Incredible Food Experiences in Asia You Have to Try Out
For the serious food lovers among us, the Far East is the perfect destination to spend some time traveling around and stuffing your face full of the endless delicacies and delicious vibrant cuisines you'll find around the continent. Wherever you're traveling to in Asia, there's always a number of incredible food experiences you just can't miss out on, here are some of the ones we think are the most intriguing for foodies.
Incredible Food Experiences in Asia You Have to Try Out:table of contents
- Eat Your Way Around a Taiwanese Night Market
- Feast at a Padang Restaurant in Indonesia
- Binge on Street Food at a Singaporean Hawker Center
- Go for a Dim Sum Brunch in Hong Kong
- Sample Thai Street Food at Bangkok's Chinatown
- Feel Like Royalty While Dining on Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine
- Sample Different Curries in a Thali
Eat Your Way Around a Taiwanese Night Market
It's no secret some of the best street food is found in Taiwan. As soon as the sun starts to fade, vendors from all over the city congregate in local night markets selling their foods, many from old family recipes. Portions are snack-sized and super cheap, meaning you can usually eat your way around four or five stalls before getting full. While each night market usually has a few famous stalls, it's best to just follow your nose and eat what your stomach's telling you to.
Feast at a Padang Restaurant in Indonesia
A unique restaurant experience like no other, Padang restaurants or 'nasi Padang' will stack up all their dishes on offer in the window. When you've sat down at your table, the whole selection is then brought straight to your table, and you just pick and choose what you want to eat. Padang food is some of the most loved cuisine in Southeast Asia, with delicious dishes such as rendang, perkedel, udang balado and a number of curries. It's also great for those who just want to try a little bit of everything. Afterwards the staff at the restaurant will calculate the bill by checking what and how much you've taken from the dishes.
Binge on Street Food at a Singaporean Hawker Center
By bringing street food vendors together and in a clean, sanitary space, Singapore not only took out the health risk that's often associated with street food, but even managed to make it more popular and ubiquitous in the city. Nowadays you'll find a ton of hawker centers there and it's the perfect way to sample your way around the diverse offerings of Southeast Asian cuisine in just one place while not breaking the bank. Head there with a group of friends and get a range of dishes to share.
Go for a Dim Sum Brunch in Hong Kong
Traversing the modern metropolis of Hong Kong and not stuffing your face with the local dim sum is simply not done, it's a ritual on any trip to the city. Dim sum is a spread of small bite-sized dishes, usually steamed in wooden baskets and served with tea. Most restaurants open early in the morning and serve till afternoon, although increasingly more in the city are starting to offer this delicious Cantonese spread for dinner as well.
Most restaurants will usually offer the same kind of dishes found all over Hong Kong such as the BBQ pork buns called char siu bao, shrimp dumplings and radish cake.
Sample Thai Street Food at Bangkok's Chinatown
While its setting might not be quite as sanitary and contained as the street food scene in Singapore, Bangkok makes up for it in entertainment and liveliness. This old traditional neighborhood becomes a bustling hive of activity as the daylight fades away. It's also one of the best places to sample street food in the region. While you'll see a lot of Chinese shops and street stalls, much of the street food found here is of local Thai dishes from vendors whose family have already lived in the city for generations.
Feel Like Royalty While Dining on Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine
At the opposite spectrum from street food, a kaiseki meal is traditional Japanese fine dining at its best. Kaiseki cuisine usually consists of many small dishes made from locally grown and sourced produce from a particular region of Japan. The whole meal plays out more like a ceremony than a standard meal as each dish served together is carefully prepared and planned to compliment each other.
These kind of meals are usually served in traditional Japanese inns or 'ryokan' and are a great way to sample the cuisine and local produce of the area you're travelling through. For those passing through the ancient capital of Kyoto, be sure to try obanzai, a local variant of kaiseki culture that focuses on in season ingredients and cooking methods from the region.
Sample Different Curries in a Thali
Curry is life in India, but why just settle for one of these delicious culinary symbols of South Asia when you could have a vibrant spread of colorful curries set before you. Thali are found all over the country, with every region usually serving up little pots of their famous dishes for you to try in just one lunch or dinner. It's great for solo travelers too, one person can try out a range of different foods without the need to share dishes between others.
For those traveling around Asia, these experiences are imperative for learning about the local culture and food of a place. With a food culture completely different to the western world, these are just a few of the incredible meals you can try out it when in the area.