Lonely Planet posted a blog earlier this month about what Culinary Travel moments changed peoples lives, this inspired me to write my own ‘Top 10 foodie feasts from around the globe’ let’s kick off, in no particular order:
1. White fish fillet in Caribbean sauce – Casa Viejo – Costa Rica
We sat in a shack restaurant by the beach; I was determined to have a Caribbean dish since we were on that side of the country. This was the only dish that came in ‘Caribbean Sauce’ so I went for it. It melted in my mouth; I honestly didn’t know fish could be so amazing, leaving a beautiful hot spicy aftertaste with a hint of lime. I really didn’t want this meal to end.
2. Crab fried rice on the beach – Hoi Hin – Thailand
I was on a shack on the beach, after being a strict vegetarian for five years I decided it was time to enter back into the world of fish and seafood. I ordered Crab Fried Rice, a really plain dish, but after not having meat for so long it tasted amazing. It deserves a place on this list because it re-opened the pescatarian world to me.
3. Tom Yum soup from unnamed Thai place – Koh Tao – Thailand
When I lived on Koh Tao there was a shack restaurant that I was obsessed with, the place was so small that it didn’t even have a name. They served cheap, delicious food with a smile. It was one of the only places on the island always overrun with locals; the food there was simply outstanding. However, there was one dish that I tried that blew me away – Tom Yum Soup. Oh my heavens! The spice, the lemongrass, the prawns, it was everything I loved about Thai cuisine all in one amazing dish.
4. Potato Dauphinoise – Samoans – The French Alps
French cuisine is pretty damn good; I don’t need to tell anyone that. But, my first proper taste of real Potato Dauphinoise blew me away, melt in the mouth potatoes in a creamy garlic sauce? I mean, really, what could be better?
5. Bouillabaisse – Samoans – The French Alps
My brother, my cousins, some friends and I went off to find dinner one night in the Alps, we were wondering round town when we came across a shack canteen under the shadow of a beautiful mountain. Hungry and tired, we approached this place (which appeared to be the only place open) and sat down to eat. I ordered a Bouillabaisse (fish stew), this dish arrived looking as basic as you can get. However, with one little taste my mouth was alive with an explosion of tastes, the saffron, the herbs, the fish, everything was beyond perfect. The entire table enjoyed my meal, this was another one that I honestly, did not want to end.
6. Fresh coffee – All over Costa Rica
I don’t really need to say more, but when you’re faced with real coffee near to where it’s grown it’s one of the most wondrous things you’ll ever taste.
7. Lobster tails and rice – San Juan Del Sur – Nicaragua
“Let’s get something to eat” a bunch of us said in agreement as we jumped in a shuttle down to the main town. We ended up in this tiny little restaurant, which was painted bright blue and had about four tables in it. I saw lobster on the menu for the equivalent of $3, how could I resist?! I’m so glad I had ordered it as it was Immense, really, really, outstanding. There were only three lobster tails per person, but they were cooked in a beautiful garlic sauce, served with rice and Plantain.
8. Teriyaki Tuna – Barracuda – Koh Tao – Thailand
A few friends and I decided to push the boat out towards the end of my time on Koh Tao and go and eat in the amazing Barracuda Restaurant. I had heard such amazing things about the place, so when we finally booked a table (you have to make a reservation) and got dressed up I was overly excited. This place did not let me down. I ordered a Teriyaki Tuna, which was served almost raw in the sweet sticky Teriyaki sauce on a bed of noodles. This, much like the White Fillet of fish I had in Costa Rica, melted in my mouth. I honestly, couldn’t get enough of this. Despite having this last year I still rave about this dish. If you get a chance, go to this restaurant. You will not be disappointed. Plus, one of the best meals of my life, cocktails and wine all for £20, it can’t be bad!
9. Bocas Hot Sauce – Bocas del Toro – Panama
I’m a hot sauce maniac, whenever I travel people look at me like I’m nuts. My lovely friend (and Central American travelling Bud, Lauren) and I are insane for hot sauce, the spicier the better. When we got to Bocas Del Toro we ordered a black bean burger each (which was also pretty amazing) and a side of hot sauce. A bottle of homemade hot sauce was plonked down in front of us, throughout our time in Central America we were used to homemade hot sauces. But this one, this one, was amazing. It was an insanely spicy, thick, fragrant, hot sauce. I was so obsessed that I brought a bottle of it back to England with me, which disappeared super quickly in my house of spice lovers. I will be spending most of my time now trying to find the recipe.
10. Cheese and Pringles sandwich, with warm beer – Bocas to Panama City
Okay, I’ve eaten more amazing things on my travels, but this deserves to be on this list. Cheese and Pringles sandwiches became mine and Laurens staple travel meal in Central America, we had them on buses, at bus stations, sitting on docks in blackouts. Sure, it is basic; but when you’re starving and you have a 12 hour journey ahead of you, there aren’t many things that fill you with such joy as a basic sandwich; they’re served always with a warm beer, or rum, if you’re feeling fancy. Who said that eating on the road was luxury?!
Most of this food was from tiny little shack restaurants, I have eaten in upscale places and the food hasn’t even compared to what I’ve eaten in wooden huts. You should try out some little places when you travel, you never know, you might just have the best meal you’ve ever eaten.
What have been some of your most memorable foodie moments?