazing food. There was nothing that I didn’t like about the food. Wonderful curries, delicious noodles, odd looking, but tasty fruit. If you have the opportunity, try a mangosteen. Just be aware that only the white segments in the center are the edible part.
The Beef Rendang, pictured below, was amazing!
The Nasi Campur shown below was only about $1.50. I had intended to order the $5 one, but my point at the menu must not have been clear. You win some, you lose some, but it was still good. The sign on the window also advertised ice made with bottled water, so we indulged in iced tea.
And while John was taking private surf lessons (2.5 hours for $30) , I enjoyed way too many Strawberry Fantas while sitting under my beach umbrella.
Singapore is well known for their food. Their cuisine takes elements from many of their neighbors – e.g. Chinese, Malaysian, Indian. From there they can spend years perfecting a single dish, and create amazing food.
Chinatown Food Street
Don’t miss a meal on Chinatown Food Street. Simply wander around, find something that looks tasty, and grab a table. Ignore the restaurant vendors on the side that try to entice you. You really want the stands in the center of the street. The places I really wanted to try were seafood only, but the kids were being picky, so we settled for something that also had sweet and sour chicken for them. But both the mixed seafood platter and the pepper beef were amazing, so I was happy.
The hawker stands also shouldn’t be missed. We were staying next to the one in the Chinatown complex, so we ate there almost every morning for breakfast, and had one dinner there. For breakfast, John loved the fried bread, but the rest of us sampled various Chinese pastries. Since Asians tend to prefer noodles or soup for breakfast, sometimes it was a bit tricky to find an open booth, but we managed. For dinner, the boys stuck with things for Americans, but I found the Mee Siam soup to be amazing.
We also visited the hawker stands in Little India, but it was just after eating. Big mistake! The restaurant we picked was horrible. But James decided to try sugar cane juice and John tried a Milo Dinosaur. The sugar cane juice was even too sweet for sugar-loving James, but John loved his malted chocolate drink and ended up getting it several more times before we left.
A friend from Singapore happened to be visiting home at the same time we were there, and she brought us to a very high end dim sum place. Definitely the best dim sum I have ever had. I really should have taken some pictures.
In Taiwan, I mostly looked longingly at all the delicious food, while after several weeks of traveling, all the “three” boys wanted was American food. I really should have ditched them at meal time and found my own food. Sigh.
But the night markets were amazing. Simply wander down the long aisles, point at what you want, and enjoy. Some of the stands even have little tables behind them if you want soup or something else complicated to eat while wandering. A little hard to do with a party of 4, but if you are only one or two people, definitely manageable.
And if weird foods are your thing, there is definitely plenty of things to sample. Chicken hearts on a stick were one of the more mild things we saw.
Oh Japan, how I love thy food! If food were the only consideration, I could easily live in Japan. Sushi, soup, tempura, curry, mochi, hot drinks from the vending machine, the list could go on and on with food I love. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese food, here is a good intro.
As far as soup goes, udon soup with tempura on top is Jeremy’s and my favorite. Many udon (thick white noodles) shops also tend to offer soba (thinner buckwheat noodles) as well. If you want ramen, you need to go to a different restaurant.
On this trip to Japan, I was a bit disappointed by the sushi. You know that the cheap sushi boat restaurants aren’t going to have stellar sushi, but the price makes them a ton of fun. If you are new to sushi, it is a good way to sample a bunch of new things without committing. And if one of your kids only like cucumber rolls, the pictures aren’t going to be awesome.
The real problem is that if you want good sushi, you go to a sushi-only restaurant. The kids were being really picky, so we settled for restaurants that made them happy. The sushi that resulted was still fine, but not as amazing as we have had in the past.
Octopus on a Stick
If you are in Kyoto, don’t miss Nishiki Market. You can simply walk down the very long aisle, point at what you want and enjoy. My absolute favorite are the octopuses on a stick. “But the brains!” you might exclaim. No worries. They have removed all the nastiness and replaced it with a delicious hard boiled quail egg. Add a sweet glaze, and you have amazing deliciousness, the photos of which will amaze/horrify your friends and family at home.
I really wish this market were open at breakfast time, but if you are a young couple and stay out late and wake up late, it might be a possibility for you.
Speaking of breakfast, if you are not staying in a hotel, breakfast might be challenging. 7-Eleven, or some other grocery store might be your best bet. Maybe you can find a Starbucks. We came across this waffle shop that appeared to be more dessert oriented, but we went with it. In case you were wondering, yes, that is ice cream in the middle of all the berries. Yum!
The boys love the candy apples sold by a vendor in Maruyama Park in Kyoto. I preferred the mochi (sweet red beans stuffed inside a rice cake), but there are quite a few other choices as well.
And who can resist the vending machines that are found every few blocks in all the major cities. In the fall/winter, they have a much better selection of hot drinks than pictured here. When the kids get tired or cranky from walking, a soda (John) or green tea (James) will usually perk them up. Truth be told, they make me less cranky as well.
End Of Part 1
And here ends the first half of this post. That was just January through May! We still have June through December.
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