If you’re looking for Michelin-star fine dining in this blog, look away now. There’s a time and place for table-service, but it’s not here because we’re in search of something entirely different. We at Kenwood Travel are almost as passionate about food as we are about travel, and there’s nothing quite like escaping 5-star service to explore the streets in search of unique, unusual or simply delicious street food. Read on to find out we discovered on our worldwide hunt below.

Bánh mì

Ever had a Subway? Think of that, but a million times tastier.  Bánh mì is a hugely popular street food originating from Vietnam. Stemming from French colonialism, this tasty dish is the perfect example of east-meets-west street food from the Far East, and a must on your next Vietnam holiday.

What’s in it?

Bánh mì ingredients vary, as you can often simply choose your own fillings. The most authentic Bánh mì you’ll discover on the streets of Ho Chi Minh city consists of grilled pork, cucumber slices, pickled carrots and daikon, liver pâté, all drizzled with mayonnaise. 

The best place to try it?

It may sound simple, but you haven’t truly tasted it until you’ve had it from a narrow street corner in Saigon on your next holiday to Vietnam.  Vietnam boasts the perfect Bánh mì whether it’s due to years of practice or an array of talented street chefs, we simply don’t know. But there’s something about this baguette that we can’t get enough of.

Pork Satay

When someone mentions street food, the chances are you’ll think of Bangkok. It’s true though because Thailand is renowned for its delicious street-servings to the extent their cuisine has spread across the globe. You may have already sampled it in markets, corner shops or designated Thai restaurants, but there’s nothing like sampling it from its source.

What’s in it?

That’s the surprise. It can be beef, it can be chicken. Or it can be tofu for the vegetarians amongst us. Whatever the main ingredient, it’s marinated in coconut milk, turmeric, and other spices. Then it’s grilled over charcoal to give it that deliciously smoky flavour. Make sure you try it with tangy achat. That’s what we’d call a salad with pickles, cucumber, and a spicy peanut sauce.

The best place to try it?

Thailand. And that’s said with conviction. It will be difficult to miss on the streets of Bangkok, and the dish is in fact served everywhere from Ko Samui to Vietnam. Pork Satay actually originated in Indonesia, but it has become so widespread in Thailand it is largely considered the country’s signature dish.

Jerk Chicken

Famously delicious classic from Jamaica which treats the tastebuds with an explosion of flavour with jerk marinade, scotch bonnet, fresh thyme and garlic. Better yet, this recipe is easy to make in the comforts of your own home. Now that’s tasty.

What’s in it

Need you even ask? Actually yes. Chicken is the main one. But you’ll benefit from adding some carefully selected ingredients including allspice berries, thyme, Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, fresh ginger, and oil or soy sauce. This is then cooked over charcoal over wood, which absorbs the oils giving the dish that signature taste.

The best place to try it?

No, seriously, do you really need to ask? The fact about jerk chicken is that it’s easy to make at home, which adds to its popularity. But getting that signature flavour is a skill that is hard to find – unless you’re in Jamaica. The authentic tastes from this Caribbean island won’t simply get you craving more, it will get you craving their secret because you can’t taste real jerk chicken unless you’re on holiday to Jamaica.

 

Halo Halo

Now it’s time for dessert. And what’s better than tucking into a crazily-tasty street-food feast on a sun-kissed island on the Philippines? This dish, translated as ‘mix-mix’ is one for the sweet tooths among us.

What’s in it?

Rather, what’s not in it? This delicious dessert has a whole host of ingredients and, unlike jerk chicken, it’s hard to replicate this at home. Let’s start with boiled kidney beans, garbanzo beans, sugar palm fruit, coconut, caramelized plantains, and jackfruit. Then throw in some tapioca, sweet potato, crushed rice, and flan. Then, of course, top it off with some good old-fashioned ice-cream.

Best place to try it?

The Philippines, hands down. And although you might find similarly insane dishes across the Far East, this is the country where it originates from. The Philippines is also the place that goes the extra mile to make it extra crazy. But it pays off. Guys, it’s really, really good.

Tacos al pastor

We’re including this because some of you might not enjoy desserts. You monsters. But put asides the coffee and the mint for now, and have a look at an extra side instead because this Mexican dish is a winner.

What’s in it?

Think Lebanese food. Now think Mexican food. Now mix it together. Can you picture it? The Lebanese migrants introduced a whole new palette of taste to the Mexicans back in the day, introducing spit-roasting meats, dried chiles, spices, and pineapple. Then you’ve got to slice it off the spit like shawarma and serve on small tortillas with onions, cilantro and pineapple, lime juice or hot salsa.

Best place to try it?

Seeking the best place for Lebanese-Mexian fusion cuisine might seem like a tricky mission. But luckily, you’ll discover a whole range of delicious dishes when you take a holiday to Cancun and the Riviera Maya. A simple stroll through along the streets will introduce you to a wealth of aromas and flavours, but Tacos al pastor is definitely our go-to favourite.

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