What to Do in Singapore? Eat!

Singapore, an unexpected stop on our Southeast Asian itinerary thanks to a cheap flight from there to India. Our culinary expectations for this small city-state were low, particularly in the wake of our street food experiences in Thailand and Malaysia. Yet in the three days before our flight to India, it seemed like all we did was eat. … [Read more...]

For the Love of Thai Food

If you were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one cuisine for the rest of your days, which would it be?Have you ever considered this? The thought of choosing just one cuisine for the rest of our days makes us break out in sweats.But change that question to: "What's your favorite place for street food?" … [Read more...]

No More Bats and Bicycle Chickens: The Better Side of Burmese Cuisine

Streetside Soup in Rangoon

I remember my first taste of what was supposed to be Burmese food at a restaurant in San Francisco. There was none of the coconut milk and fragrance of Thai curries and the spice palette didn't inspire like it did in Indian cuisine.Underwhelming, I thought.However, during our visit to Burma (Myanmar), we quickly appreciated Burmese cuisine for the beauty of … [Read more...]

Top 10 Chinese Dumplings

Da Yu Dumplings

Can (wo)man live on dumplings alone?The answer in China: Yes!Steamed, fried or boiled; round, crescent, or amorphous; meat or veg; thin-skinned or thick, dumplings in China form a universe all their own.By no means are we experts in Chinese dumplings. That's a life's work. But we can offer a brief primer and the best of our dumpling experiences in … [Read more...]

Demystifying Food in China: An Introduction

When we talk to people about our travels in China, we sense their fear.No, not political or economic fear: Didn’t you have trouble with the language? How about the food? Chinese food in China is terrible, isn’t it? Don’t they eat a lot of dog?"All fair questions and sentiments, particularly if you've never been to China. We have a real story to tell about … [Read more...]

REAL Chinese Food: A Photo Essay

Once you get past the mounds of chili-marinated chicken feet and the rows of village dogmeat vendors, Chinese food in China is terrific.Regional Chinese cuisines and ethnic minority specialties deliver a diversity of flavors and texture. The vast array of peppers, spices and sauces ensure that taste buds rarely grow tired. … [Read more...]

A Five Star Dinner at the Taj Dera Chandigarh

Chapati Master

Shortly after our morning encounter, our breakfast pal Vikram checked out our website and gave us a call. He hoped to facilitate our India experience by adding a bit of refinement to it.A few phone calls and a couple of hours later, we were scheduled to meet with Rajan Sharma, the head chef at the Taj Hotel Chandigarh’s Dera Restaurant. … [Read more...]

Lunch with Friends in Chandigarh: Methi Muttar Malai and Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi and Mutter Methi Malai

Not long after breakfast, we were sitting with Sharan and his business partner Rajiv, our previously virtual friends. They were the reason we had come to Chandigarh. Sharan had completed a small software project for me (to help put the finishing touches on our photo gallery) the year before. After the project, Sharan and I continued to stay in touch.When he … [Read more...]

Central Asian Food: The Good, the Bad, and the Inedible

Smoke Break

Mystery vegetables are better than mystery meat. – the mantra we adopted after eating Central Asian meals for over three monthsAlthough we would not advise an exclusively culinary expedition to Central Asia, the region does have its appetizing moments. Surrounding those moments, you’ll primarily find a nomadic carnivore’s dream or a vegetarian’s nightmare. … [Read more...]

Kutabs and Kebabs: Azerbaijani Food

Colorful Kebabs

Given that Azerbaijani culture and language is Turkic in origin, it's not surprising that its cuisine also carries a strong Turkish influence. Doner kebabs are so prevalent on Baku's streets that you'd swear they were Azerbaijani by origin.One thing is certain though. Azerbaijanis like their meat, with shashlik (barbecue) as the style of choice. One meal took us … [Read more...]