I was recently tagged by two food bloggers: Bruno from Zinfully Delicious and Sam from Becks & Posh for “The Food Bloggers Guide to the Globe – 5 Things to Eat Before You Die”. A guide started by “The Traveler’s Lunchbox“. Trying to narrow the search to five things is a huge task for this foodie, however, I felt I better start now or I could end up changing my mind many times over.
1) Lobster Suppers in Prince Edward Island, Canada – If you only visit PEI once, don’t miss a traditional church basement lobster supper. Some restaurants do imitations, but it’s better to go authentic and head to Saint Ann’s Church on Route 224 any day but Sunday. Saint Ann’s started lobster dinners in its basement to raise money for the church and other church charities. It’s been serving customers for over 40 years. For a set price, you get mussels, chowder, lobster, potato salad, homemade pie, ice cream and tea – with a side of local colour and congeniality.
2) Dim Sum – Ah, if you haven’t tried this Cantonese cuisine you are in for a treat. Dim sum literally means, “to touch your heart”. It consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and other goodies such as the famous egg custard tarts. There’s no ordering; instead you choose from a wide assortment of snacks that the waiters bring out on carts and trays. It’s a noisy affair and the best way to enjoy dim sum is with a large group; otherwise you’ll fill up on a few items and miss the opportunity to sample everything.
A few of my favorite items are: steamed pork spareribs, char siu bao (steamed buns with roast pork), har gau (shrimp dumplings with the translucent skin), mini spring rolls, siu mai (steamed pork dumplings), rice noodle rolls with shrimp, haw heung tsun chu gai (steamed sticky rice with chicken in lotus leaf), pot stickers, yiu chu law bak go (steamed turnip cake) and anything with eggplant. Finally, there’s dessert. Custard tarts are a must; you may also have a choice between mango or almond pudding. All of the above are washed down with copious amounts of tea.
3) Dulse! – You’re probably wondering what that is. Well, it’s a red seaweed that grows attached to rocks and is commonly used in Ireland and Atlantic Canada as a food snack. I grew up eating it and it is an acquired taste. The closest example of taste comparison I can think of is a sushi roll. If you enjoy the green wrap, then dulse tastes a bit like that. One must try this delicacy and the best dulse comes from Grand Manan, NB Canada.
4) Jane’s On The Common – Located in Halifax, NS Canada this bistro is small (37 seats) and gets busy during peak hours. It’s amazing that a city the size of Halifax (around 350,000) has over 350 restaurants! There seems to be a push for all things natural and support for the local farmers and fishermen. Jane’s delicious food and a varied wine list coupled with a neat atmosphere and a diverse set of customers make this place a reason for people to come back wanting more. I know we did. My husband and I were on holiday in Halifax in July and managed to eat there twice (once for lunch and once for dinner). An absolute pleasure to dine there.
5) Restaurants in Wineries – In August 2005 my husband and I were in New Zealand’s South Island for two weeks. We had never been to New Zealand and had planned our trip to celebrate our anniversary there. We both love wine and what better a place to celebrate than in a winery. One of our favorite NZ wineries is Pegasus Bay.
If you enjoy wine and food then I highly recommend eating in a winery. Usually these restaurants offer outstanding dishes and the value for money is amazing. Chefs prepare the food and a winery cannot afford a poor rating in its restaurant as that would reflect on the winery itself. A good winery restaurant will either pair its food with its wine and or suggest wines to compliment the meal. We’ve eaten in many winery restaurants (South Africa, Australia, and now New Zealand) and I have to say we’ve never been disappointed. In this category trying to choose one was also a difficult task. Pegasus Bay, however, was special for us in that we celebrated our anniversary there. Our waiter walked us through some suggestions giving us feedback from other customers along with his own personal recommendations. The food was brought to us in a timely fashion and towards the end, we didn’t want to leave.