Lunchtime Memories…

I almost always forget to click pictures when we sit down for a meal. I have been trying hard to remedy that, but I relapse sometimes. Like I forgot again yesterday, until most of my fish was demolished! Good conversation distracts me….and an inadequate breakfast.

This gallery consists of a few lunchtime memories, that I did remember to capture.

Picnic lunch
A picnic lunch outside the lost temple of Beng Malea. You can’t beat ancient Nagas for company! Bonus – you get to traipse through those achingly desolate ruins all by yourself!
Lunctime in Phnom Penh
A lunchtime street scene in Phnom Penh shot from my Tuk Tuk.
Boy having lunch Maeklong railway market in Bangkok
A little boy tucking into some kind of soup at the Maeklong railway market in Bangkok
Lunch at the floating market
Buying noodle soup from a vendor at the floating market, Bangkok
Soba Noodles in Takayama
We had been hankering after some great Soba noodles, like the ones we had tasted in Osaka on our first evening, but the seaweed powder this man sprinkled over our delicious looking lunch made it inedible! Eeew…not likely to forget that in a hurry!! We adored everything else about Takayama.
Lunch in LAitan
Our day in Laitan ancient town, was idyllic, and our simple lunch on this farmer’s boat added considerably to our enjoyment. (Click on image to read the full story.)
La Boqueria
Pinotxo’s bar in the Boqueria market in Barcelona is an institution that has been around for nearly a century. Proprietor Juanito Bayen (pictured) serves up some mean tapas that people line up to sample. I haven’t had zucchini omelettes or Pa Amb Tomaquettes like that since. Or his famous Arroz Caldoso. An experience not to be missed.
L'As Du Falafal
Equally unmissable is this institution in Paris. I do not exaggerate when i say that this hole-in-the-wall Fallafel joint in the Jewish quarter of the Marais, serves up the BEST fallafels outside Lebanon (No I haven’t been to Lebanon!). Be prepared for a long wait though.
Papaya salad at Som Tam
We were outside Som Tam, (near Siam square, Bangkok) at noon sharp and still had to wait about 15 minutes. The lines get longer as the day progresses . Scroll down to see what we were willing to stand in line for……
Chicken Wings, Som Tam
These delectably crispy, spicy chicken wings cooked in the Isaan style were to die for! Their papaya salad is phenomenal too (Som Tam means papaya salad)
Tigre lunch
I know some of you have seen this one before, but I couldn’t possibly do a post on lunch and leave out this fabulous al fresco lunch on a boat on the Tigre Delta near Buenos Aires. This was one of our most memorable experiences! Don’t ask me why I still haven’t written about it!

There were many many more of course. Like bingeing on zucchini fritters in Santorini or shrimp peri peri in a shack in Goa or empanadas in Buenos Aires, discovering kumpir in Istanbul, hunting down that tiny seafood restaurant in the pier at Hydra, leading R to Le Souffle in Paris without a single wrong turn………

But like I said before…I just plain forgot.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

111 thoughts on “Lunchtime Memories…

  1. Madhu, your colorful trip down a memory lane of lunches took me on my own memory lane trip, especially through Asia where the food is absolutely delectable. Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are my favorite Asian foods. Thanks for the memories, and the great photos. 🙂 I know, I sometimes forget to take pictures of my food until it’s halfway gone, and that doesn’t make for a very pretty picture!! If I actually had a camera phone, maybe I’d have a lot more food pictures. 🙂

  2. What should I say…. I’m quite the non-foodie (yes, unfortunately!) but even so, your pictures peppered my senses with stories and imagined sounds of the meals being served… the shouts and laughter in the lines of people, the fragrances drifting about shamelessly arousing mealtime appetites… and more… while eating, people are at their disarming best. I love those times to sink my teeth into their own stories. You have captured the mood perfectly. I’m sure you got their stories as well. 🙂

    1. Delighted I could convey some of the mood of these places Meenakshi. I am more often than not disappointed by the fancier places, perhaps because they are more generic and lacking the atmosphere inherent in these very local joints, or my expectations are set too high 🙂

  3. Even so, you’ve captured some vibrant and colourful lunchtime memories, Madhu, and I loved how your memories morphed into my own and that was a fine trip down memory lane for me. Good thing there was something to remind me, because I dien’t take any food pictures before I came here. 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed my lunch selection Meredith. I wonder why we didn’t feel the need to photograph food in those days! 🙂

  4. All full of atmosphere and teeming with life, Madhu. Thanks for the nudge about seaweed powder. I do like crispy fried seaweed though.

  5. Madhu i love your work i really do But this has to be my Favourite…two reasons
    1) that Basket the suspense is killing me i have to know whats in store
    2) food yum i am a big time foodie anything to do with food and i am there. love love love the shots
    hugs your way for making my day. ah tonight i shall dream food 🙂

    1. That basket held some boring sandwiches and fruit. The setting was definitely the star there! Happy to make you happy Soma dear….shall be over to see if the sweet dreams fueled more fantasy 😀

  6. Sadhu – not only is this a feast for the eyes , it’s all food I love. How can I possibly satisfy my fully settled hunger pang with my meagre fare?!

    Just lovely…thanks for the trip.

  7. Such wonderful exotic lunches you have had Madhu. I am like you, when it’s time to eat, forget taking pictures! All of these photos are wonderful. I swear, your photography is getting better!

    1. Oh delighted that you think so Emily….thank you! The Japan and Cambodia shots are the recent ones. The rest are all from older trips shot with tiny point and shoots 🙂

  8. Too bad about he seaweed powder addition cause everything looks delicious. What vibrant colors and scenes you photographed. Well done.

    1. Thank you Ruth. Yes the seaweed was a disappointment, but we did have other great stuff there that i shall post another day 🙂

  9. These all look like such delicious lunches. I’ve tended not to take too many photos of my plate at a restaurant, but sometimes think after the fact and wonder how to push scraps together to recreate the scene enough for a photo 🙂

  10. Some of those pics really made me so hungry. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. 🙂 The chicken wings and papaya salad look ‘mouthwateringly’ delicious.

  11. Great post thanks, I’m the same, unless I have my camera in my hand I forget to click.

    1. Good for you Ledrake 😀
      I can’t say i fall under either category, I think I enjoy the atmosphere more!

  12. R buying noodle soup in Bangkok? I remember the lunch on the farmer’s boat, don’t I? Ah, the bread on that plate on the boat on the Tigre Delta. 🙂 Yum!

    1. Yes George, you are the only one to have spotted R buying noodle soup on the river 😀 Those were squash tarts and meat and vegetable ’empanadas’ on that Tigre boat…..’yum’ is an understatement!

  13. Oh, Madhu, they all look inviting. Just how long is the wait for fallafels at L’as do fallafel? (This past weekend, we were going to have dinner at an Irish restaurant. Huge mistake on St. Patrick’s Day. The guy guarding the front door said it’d be a 3-hour wait. We drove to our favorite Italian restaurant and ate a scrumptious meal there instead.)

    What is Le Souffle in Paris like? Our family plans to visit there this year.

    1. We went a few years ago Judy and must have waited about 15 minutes, perhaps we got lucky. The lines were really long when we left. Easier to grab a table for two rather than a larger group. They open around noon and going early helps.
      Le Souffle serves just souffles – both sweet and savoury and a great spot for lunch. Walkable from the Louvre. I remember they left a whole bottle of Grand Marnier on our table to pour on our dessert souffle!!

  14. I am certain that al fresco lunch has a wonderful story that will some day blossom into a full post! Your collection of photos spoke to me why food and travel memories are so intertwined!

    1. I am surprised it hasn’t already! I do tend to jump from one destination to the other 🙂 Glad you enjoyed my food memories Kat 🙂

  15. As crowded as most of these scenes are I get a great sense of leisure and pleasure from these fabulous food shots. So wonderfully exotic and colourful!

  16. What a DELICIOUS post! Love the candid raw snapshots! And here I thought we found the BEST falafel outside of Lebanan at Bristol, England! (ALso never been to Lebanon)… Now excuse me while I get myself a second lunch! 😛

  17. Nice to see such a great collection of lunchtime memories from around the world! I love trying different cuisines when I’m traveling also.

  18. I’m starving and we just finished supper! These photos are as good as having a visit, only you put in what the travel guides leave out. Tell you what, Madhu, look at it as your civic duty, or kindness to non-travelers, or something like that — and keep shooting.

  19. Gosh Madhu you’ve gone to some wonderful places, and your photos are fantastic. I love traveling around with you. I usually forget to take a picture when I’m hungry. I have to place my camera on the table right next to me to remind me and I sometimes still forget 😀
    I wonder why the Japanese guy sprinkled powdered seaweed on the tasty noodles?

    1. They probably like the flavour, we found it fishy! Delighted to have you come along on my travels Rosie 🙂

    1. It certainly is, and we always look forward to eating local as much as we can. Thank you for reading Dilip.

  20. I love posts on FOOD and these colorful and mouthwatering pictures are doing their job in keeping my obsession alive and well. Looks delicious! Too bad about the soba noodles…

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