…And maybe the greatest sandwich I’ve ever had, period? It’s right up there, that’s for sure.
If heaven exists, it probably looks something like the Nishiki Market in Kyoto: a seemingly endless street market filled with one vendor after another serving up delicious-looking food.
If it’s food-related, you’ll probably find it here. Aside from all of the enticing prepared food, there’s a smorgasbord of various meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables — it’s a one-stop shop for all things food.
I came here without anything in mind, basically just looking for whatever stall looked the busiest. And there was no contest: this bustling takoyaki stand was clearly where it was at.
For the uninitiated, takoyaki is basically a ball of dough with a piece of octopus in the middle, typically served as street food. They had a few different varieties, including one with cheese, which I had no idea was even a thing. Obviously that’s what I got.
I like takoyaki, though it’s never really been my favourite. Most of the ones I’ve tried have been one-note doughy, with a rubbery piece of octopus inside.
The ones here, on the other hand, were delightfully crispy on the outside, creamy and a little bit gooey on the inside from the cheese, and contained a surprisingly tender piece of octopus. The sweet sauce on top does a great job of balancing out the savouriness of the balls.
Takoyaki is an Osaka specialty, so I’ll obviously be getting them again when I go there, but they’re going to have a very, very hard time living up to this. Takoyaki perfection.
You know how I know I like Busan? I hadn’t even checked into my hotel yet, and I had already seen several street food vendors dispensing tasty treats.
I just had a wing that was stuffed with rice, and I need to say that whoever invented this is a goddamned genius. Wings are good. Rice is good. Why not stuff one into the other?
Why not indeed.
Eating Peking duck in Beijing is a no-brainer. You’ve gotta do it.
However, since it typically involves a whole duck being served over multiple courses, it’s a difficult dish to enjoy solo.
I was already a pretty big fan of the stroopwafels you can get back home — the round, thin discs of crispy, chewy, caramel-filled waffles that usually come in a cellophane-wrapped pile of five or six. They’re delicious.
But my stroopwafel love has been kicked to the next level, because I just had a freshly-made one in Amsterdam, and it was everything. It was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long, long time.
There’s something about the simplicity of really well-prepared fries that’s kind of irresistible. I mean, ultimately they’re just potato sticks, but that crispy/creamy contrast can’t be beat.
And the fries from Vleminckx Sausmeesters in Amsterdam are some of the best that I’ve had in a long while. They’ve got that crispy/creamy thing going on in spades. They’re lousy with it.
When I was at the Borough Market, I noticed one vendor selling a duck confit sandwich that looked so good, I had to go back.
I mean, look at that griddle full of meat. I want to shrink myself down so I can dive in like Scrooge McDuck into his money bin. Of course I went back to try the sandwich.