Needless to say, there were lots of delicious meals going into my stomach. Here are my travel favorites of the last year.
Best Hole in the Wall
I’m a huge fan of small local hangouts– the kind with only a few tables, and a line going out the door. This small dumpling restaurant in Macau served an array of dozens of dumplings in flavors like carrot, spinach and walnut, and the best almond soy milk I’ve ever had.
Dumpling House Restaurant in Macau (also pictured above)
Best Cooking School Meal
One of my favorite things to do when visiting new countries is to enroll in cooking classes. In Cambodia, I did the Tigre de Papier cooking course. After buying our ingredients in a local market where vendors sleep among their bananas, classmates and I prepared this special meal.
Tigre de Papier Cooking School, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Thick and syrupy, served with sweetened condensed milk in Hanoi, Vietnam. The best part? Sitting on tiny little stools outdoors and watching the world go by on Christmas Day.
Old Quarter Hanoi, Vietnam
Best Dessert Binge
Visiting Seattle, I couldn’t resist the popular walking Savor Seattle Chocolate Indulgence Tour. What’s better than 10 incarnations of chocolate in two hours?
Best Family Nostalgic Meal
My family has been going to La Luz del Dia in downtown LA for almost 50 years. No kidding. This Mexican eatery serves amazing nopales (cactus) salad, carnitas, and picadillo. It’s usually my first stop when visiting the city of Angels.
Best Ritzy Cocktail with a View
My last recent trip to Hong Kong, I was on a mission to drink a Litchi Martini. I ordered one a year before when I had a terrible cold and couldn’t taste it at all. Well, this time, I went for it again. Delicious! And how about that view of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor!
Intercontinental Hotel Kowloon Bar, Hong Kong
Best New Discovery in Tokyo
It may seem strange I’m writing about non-Japanese food, but I found an Italian trattoria on my last trip. Despite Tokyo’s reputation for being an expensive city, this fabulous meal of assorted tomato salad and chicken diavolo was about 1800 yen (~$18 US).
Salsiccia Uno in Hiro, Tokyo, Japan
Finally… My Last Meal
If I knew I were going to eat my last meal ever, I would want it to be the Chilaquiles and a Bloody Mary from World Famous restaurant in PB, California. This meal just makes me happy. During my last visit, I came so close to getting the secret to the zesty drink. It’s unlike any other Bloody Mary I’ve had. I asked the server what was in it and she listed off the usual things … it was going well, and I thought, “Finally, I will be able to recreate this drink at home!” But when it came to the “secret,” she couldn’t reveal that. I will not give up.
(From the picture, you will see that these chilaquiles don’t look like the traditional Mexican ones. Those are fabulous, and I love them too, but there’s something about this adapted American abomination version that just call out to me.)
Chilaquiles with Ancho Chili Sauce and Caliente Bloody Mary
Okay, so it’s your last meal ever… what would you choose? What’s your best meal lately? What’s your favorite country to dine in?