I’ve said it many times – I’m not a foodie. I don’t eat particularly fancy food, and I don’t have a sophisticated palate. What I do have is a love of travel, and exploring new food and cuisine experiences as part of that travel. I’ve spent many years eating my way ’round the world, and this post summarises some of my favourite spots. Enjoy!
Okonomiyaki Nagata-Ya, Hiroshima
As featured in my A Day in Hiroshima post, we stumbled across the highest rated restaurant in TripAdvisor – at the time – in Hiroshima by accident. Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese dish, with Hiroshima being famed for its own version of the cabbage, noodle, meat and egg dish. Okonomiyaki Nagata-Ya turn the creation of this dish into a show, and we had front row seats right at the grill. The resulting pancakes? Delicious!
Cafe Sacher, Vienna
Yes, it’s over-rated, a tourist trap, expensive, and there is always a line. Who cares. I’ve only been to Vienna twice in my life, and if I have to wait to get a slice of my beloved Sacher Torte, I’ll wait. It only took five minutes last time I visited Cafe Sacher in December 2017. It’s sometimes about the experience, as well as the food. The cake is pretty darn good, though.
Central Market Hall, Budapest
At these massive markets, I bought a slice of the famed Hungarian cake – Dobos Torte – for around $1NZD. Best $1NZD ever spent. I’ve never seen it anywhere again. If you’re heading to Budapest, make a pit stop at the Central Market Hall and eat some cake for me.
Duck Laundry, Mauritius
Weird name, great food. Duck Laundry was one of the restaurants at the Lux Belle Mare Resort which we stayed at in Mauritius. Everything about the resort was luxurious, and Duck Laundry was no exception. With great food, a stylish fit out and great ambience, I had the best pork belly I have EVER had there.
Din Tai Fung, Beijing
Okay, there is a Din Tai Fung here in Dubai. In fact, they’re all over the world. But you know what the one in Dubai is missing? Pork dumplings. For about a quarter of the price of a meal here, we ate our weight in pork dumplings in Beijing.
Shoyru is located in Kingly Court, near Carnaby Street in London. In amongst all of the eating and dining options we found inside, we picked Shoyru, a minimalist noodle and sake bar. They had amazing cocktails, tasty and fresh ramen, and the softest pork bao you’ll find in London.
This place is a little unique. Family-owned, Barbarestan has based its menu on a beloved 19th-century cookbook by Barbare Jorjadze, the first Georgian Feminist. The restaurant has a homely feel, with extremely attentive staff, and canaries fluttering nearby in their cages. It offers extremely good value for money, too – two starters, two massive mains, two wines and two desserts came in at around 220AED.
Ariel is located in the Kazimierz District, the old Jewish Quarter of Krakow. If you search for Ariel, the first thing that comes up is a terrible TripAdvisor review. Oops. I felt a little different about my visit, and loved the food, the location and the atmosphere, which included some pretty nifty Yiddish music. Don’t miss out on the delicious Ariel Cake, a coconut and cocoa confection that is delicious.
Mama’s Buoi, Melbourne
This is a sharing kind of place. Mama’s Buoi isn’t the highest rated Vietnamese Restaurant in Melbourne, but its tucked away location means its much easier to get a seat. For reference, its hidden around the back of the General Post Office building. Look for the colorful chairs and festoon lighting, and you’re in the right place. The atmosphere is chilled, and the food is still very good. Order a bunch of dishes and enjoy.
Cafe Faberge Museum, St. Petersburg
The Cafe Faberge Museum was very cheap, and I wasn’t expecting much. Basically, it was located next to the museum, and I was pretty hungry. I was delighted to be treated to the tastiest Borscht and Pelmeni I ate in Russia, and the most delectable honey cake. There was almost no one there and the service was quick. They also spoke English, which is mighty handy!
Black Barn, Hawkes Bay
This is my favorite vineyard restaurant in New Zealand. It has beautiful views, is very peaceful, and the food is top notch. While the Mission may be more popular, I’m sure the experience at Black Barn is a better one – and much classier. Some of the best cuisine in the Hawkes Bay!
Domaine du Tariquet, New Caledonia
This hidden gem was selected because 1. we were hot and 2. we were hungry. It worked out very well. I remember ordering a chicken salad, and had the most delicious salad delivered to me on a giant slate. Later, a copious amount of profiteroles may have made their way to our table on a similar sized slate. Whoops.
At.Mosphere Lounge, Dubai
I’ve had a few high teas around the world. My favorite has to be the La Gourmandizes at the At.Mosphere Lounge, up the Burj Khalifa. It’s a mixture of a beautiful setting and view, excellent service and fantastic food that makes this a favorite. Plus, they also offer you seconds. Fantastic.
Scotty’s Diner, New York City
Scotty’s Diner is definitely here for the experience. You know what I ate? A chicken sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a pickle. A solitary pickle that was delivered with my meal. But watching the short-order cook chefs at work was something else. Mum ended up with a pancake stack as big as her head. We saw the cooks flipping away and flinging the pancakes on to a plate a good few meters away. The new World Trade Centre was still under construction, and the place was filled with construction workers. It was good fun.
As described in my Two Days in Oslo post, Mathallen is a trendy food hall located near the Grünerløkka area of Oslo. While the prices – like all food outlets in Oslo – are astronomical, its hard to deny the cool atmosphere for Mathallen. We ate here several times. The food is good, and there is enough variety to keep you going for days!