on 1 October 2014
What I have found interesting about some of the poorer reviews is the comments about him complaining. I think that these people are missing the point. The author's view is that of all travellers and all foodies, how many times have you had rubbish service and just brushed it off. What Majumdar does is the equivalent of Peter Finch in Network pointing out that if the food is rubbish then say so (although he is more Niven than Finch).
The idea of packing it all in and travelling the world in search of food is something that, I think, we all want to do but never get (or make) the opportunity. This book gives all who view "foreign" food as pizza the chance to look further afield even if they are never going to travel to the countries mentioned. At no point does he try and hide his background or upbringing (like many food writers) and is quite happy to lampoon his stance as a food obsessed Yorkshireman (the pie chapter is my favourite).
Majumdar tells it how it is and, unlike many food writers, does not judge a restaurant by how good he is told it is or how many stars it has, he makes up his own mind and you with him. He is as happy with a proper cup of tea from a truckers halt as he would be spending ten times the amount if the tea is good after all a good cup of tea is just that.
Read this book and you will find yourself looking at world food in a different way. I can almost guarantee that you will reach for the cook book to try something new.
on 3 September 2010
This is an excellent, informative, and amusing food travelogue. I certainly agree with most of the author's viewpoints. I found only one error, and that is that the Galata Bridge in Istanbul does not go from Europe to Asia and crosses the Golden Horn, not the Bosphorus.
Buy it. It's a good read.
on 10 October 2013
Yes, this book has all the faults that other reviewers have pointed out. But on the plus side it is a refreshing travel read, given that he skips over any detailed history or cultural aspects almost completely. Given that he spent only a few days in many of the places he visited and the brevity of each chapter, he sums up his travel experiences very well. Overall I found this a very funny read, and found it hard to put the book down. The criticisms are all true. He doesn't travel with much sensitivity, grabs the freebies wherever he can, and is only concerned with his taste buds. But that is his intention from the start, and the introduction to the book makes that quite clear that this is his aim. Job done. I still have 10 chapters left to read, and he hasn't mentioned any airplane food yet, but if he does I know I will be laughing out loud, for not the first time.