This is part 2 of HerrWeGo’s first blog request – a list of the best awesomest foods that we have eaten while traveling through Asia.
Jon and I are huge food lovers, but I’ve decided that this list won’t include hometown favorites, our mother’s cooking, and food we want to try. We have traveled to Asia twice. Once in 2011 when we visited Thailand and Taiwan and again in 2015 when we visited Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. There are so many more amazing places in Asia, but alas we don’t have first hand experiences with those foods and won’t be able to include them.
1) Tim Ho Wan – Steamed Buns and other Dim Sum (Hong Kong)
We are huge fans of dumplings and steamed buns where ever we go. Tim Ho Wan is a growing dim sum chain and the ‘cheapest Michelin restaurant in the world’. Their dumplings are good, especially the shrimp, as well as their spring rolls. However, their BBQ pork steamed buns are out of this world. The pork is delicious by its own right, but the light dusting of caramelized sugar on the bun elevates it to the next level.
2) Koh Lanta Seafood (Thailand)
Our meal at Koh Lanta Seafood was one of the best of the trip. At this restaurant we were able to pick fish from that day’s catch, which was displayed in front of the restaurant. Each fish could be fried or steamed and was served with a choice of sauces. We had tiger prawns in tamarind sauce and a pomfret fish in garlic pepper.
3) Yakiniku (Japan)
Yakiniku is Japanese BBQ that is cooked on a grill built into the table. Japan prides itself on the high quality beef that restaurants serve (think kobe or wagyu). Even by ordering average cuts of meat instead, this meal was incredibly tender and juicy. We ate this on our last day in Japan, and it had us kicking ourselves that we didn’t have it everyday.
4) Khao Soi (Thailand)
Although its a curry, khao soi deserves its own place on our list. Khao soi is native to Chang Mai, Thailand and is sometimes called two noodle curry because the curry contains soft eggs noodles and is topped with crispy fried noodles. Its on the spicier side, but even Alexis loved it.
5) Mala 1 – Hot Pot (Taiwan)
Mala 1, has set the bar extremely high for all of the other hotpot we eat. We had a delicious all you can eat meal of meat, fish, and noodles. Broth can be normal, spicy, or half and half as in the photo above.
- For a more modern take on hot pot, try Megan’s Kitchen (Hong Kong), where the hot pot is given an update with gourmet broths such as Tom Yum Cappuccino and some of the best dumplings we’ve had.
- If you are in Japan, try shabu shabu from Agotsuyu Shabu Shabu Yamafuku in Kyoto. This traditional hotpot is served in a flying fish based broth that was fantastic.
6) CoCo Curry (Japan)
You can’t go far in Japan without passing a CoCo Curry House, and more often than not we were lured in by the promise of this spicy, gravy like dish. Its delicious taste and accessibility made it a comfort food for us when we were tired and hungry while traveling. CoCo Curry is very customizable offering many spicy levels and toppings including meat cutlets and vegetables,
7) Sushi (Japan)
High quality, fresh fish and cheap prices. Japan invented sushi and has perfected it. Finding the right restaurant is easy to do because there are many of them. The sushi in Japan is mostly nigiri (leave the rolls in American). I recommend trying a variety of fatty tunas and salmon.
8) Din Tai Fung – Soup Dumplings (International, eaten in Taiwan)
If you can’t make it to Japan for our #1 choice, then we’d recommend finding one of Din Tai Fung’s (originally from Taiwan) many locations and for wonderful steamed buns and dumplings. Din Tai Fung has gained a huge following for its famous soup dumplings. These broth filled dumplings are slowly taking over the world.
9) Andy’s – Crab Legs (Japan)
Sometimes crabs disappointed us, the work to pick the meat is harder than the return we get. Not at Andy’s where we were given plates piled high with the largest crab legs we’ve seen. The crab is easy to extract, plentiful, and amazing.
10) Massaman Curry (Thailand)
More than once in Japan we ordered this unique curry. During our scuba lessons, we were given massaman curry for lunch. This curry was homemade by the Thai boat crews’ wives and was one of Alexis’s favorite meals of the trip (especially the tender potatoes in the curry) and she has been obsessed with eating it ever since.
If you want to to hear a bit about our favorite meals from our US road trip, you can check out Favorites – US road trip. Additionally, a few of our hometown favorites can be found at Goodbye Arlington.