Out of our time traveling, I think I would have to say Khao Soi is the most amazing thing I have tasted! Khao Soi is a coconut based curry. I haven’t come across this curry in Bangkok or Southern Thailand, so to my knowledge, Northern Thailand is the only place to find it. Chiang Mai has so many cheap eat spots. A few of the places we tried were the Blue Noodle, the Coconut Shell, Khao Soi, Jok Sompet (porridge and dim sum), and some street foods around the old town. The Blue Noodle dishes reminded me of Vietnam, something similar to Pho. The Coconut Shell had the usual Thai dishes and most of the curries (yellow, green, coconut, red, Khao Soi). I tried Khao Soi at pretty much every place I could and my absolute favorite is Khao Soi Khun Yai. It is only open from 10-2 every day. I arrived at noon, waited in line for 20 minutes and another 20 minutes to receive my food. They sold out before 1 pm. There were locals along with tourists at this place so you KNOW it’s gonna be delicious! Walter took a cooking class while we were in Chiang Mai and was given a book with recipes afterward so he gets to make me Khao Soi when we get home! A slightly more expensive place we ate was The Crazy Noodle. Here you have the option to make your own curry or noodle dish by picking the noodles, sauce, protein and a few more things. Again, so amazing! When it came to a curry place we only spent about 50 baht per person ($1.75). Uuuhhh salivating…..
This will be short and sweet! For the two days (coming back later) we spent in Cambodia we only tried a few places (Angkor Wat), and Amok is a MUST! It is the dish that, at least this area, is known for. I’m sure there is a lot more to it, but Amok is comprised of freshwater fish, Khmer spices, and coconut milk along with a million different types of spices. But it is Cambodia’s signature dish, so why not try?
The other main restaurant that we ate here was Cuisine Wat Damnak. This is a Michelin star restaurant. Most of Cambodia’s ingredients are imported from outside of Cambodia, but this restaurant uses ingredients only found within Cambodia making it an authentic experience. The menu changes every week, so you will unlikely be able to feast on what we did, but I’m sure it will be just as delicious! The chef is originally from France but studied in America, then settled in Cambodia. This was one of the most remarkable dinners I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Instead of describing all of the ingredients, I will post pictures of the plates and menu. I chose tasting menu 1, and forgot to take a picture of the first dish, my bad (pictures are in order with menu!). While we usually do “cheap eats”, however, one of our close friends recommended we try this Michelin star restaurant with them, and in all seriousness, it was an amazing experience and one I would recommend with friends! There are plenty of budget options. My secret to finding them is literally just typing “cheap eats” into Google and reading through quite a few articles. I’ve said this before, if you are traveling on a budget, do not bother reading TripAdvisor. They are bubbling over with bullshit.
Since Dalat is a mountain town it was on the pricier side of what our usual budget was. We try to stay around $2-$4 per person when it comes to food, which is easily doable. Trip Adviser of course only has crap recommendations. They really need to hire some budget travelers to get out there. We tried Oz burgers due to its high ratings. It really wasn’t anything to get excited over. Also, what kind of monster puts beets on burgers? After eating here, I decided that maybe I’ll wait till I’m back in America to have a burger. We ate at Brew and Breakfast. Now I am not a vegetarian by any means, but I figured I would finally try my first vegetarian restaurant. It was amazing! Since this time I have probably recommended this place at least a hundred times. I am really missing my buffalo sauce from back home, so when I saw fried buffalo mushrooms I was sold! My bowl consisted of sauteed tomatoes, caramelized onions, pickled pink onions, spinach, hummus, and vegan eggs with a side of what looked like McDonald’s hash browns (oh yeah baby), and like I said the buffalo mushrooms. I am salivating just thinking about this bowl. Walter ordered a bowl with cashew butter, bananas, coconut, oats, cashews, chia seeds, and some other little things. Again, amazing! This place left such a mark on me I told him for dinner we were going back. Don’t be fooled, even though it has the word “breakfast” in the name, it does have a different menu for dinner. We both ordered loaded salads. The costs for each meal was roughly 100,000 per person ($4), although I would have paid a little more. Numerous locals had mentioned that we eat at the night market. This ended up being a bit disappointing. There were only about 3 different cheap eats options to choose from. The pricey restaurants moved their tables outside, so it looked like it would be cheaper, but they were charging about $15 a meal per person. Out of the cheap eats options, there was Pho, Corn balls, and Vietnamese pizza. I had the corn balls and Vietnamese pizza (banh trang nuong), but shortly found out they contained the same ingredients. The pizza was a rice paper with an egg yolk spread out over it with shrimp paste, pork, and sriracha paste. The cornballs contained these ingredients on the inside. We didn’t eat out too much here since our hostel offered free breakfast.
We are beginning to figure out that in Vietnam there is a difference between Vietnamese food and authentic Vietnamese food. In Hue, we got our first taste of this! We found an amazing restaurant, Hanh Restaurant, that has authentic food. The banh beo was amazing! It is these little plates with a rice pancake that you pour sauce on then slurp down like an oyster! We ordered about seven different items and our bill was only $110,000 Vietnamese dom! ($5 American dollars). Another dish to try here is Bun Bo Hue, it is different from your everyday pho dish, but a bit tastier. There were other cheap eats that we found but they were the typical fried noodle, pho or bun cha. We also tried Korean food here since we had not seen it elsewhere. It was nice to have something a bit different from Vietnamese food. This could be found at Kicochi House. Definitely spicer than the previous food we’ve had!