AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Food in Nepal

In Asia you can get any sorts of food. One surprise for me has been how good the food in Nepal has been. The restaurants here are, Indian and everything else in one place. You can get pasta and pizza as well as fish and chips. Many places do steak or grilled meat and vegetables. Having western food in Asian countries has been a hit and miss. I still try to avoid pasta and pizza unless I have seen someone else eat it.

Nepal has given us consistently good food, although the best meal we’ve had was in Hue in Vietnam (it was Indian restaurant). We have had huge milkshakes topped with ice cream in Pokhara. Italian steak marinaded in balsamic vinegar. A really tasty mozzarella and onion tart. A divine lemon meringue pie. The list goes on. The local food of daal bhat is for me too plain. It consists of lentils, vegetable curry, rice and some pickle and yet lacks taste. Yet, I had an excellent vegetable thali in Kathmandu, which is pretty much the same thing.

The places where we did expect good food included Thailand and China. However, when we arrived in China they ate parts of meat we were not used to e.g. gristle. I don’t get the appeal of gristle when I can have a chicken breast. I was also really excited about Thailand as Thai food is one of my favourites. But when we arrived there the food did not tickle our taste buds as much as we hoped. We did have a few really good meals, one of our favourites cost 70p next to a river full of rubbish! Nonetheless, the best Thai food that I’ve eaten was in Vienna, not in Thailand.

Travelling has cemented the known fact that dishes in the UK are moulded to our taste buds. There were small pockets of tasty dishes in Thailand in the tourist areas but street food was rice and meat – understandably so as it costs much less than a curry. The big surprise is Nepal. Nepalese people generally do not eat out because it costs too much so street food does not exist. I think the power of the tourist purse has led to high quality restaurants being set up with the best being joint ventures between Nepalese and Western owners. It works! The same was the case in Cambodia, another country that doesn’t have a ‘going out’ presence. Now in Nepal, I look forward to going out, whereas in China it was a burden, due to the language barrier and also cultural differences. I still don’t fancy chicken feet or insects!

Typically after writing this we just had a poor meal in Nepal! Sod’s law and all that.

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