One of the best things about travel has to be sampling the local cuisine and trying out exotic new dishes that you’d never find at home. For a lot of people, it’s their priority when they’re picking a place to visit. If you’re the kind of person that chooses where to go based on the food that you’ll get there, Asia may well be your favourite continent. There is such a range of different cuisines and there are so many great multicultural cities and countries where all of those food traditions come together to create innovative food that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world.
If you’ve never been to Asia before but you love Asian food, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking somewhere to go. Wherever you travel in Asia, you’ll have an exciting new culinary experience but there are some places that are famous for their food heritage. These are some of the best food destinations in Asia that you should visit.
Some of the South Korean food traditions have spread worldwide, especially Korean barbecue which is popular in a lot of restaurants back home, but that’s only a small part of their food heritage. While you’re there, you should sample some of the traditional Koren barbecue, especially the fried chicken, but you should also sample some of the other traditional dishes on offer. They specialise in hearty warming bean soups and fried rice and, of course, you have to try something with Kimchi while you’re out there. This fermented cabbage is one of the best things that the South Koreans make and they have so many amazing dishes with it in.
South Korea is a great country with plenty to see and do outside of the food as well. It’s one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and walking around it you’ll sometimes feel as though you’re in the middle of a sci-fi movie. However, you’ll still find the traditional side of Korean culture in the city in the form of its 5 main palaces and traditional villages like Jeonju Hanok Maeul which is filled with quaint wooden houses.
Food is a central part of the culture in Singapore and there are people from across Asia living there so it’s the best place to get a good cross section of all of the food that this great continent has to offer. It can be quite an expensive city but if you’re trying to do it on a budget, there are ways to save some money like looking for an apartment instead of staying in one of the more expensive hotels. A lot of the executive condo resale properties out there are available to tourists and they’re reasonably priced. In terms of things to do apart from eating, Singapore is a great city for exploring and you can see things like the Botanical Gardens or the Garden at the Bay with its impressive vertical garden ecosystem.
When it comes to food, you’ve got a big range in Singapore. You’ll find some of the world’s best Michelin starred restaurants serving authentic Asian food but there are also some great restaurants like Burnt Ends that serves barbecue food with an Asian twist.
Don’t worry if you can’t afford to eat in the Michelin starred restaurants though because there are cheaper options available. The hawker centres, where most of the locals tend to eat, offer some great authentic dishes from around Asia and they cost just a few dollars per dish.
Japanese food is big all over the world, especially sushi, but the stuff that you’ve tried at home is nothing compared to the real thing. The sushi chefs train for years to learn the precise art and it’s all made with delicious fresh ingredients. But sushi isn’t the only great food that you’ll find in Japan, anything you eat is going to be amazing. That’s the thing that surprises people most about Japanese food, it’s not just the high end restaurants that serve great dishes, you’ll find great food in the train stations and sports stadiums, as well as the street food stalls or Michelin starred restaurants. The other great thing is that it’s so regional and they always use the local ingredients so your culinary experience will be different in every city. That’s why it’s a good idea to travel around a few different places (which is easy on public transport) and try out some different styles of food.
If you’re planning a culinary tour of Asia, you should definitely put these destinations on the list.