You can’t beat in-villa dining!
What do you get when you mix food, travel, and a family vacation together? You get a recipe for Hong-Kong based Daniel Haddad‘s life: the perfect setting for a travelling foodie to explore the world, one bite at a time. Enjoying everything from fine dining to street eats, Daniel’s never one to shy away from sampling new cuisines. Along with his beautiful wife, Christing, and their two adorable kids, Ever and River, we chatted about food in Bali (a hobby of ours, eating Balinese food!) and family life.
WanderLuxe: How did you get into food blogging?
WL: Your wife, Christing, is a blogger too! What’s that like?
D: It’s great having Christing be a blogger too. She started before me when she was a lifestyle blogger in London and taught me a lot of what I know and how things worked. It’s also fun being able to work together on projects and great to be able to help each other with some of the workload.
WL: We have to ask: who’s the better cook? You or Christing?
D: It would have to be Christing. She’s got a great ability to be able to recognize ingredients and spices in dishes when we are out and is able to replicate it back at home. I do a pretty good roast chicken though!
WL: How do you encourage your kids to try new food when you travel?
D: Thankfully, our kids are actually pretty good at trying new dishes. We travel with them often and eat together as a family. I think our enthusiasm of food is evident to our kids and they are eager to try new local foods with us. Making the experience fun and memorable is also important whether it’s a picnic on the beach, eating straight off skewers at a local food stall, or a private barbecue in your villa.
D: I loved the Babi Guling at Babi Guling Pak Malen in Seminyak for true local spicy flavours and an authentic dining experience. Another one of our favourite dining destinations is Jimbaran for the local Seafood Barbecues where you dine on the beach with your feet in the sand watching the sunset. Choose from a multitude of restaurants serving fresh seafood barbecued to perfection. Our kids loved the ribs at Naughty Nuri’s which are fall off the bone tender with a delicious barbecue sauce.
WL: How was your stay at Villa Bayu?
D: We had a wonderful stay at Villa Bayu. We loved the giant swimming pool which got the sun all day and the beautiful ocean views. The two en-suite bedrooms were perfect for our family, one of which had a kids room connected with a bunk bed for the children. The large upstairs dining area was ideal for family meals and watching the sunset with a glass of wine, and the spacious downstairs living area had plenty of room to relax while the kids played with the toys that were provided. There was also satellite tv with plenty of channels for the kids and comfortable air conditioning for those extra hot summer afternoons.
WL: Villa Bayu has an amazing chef! What did you think of the food?
D: We loved our in-villa dining experiences at Villa Bayu. The villa includes a private chef who created some delicious meals for our family. There is a menu provided by the villa which includes local Indonesian dishes, Western favourites and child-friendly options. I was able to discuss dishes that were not on the menu with the chef and he was more than happy to accommodate our personal preferences.
The chef bought all the ingredients at local markets and supermarkets and brought back receipts to show what was spent. I love this system as you know everything your getting is extremely fresh. We loved the spicy Ikan Pepes and flavourful Steamed Red Snapper the Chef made for us. For the kids we asked for a few non-spicy dishes and the whole family couldn’t get enough of the tender BBQ Pork Ribs and juicy Ayam Betutu.
WL: What are some other destinations for great food?
D: If you love spicy food then Bangkok definitely has some of the best food around. We also recently travelled to the Philippines and were pleasantly surprised with the delicious local food on offer. Tokyo has probably been my favourite foodie destination this year where we had some amazing Michelin-starred dining experiences as well as incredible local food.
WL: Do you have a dream restaurant on your bucket list?
D: We are, and we’re enjoying plenty of food from their famous night markets! We’ll be flying to Sapporo right after this for some cold weather, and then to Kyoto and Osaka. I’ve never been to Kyoto or Osaka but looking forward to trying some of the great food I’ve been told about.