Eating is a great way to explore a country. Contained within the walls of numerous soup dumplings, pies and pasties around the world is generations of culture, traditions and, of course, flavour. Take to the streets, find the night markets, stand in obscenely long lines- waiting an hour or more for that oh-so sought after indulgence that locals rave about.
Skip the overpriced imitators and go straight to the heart of authenticity. This is the way we like to experience a new city or country. It is usually a grumbling stomach that first drives us from our hostel upon arrival. We are often weary and lethargic on the first day in a new country, Australia is a long flight to just about anywhere in the world.In order to appropriately address the food situation we usually grab a little street food snack to tide us over for the main show. We became addicted to Vadai in Sri Lanka, a small ball made from lentils, potato and spice. It was hearty and kept us travelling on the long bus rides between cities.
Once our bellies have stopped grumbling the urgency subsides and you can avoid regrettable food decisions. It also helps prepare you for the often long lines that accompany good valued and popular eating joints.
One of our favourite meals to date was; Happiness Ramen at Hanamaruken Namba Houzenji, Osaka, Japan. This satisfying bowl filled us right up and cost less than $10 USD per person. The gold medal has to go to Din Tai Fung though. In fact it was so good that we visited the establishment two times during our 7 day vacation in Taipei. We ate almost everything on the menu we were so full we nearly had to be rolled out of the restaurant. The highlights had to be the stewed spongy tofu, pickled spicy cucumber, what I am convinced was the world's most perfect taro bun, and, of course, the famous xaio long bao.
Sometimes we even make videos about our new experiences, check them out here.