Eat Like a Local – Stockholm

Simple and substantial: For a long time, Sweden was a poor, agricultural country where people were more interested in just having enough to eat and not in exquisite culinary delights. This is still reflected to a certain extent in the local cooking: potatoes, meat (game, of course) and fish (especially herring and salmon in all variations) are the traditional ingredients of Swedish home-style cooking.

Stockholm Marco Polo Guide

Local specialities to try on your visit to Stockholm:

Biff à la Rydeberg – thinly sliced beef, seared and served with baked potatoes, onions and raw egg yolk

Gravad lax – salmon marinated in sugar, salt and dill, served with a hearty dill-and-mustard sauce

Gul ärtsoppa med flask – thick, yellow pea soup with bacon; the traditional dish on a Thursday

Janssons frestelse – Swedish classic: potato gratin with anchovies, onions and cream

Kanelbullar – very popular rolls with cinnamon

Köttbullar – small, fried meatballs of minced pork and beef, served with boiled or mashed potatoes, brunsås, brown sauce and lingon, cranberries

Kräftor – freshwater crayfish, cooked with a lot of dill and eaten with toast and butter. Season: August

Pannkakor med sylt – pancakes with jam, the obligatory dessert after pea soup on Thursday

Princesstårta – cream cake filled with jam and vanilla cream, covered with bright green marzipan icing

Pytt i panna – a classic way to use leftovers of cubed potatoes, sausage and pieces of meat, served with a fried egg on top and beetroot

Räkor – shrimps

Sill – herring, many variations: senapsill pickled in a sweet-and-sour mustard sauce, glasmästarsill, with onions and bay leaves, or fried

Walenbergare – hamburgers of veal, onions and cream. Side dishes: green peas, mashed potatoes and cranberries

 

Restaurants serving traditional Swedish cuisine:

GYLDENE FREDEN
This guesthouse from the 18th century serves typical Swedish food. Closed Sun | Österlånggatan 51 | Gamla Stan | tel. 08 24 97 60 | www.gyldenefreden.se | bus 2, 43, 53, 55, 76: Slottsbacken | red and green lines: Gamla Stan | Expensive

PONTUS!
Star chef Pontus Frithiof creates culinary highlights for the trendy Stockholm crowd. In addition there is an exquisite oyster bar. Closed Sun | Brunnsgatan 1 | Norrmalm | tel. 08 54 52 73 00 | www.pontusfrithiof.com | bus 1, 2, 55, 56: Stureplan | red line: Östermalmstorg | Expensive

ULRIKSDALS WÄRDSHUS
This traditional restaurant in a charming white wooden villa in Ulriksdal Castle Park is famous for its excellent smörgåsbord. The small version is prepared Tue–Fri 11.30am–2.30pm, the large smörgåsbord at the weekend (Sat/Sun 2 sittings 1pm and 5pm). In addition, à-la-carte dishes are served. Closed Mon | Ulriksdals Slottspark | Solna | tel. 08 85 08 15 | www.ulriksdalswardshus.se | red line to Mörby:Bergshamra then bus 503 to Ulriksdals Wärdshus (approx. 5 min, hourly) | Expensive

AARTS MAT & DRYCK
The dishes on the menu of this restaurant, that specialises in Swedish cooking, are simple, organic and made with local produce. Closed Sat lunch and Sun | Asögatan 176 | Södermalm | tel. 08 7 02 12 22 | aartsmat.se | bus 3: Asögatan | green line: Medborgarplatsen | Moderate

KRYP IN
This small, cosy restaurant is in a medieval vaulted cellar. Delicious Swedish specialities – prepared with Mediterranean flair; e.g. roast reindeer with port wine sauce. Closed Sun | Prästgatan 17 | Gamla Stan | tel. 08 20 88 41 | www.restaurangkrypin.nu | bus 3, 53: Mälartorget | red and green lines: Gamla Stan | Moderate

OPERAKÄLLARENS BAKFICKA
This less-expensive offshoot of the Opera Cellar serves premium quality, Swedish, home-style cooking such as köttbullar and biff rydberg. You eat seated on a bar stool at the bar. The classical Sunday meal (söndagsmiddag), a three-course set meal served between 1pm and 7pm, is especially popular with Stockholmers. Operahuset | Karl XII’s torg | Norrmalm | tel. 08 6 76 58 08 | www.operakalleren.se | bus 2, 55, 62, 71, 76: Karl XII’s torg | blue line: Kungsträdgården | Moderate

TRANAN
Red-and-white checked tablecloths, dark wooden chairs and high quality Swedish cuisine. A popular classic. Karlbergsvägen 14 | Vasastan | tel. 08 52 72 81 00 | www.tranan.se | bus 2, 4, 42, 53, 65, 70, 72: Odenplan | green line: Odenplan | Moderate

 

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Eat Like a Local – Malta

Malta’s cuisine has been strongly influenced by its close proximity to Italy, the British colonial period and British mass tourism. The legacy of traditional English food is unfortunately not one of the island’s strong points. However, it does mean that even in basic hotels a hearty English breakfast is served – and that can never be a bad thing! 

Malta Marco Polo Guide

Italian (and other) influences

The influence of Italian cooking offers a prospect of greater delights. Apart from the pizza and pasta dishes on menus everywhere, excellent, newly established restaurants serve up fine Italian meals with sophisticated meat, fish and vegetable dishes. In general a clear trend has been noticeable in recent years towards more and more gourmet establishments with prices to match, and towards exotic dining. Atmospheric wine bars are a new feature of the fashionable scene.

If you are so inclined, you can take a culinary trip round the world on Malta with destinations ranging from Greece and Mongolia to Malaysia and Indonesia, India, China and Japan. A number of Arab restaurants have also made their appearance. To add to this, after long years of neglect, the availability of Maltese specialities has greatly improved. This involves a great many variations on soups and casseroles, rabbit recipes and vegetable dishes. The national dish on Malta is fenek – rabbit, usually served in a garlic and red wine sauce. Good restaurants also cook more and more often with genuine Maltese olive oil once again, as the cultivation of olives on the island is enjoying an upturn. The islanders were long dependent on cheap imports from Italy.

 

Drinks

Malta has no obvious national drink – but if it came down to it, it would have to be a toss up between Cisk beer and Kinnie.  On the island itself the only drinks that are produced are milk, fruit juice, several kinds of liqueur and three sorts of a bitter fizzy drink called Kinnie made from unpeeled oranges, water and vermouth – as well as wine and beer. The latter is made in two breweries: Carlsberg and Farsons (Cisk). Wine from the barrel can be had only in simple village taverns nowadays. The restaurants usually stock bottled wines, as the island’s grape production comes nowhere near to meeting its demand. While it is true that Maltese winemakers have begun to import young vines of various types from France and Italy and plant them on the island, it is still necessary to buy grapes, in Italy as a rule, in order to be able to make enough ‘Maltese’ wine in the island’s cellars.

 

Eating out tips

The restaurant menu is always available in English. In better-class restaurants the waiter will show you to the table, and sometimes it is customary to wait at the bar or in a lounge to sip an aperitif while choosing from the menu.

You should always book in advance at restaurants, especially at weekends and in the busy summer period to avoid disappointment. Meal times on Malta are not really Mediterranean-style extensive and flexible, but rather restricted in the British tradition. Lunch is generally served from noon until 2 pm, dinner from 7 to 10pm. Anyone who wants to make a more thorough study of the gastronomic scene on Malta should look out for the annually updated guide ‘The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta and Gozo’, which is obtainable from the island bookshops. For the latest information see also: www.restaurantsmalta.com.

Malta Marco Polo Guide

Local Specialities

Aljotta – fish soup with lots of garlic, herbs and rice

Biskuttini tal-lewz – almond slices

Bragioli – roulade of beef, stuffed with egg, mincemeat and peas

Brugiel mimli – aubergines filled with rice, mincemeat and herbs

Bzar ahdar mimli – bell peppers filled with rice, mincemeat, olives and capers

Gbejniet friski – cream cheese from goat’s and sheep’s milk, usually from a dairy on Gozo

Gbejniet moxxi – the air-dried version of Gozitan cream cheese

Hobz bis-zejt – a thick slice of crusty bread with olive oil and tomato puree, plus capers, olives and garlic

Imqarets – pastry rolls filled with dates, very good with coffee

Kabocci mimlija – a kind of roulade, cabbage stuffed with cheese or mincemeat

Kannoli – a pipe-shaped pastry filled with cream cheese, chocolate, candied cherries and roast almonds

Kappunata – stew made from aubergines, capers, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and courgette, a popular accompaniment to fish

Kusksu – broad beans cooked in a tomato and onion sauce

Minestra – Maltese version of the Italian vegetable soup, served with fresh cheese from sheep’s or goat’s milk

Pastizzi – rolls of puff pastry, stuffed e.g. with cheese, meat of fish – and eaten for breakfast

Qara’bagli – creamy vegetable soup made from small pumpkins

Ravjul – ravioli filled with Maltese ricotta cheese

Ross fil-Forn – cheese-topped rice casserole with mincemeat, eggs and tomatoes

Timpana – casserole of macaroni, mincemeat and béchamel sauce

 

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Eat Like a Local – Singapore

High-quality food is something Singaporeans take very seriously: they talk a lot about eating, and good chefs are held in high esteem. The city state offers enormous variety in a very small area. You will not only be able to savour all of Asia’s cuisines here but the very best of Australia and Europe as well. The servings are often smaller than at home – this applies especially to street booths. Eat the way the locals do and do not gorge yourself; the rule is: it is better to eat less but do it more often. That will also make it easier for you to try out all the different national styles of cooking.

Singapore Marco Polo Guide

Local specialities to try on your visit to Singapore:

Bah Kut Teh – spicy herb soup with pork and offal, pepper, chilli and garlic

Bak Kwa – the slices of grated pork, brushed with honey and then grilled do not look especially
appetising – but they are! A Chinese delicacy, not only during the New Year celebrations

Chai Tow Kway/Carrot Cake – a kind of pancake with spring onions and sweet black sauce; not at all like the usual carrot cake

Char Kway Teow – fried, flat noodles with sweet, black sauce from the wok, with small Chinese
sausages, soy sprouts, eggs and garlic

Chicken Rice – gently cooked chicken with various sauces: it might look boring but the taste is pure poetry! Originally from the Chinese province of Hainan, it is now Singapore’s national dish

Hokkien Mee – yellow noodles fried in a wok: with pork or squid and a lot of vegetables

Kaya Toast – extremely sweet breakfast pudding made with milk, eggs and coconut milk on toast

Laksa – the noodles in the famous spicy soup are thick and yellow; served with pieces of chicken or fish, tofu cubes and coconut milk or tamarind juice

Nasi Lemak – classic Malay breakfast of coconut milk and sticky rice wrapped in a banana leaf; it is eaten with small sardines and plenty of chilli

Rojak – tropical salad of cucumber, pineapple, mango, grilled tofu, tamarind juice, pieces of fried noodles with shrimp paste and chopped peanuts

Roti Prata – a kind of Indian pancake made with thin batter and served with a variety of fillings – most of them, vegetarian. Stuffed with lamb or chicken, the pancakes are known as Murtabak; usually accompanied by curry sauce

Satay – chunks of chicken, lamb, beef or squid are marinated in hot spices and then grilled over charcoal, traditionally served with peanut sauce, cucumber and raw red onion

Wanton Noodles – a classic from the Chinese province of Canton: egg-noodle soup with boiled dumplings filled with minced meat

 

Hawker Centres & Food Courts

Most of the snack centres with their many small booths open early in the morning for breakfast and work until late at night. The most stylish hawker centre is the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market on Robinson Road between Waterfront and Chinatown (MRT NS 26, EW 14 Raffles Place). There was already a market here in 1822. As part of the redevelopment of China town, the Singapore Tourism Board revamped Smith Street and turned it into a strip of restaurants (MRT NE 4 Chinatown). The most beautiful food court is on the roof of the Vivo City shopping centre. It has been designed to resemble an old Chinese village (Food Republic@Vivo City, #03-01 Telok Blangah Road, corner of Sentosa Gate way (MRT NE 1 HarbourFront). The Maxwell Road Food Centre in Chinatown (MRT, NE 4 Chinatown) has the appearance of an open market hall. The prices in the Asian Food Mall in the Lucky Plaza shopping centre on Orchard Road (MRT NS 22 Orchard) are unbeatable. One of the best hawker centres is next to the Esplanade Culture Centre, Makansutra Gluttons Bay.

 

Restaurants serving traditional Singaporean cuisine: 

EQUINOX THE RESTAURANT
The restaurant has one of the most spectacular views Singapore has to offer. Looking out of the windows on the 70th floor on a fine day, you can see as far as Indonesia – and delight in modern Asian- European fusion cuisine at the same time. 2 Stamford Road, Swissôtel The Stamford | tel. 64 31 61 56 | MRT NS 25, EW 13 City Hall | Expensive

EAST COAST SEAFOOD CENTRE
This is the perfect place to try Singapore’s national dish Black Pepper Crab. The entire row of restaurants along the coast specialises in seafood. The view of the ocean is romantic but the restaurants themselves provide a rather sober Chinese atmosphere with plastic stools and neon lighting. Upper East Coast Road | preferably by Taxi | Moderate

TRUE BLUE
Chef Baba Ben, as the Singaporeans call Benjamin Seck, cooks in the traditional Peranakan style – a mixture of Chinese, Malay and European cuisines. The recipes still come from his mother Nyonya Daisy Seah. The restaurant is located next to the Peranakan Museum. Daily 11am–2.30pm, 6–9.30pm | 47/49 Armenian Street | tel. 64 40 04 49 | www.truebluecuisine.com | MRT CC 2 Bras Basah, EW 13, NS 25 Cityhall, then Bus 197 | Moderate

CHILLI PADI
This friendly family-run restaurant with excellent, reasonably-priced Peranakan home-style cooking is located a bit off the beaten track. Beef Rendang and fish-head curry are two of the classic dishes. Daily 11.30am–2.30pm, 5.30–10pm | #01-03 11 Joo Chiat Place | tel. 62 75 10 02 | www.chillipadi.com.sg | bus 16 from Orchard Road | Budget

328 KATONG LAKSA
You will not come across any tourists in this eatery. The street restaurant is in the heart of Katong, the old Peranakan district. 328 Katong Laksa won the ‘Laksa War’ against the neighbouring restaurants and Singaporeans come from the other side of town to enjoy the tasty soup that only costs S$4 here. Daily 8am–10pm | 53 East Coast Road | near the corner of Ceylon Road | bus 14 from Orchard Road | Budget

 

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Eat Like a Local – Madrid

The Spanish love their food. When they start talking about what makes their country special, its cuisine always ranks on top of the list.

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

Local specialities you should try on your visit to Madrid:

Albóndigas – meatballs

Boquerones fritos/en vinagre – deep fried/marinated anchovies

Café solo/cortado/con leche – espresso/espresso with a shot of milk/coffee with milk

Calamares – squid

Callos madrileños – tripe stew

Caña – a small glass of beer

Cava – Spanish sparkling wine

Chipirones – baby squid

Chorizo – paprika salami

Churros – deep fried pastry, particularly popular con chocolate i.e. dunked in hot chocolate

Cochinillo – suckling pig

Cocido madrileño – typical Madrid stew with chorizo, garbanzos (chickpeas) and vegetables

Cordero (asado) – (roast) lamb

Croquetas – fish, meat or ham croquettes

Ensaladilla – potato salad with greens (fresh or cooked) and mayonnaise (plenty of it)

Gambas al ajillo/a la plancha – prawns in garlic sauce/grilled on a hot metal plate

Horchata – refreshingly sweet drink made from ground tiger nuts

Jamón – air dried ham

Mejillones – mussels

Pulpo – octopus

Patatas bravas – fried potatoes served in a spicy tomato sauce

Queso – farmhouse cheese mostly

Tinto de verano – ‘summer wine’ a mix of half wine and half gaseosa with plenty of ice

Tortilla – Spanish potato omelette

Madrid Marco Polo Guide

Restaurants serving traditional Spanish cuisine:

CAFÉ DEL NUNCIO
A classic interior with a relaxed outdoor café on the steps of the Costanilla del Nuncio in the heart of La Latina. Daily 12.30pm–2.30am | Segovia 9 | Metro 5: La Latina

JULIÁN DE TOLOSA
This is one of the classics on the Cava Baja, Madrid’s restaurant mile. It is renowned for its lightly grilled Basque steaks but the seafood dishes are also excellent. Closed Sun evening | Cava Baja 18 | tel. 913 65 82 10 | en.juliandetolosa.com | Metro 5: La Latina | Expensive

MATRITUM
Not very spacious, usually packed and often noisy, yet this restaurant still manages to retain its elegance. A great selection of unusual tapas with no less than 250 wines to choose from! Closed Mon–Tue for lunch | Cava Alta 16 | tel. 913 65 82 37 | Metro 5: La Latina | Moderate

CASA MINGO
A classic that has been going strong since 1917 – their speciality is roast chicken and they are famous for their cider or sidra – on a fine day Madrid’s locals sit outside on rows of tables crammed on to the street. Daily | Paseo de la Florida 34 | no reservations | www.casamingo.es | Metro 6, 10: Príncipe Pío | Budget

LA FINCA DE SUSANA
There are always queues of people in front of this restaurant and it is no wonder because you will be hard pressed to find such value for money in an elegant setting elsewhere in Madrid. Expect everything to feel a bit rushed and chaotic – a small price to pay for a great meal. Daily | Calle Principe, 10 | no reservations | www.grupandilana.com | Metro 2: Sevilla | Budget

 

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Eat Like a Local – Lisbon

Traditional Portuguese cuisine is simple, rustic and hearty. Portions are usually generous. A hefty plate of fish or meat is complemented with rice and potatoes (often at the same time), plus a few lettuce leaves as standard garnish. 

Lisbon Marco Polo Guide

Local specialities you should try on your visit to Lisbon:

Açorda de marisco – bread stew with seafood

Amêijoas à bulhão pato – mussels in a garlic-lemon sauce

Arroz de pato – rice with duck

Bacalhau à brás – codfish potato gratin

Bife à Marrare – fillet of beef in a garlic and cream sauce

Bitoque – steak with fried egg and chips/fries

Bolo-Rei – ‘King’s Cake’, Christmas and Easter cake made with dried fruit

Cabrito – kid goat, prepared with fresh herbs

Caldeirada à fragateira – fish stew with tomatoes and potato

Caldo verde – soup made from green cabbage and potato

Chanfana – goat in wine sauce

Cozido à portuguesa – hearty stew of various cuts of meat and vegetables

Favas à moda de Lisboa – fava beans with bacon and sausage

Feijoada à portuguesa – bean stew with sausage

Frango na púcara – chicken, prepared in a clay pot

Iscas com elas – liver with spleen

Lulas recheadas – stuffed squid

Pão-de-ló – biscuit cake

Pastéis de bacalhau – fried codfish pasties

Pastéis de Belém – custard tarts

Peixinhos da horta – fried green beans in tempura

Porco à alentejana – pork goulash with mussels

Queijadas de Sintra – sweet curd pastries from Sintra

Rissóis de camarão – fried prawn rissoles

Salada de polvo – octopus salad

LIsbon Marco Polo Guide

Restaurants serving traditional Portuguese cuisine:

O Miudinho
Get off the beaten track at the Miudinho in Carnide, a charming old-fashioned neighbourhood in the north of Lisbon. Don’t let first impressions – a modern development – put you off. The simple restaurant serves traditional Portuguese fare, specialising in meat and fish from the charcoal grill. Large helpings, low prices! Closed Sun | Rua Neves Costa, 21 | tel. 2 17 14 01 20 | www.omiudinho.com/pt | Metro (blue) Carnide | Budget

Sol e Pesca
This former angling equipment and tinned fish shop in the port quarter – now a hip nightlife mile – has been converted into an informal bar-restaurant. Choose your tin of fish, pay an additional €2.50 for bread and salad, and you’re good to go. Tue–Sat noon–midnight, Fri/Sat sometimes up to 4am | Rua Nova do Carvalho 44 | Metro (green) Cais do Sodré | Budget

Cervejaria da Trindade
This is the classic place to enjoy a beer in Lisbon. The large rooms form part of a former monastery church. In summer, you can sit in the small, shady garden. Whether meat or fish, a whole meal or only a couple of tapas (appetisers), there is something to eat most times of the day or night. Daily 10am–1.30am, Closed on public holidays | Rua Nova da Trindade, 20c | tel. 2 13 42 35 06 | www.cervejariatrindade.pt | Metro (blue, green) Baixa-Chiado | Moderate

Faz Figura
This is one of Lisbon’s classic restaurants, with a beautiful view across the Tagus. Its light-filled conservatory and terrace make it a favourite meeting place for wealthy Lisbon families. It offers fine Portuguese and international cuisine, including vegetarian dishes. Very friendly service. Daily | tel. 2 18 86 89 81 | Alfama | Rua do Paraíso, 15B | www.fazfigura.com | bus 12 to Rua do Paraíso | Expensive

 

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Lisbon Marco Polo Guide

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Eat Like a Local Barcelona

Eat like a local in Barcelona with our guide to its native delicacies and traditional Spanish restaurants…

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

Spanish specialities you should try on your visit to Barcelona: 

Allioli – fine olive oil mayonnaise with garlic, served with fish and rice dishes or grilled meat

Amanida catalana – salad with smoked sausage

Arròs negre – rice with squid (including the ink)

Bacallà – cod (prepared following various recipes)

Canelones a la catalana – cannelloni Catalan-style, filled with mincemeat, chicken breast and liver, topped and baked with bechamel sauce

Cava – Catalan sparkling wine, traditionally matured in bottles

Crema catalana – sweet egg custard, covered with a layer of caramelised sugar

Escalivada – cold starter of grilled peppers and aubergines in olive oil

Espinacs a la catalana – starter of spinach (or chard) with raisins and pine kernels

Esqueixada – popular starter made from raw cod, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers and black olives

Fideuà – pasta paella with monkfish, squid, prawns and mussels, baked in the oven

Llagosta i pollastre – chicken with langouste, in tomato-hazelnut sauce or with almonds, chocolate, saffron and garlic

Pa amb tomàquet – bread, rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with olive oil. For the Catalans, this starter is a national dish, a philosophy and a passion

Suquet de peix – Catalan fish soup, usually a mix of monkfish, sea bream, squid and other seafood

Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

Restaurants serving traditional Spanish cuisine:

Bar Mundial

This authentic tapas bar has been around since 1908. The establishment is situated on one of the prettiest squares in the Old Town and has a welcoming ambience. Its specialities are fish and other seafood. Closed Sunday evenings, Tuesday lunchtimes and Mondays | Plaça Sant Augustí, 1 | Metro: Jaume I (L4)

Tapas 24

Chef Carles Abellan is renowned as a master of experimental tapas and all of his food is first-class quality. Closed Sundays | Diputació, 269 | Tel. 9 34 88 09 77 | Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L3)

Drolma

An exquisite Michelin-starred restaurant at the Majestic hotel. Chef Fermi Puig spoils his guests with delectable and creative cuisine, serving Mediterranean dishes of the highest quality. The service is very professional and the staff are friendly and attentive. Menu from €95 | Closed Sundays | Passeig de Gràcia, 70 | Tel. 9 34 96 77 10 | Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L2, L3, L4)

Casa Leopoldo

This Old Town restaurant has been a legend since the 1929 World Exhibition. It has a cosy and rustic atmosphere and serves traditional Catalan food. Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays | Sant Rafael, 24 | Tel. 9 34 41 30 14 | Metro: Parallel (L3)

Allium 

This restaurant is situated in the heart of the Gothic quarter and serves delicious Catalan cuisine. All of the produce is sourced from ecological and organic agriculture or sustainable fisheries. Open daily until 11:30pm | Call, 17 | Tel. 9 33 02 30 03 | Metro: Jaume I (L4)

La Avia

A bohemian style restaurant serving traditional Catalan dishes such as bean stew, paella, squid a la marinera and homemade empanadas. Open daily | La Cera, 33 | Tel. 9 34 42 00 97 | Metro: Sant Antoni (L2)

 

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Barcelona Marco Polo Guide

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Eat Like a Local Hong Kong

Eat like a local in Hong Kong with our guide to its local specialities and traditional restaurants…

Marco Polo Guide Hong Kong

Chinese specialities you should try on your visit to Hong Kong:

Abalone – meat of a sea snail, served fresh or dried

Beggar’s chicken – a whole chicken coated with clay and roasted in its own juices

Bird’s nest – swallows’ nests served as a soup or dessert

Congee – rice soup, either plain or with vegetables or meat

Double sautéed pork – pork, cooked twice

Fish balls – fish and shrimp meat rolled into balls and served in broth

Garoupa – grouper (fish such as sea bass)

Hainan chicken – chicken in a ginger marinade, served on rice

Hairy crab – a delicatessen in autumn and winter, served boiled

Hot pot – meat, fish and vegetable fondue

Lo hon vegetables – various vegetables (Buddhist meal during fasting periods)

Peking duck – marinated duck with a crispy skin, roasted in the oven

Wonton – a noodle-dough dumpling stuffed with shrimp meat, served in broth

Yangchow fried rice – fried rice with chicken, egg, peas, shrimp and mushrooms

Marco Polo Guide Hong Kong

Restaurants serving traditional Chinese cuisine:

Crystal Jade 翡翠拉麵小籠包

Enjoy traditional Shanghai cooking with a view of the harbour at this beautiful restaurant. There are delicious dumplings and plentiful servings of noodles. If there is a wait for table then you are given a number and you can browse the nearby shops whilst you wait. Shop 3328, Gateway Arcade Harbour City 海港城港威商場 | Tel. 26 22 26 99 | Budget

Kung Tak Lam 功德林

Vegetarian Shanghai cuisine in a modern environment with a view of the harbour. The organic ingredients come from the restaurant’s own garden. It is an ideal place for dim sums at lunchtime. 1 Peking Rd. 北京道, 7th floor | Tel. 23 12 78 00 | Budget

Shanghai Garden 紫玉蘭

 A traditional Chinese restaurant serving Shanghai cuisine classics. ‘Drunken Chicken’ (in rice-wine sauce) and sautéed shrimps are specialities of the house. Hutchinson House | 10 Harcourt Rd. 夏愨道 | Tel. 25 24 81 81 | Moderate

Peking Garden 北京樓

Peking Duck is this restaurant’s speciality but it also offers Beggar’s Chicken and dishes from other regions of China. Be sure to see The Noodle Show which takes place at about 8pm every evening and includes spaghetti stretching by hand! Alexandra House | Chater Rd. 遮打道 (MTR exit H) | Tel. 25 26 64 56 | Moderate

Chuen Kee 全記海鮮菜館 

A restaurant serving fish and seafood fresh from the pool. It caters well to foreign guests and has a good variety of cooled white wine. Diners have the option of sitting outside with a pleasant view of the boats in the harbour. Sai Kung | 53 Hoi Pong St. 海傍街 | Harbour Promenade, south end beyond the ceremonial gate | Tel. 27 91 11 95 | Bus 92 from MTR Diamond Hill | Moderate–Expensive

Hunan Garden 洞庭樓 

Hunan cuisine is usually very spicy but this restaurant shows mercy and notes just how hot the individual dishes really are on the menu. The prices are reasonable and live Classical Chinese music is played throughout the evening. Forum | Exchange Square 交易廣場富臨閣 | Tel. 28 68 28 80 | Moderate

 

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Eat Like a Local Rome

When in Rome, eat as the Romans do! Roman food is based on its ancient past and demonstrates simple, yet delicious cuisine!

Marco Polo Rome Guide

Italian specialities you should try on your visit to Rome:

Abbacchio alla scottadito – roast lamb with rosemary potatoes

Baccalà – dried cod, often with peas

Bollito misto – mixed boiled meats, usually served with a green sauce

Bucatini all’amatriciana – pasta with tomato sauce, bacon and pecorino

Carciofi alla giudea/romana – artichokes fried in oil

Carpaccio di manzo – thin raw slices of fillet of beef with rocket leaves and parmesan

Carpaccio di pesce – thin marinated slices of swordfish or tuna

Ciammotta – deep-fried vegetables

Coniglio alla cacciatora – rabbit braised in the oven with rosemary

Fave e pecorino – beans with pecorino

Finanziera – stew of chicken, sweetbread and mushrooms

Garofolato – braised beef

Gnocchi salvia e burro – small potato dumplings with sage and butter

Insalata di puntarelle – bitter salad leaves with garlic and anchovies

Orecchiette – ear-shaped pasta, often served with broccoli and scampi

Pagliata – calf’s intestines with penne pasta

Panzanella – white bread with tomatoes, oil and chopped basil as a salad

Panzarottini – pasta bake with cheese and egg

Pasta e fagioli – penne or other fresh pasta with bean soup

Pesce spada – swordfish with lemon and oil, usually grilled

Pollo al diavolo – spicy chicken

Porchetta – slices of suckling pig on a roll, usually served cold at a stall

Saltimbocca – slice of veal with sage and parma ham

Scamorza con prosciutto – smoked cheese with ham

Trippa alla romana – tripe, usually served with vegetables

Marco Polo Rome Guide

Restaurants serving traditional Italian cuisine:

Gelateria Giolitti 

Rome’s most famous ice-cream parlour has been in business since 1900. Traditionalists order the bacio chocolate ice-cream or the truffle ice. Fruit sorbets, particularly the champagne and ginger flavours, are also chart-toppers here. Open Daily 7am–2am | Via Uffici del Vicario 40 | Bus 62, 63 | www.giolitti.it

La Veranda

In the Baroque courtyard of the Hotel Columbus near the Vatican you can enjoy modern Roman food such as rabbit chasseur. Open Tuesday–Sunday | Via della Conciliazione 33 | Tel. 066 87 29 73 | Bus 40, 62

Vincenzo alla Lungaretta

A cosy eatery where cannelloni, lasagne and pizza come from the wood-fired oven. Try the imaginative antipasti, which includes stuffed aubergines, pepperoni and artichokes. Open daily | Via della Lungaretta 170/173 | Tel. 0 65 80 03 45 | Tram 8, Bus 780

Il Bocconcino

Right behind the Colosseum, Giancarlo and his wife Nelly have opened a slow-food trattoria that has been a real hit in the locality. Try their traditional Roman-style starters such as polpette di melanzane e pinoli (aubergine dumplings with pine kernels), crostini di alici (toasted bread with anchovies) or spezzatino di vitella (veal stew with beans). Open Thursday–Tuesday | Via Ostilia 23 | Tel. 06 77 07 91 75 | Tram 3, Bus 60, 75, 81, 85, 117 | www.ilbocconcino.com

Hostaria Romanesca

A restaurant situated in the buzzing and colourful Campo de’ Fiori, a square located south of Piazza Navona and means “field of flowers”. It serves classic Roman dishes such as spaghetti carbonara and pollo ai peperoni. A reservation is necessary in the evenings! Open daily | Campo de’ Fiori 40 | Tel. 0 66 86 20 24 | Bus 116

Il Boscaiolo

A pizzeria north of the Fontana di Trevi with a wide selection of toppings and thin, crispy dough. The salads here are delicious too! Open Tuesday–Sunday (evenings only) | Via degli Artisti 37 | Tel. 0 64 88 40 23 | Metro A: Barberini

 

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Eat like a local Paris

To the French, eating is so much more than simply nourishment. It is also an essential means of social interaction and a vital ingredient in enhancing the quality of life. Here is Marco Polo’s guide to traditional French delicacies and the Parisian restaurants you are likely to find them in…

French delicacies

French specialties you should try on your visit to Paris: 

Boeuf bourguignon: braised beef in a Burgundy sauce

Bouillabaisse: fish stew made with Mediterranean fish

Brochettes de coquilles Saint Jacques: kebabs with scallops

Caneton à l’orange: roast duck in an orange sauce

Coq au vin: braise of chicken in red wine

Côtes de porc aux herbes: pork chops with herbs

Crème brûlée: a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel

Crêpes Suzette: thin pancakes with Grand Marnier

Écrevisses à la nage: boiled crayfish in a spicy broth

Escargots à la bourguignonne: boiled snails in a garlic herb sauce

Fruits de mer: seafood, i.e. crevettes (prawns), huîtres (oysters) and coquilles/moules (mussels) – often served raw

Gigot d’agneau aux morilles: leg of lamb with morels

Gratin dauphinois: potato gratin

Homard à l’armoricaine: lobster in a tomato, onion, herb, white wine and cognac sauce

Moules marinières: steamed mussels in white wine with onions

Noisettes d’agneau: small lamb cutlets fried in butter

Pot-au-feu: stew with beef, chicken and a variety of vegetables

Profiteroles: small cream puff-pastry with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce

Quenelles de brochet: pickerel, cream and egg dumplings

Ratatouille: vegetables sauteed with olive oil, onions and herbs, served either hot or cold

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée: onion soup baked with cheese

Tarte Tatin: carmelised upside down apple pie

French delicacies

Restaurants serving traditional French cuisine:

La Fresque

A small restaurant with a typically Parisian flair that is located directly adjacent to the shopping centre Les Halles. It is good value for money and has very friendly and attentive waiters. It is a good idea to arrive there early as it can become very busy in the evenings. Closed Sundays | 100, Rue Rambuteau | 11th Arr. | Tel. 01 42 33 17 56 | M 4: Les Halles

Crêperie de Plougastel 

Claimed to be one of the best crêperies in the city. The crêpes with caramel are particularly delectable, as are the savoury galettes made with buckwheat flour and filled with ham, mushrooms and smoked salmon. Open daily | 47, Rue Montparnasse | 14th Arr. | Tel. 01 42 79 90 63 | M 6: Edgar Quinet

Les Papilles 

Les Papilles is a Bistro with a wine cellar and a delicatessen. It serves authentic cuisine near the Jardin du Luxembourg. Closed Sundays and Mondays | 30, rue Gay Lussac | 5th Arr. | Tel. 01 43 28 20 79 | RER B: Luxembourg

Chez Glandines

Offers good value specialities from southwest France and the Basque region. It is a modest restaurant situated in the nightlife district Butte-aux-Cailles. Open daily | 30, Rue des Cinq Diamants | 13th Arr. | Tel. 01 45 80 70 10 | M 6: Corvisart

Chantairelle

Chantairelle offers hearty and succulent cuisine and pays homage to the Auvergne. With the exception of the ice cream, everything on the menu originates from this region in central France. The restaurant even has a takeaway deli, which sells cold meat, cheese, lentils and much more. Open daily (lunch only on Sundays and Mondays, dinner only on Saturdays and in August) | 17, rue Laplace | 5th Arr. | Tel. 01 46 33 18 59 | M 10: Cardinal Lemoine

Citrus Etoile

Citrus Etoile serves classical French dishes with a modern interpretation including Asian and Californian influences. There is a comfortably discreet atmosphere and it is situated only a few yards from the Arc de Triomphe. Saturdays and Sundays are for private functions only | 6, Rue Arséne Houssaye | 8th Arr. | Tel. 01 42 89 15 51 | M 1, 2, 6, RER A: Etoile

Content taken from the Paris Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Paris Marco Polo Spiral Guide

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Eat Like a Local Amsterdam

The top foods you must try when visiting Amsterdam!

The  number 1 thing to try is bitterballen (providing you are a meat eater)! They are delicious balls of heavenly goodness! Ok, we’re lying – they’re deep fried – so not technically “good” but they are yummy! Try them… you won’t be disappointed.

Bitterballen

Other typically Dutch things to try are:

Appeltaart – apple tart, cold or warm, served with whipped cream

Ba pao – steamed Chinese rolls filled with meat or vegetables

Erwtensoep – thick pea soup with pieces of sausage, accompanied by rye bread and bacon

Hollandse nieuwe – young (matjes) herring

Kipsaté – Indonesian skewered chicken with peanut sauce

Koffie verkeerd – coffee the “wrong way round” (milky coffee)

Kroket – deep-fried meat (or if you’re lucky – prawn) croquettes

Loempia – spring roll with or without meat

Mosselen – mussels cooked in white wine, served with fries and mayonnaise

Nasi/bami goring – rice or noodles with shrimps and chicken

Oliebollen – sweet dough with raisins fried in oil (similar to doughnuts)

Ontbijtoek – breakfast confectionery with honey, ginger, cinnamon and cloves

Ossenworst – raw beef sausage (originally a Jewish speciality)

Pannekoeken – egg pancakes

Patat Oorlog – French fries with mayonnaise, peanut sauce and onions

Poffertjes – mini-pancakes with icing sugar

Roti – Indian or Surinamese flat bread filled with meat or vegetables

Stamppot – mashed potato with pieces of sausage (or other meat) and vegetables

Uitsmijter – slices of bread with boiled ham, fried eggs and cheese

Vla – a thick vanilla pudding

Kroket

Restaurants serving traditional Dutch cuisine:

Greetje

A restaurant with a very relaxed atmosphere and a truly unusual style of cooking. It is hidden away in a side street and serves modern Dutch cuisine, from baked black pudding to halibut with dune vegetables. Closed Mondays | Peperstraat 23 | Tel. 020 7 79 74 50 | Metro: Nieuwmarkt

Hotel de Goudfazant

Trendy restaurant in an industrial district in Noord. French-influenced Dutch dishes are served beneath a huge chandelier in an unadorned warehouse atmosphere. Closed Mondays | Aambeeldstraat 10h | Tel. 020 6 36 51 70 | Bus: 38 (Hamerstraat)

De Kas

A restaurant serving organic vegetables grown from its own garden. Expect modern and creative Dutch food and an out-of-the-ordinary atmosphere. Make sure that you book in advance if you want to dine in the evening! Closed Sundays | Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3 | Tel. 020 4 62 45 62 | Tram: 9 (Hoogweg)

De Silveren Spiegel

Atmospheric restaurant in a crooked old house dating from 1614. The emphasis is on regional products and contemporary interpretations of Dutch dishes. Closed Sundays | Kattengat 4/6 | Tel. 020 6 24 65 89 | Tram: 1, 2, 5, 13, 17 (Nieuwezijds Kolk)

D’Vijff Vlieghen

Wooden genever barrels, Rembrandt etchings and a collection of old weapons create an authentic mood in these five 17th-century houses. The menu too upholds Dutch traditions. Open daily | Spuistraat 294–302 | Tel. 020 5 30 40 60 | Tram: 1, 2, 5 (Spui)

Moeders

A restaurant inspired by mum’s home cooking – and to reinforce the point the walls are covered with hundreds of photos of mothers. The menu is traditionally Dutch, but there are a few dishes that might have been rustled up by a Mediterranean mamma. Open daily | Rozengracht 251 | Tel. 020 6 26 79 57 | Tram: 10, 13, 14, 17 (Marnixstraat or Rozengracht)

Have we missed a Dutch delicacy from this list? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

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