the-best-desserts-in-the-world

The 10 best desserts in the world.

I love desserts – and after pigging out this recent holiday season on cheesecake and pavlova and a gingerbread house made entirely of chocolate, so does my waistline. But it’s not just in the holiday season that my sweet tooth has its way. I have savoured and salivated over countless desserts in my travels and have even gone totally out of my way to satisfy my love for the perfect pudding. This blog took me a while because I started to write a list of my Top Ten desserts from around the world, but half way though I had to rush out and buy a cheesecake… Read more

worlds-best-breakfast?

The best breakfast in the world.

I love a good breakfast, and whether it’s bread and cold cuts in Germany or baked cheese pancakes in Russia, each country does their first meal of the day quite differently. When I travel I will try them all. I’ve had everything from frog porridge in Malaysia to stuffed sheep’s stomach (aka haggis) in Scotland. On my recent trip to Borneo I had mee goring (fried noodles) for breakfast one morning from the hotel buffet – although my 13 year old daughter outdid me by having mee goring, roti bread, spring rolls and fried chicken all piled high on to a plate. So, what’s the best breakfast from around the world? Here are my Top 10 (and sorry Malaysia and Scotland you didn’t make the cut): Read more

street-food-vietnam

The best street food on the street.

Street food is certainly big in Australia right now. Every night there is a small army of food trucks touting any kind of street snack you can imagine, and ‘street food’ or ‘hawker food’ restaurants are popping up everywhere. Only a short stroll from where I live there has been a string of ‘street food’ restaurants that have opened up recently, including Radio Mexico, Hanoi Hannah, Si Senor Art Taqueria, Saigon Street Eats and Uncle. Melbourne now even has a big International Street Food Festival. But, long before we in Australia jumped on the street food wagon it has been an integral part of the street life of cities and towns around the world for hundreds of years. Read more

Vietnam local feast

Dining with locals.

‘What was your best meal?’ That’s the first question I ask friends when they have returned from a trip – whether it’s a three month backpacking trip to Africa or a week holiday in Queensland. Trying (and savouring) different foods is such a big part of travelling for me, so I love to hear about other people’s culinary adventures. Recently I asked that question to a friend and they told me that their food highlight was a meal at a local’s house. ‘It was better than any restaurant meal we had,’ he said. ‘And better wine!’ I must say that on quite few trips of mine I have eaten with locals (and not at a restaurant) and had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Not only is it truly authentic local food, it is often lovingly prepared. But, you don’t have to know a local to eat a local meal. There are a number of websites where you can ‘book’ a table at a local’s house. EatWith and WithLocals are much like Aribnb by connecting people who have an interest in cooking to people who are looking to eat out and eat local food. Dinner guests pay a fee similar to what you would pay if you went out to a restaurant. I’ve been lucky enough on many occasions to experience local food (and local hospitality). Here are some of my favourites over the years: Read more

drunk-santa

A Christmas tipple.

It’s that time of year when most people (well, most Australians at least) give the bottle a bit of a nudge. Admittedly, I give it a good go at Christmas parties, but at least I stick to beer and wine. On my last trip to Vietnam I got quite tipsy on rice wine and in the morning I had stomach cramps to go along with my hangover-cum-monstrous-headache. My stomach cramps may have had something to do with the fact that we (about twenty of us) were all drinking the sickly sweet rice wine from a large wooden bucket. Out of shared straws. While dancing around it. It was up there with the worst alcoholic drink I’ve ever had. Then again, if you want to fire up your Christmas party it gets you drunk very quickly. And, if you want some other novelty drinks for your Christmas party here are my Top 5 worst alcoholic drinks of all time: Read more

vegemite and ox penis

Vegemite and Ox Penis.

I stumbled upon a website that listed the most disgusting foods in the world (by country) and amongst the camel’s feet, tiger’s testicles, pork uterus, ox penis, cow urine and maggot-cheese was Vegemite. Come on. Vegemite is not disgusting. Yes, it doesn’t look the most appetising, but it fair dinkum tastes good on ya toast in the morning. Also under the ‘Australia’ list were witchety grubs and beetroot! The ‘American’ list of disgusting foods was just as strange (as in strange that they made the list). On that list was Spam (okay, fair enough there), iceberg lettuce and peanut butter.

I’ve eaten some pretty disgusting foods in my travels, so here’s my list of the 10 most disgusting foods I’ve eaten (and of course I have to show you pics of all the grossness in all it’s glory): Read more

Encounter Restaurant, LAX

Table service with a view.

On my recent trip to the States I went to Encounter Restaurant in the ‘Theme Building’ at LAX for dinner with my daughter Jasmine (although the Theme Building was built in 1961, the restaurant didn’t open until 1997). I’ve always wanted to go there after seeing photos of the bizarre Jetsons-esque interior, with groovy bubble motifs in the ceilings, spacey retro mod tables and chairs and a ton of lava lamps everywhere. Rather appropriately we went there after a day at Disneyland (the restaurant was designed by Disney imagineers). The experience begins when you catch the elevator up to the restaurant, where you are bathed in green light and they play tiki-suave-spooky alien muzak. We got a table right by the window, and besides the groovy decor (and good food), the other great thing about Encounter is the view. LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world and you get a bird’s eye view of planes landing and taking off. And, best of all, you don’t feel like you are ‘in’ an airport – and you don’t get those bloody annoying flight announcements. Read more

1970s food

Party food for the book launch.

It’s the book launch of Tell Them to Get Lost tomorrow night, so I thought I’d give you a taste of the food we might eat if we were in 1974. Although you probably wouldn’t want to eat it, because those hip cats in 1974 ate some weird shit. I found some recipe cards from 1974 and looking at the things on offer was enough to turn me off my dinner. Even some of the names would make you reach for a bucket. I mean who would eat something called ‘Fluffy Mackerel Pudding’ or ‘Chilled Celery Log’. Here are some of my favourite recipe cards…

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