This year was delicious. Food is the main focus during our travels, so it’s no surprise that all of the meals – bar one – were eaten abroad. Here is the Food Hall of Fame 2017:
1. Bulgogi bokum | Seoulkitchen | Berlin
We visited this place on a Monday night and luckily booked ahead because it got packed very quickly with people queuing outside waiting for tables. It’s run by Koreans and serving delicious, fragrant, authentic food.
Bulgogi bokum is a prime cut of beef marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and other spices, then grilled with vegetables. The result is beyond delicious.
2. Coconut panna cotta | The Anchor Inn | Seatown
I wouldn’t be surprised if this place gets a Michelin star in the next couple of years. The location is as spectacular as the food. We were lucky to get a table, despite the fact that it was raining sideways and visitors were pouring in. This place was so good that we wanted to have our post-wedding dinner there, but sadly they have a strict no-bookings policy.
Coconut milk, crystallised rose petals, rosewater caviar, confit pineapple, lemon sorbet. This dessert blew my mind.
3. Tuna tartare | Dalmatino | Hvar
This restaurant completely deserves the number 1 status it has in Hvar. The service is attentive yet not overbearing, and dishes are imaginative but not pretentious, designed to showcase the flavour of food. Fresh tuna marinated in local honey, soy sauce, lemon and olive oil. It was spectacular. No pictures for this one as it was too dark.
4. Granny’s homemade cake | Dalmatino | Hvar
I was genuinely sad when I finished eating this dessert. It was wonderfully moist, rich, exquisite, decadent and comforting, all at once. Made from walnuts, live oil, and chocolate. As above, taking pictures at night with just a candle as a source of light was a no-go.
5. Tagliatelle with langoustine | Agava | Hvar
This restaurant has 9 permanently booked tables and does a single seating, meaning that if you didn’t book, you’re not going to eat. It’s owned and run by one man and his two kitchen staff. Everything is grown and made in-house, or has been sourced locally.
This pasta is mixed with buzzara sauce made with local white wine and I can’t even begin to describe how delicious it was. I could eat it again and again, and it makes me sad to think that we won’t be back in Croatia for at least a couple of years.
6. Kajmak | Agava | Hvar
Now, we went to Agava again – this was unprecedented as we never eat at the same place twice out of choice. This time, I asked the owner if he could set some of the kajmak served with cevapcici aside for me. He actually made me a whole jar to take with us to Dubrovnik! It was unbelievably creamy and velvety, and it was hard not to eat the entire jar in one go. I’ve never had better cream cheese before, and it will certainly be hard to beat.
7. Chicken burrito | Fig Cafe | Hvar
This was another place that we returned to. Fresh, easy, delicious food – perfect for lunch. A bit hidden away, it provided some peace from Hvar’s busy main square.
The chicken burrito was huge, spicy and very flavoursome.
8. Vegetarian curry with cucumber raita | Fig Cafe | Hvar
Ben had it the first time, and this curry was the reason we returned to Fig, because I had to have it. It was very light, very fragrant, very intense and very delicious.
9. Sushi | Bota Sushi & Oyster Bar | Dubrovnik
One day I realised that we’re going to all these countries with fabulous fish being caught daily and we never had sushi there before. Duh! We ate at this place three times (we clearly developed a habit after Agava!) and I’m telling you, I would gladly get on a plane and go to Dubrovnik purely to have sushi in Bota. I’ve never had better so far, and I think it was largely due to freshness of the ingredients.
10. Kaiserschmarrn | Schönbrunn Christmas market | Vienna
I have no idea what the stall was called, but I couldn’t stop eating these despite being stuffed. It wasn’t your typical market food; tasted and smelled of home and comfort thanks to vanilla, cinnamon, and plum sauce.
I’m looking forward to 2018, and hopefully it will be even more delicious!