2016 Foodie Bucket List

If like me, you are determined to try out a few new culinary experiences this year, I’ve put together a list of destinations that will tempt your taste buds in 2016. Food and travel are two of my biggest passions and this year I hope to combine them more. If you haven’t experienced these four destinations for yourself, make sure you add them to your own foodie bucket list.  


The first foodie destination on my bucket list is Barcelona. Like many foodie destinations, food is integral to your stay and there are plenty of fancy restaurants in this city, but I would advise distancing yourself from the tourist spots and taking a tip from the locals and stock up on local delicacies at the market. Rather than limit yourself to hotel prices, try staying in a self catering apartment while travelling to give yourself the freedom to cook with local produce sourced from the local markets. This will be an ideal option for those of you who enjoy cooking. Barcelona has some marvellous markets including La Boqueria. The colourful fruits will be the first attraction but that's not all there is, do venture further as here you will find everything from seafood to spices and everything in-between.  


Bangkok has always been high on my bucket list; there is just something so enticing about their phenomenal street food. You can’t help but notice the rows and rows of exotic fruits that line the streets and the rose apples seasoned with salt, sugar and chili should be high up on your list of things to try. There are of course food markets a plenty with the most chaotic of them all being Khlong Toey Market. Located just outside of the city, you can stock up on top quality meats and seafood at Bangkok's best-kept secret.  


Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines and has been on my bucket list of foodie destinations for a while. Home to one of the oldest and largest food markets in the world; Istanbul is a paradise for foodies. If you find yourself with time to explore, the Grand Bazaar is not to be missed. This famous food market is spread over 60 streets and boasts an incredible 4000 food stalls. This market isn’t exclusive to food, it also sells jewellery and antiques but it is brimming with delicious foodie finds including authentic Turkish dishes such as kidney and liver kebabs. Do remember to try Kizilkayalar's wet burger at Taksim Square, a popular street food you will not regret having.  


Toulouse is one of the lesser-known hotspots for foodies, but like other foodie destinations, it has its fair share of markets. One of the biggest and best is the Marche Victor Hugo. For every market there is a Michelin starred restaurant and if fine dining is your thing make sure you pay a visit to Michel Sarran. Cassoulet, Foie Gras and Garbure (a hearty soup) are just a few of the staple dishes to try here. Whether you want fine dining or street food, Toulouse will satisfy your cravings.
So, there you have it, my foodie bucket list for 2016. Have you been to any of theses destinations? What are your favourite dishes? 

Superstar BBQ | London

Everyone loves BBQ and more so in the summer!! As soon as I was invited to review Superstar BBQ, the newly opened Korean BBQ restaurant, I couldn’t say no. As busy as we all are, there’s always time for a meal. 

Transformation of Tottenham Court Road Station | Image via Crossrail

In the area that used to be known as Centre Point Koreatown has now been victim of the Tottenham Court Road Station’sCrossrail Project. Along St Giles Street was where one can get the most authentic Korean food in central London. It is a real disappointment as my favourite cosy little Assa is one of them!

Central St Giles | Image via Panoramio

It was quite comforting though, knowing that there’s a new Korean in the vicinity. Superstar BBQ is located at the Piazza of the colourful Central St Giles, designed by the architect Renzo Piano who also did the famous Shard.

We visited Superstar BBQ on a Saturday afternoon and were greeted with smiles as we entered. Surprisingly, it was rather quiet. I suppose it is still very new, plus it’s the August holiday season!

The lunch menu was a mixture of BBQ and the usual Bibimbap. We ordered the BBQ lunch obviously. And were fed rather well with lots of smokey BBQ meat, but it under performed in our opinion. They tasted nice but not to its capacity it could have been. Korean barbeque is usually packed with so much flavour; it does a ‘Wham bam boom’ in the mouth. Not this one though. It was lack in flavour and probably not marinated for long enough. The sauces provided were lack of punch too.

The highlight from this meal was the ‘Korean beef tartare served with pears’. It was very tasty, unique and refreshing all at the same time, something I have never yet tasted so far. I would definitely go back for this fabulous beef tartare!

**Disclaimer: I was invited by Superstar BBQ to review the restaurant. Everything written above is my own honest opinion and will not mislead you in any way or form.

Superstar BBQ

4 Central St Giles Piazza
St Giles High Street
WC2H 8AB London,UK

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Venchi the gelato gem | London

Hampstead is like a green village tucked away in the North West of London. It is such a special little gem that I came to discover thanks to P. He told me to wear some comfy shoes cause we will be doing some long walk. He warned me ahead so I won't make him piggy back me all the way.

After a rather long walk from Finchley Road up and into the hilly residential area with mansions tugged in the midst of greenery, we arrived in Hampstead. There was a shop there that sells one of the most amazing designer furnitures. It was as if a little museum, with the few pieces you would probably find in V&A museum.

With the little calories burnt after the walk, we topped it up some well worth calories. Gelato of exquisite quality, made in the premise. I have already made a note to bring my sister and dad here when they visit this summer.

Dark chocolate and coconut gelato


65 Hampstead High Street
NW3 1QP London,UK

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Jamie's Italian at Threadneedle Street | London

Jamie's Italian is all so familiar. It is a name and brand that is known by everyone and in every household. It is somewhere you would visit for a family-friendly rustic Italian meal. I have been to it's Canary Wharf branch a few times and had always enjoyed my experience there.

This time, we thought we shall visit the Threadneedle Street branch, situated right in the heart of the City of London. The building and interior reflects the grandeur of what used to be an old bank. Jamie's team has embraced the style of thisVictorian building and interior, making use of the high ceiling and marbled pillars to its advantage. They matched the incredible architecture and interior with custom-made chairs, solid oak tables and some impressive chandeliers. Even the menu is not the usual Jamie's rustic style. It has been geared up a notch to match its decadent setting. The prices too, were reflective of it.

When I arrived, P had already made himself really comfortable sipping his glass of red waiting for me. He had poured me a glass from the bottle he ordered which as expected, he would be the one finishing up three quarters of it by the end of the night. That's the benefit of my lack of drinking ability. While I lacked in alcohol tolerance, my food intake capacity makes up for it. Oh, 'lucky' him, we eat almost the same amount!

While we were still making decision on our meal choices, we ordered the 'world's best olive on ice' to tame our growling stomach. They were indeed some very very good olives, served alongside some crispy music bread and black olive tapenade.

We ordered the 'octopus carpaccio' and 'seafood plank' to start. Octopus is such a seafood that needs to be cooked with attention as care as to keep them tender. The fact that it was tender and thinly sliced made my day. I have had rubbery ones and they weren't pleasant. A little extra zing and seasoning would have made this carefully made octopus sing an opera.

As P is a fan of pasta with butter, the French in him ordered the 'Summer truffle tagliolini'. It was a simple plate of fresh pasta with silky truffle butter and shaved summer truffle. The pasta was very well made and delicious. Though, I thought it was a little too plain for my liking. My 'Salt marsh lamb' came so prettily presented I forgot we were at Jamie's Italian. The lamb were cooked three ways; stuffed, grilled and crispy. Some extra sauce would have made the dish come together much better as they were a little dry. Sides of crispy polenta chips and vignole (spring vegetable and herb stew) was a joy.

Desserts weren't to miss, even after all the food we had. I had a craving for the panna cotta while P felt like having the white chocolate semifredo. But then we both agreed that we must try the tiramisu. So we ordered three desserts!! Please don't judge our gluttony. It's only fair that we eat to our hearts content after a stressful work week. It was a Friday after all. Panna cotta with black cherries and dark chocolate passed the wobble test. It was light, trifle-like and summery though the dark chocolate was not needed. The white chocolate semifredo was nice. Tiramisu was indeed light, as promised in their menu but we both agree though nice, was not good enough. It was made too fancy, and missed the indulgence body of a traditional tiramisu. The tiramisu was crying out for more love and big fat hug.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience here. The interior was fabulous, food was well cooked and presented though lacked 'je ne sais quoi' for the price. The most memorable dish was for me, the side of vignole. It was simple yet packed full of flavour, something the other dishes lacked; a lift. Our server who was sweet and lovely was a joy to have. I will happily recommend anyone to try this place out for it's sheer difference in it's overall experience compared to other Jamie's Italian branches I have been too.

**Disclaimer: I was invited by Jamie's Italian to review the restaurant. Everything written above are my own honest opinion and will not mislead you in any way or form.

Jamie's Italian (Threadneedle Street)

38 Threadneedle Street
EC2R 8AY London,UK
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