These are the foods you don’t expect to find in SE Asia, but you found them, and they were delicious.
1. Best Waffle: Dots Café in Kuching, Malaysia
The heavy Chinese influence in Kuching has made the food here excellent. Waffle shops are a craze, and this tasty peach special from Dots Cafe is right on par.
2. Best Guacamole: Yar Pyi Vegetarian Restaurant in Bagan, Myanmar
I I expected to find exceptional vegetarian food in Myanmar, but not guacamole! This was fantastic, with a uniquely tart flavor and special seasoning.
3. Best muesli: German Bread & More in Hua Hin, Thailand
This muesli can be found at the B&B run by a lovely German couple in Hua Hin. Usually muesli is served dry with mil or yogurt, but here it was a delicious creamy porridge with bananas and other fresh fruit.
4. Best airplane food: fish curry at Bangkok Air Yangon to Bangkok
I know it doesn't look like much, but this was the best airplane food I've ever had. The curry was restaurant quality, the glass noodles were tangy and spicy. The coconut cake was moist and sweet. It really doesn't get better than this.
5. Best instant coffee: Luwak coffee in Bali, Indonesia
This Kopi Luwak came from a package and was served to me at the morning market in Ubud. I love this coffee, complete with cream and sugar. Luwak coffee is $50/cup in the U.S. but in the Ubud market it's mere pennies.
6. Best instant tea: Sunday 3 in 1 in Myanmar
While Bali wins the award for the best instant coffee, Myanmar does it right with instant tea. Here's a little secret: my favorite restaurant in Bagan serves amazing Myanmar sweet tea, and when I asked for their recipe, then told me they use Sunday's instant tea. Well, I found some at the market and sure enough, it was the very same. I have not seen it sold anywhere outside Myanmar, but if you have the chance, take a few packets home.
7. Best coffee: Marble Arch coffee, Chiang Mai, Thailand
While Chiang Mai boasts many special coffee places, the Marble Arch Coffee at Marble Arch Cafe is surely my favorite. No need for creamy or sugar, this rich, sweet, smooth drink is perfect as it is.
8. Best Ice Cream: Celano Caramel Vanilla, Vietnam
I did not know ice cream could be so good until I had a Celano bar. Vanilla ice cream covered in a chocolate-caramely sauce with almonds is just too good to pass, even though it is more expensive than a Bahn Mi!