One of the best things about travelling is trying different foods from around the world and food tourism is now one of the main reasons to travel. Sampling international cuisine is a great way to try new dishes, see how the locals live and experience the country’s culture.
Although we are not foodies, our travels have led us to enjoy many great foodie experiences and many of our travel memories are linked to these. Below, we have compiled a list of our most memorable meals from our travels.
None of these are fine dining and not all based on the actual food. It is rather more the highlights of charming dining venues and memorable culinary experiences.
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Homecooked food at Mama Wati's, Borneo
If you want authentic home-cooked food from Borneo, Mama Wati’s is the place to go. The restaurant is in Sepilok (near Sandakan) on the island of Sabah. Mama Wati’s is walking distance from the Sepilok Orangutan Centre and an ideal stop off after a visit.
Quite honestly, you don’t go to Mama Wati’s for fine dining. Delicious though it was, this was a memorable meal because of where we ate it. The restaurant really isn’t much to look at and the inside is humble.
However, what you get is a warm welcome and food cooked in front of you in a local’s house. Oh, and don’t forget enough banana fritters to sink a ship whilst you’re are waiting.
Yangzhou Beer Fish, Guilin, China
One of our most memorable food moments from our travels is eating Yangzhou Beer Fish in Guilin.
This tasty fish dish is a speciality from the area of Guangxi Province in South China. We tried it when we were staying in Guilin. Guilin is a beautiful area, known for its Karst mountains.
This is perfect example of how travel and food go so well together. Just looking at this dish brings back wonderful of memories of our rafting adventure on the river.
The fish is always carp from the River Li jiang. The Yangzhou Beer Fish is first cooked in water from the River Lijiang and then, as its name suggests, braised in local Guilin beer. It has a unique, full flavour and was utterly delicious.
New England Clam Chowder, California
We first introduced the Chimptrip boys to clam chowder in San Francisco, California. The boys absolutely loved this popular local food and went on to have it again in Monterey and Santa Barbara. Although it is known at New England Clam Chowder, it originally came from the Breton fishermen in France in the 16th Century.
Clam chowder is a creamy soup, containing shellfish, potatoes and bacon. As well as loving the rich flavour, the boys loved that it is served in a large crusty bread bowl. Not my cup of tea at all, but for them it was one of the favourite and most memorable meals.
A meat feast at Mo's Smokehouse, Pismo Beach
Another memorable meal from our US road trip was our evening at Mo’s Smokehouse in Pismo Beach. Pismo Beach is a small coastal city on California’s central coast. Pismo Beach is, in fact, the “Clam Capital of the World”, but we were keen to try out the smokehouse.
For those who don’t know, a smokehouse prides itself on the long slow cooking of its meat. We wanted to try it all, so opted for a BBQ sampler, with ribs, pulled pork and chicken. Oh, and a large helping of BBQ sauce. A real meat feast.
Spicy tagine at Le Foundouk, Marrakesh
Le Foundouk is a stylish restaurant in the souks of Marrakech’s historic district in Morocco.
It remains a firm favourite because of its mysterious location. Le Foundouk is located down a backstreet, so you must head for a meeting point. From here, a guide wearing a fez and carrying a lantern will come and greet you, which adds an element of fun. The restaurant is more upmarket then the others, and the décor is very sophisticated. What’s more, Le Foundouk has a superb rooftop bar, which is great for evening drinks.
I visited Le Foundouk on a mini break to Marrakech and ate spicy lamb tagine with prunes. Tagine is one of the most popular dishes in Moroccan cuisine. It is an aromatic dish cooked in an earthenware dish with conical lid.
Raclette in Arc 1800, France
It’s not easy to go skiing in France without eating lots of cheese and raclette is one of our go-to meals. And at the end of a hard day’s skiing a filling cheesy dish is always very welcome.
Raclette is a dish of melted cheese, which you eat with potatoes and cold meats. The raclette cheese is often served on a special apparatus which melts it at the table. You must scrape the melting cheese off the wheel and on to your plate. Other cheesy favourites from the Savoie region are fondue and tartiflette (Reblochon cheese, potato, bacon, onion and cream).
Noodles at the Hawkers’ Market, Singapore
Eating at the Hawkers’ Market in Singapore is another memorable meal that I have chosen for the venue rather than the food. I love taking the children to authentic dining venues when we are on our travels.
If you are travelling for food, Asia is a great destination as the culinary style is so different to home. Luckily for me, the children are adventurous eaters and willing to try anything. In fact, they are more likely than me to leave their culinary comfort zone.
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