Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eat, drink, and you will be merry

One of my friends said that a person's satisfaction with the place they are living is directly related to how much they like the food of that place.  Do you agree?  I do.  Eating delicious Chinese food significantly contributes to my quality of life in China.

Heh heh.  (But I really do like Chinese food.)  Eating delicious food also contributed to my enjoyment of Southeast Asia.  Here are my food rankings:

Malaysia: Winner for best multicultural food.  With its fusion of Malay, Chinese, and Indian culture, Malaysia offers a big variety of food and drinks.  You should seriously consider visiting Malaysia just for the food.
  • Best dishes: Chicken tandoori, naan, and satay (Malaysian meat on a stick)
  • Best beverage:  Teh.  Hands down, my favorite drink of the trip.  It's a strong, black tea mixed with sweetened condensed milk.  I wish we were all drinking iced teh on the beach right now.
  • Best dining moment:  My friend Samson, a meat-on-a-stick connoisseur, ordering thirty (thirty!) sticks of satay to go along with his lunch.
  • Worst thing I put in my mouth:  ABC Special.  This cold dessert featured shaved ice topped with green and pink syrup, sweetened condensed milk, creamed corn, and peanuts.  Please tell me this was a joke they played on the tourist and not a real dish that people eat on purpose.

A meal with friends in Penang.  Satay on the bottom left.

Chicken tandoori and naan -- awesome Indian food in Malaysia

Bags of teh and lemonade

ABC Special: not so special.

Thailand:  Winner for best overall cuisine.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
  • Best dishes:  Pad thai, a chicken curry soup whose name I forgot, banana rotee, mango sticky rice
  • Best beverage: strawberry smoothies at that one place by our hostel
  • Best dining moment: Walking through our neighborhood on our first day in Thailand and finding our favorite tiny little restaurant.

Gloria and I at our restaurant.  I have the curry soup and she has pad thai.

In Thailand, we ate a lot of meals at our conference hotel.
 Vietnam: Winner for most coffee shops.  (Vietnam may not have the MOST coffee shops, but we frequented them most in Vietnam)
  • Best dishes:  Pho (a noodle soup dish), fresh spring rolls, fried prawns with butter and garlic
  • Best beverage:  This may not be truly Vietnamese, but I had a delicious iced caramel latte.
  • Best dining moment:  Downing a collective 96 scoops of ice cream at Fanny's ice cream buffet in Hanoi.  That was seriously a happy night.

 Pho and Fanta

What was this stuff called?  It was good.

Tickets to the ice cream buffet!

Enough said.

The Samson Tang Method for eating mangoes

Cambodia: Winner for best fruit shakes and smoothies. 
  • Best dishesLoc loc (a stir-fried meat dish), most of the desserts I ate at the Khmer buffet in Siem Reap
  • Best beverage: Mango smoothie
  • Best dining moment Watching traditional apsara dancing while feasting at the Khmer buffet

Coconut shakes in Phnom Penh on the eve of the lunar new year

 Apsara dancing at the buffet

Food is a huge part of traveling and experiencing a new culture, which is my excuse for devoting so many words and pictures to this topic.  Hungry? :)


  1. Great post. And all that for a couple bucks a meal, maximum!

  2. dude, you owe me a coconut shake now...


  3. hungry for all of that all over again! pass me another mango shake, please! :)