1. Gado Gado – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Two gados. It’s gotta be extra nice when you say it twice. Veggies in peanut sauce and with a side of tofu, what’s not to devour?
You DO make friends with salad.
2. Pho – Hanoi, Vietnam
Pho’ sure a thing you need to eat. It isn’t a Vietnamese expedition if you don’t consume the deliciousness that is soup made with stock, spices, noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken. Whether you pronounce it fur, faux, fuh, fur, phur, or that amazing soup over there, how much? – you’re defs going to love it. Make sure you pretend to be a Pho pro and ask for either pho bo (the beef broth version) or pho ga (chicken broth). if you ask for just pho it’ll be understood as beef and all you fowl enthusiasts will be sadly disappointed.
3. Somewhere at one of the 100,000 street stalls – Bangkok, Thailand
Ok, so even if you lived for 80 years and ate specifically at a different Bangkok street stall for breakfast lunch and dinner every day of the year, you would not be able to fill your belly with everything they have to offer.
SO MUCH FOOD so little time. Chicken noodles, oyster omelette, mango sticky rice, oh my.
Barbecued bananas with sugar cane syrup. It’s a thing.
4. Hawker food – Penang, Malaysia
The food capital of Malaysia (all that matters), Penang is known for its hawker food – a mix of noodles, spices and fresh seafood eaten outdoors (al fresco, to be fancy). Get in your mouth: Cendol – green noodles in coconut milk and Penang Laksa, just as day one’s main and dessert.
5. Rice paper pizza – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
When have you ever heard of such perfection? HAVE YOUR PIZZA AND EAT IT TOO. THE WHOLE DAMN THING.
The actual cheese-tomato-meat-topped morsel. Get it downtown and go early because these pop up markets disappear come sun up.
6. Street food – Hoi An, Vietnam
Apart from being like, the best city in Vietnam (hello Japanese covered bridge, Chinese shophouses and canals) Hoi An also has you covered food-wise – from fried green sentinel crab cakes on Bach Dang street in the afternoon, to crispy savoury crepes, shrimp spring rolls and fried pork bread, you’ll be rolling out like Violet Beauregard. Oh, and dessert: black sesame sweet pudding, for, you know, the dessert stomach.
7. Seafood – Halong Bay, Vietnam
You mean you can scarf down the freshest crab you’ve ever tasted, be on a boat and have THIS as your view? #imonaboat
You bet your geoduck clam lovin’ self you can.
8. Night markets – Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Meander through the Gili T night markets snacking your way through satays, freshly caught prawns and fish for prices cheap as chips. There are no chips. But there is nasi goreng, and that makes any British fat infused spuds just look mediocre.
9. Oshizushi (pressed sushi) – Osaka, Japan
Flat sushi? Even better than those heart-shaped eggs or rainbow cakes. Easiest shape to use chopsticks with, and you don’t have to do the embarrassing look-down-your-shirt “did I drop some rice down my boobs?” double chin – type look. Originating in the Dotonbori district, which is basically described with the word “Kuidaore” – to ruin oneself by extravagance in food (the Japanese version for all the noms) – you know you’re in for a treat. Yus.
10. Khmer food – Cambodia
Apart from just casually housing the biggest religious site on the planet, Cambodia also does a mean Amok. Fragrant, zesty and flavoursome is what they like to lead with. Also lemongrass, coconut and kaffir lime = winning. Find it: on any self-respecting street corner, or the central markets in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
With a big fat melting pot of Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish influence, these guys can pretty much rustle up anything from a congee, a hot pot and a dessert flan.
Amok This delicious thing, get in my belly.
11. Dinner at Koto – Hanoi, Vietnam
Want some warm fuzzies in that cold, dead heart of yours? Go to Koto – an acronym for ‘Know One Teach One’, a restaurant providing training and life skills to street children. By eating here you’re sponsoring a trainee’s new uniform or replacing cooking equipment. Fist bump.
12. Fat udon – Kyoto, Japan
After a long day of Kyotoing which involves but is not limited to: trying to spot a Geisha (medium level difficulty), trying to see ALL the temples (high level difficulty) and trying to acquire Samurai status (almost damn impossible), it’s nice to kick back with something you know you can demolish: a bowl of udon. But not just any udon. FAT UDON. SO FAT THAT ONLY ONE FITS IN THE BOWL AT ANY ONE TIME. Holy hell.
The best part is that it’s only available from one restaurant in Kyoto. Maximum exclusive.
This ingenious place is called Tawaraya. I vote them in charge of my cats when I die.
13. Oko-nom-nom-nom-iyaki – Tokyo, Japan
A trip of the Japonesque kind isn’t complete without popping this morsel in your mouth. Delicious batter combined with shredded cabbage and pork come together not unlike those KFC ads with chicken and flour flying through the air akimbo. After that performance it’s then fried and served up to you with your choice of about a thousand toppings. Eh, it’s ok.
Dat topping though.
Any other foods you’ve smashed down with the eloquence of a sumo wrestler? Tell us below