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Gastronomic Letdowns: 15 Food Fiascos That Miss the Mark Completely

While traversing across countries is an exhilarating experience, broadening our horizons with novel perspectives and encounters, it’s not without its challenges. While the thrill of sampling diverse cuisines is undeniable, there’s also a risk of culinary disappointments.

A user asked the forum, “Name your most underwhelming food experiences while traveling.” Here is what people have to say.

KHAO SAN ROAD – STREET FOOD IN THAI

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“As a Thai, you’re right about Khao San Road being a scam. Not just the Pad Thai, but a lot of street food there are mostly tourist-trap tier.

The only people I’ve heard going there are all tourists; I never heard of a local willingly wanting to go there unless with foreign tourists.”

PIZZA FROM THE BEST PIZZERIA IN NAPOLI

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“Pizza from “the best” pizzeria in Napoli… wasn’t much better than pizza from anywhere else in Napoli.”

BURGER RESTAURANT IN JERUSALEM

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“In Jerusalem, I had several people recommend a popular international bar/restaurant, so I look forward to all sorts of exciting cuisines. I sit down and order my drink, and then look at the food menu. Turned out to be a burger restaurant – I’m an American.”

SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB

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“Singapore Chilli Crab. It can be good but is generally too sweet from the ketchup and just unbalanced. Give me Black Pepper Crab any day.”

TAGINES IN MOROCCO

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“Tagines in Morocco. When you read about this dish, it sounds so delicious. The reality is blandness and disappointment.”

FOOD IN DUTCH CITIES

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“Netherlands: I liked very little of the food I’ve eaten in Dutch cities, and especially the fact that most of the food I found wasn’t Dutch.

In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, for example, there are tons of international or foreign places, even outside the city center. It was underwhelming to find out that the Dutch cuisine is very limited. On the other hand, lots of great breweries and the country is amazing!”

CUBA

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“Cuba. Terrible food, but it’s not their fault.”

RED LOBSTER IN BOISE

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“Red Lobster in Boise, ID. I told my wife, “How bad could it be?” Boy, was I wrong?”

CACIO E PEPE IN ROME

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“I got a cacio e pepe in Rome that wasn’t very well prepared, with the sauce separated. To make things worse, the guy right next to me was served a perfect and scrumptious-looking cacio e pepe, although he was was apparently uber-Roman because he had a big shoulder tattoo with “SPQR” wrapped around the Colosseum. Maybe that’s what it took to get a decent C e P there.”

TORTILLA DE PATATAS

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“Tortilla de patatas (Spain) – this needs a bit of a comment. This is one of the dishes that makes most Spanish people proud, and for many of them, it is the best Spanish food. However, when I tried it for the first time while traveling, I found it really boring and just meh.

The thing is that now I have been living for some time in Spain, and I found some really great places with the best, slightly runny, dark yellowish pieces of heaven.”

CHINESE FOOD IN LJUBLJANA

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“Don’t buy Chinese food in Ljubljana. Even if it looks right.”

PASTEL DE NATA FROM BELEM

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“Pastel de nata from Belem, Portugal. The one from Belem is meant to be THE spot to get them from, and honestly, I liked a couple of spots in Lisbon better. In all, I think I tried six different bakeries. Belem was like 3rd or 4th.”

MADELEINE IN PARIS

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“Eating a madeleine in Paris. I’m from India, and it tasted like mawa cake to me.”

KOBE BEEF IN KOBE JAPAN

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“Kobe beef in Kobe, Japan: We paid an exorbitant price for a nugget of beef. The meat was marbled, tender, and beefy, and the experience was worth a try, but I would not buy it again.”

DISHES IN MOMOFUKU IN TORONTO

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“Momofuku in Toronto. I saw it as we were wandering the city and told my wife. The last night we were there, we managed to get a reservation, and we were both excited and then. It was a huge letdown. The dishes we had were too “adventurous,” and we both decided it was not for us. I wanted for years to go to a Momofuku restaurant, and I left after a very mediocre bowl of noodles and a disdain for the restaurant.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.