17 Memorable Things I Ate in 2015

Every year I try to round up an ever-increasing list of memorable things I’ve eaten. They might not be the tastiest or the “best”, but they’re food experiences that have stuck out for me over the past 12 months.

Read below for the full details. As always, the list is in no particular order.

(And if you’re interested, here are the lists for 2014 and 2013.)

1. Chicken, parsnips and sesame at Relae, Copenhagen

Relae is Christian Puglisi’s fully organic one Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen, and in my view it’s one of the most exciting restaurants in the world today. A fully organic, five-course, Michelin-starred meal for around A$70? To be able to do that takes not just great cooking, but great thinking and management, too.


2. Kaya toast wafers, Tong Ah, Singapore

I have a real weakness for kaya toast (a coconut jam from Malaysia and Singapore served with thick slices of cold butter inside fluffy-crispy grilled bread). The wafer-style variety from Tong Ah in Singapore is the real deal.

Last day in Singapore. Kaya toast doesn't get any more real than this. The thin one at Tong Ah.

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on

3. Norwegian Toddy, Svalbard, Arctic Circle

After 8 hours snowmobiling in -20C conditions to find wild polar bears in the archipelago of Svalbard, this warm blackcurrant cordial was surprisingly perfect. We found a bear, too!

Today's expedition break. Toddy, a hot Norwegian blackcurrant drink. Better than coffee when it's below zero.

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on


4. Swedish Pizza at Restaurant Casablanca, Hasselholm, Sweden

Here’s what you need to know about Swedish pizza. The “Africana” is topped with ham, banana, peanuts and curry powder, and the “Kebab pizza” is basically a kebab, but in pizza form.Depending on how you look it at it, Swedish pizza is either a stroke of genius or an abomination. I think it’s a little of both.

5. Bone marrow, gold caviar and fermented pumpkin at Frantzén, Stockholm, Sweden

This was the knock-your-socks-off dish from one of the best meals we had in Scandinavia, at the Japanese-Scandinavian influenced, two Michelin-starred Frantzén in Stockholm.

6. Fish and chips, Clonnies at Clontarf, Sydney

You’d be surprised at how hard it is to find a good fish and chips, even in Australia. Too often people try to overcomplicate it, fancy it up, or drown it in oil. Just some fresh flathead tails, decent chips, some tartare sauce and a handsome wedge of lemon is all you need. Well, that and a seagull to share the chips with.

Today's lunch. Best ever. #straya

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on


7. Semla at Grillska Huset, Stockholm, Sweden

This is a favourite Swedish Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) bun that’s so popular it’s now available all year round. It’s a bready cardamom bun filled with cream and marzipan. It tastes like you’d think it’d taste. You can’t visit Sweden without eating one.

Seriously though. #Semla

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on

8. Coal-toasted Meringue, outside Albany

Yoda from Fervor food in WA does fantastic stuff. Clever, native-influenced Australian food informed by his experiences at some of Europe’s best Michelin-starred fine diners. This meringue was from a course-for-course dinner we did together in a woolshed just outside Albany WA. It was toasted by pressing hot coals into it and served with native Australian berries and double cream.

Meringue (1 of 1)

9. Bug tails at Hotel Hotel & Monster, Canberra

As someone who spends more than 6 months of each year on the road, I’m a big fan of room service in all its forms, from early breakfasts to late night cheeseburgers. These bug tails at Hotel Hotel in Canbera (cooked by Monster, downstairs) have recalibrated my expectations of what’s possible to eat in bed while watching telly.

10. Air on Air on Air, Geist, Copenhagen

This was dinner on my first night in Copenhagen. I’d seen this dessert before on Instagram and it didn’t disappoint. It was like eating three different clouds.


11. BB-8 Cake, Sydney

Just after the Star Wars premiere, Disney sent me this cake (thankfully just in time for my Star Wars-mad neice’s 10th birthday). I was just happy to stop my son from swallowing the whole thing before she had a chance to see it.

12. Roast chicken in cream with Lammefjord vegetables and weeds, Dragsholm Castle Bistro, Denmark

Never underestimate the impact of a simple dish done well. Ex-Noma chef Klaus Thomsen moved out into the countryside to run the kitchen at Dragsholm Castle and I can see why. These vegetables are exceptional.

Today's lunch. Roast chicken, Lammefjord vegetables and wild herbs from Dragsholm Castle bistro. Incredible.

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on

13. Wantan mee at Yulek, Cheras, Malayasia

I was in Malaysia recently writing a piece for The Sydney Morning Herald on places to eat in Kuala Lumpur. If you’re heading there you should put this wantan mee at the top of your list.

You can read the whole piece here.

Wantan mee from Yulek. Game changer. #kualalumpur

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on

14. Butter-poached marron at Sepia, Sydney

To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was served with, but this off-menu WA marron at Sepia was extraordinary.

Marron (1 of 1)

15. 150-day aged Angus scotch fillet at Firedoor, Sydney

With meat it should always, always be quality above quantity. This had plenty of both, but shared between three it was just right. One of the best bits of meat I’ve eaten.


16. Smoked reindeer, The mountains outside Tromso, Norway

After a long day herding reindeer on snowmobiles, it might seem strange to then cook reindeer on an open fire. This was the end of a fantastic day spent with Scandinavia’s indigenous Sami.

Today's lunch. Smoked reindeer fried in lots of butter on an open fire. #Norway

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on

17. Mahogany Clam, Maaemo, Oslo, Norway

The idea of eating something that’s 200 years old (yes, really) is bizarre at best, but these clams are completely sustainable. There are millions of them on the cold sea floor around Norway. I ate this one at Norway’s best restaurant, the two Michelin-starred Maaemo.


Destination Flavour Japan – Contact List

I’ve had a lot of requests for contact details for the places I visited travelling around Japan for Destination Flavour Japan, so I thought I’d collect all the links here for easy reference. It’s not a complete list – it’s just the places I could remember off the top of my head, so if there’s anything I’ve missed just leave a comment below and I’ll add it in.

Some of the links are in Japanese but you get the idea.

Happy travels!

Destination Flavour Japan Contacts (1 of 6)


Episode 1: Hokkaido

Kushiro fish markets: Washo-ichiba

Cooking sea urchin, crab and scallop: Orenchi izakaya

Choco-moo cheesecake: Farm designs

Onsen: Tsuruga Resort Lake Akan

Two Michelin-starred Restaurant: Kappo Okada

Destination Flavour Japan Contacts (2 of 6)

Episode 2: Hokuriku

Live squid fishing: Hakodate Morning Markets

World’s most expensive tuna: Omanzoku

Soy sauce: Yagisawa shoten soy sauce, Rikuzentakata

Wanko soba: Wanko soba Azumaya, Morioka

Onsen: Tsurunoyu

Destination Flavour Japan Contacts (3 of 6)

Episode 3: Kanazawa

Sushi: Otomezushi

Markets: Omicho Market

Ryotei restaurant: Tsuruko

Cake buying: Le Musee de H

Sake brewery: Shata brewery


Episode 4: Nagoya

Nagoya cochin chicken: Torishige

Iga wagyu beef: Okuda

Miso: Kakykyu


Episode 5: Tokyo

Izakaya: Shirube, Shimokitazawa

Small restaurant: Enoki, Nonbeiyokocho

Michelin-starred restaurant: Narisawa

Yakitori restaurant: Torishiki


Episode 6: Tokyo (Part 2) and Saitama

Depachika: Takashimiya department store, Shinjuku

Wagyu “donburi”: Two Rooms

Destination Flavour Japan Contacts (5 of 6)

Episode 7: Kyoto

Michelin-starred restaurant: Yonemura Gion

Tempura: Kawatatsu

Pickles: Uchida pickles, Nishiki Markets

Episode 8: Osaka

Soba: Sobakiri Masa

Knife-making: Mizuno tanrenjo

Sumo restaurant: Arata Chanko Nabe

Takoyaki: Noboridako


Episode 9: Kyushu



Destination Flavour Japan Contacts (6 of 6)

Episode 10: Okinawa

Taco rice: King Tacos

Markets: Makishi Public Market, Naha

Island life: Izena island





Chicken Kra-pow



This might just be the easiest Thai recipe I know. Just a few ingredients in perfect balance for a delicious and authentic meal.


3 cloves garlic
2 large red chilies, seeds removed
500g chicken thigh (you can use breast, or a mixture of the two)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp caster sugar
1 ½ cups loosely packed Thai basil leaves
a wedge of lime and a fried egg (optional), to serve 



  1. Roughly chop the garlic and chilli together on a board. In a separate bowl, coarsely chop the chicken to your preferred consistency and mix through the oyster sauce.
  2. Heat a wok and add in the oil. Fry the garlic and chili for a few minutes until fragrant and then add in the chicken. Mix the chicken with the chilli and garlic and distribute it over the surface of the wok for a minute or two to caramelise slightly. Toss, then allow to sit in contact with the wok again for another minute. Add in the fish sauce and sugar, toss and continue to fry for another minute or so, moistening with a little water or stock if it starts to get too dry.
  3. Stir through the basil leaves and remove from the heat. Top with a fried egg if you like, and serve with rice and a wedge of lime.

This recipe appears in my third book, Asian After Work.

Asian After Work


Steamed Ginger Chicken

Steamed Ginger Chicken

Watch a video of how to make this recipe here.


600g chicken thigh fillets

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp cornflour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

2 spring onions, finely chopped

¼ cup coriander leaves, to serve


  1. Cut the chicken pieces into 5cm chunks. Mix the chicken with the ginger, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, cornflour, salt, sugar and spring onions. Set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Arrange the chicken in a single layer over a heatproof serving plate that will fit inside your steamer. Bring the water under the bamboo steamer to a boil and place the plate of chicken inside. Cover the steamer and steam for 10 minutes for boneless pieces, and 12 minutes for pieces on the bone.
  3. Remove the plate from the steamer and allow to stand for a minute. Scatter the chicken with the coriander and serve immediately.

This recipe is from my book, Asian Cookery School. I hope you like it!

Watch a video of how to make this recipe here.

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

Beef and broccoli

Beef and Broccoli


500g rump steak, very thinly sliced on an angle

2 cups broccoli florets

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced

3 thin slices of ginger, bruised

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

¼ cup oyster sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp sugar

2 tbsp Coarse stock, Chicken stock or water

1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold stock or water

Meat marinade

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp cornflour

a pinch of white pepper



  1. Combine the beef with the meat marinade ingredients and marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Heat about a cup of water in the wok until boiling, add dash of oil and blanche the broccoli for about 1 minute until it is bight green and slightly softened. Drain and set aside until ready to fry.
  3. Drain the water from the wok and dry the wok over the flame. Add about 2 tbsp oil and add the ginger first then the garlic to the oil, then the onion and fry until the onion is softened. Scoop the onion, ginger and garlic out of the oil and add to the broccoli. Using the flavoured oil left in the wok, fry the beef in batches until well browned. Return all the ingredients back into the wok and toss together. Add the the oyster sauce, soy sauce, stock and sugar and toss to coat. Slowly drizzle the cornflour mixture into the wok while tossing until the liquids thicken and cling to the ingredients. Immediately remove to a plate, rest for a moment and serve with rice and little chilli in soy sauce.

This recipe can be found in my book, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School.

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Watch a video of this recipe here.

Taiwanese food is a great mix of local dishes with influences from China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Popcorn chicken is a popular street food and once you try it you’ll see why. The crunchy texture of the sweet potato flour coating is incredible.


600g boneless chicken thigh fillets, preferably skin-on

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp five spice powder

1 cup sweet potato flour

2L oil, for deep frying

1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves

Spiced Salt

1 tbsp salt

¼ tsp five spice powder

¼ tsp white pepper

a pinch of chilli powder


  1. Slice the chicken into 3cm pieces and combine with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar and five spice powder and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Toss in the sweet potato flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan. When the oil reaches 150°C scatter the basil leaves into the wok and stir for about 20 seconds until the basil crisps and turns translucent. Remove from the wok and drain. Increase the heat of the oil to 170°C and fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes until golden brown, regularly skimming any floating flour bits from the oil.
  3. For the spiced salt, mix the salt and other seasonings together and toast in a dry frypan over low-medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. To serve, toss the chicken with the fried basil leaves and a good pinch of the spiced salt. Serve immediately.

This recipe and many more like it can be found in my fourth book, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School.

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

How to Cook Fried Rice – Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice


The first thing you need to know about wok cooking is that oil is very important. To carry flavour around your dish, flavour the oil first. If you want to learn good wok technique, this simple fried rice is a good choice.


3 eggs

1 tsp sesame oil

¾ tsp salt

4 cups leftover cooked jasmine rice, cold

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp soy sauce

¼ tsp white pepper


  1. Beat the eggs with the sesame oil and ¼ tsp of salt. Heat the wok over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add half the spring onions, garlic and the remaining salt and fry until fragrant. Add the rice and soy sauce and toss to coat in the oil, pressing the rice against the side of the wok to break up any clumps.
  2. When the rice softens and begins to toast, move all the rice to one side of the wok and add the egg mixture to the open side. Stir the eggs until they are nearly set, then combine with the rice. Add the remaining spring onions and white pepper and toss through.

This recipe is from Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School, page 78.

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

How to Cook Asian Greens

Oiled Greens

If you’ve always wanted to make Asian greens taste like the dish you order in a Chinese restaurant, this is how.


1 bunch Chinese broccoli (gai lan) (about 250g)

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil


Oyster Sauce

¼ cup oyster sauce

¼ cup coarse stock, chicken stock or water

¼ tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp stock or water



  1. Trim the Chinese broccoli of any dry ends and rinse it well in cold water. Cut into 10cm lengths, grouping together the thick stalks, thin stalks and leaves separately. Split any very thick stalks in half lengthwise.
  2. Bring 2L of water to a rolling boil and add the salt. Add the thick stalks and boil for about a minute, then add the thin stalks and the leaves on top. Pour over the vegetable oil and boil for a further 2 minutes, occasionally shaking the greens in the water with tongs or chopsticks to coat them in the oil and to dissolve the salt into the water. Remove from the water and drain well.
  3. For the oyster sauce, bring the oyster sauce and stock to a simmer, then add the cornflour mixture. Stir until thickened then remove from the heat.
  4. Serve the greens as they are, or with some of the oyster sauce poured over the top.


This recipe is from Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School, page 133.


Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

What I Did in 2014 – The Highlights
Four hours outside Dubai, UAE.

Four hours outside Dubai, UAE. This shot was taken the day before shooting started on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was filmed right here!

2014 was another big year. Time always seems to fly by, but I think I’ve managed to pack more into this year than just about any other. I don’t want to bore you with EVERYTHING I did, so here are just a few of the highlights.

I joined Good Food as a food columnist. You can see my recipes in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age every month or online anytime at www.goodfood.com.au. Here are a couple you might like from the past year:

Salmon oyakodon

Salmon oyakodon (and a bit of a primer on sashimi too)

Cinnamon and watermelon granita


American pancakes

I still write for Feast magazine and a bunch of other publications as well, so you’ll still be seeing my writing pop up all over the place. Here’s a piece on a dinner I went to in Tasmania that I wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

I released my third book.  I think Adam’s Big Pot is my best yet. Each of my books is generally just a collection of what I’ve been cooking that year, so they’re a bit autobiographical in that sense.

Now that my son is getting older and eats mostly what my wife and I eat, the book is focused on simple family recipes that are also authentic. It’s been getting a huge response and every week I get dozens of photos of all the dishes you’ve all been cooking from it. Thank you, and keep them coming! If you want to have a look at some sample recipes, check them out here.

Experiences2 (1 of 1)

I think travel is vital to good cooking, and this year I traveled an awful lot. With cooking more than most other things it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of buying the same ingredients and cooking the same dishes over and over. Travel forces you to experience new flavours, new techniques and whole new ways of eating.

This year I was away from home for nearly eight months all up. I visited England, France, Spain Portugal, The United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand and had some incredible experiences – both in food and otherwise. You can follow my further travels on Instagram.

On the balcony. Oia, Santorini, Greece.

On the balcony. Oia, Santorini, Greece.

Matsuri in Hakui, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

Matsuri in Hakui, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain.

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain.

I ate a lot of great stuff too, and you can see a list of some of the food that floated my boat here.

Of course, I didn’t just go overseas. I travelled all around Australia as well, which brings me to…

Our third Destination Flavour season for SBS, Destination Flavour: Down Under, was our highest rating season yet! Our second episode was actually the sixth highest rating episode of a food program in Australia last year, and the highest on SBS. We put a lot of hard work into the show and it’s great to know you’re all enjoying it.

Edith Falls, NT, Australia.

Edith Falls, NT, Australia.

On an amphibious pearl boat in Cygnet Bay, Northern WA, Australia.

On an amphibious pearl boat in Cygnet Bay, Northern WA, Australia.

Cooking crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Cooking crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Here are a few recipes you might like from the series:

Yoghurt pikelets with kiwifruit jam

New Zealand Hunter’s pie

Salt and pepper Moreton Bay bugs

Ploughman’s lunch with salt-crust pork belly

I visited UNICEF’s operations in Myanmar. It was a life-changing trip in many ways and here’s a piece I wrote on it just to try and get my head around the experience. I’ve been involved with helping children through my mother’s work in China for more than 20 years, and a UNICEF Ambassador for 2 years now. Not everyone will have the chance to see first hand where the money they donate to good causes actually goes, but trust me it’s incredible. If you want to help UNICEF Australia, you can donate here.

Temples at dusk in Bagan, Myanmar.

Temples at dusk in Bagan, Myanmar.

With kids in a UNICEF-supported school, Thet Ke Kan Village, Myanmar.

With kids in a UNICEF-supported school, Thet Ke Kan Village, Myanmar.

I cycled around Hokkaido. Well, not the whole way around but we did more than 700 kilometres over 5 days. It was a fantastic trip with great food that made up for the EXTREMELY sore legs. The food and scenery were incredible but I honestly I think I enjoyed the cycling even more. I’m not a MAMIL yet but I am really liking being on the bike. If only I had more time.

At the top of the Bohor Pass, Hokkaido, Japan.

At the top of the Bohor Pass, Hokkaido, Japan.

Cycling Hokkaido

And finally, my son Christopher turned one! There’s not much more to say about that other than he’s growing into a great little guy and I love being his dad.

Christopher's First Birthday

Thank you all for supporting me this year in the various things I do. I love hearing from you too, so leave a comment below or try and catch up with me on social media on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

I hope you had a great 2014 too, and here’s to many more good times to come in 2015!


16 Memorable Things I Ate In 2014

The entrance to La Tupina (see No. 4).

I know I say it every year but this time it was almost impossible to narrow the list down. I did a stupid amount of travel this year and ate an even stupider amount of food, but I think I just managed to pick my favourites.

There are so many more dishes I wish I could have included but, without any further excuses and in no particular order, here are 16 memorable things I ate this year (that I didn’t cook myself).

Here are some links to last year’s list and the year before’s, if you’re interested.

And if you want to keep more regular tabs on what I’m eating and cooking you can throw me a follow on Instagram @liawadam.

1. Pastéis de Belém, A Chique de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

The far-more-famous Pastéis de Belém down the road is accepted as the home of the Portuguese tart, but it can feel a bit like you’re on the conveyor belt of a tourist factory. At A Chique de Belem they’re still “fabrico próprio” (made on premises) and excellent quality, and you can even sit, have a coffee and actually enjoy yourself while eating tart or four (or six). I honestly thought the tarts were better here, too.

2. Foie gras and marmalade, Ganbara, San Sebastian, Spain

A pintxos crawl in San Sebastian is probably one of the best food experiences in the world, and doesn’t even matter that the food isn’t always that good. Don’t get me wrong – there are some exceptional pintxos around, but there’s as much boring/bad as there is interesting/great. This foie gras and marmalade from Ganbara was one of the greats.

3. Francesinha, Bufete Fase, Porto, Portugal

You could start a civil war in Porto on the question of where has the best Francesinha (“Little Frenchie” – it’s a Portuguese evolution of a Croque Monsieur) but after much wailing and gnashing of teeth I settled on Bufete Fase. The sound you hear when you eat it is your arteries weeping.

4. Confit goose wing and Salardaise potatoes, La Tupina, Bordeaux, France

Some say La Tupina has become an affectation of the rustic French cookery that made it famous but really, its only crime is aggressively staying the same while the food world evolved around it into something that can be overly critical, cynical and opinionated at times. If that’s an affectation, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

5. Caffè freddo and pastries, Andreotti, Rome

My little brother lives around the corner from this place and brought me here on a searing hot Roman day. The caffè freddo is made with a base of espresso granita topped with more chilled espresso and a touch of milk. Now it’s the gold-standard for every hot summer’s day I’ve experienced since. A+ pastries, too FWIW.

6. Birthday cake, by Katherine Sabbath, Sydney

I’ve been a fan of Katherine’s on Instagram for ages and she so very, very kindly made this for my son’s first birthday. Often the trade-off for cakes that look this good is taste, but this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten. Caramel mud cake with freeze-dried raspberries and toasted coconut plus cream cheese icing. The ice-cream cone is full of cupcake. Show-stopper.

7. Negitoro temaki, Sushi Shinnosuke, Kanazawa, Japan

Negitoro temaki (minced akami with Japanese leeks) is one of those salaryman sushi pieces that Japanese food snobs would never order in a fine-dining omakase. At Shinnosuke, though, the attention paid to the texture of meaty tuna and sharp leeks made it stand out, which is why it’s on the list instead of the more celebrated cuts like otoro nigiri. In fact, the whole meal at Shinnosuke was amazing. Completely different to somewhere like Sukibashi Jiro (which I guess since the doco has become the default benchmark for sushi restaurants everywhere) in the sense that the taisho’s style is some of the most contemporary stuff going around, but if this was in Tokyo you’d be paying three or four hundred dollars for it. In Kanazawa the whole meal was just a smidge over a hundred bucks.

8. Avgotaraho, capers and rakomelo, To Psarakis, Santorini, Greece

For such a tourist hotspot, the food on Santorini is incredible. Particularly in the somewhat-less-overrun towns of Vlychada and Ammoudi. This was my first time trying avgotaraho (semi-soft cured mullet roe) but it was like a more delicate, yolky version of karasumi or bottarga. These thick slabs were a perfect match with rakomelo (raki sweetened with honey).

9. Bacon and Prune Pave, Du Pain et Des Idées, Paris, France

This was just about the most perfect savoury snack I’ve ever eaten. I’m not kidding. Perfect smokiness of the farmer’s bacon, the right mix of crunchy, chewy and milky lactic fermentation in the dough, with a subtle sweetness of prune.

10. Native Australian ingredient tasting, Indian Pacific, somewhere on the Nullarbor Plain, Australia

For a long time native Australian ingredients have suffered from associations with gimmicky attempts to force “Australiana” into a modern Australian cuisine that has never really paid it much attention. I don’t really think much has changed. The gimmick has become the flavour of the month in fine-dining and chefs are now throwing native ingredients around with a shrug and wink, but I still haven’t really thought they’ve make much impact on how Australians really eat. Enter Mark Olive – and I say enter even though he’s being championing native foods for the best part of 30 years. His native ingredient tasting on board the Indian Pacific took place somewhere on the Nullarbor Plain during my 3-day journey crossing Australia from coast to coast and it has, at long last, opened my eyes to the possibilities of the incredible and unique flavours we have here.

11. Crayfish and chips, Nin’s Bin, Kaikoura, New Zealand

The Clark family live and breathe crayfish, and there’s a reason theirs is the best crayfish in New Zealand. Johnny catches them and cooks them in an old copper washing machine and his brother Ricky makes the chips (fried in dripping, no less). The secret to preserving the crayfish flavour is cooking them sixty at a time so that the water doesn’t dilute the flavour. Something to bear in mind if you ever have sixty crayfish lying around.

12. Toast Skagen, Hotel Diplomat, Stockholm, Sweden

This is a fantastic spot for lunch in Stockholm. Well-heeled and impossibly attractive Swedes of all ages in crisp-pressed shirts dining on Swedish classics with a bit of swank. Toast Skagen is lightly grilled bread topped with fresh prawns, dill, crème fraiche and vendace roe. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more civilised while eating toast.

13. Bain moke, Sone Kone Village, Myanmar

I’d just visited a rural health centre on a trip to Myanmar with UNICEF, and in Myanmar “rural” means we’d been crossing rivers in four-wheel drives for about 4 hours to get here. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited, and for a snack I bought a piece of this giant leavened pancake of peanut and coconut from a local seller. Ten cents a piece.

14. Ploughman’s lunch and a cloudy cider, The Mount Inn, Cotswolds, England

Anyone who still subscribes to the old trope that English food is terrible or boring is woefully out of touch. And it’s not that just magically got better a decade or so ago. It’s always been great.

15. Nasi campur, Warung Something Something, Bali

That’s not the name of the warung. I just can’t remember it. I’ve spent hours and hours in Bali on previous trips trying to track down some famous babi guling (usually great) or some new and popular fancy-casual restaurant (usually not-so-great) but this trip I just decided to eat from the local warung and sit by the pool. Maybe I just got lucky but the simple nasi campur from the place at the end of the street was different every day and as good as anything I’ve eaten in Bali, anywhere. Oh, and it cost a dollar a plate.

16. Pork jowl, abalone and fermented grains, Peter Gilmore, MONA, Hobart, Tasmania

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

This was one of the big fancy dishes at Tourism Australia’s big fancy dinner in Hobart. It was the best dinner I’ve ever been to. I wrote about it for The Wall Street Journal here.

Well, thanks for reading. That was a list of stuff I didn’t cook this year. If you want to have a look at some stuff I did, your best bet is here.

And if you want to see what else I got up to in 2014, try here.