Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

Five of the top places to find an authentic meal in Southeast Asia

  • Sat, 12 Aug 2017 07:14

From rich curries to spicy stews, we bring you some of the region’s best spots to enjoy authentic dishes and family recipes with a high-end twist

Hujan Locale, Indonesia

Located just off Ubud’s main thoroughfare, Hujan Locale is a slick, masculine bar at ground level, but it’s upstairs in the restaurant where the magic really happens. Chef Will Meyrick’s 15-plus years of scouring Indonesia for its most magnificent recipes and ingredients have really paid off at this lesser-known gem that tinkers expertly with dishes from across the archipelago to create a menu that feels both traditional and refined. The menu changes regularly but instantly plump for an Acehnese dish if one is available. On our visit the Padang-style thick kalio curry with stuffed fish and minced prawn was wonderful, though the snapper ceviche with kaffir lime and krupuk peyek was the true standout – quite possibly the best thing we’ve tasted this year.

Kravanh, Cambodia

There is a great deal of competition for the title of Phnom Penh’s best authentic Cambodian food, and Kravanh has certainly earned its place in the conversation. The restaurant is simple yet elegant, with high-powered ministers and businesspeople regularly discussing the issues of the day over the restaurant’s extensive menu of comforting Khmer classics and a glass of wine. Fish amok, one of the country’s best known dishes, is on point here, while any of the fabulously rich curries and salads are also certain to satisfy. For something a little different, we’d recommend the nataing, a warm, prawn-based dip served with rice crackers. While the original Kravanh overlooks the parks and fountains that line Sothearos Boulevard, a new location has just opened in the up-and-coming Russian Market neighbourhood.

Candlenut, Singapore

With a Michelin star and a new location along leafy Dempsey Road inside the stylish, minimalist COMO hotel, Candlenut’s Singaporean chef-owner Malcolm Lee serves up modern and refined – yet still respectful – interpretations of the old Nonya recipes his mother used to whip up. Baba Nonya, or Peranakan, cuisine is the original fusion food that evolved as the early Chinese migrants who settled in Malaysia and Indonesia began marrying Chinese classics with local ingredients. Lee’s curries, such as a rich chicken ‘yeye’ coconut curry with fried shallots, green peppercorns and kaffir lime – use rempahs (spice pastes) that are made from scratch. Leave room for the rich and earthy “Buah Keluak” ice cream, made with Valhrona chocolate, salted caramel, chocolate crumble, specks of chilli and drizzled with a warm milk chocolate espuma.

Raya Thai Cuisine, Thailand

Tucked inside a faded but stunning old colonial Sino-Thai mansion, this 18-year-old family restaurant has become a Phuket Old Town institution, attracting foodies from all across Thailand. The old dame has aged gracefully, with gorgeous Portuguese mosaic tiling, pretty stained glass and walls adorned with ’50s vintage prints and photos of celebrities, royalty and prime ministers enjoying many a meal at Raya. Head chef Khun Kulab’s menu is an ode to the historic cuisine of the south – don’t miss the kanom jeen (creamy crab meat yellow curry served with little swirls of rice noodles), as well as the rich pork stew and the deep-fried sea bass with shallots, fiery chillies and doused in a tamarind and lemongrass sauce.

Tamarind, Laos

Cooking classes abound in Luang Prabang, the misty, temple-studded former Royal capital of Laos that was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 1995 for its dreamy French colonial architecture and gilded pagodas. But this breezy café on the banks of the Nam Khan River arguably boasts the old quarter’s best and most popular cooking schools (classes take place in an old villa next door). The restaurant, run by Laos chef Joy Ngeuamboupha and his Australian wife Caroling Gaylard, serves up homely authentic northern Laos soul food such as buffalo laab, bamboo shoot soups, dried riverweed and spicy Luang Prabang sausage.

This article was published in the August​ edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here. 
Southeast Asia Globe Magazine

Tags


Harvard Business Review

Related Stories

Rogue 'Thai' elephant attacks woman in Cambodia
  • Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:23

The killer wild elephant that evaded efforts to keep it on Thai soil and entered Cambodia last week attacked a resident of Battambang on Cambodia'...

Philippine SEC remains firm in revoking Rappler’s publishing license
  • Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:13

The SEC has accused the Philippine media outlet of using foreign investments in a “deceptive scheme” to stay in business A protester wears a tape...

From Zero to hero: Yu feels the Hong Kong Marathon heat with Asian Games places up for grabs
  • Fri, 19 Jan 2018 04:52

For many, the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon is meant to be a bit of fun or a personal challenge. But for short-distance specialist Zero Yu Hin...

Police score win for Olympic skater, find stolen costumes
  • Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:43

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco police have recovered two pricey costumes and a pair of ice skates belonging to U.S. Olympic figure skater ...

Cambodia on a ‘downward trend’, according to Freedom House
  • Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:13

The American NGO Freedom House has singled out Cambodia as being on a “downward trend” in terms of liberties, but despite an ongoing political cra...

Arrest after bride raped on wedding day
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:15

Chhoen Chanseng, 18, was charged with rape yesterday and sent to Prey Veng prison for pre-trial detention. Photo supplied An 18-year-old accused of ra...

The 7 most expensive cities to live in Asia
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:16

MANY of the most expensive cities to live in Asia are in East Asia, according to price aggregation website Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index 2018. Indic...

Cambodia Has Its Own Mobile Payment App, But Will It Catch On Beyond Phnom Penh?
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:13

F T L E W Pi Pay, although little-known outside of its native Cambodia, has scaled quickly to become a ubiquitous digital wallet solution and the firs...

Snowstorm pummels southeast, kills 10, including 8-month-old baby
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:22

Winter Storm Inga swept the South from Texas to Florida and even north to Massachusets on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and wreaking havoc on...

President Jokowi appoints Golkar secretary-general in cabinet reshuffle
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:12

Analysts say appointment of Idrus Marham is an attempt by the president to garner support from Indonesia’s second-largest party ahead of next year...

Students lectured on 'revolution'
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:13

Ruling party lawmaker Pen Panha speaks to civil service students yesterday about the government's successful bid to prevent 'colour revolution...

In a threatened Cambodian forest, hand-in-hand push to protect land and people
  • Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:16

Cambodia's deforestation rate is one of the fastest in the world. That puts endangered animals at risk, as well as cultures that have long drawn o...


News Categories