Being a Muslim, I am very particular when it comes to finding Halal food when traveling. The last time I was on trip to Japan, I have to make sure that my home stay family understood the basic concept of Halal food, and luckily they did respect my wishes (they even prepared a new set of utensils and bowl for me). I love trying new food in foreign land but with my religion do’s and don’t I have to make sure that the ingredients and the method of cooking all abide by the Halal rules.
I remember this one time in Kyoto when the noodle shop owner accidentally fried the noodle with beef (or pork?) though I specifically asked the cook not to fry it with any meat. The cook came out and insisted to pick out all the pieces of meat in the noodle. The problem is not that I am a vegetarian but the meat in the restaurant was not Halal for me to eat. In the end he changed my meal to onigiri as it is the safest bet to eat..heh!
As I grew up and get to polish my cooking skills, it makes it easier to differentiate whether a meal is all Halal or not. You see, even in Malaysia with all the varied races and people of different religion and beliefs, not all food served in restaurants and hotels are Halal. A properly slaughtered chicken could end up being not a Halal meal when you add up other non-halal ingredients in the cooking process.
I hope once Malaysia manage to be a Halal hub it would be easier for me to try any new dining place in the country without having to worry whether the food served is Halal or not. My dream trip would be to tour around Europe but I guess I will have to cook my own meal in the apartment or pack home cooked food while on the trip to ensure that I don’t go starving, heh!