3 Foodie Cities to Add to Your Bucketlist

3_foodie_feature_2015_05_r2

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating,” Luciano Pavarotti once said. If you find yourself nodding in agreement, eating well is clearly a top priority for you. Part of the thrill of traveling comes from the new tastes, flavors and textures, not to mention those unusual food combinations!

In New Zealand, fresh kiwi tucked into your morning plate of eggs and ham is an unexpected delight. In Bangkok, your taste buds revel in the exotic breakfast mélange of congee, mushroom and pork belly bacon. A breakfast treat in Seoul is a mung bean pancake stuffed with smoked cuttlefish bought from a food vendor.

When you travel, each bite is a moment to savor! We pinpointed three cities to visit simply for the gastronomic wow factor—Auckland, Bangkok and Seoul. We’ve mapped out where to dine for breakfast, lunch and dinner in each location, so foodie travelers spend less time researching and more time enjoying! Make your gastronomic adventure even more memorable by tapping into a few offers below, exclusive to Diners Clubmembers. Fancy a complimentary slice of Roquefort cheesecake and a priority reservation at the Chef’s Table at one of our Privileges Dining Collection restaurants? Keep reading.

 

1. Auckland, New Zealand

Sidart_img1

With a focus on fresh, local ingredients and a wide array of international influences, Auckland’s food scene has something to satisfy every palate.

Breakfast: Located just a few blocks from the water in Westmere, just west of downtown Auckland, Meola Cafe serves classic kiwi breakfasts using free range meat and eggs.

Lunch: Auckland has a host of food trucks offering a mix of lunch-friendly foods, from tacos to sliders. Food blog Yummy Auckland recommends The White Rabbit as a delicious lunch spot that offers an “original dining experience.” Lunch entress like tuna salad with anchovy emulsion and pig’s head with turnip and radish are among the inventive offerings here.

Dinner: A must-try is Sidart, a Diners Club Global Selection restaurant that offers creative dishes such as Hawkes Bay lamb with butternut, mint and urenika potato.

Diners Clubmembers, enjoy a complimentary signature dish of Roquefort cheesecake here, in addition to a priority reservation for the Chef’s table. A chef-signed copy of the menu is also included with this Diners Club Privileges offer.

 

2. Bangkok, Thailand

Issaya_food_r1

Tourists often pass through Thailand’s bustling capital on their way to the country’s quieter beach towns, but savvy travelers are wise to spend the day enjoying the exotic cuisine at these top-notch Bangkok restaurants.

Breakfast: Head to Taper for Asian-inspired brunch, such as congee with mushroom, pork belly bacon, sous-vide egg, ginger and soy reduction or Thai tea French toast.

Lunch: Visit internationally renowned chef Ian Kittichai’s flagship restaurant, Issaya Siamese Club, for modern Thai cuisine. Many dishes incorporate herbs and fresh flowers from the restaurant’s garden. No. 39 on the 2015 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards List, Issaya’s signature dish is banana blossom and heart of palm salad served with crispy shallots, roasted peanuts and chilli jam dressing.

Dinner: Gaggan is a can’t-miss Indian restaurant with global influences. Cheg Gaggan Anand reinvents classic Indian fare by adding modern flair. A chargrilled Indian cottage cheese sandwich with chutney bubbles and green peppercorn kebabs with coridaner foam are among the standouts. The restaurant recently topped the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

 

3. Seoul, South Korea

jungsik_img1

As one of the most populous cities in the world, the capital of South Korea offers endless dining choices. Here, we’ve selected a few not-to-miss spots.

Breakfast: Get your breakfast on the go. Food vendors are plentiful in Seoul, most offering food that can easily be eaten standing up or taken on-the-go, from bindaetteok (mungbean pancakes) rolled with smoked cuttlefish, to sweet snacks like ppeongtwigi (puffed rice grains).

Lunch: LadyIronChef, one of the leading food blogs in Southeast Asia, recommends Maple Tree House for its high-quality Korean barbecue and Han Chu Korean fried chicken (known as the city’s best fried chicken).

Dinner: For dinner, head to Jungsik, No. 10 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Chef Jung Sik Yim helms the kitchen here, lauded as the first restaurant to apply molecular gastronomy to Korean ingredients. Fusions of traditional and ultra-modern are commonplace in such creations as pork bellies cooked sous-vide or fried oysters served with anchovy aïoli.