Roar’s International Menu


Graphics by Emily Cheng

South Africa

Japie se Gunsteling

by Annika Engelbrecht, Opinions editor

A staple of my childhood and Afrikaans cuisine, Japie se gunsteling is a baked custard made with egg yolks, sugar, milk, a small amount of flour, orange juice, lemon juice and butter. The dish’s name translates to “Japie’s favorite” in English.  My ouma (grandmother)’s trick when making it is to fold egg whites into the mixture to help it rise more. 

She often makes me this dessert when I visit her in South Africa, as I did this summer — she even taught me how to make it myself this year. Even though I can only see my grandmother once a year, cooking has always been a way to feel connected despite the distance. 

Whether it’s making pannekoek on Christmas or now Japie, I will always remember the two of us searching her newly-accommodated gluten-free recipes for the right amount of xanthan gum and me trying — and failing miserably — to crack an egg with one hand.


Pastéis de Nata

by Jenna Kriensky, Opinions writer

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Portugal has become a favorite vacation destination for my family. Partnered with the country’s beauty, discovering new delicious finds made the trip deliciously memorable. This summer, my family and I came across a traditional dessert while wandering around the streets of downtown Lisbon. 

Hungry from a long day of walking, we discovered a bakery (Fábrica de Nata), and based on the line out the door, we figured it would be good. Little did we know our lives would be changed forever. Once inside, we discovered the coveted dish: pastéis de nata (cream pastries) — warm puff pastry filled with sweet egg custard, optionally dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon and enjoyed with coffee. 

The custard was creamy, sweet and oozing out of its shell with a thin, flaky and slightly-salty pastry. If you ever visit Portugal, I would definitely recommend trying this signature dish!


Wonton Noodle Soup, Hong Kong Style Milk Tea and Mango Bingsu

by Melinda Yung, Opinions editor

When I was in Toronto, my family and I began each day by trying different breakfast restaurants in a city offering a multitude of authentic Asian cuisine. One morning, we ate at New City Restaurant, which had the best wonton noodle soup and Hong Kong-style milk tea I’ve ever tasted. 

The soup was so flavorful, and the wontons melted in my mouth, forming the perfect bite. Unlike regular milk teas, Hong Kong-style milk tea has its own unique and bitter flavor that is not too sweet or salty. 

Photo courtesy of Melinda Yung

After we ate at New City Restaurant, we went to Snow Time, a Korean dessert cafe, where my family and I ordered a large mango bingsu to share. Bingsu is a delicious Korean shaved ice dessert. The thick mango pieces were fresh and nicely balanced with the pillowy shaved ice and soft serve. It was the perfect end to our breakfast and a great way to start the day.


Paneer Makhani, Navratan Korma and Garlic Naan

by Risha Sinha, Opinions editor

Photo courtesy of Risha Sinha

During my trip to India, I spent lots of wonderful time with my extended family and ate the most mouth-watering dishes I could have dreamt of. The best food I ate was at a small restaurant on the side of the road during our return from the coffee-tree-filled mountains of Karnataka. 

After we spent a couple of very eventful days exploring the lush green and incredibly-foggy roads of Chikkamagaluru (our bus got stuck in a ditch in the middle of the jungle, and we were stranded with no cell service in the dark and rain), my cousins’ family, mom and I packed up and started home to Bangalore. 

Along the way, we succumbed to our growling stomachs and stopped to enjoy paneer makhani and navratan korma with garlic naan. After a tumultuous couple of days, this delicious comfort food was a marvelous way to end my trip.


Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara

by Emma Zhang, Opinions editor

Photo courtesy of Emma Zhang

Rome’s Il Barroccio Roma restaurant makes creamy pastas like no other. I traveled to Italy this summer, and this cacio e pepe and carbonara left a lasting impression as our first ever taste of Rome. 

Located in a narrow bustling street right next to the Pantheon, the restaurant offered some of the best authentic pastas in the entire city. Italian restaurant hosts are probably some of the most persistent people in the world — each door front had employees vying for my attention, shoving business cards in my hands in the hopes of convincing me to eat at their ristorante. 

Il Barroccio Roma stood out from others with its long history and cozy interior, complete with rows of fine wines and olive oils. We ordered two cream pastas — Rome is known for white sauce, as opposed to tomato or pesto-based sauces. The pasta was al dente and seasoned to perfection. To this day, my dad still cannot stop raving about the carbonara.