1. Cooking together in Marrakech
A cooking workshop is a fun and educational way to get acquainted with local dishes. In Marrakech I participated with my then three-year-old daughter in a cooking workshop that was given in Dutch. Extra nice, because that’s how she could understand everything. Together we wandered through the souks looking for the ingredients that were on the shopping list that we were printed in our hand earlier that morning, along with a shopping bag and some money. We just didn’t come out with our money and knew that we hadn’t negotiated hard enough with the market merchants. Once back in our riad we made several local dishes under the guidance of Moroccan women. My little girl loved it and was as proud as a peacock when she was allowed to help make the dessert and bake Moroccan cookies. She may not have liked everything we’d made, but she was willing to taste anything. And I had learned something myself that day. A win-win.
2. Dim sum trials in Asia
When we are in Asia it is a must to go to a dim sum restaurant at least once. Dim sum, also called yum cha, are small Chinese snacks that are steamed, fried or fried. You can eat them at any time of the day. The great thing about a dim sum restaurant is the quick service. In no time there is a pile of steaming snacks on the table, which is always very welcome with impatient kids. The many different dishes invite you to taste everything. Our favourite restaurant for dim sum and dumplings is Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant with locations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan, among others. At the entrance you can see how the cooks are making the fresh dumplings and noodles. We never leave the restaurant without eating the xiao long bao. This well-known soup dumpling is a true taste sensation — even our little girl can really look forward to this.
If you’re traveling in Southeast Asia, a dim sum restaurant is ideal for tasting delicious snacks.
3. Eating crab in Singapore
Singapore, our favourite hub in Asia, is a valhalla when it comes to fine dining. We have so many favourite places to eat here (and new ones) that we often fall short of days to go all along. But a trip to this metropolis is not complete for us if we have not eaten black pepper crab. So also with our little girl, who went to taste singapore’s specialty for the first time, we went to the East Coast Seafood Centre, where according to connoisseurs the best crab is served. The choice fell on the popular restaurant Jumbo Seafood, with a fine outdoor terrace. We got an apron on and the crab soon came to the table. My little girl watched carefully as we cracked open the crab with the supplied tan. We showed her how to eat it and then she grabbed a leg and sucked it out. “Hmmm, a little spicy,” she said, and quickly took a bite of rice after it. Then she thought the cracking was a fun activity, but she preferred to leave it to us.
4. Enjoy mango sticky rice pancakes in Laos
What if you love pancakes and find the Thai mango sticky rice one of the tastiest desserts on earth? Then you will be very happy when you see mango sticky rice pancake on the menu in Laos! Grateful for the tip a local had given us we found in a side street in Vientiane Kung’s Café Lao, a small breakfast tent known for this dish. Rice in a pancake, you don’t think of that very easily, but it was so delicious! This golden combo we had to test and compare the rest of our trip in other eateries. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find him. Kungs Café turns out to be a standout, so there’s nothing like ever returning to this eatery!
At Kung’s Café Lao, a cosy eatery in the centre of Vientiane, you can enjoy mango sticky rice pancakes
5. Try street food in Kuala Lumpur
If you’re in Kuala Lumpur and you’d like to let your kids try different local dishes, you can’t actually skip the famous street food street Jalan Alor near Bukit Bintang. Often it is already quite an experience for children to eat on the street, and the advantage is that you get different menus laid on your table. You can choose what and who you order from. So with one we ordered fresh fish with ginger, at the other a few sticks of satay and with another some woeful vegetable. Meanwhile, a sweet lady came to ask us what we wanted to drink. The ideal way to taste anything. Moreover, the atmosphere is often delicious. We have eaten here very quickly and nicely, but you can also sit for a little longer and quietly take everything in you.
6. Enjoy fresh fish on the beach at Gili Air
Nothing finer than eating a grilled fish with the feet in the sand. During a bike ride on the Indonesian island of Gili Air we chose a nice place where we first enjoyed the sunset and then ate our tummy full of delicious seafood. At the entrance we could already indicate which fish and how many shrimp we wanted to eat and how we wanted everything prepared. The candlelit tables, the sea breeze and the waves in the background ensured a relaxed atmosphere. Our little girl loved to eat on the beach, which she really saw as a party. And that’s how we felt. When she finished eating she played in the sand next to our table and we could still sit quietly.