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Written by Rohitha Bollipalli on November 10, 2019 Share on

I’ve flown to 30 countries for food—and this is the most bizarre food I’ve ever eaten!

There are countless profiles on Instagram that have seamlessly united travel, blogging and photography together. Some of the people behind these profiles travel in style, funded by their very own travel diaries. Melissa Hie is one such girl who rocks her social media platform by doing something very different- posting about food, through raving pictures. Her Instagram is what anybody would call ‘Goals’. Every picture on Girl Eat Food is taken at astounding destinations, with local dishes at the forefront. The outcome of this has earned her 400k followers and a lifetime travel pass.

Travel for adventures? Experiences? The girl would rather fly just for food! When asked what intrigued her to choose this hobby, she says:

“I didn’t feel like asking strangers to take pictures of me and I’m not too fond of selfies. But I am always eating so I took pictures of food at whatever memorable site I was in.”

Amongst many who won’t even go beyond one or two of their favourite menus, there’s Melissa, who wouldn’t think twice before grabbing a bite of exotic food from around the world whatsoever! There’s no doubt she has enough funny experiences up her sleeve while trying out the traditional cuisines for many countries. When asked about the most unforgettable and the most bizarre food she has ever tasted, she says,

“Ever heard of Sannakji? South Korean food? Sannakji is freshly chopped octopus—so fresh the tentacles are still moving(not alive though!). It’s really tasty, but it definitely pushed the boundaries of what I could stomach.”

Wondering what’s the most heavenly cuisine she has ever tasted and where?

“Jordan. I didn’t have much exposure to Middle Eastern cuisine aside of the usual falafel wraps or shawarma, but once I got to Jordan I was introduced to a ton of new tastes and dishes. It was amazing! I also discovered my love of olives during this trip.”

Who knew Melissa and her combination of artful backdrops, adept captions and flashing filters would do such wonders? Let us take a tour of her IG so you can see for yourselves.


What is cooler than a Japanese handmade Doubutsu Donuts or “Animal Donuts”? This is one of my favorite foods you can find in Japan for my #isjapancool series with ANA (@allnipponairways_official) This cat donut is from Floresta Nature Donuts (@floresta_nature_doughnuts) at Shin Kyogoku Market in Kyoto. These animal donuts became a sensation a few years back when it was first created by Floresta in Nara. Due to the massive success of the animal donuts, they now have branches all over the Kansai region. There are many different animal designs in the shop but this cat donut is one of their originals and still the best in my oponion. The donuts are all cake-based and the ears are made of almonds. Adorable and a true display of Japanese food craftsmanship. Whether you are in Asia or in the U.S. @allnipponairways_official has direct flights to Japan to get your own Doubutsu Donut! #flyANA #donut #japan #kyoto #cute #toocutetoeat #toocute #kawaii #donuts #doughnuts #ドーナツ #? #girleatworld #?

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Melissa’s story is a rather peculiar one. It goes like this… She once visited Rome with a friend of hers. After they arrived at the Coliseum, the said friend kept asking Mel to take pictures of her’s. She was too immersed in her sandwich that she kept on eating unbothered. That decision, to eat on, lead to a funny picture of her hogging on a sandwich in front of a world-famous location. The reach that picture got on Instagram gave the initial push she needed to set up a profile of Food and Travel.

Also read: How to fund your travel through art and other doodles. 


?? I was blessed with a great weather and clear blue skies in #Krakow, Poland. This is Obwarzanek Krakowski, a very, very popular street snack in Krakow – I mean… it even has “Krakow” in its name! It’s a ring-shaped bread that are very similar to bagels, but on the street it’s not sold with any kind of spread or fillings so you might find it bland unless you eat it with something else. It’s a widely accepted history that Obwarzanek has been on the streets of Krakow since 1394. Obwarzanek means “to boil”, referring to the way this bread is made – boiked and then sprinkled with salt and some toppings. I’ve seen it topped with white sesame seeds or poppy seeds (like the one I have in the picture). I also saw a few vendors with cheese topping but I didn’t get the chance to try those. Obwarzanek was originally baked only during Lent, but nowadays they are available all year round. They are hard to miss when you are in Krakow – there are 180 street carts selling these around the city!

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Despite having covered all the continents, Melissa’s favourite food city is Japan. Her love for Japanese Manga and anime has contributed a lot in that front too!


Is Japan Cool? ?? I am partnering up with ANA (@allnipponairways_official), my favorite Japanese airline, to show you my take on what makes Japan a cool place to visit for their #IsJapanCool campaign. Most of you know by now that I’m a huge fan of Japan and Japanese food. It’s difficult to not love Japan when everything there is crafted to perfection. Take this Matcha Green Tea ice cream for example. This is one of the most memorable food I had in the many trips I’ve done to Japan – It’s probably the most perfect green tea ice cream with matcha powder at the perfect location in the alleys of Gion in Kyoto. Matcha is a form of green tea where the tea leaves were grounded finely to form soft green powder. I’m a huge fan of green tea, and this ice cream truly embodies that perfect flavor of green tea – aromatic, slightly bitter but sweet at the same time. Then, to add more to the taste, you can opt to sprinkle Matcha powder on top of the ice cream. Check out the link in profile to learn more about how Japan is Cool! ⏫ #isJapanCool #flyANA #kyoto #japan #matcha #icecream

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The macaroons of Paris have gained her high regards too.


???? Day 1 of #TastyTravels with @hotelsdotcom in Paris. has discovered that the city of love is the world’s most loved foodie destination, and they have sent me here to enjoy all of its culinary delights! It’s been nearly eight years since my last visit to Paris so I have lots to catch up. I have always wanted to try the rose gelato at Amorino, known for their beautiful rose-shape, scooped meticulously petal by petal for you. This is the classic cone but they have an option to add mini macarons on top… and of course I took them up on it ? I got the raspberry and cassis gelato with pistachio macarons. Amorino has many branches in Paris but I love this one at Rue de la Huchette as it’s close to many other spots – Notre-Dame cathedral is only a few minutes away, and the area is filled with cute shops and trendy cafes. Paris is such a walkable city so I recommend taking the metro to Saint Germain des pres and walking over while checking out cute streets like Rue de Buci and Rue Saint-Andres des arts along the way. btw, there is also an Amorino at Rue de Buci if you really can’t wait ? #shotoniphone8plus #shotoniphone #amorino #gelato #paris #girleatparis

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Let’s go on a ride now, these are the ones that stole us away!

1. Icecream on clouds she calls it, we agree too.

2. This absolute beaut from Malaysia! Coconut ice cream set up in front of a beautiful mural.

3. And this Turkish Delight from you-know-where!!


Turkish delight afternoon snack at The Monastery in Petra, Jordan ??. Words can’t describe how majestic this Nabatean monument is! Built in the 1st century, The Monastery is much larger than The Treasury, standing at 50m (164feet) high. I’m not sure if you can discern the scale from my picture but it was so, so massive!! It’s also much harder to get to, so you see a lot less people here. I personally think it’s a must-see in Petra because you won’t see anything quite like this anywhere else in the world. Turkish delight, much like Turkish coffee, probably came to Jordan along with the Ottoman empire. Some of you may have seen this candy in The Chronicles of Narnia as the enchanted confections. In the Arab world, Turkish delights are called rāḥat al-ḥulqūm (رَاحَة الْحُلْقُوم) which means “Throat Comfort”. The consistency is very chewy, sticky and very sweet. The red variation like what i’m having in the picture is flavored using rose water! #VisitJordan #ShareYourJordan #ShotOniPhone6sPlus

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4. I don’t think anybody should miss this freshly ground steaming coffee from the foggy volcanic glades of Mount Batur, Bali.


??? First #girleatworld of 2018! Well, it’s actually a #girldrinkworld – a cup of Balinese coffee that I had at the summit of Mount Batur in Bali. The coffee was meh, but the view from up there? Ace! It is overlooking Mount Agung – a nearby volcano which had just erupted a month ago and as you can see there is still a little bit of volcanic ash squirting out of the summit. I had the opportunity to hike Mount Batur when I was in Bali first week of the year. We were picked up at 2am from our hotel to do this hike, but it was one of the best hikes I’ve done! This is what I would call a high ROI hiking – the hike was relatively short and not that difficult, but the view above is amazing. While waiting for sunrise we were given boxed meals consisting of 2 soft-boiled eggs, banana sandwich, a piece of banana and an orange. Our guide told us the eggs were cooked using the volcano steam itself! She then took us to the cliff where we can see the steam up close. For more on Mount Batur trekking experience you can read my blog post on it. As usual, find the link in my bio above. ?☝? #girleatworld #GirlEatBali

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5. Snail-shaped Croissants or Pistachio Chocolate L’Escargot made in Paris, with love. Yes, please!


?? Day 4 of #TastyTravels with @hotelsdotcom in Paris features my FAVORITE find of the trip. PS: Paris stories highlight are now up on my profile! This one is Pistachio Chocolate L’Escargot from famous Parisian bakery Du Pain et Des Idees (meaning “bread and ideas”). I almost gave this a miss since it seemed out of the way (closest station was Republique) but do not make that mistake! Lots of you recommended this to me and I gotta say, it’s worth every minute spent on the hot paris metro. Also, this neighborhood itself is super cool – I’ll write a blog post on Paris soon with recs. Back to the pastry: as we all know, Escargot means “snail” and that’s exactly how the pastry got its name – the whirled shape reminds us of a snail’s house. There are other escargot flavors in the bakery but I personally think this combination of Pistachio and Chocolate is genious. I don’t know what kind of magic they do and I definitely do not want to know how much butter was used, but their pastry is always so warm and buttery and oh so flakey. I loved the bakery so much that when @thenaughtyfork landed in Paris later that day, we went back to this bakery. I tried the apricot pastry on my second visit and it was also delicious, though the pistachio escargot holds a special place in my heart ❤️ If you arrive in the morning, expect a long but fast-moving queues out the door. arrived at 11am and there were already queue forming up to the street, but I waited no more than 5 minutes. Be warned that they don’t operate on weekends. #shotoniphone8plus #shotoniphone #escargot #pistachio #paris #GirlEatParis

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6. Guess what? The lady hasn’t left out India too! Look at this piece of naan propped up in front of the Taj Mahal.

7. Mooncakes, in the land of their birth. Are you listening? Mooncakes!


Happy mid-autumn festival! ??? This is an important holiday celebrated in many east asian culture, namely Chinese (Moon festival), Vietnamese (Children’s day), Japanese (Tsukimi – literal translation of “Moon Viewing”) and Korean (Chuseok / Hangawi). Though the name differs across countries and cultures, it seems to be originated from friends and family gathering for celebration of full harvest moon – hence the mooncake! In chinese tradition, the mooncake is a delicacy offered at celebration of mid-autumn. These days the mooncake is offered even for business clients which has resulted in fancy mooncakes made by high-end hotel brands. In Singapore, a good mooncake can cost anywhere between $52-$68 for a box of 8! You also have to be careful when eating these since they are deceptively high in calories due to the rich filling (normally red bean, lotus or salted egg yolk) There are many variations of legends associated with this festival but my favorite has got to be the one with a selfless rabbit sacrificing itself for others. The story goes: Once upon a time, three deities from the Moon? transformed themselves into poor old men???? and went begging for food on earth from a monkey?, a fox? and a rabbit?. The monkey and fox gave them food, but the rabbit was poor and did not have anything to give. So instead, the rabbit decided to throw itself into a fire? so that the old men can have food. The deities were so touched by the rabbit’s selfless act that they let the rabbit live in the Moon Palace with them. Might sound like a crazy story, but apparently “Rabbit that lives in the moon” is observed in many east asian and aztec culture, resulting in variations of folklores that tells of a rabbit and the moon. This is believed to have originated from markings on the moon that resembles a rabbit, which can be seen during the full moon. You can search for “Moon Rabbit” if you are interested! ???????????

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8. Is she on a roll? Look at this picture. Look at that backdrop. That’s the village that inspired Spirited Away. The green terraces! The red lamps! The embellishments! The dessert balls!


???#latergram from my visit to Taiwan a month ago. Taro Rice Balls dessert at JiuFen Old Street (九份老街), aka the Spirited Away village in Taiwan! Although there has been no official confirmation that this place is the actual inspiration of the famous Japanese anime Spirited Away, I can definitely see the resemblance. There are tons of red lantern , tea houses and cute shops along the old street. Jiufen is only an hour ride away from Taipei by taxi. If you are traveling in a group of 3-4, I suggest just taking a cab – you’ll save time and hassle compared to taking public transport and not very expensive. Jiufen has garnered a lot of interest in the recent year so there are tons of visitors during the day. It is not that big, you can definitely just do a day trip, but if you have time I would highly suggest staying the night so you can explore when there aren’t many other tourists around. Taro rice ball is pretty much synonymous with Jiufen. It is a bunch of soft, chewy glutinous taro rice balls inside a slightly sweet soup. You can have it cold or hot – I chose cold since the weather was pretty steamy when I went. I got mine from Ah Gan at the top of the hill, where you can enjoy yours while overlooking the bay below Jiufen or you can walk down the step and explore the area while enjoying this snack! Definitely a must visit while in Taiwan. #GirlEatTaiwan #shotoniphone8plus

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9. Cute food from Seoul in her Words.


????? I can’t say no to cute food! Since so many of you have been asking me where to get all the cute food I’ve been eating in Seoul, I’ve written a post on where to find the cutest most instagrammable desserts in Seoul! Link in my profile above ? Aside of finding the local eats, one of my favorite thing to do before a trip is to google “cute food I can eat in <insert city here>” then going on a hunt for them. I think it’s fun and I appreciate the creativity a city has to offer through food! Thus, when I saw the LINE store in Garosu-gil, I just had to go in and get myself these macarons. We all know LINE messaging app is originated in Japan, but did you know it’s actually a subsidiary of Naver, the giant Korean internet search company? Cony (the bunny ?) is strawberry flavored, Brown (the bear ?) is chocolate and Sally (the chick ?) is lemon. #garosugil #macarons #creativedesserts #linefriends #linefriendscafe #linefriendstore #GirlEatSeoul #GirlEatWorld #seemorewithCTSG #KTOSingapore

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10. Vanilla and Dragonfruit icecreams right in the middle of a Ubud Rice Field.


??? A vanilla and pink dragonfruit ice cream at the famous Ceking Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali. There are plenty of rice fields in Ubud but this one is special – the rice fields are located on a steep cliff, which makes for amazing photo location! It might look beautiful in the photo but the sun was out full blast that day and i swear it was a million degrees out there. This ice cream was MUCH needed even if I had to inhale the ice cream as it started melting within minutes. ? You have to go here super early, like 7-8am early, because the sun in Bali can get very strong. . I spent a week in Ubud to kick off the year. You might remember I posted instagram stories throughout the trip and lots of you have replied and asked me for recommendations! Well, this weekend I finally got around to writing my Ubud guide – as usual you can find the link above ? Let me know what you think! #girleatworld #GirlEatBali

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11. This beautiful picture capturing everything right about Prague: Trdelnik and architecture.


??? Trdelník with whipped cream and strawberries in Old Town Prague, Czech Republic. In the previous post, I talked about Chimney cake in Budapest. I had seen it before in Prague, in the form of Trdelník, even though the Hungarians have claimed this snack. When I visited Prague four years ago, they were sold in the same way as in Budapest. This time around, it seems that the Czech had gotten creative with it! Trdelník is now a lot more attractive and comes with different types of fillings – various ice creams, sauces like chocolate and caramel, and even whipped cream and fruits! Perfect for the summer. I love seeing how food have travelled and gets adapted around the world. This is my second time in Prague. This city is still as beautiful as I remember it four years ago! This time around I took the train out of Prague to Kutna Hora to check out the Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel decorated with real human bones. I am currently in Krakow, Poland and have been enjoying the food here. Next, I am heading to Lviv in Ukraine ??! Please comment and recommend me your favorite Ukrainian dish or snacks!

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12. Another one from Kyoto, Sakura Mochi and Hanami Dango.

13. Nothing like the feeling you get when you eat dumplings near the Great Wall, am I right? The perfect answer to ‘how to become Po 101’.

14. Tim Tams right in the face of Sydney Opera House! Lovely!


{#GirlEatAustralia with @yhaaustralia} The highly requested Tim Tam at Australia’s most iconic landmark, Sydney Opera House. This is the Dark Chocolate variety which has always been my favorite, though I’ve tried the Adriano Zumbo specials on this trip and went bonkers for the raspberry one. Tim Tam is without a doubt Australia’s most popular biscuit. Originally made in 1964, it now comes in large variety of flavors – white chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter, just to name a few. There is also an Aussie tradition called Tim Tam slam where you bite off opposite corners of tim tam biscuit and use it as a straw to drink a beverage, usually coffee ☕️ or hot chocolate. Oh Australians, you crazy bunch. ?? #iLoveSydney #RestaurantAustralia #SeeAustralia #NewSouthWales @australia @sydneyoperahouse Which one is your favorite Tim Tam flavor? Tell me so I can try while I’m in Australia!

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15. Cold dessert noodles from the busy streets of Hong Kong.


Feeling bitter sweet as this is my last Hong Kong eats… For now. The cold noodles snack at Mongkok from the New Town Mall / Argyle Center just outside the Mongkok MTR Station (Take exit D2 and enter the building to your left). For only HK$12, you get to choose a prepackaged small plastic bag of noodles and choose toppings like pork, various seafood, and other meats. The noodle and toppings are then mixed in front of you with soy and garlic chili. While eating out of a plastic bag might sound weird to you, this is actually common practice in Asia. The best thing? You can eat this quickly on the go! Love the efficiency. My blog post is up on what I did in Hong Kong in 48 hours with @skyscannersg ??? Link in bio! Just to avoid any confusion, this blog post was from my weekend trip last month. I did come back again to Hong Kong recently for two weeks, for work! I have been spending so much time in HK this year that I know causeway bay like the back of my hand 🙂

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