Where ever you travel in the world, no matter the sights, the sounds, the people, to me it is the food of each country that takes centre stage. Possibly the stand out are the tastes and flavours on offer in Asia – We’ll take a closer look at Vietnam, Japan and Myanmar.
Our Destination journeys to Saigon Vietnam begin with a breakfast at a pop up pho restaurant. Located in a narrow lane way and after breakfast the cooking facilities, tables and chairs are packed away and the lane becomes a motor bike parking lot. As you walk closer you can smell the aroma of the Pho wafting in the laneway. As you enter you pass the makeshift kitchen and your eyes becoming fixated on the almost metronomic process of serving up bowls of absolutely delicious Pho. Even our guides have said to us “Glenn and Hoang how did you find this place”…
After a morning sightseeing we rest over a relaxed lunch of Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Pancake. A crispy savoury pancake filled with spring onions, bean sprouts and your choice of protein, chicken, pork or prawns. Accompanied with tasty herbs including mint, fish mint, sorrel, Vietnamese balm, Vietnamese perilla.
Traditionally, Banh Xeo is eaten with your hands, you tear off a piece of Banh Xeo, wrap it in lettuce leaf with the assorted Vietnamese herbs, dipping it into a dipping sauce.
We end the day will an amazing experience – Noir. A series of tasting dishes served to you by blind waiters. As you eat the delicious courses you’ll be dining in complete darkness. The smell, texture and taste are all you have at your disposal as you to try to decipher the ingredients in each dish. At the end of the evening you discover exactly what you have been eating, congratulating yourself if you managed to correctly identify some of the many ingredients in each flavour packed mouthful.
At first thought, during a two week journey you presume you’ll be eating Sushi everyday. But no. The variety of Japanese cuisine has you trying a different style of meal everytime…
From Sashimi – Raman, Soba and Udon Noodles – Tempura, Yakitori, Sukiyaki, Miso soup, Tofu, Tonkatsu, Gyoza, Tokoyaki, Shabu shabu …
However cast aside the traditional and preconceived notion of Japan food preparation precision. My favourite meal experience that has me going back time and time again, is sitting around the grill as you watch the preparation and then devouring, the oh so tasty, Okonomiyaki.
I suggest, one of Myanmar’s best meals is a relatively simple dish found all around the country, from the hustle and bustle of the cities Yangon and Mandalay, the serene and mediative Bagan, to the alluring Inle Lake.
Tea Leaf Salad – Lat Phat Thoke. A mix of flavours and textures with softened pickled tea leaves, crispy roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, crunchy beans, toasted fried garlic, dried shrimp and chopped fresh tomato.
A feature of our Destination Journeys…
Discovering authentic cuisine in every country we explore.