Delicious Eats on the Go is about enjoying food and making the most of your leisure and business travels. Also a shoutout to #IFBC2017 in Sacramento.
After several years helping out as the story and culture writer for Malaysian Chinese Kitchen, I am heading to the International Food Bloggers Convention 2017 in Sacramento, California in September. I have traveled many times for business but this will be the first time I am doing so for the blog and as a foodie writer. Am I excited? You betcha! Apart from meeting other like-minded people, I am looking forward to some of the food and beverage tasting that the organizers and sponsors have lined up for us.
Speaking about travelling and food, I happen to believe that the two are extremely intertwined. People who do not enjoy food on a journey often complain about the trip as well, and vice versa. Therefore one of my cardinal rules in planning travel whether for business or pleasure, is to identify some local dish and make that a highlight of the itinerary. It could be as humble as Miso Ramen at a standing room only joint in Shinjuku or as exalted as Baked King Crab with Salted Egg and Cheese Sauce in Malaysia.
So, if I were to make a small list of my “must-have” dishes around the world, what would they be? To start with, no visit home to Georgetown, Penang would be complete without a jaunt to an Asam Laksa stall at the Pulau Tikus morning market. Getting that hot bowl of noodles with the spicy soup is a big “welcome home” for me. In Kuala Lumpur, Nasi Lemak with “extras” like beef rendang and Chicken Curry is the deal maker, whether purchased from a street vendor or at Madam Kwan’s.
One of my early discoveries in Bangkok was wonderful Kang Panang Curry (a Thai curry without coconut milk) served at this former bungalow near Sukumvit Soi 24. Sadly, the restaurant recently closed and so I will have to look elsewhere for my favorite Thai curry.
When I am in Tokyo, I make my way like a migrating salmon upstream along the Yamanote JR Line to Nadai Unatoto, a small restaurant tucked under a railway track just outside of Ueno station’s Shinobazu exit. This place serves one of the best Grilled Unagi (freshwater eel) for a fraction of the price one would pay elsewhere in Tokyo.
On the other side of the world, when in Rome I do not go just for any Italian food but for Roman Jewish food best found in the old Jewish quarter. Ristorante Il Pompiere is housed in a 15th century building and serves fantastic Lamb Shank with Artichokes. The lamb and gravy melts in your mouth, and you instantly realize why that lamb is so central to Jewish cuisine.
I still have fond memories of that German restaurant in the cellar of the Rathaus (City Hall) in Speyer where they prepare delicious Saumagen (a thick local sausage) with their own brew of Weisen beer. Hopefully by now they have gotten a better English translation for Saumagen in their menu, which sounded like a biology textbook instead of a culinary delight.
And I could go on and on, wonderful cakes and coffee in Vienna, great Indian food in London, but I do need to stop for now. Time for dinner… 🙂