Guest post by Lesleigh Memmel
“I’m extremely jealous of the good food you’ll be eating!” – actual quote from our pre-tour briefing
When we found out that we’d been selected to travel to Southeast Asia for our American Music Abroad tour, we were thrilled. Mostly because we had never been to the region… But I have to admit that I was more than a little excited about the food!
Tony and I love to travel, and one of the best parts about exploring a new place is having the opportunity to sample the local cuisine. Luckily for us, we have been hosted by some incredible people at the local embassies and consulates, who have been recommending their favorite local dishes and the best places to find them.
Here is just a sample of the food that we’ve been so blessed to have the chance to try!
Chili crab and stingray: when we got to Singapore, we were told by multiple people that we had to try these two dishes. We hopped in a taxi and headed to a local hawker stand (an open-air food court with dozens of food stands offering delicious regional dishes). The woman at the restaurant that we chose brought out a live crab (!!!) to show us what we were getting into. They also served barbecue stingray which was phenomenal. Delicious and messy. What I would call good “first date food”… haha. After expertly and not-so-daintily dismantling my chili crab, I polished it off (and only had to use about 27 napkins). 😉
Curry laksa: my favorite of the trip (so far!). A delicious savory coconut broth soup that definitely packs some heat. Garnished with green onions, green beans, and your choice of prawns, chicken, fish… yes, please!
Roti canai: perhaps Tony’s favorite new food. It’s essentially a savory Indian pancake – picture a flaky croissant crossed with naan bread. Mmm…
Durian fruit: a local legend of sorts. Hard to describe… a combination of a heavy, spiky/sharp pineapple on the outside that, once hacked open with extreme force, smells a bit like garbage BUT tastes like banana custard! A truly unique fruit and an experience we’ll definitely take with us!
Noodles!! Everywhere you go, each place showcases their signature noodle dish. Wet noodle, dry noodle, ramen noodle, glass noodle… We have not eaten a bad noodle dish at all in Southeast Asia, that is for sure!
Fruit juice: we have been so fortunate to have vast array of fresh fruit juices readily available. Papaya, dragon fruit, pineapple, mango, green guava… The list goes on, and each fruit and fruit juice has been a magical way to start each day.
Coffee: The coffee here has been robust and delicious, and we are just getting started! For coffee drinkers and coffee lovers, you’ll appreciate this: we are currently staying in Sumatra, Indonesia (Sumatra is a type of coffee bean). We may need a bigger suitcase to bring some of this back home with us!
We’re trying as many new things here as possible, and we’re looking forward to bringing some of these foods, recipes, and experiences home with us to the states. But for now, I could go for some more curry laksa (not really kidding!).
More to come from Southeast Asia. Thank you so much for following along on our adventure!