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Describe a traditional meal

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 188 with Model Answer:

Describe a traditional meal you enjoyed recently.

You should say:
  • what the meal was
  • where you ate this meal
  • what occasion it was
and explain how much you enjoyed this meal.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Singapore is the country where people of different races and nations come together and pass their days. As a result, the foods of the country are also featured with variations. I have tested two of its traditional foods and the tastes are splendid!

Chicken rice is one of the traditional foods of Singapore and is taken by almost all classes of people. I also tasted the chilli crab with the chicken rice to have a variation. The foods are available everywhere in the country and are also cheaper in price. I found it interesting that the chickens were hanged in the food stores and when the order was placed, the chickens were added to the rice that made the meal. However, the tastes of the dishes are not same everywhere and the price also differs based on the chicken size. If you take a large chicken, you are to pay more and if the chicken size is small, the price is comparatively lower. Besides, the chilli crab, the national seafood of the country, was also delicious. It was spicy and I enjoyed them much.

I went Singapore in the first quarter of April in 2016 and had tasted the foods. I went there to have some shopping and business deals with the local businessmen over exporting attires for male and females. My business partner accompanied me and before meeting with the importers, we travelled around the Singapore city. There were street shops selling different types of foods and we sat in a shop to have some of the traditional food items. Though the shops were at streets, they were cleaner than ours are in India. Most of the shopkeepers were clean and they used gloves while moving the foods. The cooking process was also adorable. They prepared all the raw foodstuff and cooked them before the consumers as per the placement of the orders. Moreover, their cooking style was a bit different and took less time than ours. We took the meal at a street shop located by a large shopping mall in Singapore city.

 Actually, there was no special occasion to have the meals. It was just testing the local and traditional foods of a foreign country. This was my first trip to Singapore and thus I was more excited than my partner on this trip. My office had sent my partner before to visit Singapore but this is my very first visit here. So, I was more curious than him and tried to explore the entire city. I asked him to be with me and he agreed and also played the role of a guide for me. It is Michael Thompson, my British partner in India, who helped me greatly to taste the foods. We simply got out of our hotel and started roaming the streets. When I felt hungry, I proposed Thompson to have some foods and he stopped by a street food shop. At the beginning, I was amazed at the menu as we, Indians, love to have chicken biriyani or chicken-polaw. But I was unfamiliar with the way of selling chicken rice. Definitely, I have taken chicken with rice but this time, the presentation was entirely different.   

To be frank, I enjoyed the meal greatly. It was one of the most delicious foods that I took outside of my country. The foods were cooked finely. It was a medium-sized chicken with a plate filled with the cooked rice. The rice was finest in quality, had a delightful fragrance and was whiter than we have in India. The menu is also available in almost all of the large restaurants in the country. The recipe basically belongs to the Chinese and was adapted from the early Chinese immigrants in the country. The chilli crab was also interesting. The chilli crab tasted spicy as different types of spices were implied on the crab. At first, I thought that the crab would be hard to eat but I was wrong. It was soft and yummy. In fact, this was the very first seafood for me. I enjoyed all the foods to the fullest extent. If I could have a chance to go back there, I definitely will have the foods again.

Sample Answer 2:
I was amazed at one of the traditional meals of Spain that I had an opportunity to enjoy. The country is renowned for its diversified foods. In fact, the foods are really delicious and enjoyable too. I will remember the meal for a long time and this is a great question to deal with. Thank you for asking me the question.

The meal was bean stew accompanied with salads. It was one of the most favourite traditional meals of Spain and majority of the locals were in love with this meal. A good number of beans are available in Spain and they are mostly used to prepare the delicious stews. I had the meal with kidney beans and it was said that the kidney bean stew was perfect for every occasion.

I am an undergrad international student here in Spain. Because of my extrovert nature, I have formed a deep sense of friendship with rest of the students in the class. But my friendship with Nicolas Santiago was not usual. In fact, he was my best friend. I took the meal at his home. Many foodstuffs were available there but I liked the stew most. I had the experience to get the taste of other Spanish foods but it was a different experience to me. I have never tasted the bean stew with salads. So, the other food items lost their appeal to me.

Marking the birthday of his younger sister, he invited me to the event. I took the meal at his residence located near to our university. It was an interesting event indeed. Many other guests were also invited and I felt special among them because I was the only guest from Santiago’s university. So, it was a matter of pride for me. I took a nice present for the young girl and she was happy too with the present. Santiago introduced me to some of his family members and relatives. It really was a nice evening. In fact, all of them accepted me as one of their family member which they do not usually do to their unfamiliar guests.    

I enjoyed the meal to the fullest extent. Actually, I did not taste the other meals as I did with it. The bean stew and salads made with various delicious ingredients was the best for me. Later, I came to know that the beans were really delicious and being internationally sold from Spain. Moreover, there are over 20 varieties of this bean is available and I decided to taste almost all the types. I also came to know about the cooking process of the stew. The one I tested came with a light layer of meats that increased the taste of the stew. Overall, it was a very nice experience for me.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:  

"Describe a traditional meal you enjoyed recently." 

1. I have had a fascinating meat in Greece and loved the grilled meat I had at a local restaurant there. Actually, I went to attend a marriage ceremony of a friend and found various types of food were served there. Among the food items, I liked the grilled meat the most. The marriage took place in an open space and many people were invited there. Thanks to my friend for arranging such a nice meal marking the occasion.

2. Goi Cuon is a traditional meal in Vietnam and often available on different occasions. But I loved the meal at my cousin’s home who has recently shifted there. She invited some of her colleagues and me to attend the ceremony. I felt lucky to have the meal. In fact, I did not have an idea that the food was so much tasty. Earlier, I have seen the food on the street and considered it a street food. I did not have the impression that those were traditional dishes in Vietnam.

3. Chicken curry cooked with coconut oil is one of the traditional meals that I tasted recently in Sri Lanka. I took the curry with plain rice and it tasted divine. I had to visit the country for some business purposes and had to take the local meals. As part of the plan, that I had before to taste the traditional foods, I took the curry. And I would say that it was a wonderful experience for me. I did not have the slightest idea that coconut oil could be used as an edible oil and could make the meal so delicious.

4. The biriyani made with chicken was highly delicious that I took in New Delhi last month. A shop in the town was selling the food and it was located in the city center. Honestly, there had been no special occasions. I just felt hungry and tried it. In fact, as a foreigner in India, I have many other things to do. However, it was a very nice meal. The cooking process was outstanding and the shop owner entertained me highly with the meal. He increased the chicken portion and also added the rice in plenty so that I could enjoy my meal.

5. The taste of tomato soup appeared different than the other types of meals in Iran. In fact, I went in the country for some official visit and had tasted the soup. Out of my curiosity, I tasted the tomato soup at a local restaurant and later came to know that it was a traditional meal. The taste was different and they might have added some sugar to bring a different flavour. But I enjoyed the meal to the last drop. I have never tasted such a dark and deep soup. Even, I was surprised when I saw the soup on the restaurant menu. But it was a pleasant experience for me.

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