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Old 05-17-2013, 12:26 AM
 
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I am a young chef looking to learn more about the different styles of Asian cuisines. I have been all over western Euope eating at different restaurants, wineries, etc. I am looking to go to Asia in the fall and I need to pick which cities that will teach me the most about the different Asian cuisines. I am planning on staying for 3-3 1/2 months and my total spending when I'm there will be about $6,000. I want to visit the big cities where I can spend more money, but I want to stay in other countries so I can stretch my money. The purpose of this trip is entirely focused on food and maybe a week on a beach to party.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:56 AM
 
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Japanese cities would have the largest number of world class 4 star/5 star restaurants obviously, due to it being an extremely developed country.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grassroots159 View Post
I am looking to go to Asia in the fall and I need to pick which cities that will teach me the most about the different Asian cuisines. I am planning on staying for 3-3 1/2 months and my total spending when I'm there will be about $6,000.
You want to spend most of your time in Thailand, maybe include Hong Kong and Singapore in your trip but not longer than a week in each city.

$6000 doesn't go far in Japan/South Korea.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Japan is awesome but very expensive.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:28 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Trust me, you can find almost all Asian cuisines well represented in those cities.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:45 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong would be great choices.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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So for the big expensive cities, I am looking at Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore. What about the smaller, more affordable cities for food?
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by Grassroots159 View Post
So for the big expensive cities, I am looking at Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore. What about the smaller, more affordable cities for food?
For Malaysian cuisine - George Town in Penang. Considered to have some of the best hawker food in Asia.

For Vietnamese cuisine - Hoi An. There are several great cooking schools and restaurants here. I actually took a lesson here. Miss Vy is a renowned Vietnamese chef who was written an extensive cookbook and owned restaurants in Vietnam and abroad.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Hanoi
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Quote:
I am looking to go to Asia in the fall and I need to pick which cities that will teach me the most about the different Asian cuisines.
"Asia" is a big place.

I have lived in Southeast Asia (SEA) since about 2005 and traveled a fair bit in China, so I will restrict my comments to that part of the world.

Malaysia - The mix of Malay, immigrant Chinese, Indian and Euro cultures has made for an incredible food scene. Malaysians are very passionate and open-minded about their food and have a vast array of traditional and fusion dishes that represent the best of their multicultural cuisines. You will, with few exceptions, get the same kind of dishes (and more choice) here that you will in Singapore for a fraction of the price. You can experience 5-star venues for less than it will cost in many of the places mentioned by previous posters but the real scene is on the street, in the hawker centers and the kopitiams (local coffee shops). Do yourself (and your tastebuds) a favor and spend time in Georgetown on the island of Penang. In my opinion (and many others far more experienced than me) Georgetown is the #1 food city in SEA. Just google it and you will see what I mean. Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur are also distinctive food towns worth a visit. In Kuala Lumpur, don't waste your time with the Jalan Alor "food street" - it's a tourist trap. Instead explore the neighborhoods and hawker centers of Brickfields, Chinatown and Petaling Jaya to rub elbows with some very serious foodies and taste recipes that have been handed down for generations.

Vietnam - Vietnam has over 500 distinctive dishes and a lot of regional variation from north to south. Vietnamese food is my favorite of the SEA cuisines. It's clean, low fat and has a strong emphasis on fresh vegetables and herbs. Stop in Hanoi for the northern dishes, Hoi An for the central cuisine and Saigon for the southern and Mekong Delta cuisine. Don't worry about dog meat - you can certainly find it if you want, but you will not be served dog meat by mistake. It is one of the more expensive meats in Vietnam and is usually reserved fo special occasions. No one will "slip" it to you by mistake - it would be like substituting prime rib for the hamburger in a cheap burger.

Thailand - Your best bets for traditional and authentic Thai in my opinion are in the local night markets that you can find in almost any Thai town. It's also where you will find the largest selection of dishes to sample. I don't think a lot of Thais ever cook an evening meal - they just head out to the night markets. In Chiang Mai you will be able to find Burmese / Myanmar cuisine too if you ask around, thus saving yourself a trip.

China - There are so many unique regional cuisines it is hard to know where to start. For a good overview though I would go to Hong Kong, Beijing and Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan Province.) Their cuisines are distinctly different from each other. It would be fun to compare and contrast.

Fun question!

~D
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
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Bangkok.

Old Siam is a crossroads of Asia, where South Asia (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.) meets East Asia (China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, etc.) and the East Indies (Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.) as well as it's South-East Asian neighbors like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Bangkok as a Chinatown, a little India, and various other ethnic enclaves. Besides you can sample not just the glorious cuisine we call "Thai" but also all the regional cuisines of Thailand ... one of the very few counties not be ruled by outside Colonization.
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