About Time You Discovered: World’s Most Unusual BreakfastsBy Angelica Malin
If you didn’t already notice – we love breakfast. It’s our favourite meal of the day. Whether it’s Thai delights in Phuket (see this great guide on Phuket), fresh fruit in the Caribbean or a delicious Mexican breakfast in Cancun, we’re always up for a big breakfast. While we’re chomping down on avocado on toast, the rest of the world is digging into something far more adventurous. Along with our friends over at Teletext Holidays, we’ve found the world’s most unusual breakfasts. Check out their blog for more travel inspiration and dig in:
1. Japan: Chawanmushi
The Dish: Chawanmushi – a savoury egg custard dish
The Lowdown: Japan’s culinary delights goes well beyond the typical sushi and sashimi fare. Breakfast in Japan is a ceremony, a celebration of a new day – and so, food plays an important role. Served in small, individual cups, Chawanmushi features a medley of chicken, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms and steamed fish cake. A mixture of dashi stock, soy sauce, beaten egg and salt is poured over to cover the ingredients, and then steamed. Chawanmushi can be eaten either hot or cool, but if you’re eating this dish for the first time, we’d recommend it warm.
Where: Toriyoshi Nakameguro located in the Nakameguro district of Tokyo is famed for its chawanmushi. Their yakitori grilling skills are some of the best in town – but it’s their chawanmushi that is the unsung hero. This place gets packed quickly, and they don’t take bookings. So get down early. For more inspiration, check out the best restaurants for breakfast around the world here.
2. China: Congee
The Dish: Congee – rice porridge topped chicken
The Lowdown: Congee is Asia’s answer to our beloved porridge. And a staple in many Chinese households. Cheap, easy and full of flavour, congee is favoured for its savoury tastes (although red bean porridge is also a popular sweet choice). Rice is cooked for a long period of time usually in water or chicken broth to ensure the rice is soften. To add an extra hit of flavour, the congee is then topped with ingredients which vary from region to region. Chicken is a popular choice, as is fermented tofu and pickled veg. All over South East Asia, countries have their own take on congee – but if you want the real deal, head to China.
Where: Everywhere in China serves pretty decent congee, and of a country that size, it’s hard to scale down the best ones. However, if you’re in search of the perfect congee, Hong Zhuang Yuan in Beijing comes pretty close. The restaurant has 35 chain locations throughout the city, and dishes up 11 kinds of congee with its most famous being the popular preserved egg and pork congee.
3. West Bangali: Radhaballavi
The Dish: Radhaballavi – a stuffed puri
The Lowdown: Tucking into a radhaballavi is the best way to start a Bengali Sunday. The wafer-thin deep fried Bengali flat bread is painstaking to make, but served with a mishti (a fermented sweet yogurt) – and the slog over the cooker seems worth it. But don’t worry about knocking it up yourself, West Bangali’s restaurants are notorious for serving radhaballavis by the truck load. And they’re also made for special occasions. Flour and ghee provide the base for the radhaballavi, and the bread is often stuffed with a variety of spices, chilli and lentils.
Where: If you visit Calcutta, K. C. Das Grandson Pvt. Ltd will welcome you with open arms. The staff here are super friendly, and the food here is sublime. No fuss, no frills, just decent radhaballavi and sweet Kolkata. And obviously, every breakfast should start with a lassi.
4. Mongolia: Mutton dumplings
The Dish: Mutton dumplings
The Lowdown: Breakfast in Mongolia is all about one thing: meat. The country doesn’t mess about when it comes to breakfast, and early risers certainly don’t favour sugar filled cereals. Instead, it’s all about hearty, carb and meat filled breakfasts. Meat dumplings are the order of the day; boiled or steamed, the dumplings are usually filled with mutton, and eaten without any cutlery. They ain’t pretty, but they’re certainly tasty. Order a couple of dumplings – they’re seriously moreish.
Where: Khaan Buuz in Ulaanbaatar is a fast food chain for dumplings. It does exactly what it says on the tin: the hotspot cook up various types of Mongolian dumplings at purse friendly prices with a popping atmosphere to boot. The Khuushuur dumplings (a sort of deep fried pancake) is also an excellent breakfast option.
5. Norway: Brown Cheese
The Dish: Brown cheese
The Lowdown: The Norwegians can’t get enough of the stuff – eating it pretty much for every meal. We’re talking about brown cheese, a tan-coloured whey cheese with a distinctive caramel flavour. Here’s the catch; it’s not really cheese. The water from the whey of goat’s milk is left to simmer, which over a long period of time caramelises the sugars. The resulting mixture is left to cool, and then brown cheese is formed. It can be eaten straight after the process, but it’s best enjoyed over a think slab of crisp bread with strawberry jam or with waffles. To be honest, there is no limit with the stuff.
Where: Anywhere that knows its dairy in Norway whip up a good brown cheese. However, Nilsen Spiser in Oslo serve a variety of brown cheese based dishes. The waffles with the brown cheese is legendary, and the restaurant bang up traditional eats. And for Oslo, the prices aren’t too bad either. For more budget holidays, discover the best holidays under £300 here.