Post Tagged with "food"

Are some cultures more kid-friendly than others?

Out for Lao food in Sydney. Pic: Liz Ledden.

Out for Lao food in Sydney. Pic: Liz Ledden.

As someone who likes to eat and drink out – a lot – it was inevitable that when kids came along they’d be joining in the fun.  Baby number one soon got to know Bangkok’s assorted eating spots, albeit while mostly asleep, and as a toddler ran amok in Saigon’s restaurants. Well-meaning staff would pull her back from the edge of enticing turtle ponds and others knew her by name and even her regular order. Staff were super friendly to the kids and we felt welcome everywhere, from cheap and cheerful local restaurants to higher end places, and even cool cocktail bars (at family o’clock I mean!).

Now living in Australia, cafes and restaurants are still on the agenda for both our girls, but time and experience has shaped where we take them, and when. The anything goes mentality of much of Southeast Asia does not always apply in Australia – while some places are decidedly kid-friendly with toys, chalkboards and babyccinos on tap, others seem not so enamoured of small people. Reluctant service, withering looks and ‘too cool for school’ attitudes are the hallmarks of the un-family friendly places we’ve encountered, though thankfully, rarely. While I realise certain places at certain times are off limits (and I sometimes enjoy these too, kid-free), I’m talking cafes (in the day, in suburbs full of kids) that should know better.

We most often head to Asian eateries, as we know the kids will always be welcome. Noisy, crowded yum cha restaurants are always a winner, but it’s small, friendly, family-run Vietnamese and Thai places that always seem to accept the kids with open arms. Italian, Lebanese and other Middle Eastern places have also been really accommodating, which makes me wonder, why are these places so kid-friendly and others, not so much? Is it that in some cultures, there is more importance placed on extended family, and a tendency to include kids in social events? Has something been lost along the way in some Western cultures when it comes to tolerating kids in public places?

I don’t know the answer to this, but I do know I’ll continue to take my kids out and about to experience different tastes, cuisines and cultures, and gravitate to the places I know they’ll be happily accepted.


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June 22, 2012 6 comments

Windmills in France

Most French people will tell you that bread is a basic food, that they won’t go a day without it… our milling industry has therefore always been thriving!

For many centuries, women painfully ground grains by hand to obtain the precious flour but this was a very tedious and time consuming exercise.

Windmill in France

17th century restored and working windmill


April 7, 2012 2 comments

From our contributors: August 30

This roundup of posts published by our contributors on their personal blogs is now bi-weekly.  Happy reading!

Mike, our contributor from Japan, brings us an impressive photo essay about a cave called Shimuku Gama, located in Yomitan -Okinawa-, where a thousand villagers took refuge during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The monument to two local heroes is, indeed, a sobering sight.

“To appreciate what it must feel like being bombed into the Stone Age it’s probably best to show you this cave from the inside, looking out.  Welcome to a cave called Shimuku Gama in Yomitan Okinawa, Japan.”

Anu, our contributor from India, writes about different religious traditions and celebrations in India, especially those which are new to her. She comes across a new festival by chance while visiting a market. (more…)

August 30, 2011 Comments disabled

Ramadan for a cafe owner in France

Fatima lives in Dinan, one of the most attractive walled cities not only in Brittany but also in France.

She runs her “sandwicherie” shop Sucré Salé (yes, you would have guessed she sells sandwiches…) in Rue de l’Apport, a lovely street lined with half-timbered houses in the heart of the medieval city.


August 18, 2011 2 comments

Rebecca Caro, a Denver native in love with Argentinean food and culture

I met Rebecca Caro (in cyberspace, not in person yet) when we took part in a group post about Argentinean alfajores organised by a common blogger friend.

I immediately checked out her blog, From Argentina with Love, and was pleasantly surprised. A free-lance food and travel writer, Rebecca is passionate about food and her passion is contagious. Her collection of Argentinean recipes is mouth-watering: short ribs and chimichurri, empanadas, carbonada. You name, she’s got it. I urge our readers to try at least one recipe!



July 21, 2011 4 comments

Picture Postcards: Okinawa lunch

This photo of yakisoba was taken by our contributor Mike, also known around the internet as “Ryukyu Mike“. He describes this dish as stir-fried noodles with a few veggies and a bit of meat that, when offered up at festivals, is sometimes cooked in a pan over charcoal.

More about Okinawa and Japan:
Ancestor Worship in Okinawa, Japan
An Okinawan Wedding
Breakfast Around the World

July 4, 2011 1 comment