Sometimes the best meals can be hot kimchi soup paired with a silver spoon or a thick burger with your bare hands as the only utensil. In my experience, the tastiest food is always when you’re having fun. Thus my food adventures were born, ranging from fast food, fancy food and foreign food. It’s been pretty awesome trying all of these places, enjoy!
I ordered this at the Bento’s located in the Doctor Phillip’s area. It was called “chirashi” on the menu and best food to ever exist” in my heart. You can see that it’s basically a sushi bowl with vinegar sticky rice, an assortment of raw fish, seaweed salad, cucumbers, ginger and wasasbi. This bowl was around $12 and if you order only two types of fish, you can get it for less. I feel like you get more out of this bowl than buying a $12 sushi roll, just because it’s more filling and you can get an assortment of fish without having to buy five different sushi dishes. Sometimes raw fish can make people feel queasy but if you think of it as the freshest fish can get, it might make consuming this bowl a little easier.
As you can tell from the picture, this is a dish from a place called mamak that specializes in Asian street food. You can find this place in the downtown area with a large asian population. ( Basically it’s located in Orlando’s Asiantown and I can’t tell you the exact place but I can name some nearby street names like Bumby road, Mills avenue and East Colonial Drive, also you can’t miss the place, the sign is huge and yellow.) Mamak really focuses on food from Malaysia and Thailand opposed to the more well-known Asian food such as Korean barbecue, Vietnamese Pho, Japanese Sushi and Chinese takeout. (lol) I think it’s great that Orlando is getting more food diverse, my pocket sure doesn’t but pockets can’t talk, thankfully. Back to the food! What I ordered here is the coconut curry, a house favorite. I might be biased because I loooooooove curry but let me tell you, this dish was the bomb. Not only was the food good but the interior design was modern and gave a really nice, industrial vibe. This was probably about $10-12 and absolutely worth it. (Also be weary of ordering the ramen here, my friend ordered ramen soup and it looked really pretty but tasted like instant ramen noodles, except watered down.)
I can’t leave out Korean barbecue, a staple food in my diet. The barbecue featured in the picture was at Izziban, a place that served Korean barbecue and Japanese sushi. You can find other places to have Korean barbecue in Orlando, such as Shin Jung or Korea House. You can get the all-you-can-eat barbecue booth deal for $25 and not only can you order barbecue, they also give you the options of basic sushi rolls, miso soup, edamame (soybeans in the pod) and crab rangoon/ragoon/lagoon (Seriously, I’ve seen so many variations of the name, get your stuff together, delicious crispy dumpling shell stuffed with cream cheese and crab meat!!!) The cool thing about Korean barbecue is that you get to cook it yourself, there is a grill in the middle of the table and they provide you tongs. Usually you also get an assortment of side dishes like pickled radish, kimchi and lettuce. Korean barbecue has a really distinct taste, so you’re going to ave to try it yourself. My parents have made this at home so you can just save money and cook it at the comfort of your home but I really do recommend to just go for the experience. Also don’t forget to ask for the fermented soybean paste.
This was what I had for my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, I can’t recall the name of this place but it was in the same area as the Mamak restaurant above. This was a small Thai place with a very authentic mom and pop vibe. I was immediately excited to eat at this place because we got to sit at an elevated booth/table combination. We ordered pad Thai, noodles, Asian coleslaw, a mini wrap dish thingy and a nice spicy soup, along with the meat sticks pictured above. Like Korean barbecue places, we got to grill our food ourselves, except these came with cute little mini grills and the meat was already cooked, the grill was if you wanted it more well done. We finished the meal with a mango and warm coconut rice dish. This place was awesome, I’ll update if I can find the name!
- Marilyn Nguyen, January 10 2016