12 Best Things We Ate in 2012

We count down our best adventures of 2012, no surprise, in food!

This is usually the time where we tell you what we’ve been up to this past year – where we’ve been, things we’ve done – I assure you that post is coming. But not today. Today is all about the food! On the eve of Christmas, we reflect back on some of the best things we ever ate in hopes that St. Nick would surprise us with a little something special from our Christmas wishlist below. After all, we’ve been nothing but good this year. :)

So without further adieu, we give you our Christmas wish list – our favorite eats from 2012:

12. Fois Gras in Budapest, Hungary


Thanks to our food tour in Budapest, our last meal in Europe was here, at Borbíróság. With foie gras being banned in California (It’s stupid, I know), you can bet we took full advantage of the inexpensive duck liver in Budapest. At Borbirosag, they serve it grilled with a side of “chimney cake” and pear jam.

11. Chocolate haupia pie on the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii


What is not to love and miss? Ted’s Bakery and their chocolate haupia pie is a chocolate coconut lover’s dream. Rich and creamy and absolutely delicious, it’s easily one of our favorite desserts.

10. Hainanese chicken rice at Tian Tian in Singapore


Anthony Bourdain did not let us down here. Savory and tender chicken over steam rice served with a chili garlic sauce, it’s mouthwatering good. We just wish we knew how good sooner to order a bigger plate before waiting in a half-hour long line.

9. Hirata pork buns at Ippudo in New York, NY


You wonder why the line is 2 hours long – this is why. The ramen is good at Ippudo, but the pork buns – braised pork belly in a slightly spicy japanese Barbeque-type sauce on a pillowy white bun – they’re the real showstopper. We even put in an extra order for dessert; it’s that good.

8. Gnocchi with lamb ragout in Prague, Czech Republic


I always give gnocchi makers the benefit of the doubt but rarely do people ever get it right. And then we came to Oliva in Prague. Not to doughy or chewy, the potato gnocchi was perfectly cooked and served on a light yet savory lamb ragout. And I don’t even like lamb much, but everything just works here.

7. Fruit salad muesli in Pushkar, India


I never thought a fruit salad could be so satisfying until we had the fruit salad at Sonu’s in Pushkar. There’s strawberries, pomegranates, grapes, kiwis, oranges and pineapples on a bed of toasted granola, nuts and shaved ice. Heavenly..

6. Banh mi pate in Hanoi, Vietnam

banh mi pate

At Nguyen Sinh, it’s a family run business and everything, down to the decadently creamy pate, is made in-house. Hands down, the best o banh mi I’ve had.. period. You can also order a sampler plate of all their cold cuts like we did above.  Enjoy with a Bia Hanoi!

5. Ceviche de pescado in Arequipa, Peru


Cevicheria Polita is located at the Mercado San Camilo, and they have been making ceviche for over 30 years. For less than $2 USD, you get fresh marinated fish in citrus juices, spices and chili peppers served with sweet potatoes and topped with onion, coriander and corn.

4. Rice with basil pork in Phuket Town, Thailand



We were starving and stumbled upon this street stall by the bus station around the corner from our guesthouse. And after our first rice plate we kept coming back, sometimes two, three times a day. Best 40 baht ($1.30 USD) spent. Don’t forget to add a fried egg.

3. Al Capone donut at J-Co in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


You think Krispy Kreme is good? J-Co takes the cake for best donut, hands down. It’s light and airy and literally melts in your mouth. The toppings are unique and our favorite is the Al Capone.

2. O-toro ‘Fatty Tuna’ sushi in Tokyo, Japan


I can tell you now, the 3 hour line is worth the wait because the sushi at Sushi Dai is to die for. Read more about our sushi venture at the Tsukiji fish market here.

1. Fried dumplings in Shanghai, China


Dumplings in Shanghai, whether you have them steamed or fried, you won’t be disappointed. But if you have to choose, Yang’s fried dumplings are the stuff of legends. The dumplings are fried in a cast iron pan until golden brown on one side then covered and doused with oil several times more before finally sprinkled with sesame and scallions. It’s juicy, fatty and crispiness will have you wanting more.

There you have it; our best in eats from 2012. I love that our favorite eats are some of the cheapest a dollar can buy. So Santa, if you’re out there and reading this post, any one of the items above will make us happy campers. :D

What was THE best dish you ate this year?

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26 Responses to 12 Best Things We Ate in 2012

  1. Andi Perullo, L.Ac. December 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Ummm that chocolate pie looks SO good!!!

  2. Caroline Eubanks December 25, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Yum! I’m working on my own list as we speak!

  3. Aryn Hill December 25, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I sure ate a lot of number one while I was in China! I can’t wait to travel and try the rest of these!

    Driftwood and Daydreams

  4. Noah Lederman December 26, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Pad Thai after crossing the Cambodia/Thai border. It was a cold, $1 offering served in Styrofoam, but I had been eating Cambodian food for a few weeks and though it’s my favorite country, their food is not very good.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin December 26, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      I know what you mean.. the styrofoam meals at street stalls are my fave! :)

  5. Seattle Dredge ? December 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    ohhh the chocolate haupia pie looks delish!

  6. Susan Mcguire December 28, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    no need to say anything after saw the Chocolate haupia pie. Look
    so delicious I can’t control myself dear. I’ve to visit that place as soon as possible.

  7. Bama December 28, 2012 at 4:49 am #

    I have to say that my eyes were fixated to that picture of chocolate haupia pie for a few seconds before scrolling down for more pictures. It looks heaven! Oh by the way, did you know that J-Co donuts are from Indonesia? I haven’t tried the ones in Malaysia, though.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin December 28, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      They are?!! I did not see them when we were in Indonesia.. so sad. They need to come to the States already.. J-Co..

  8. Lazy Travelers December 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    omg. i want all of it. ALL OF IT.

  9. craig zabransky December 29, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Wow. you ate really well in 2012… And now I am going to have to wait in line in NYC. And nice pick for #1, Shanghai dumplings are the stuff of legends – I agree. Stay adventurous, Craig

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin December 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      Yes. Worth the wait Craig. If you get there 20-30 minutes before doors open at Ippudo. You should get in just fine w/out the long wait.

  10. Ana Silva O'Reilly January 2, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    Not sure if it was a good idea for me to read this on the first day of my 2013 diet! looks delicious!!

  11. dewtraveller January 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Shouldn’t have read this when I’m hungry! Great foodie post! I see you have JCo listed, I love their doughnuts too, delicious…and they are from Indonesia,did you know? They’ve been so popular that they started opening branches in Malaysia and I think Singapore too! :D

    • Kieu - GQ trippin January 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      I can’t believe I didn’t notice them in Indonesia.. I would have stocked up!

  12. Ayngelina January 3, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    I love how most of these are places I have never been, gives me more reason to travel in 2013.

  13. Raj January 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    You have a great dished from Momo to …. specially if you are in and around Nepal try Dal Vhat in 2013 ! Raj from kathamndu who runs not a creative blog like you a Travel company http://www.goodkarmatrekking.com !

  14. Ronald Robbins January 10, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    That hainanese chicken rice looks delicious! Thanks for the list, now I’ve got something else to look for in the market! ;-)

    • Kieu - GQ trippin January 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      They need to give out bigger portions! That stuff is addicting.. LOL

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