On the road we found several places where we had great food. From Michelin stars to roadside stalls, here are our top picks. Sometimes we will also list single dishes, rather than places we have had them. The list will get updated as we travel.
Nepal’s cuisine reminded us of Indian, since they also serve daal (lentils), bhaat (rice) and veg and non-veg curries on a regular basis. We have tried it in Lumbini, in Pokhara the dish was accompanaid by achar (pickles) and dahi (yoghurt).
There is one particular dish that became our favorite in Nepal – Momos, delicious steemed or fried dumplings, with meet or vegetable fillings, served with chilly sauce.
We have tried our first Momos in the Yanglin Tibetan Restaurant, in the area of the Kathmandu called Themel. We went for fried Momos with buffalo meet and steamed Momos with chicken. Simply Fantastic. Second-time Momos we had in a roadside eatery in a small mountain village close to Daman, and everybody else there had them for lunch as well.
In the Krishnarpam restaurant of the Dwarika’s hotel we have tried the finest Nepali’s cuisine, expiriencing authentic culinary journey of Nepal. A very special dinner.
Two excellent restaurants in Dehli we were lucky to enjoy were 1911 and The Spice Route, both in The Imperial hotel. 1911 has a colonial ambiance and offer mix of the international and Indian cuisine. The Spice Route, a South-East Asian Restaurant, is a pearl. It reflects the journey of spices from Kerala, Soth India, through Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia to Thailand and Vietnam. A superb experience, also due to its visual beauty, representing art and culture of all the places the spices have travelled through.
A truly excellent restaurant Bellevue we have found in the Oberoi Hotel in Agra. The place is amazing, romatic and very professional, with very delicate food.
The Hunza valley
In the Osho Maraka restaurant of the beautiful hotel Serena Hunza Inn we have tried Pakistani food for the first time. Fresh salad with mint-yoghurt, crep-layers filled with fresh cheese & coriander, chicken with ginger and mutton curry. The taste of every single dish was exquisite, even more so as a contrast to our previous food experience in China. The only thing missing was a glas of wine, since we have had a birthday to celebrate (no alcohol in Pakistan). Still, a perfect dinner.
Our Pakistani breakfast usually started with Pakistani omlet (eggs, onions, tomato, chilli, coriander), accompanied by flat Pakistani bread and chickpeas in tasty, spicy sauce. There is always fruit, mostly cherries in this season (Hunza cherries are very popular throughout the country), and yoghurt as well. The national drink is tea, and is mostly served with milk. Otherwise, there is always a nesscafe.
Altit fort in Hunza has a small restaurant, run by Serena Inn. Our dining experience was truly original, due to the amazing surrounding of the restaurant, excellent company we had with our new Pakistani friends, and home cooked food by two ladies who are managing the place.
We also have had a roadside eatery experience in Lahore. An adventure that went pretty well – fried chickpea-cakes with yoghurt sauce, and chickpeas mixed with egg and chillies. Delicious and fun experience.
A restaurant that we definately recommend is The Monal in Islamabad, a restaurant set up on the hill and offering a beautiful view of Islamabad, especially by night. The mixture of good food (local, thai and international), ambiance and spectacular views make it a lovely place, also very popular by locals. A dinner we had with Ali family was one of those nights to remember.
In Kashgar we have tried out few roadside eateries for a nudel soup or kebab. But the best restaurant where we have tasted delicious food was the uighur restaurant Altun Orda (meaning Golden Palace). The restaurant itself has impressive, grand looking interior, indeed trying to look like a palace, but we definately recomend it since the food was great.
We like Kyrgyz-food. Here you can already notice the taste-transition from Central to Eastern Asia. There are lots of herbs and spices, creating mixtures of tastes different to Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. Dishes that have captured our attention in several chaikanas along the road in Osh are laghman – a (sometimes spicy) noodel-soup dish, with long thick nudels, vegetables and mutton meat, different salads, samosas and çorba.
On the Madina Market we have had a traditional Kyrgyz food, that Boris had already tried previously with a guy who helped us repare our car. The food is simple and so good! We have also made pics of some stuff we have NOT tried. Guess which one is it…
In the etno village Supara we have found both, great traditional Kazakh food and an original setting. We have started with boorsok, small pieces of pastry, while we waited for Ak serke, a mutton soup served with cream cheese & fried pustry followed by Besh-Barmak, a dish of horse meat with noodles and Supara, a dish of mutton’s ribs, horse meat, noodles and cream. So tasty!
Cafe Faiza serves traditional Kyrgyz food and we liked it a lot. The place as such didn’t impress us much, since – like many other restaurants in Bishkek – it doesn’t have a personal, authentic touch. You come here for a delicious local food, period. Besides laghman, we have had our first fried manty, dumplings filled with meat and onion.
For us, there was not much about food experience in Turkmenistan. But then, a true highlight was a self-made barbeque at Darvaza Gas Crater, in the Karakum desert. Good food and amazing setting made this a spectacular dinner to remember.
Travelling trough Iran we have found out about fesenjān. A very delicious, thick stew, based on a pomegranate, grounded walnat and eggplant, almost always prepared with chicken and served with rice. Delicious!
We have had a dinner in a very atmospheric restaurantant with an open courtyourd of a 14-th century caravanserais, with a stone cell-rooms around it. Traditional azerbaidjan food at its best – we guess it.
A cozy, beautiful hotel with an excelent restaurant serving armenian food. We loved it.
At Shemoikhede Genatsvale you can have khinkali all you can eat – and beyond (dumplings with meat, mushroom and potato filling).
Puris Sahli (Bread House – they make fresh bread on the spot!)
Tasty, tastier, bread house. Startes are the best (we still dream of the cheese in the cream sause and badrijani, aubergine rols with walnut filling).
Dinner at Manoni Ratiani’s guesthouse. Everything on the table is made from Manoni herself, and the milk & yoghurt are from her cow “Nelly”. This guesthouse was a very original introduction to a Georgian cuisine – highly recomended.
A Döner place somewhere on the Ergül Sokak. Very simple, yet clean place saved us from starving on a late night. Paket servis is a term we have integrated in our vocabulary since then.
In Amasra, we were in Çesmi Cihan, a fish restaurant with harbour views. We have had fresh fish, and some incredibly tastful fried aubergines in joghurt.
At Hamdi Restaurant, that we have discovered two years ago, we have found tasty food as always (lots of different kebabs and mezze, including our favourit eggplant in joghurt sauce). It has a bustling atmosphere, and great views of Galata Bridge, Gold Horn and Old town.
Our absolutely favourite and a must stop of every visit to Istanbul.
Emine Ana Tatuni
Simple yet unique fast food from Anatolia.
Fresh, incredibly delicious and flavoursome kebabs. Our friend’s Almu favourite became one of ours as well.
Fresh fish sandwich direct from a boatman, at the Eminönu end of the Galata bridge. It’s a grilled mackarel filet, sprinkled with herbs and red chili, and served with lettuce & onions. If you get there – just follow the crowd at the river and the smell of the freshly grilled fish. You will see Ottomanish dressed man selling them to hungry locals and turists. Its kind of an institution to do so when visiting Istanbul – we always come back here.
Çoban salatasi (shepherd’s salat)
Simplicity at its best: tomatoes, cucumber and onions with a twist of oil and sometimes with lemon & olives. All restaurants serve it.
Sweets sweet sweets.
Žito with cream in Hotel Moskva, old fashioned way.