Staff picks: our favourite international food discoveries

One of the joys of travelling is discovering distinct dishes and local flavours wherever you go. Ranging from the weird to the wonderful, here are some of our favourite finds.  


The Best Soft Serve Ever

Leigh-Ann Pow – Editorial director
I discovered the best soft-serve ice-cream I have ever tasted at Sakura No Chaya, on the rooftop garden at Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

Made from Hokkaido milk (which many think is the best in the world), the swirly confection was impossibly rich and creamy and just-right sweet.

It hit the spot on a scorching summer day, and the view while I ate it was pretty great too.


A Secret Sweet Pastry Recipe

Imogen Eveson – Sub editor
The Pastéis de Belém at the Jerónimos Monastery hardly fly under the radar… any guidebook to Lisbon will list them in their top 10 picks.

But what’s most surprising is just how delicious they really are.

I ‘sampled’ Pastéis de Nata – Portugal’s signature custard tarts – in cafes across the city, but these ones (made since 1837 with an ancient secret recipe) are next-level and had me catching the tram back on my final day for one last fix.


Intriguing Ice-Cream

Rebecca Xu – Designer

The little ice-cream shop that I came across in the winding maze of Shanghai’s bustling Tianzifang area was a fun discovery during my trip.

Alongside ‘giant macaron ice-cream’ – essentially ice-cream sandwiched between two macaron shells, it offered ‘syringes ice-cream’ that indeed came with a syringe, and what appeared to be a cone heavenly nested in the middle of a white cloud of fairy floss.

For all the ice-cream addicts out there, dreams really do come true.


Technicolour Thali

Steve Madgwick – Digital Editor
The South Indian thali was almost enough to convert me to vegetarianism.

It’s like your own personal herbivore buffet draped in a sub-continental technicolour dreamcoat.

I still don’t know what half the little dishes are but that means there’s plenty of ‘research’ to come…


Heart Eating

Daniel Down – Acting Deputy Editor
Hiking in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco we stayed at various Berber villages.

Every evening we were served delicious stews, usually rabbit, cooked on a fire in a tagine with apricots, nuts and other local ingredients.

I’m ashamed to say that I turned down the offer of the rabbit’s heart in one village, which is considered the best bit and an act of generosity, but being a young and inexperienced traveller at the time my cultural indiscretion was quickly forgiven.


Taught by the Best

Michelle Hogan – Account Manager
I went to the Lanta Thai Cookery School after I fell in love with Thai cuisine and wanted a few recipes that I could show off at my next dinner party.

I recommend this practical hands-on approach to cooking, plus I now make a mean chicken stir fry with basil and chilli (rumour has it that our teacher taught Gordon Ramsay the art of green curries).