For me the first day of a trip is usually the most tiring. There is one single reason which contributes to it, my habit of not sleeping a wink on International flights. As I hardly used to get time to watch movies, I would watch back to back movies in international flights and arrive quite tired at the destination.
The Whole Earth Chiang Mai was our dinner place on the first day of my most recent trip to Thailand. I was dead on my feet, all I wanted was bed.
And yet I was able to notice the surroundings, which says a lot for the place. The Whole Earth serves both Indian and Thai cuisines. I am fine with vegetarian food it doesn’t have to be Indian. In fact when I travel, I wish to try out other foods as long as I can get something vegetarian.
I was suitably impressed with the ambiance of The Whole Earth Restaurant. The indoor seating is inside a teak house which is spotlessly clean.
I saw the outdoor seating only from a distance but it looked alluring too. I wonder why but you have to remove your footwear outside to enter the main restaurant building.
I went with tender coconut water for drink, which is very sweet and delicious in Thailand. If it is not alcohol it has to be tender coconut for me.
For food I went with Phad Thai Noodles and got to share in with naan, pulao and sabzi with others. The noodles tasted fresh and it was even better when I squeezed in a little lemon on it.
The potato sabzi was also good. The flavors were mild but then they asked me at the beginning if I wanted my food spicy or not. In spite of living all my life in India I can’t eat very spicy food. So the mildness was on request.
Even though it had been a long day for everyone, conversation was good right from day one among the five of us. With my stomach full, I was so longing for bed in my hotel, The Balcony. If I had a chance I would go back to the Whole Earth again. But after so many trips I also know that the tiredness of the first day passes quickly and everyone becomes more sunny from the second day onwards!
PS. I was invited on this trip by TAT New Delhi.
In Durban the Indian media group members were already talking about Bunny Chow. Being a vegetarian I initial thought it has something to do with a rabbit! After all we were in South Africa! Thankfully my suspicions were completely unfounded and Bunny Chow feels like a close cousin of our Paav Bhaji in India. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian options are available for Bunny Chow.
I was surprised to see a detailed Wikipedia page devoted to Bunny Chow, it is a popular dish in Durban and beyond! The article traces two origins of the dish in Durban and both have unmistakably Indian roots. The first time I tried it out the bread and the gravy was kept separately and I don’t think I did a decent job of mixing it. I was underwhelmed by this iconic dish when I tasted it at the hotel breakfast. But it was talked about so much that I was willing to try it again.
The next time we ordered at the Taste of India Restaurant at Durban and they made it really well. This is a popular Indian dish at Durban and if you are craving for some comfort home food you can safely order it. The restaurant also had daal/rice and many other types of biryani. Now I am someone who just needs vegetarian food, I do not look for Indian food on my trips abroad. But I realized, I become so happy when I accidentally do get home food away from home! I secretly crave home food after all!
South African food is also spicy in general and you don’t have to worry about the food being bland. But if you want to taste Indian food in Durban, Bunny Chow is a legend and it has to be tried at least once.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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