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Understaning foreign menus?

Travel Forums Asia Understaning foreign menus?

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1. Posted by masterblaster19 (Full Member 119 posts) 9y

It is advised in guide books that if you want to eat cheaply and safely you should eat in the restaurants that dont publish english menus and are favoured by locals. But how on earth are you to know what you are ordering? or is that part of the fun?
Could anybody maybe make a short list of the thai (or other southeast asian countries) dishes that are most popular?
Thanks!
Jenn xx

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Is that advised? I'd rather go to a restaurant with an English menu, if possible. But I ate in a lot of restaurants in Iran, that also didn't have menu carts in English. What I did here was just looking around in the restaurant to what others were eating. And then I just pointed to a dish I liked and ordered it that way.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 11, 2007, at 10:08 AM by wouterrr ]

3. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

when i was living and working in south of france - i initially started out in the tourist areas and went to restaurants were all the tourists hung out - naturally the menus were in english. the restaurants looked brilliant but the food was not so good.

i jumped in a taxi and asked taxi man to take me were all the locals went - the restaurants that i thought that looked horrible was were all the locals ate! i had the best wine and food were the locals got served! and for great prices.

if a restaurant is full of locals its normally a good sign! Forget about the decoration!

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

But how on earth are you to know what you are ordering? or is that part of the fun?

It's definitely part of the fun. It works best if there are a few of you (so you can order a few different things, and hedge your bets if you don't like something) and, especially, are not a fussy/picky eater.

I eat virtually everything [and am open to trying many really wierd things] so the chances of me picking something that I won't like is very, very small. And I love going into obscure small local places where everybody stares at you because they've never seen a foreigner in there before, and just picking a few bits at random.

Knowing a few words for types of meat, dishes so you can at least ask for basic or (if relevant) things you DON'T/CAN'T eat will help [so you can say things like No Vegetables/Pork etc] is fine.

5. Posted by ushi (Budding Member 28 posts) 9y

So... Thai delicious food:
Vegetable green curry- my personal favourite, a soup full of vegetables, smells of a spice called green curry and of coconuts, taste is undescribably wonderful!
Pad Thai-one of best known noodle dishes, light meal
Tom Yam- subtle blend of hot and sour with citrus overtones, the most famous thai soup.

Each region has its own particular variation of thai recipes.
Some food can be good on the islands, and (at least) completely different in other parts of country.

6. Posted by Endymion (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

hahahaha just eat the dam food ... Gosh! Do you search around your home city to make sure its full of locals? ...It's full of tourists BECAUSE the menu's are in english too ... Sometimes you travellers make me wonder :D

7. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting Endymion

Sometimes you travellers make me wonder :D

I assume you are not a traveller?

8. Posted by Endymion (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

well... I travel! but its just funny to see (in my opinion) new travellers worrying about the smallest things.. I did it the first time i packed my bags but now, i barely worrying about anything except financial aspects.

9. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting Endymion

well... I travel! but its just funny to see (in my opinion) new travellers worrying about the smallest things.. I did it the first time i packed my bags but now, i barely worrying about anything except financial aspects.

I think many first-time travellers are nervous about anything. Its all new. You don't know where you get. I remember myself before my first big trip. I had so many questions that I wanted to have answered very detailled. Wish I discovered this website then.

10. Posted by Endymion (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

hehehe yeh i kno, im just messing around with them :) My first trip i had the big list of crap that i never used, everything was planned to the minute with restauarants and hostels. Now after so long it just feels like i dont need anything :P plus my bag is about 1/10 of the size :D