For traveling foodies, nothing seduces them than a tasty local dish. Exploring the cuisine is a must-do ‘mission’ which is as important as visiting the iconic landmarks of the country. From the flavor Bun Cha in Vietnam to the diversity of Dimsum in Hong Kong, Asia is absolutely the paradise of food with the endless list of dishes to try.
1. Bangkok, Thailand
In 2017, CNN held an online poll of 35,000 people to figure out a list of “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods”. 7 of Thailand’s dishes appeared on the list, more than any other countries. The result didn’t surprise anyone, this country has been known as the paradise of street food. Of course, Bangkok is the core of the food legend. With influences from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Portuguese, and the royal culinary, Thai cuisine is more than just good. Don’t leave the city until you take a tour of food. From Yum Goong, Pad Thai, Som Tam, to Massaman Curry, Green Curry, and Moo Nam Tok, you always find a balance of spicy, sour, salty, sweet, chewy, crunchy and slippery in a single dish.
Pad Thai – one of the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods
Thailand is also famous for many kinds of tropical fruit
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
The local cuisine is surprisingly diverse for such a small city like Hanoi. You even don’t need to take a taxi but just stick around Old Quarter area, all the finest foods are within a walking distance. The most delicious place to try an authentic Vietnamese cuisine is on sidewalks, at a low table, on a short plastic stool. These stalls run mostly by women passed down from mother to daughter. Therefore, the food recipe is kept finely for generations. Make sure to spend enough time for Cha Ca – a special kind of grilled fish with dill and turmeric; Vietnamese sandwich stuffed with handmade pate, pork, ham, mayonnaise and herbs; Pho – the world famous noodle with beef and delicious broth; healthy Spring rolls and of course, Bun Cha – a dish which is good enough for the American President. Finish with a cup of ca phe sua da – a typical coffee of Hanoi.
The most mouth-watering dishes of Hanoi are within a walking distance in Old Quarter
Ca phe sua da is a must-try in Hanoi
To experience the authentic culinary of Vietnam, book a Vietnam food tour.
3. Tokyo, Japan
Once the Japanese have a strict principle for drinking tea, there is no reason that they don’t apply the same rule of precision to their food. That explains why this country boasts more than 400 restaurants with Michelin stars. Of course, Tokyo owns the most. Both Japanese and visitors expect the best products and Tokyo has it all. You can go to any restaurant and see the skillful technique on filleting a fish and beautiful vegetable. The Tokyo chefs respect their tradition and convey the perfection to diners. Whether it’s a regional cuisine such as sushi feast, simple but flavor soba, unrivaled omakase, crispy tempura and fresh seafood or international cuisine of Chinese, Italian, French, and Spanish, it’s impossible to eat badly in Tokyo.
Sushi – the most famous food in Japan
A chef is preparing Kobe beef in a Japanese restaurant
Not only a paradise of shopping, Singapore is also a nirvana of food. Its diversity of cuisine just can’t be beaten. Apart from Chinese, Malay, and Indian food (due to the mixture of the population), Singapore holds a number of Michelin star restaurants than any other Southeast Asian country. The highlight is the street eats at Chinatown: with over 220 stalls in the complex, you can’t refuse a bowl of Wanton Mee, a po piat, a chili crab, a frog porridge, or a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice. For more fine dining, head to Marina Bay Sands hotel to have dinner with celebrities and Gordon Ramsay. For the innovated cuisine of younger chefs, take a taxi to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.
Delicious Singapore Chilli Crab. Crabs are commonly used and are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet tomato and chili sauce.
Mr. Chan Hon Meng with his famous Soya Sauce Chicken Rice awarded 1 Michelin star in 2017. This is also the cheapest Michelin-starred meal, with a plate of soya sauce chicken going at $2 (Photo: Vulcapot)
5. Bombay, India
There are more than 18.4 million people in Bombay. This is the result of a wave after wave of immigrants from all over the country. Each comes with their own food cultures and cooking styles from Muslim, Parsi, Coastal, South Indian and of course, the local. The city is known for its traditional dishes, chaats, sweets and seafood such as rice, fish and prawn curries, butter garlic crab, Indian Chapatis bread, Bhel Puri, vegetable curries, and desserts. Coconuts, cashew nuts, peanuts are the major ingredients used in many of Mumbai’s recipes. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the dishes in Mumbai are full of rich taste, fiery and impressive flavor. But if you can’t handle the spicy, there are numerous of restaurants across the city that will cater other dishes for your palate.
6. Hong Kong
Because most Hong Kong people are immigrants and descendants of Cantonese, its culinary is heavily influenced by Ye cuisine. From restaurants, home-cooking to bakeries, most of the finest food in Hong Kong such as roasted duck, shark’s fin, poached chicken, mooncake, and of course dim sum are originated from Guangzhou. However, a long history of being a British colony (155 years) and an international port of commerce has produced its own favorites such as egg tarts and Hong Kong milk tea. The combination of traditional cuisine with Western flavor have given this land the label of Gourmet Paradise.
For dim sum fans, there’s no finer city than Hong Kong.
Hong Kong egg tart
The culinary philosophy in this country is very simple: Eat small and eat often. Taiwan’s food is a mash-up of the cuisine of Fujian and southern provinces of China. An influence of Japanese also can be found in the dishes due to 50 year being under Japanese rule. The Taiwanese cuisine relies on a wide range of spices such as soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, pickled mustard greens, chili peppers, cilantro, and basil. Although beef is not as common as pork, seafood, and chicken, the beef noodle soup is one of the most popular dishes in this island. In the capital Taipei, there are more than 20 streets dedicated to foodies. Every time you think that you have found the best dish, there’s always another shop that surpasses it.
Beef noodle – the most popular dish in Taiwan