This month’s Travel Link Up theme is memorable meals from our travels, which got me thinking about some of the amazing foodie experiences I’ve had during my adventures to date. So far I’ve been lucky enough to have had romantic candlelit dinners on the beaches of Asia, lunch beside a volcano in Bali, Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula, Hong Kong and a sunset tree-top BBQ in the Sri Lankan countryside, but the one that makes me smile the most is the time I ate seafood at a tin-roofed shack in the rain. Here’s my story, plus the rest of the LWT team share their own personal foodie highlights…
Eating crab in a riverside shack during a torrential tropical storm
I may love afternoon teas in posh hotels around the world, but one of my most memorable meals had to be attempting to eat crab for the first time at a riverside shack in Malaysia.
This was my second ever trip to Asia, and my first with Justin, so it was all a big adventure for us. On our third and final day in Kuala Lumpur, before heading off to Bali for a week, we took a day trip out of the city. After visiting some tourist attractions and getting up and friendly with the local macaque monkeys, the heavens well and truly opened as we made our way to our ‘restaurant’ for dinner.
Running for cover from the van, we discovered our eatery for the evening was basically an open-sided, tin-roofed building by the side of the Klang river. We were the only tourists there (personally I take this as a good sign), with a couple of local guys eating at the other tables and a few others milling around simply to stay out of the rain. Not really sure what to expect, as we waited for a menu the wind began to ramp up, bending the trees along the river, the ran pelted the tin-roof, and thunder began to boom as we watched the fork lighting repeated attack the earth.
This was an amazing backdrop for our meal, which at this point we discovered was a set menu as dishes began to come out plate by plate. And we had no idea what we were eating. High on excitement from the storm we giggled away as the picky eater in me threw caution to the wind and had a go at everything put before her. To this day I have no idea what seafood I was eating, but most of it was pretty damn tasty.
The last dish we were served was crab – which came out whole, with a hammer. Neither of us had tried crab before, so had no idea what to do. We sneakily tried to watch how the locals got at the meat, and after a few minutes Justin grabbed the hammer and got stuck in. It appeared he didn’t have the knack as crab shell flew all over the restaurant, leaving me in hysterical tears of laughter as my cheeks blushed with embarrassment. Eventually one of the owners came to give us a hand, and we did get to try some crab meat, although I did find that most pieces still had some crab shell remnants thanks to Just’s overeager hammering.
It was a unique evening, and the setting, atmosphere and fun of the whole affair makes it one of the most memorable meals from my travels. A good thing too – a day before we flew home a Balinese monkey stole our camera and we lost all our photos, so I’m glad that this night of crab craziness has stuck with me.
The best hot dog you’ll ever eat…
Only open from June until August, your chance of grabbing one of the best hot dogs in the world is, at best, slim. It’s even slimmer if I told you it’s in a tiny town on the edge of Western Iceland named Stykkishólmur. But I’m here to tell you that it’s 100 per cent worth the scenic journey.
My most memorable meal was actually on the side of a road in this little harbour town. It was at Meistarinn, the local’s favourite ‘wiener wagon’. This friendly vendor serves a variety of hot dogs; each one named after a person in the town. No, I couldn’t believe it either until I saw the menu. It’s quick, cheap, charming and delicious.
Just a little advice- opt for the ‘Henrik’ and “ein með öllu” (one with everything). It’ll be the best hot dog you ever eat.
Fancy tapas in Barcelona
My most memorable food experience was at a fancy tapas restaurant in Plaza Real, a square off Las Ramblas in Barcelona. I was on a short break with two friends and on our last day of our fairly frugal trip, we decided to have a lavish meal to end our holiday.
We plumped for a restaurant that was part of a boutique hotel called Do:. We deliberated over the menu and ended up going for patatas bravas, carpaccio of beef filet with rocket and Reixagó cheese, Iberian ham croquette, salt cod doughnuts, grilled chicken wings marinated with ginger, honey and soy sauce, a cheese board, porcini mushroom croquette and a green salad along with a delicious red wine to go with it.
Everything was completely delicious.
It was all so flavoursome and presented so beautifully. Patatas bravas is one of my absolute favourite Spanish dishes and I’d grown used to the usual presentation of a plate of roasted new potatoes smothered in a smoky sauce, but these were so pretty, lined up in uniform lines with the sauce carefully piped on top in a neat swirl.
That set the scene for the rest of the dishes that were soon to adorn our table. Each dish was so immaculately presented, even the salads were neat, and we dived in and devoured everything!
The food was delicious but it was made even better by the setting. We were sat outside looking out onto the plaza watching the world go by on a lovely balmy Spanish evening. It was such a relaxed atmosphere, made even lovelier by the company of two of my oldest friends and some wonderful food…
Simple, fresh food in Paphos
I’m just back from a week in Paphos for a family wedding were we treated to some amazing meals that were all the more delicious for their simplicity. We ate Italian meals where the sauces were made with the freshest of tomatoes and herbs; moussaka made with aubergines straight from the garden; sausages made which whichever herbs the chef happened to have growing; chicken and pork slow-roasted on a traditional Cypriot souvla barbecue; and olives and citrus fruits picked from their bushes. Even a simple bowl of chips, made with Cyprus’ famous potatoes, simply sliced, fried and a sprinkle of salt. Combined with the warm air, the blue seas and the company of family and friends and they made some of the most memorable meals I’ve eaten in quite a while.
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