Brunei: Great Tasty Tour goes East Asia

Two Spanish Foodie Bloggers, Inaki and Esther, are currently on a gastronomy tour in East Asia for some ten months.  They left their jobs and much of their belongings behind due to their strong interest to learn more about Asia, its people, culture and history via food.  They are currently in the Republic of Korea and intends to return to Spain in October 2010, where they hope to produce a series of videos about their adventure.  Blogging in Spanish, The Great Tasty Tour documents their journey to the many countries in the region. What amazes me about the Spanish couple was their passion for food and getting to understand the local culture.  I personally caught up with the couple during their Brunei leg of journey last December 2009.  Read about them on Brunei Times but it was my affiliation with  Geek in White, who informed me on the Great Tasty Tour's intention to meet local foodie bloggers. Together with Cookie Monzters, we took them to various foodie joints in the capital, including the infamous Gadong Night Market.

Another local blogger, Arabfamilies invited the two Spanish foodie bloggers to his restaurant and blogged about their visit.

It was a great opportunity to meet Inaki and Esther blogger from Spain, who are currently travelling in East Asia, to document their gastronomy travels and spending their New Year with us recently. They both speak some English, so we are able to communicate with one another. They both spoke about Brunei and are happy to be here for a short stay and discovering many thing about our food. Here are some of the videos taken by them at the recent visit to our Brunei Restaurants with Great Tasty Tour.

I asked Inaki and Esther a couple of questions about the whole idea of the foodie trip.

1. What is your background story for the Great Tasty Tour?

We have always had a dream, to know the East Asian cuisine. Firstly, because when we visited some countries in this part of Asia almost four years ago, we fell in love with its food and its people. We wanted to investigate what people in these countries eat, also where they eat and why. It was our great dream and is becoming a reality.

2. What is the inspiration to tour Asia and try the food?

Our inspiration came from the trip we did in 2007. We visited French Polynesia, New Zealand, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, China and Japan. The truth is that we fell in love with the flavors of Brunei, Padang food and Chinese. We had the need to further develop the theme and give it to meet the people.

3. How has the trip changed you, especially your perceptions of Asian Food and people? Do you miss home?

Life changes because we have had the opportunity to meet so many different cultures, we see all life more simple and the material thing loses value, feelings will be with us forever. We have discovered the true kindness in the people of many East Asian countries, especially in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and China. Maybe is because in those countries, people love their food and love sharing it with us. Also in these countries, it has been easier to record our documentary because they understood our passion.
We do not miss our house because we are doing what we love, in fact we miss countries where we would have liked to spend more time eating and enjoying their meals and spend time watching quietly. (You know we would like spend more time in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, they have been the big discovery for us.)

Inaki and Esther in Bruneian traditional costume. Photos reproduced with permission from Hyperclicks

4. What have you learned in Brunei?

In 2007 we were in Brunei for five days. In 2010 we were in Brunei for 14 days, and we learned many things. A country that is different from the rest of the world and better. When we visited for the first time we feel very good, there was something special in people, and we felt happy there. We savored the unimaginable, but the best of the food in Brunei is not the taste, or cheap price, it is that people love it. What we have learned from Brunei is the love of food, any food, more or less simple, more or less special, they love the food, and then the food is good. It was also very easy with the help of the people of Brunei (you know).
Brunei is a different country where foreigners feel at home. We don´t know why, but that is the truth.

5. Food from which country interest you the most?

We have investigated the cuisine of eleven countries in East Asia, and all are interesting because the food of a country is its culture. But we have been surprised and entertained are those of the Malay cultural world (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia), Cambodia and China. But where we would have liked to stay longer is in Indonesia, we were sad when left it, is a vast country full of friendly people and great food.

6. Upon your return, what will you do with all the videos and photos?

We have different projects. The most important is the broadcasting of the television documentary, but with all the collected information and photos we want to write some books and also participate in specialized publications, such as travel and food magazines.

8.What is your advice to others thinking of embarking this similar kind of journey?

Our advice is that travelers must go to countries without travel guides (Lonely Planet for example), with a map is enough. Living culture not only visiting famous places, is necessary lost in towns and cities, seeing as time goes by, without haste. We must breathe deeply in each country, to observe and live. Of course, eat, eat anywhere, because the food brings people together. Although we record a documentary, we do everything ourselves and with a limited budget like travelers, we feel travelers and think that the best is have enough time, time to discover.

You can follow Inaki and Esther on their food journey here.

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