I love food. I may not be Anthony Bourdain-kind of adventurous, but I love a good nosh up. Probably a bit to my detriment, but let’s not go there.

Whilst I endeavour to make my own, eating out is defo one of my pastimes. It is when I eat out I sometimes notice what a melting pot the world’s cuisine really is. Come on, how many of you (Tokyo-ites aside) regularly eat sushi at a genuine Japanese eaterie (I’m talking about one with a Japanese sushi chef as opposed to someone from Pusan)? My dad told me in the old days, the satay sellers in Taiping were mamaks (I use the term endearingly here) and not Malay, let alone Malayans of Javanese descent. Talking about mamaks, have you ever wondered how we could have mamak noodle dishes ( namely mee rebuih, mee rojak). I wasn’t sure if Marco Polo stopped down India way from China with his crates of miàn before it became the eponymous spaghetti (okay, it wasn’t like that at all). In Melaka, we have nyonya kuehs which have their roots from Malay cuisine. In Britain, those in the know would know that whilst a lot of what is touted as Indian cuisine are owned by the migrant population from the Indian sub-continent, a good number are not of Indian descent.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the chap from Costa Brava who was running a Spanish food stall at the international market at Sheffield last month said they now have a lot of non-Spaniards in Spain opening restaurant selling dishes the likes of paella (pronounced pae-ya and not as it is spelt, please) and patatas bravas. I wanted dad to try churros and there was a stall selling them for an exorbitant fiver a cone. It wasn’t until I noticed the chap making the churros turning on his CD player and spoke to his friend that he was from the non-Spanish speaking country just north of Andorra.

There were vendors selling sweets which included Turkish delights who probably wouldn’t understand teşekkür ederim if you thanked them. I finally found the pistachio ones that I get every time I dine at Zeugma – ooh, they managed to last a month in the kitchen much to my delight. There were also a genuine German biergärten and grilled bratwursts, but tak pe lah. Hehe.

Nevertheless, my favourite vendor at the international market was a takoyaki (たこ焼き – bebola sotong kurita) stall named Willyaki after its owner. And they also sold freshly teppan-fried noodles with teriyaki sauce and without taugeh, I must add, which I thought was absolute yum. And for the first time in my life, after having my fill of lovely Japanese food made by Middle-Eastern, Filipino, Malaysian and Korean hands all this while – I could respond doitashimashite in confidence to an earnest arigato gozaimasu from a Saitama native!