Most of us would know about Sri Lanka’s local cuisine, thanks to Celebrity Chef Peter Kuruvita’s 5 TV series, which air on many networks worldwide. His shows syndicate stunning backdrop with extraordinary local cuisine. The first one aka ‘My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita’ is like a bible to the cuisine. It’s a great idea to pre-book on a culinary tour with him to discover the cuisine like never before. If you are a tea lover then do know that Resplendent Ceylon has been curating a range of authentic experiences with distinct warmth over the years, while steadily contributing towards local communities and the environment, the Ceylon Tea Trail for example. And yes a foodie trip to Sri Lanka is incomplete without a meal experience at Dharshan Munidasa’s Ministry of Crab.
The best itinerary to explore Nepali food and culture is by stopping first at Kathmandu and then going further deep into the Himalayas, following the trails of where it all began, in the lap of Dhaulagiri, the world’s 7th highest mountain along the Kaligandaki gorge, the world’s deepest gorge, the land of the Thakalis. Jimbu Thakali, named after the Himalayan herb called jimbu, is Nepal’s most prominent traditional restaurant and carries forward the legacy of Thak-Khola Village of Mustang District and was founded by the Sherchan family to introduce Thakali Khana to locals and tourists alike.
Set in its turquoise sea, Maldives is a haven of tranquillity and is as stunning. The same goes for the cuisine, which is one of the reasons it’s the hottest destinations these days, in fact Vistara just launched its direct flight from Mumbai to Male and Maldivian Airlines is launching a new route too. Your gastronomic experience could vary from haute cuisine to fish and chips depending on what you resort has on offer. If you crave a good Indian meal, Tamarind set on stilts at the Lily Beach is the best. Head to Nashta in Male for a quintessential hedhikaa (small eats). Gulha, dough balls with a stuffing of tuna fish, grated coconut etc. are to die for!
Dubai has every palate craving taken care of. One can choose from an astounding variety of icon restaurants and a huge diversity of Middle Eastern food! Arabian Tea House an enthusiastically popular and the first Traditional Emirati restaurant is a placid and cheery enterprise jam bursting with pretty designs with branches across the town, from Al Fahidi to Jumeirah Archaeological Site. The best Shawarma in town is hands down at the Em Sherif cafe just near Manzil Downtown and for the best of views and Asian food, there’s no place better than Zeta at the Address Downtown.
Must try fresh fish from the Bosphorous, pistachio Turkish delights, Pomegranate juice, local meat balls and amazingly tasty vegetable side dishes in Selcuk near Ephesus, olives of all tastes and colours and of course the Turkish coffee! Stay at the majestic Ciragan Palace Kempinski, once the residence of the last Ottoman sultans, now restored to its anterior grandeur and offers the picture-perfect union of Turkey’s great practice of hospitality. By the way Vegetarians can survive in Turkey quite well! What you will love most is the huge variety of spice smells and chestnuts being roasted by street vendors mixed with the ocean air’s mama mia! In Istanbul cuisine is global; though if you have kebab on your mind, do try Konyali or Gunaydin it’s simply the best!
– The author is a food writer based out of Delhi.