In an ideal world, we all have the time and finances to fund an exciting trip around the world, making sure we visit all the cities on our ‘to do’ list.
In reality, however, us mere mortals only have a limited amount of resources and annual leave. As much as we’d love to YOLO it by booking that epic overseas adventure, the sensible thing to do would be to save up as much cash as possible and make sure there’s at least four weeks of leave in the bank.
In the meantime, the next best thing to do is to replicate as many of our favourite holiday destination’s dishes in the comfort of our own kitchen. From the glitzy resorts of Cancun right to the pulsating night markets of Bangkok, we have you covered.
1. Cancún, Mexico
Sitting right on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico’s most popular city is famous for its glistening beaches, luxury resorts and pulsating nightlife. Cancún’s hot sun-drenched nights and balmy evenings are conducive to warm weather food, so simplicity and light, zesty flavours are key. Think tasty finger food fare such as panko chicken tacos, tuna tostadas or Mexican stuffed chilli capsicums. Optional: a dash of chipotle if you want to spice things up. Don’t forget to wash everything down with a refreshing glass of citrus melon mojito.
2. Hong Kong, SAR China
Hong Kong is vibrant and eclectic, known for its enviable dining scene. Its cuisine draws inspiration from Cantonese cuisine, which originates from China’s Guangdong Province. Cantonese cooking is known for its balance of flavours and modest amounts of spice to avoid overwhelming the natural flavours of primary ingredients such as seafood, meat or vegetables. Thanks to the influx of Cantonese immigrants to Australia in the 20thcentury, this region is also responsible for giving us some of the nation’s more endearing suburban restaurant classics such as lemon chicken and beef stir fry, which you can easily replicate at home by simply using a jar of plum sauce.
3. London, United Kingdom
After working your way through Piccadilly Circus and the luxury designer stores along High Street in Kensington, it’s time to treat yourself to a quintessential British high tea. Start with some mini sandwiches before getting your hands busy with sweet treats such as lemon curd scones and a slice (or two) of strawberry sponge cake. Don’t forget to pop open your favourite bubbly or enjoy a round of Four Pillars gin and tonic.
4. Bangkok, Thailand
One of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations is gloriously hot and humid all year round; such weather calls for light and healthy dishes that take no time to prepare. Perhaps an Asian-inspired snapper with sweet chilli sauce, a batch of chicken satays or a sweet chilli Thai beef salad, a dish that you can enjoy for lunch the next day. The best thing about these dishes is that you can vary the amount of heat added – keep it mild with a bit of sweet chilli sauce, or go all out by chopping some fresh chillies.
5. Venice, Italy
With its spectacular historical landmarks and beautiful canals, Venice is one of Italy’s most popular destinations. Italian-inspired dishes to get you in the mood for a sunset gondola cruise may include a zucchini bruschetta, followed by heartier mains such as a mushroom risotto or chicken tortellini. Making your own pizza at home is also a viable option; you can stick to your favourite classic pizza options or work with modern flavour combinations such as chicken, brie and plum.
6. Sydney, Australia
Sometimes a domestic getaway can be just as invigorating as an overseas jaunt. As Australia’s most visited capital city, Sydney beckons tourists with its breath-taking harbour views, crystal blue beaches and enviable outdoor lifestyle. Home to many immigrants, Australia’s largest city is a melting pot of cultures – and with that, cuisines. You can enjoy traditional Anglo-inspired treats such as jam doughnuts right down to lamb and haloumi burgers, a dish that pays tribute to Australia’s successful lamb industry and Middle Eastern immigrant population. You can even enjoy playful twists on classic favourites, for example a berry sandwich version of the humble Anzac biscuit.