A Taste of Home: Western Foods I Crave in Asia

I’ve mentioned many times before about how food is one of my favourite things about travelling. There’s nothing I like more than going to a new place and trying the local delicacies – especially when they cost about two quid like some places in Asia!

My open-mindedness has led to me trying so many things that I have since fallen in love with – meatball porridge to name one – as well as a number of things I never thought I’d try and I’m not sure whether I’d try again. Durian, scorpion and perhaps most controversially of all – dog – all spring to mind as things I may not eat again.

In fact, I know I’ll never eat durian again. The fact it smells better than it tastes says a lot, but if the idea of something tasting like a gone off mango with cheese and onion appeals to you then go for it! Scorpion wasn’t too bad and actually tasted a little like Bovril – figure that one out. I had the good fortune to be drunk when eating this as well as dog, so my memory may be slightly inaccurate but I do remember dog tasting a little like pork. I realise people may not approve of me trying it, but ‘when in Rome’ and all that.

Scorpion.JPG

One of many new ‘foods’ I’ve tried in Asia!

Unsurprisingly though, after nine months on the road I’m finding myself craving certain western foods that really hit the spot. It’s not that I’m falling out with Asian food or anything, but you know what they say: variety is the spice of life!

Having woken up with an absolute monster of a hangover this morning after my birthday yesterday, I’ve found myself wanting western food even more. Here are a few meals that I’d kill for right now!

Fish and Chips

Without doubt; the food I’m missing most from home is a big plate of battered fish and chips with a side order of mushy peas doused in ketchup (or ‘red sauce’, if I’m feeling particularly Royle Family). Christ, I’m actually salivating at the thought. Before any deranged southerners come on here and tell me it’s not right having fish and chips with gravy/peas/curry sauce – it is, so pipe down.

I actually gave in to my cravings in Kuala Lumpur and had this very meal. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as in England. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. The minted peas didn’t help its cause either – there’s a time and a place and fish and chips certainly isn’t it!

The things I would do…

Bangers and Mash

The ultimate comfort food – Cumberland sausage with mashed potato (garlic optional) smothered with onion gravy. Now we’re talking! The lack of pork in some Asian countries makes this a little tough to come by at times (or just mega expensive), but you can’t put a price on comfort, right?

A Full English Breakfast

My weapon of choice for fighting the hangover this morning. Until I had a western meal in a Singapore hawker centre I didn’t even realise how long I’d gone without baked beans but since then, I can’t stop thinking about them! I could have written a full post about my love of baked beans, but settled for grouping them in with a full English.

There’s something really comforting about being hungover and going down to the same pub (Wetherspoons) that made you feel that way, and stuffing your face with their finest microwaved bacon, sausage, beans, egg, black pudding and so on.

I’m being deadly serious.

Meat and Potato Pies

In Singapore, I was getting my football fix by supporting Hougang United , but there was an aspect of match day that was lacking. Part of my weekly routine at Spotland, without fail, is to get a meat and potato pie (again, usually smothered in mushy peas) before the game. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to have caught on over here just yet!

Sure, there is plenty to choose from and lots of pastry, but none of it quite hits the spot like the pies back home!

Chips, Cheese and Doner Meat

Ok, so this is a slightly disgusting one to end on but for some reason (after an absolute skinful usually) I’m an absolute sucker for this meal! As I mentioned, it’s usually consumed in the early hours of Saturday or Sunday mornings, but there’s just something about it that – at the time – sounds so appealing!

This has never appealed to a sober person, ever. Photo from the BBC.

I’m not sure whether it’s the soggy chips, the plastic cheese or the unidentified meat that has been reheated countless times on that spinning stick, but whatever it is seems to be irresistible under the circumstances! This one is best served with a side order of guilt and regret.

Do you agree with my list? What foods could you not live without?

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4 responses to “A Taste of Home: Western Foods I Crave in Asia

  1. I’m going through the same thing in India now. Love the taste and spices over here but at the same time missing Western food like never before! Breakfast time is the hardest!

  2. you can get doner kebabs at Chatuchak markets, often where I go for a dodgy western ‘fix’ while I’m overseas! I hate fish and chips so can’t help you on that one though 😉

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