I love vegan food – there, I said it. But I feel like this turnabout is less due to any personal development on my part, and more attributable to the fact that vegan food in Sydney is a little magical. Ramen, Pizza, Laksa – you name it, and they can do a vegan version that tastes miraculously similar to its animal-containing alternative, and probably taste better to boot. I will take a little credit however; it wasn’t so long ago that I was denouncing vegan food in favour of fried chicken.
What’s better than Thai food? Clearly the answer is being able to get good Thai food without having to travel far. Oddly specific I know, but I really do have a hatred of trying to get around Sydney, and that’s especially the case when it’s been about 40 degrees all weekend. There’s plenty of Thai offerings around the Strathfield area, but the most popular one of the lot is Maenam Lao and Thai. I was initially worried about our chances of grabbing a seat in the small space, but as it turns out, they have a larger dining room past the kitchen – one that I think is far superior to the cramped and noisy section out front.
I love fusion cuisine. When done right, it is such a great opportunity for innovation and excitement, and often offers up new flavour combinations that I never could have thought of, yet leaves me wondering why more people haven’t jumped on board already. Unfortunately, fusion is often done… not right, and you end up with some weird and not-very-wonderful things, such as tuna carpaccio topped with parmesan. However, when it comes to Bar Pesta, I’ve heard nothing but good things about its Asian-fusion pasta dishes, so it seemed like a pretty good bet for a low-key date night.
Although I spent most of my time in Thailand just eating whatever I felt like and could get my hands on, I did also take a quick gander at the Michelin Guide to see what eats they recommended. And whilst I had no intention of paying through the nose for high-end meals – that’s not what a holiday to Thailand is about in my opinion! – I did take a good look through what local eats they’ve highlighted as the best of the best. I ended up with a pretty hefty list, and whilst I didn’t manage to get through everything, I did try enough to cobble together this little series of mini-reviews. And so without further ado, here we are!
I nicked off to Bangkok for 10-odd days at the beginning of December, and it was a great old time, even taking into account when I got sick (or rather, when Chris got me sick) towards the end of the trip. Many temples were seen, many markets were trawled, and much, much food was eaten. But aside from a few restaurants recommended by the Michelin Guide, I more or less just walked around eating whatever I felt like, preferring to take a more relaxed approach to things. After all, there’s no place like Thailand – the home of street food – for impromptu eating.
Last week, I finally bit the bullet and dropped a couple weeks’ salary on flights and accommodation for a trip to Thailand at the end of the year. This proved to be an excellent move, as it’s given me something to look forward to and obsess over for the next couple of months, providing a sorely-needed reprieve to the huge amounts of study I’ve been (and will be) doing. And did I mention? The hotel I’ve booked apparently has a blinding breakfast buffet included in the room rate, complete with noodle station, omelettes made to order, dim sims, and freshly-squeezed juice! Just that alone is enough to get me hyped for my trip!