The lighter and darker sides of Bali, Asia’s fashionable playground
Volume 31 Jun/Jul/Aug 2011
IDR68,000 : S$11 : HK$50 : A$10 : €5
Volume Thirty One
June/July/August 2011 L u x u r y I n P r in t
The Yak Magazine Agustina Ardie, Sophie Digby, Nigel Simmonds Publisher's PA / Sales & Marketing Riri Suwito Production Manager Evi Sri Rezeki Graphic Designers Irawan Zuhri, Novan Satria Accounting Julia Rulianti Distribution Made Marjana, Kadek Arthana, Putu Widi Susanto, Made Sutajaya, Didakus Nuba
On The Cover. Model: Maria Agnes wearing hat and scarf, stylist's own. Stylist: Fa' Empel. Photography D.Hump.
Publisher PT Saka Wahana Cipta
Assistant stylist: Georgina Solomon. The lighter and darker sides of Bali, Asia’s fashionable playground
Volume 31 Jun/Jul/Aug 2011
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Words On High new in the hood New and notable editorial Urban Bali Out of the box Shelf Life interwho
Stefan Sagmesiter questions Tyler Mars
incoming Soma Helmi duoview Desain9 feature Fixed Gear travel Hong Kong or Bust yak fashion Yeah Ghost spa aWay!
124 126 130 138 146 150 154
160 162 180 190 192 194 198
Prana advertorial Nestetique venting in a villa New Kids On The Block over the edge Up North oral pleasures Signs Of The Times constant wining Full Board feature Beach Life Bali
oral pleasures The Big Six: Fish and Chips fashion freestyle Client collectibles just doin' it Tennis Classic sounds around Mark Ronson ravers review Muso Musings astro yak Scope of Horror advertiser directory Who's Who
Artistic experimentations, lifelines to creativity, expressions of self and thoughts outside-the-box. All these things coincide and collide in this bumper issue of The Yak, so we won’t bore you with this column’s mindless wanderings of the global kind and go straight to the point with who graces the cover to those that lend their inspiration to our humble pages… Agnes expresses herself through the lens and the styling of the world’s most famous fashionistas before Kota Bali, artistically, morphs into a city of the “world” with Diana Darling and another fabulously creative work of Ashley Bickerton – exhibiting his yet un-hung brushstrokes in New York, no less. Back to the isle and Salvador Bali meets image and imagination guru Stefan Sagmeister – notorious inspirational! We are gratefully worthy! Monggo! The Yak's next expression is that Surfing and Sushi do go hand-in-hand with our Deus demi-god, Tyler Mars, who creates out-of-the-box flavours of the Japanese kind. Soma, our very own Sundance film festival revolutionary, gives us her input into what will happen on her path to experimentation before we meet a cross border duo that are the brains behind Desain9. Taking you into the Cult of the Wheel, we get fixated on Fixation, where biking takes on a whole new meaning – gloss, glam and “look Mum no gears”! Our History of Fads is next as AH looks at the creation of ‘we’ as a generation. The why, the wherefore and what we were listening to at the time… Dragontown a.k.a. Honkers, introduces us to Junks, Hunks and ‘His Space’ before it's the ‘gals’ turn, where Fashion Yak gets your glad rags on before we detox to retox at three of Bali’s most prestigious leave-me-be venues. Oral Pleasures take us on a side trip of experimentation with signature dishes from Vincent@Warisan, Stephen@Cocoon and Philip@Hu’u. Well fed, we head for Netwars, this year’s Yak Canggu Tennis Classic – full of self-full expression if you had a racquet in your hand. We take a moment to think outside or maybe inside the box and play backgammon with Ms. Valkenberg. We lose. So we go beachside and try out the new creatives that designers have recently brought to the posh beaches of Bali. Time to get your own “expressions of self” on with Bali’s top fashion houses in Fashion Freestyle before we head out to touch the untouched north of Bali. Musical experimentations abound in our Sounds Around and Ravers Reviews before we look to the stars and see what our lifeline to creativity has in store for us with the fabulous Dr Deepak and AstroYak… And so, as ever…we wish you a happy High Season and “May The Yak (and the inspiration) be with you”.
YakINTHElapOF...Ewan McGregor Quite unbelievably we saw the actor Ewan McGregor sitting at a table at Cafe Bali recently...so we pressed a copy of our lifestyle bible into his bewildered midst with a short, 'For you, Ewan.... enjoy!' Before he had time to say 'But my name is Danny...' we were off, devilishly in search of other famous faces who have the audacity to claim they are mere lookalikes. Because, you know, we get that all the time.
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Beach Blanket Bingo Made, owner of the ever-popular boutique Lily Jean, has opened a shop in the Made’s Warung new shopping enclave called Bali Towels. The concept is simple: hand-dyed oversized Balinese sarongs backed with super soft cotton toweling – voila, you have the perfect beach towel. Old Bali hands are rarely seen traveling to the beach with fluffy beach towels and tend to use plain sarongs to soak up the sea, lie in the sand and dry their hightoned bods. Now we can cheat. There are dozens of hand-printed patterns to choose from in bright beachy stripes, florals and batiks. The shop also carries super comfortable, simple but stylish separates for gals in ultra-sheer cottons. Bali Towels can also be found at some of our favourite haunts including The Legian, Word of Mouth, Tugu Hotel, Karma Kandara and of course Lily Jean and even Ibiza! Tel. 7437598 www.lily-jean.com Yak map V.11 Italian Attitude Paola’s gem of a shop has a new accessories collection, all handmade in stunning stingray including soft clutches, wallets, travel wallets and business card holders. They make perfect gifts and are eco-friendly, so don’t fret petal. Also there are some gorgeous new jewelry designs by the highly desired Anna Michielan, who uses precious and semi-precious stones with healing energies that are sell-outs in Paris and throughout Europe and not the least bit “hippy dippy”. She and Paola both hail from Italy so you’re assured a certain attitude with each prized piece. Paola’s new kaftan collection is just in time for the “let’s get high” season and standouts in crispy linen that can be worn day into evening...and into “who are you?” mode. Tel. 279752 www.namustore.com Yak map N.5
Cubby Love Speaking of ladies who lunch – this is the perfect spot to have your cake and eat it too. The Semara has a convenient new kiddies club called Cubby House at which you can drop your kids under 12 and expect nary a complaint. The toddlers can enjoy Lego Land and arts and crafts, while the older children can get stuck into computer games and PS3’s that drive you mad on your home turf but are welcome when you’re having a delicious dining break. Cost per kiddie is Rp100,000 for an hour. Kids have their own menu and can dine in the club from Noon till 4pm. Dining is a dream with contemporary Australian fare made by Bali’s well-known Oz Chef Bably and his locally sourced produce used for sublime sharing plates. Tel. 8476661 www.cubbyhousekidsclub.com Yak map N.
Turkish Delight Belinda Kazanci’s new boutique, named BEL KAZAN, is as hard to find as it is to resist – it’s hidden behind the large temple on Jl. Raya Basangkasa. A Turkish designer, Kazanci’s ancestors were textiles merchants and she grew up roaming the famed fabric markets of Istanbul. Designs have a Grecian feel with both long and short dresses using traditional methods of hand-dying and printing. Dress names like “Showstopper” and “Lovestruck” can only make you hope you can opt for another favourite selling frock, “The Honeymoon Dress”. Tel. 7492644 www.belkazan.com Yak map U.8
Where’s My Invite? Gado Gado at the end of Double Six Road is coming into its second decade and has been renovated, but at its same perfect beachfront location. Now offering three more reasons to have a party, there is a cozy inside area with a capacity for 80 guests, an outdoor pergola that provides shade and shields from the rain if necessary and can cater for 50 friends; then there is the beautiful outdoor deck area that can cater for 120 folks. Each of the spaces offers a different view across the beach and ocean and their new extended events team also offers customized floral arrangements, cakes, music, live entertainment, staging and décor. Tel. 736966 www.gadogadorestaurant.com Yak map P.12
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Let There Be… Alabaster Lighting has been a must-go to for a massive chunk of Bali’s interior decorators and designers alike. Opening its doors in 2004 it takes its name from the hollowed out onyx lamps that they design. Crystals are their latest trend with a nouveau take on the chandelier using modern designs and out-ofthe-box materials, like shell and rattan, as well as the more usual wrought iron. Custom-made lighting is what they are good at, so jot down that idea you had for the perfect lamp and take it on down to Alabaster to create. Unique, huh? Tel. 769007 www.alabasterlighting-bali.com Yak map E.11 Rock A Bali Baby Hassle-free traveling with the tots? Seems like a non-sequitur to us but Bali Baby Hire makes it a tad easier by renting top-of-the-line baby equipment that you can order online before you even leave home for your beautiful Bali vacation. Deliveries come direct to your hotel or villa before your arrival so you don’t have to haul your gear on your holidays. Locals who have an endless barrage of house guests in high season will also enjoy the service. Competitively priced airport transfer services complete with car seats and English speaking drivers can also be prebooked. Owned by two Aussie Mum’s, quality is assured with top-of-the-line prams, strollers, car seats, cots, playpens and even baby monitors that can double as walky talkies to alert your butler to want your nightcap delivered to the nursery. Tel. 08980706460 www.balibabyhire.com
Viva Vivai Just when you thought you had seen it all in Seminyak another stunner comes along and Vivai is definitely worth a look-see. Rooftop in Seminyak Square far above the riotous crowds below Vivai has the very accomplished Chef “Dean” at the helm who comes with innumerable prestigious postings that include the globally-recognized Ivy in London. Stylish alfresco Mediterranean cuisine dining is complemented by a lounge and martini bar. Amongst myriad delicacies we found the Vivai seafood salad of smoked salmon with steamed prawns, avocado and mixed leaves in a lemon caviar dressing so addictive we have been twice for seconds. Just remember when dining and drinking, “One Martini, Two Martini, Three Martini, Floor”, the rooftop is quite a fall from grace but who can say no to their fabulous Apple Martinis? Chef Dean is soon to launch a cooking school and food market tours for more information go to his website www.deanfisherbali.com. Tel: 738 016 www.vivabali.com Yak map O.7
Ladies Who Lunch And Lads Who Linger Still standing and going strong Kafe Warisan has a new set lunch menu on offer that makes dining for the discerning all the more desirable as their or two or three courses available for lunch are a decidedly good deal. Open-air courtyard dining and the ever-expanding shopping gallery area make this a perfect spot for ladies who lunch. Lads shouldn’t be put off however with a long bar and an excellent cigar collection to enjoy while the ladies fritter away another afternoon in picture perfect paradise. Tel. 731175 www.warisanrestaurant.com Yak map U.4
Carga We were pleasantly surprised when we walked into what is now our firm-favourite gift shop on the becoming-ever-so-chic street, Petitenget. A fabulous mix of goods from Bali and other parts of Indonesia can be found and the goal of the partners, both old Bali hands, was to make a shop where visitors and locals can pick up a tasteful gift for everyone on their shopping list. Wood and resin placemats and coasters, batik tablecloths and large stone candles filled with waxes in bright colours are on offer, perfect for outdoor summer dining. Helpful staff are on standby for on-the-spot gift wrapping and there is a good selection of cards available too that makes it even easier to get that gift done and dusted. If you want something for yourself check out the jewelry from the well-known Libido range. Housed in a traditional and ever-so-tasteful Balinese building, Carga even has its own storefront parking. Now that is convenient! Tel. 8478173 Yak map O.6
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Deus Ex Machina Deus Ex Machina opened their second Bali store, The Warung of Simple Pleasures. It’s the city dwelling brother of the ricefield located Deus Temple of Enthusiasm, Canggu. Positioned in Oberoi they are set up to serve their unique brand of coffee, cakes, sandwiches and salads. All garnished with motorbikes, surfboards, bicycles, T-shirts, trunks, sunnies and what-not. Set on a redbrick wall, framed photos, in a hotchpotch of styles and sizes, chart their history in Bali. Art by Andrew Wellman & Robert Moore. Tel. 735047 www.deus.co.id Yak map T.8
Sunbebek The skull culture having been on our T's, on our rings and earrings not to mention mantlepices has made the fabulous transition into our boudoir and onto our bedlinen. Sunbebek has created masculine, testosteronic bed sheets for that inimitable bachelor pad. No James Bond should be seen without these adorning their bed. Tel. 730596 www.sunbebek.com Yak map T.6
Evo-Lution A precious pet of The Yak’s Sentosa Private Villas Spa and Villas has replaced its former restaurant Blossoms with EVO we are excited about the evolution. EVO, which stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil is now serving Italian-Mediterranean cuisine that crosses the borders of Southern France, Spain, Greece, Portugal and of course Italy all cooked by Master Chef William Collier whose impressive history with such landmark establishments as Colombe D’Or and Tavern on the Green speaks for itself. Chef Collier says he wants to give his guests “soul satisfying riffs on Italian Mediterranean cuisine” and also says that his “seafood is so fresh it’s still moving when it arrives in our kitchen”. The new décor is equally delicious with a poolside outdoor seating area, a new “island bar” serving old fashioned favourite cocktails like the Singapore Sling, (still bound to get you sloshed) as well as an indoor air conditioned area with white leather round banquet seating and mirrored walls giving you a chance to ogle the sophisticated crowd in this new top drawer dining room. Tel. 730333 www.balisentosa.com Yak map O.6
Hot Chocolate Chocolate Café has just opened in the swank new shopping arcade called Jimbaran Corner and aims to raise the culinary acumen in this sleepy fishing village introducing the punters to the beauty of Belgian cuisine under the tutelage Belgian Chef Yehudi Van Meckeren. His authentic waffles, crepes, chocolates and pastries are all calorific but don’t fret lunches are fresh and light using organic greens so you can balance your badness. The brand new Kupu Kupu Jimbaran Suites is on the first and second floor of this new complex and there are many other tony shops set to open their doors so you can walk off some of those kilojoules while exercising your credit card. Tel. 704663 www.chocolatecafe.asia
Mama San Time for cross-cultural pollinization in the kitchen at the Sarong group’s new digs on the corner of Sunset and Kerobokan. This two-storey eatery, Mama San, with its upstairs Club bar reminisces of Asia’s golden era with a touch of a gentlemen’s private social establishment. The Club opens at 6pm for tapas and drinks (signatures one’s by Joel Fraser – Singapore no less!) while downstairs the kitchen stirs up a storm both by day – serving the restaurant and the cooking school (opening October) – and by night serving taste seekers looking to lap up Palm, Will’s and other local and international guests chefs morsels. Open daily from 11am from July with valet parking. Tel. 085237248282 Yak map U.7
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New Saya Gallery As its name sounds (Saya means mine in Indonesian) unique artifacts from all over Asia have been lovingly hand picked and displayed in these two galleries in Seminyak by a person who obviously just loves to shop and has excellent taste. Figurines, busts, statuettes; tribal, native and traditional; purses, bags and fashion; interiors, decoration, lighting. With a slant on the hand made or hand processed each piece has its unique characteristics and the interiors design and decoration pieces are gems. Two of Seminyak’s most interesting galleries whether for looking for gifts or if you are having an Interiors day. Tel. 7804046 Jl. Laksmana12X; Jl. Petitenget 88C www.sayagallery.com
Heart of Gold Beach Gold is a new boutique that would look equally at home in Notting Hill, LA’s trendy Melrose Avenue or you guessed it, Bali’s fashion capital – Seminyak. The shop is airy and light with high ceilings and bleached wooden floors and the collections are categorized in colours keeping it simple to find what you want. You can just see Jennifer Aniston and the like picking out their resort wear for international island hopping. Soft flowing voile fabrics are hand beaded and printed and perfect for “easy at home” entertaining or for a night on the tiles. Beachgold has a heart of gold and all of their workshops are cooperatives with various local villages so each piece you purchase has a certain feel-good quality. Tel. 737549 www.beachgoldbali.co Yak map S.8
Travelling Art Bold palette strokes in neutral colours or in vibrant pinks and greens, ink wash on canvas, oils and acrylics. Reservo Art's three galleries in Seminyak gather together a myriad of artists from all over Indonesia, each with their own take on life and style. Selling only certified originals (European galleries are amongst their top customers) canvases can depict village or agricultural life, Chinese influenced fish in ink wash, the female form in just as many forms, sunsets in a riot of unusual colours and abstracts and more. High quality decorative art work comes in all sizes from the narrow pillar fitting images to the larger than life triple, all-wall covering paintings. What is even more special about this art venture is that they pack and ship door to door, either rolled or ready stretched canvases to any destination - special packaging suplied. All you have to do is unwrap and hang. So if your looking to drill a hole or two in a wall (yours or someone else's) there is something for everyone’s taste at an incredibly reasonable price. Tel. 737949, 737968, 732856 www.reservo-art.com Yak map O.7, R.7 Slam Dunk 69SLAM is spicing things up with the newly revamped flagship store on Jl. Raya Seminyak 24A. The new store is fresh and inspiring it showcases everything the brand stands for. The store has a huge array of products from swimwear, underwear, accessories and apparel all showing the bright, colourful, charismatic bold prints that are very tongue in cheek. The friendly staff are there to greet you the moment you open the door and ensure you have a unique shopping experience. 69SLAM is on a mission to spread a revolution with its motto PLAYLOUD! Tel. 9605172 www.69slam.com Yak map V.10, S.8
Must Have Hu’u If you want to be one of the top 10 in Bali then there is only one thing for it, get your name down on the list to buy a Hu’u Residence. Stylish and inimitable, just like their lipsmackingly good lychee martini, expect these new pads to have signature Hu’u quality built all over them. This multi-concept resort, of 4,300 square metres, is set to raise the bar as it will seamlessly blend the Hu’u lifestyle with the Hu’u experience. One bedroom lofts, dual level two bedrooms and I hear there’s a Penthouse like no other. Let’s hope Hu’u keep that one for themselves as we would all like to be spoilt by the ultimate Hu’u experience. www.huuresidences.com
I Am An Angel Our favourite and much-awaited annual gala evening is set to sparkle on the 18th of June at Ku De Ta. With light hearts and full pockets this year IAA guests will be able to look forward to improving the lot of Bali’s underprivileged children to the tastes of some serious global talent. Bali’s dream team of Davenport (Ku De Ta), Wahl (The Oberoi), Meyrick (Sarong) and Perez (St. Regis) will welcome open-armed two cuisine magicians Ryan Clift of the Tippling Club Singapore and Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert New York. Our tastebuds are set to ignite our mouths and hearts while Electric Empire set the tone to the nights fundraising activities. Cameras, lights, auction. With paddles raised high let's hear it for the fabulous auction items from private jets to chartered yachts and weekends away to far-flung places of luxury. This year sees a signature painted Smart Car fortwo Cabriolet in the Raffle so get out Rp100,000 and you never know you could be doing your bit for the environment as well as your bit for charity. Seating is limited Tel. 736969 www.kudeta.net Yak map N.9
Where Angels Wish To Tread We all know we are surrounded by our angels but do we know where they hang out on their down time? Probably at Bidadari Private Villas and Retreat in Ubud. Five villas set the scene for an indulgent experience. Luxurious, sensual and meditational, the atmosphere at Bidadari relaxes right down to the cellular level. Overlooking rice terraces, a lush rainforest and a babbling river below, this retreat is set to open up our charkas in amazement. If it is tranquility you are looking for and wish to stay connected with harmony and nature there’s no better place than a private retreat I know of in Kelabang Moding - Ubud. Tel. 9000401 www.bidadarivillasubudbali.com
Hands On M.E.N.G. could very well mean ‘massage enlightens, nurtures and glamorizes’ and why not. This is definitely what this new spa offers. Exceptional skincare, therapeutic bodywork by excellently trained therapists. The Deluxe treatment room with grooming room and Zen relaxation lounge compliment four other treatment rooms. Body polishes, signature massages (M.E.N.G. 4-Hands) and treatments with names such as M.E.N.G. Spirit and M.E.N.G. Spa Journey leave you nurtured. Oka Dewa, the Featured Specialist Therapist and as one of Bali’s top 13 healing therapists (Luxury Spa Finder) with a wealth of knowledge and insight offers intuitive massage at M.E.N.G. as well as Sports Massage and Hot Stones therapy, all definitely enlightening experiences. And as for glamorizing? Well with chakras flowing, pearl-polished skin and a well-relaxed body life couldn’t be anything else but glamorous! (Treatments start at under Rp300,000 for an hour. Near Warung Kolega.) Tel. 733-886 Jl. Petitenget 147X Yak map Q.4
Uma and Leopold - Casa One of Bali’s top fashion brands have taken dressing up one step further, they now dress your interiors. Collecting décor from around the world – think African, South American and Mexican with an accent on all things Turkish, Uma and Leopold are also dressing the homes of the mixed eclectics with shops in Ibiza, Australia and Brazil. From glasses to kilims; ceramics to lamps; lace, bed throws and cutlery. Colourful art from around the globe for the globe. Tel. 734110 www.umaandleopold.com Yak map U.12, S.8
Nothing Fairer Than A Farah Designer and fashion mogul, Farah Khan opened two high-end boutiques at two of the best addresses in Bali – W Retreat and Spa and The Legian Hotel. As one of the elected few that grace the windows of W and The Legian, Farah’s sequined fashion fits sexily into the décor and allows for some seriously elegant threads to grace the female forms at the tables of Fire and Starfish Bloo, and of course the terrace of Woo, not to mention the elegant tables of The Restaurant. (Non-hotel guests are also welcome to shop at Seminyak’s most exclusive lifestyle arcade in W Retreat and Spa). Tel. 3000106@W / 730026@The Legian www.farahkhan.com Yak map N.7, O.4
H2O We are quite excited about the opening of H2O in Bali Dynasty Resort. Whilst it is slated as a fabulous all-weather dining venue we are even more excited about their upper level called "the Upper Deck", a chill out lounge area which is set to please the ears with cool sounds and the soul with its cozy atmosphere. Ideal for sunset cocktails on starlit evenings and more importantly available for private parties, wedding and the like. Even more importantly we love the design and concept ideated by Bespoke, a fabulously talented company in Bali that is set to carve the Bali skyline with bespoke charm and elegance. Tel. 752403 www.balidynasty.com www.bespoke-bali.com Yak map C.12
YOU DON'T NORMALLY THINK OF BALI AS A CITY... T e x t : D i a n a dar l i n g art w o r k : a s h l e y b i c k e rt o n
... All the marketing talk is about and “tranquillity” and “lush tropical vegetation” and “ancient rituals”. But Bali is on its way to becoming a city without even trying: the urbanisation of Bali is under way and nobody seems to be in charge. People fell over laughing in 2009 when the magazine Condé Nast Traveler voted Ubud ‘The Best City in Asia’; it has already slipped from first to fifth place for lack of urban planning. Some Balinese rather like the idea of Bali being like Singapore, but that would take some work. Ask almost anyone except a real estate developer and they’ll probably tell you that they think the urbanisation of Bali is a catastrophe. As people pour into south Bali, there are crises in every sector: water, housing, education, transportation and traffic, health and medical care, waste management, air quality – and especially among people, all of whom are jockeying to stay alive and live well. And yet there are some inexplicably blissed-out people, mainly in the government and the tourism industry, who think that everything is fine on the island of the gods. It’s a point of view not to be overlooked. Every society, like every person, grows with its ear cocked to a certain inner music that describes its ideal self. Bali has a remarkably clear-cut sense of its spiritual self: it is recorded in the by-laws of every community and inscribed in ritual customs that persist even in deepest Denpasar. The Balinese social order is so old and so strong that in some ways it fills out parts of an individual’s personality and furnishes an unquestioned sense of what is decent and just and responsible. This moral confidence is a mighty advantage to any society or
person; and in Bali the ideal vision is remarkably benign. It has to do with balance and consensus. It is not messianic. It takes account – in the ideal, at least – of nature. There is a supremacy of the ‘other’ over the individual. (This last strikes some modern Westerners as restrictive, even if it is not completely alien to Western spiritual values.) And the image of the old order of Bali as self-governing villages in a rural landscape has a profound human appeal. But the wish to conserve Bali is something like the wish to stay young. It might be more useful to think about how Bali should age. Visitors and expatriates feel particularly helpless in the face of Bali’s uncontrolled development, and this is appropriate: the issue is largely political and therefore out of the range of interference by foreigners. The solutions will have to come from the Balinese people. This idea got a public airing in April when Rio Helmi, an Indonesian photographer and Ubud resident, held an exhibition called Urbanities at Danes Art Verandah in Denpasar, with photographs of urban landscapes in Jakarta, London, Bangkok, Delhi, and San Francisco in which he tried to show his concern with the way built environments overwhelm the human beings they are meant to serve. To animate his thesis, Rio added two elements. First, the exhibition opening was accompanied by a dance performance by children from the Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak, a foundation that provides a home and school for street children, and an auction was held to raise money for the foundation. Second, a discussion entitled ‘Urbanisasi di Bali’ was held at the gallery the next day, moderated by the
THE ISSUE IS LARGELY POLITICAL & THEREFORE OUT OF THE RANGE OF INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGNERS. journalist I Wayan Juniartha and attended almost entirely by Indonesian residents of Denpasar. The discussion focused mainly on the human impact of Denpasar’s ever-more crowded conditions and the social tensions that arise from them. Among different laments, there was a lot of talk about the lack of ‘leaders’ (tokoh-tokoh panutan). Madé Sudira – known to many by his pen name, Aridus, under which he writes the ‘Obrolan Bali Banjar’ column in the Bali Post — recalled that in the 1960s young people formed informal groups across ethnic and religious lines as a way of resisting the violence of the times. “These days,” he said, “we don’t have leaders, we have dealers.” The conclusion of the discussion was that young people need to assume leadership in civil society, and in particular that there should be an on-going conversation about urbanisation in Bali. Meanwhile, Facebook friends of the indefatigable Susi Johnston – an American collector of Indonesian ethnic arts who seems to know a great deal about any topic you name – have been watching with fascination and horror her compilation of some 800 images of hotel and villa projects on work in Bali. Most of them are on the Bukit peninsula which is famously short of water and accessible only by one over-crowded road. Many of the projects are in hilariously bad taste; but it’s the huge number of them that has left many gasping for air. How much tourism can Bali reasonably bear, and how should it be managed? How many new hotels and villas does the island need in order to fit that plan, and what might they look like, if not like the stuff on Susi’s Facebook? One example of thoughtful architecture in new hotel building, despite its
location on the ecologically sensitive Bukit peninsula, is Alila Villas Uluwatu, which tries to reconcile two contradictory ambitions: luxury and sustainability. The notion of luxury implies excess – more cream (or space or time) than you need. At Alila Uluwatu, the smallest, cheapest room you can get is 291sqm; but the resort’s property is 14.4 hectares and hotel is surrounded with untouched savannah, with built space taking up only 40% of the land. This leaves a habitat for wildlife and safeguards air quality. That smallest, cheapest room has a private swimming pool, an ornamental pond in the garden, indoor and outdoor showers, and a fine big bathtub; the resort’s main pool is 50 metres long. But all that water is carefully managed. Water is collected and conserved with rainwater tanks. ‘Grey water’ is recycled through reverse osmosis tanks. The landscaping uses indigenous plants that require no irrigation. Energy is conserved through good design that allows light and air to circulate through buildings during the day, reducing the need for lights and air-conditioning and also by re-routing the heat generated by air-conditioning to heat water. The roofs are covered with volcanic rock that acts as a natural insulator and encourages the growth of vegetation. The architecture makes use of other low-impact materials such as bamboo and recycled wood from railway ties and telephone poles. Concern for social impact is expressed in the fact that round 40% of the staff are from the local community. And the hotel itself is almost invisible, so well is it integrated into the landscape. Luxury need not be the ruling paradigm for tourism; but one can insist on high standards at all price levels – and apply green practices in all sectors of society. For example, with community planning, the clever water management system that recycles grey water from swimming pools could also
SOMETIMES THE TIGHTLY RULE-BOUND BANJAR IS A SOURCE OF PROBLEMS RATHER THAN SOLUTIONS.
be implemented in neighbourhoods to recycle grey water from household laundry and kitchens, warungs, beauty salons, car wash services and other small businesses. The principles of traditional Balinese architecture can be observed without having to stick decorative carvings all over the place but instead by paying attention to proportion, functionality, and the provenance of materials. Grand plans seem to run aground when they encounter the bureaucracy; but Bali has a built-in alternative resource. Its famous banjar system of local selfgovernment on a neighbourhood level manages complex issues like marriage, divorce, land titles, and inheritance, and undertakes public works like the building and maintenance of temples and roads. The system of social mobilisation through banjars that in the 1970s convinced people to have only two children instead of many could surely be harnessed to convince people to separate their trash. Recycling is a far less intrusive program than birth control. This strong social energy could be co-ordinated within a large framework – a ‘banjar Bali’ that would have no trouble finding technical expertise and financial aid for projects if transparency could be assured. And transparency can be assured by online accounting, just as a banjar’s accounting is fully public. Sometimes the tightly rule-bound banjar is a source of problems rather than solutions, such as when a family has a falling out with the banjar and is faced with cremating a family member without recourse to the community’s graveyard and ritual assistance. In response to problems like this, Bali’s first Hindu crematorium, the Krematorium Santayana, was founded by two Balinese intellectuals, Prof. Dr. dr. I Wayan Wita and Prof. Dr. I Made Titib under the auspices of the clan group Pasek Mahagotra Pasek Sapta Resi, Bali. It is owned and managed by a Hindu priest, Mangku Jero Dalem Babakan. By providing complete Balinese Hindu rituals at low cost to whomever would like them, the crematorium responds to the pressures of urbanisation on tradition itself. A young Balinese physician recently
used the services of Santayana when his very elderly father died in Denpasar and it was forbidden to bring the corpse back to their native village in Bangli because of lengthy ceremonies going on in the village. The funerary rituals were completed in a day at about a tenth of the cost. The founding of a Hindu-Balinese crematorium is a modern, strikingly urban initiative that crosses and softens boundaries. Tourists will hate the idea, of course; and conservative Balinese may worry that this is the thin edge of the wedge leading to the death of the banjar system altogether and thus the unravelling of traditional Balinese culture. Why, they might ask, would people go to all the expense and bother of participating in the banjar if they can get a Hindu cremation somewhere else and cheaper? To which you might reply, what other reasons are there for maintaining the banjar besides fear of the afterlife? The urbanisation of Bali demands several kinds of contradictory responses: the need for local, even individual responsibility and the need to co-ordinate strategy on an island-wide scale; there’s a need for greater tolerance and at the same time for much stricter observance of rules that promote order and well-being. Above all, it demands imagination and courage to look at all aspects of life here on the island of the gods, to see beneath the surface and do some housekeeping. As for the bright blue man and his girlfriends in Ashley Bickerton’s painting shown in these pages, it may not be immediately apparent what this has to do with ‘the real Bali’. The energy coming from the painting is rude and outrageous; the joyfully figurative iconography would strike some as wicked. But doesn’t this evoke the same blend of hilarity and violence that one sometimes finds in Balinese temple carvings, theatre and indeed ritual? The city is not afraid of the dark dark. Neither is Bali.
Let the light in with these room candy collectibles from Baliâ€™s retail shelves.
sks Simple Konsep Store sks Simple Konsep Store brings white to every room in the house with its collections from Artemide, Flos, Alessi, Parrot and Kriptonite. www.sksbali.com Yak Map T.8
The Re Lux Chair Created by Indonesian designer Raymond Simandjuntak and available exclusively at Kolektor Bali, the Re Lux Chair is a simple design made from rattan pole materials. www. kolektorbali.com Yak Map P.7
Obi Mirror by Carlo Another innovative furnishing from those clever people at Carlo, this time the Obi Mirror. Check out your reflection, in more ways than one. www.carloshowroom.com
Above: Bags of fun with Soo Santai, www.santaiattitude.com. Inset, left to right: sks Simple Konsep Store, Be@rbrick collectible toy, www.sksbali.com; Victoria high-speed electric motorcycle, Bali Green Point: www.baligreenpoint.com; Ligne 2 libertĂŠ lighter by ST Dupont, PT Degiri Cahaya Mandiri; Right: Birdcage, Asian Art Collection by Vinoti Living, www.vinotiliving.com.
InterWho Serious Sagmeister.
InterWho Stefan, begin the begin. I’m Austrian, living in New York City 18 years now and I run a small company that I opened in 1993 to design for the music industry. The idea was to combine the true loves of my life, design and music. When did you actually start designing? When I was 14 or 15, working and writing for a liberal magazine in Austria. I discovered I actually liked doing the layouts rather than the writing, so I started designing. At the same time I was in a terrible band. So you’re a musician as well? I wouldn’t call it that, but through music I got interested in album covers and studied at the University of Fine Art in Vienna. Then I studied for a Master’s degree at Pratt Institute. Are there awards given out in your field, as in the Oscars and such? Way too many and I have them all. Grammy music awards, the National Design Award for the U.S. – which is the biggest there is – Gold medals, all of it. The first award is fantastic and I made a big stink of it, now that we have won hundreds, ah, it’s nice to be recognized by your peers, but there’s a danger in it, you start designing for other designers. Do you keep your studio small on purpose? Yes. The job really starts by picking the clients and over the years it has become well known, so we can pick and choose. I was very influenced by my mentor, a Hungarian designer by the name of Tibor Kalman. He would only work with clients more intelligent than himself. It makes life unbelievably interesting, because in every meeting you learn something. If you have disagreements, you’re having disagreements with smart people. By and large intelligent people are in charge of intelligent projects. When I break that rule and work with somebody who is stupid, it’s extremely aggravating. Well, as I always say, you can’t tell somebody who is stupid that they’re stupid. After all is said and done, the only thing that remains is knowledge, so point taken. What are the projects you’re working
on as now, as opposed to earlier ones. What’s the difference in progression? We used to design mostly work for the music industry and designed many, many projects for bands that you have never heard of and some for bands that you have. With visuals becoming less important in music over the last decade, music videos have lost much of their power and CD covers now play a sharply less significant role. Electronic files need no physical packaging, so it was a bit of good luck that I had grown bored with visualizing music and had moved the studio into a different space a couple of years prior the near collapse of the industry. We are currently working in three different directions: self-instigated projects, the largest of which right now is a documentary film on my own happiness. It’s a proper look at what serious psychologists recommend to improve wellbeing, including meditation, cognitive therapy and physiological drugs. I will try them all out and report back the results. The film will be visually driven and will be released in theaters in the fall of 2012. The second big strand is work for the cultural industry, including identities for museums, art books and the like. The third field is blatant commercial work for large and socially conscience corporations. Currently we are working on a program for the Portuguese electricity utility. They are a wonderful organization, being able to deliver 65 percent renewable energy for Portugal right now. In comparison, Obama talks about 20 percent renewable energy for the U.S.A. in 2020. You have been in Bali for a year or so now, how has that influenced your work? I was here for a year during my sabbatical in 2008 and I am now back for three months to complete one chapter of the documentary film. The Bali influence on our work has been incredible, and this was one of the main reasons to come here in the first place. I wanted to be influenced. In the first year we designed a whole lot of projects outside our regular comfort zone, mostly prototypes for graphic furniture as well architectural ideas. The furniture was really designed for my own studio in New York and in the
meantime has gotten some notoriety. A couple of the pieces will be shown at the Muse D’Art Decorative in the Louvre in Paris and some others in Moscow, Beijing, Europe and the U.S.A. What is the difference in energy here as opposed to New York? You know the feeling you have in your gut, much the same as when you go apartment hunting: one place feels so much better than the others, even though you cannot really describe why that is so. I have had that feeling about a city or country twice in my life. Once when I visited New York and the other time when I first came to Bali about 20 years ago, so even though the two places could not be more different from each other, in a wonderful way they are the perfect accomplices, yin and yang – black and white in terms of the possibilities in how to live. I love them both. When you leave New York, do you leave New York behind, work-wise? Do you work on projects from here for there? I have a fantastic team working in the studio in New York and they run it rather well. I try to keep phone calls to an absolute minimum (successfully I’ve had only two phone calls in the last three months) and do all my emailing in one single session, typically about two hours every day. The rest of the time I am really present here in Bali and don’t think much about elsewhere. How do you go about inspiration, having ideas? The process I’ve been using most often has been described by Maltese philosopher, Edward De Bono, who suggests starting to think about an idea for a particular project by taking a random object as point of departure. Say I have to design a pen using this system. I might look around the hotel room where I’m staying for random objects, like a bedspread. Ok, hotel bedspreads are…sticky. So would it be possible to design a pen that is thermo sensitive, so it changes colours where I touch it? Yes, that could be nice. An all black pen that becomes yellow on the touching point of fingers, hands…not so bad…considering it took me all of 30 seconds. Of course, the reason this works is because De Bono’s method forces the brain to start out
at a new and different point, preventing it from falling into a familiar groove it has formed before. What about the difference of design as opposed to art? I could say the difference is functionality. There was a nice quote from the American artist Donald Judd, who said design that has to work out does not work. Meaning every design at its core has to have function. If I design a chair and I push it and I push it to the form so much that I can’t really sit on it anymore, then it immediately becomes a sculpture. Then I could say, is it a good sculpture? At this point many of these things are terrible sculptures. In my case, that’s fine, my company’s work comes quite close to the world of fine art. Finally, would you give a little push to our budding designers in Bali? Start as early as you possibly can. Work your ass off, do work that is close to your heart, that you feel has a relationship to your life, and push it as far as you possibly can. Wise words Stefan, thanks. My pleasure.
Tyler Mars...that's a fantastic name by the way, what's the backstory on a moniker like that? Well, that’s just the name they gave me! Tell us about how you grew up and what inspired you as a kid. My Mom loved to cook for family and friends and my Dad is a sculptor and an artist, so there was always something going on in or around the Mars’ household. At one point when I was young we grew our own vegetables and when we moved to Santa Barbara, California, we had a chicken shed, fruit trees and herb garden. So lots of fresh herbs and eggs!
Photo: Tom Hawkins
What posters did you have on your bedroom wall? A nice question. Some people say that if you get a peek at a kid’s room when they’re young you’ll see what may happen to them in the future. So, my wall art reads like this: torn-out surfing and skateboarding pictures hung with tape amongst rock-n-roll posters that included The Cramps, The Sex Pistols, Iron Maiden and Motley Crue. I also had a bikini-clad girl holding a Tecate beer can which I believe was captioned: "Tecate my body.“ And there was a poster of a cowboy boot stepping on the head of a rattlesnake...with a hand holding a knife.
Blade runner Tyler.
The guy was wearing a ring on his finger with the words ‘Let’s Rodeo’ carved on it. I think you get the picture. And the mad middle years...what happened in your 20s? That was a long time ago man. My 20s were pretty much made up of fast and hard nights mixed with culinary school and a few different cameos working in greasy spoon diners. My favourite was The Local Cafe in South Mission Beach. My nickname was ‘Burns’. When did you first get interested in food? Everyone in my family is a foodie. As a kid I helped my Mom in the kitchen whenever I could. My real interest was sparked when I was sent to the kitchen to do dishes for getting into trouble at boarding school. After doing the washing up, I helped with the evening's dinner and enjoyed it so much I returned on my own the next day. And that was the official start of my career as a chef. The next day I told my folks I had found my calling. And how did the whole sushi thing come about? I was working in La Jolla at a family run rotisserie joint called Rimels. They also owned a sushi bar called Zenbu, which was down the street. I became friends with Executive Chef Tim Johnson and I bugged him for a year until he gave me a chance prepping sushi prep on Sunday afternoons – a job no one else wanted. A few months later I was working the same job when the sushi chef got fired. I jumped into his spot. Within three weeks I’d created my first Tyler Mars’ sushi roll – “Sid Fishous“ – and somehow I developed a cult following. The Rimels and Tim encouraged my creativity and gave me free reign to do pretty much whatever I wanted. So you could say you’re something of a renegade in the sushi department. I definitely march to the beat of my own drum. I’d rather create rolls for my guests than have them order stuff they can get anywhere. I create a lot of the sauces to accompany the sushi I serve. I insist that my creations are innovative and full of flavour and stretch the boundaries. You’ll never find soy sauce or wasabi on my plates. Where do get inspiration for your rolls? Sometimes I work backwards when a cool name comes to me, like,
let’s say, “Thunderbolt 555" or “The Mango Vajango“. Or I might see something while I’m traveling that sparks off an idea. Then there’s the market, or surfing, or music...and of course there’s nothing wrong with a good Sake session to get the creative juices flowing. So how did you find your way to Bali? I’ve been coming to the island a lot over the years. In October 2010 my girlfriend and I found ourselves in Canggu and on the second night we stumbled on Deus Ex Machina, met Dustin and the guys...and the rest is history. You've invented many firsts, including a sushi knife made from a surfboard fin. Tell us about how you did that. The day after my first night at Deus, I was surfing with the boys and the shaper there invited me to come over and make a fin for my retro pintail I was rocking that morning. One thing led to another and just one comment about how my fin looked like a cleaver turned the key in my mind and I said... sushi knife! Sushi knives are layers of folded steel and fins and fin panels are layered fiberglass and resin, so you can see how I connected the dots. That weekend, Deus had its first sushi party. What else have you been up to here? I’ve come up with many new sushi recipes since landing in Bali; I started a band called “The Barmuda Tryangles“ with my good friends Bob and Frazer; designed “The Gooza“ (which is my new Deus Motorcycle)…and my girlfriend and I are expecting our first child. Oh, and I’ve started a ’zine called Corduroy. Blimey! Is there anything you wouldn't put in a sushi roll? I will try new and exotic ingredients but when people ask me to put stupid stuff in...like fried chicken for the kids, and ketchup...that’s where I draw the line. I like to have fun and get weird but if it sounds lame to me...I won’t do it. And one final question: what's the worst kitchen injury you've ever witnessed? Besides losing the tip of my finger...or having 15 stitches across my thumb after a cut with a dull blade in my boarding school kitchen...I would say seeing a friend endure a scolding oil spill down his leg. That was heavy. You work long enough in a few different kitchens you see some gnarly shit. It’s how fast you can get back on the horse that matters. After all, the show must go on.
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Filmmaker Soma Helmi is a child of Bali and – with a successful trip to Sundance under her belt – a name to watch.
HI Soma. That’s a beautiful name by the way, where is it from? Hi and thank you! My name actually has roots in a lot of cultures – Indian, Greek, Balinese and even Tibetan. Although I’m pretty sure my mum (who came up with the name) didn’t know any of them when she decided to call me that. My favourite meaning is “a new beginning”, which is apparently from a nomadic Tibetan language. Where did you grow up? Tell us a bit about your childhood. I spent the first part of my childhood here in Bali. I was born in a house on the rice fields in Taman, a village in Ubud. It was an amazing way to grow up; I spent most of my time running around the rice fields, in the village with friends and their families as well as with my Balinese nanny. In fact I used to call her ‘mek’, which means mum. Back then it was perfectly safe for me to disappear all day because my parents always knew where I was – Ubud was small enough that they just had to ask and someone would point them in my direction. If I was in trouble, I’d be marched back home! When I was 10 my parents separated and I followed my mum to the U.S. Then it was to Australia at age 13. I moved around quite a bit, so you could say I had a bit of a nomadic childhood. Where do you call ‘home’? Bali is home. I’ve lived in many places around the world, and to be honest I am perfectly comfortable living anywhere, but I was born here and this is where I spent most of my childhood, most of my friends live here and my Dad is here. I feel very strongly connected to Bali and feel blessed to able to call the
island home, although lately some aspects of living here are starting to get frustrating. But I won’t go into that, keeping it positive. Are we correct in thinking you started on your creative journey as a writer? Actually, no. I started as a web designer/graphic designer, after graduating from a Multimedia degree in Australia. After that I went into Art Directing in advertising and then filmmaking. Writing has been quite recent and almost accidental. I sat down last year and decided I really had to write a story that I had carried with me for a long time. It literally poured out of me, and I published it as an e-book on Amazon within six months of scribbling the first sentence. It’s a chick lit novel called Sammi Ever After. Since then, I haven’t really written anything, other than scripts. You’ve crossed a few creative boundaries we see – graphic designer, author, and now filmmaker. What drives you to create? I love the idea of seeing something “come alive” in front of me – a project that I’ve had in my mind for a while, forming on paper, computer or in a film. From imagination to reality, so to speak. With films, it’s magical to see a scene that I’ve had in my mind start to play out in front of my eyes, instead of behind them. It’s incredibly heady to know that I’m able to manipulate a world into whatever I want it to be. Also, I just love the whole process of filmmaking. From the moment an idea comes, to the planning, and most especially when I step on set. There’s something about that instant when the camera starts rolling and “action” is called out. I’ve said it before, but to me its magic.
Are you still searching for your perfect medium, or is film the only path for you now? Film is definitely the only path. I’ve wanted to make films since high school, I just became distracted along the way. It was the reason I started a multimedia degree – I wanted to go into special effects. But somehow I ended up becoming a web designer instead. It was only when I started as an Art Director in Jakarta that I rediscovered what I wanted to do with my life. Being in advertising was like making mini movies each month, it was incredibly educational. I knew I’d found my way again. Tell us a little about your film projects, and where you are now with your work. How did it all begin? I’ve made a few short films, all of them fictional shorts. I started a couple of years ago with a short I made with a friend, Mila Shwaiko, called The Angel & Rajapala, which won the Balinale short film competition in 2009. It was a retelling of a Balinese fairytale narrated by Mila’s nanny. I just remember thinking, “Ok, maybe I’m not so bad at this”, and decided to keep making films. My latest was also a competition entry, for PepsiFilms at Tribeca. My short made it into the Top 10, but didn’t get any further. I’m still quite happy with the result though. I’m at the point where I really want to learn more technical aspects of film making, refine my craft, so to speak, and short films are a brilliant way to do that. There’s usually not much budget involved and I can experiment with camera angles, editing ideas etc. Although it does get a bit tiring doing all the work yourself. I’ve been very fortunate to have amazingly patient and generous friends (and Dad, can’t forget Dad) who are willing to help me with the films. My
Incoming latest project is to get a screenplay produced that I wrote last year in India. It’s a short and my first real effort at writing a fully developed script. I’ve put a lot into it and it focuses on themes that are important to me – love and patience. I want to have it produced properly and to come out with a short that can get me back to Sundance, asap! It’s now my dream to try and pull together a team that can make it happen. Then there was Life In A Day… Yes, there was Life In A Day. To date the most incredible experience I’ve had in my life. Last year, YouTube and Scott Free made a call out to the world for content shot on the 24th of July 2010. They were going to make a crowd sourced movie about a day on earth. It could be anything, about anyone, and from anywhere. It was an incredible project and they had over 80,000 entries from around the globe. I was notified a few weeks after the competition closed that my footage had been short-listed, then every few weeks after that they kept telling me that it had moved further up the shortlist. Until finally around December I received an email saying that my footage had made it into the movie, and not only that, but I was invited to go the premier…at Sundance! I screamed and danced on my bed. And I have to say, the film itself was beautiful. Kevin Macdonald (director) and Joe Walker (editor) are geniuses. Really, the only way to say it. The fact that they could pull together over 300 hundred completely random clips into something that was so emotional and powerful, not to mention have a narrative, is really impressive. I just hope I can be nearly as good of a filmmaker as they are when I grow up. So Sundance was a blast? It was just…surreal. I was among 20 filmmakers that were invited to the premier at Sundance. They flew us over and put us up for the week while we ran around doing interviews and attending press conferences. I couldn’t quite believe it was all true! I was even interviewed on ABC by John Berman. It was overwhelming, the YouTube, Google and Scott Free team were just so incredibly supportive and excited for all the filmmakers. They really did treat me like a
princess. Being at Sundance among the best indie filmmakers from around the world was so inspiring. I was rubbing shoulders with my heroes, celebrities and studio execs. At one point it was almost too much to believe that I was actually standing there chatting with the founder of YouTube. They were all really impressed with my footage of Kompiang (my housekeeper who I followed around for the day) and curious about Bali. What was it like coming back to Bali after that? I was really buzzing! I was so excited about what my future career could be and it made me completely determined to make more films. It also seemed to lead to a lot of opportunities for meeting other film industry people here. I’ve found a fantastic creative group of filmmakers living in Ubud who are really inspirational. Many people at an early age in the creative process are daunted by the prospect of raising enough funds for their work…have you experienced this? Absolutely. I have moments when I wonder if I’ll ever get my next project off the ground. Until now, I’ve made shorts that have had either no budget or very little and it hasn’t been much of a problem. But with Mermaids, I really want to get a crew together and have some decent sets, so it’s a different ball game. I’ve tried to have the project on indiegogo.com, which is a crowd-sourcing funding website, but I didn’t have much success. I raised about $600 on it, which is a lot better than nothing, but not quite enough for what I need. There are a number of grants out there, but the ones I’ve come across seem to provide only for postproduction. I’m still scratching my head as to how to raise more funds. But if it doesn’t happen then I guess I’ll just have to shoot with what I have and try to beg other creatives to lend their skill and time! What equipment are you using? I shoot everything with my Canon 7D. The quality is amazing and it allows me to use a number of different lenses so I can get a lot of different looks. Also I have my homemade shoulder rig that my boyfriend put together for me and I edit on my laptop. It’s amazing what can be achieved in the digital age! Ultimately I guess it’s a team effort… in which part
of the process do you see yourself excelling? Yes, definitely. You always hear cast and crew saying they couldn’t have done it without the team there and it’s very true. There are a thousand things that have to be done in order to pull together a great movie. I’ve tried a few different departments – art directing, wardrobe, props, editing and camera, and I really enjoyed them all. So, I’m not sure I would say I excel at it, but the role I am aiming for is definitely director. I like to have a say in every aspect of the film, from script to props, and being the director allows me that. It also means a lot more responsibility, I guess you could say the buck stops with the director, but I think I can live with it. Show business. How much ‘show’ is there, and how much ‘business’, would you say? I have a feeling that in certain productions there’s a lot more business than show. I haven’t had a lot of experience with blockbuster features so I can’t really say, but it would seem that a lot of work would have to go into securing those huge budgets. What I’ve seen of indies though, I think there’s most definitely a lot more show. A lot of passion and creativity goes into indie films, people just seem to have a lot of fun putting them together. Not to say that I wouldn’t want to direct my own blockbuster one day, I just wouldn’t want much to do with the business side of things. That’s where having a brilliant producer on side comes in. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? I would like to be directing features. A mixture of indie and mainstream/blockbusters. My dream is to one day direct a huge epic fantasy film. Something along the lines of Lord of the Rings. I’m a huge fantasy fan and the idea of world-building for screen just blows my mind. I have my favourite fantasy author and I’d love to be able to put his books to film. I’m pretty sure though that I have to get off my training wheels before I can get to that stage. Other than that, I hope I’m happy with whatever adventure life throws at me. Soma, many thanks for your time. Thank you, I’m very honoured to answer your questions.
M i l a F i tr i a a n d N o bu y u k i Naraba y a s h i ar e th e mu l t i fa c e t e d t e am b e h i n d D e s a i n 9 , c urr e n t l y p utt i n g th e i r s tam p o n th e p l a c e s w e e at , p l a y a n d l i v e . You're partners in Desain 9...tell us what you each do and how you started working together. Mila: I take care of the management work and product design. Nara takes care of everything else that’s related to design. Nara: About 10 years ago I visited Bali to source materials for a project I was working on and Mila helped me at that time. After I left the design firm Super Potato, I started my own office, Desain9, and I called her again. Where are you both from, and how did you become interested in interior design? Mila: I am from Jakarta. Nara: Tokyo. I work in all aspects of design, but my interior works often receive the most attention. What projects have you completed in Bali? Mila: We’ve designed the new-look Junction, Khaima and Indivie. We have around 10 projects underway. The Niki Club in Nasu, Japan, is one of our all-time favourite hotels in the world. Tell us about your involvement with that. Nara: I joined that particular project as an art director. I used many extraordinary materials for space components, and I intended to show them as artworks, not just architectural elements. We used bronze and iron-cast works, and I also handled all the furniture. I used a lot of Philippine and Indonesian art for the guestrooms and lobby at that time, so this project became a trigger for my interest in Indonesia. What did you learn from Super Potato designer Takashi Sugimoto? Nara: It's long story…but the key thing I learned was “Don’t design for design”. This is very important, but it would take a long time and a lot of space to go into it completely. How do you start with a project? Nara: The first thing I do is converse with the client. Then I listen to the voice of the site, make a business plan, then create my design through gradual steps. What’s your favourite material to work with? Nara: I often use recycled materials. This is one of the themes I have used for a while. What defines the designs of Desain9? Mila: We endeavour to make a design that stays in people’s minds. I don’t like
cool and stylish, forgettable design. Nara: Why do you live here, and not, say, in Tokyo or Singapore, where there may be more business? Nara: I worked in Tokyo for about 20 years, and I wanted to get away from the whole urban design race. Basically I wanted to do happy design! How do you prevent yourself from getting stuck in one style? Nara: Every project is different, from the type of client to the function of the project and the site itself. As a result each design becomes automatically different, so it's hard to get stuck. Mila: It's funny but so many of our clients, on seeing our projects, seem to wonder why all the designs are not similar at all. If you weren’t doing what you do, how would you spend your time? Mila: I can’t take time off because we’re just too busy at the moment. There’s a lot of stress. What piece of your work are you most proud of? Nara: I am proud of every project that is a success. I guess I am most proud of my design process, because so far most of my projects have enjoyed success. Tell us about your team…how important is the team to your projects? Mila: We don’t really have a fixed team, and we often make special teams for each project. Ultimately the team is very important, because the result of the project depends on who is involved, and how they work together. Do you have a personal motto or style of thinking that you live by? Nara: I say, eat a lot, drink a lot, play a lot, and work a lot! Mila: Never regret anything you do. And go shopping! What’s the most important thing about interior design, in your opinion? Nara: It’s not only about interior design. If you look at design as a commercial activity, then the client’s success in their business is the most important aspect. If you could design one thing in Bali from the ground up, what would it be? A restaurant? Golf course? Club? What’s your dream job for Bali? Mila: I would love to make a perfect gym, a place that matches me. Nara: I would like to go back 50 years and make parts of Bali from the beginning. We would create wonderful things that would attract the world. www.desain9.com
Nobuyuki Narabayashi (left) and Mila Fitria.
Sleek and neat. Pared back. Stripped of non-essential items (including, erm, brakes), fixed gear bikes and the hipsters who ride them are making a name in Bali and beyond. Words: Tony McInerheney Photos: Tom Hawkins Not long after the invention of the wheel people built bikes that went forward when you peddled forward and backwards if you peddled them back. The clock spun forward and the race of people evolved and with their rise through industrial and technological advancements the bicycle followed, undergoing many a manifestation.
Gears were added…suspension, horns, bells, mud flaps, lights…and even little computers that recorded how far you rode, blogging it at the same time to tell all and sundry about your great achievement. There was the BMX Bandits, Tour de France and of course Lance Armstrong. The people were happy with their bikes and the people rejoiced. Then a funny thing happened. A splinter group stripped off all the technology, pairing back the bike to its basics. This regression was for pure lines, bright
A hard question to answer, perhaps, but nevertheless fixed gear biking is
colours and solid materials. But there was something else.
happening. Thousands of these bikes are sold every day from New York to London
They brought something else to the form and function that
and now Bali, no longer exempt. The fixie, as fixed geared bikes are affectionately
is the fixed geared bicycle. They brought fashion.
known, has taken on a cult status. The mixture of form and function now has a
The roots of the fixed gear bicycle’s popularity are set in
big dollop of fashion.
America. Or, to be precise, the San Francisco and New York
The second question is: who are these good-looking, well-dressed kids that
City bicycle courier riders who have used their vehicles to
are riding these bikes? More than slightly reminiscent of the style of the American
weave in and out of traffic for the last 30 years. If you need
Jazz scene and the look of the Mods in London, this new breed of two-wheeled
convincing, take a look at the 1986 movie Quicksilver, one of
hipsters are sporting stovepipes, fitted T's, open check shirts
Kevin Bacons’ first, in which all of the courier riders gather in
and low cut shoes. The discernible difference to this observer is
a rear alley to show off their skills at balancing and juggling their bodies and bikes over
the absence of the scooter, although I have seen a few officiates
asphalt. Strangely enough, the same scene can be witnessed on no particular night in
here that have those as well.
different parts of Bali. Goes to show that not much has changed.
Sleek and neat. Paired back. Both bike and rider are broken
Plagiarism is apparently one of the greatest forms of flattery, and many have since
down to the basics. Non-essential items, even the brakes, which
emulated their heroes of the silver screen. The whole sub culture of fixed gear biking
I always thought fell into that ‘essential’ category, have been
throws out some interesting questions: firstly, why would you ride a bicycle that doesn't
removed. Once the purity of the bike has been established, the
have brakes, doesn't go up hills very well and, because the peddles move when ever
form can take several manifestations. Trick bars, track frames,
the wheels do, goes down hill even worse?
crank sets, seats, hubs, rims and tires. An array of colours and finishes. Laminated cards decorate the spokes, badges of honour earned at various meets. More importantly, why am I so hooked? I am a surfer and biker and never been much of a bicycle rider, so why now? Between us, I wouldn’t be…had there been any Lycra involved. So is it the fashion? Fashion does seem to be a big part of the culture. The riders are often referred to as hipsters, and a quick check of Wikipedia tells us this is “…a slang term that first appeared in the 1940s, and was revived in the 1990s and 2000s to describe types of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with interests in indie rock and independent film.” Looking at that I am happy to say, yes, I like the idea of being bundled into a group of educated people that are able to make reasonably sound decisions. However, Rob Horning, in his 2009 article for the w, entitled “The Death
It's a hipster thing.
Feature of the Hipster”, wrote: “Hipsters reduce the particularity of anything you might be curious about or invested in into the same dreary common denominator of how 'cool' it is perceived to be.” While this may come over as negative, I do not see it as so. Has he missed the minimalistic movement? Wasn’t their mantra pretty much the same? Actually, when applied to the fixed gear bicycle, it does go some ways to explaining the attraction of the sparse and somewhat uniform look of the bikes. Other social observers, such as Arsel and Thompson, have described the hipster culture as nothing more than a myth, the coming together of all of the current running stereotypes in order to generate a gestalt which helps us to understand – but more importantly – to pigeon hole the idea of ‘cool’. This makes it easier of course to market the indie culture as a whole, rather than any one specific group of people within it. The problem for marketers is that if you really want to get under the skin of a hipster, all you have to do is call him or her a hipster. Hipsters have been dismissed so often and by so many that perhaps it’s time we coined a new term to describe the group of people that are fixie riders. They say that everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don't care, but looking around, especially here in Bali, it’s something that can be attributed to most others…in art, or skating, and even bikers. What’s all the fuss about boys and girls in skinny jeans anyway? And what’s the scene like in other parts of Asia? Being a relative newcomer to the fixed gear world it’s possibly a reach to make too many sweeping conclusions, but those places in which I have seen fixies – Singapore and Bali – are very different in their approach to the movement. The former is of course a place where money talks, where you find a veritable “who’s who” of metal. Names like Cineli and Bianchi, Look and Leader and many more that have been synonymous with bicycles through many manifestations are now very prevalent in the fixed scene. They are joined by others such as Geekhouse, Volume, Eighth Inch and our very own Deus ex Machina through their DeusCYCLEWORKS® brand. Bali, on the other hand, is a place where kids are finding old 10-speed frames or antique Dutch cruisers, stripping off the paraphernalia, painting them up in the backyard, sliding on deep V rims and fixed hubs…and riding. That’s not to say that you do not find name brands here…you do. And what is really exciting about the local scene – and what sets it off against other markets – is the mix of socioeconomic backgrounds that have this common thread. It transcends background, wealth, religion, age and culture. Javanese kids, Balinese girls, American wheelies, white kids, Malaysians, Sumatran groovers, middle class, rich and poor…this is the very real slice of riders that meet, rain or shine, to tear along Denpasar highways and dodge along Sanur or Kuta paths. The common thread is the bikes, the fashion, the banter and, of course, the ride.
Travel Nightscape unrivalled.
Ph o t o s : D . H um p T e x t: J u l e s
It's the free-wheeling centre of SouthEast Asia and a drinking town to boot. Hong Kong has come a long way since the prehandover days of imperial arrogance and white domination. Today it rests on its hardwon laurels as a city that vibrates to the beat of an ecletic international rhythm.
Travel Many before me have had a Hong Kong experience of course – I believe everyone should. Mine started right from the airplane doors when friends invited me to join them for dinner at the China Club. Located on the top three floors of what used to be the old Bank of China Building, just across the harbour from Kowloon, this is famously a membersonly club, but if you are looking for a way in don’t try to find a back door or service elevator – most upscale hotels can acquire a reservation for you, given a few days notice. As I walked through the doors it was easy to imagine what it must have been like in 1930’s Shanghai – from the ornate silverware to the elaborate tea and noodle ceremonies, the attention to detail here is immaculate, and old world. There’s an unrivalled collection of modern Chinese art that fills the walls, and sculptures spread throughout the corridors. One of the pieces that left its mark was a pair of leather brogues that looked like they were made for a man five meters tall. Big shoes to fill indeed. Hong Kong is all about the view, many people will tell you that. Skyscrapers tower over the harbour, and after a great meal we ended our night by enjoying a drink on the outdoor terrace overlooking the stunning cityscape that has become the mark of this curious and vibrant city. I bid my friends good night and headed back to my room at the nearby Fleming Hotel. This urban lifestyle pad is a perfect place for a short stay on Hong Kong island, situated as it is close to the Convention & Exhibition Center and some great shopping and nightlife choices, all within five minutes of the lobby door. There were more surprises ahead: as I ascended to my room, I mistakenly got off on the wrong floor. Straight away the odour of elegant perfumes wafted into the lift, and I could tell this was no ordinary level in the hotel. I got out, curious to see what was going on, and I walked straight into what the hotel calls “Her Space”, filled with foot massage machines, beauty care products and all the current popular fashion magazines. My curiousity piqued, I lit up all the floor buttons in the elevator looking for “His Space.” When I finally found it I wasn’t disappointed. The floor was filled with gaming consoles, from the Playstation 3 to Xbox 360 and Wii. It also included a golf putting green alongside an iPod dock entertainment system, men’s magazines and an extensive DVD library. I don’t mind admitting I spent the next couple
Aberdeen or bust.
Travel HK junkage.
of hours enjoying the plethora of testosterone-fueled time killers on offer. I awoke the next morning late and groggy, and in need of local colour. After visiting the China Club, I wanted to go a little more basic with my food choice, so after a recommendation from the staff in the lobby I headed for the streets to find some good dim sum. In Wan Chai there is a multitude of open-air street food cafés, offering more dim sum dishes than your heart could desire. I found my particular venue, had my feed and whilst sitting back satisfied, realized why this cuisine has been part of the country’s food staple for hundreds of years. With my belly full and my schedule empty, I aimed to experience some of Hong Kong’s famed sights. After hearing from some friends about a massive fish market, I was curious and headed for the Tung Choi district. A quick cab ride through front and back streets and I found myself standing on the curb looking at what seemed to be a huge wall of goldfish in plastic bags. Confused, I asked the vendor if I was in the right place. He told me that all these fish were destined to be pets, but the market I was looking for was not far away. Somewhat relieved that the goldfish were safe and sound (as much as one can be in a plastic bag), I made another cab ride to the Lei Yu Mun Fish Market. From the first step out of the taxi, I knew I was in the right place. The smell of a fish market is of course unique and this particular example was quite overwhelming on the senses. I entered through one of the many alleyways that led deep into the market’s heart. It really is a sight to see, wall-to-wall stalls housing any and every thing that constitutes seafood in the Chinese mind. Every colour, shape, species and size existed somewhere in that market. I squeezed through crowded footpaths for an hour, and couldn’t help but realize that some of the fish around me had more space in their tanks than I had on the path. I searched for a way out, and after a couple of encounters that were lost in translation, and wrestling a giant crab for a photo…I escaped. I headed across town with my sights on the harbour. I'd been told that the Star ferry was one of the easiest ways to get from Wan Chai to Kowloon, and I was more than happy to try something that didn’t involve traffic. As the ferry pulled into port, the first thing that struck me was the feeling that this mode of transport had not changed much over the years. In fact much of Hong Kong feels like that. Modern and sleek in many parts, it retains an antique charm that borders on romantic. Deck
boys lowered and raised the docking bridge by hand to the sound of a school bell; even the lettering on the side of the vessel reminded me of some nearly forgotten past. Yet the spotlessly clean ship really did offer a quieter, faster and cheaper way to cross from Hong Kong island to Kowloon and the mainland. At around 30 cents per crossing, it rivals even the cheapest motorcycle and taxi options and offers one of the best uninterrupted views of this majestic city. A must-do for any visitor. I left the ferry with a clear head and went to find a locale for an evening cocktail and snack. I’d heard about a restaurant called Sevva, so I asked directions and received some vague hand signals for my trouble. I surprised even myself when I arrived without any bother, and I headed straight to the 360-degree outdoor terrace to enjoy a drink and look over the bustling city below. The restaurant’s wine collection was immense, but I was much more interested in their cocktail menu. Besides having some of the best on the island, Sevva hosts one of the most spectacular views of the world famous Light and Sound symphony on the bay. I was lucky enough to arrive just in time for the night’s show. The light show was an amazing visual experience, lasting over ten minutes and including more than 40 buildings in the array. Rated by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s largest permanent light and sound show”, the dazzle takes place every night at precisely 20:00 on both sides of Victoria Harbour. It’s a definite must-see for anyone who passes through Hong Kong’s splendid midst...indeed there's a lot to experience in Hong Kong. I spent the rest of the evening among some of the regulars, most of whom looked as if they had come straight from the office, some still talking shop. Satisfied with my day in Hong Kong I pulled myself up from the ridiculously comfortable lounger on the roof deck and got a cab back to The Fleming. Whether you’re a jet-setting business mogul or a backpacker succumbing to wanderlust, Hong Kong is a place of wonder in the playground that is Asia. Checking almost every box, its streets and districts offer a plethora of culture and craziness alike. Just a week within ‘The Pearl of the Orient’ offers time aplenty for sight-seeing, fine dining and explorations into art and entertainment. And then there's the X-factor, which Hong Kong has in spades. It’s difficult to express perhaps, but Hong Kong has what other Asian destinations lack. Style, energy (to the point of mayhem), and a unique sense of itself. Old and new together in historic embrace, married at the hip by money, mystique and myth. www.thefleming.com
This page: Lights fantastic. Top left and down: Kung-fu kid; Fishy; The fabulous Fleming Hotel.
Photographer: D.Hump Models: Maria Agnes and Fa' Empel Stylist: Fa' Empel Assistant stylist: Georgina Solomon
On Fa', left: Levi's denim jacket, BlackHeart lace crop top, vintage denim pants, Pawaka boots, Ernte beartooth silver necklace at sks and vintage hat stylist's own. On Agnes: Phillip Lim glasses, Pawaka top, One Teaspoon denim shirt, Alexia Blake denim shorts, BlackHeart shoes and Nafsu earring at sks.
Pawaka power suit, One Teaspoon bikini top, Jeffrey Campbel heels, Johnny Ramli rings at sks and Sly pork pie hat.
Danjyo Hiyoji long dress and Pawaka earring.
Left: BlackHeart jumpsuit, Lasskaa boots, Nafsu earrings at sks, and Mogil bracelets. This page: BlackHeart dress, Lasskaa shoes, and Sly earrings. Chairs available at sks.
On Fa': Alexander Wang eyewear and Alexia Blake denim shorts. On Agnes: Alexander Wang eyewear and Lasskaa vintage shorts. Mini polaroid camera at This is a Love Song shop.
On Agnes: Lasskaa vintage short and Sass & Bide belt. Mini polaroid camera at This is a Love Song shop.
American Apparel leotard, Lasskaa dress, creepers shoes and turban stylist's own.
On Fa': Shadow & Dust leather pants at sks, BlackHeart vest and X- sml hat. On Agnes: Karen Walker skull necklace, Ernte bear tooth silver necklace at sks, BlackHeart leather short, Alexander Wang bra, Shadow & Dust leather top at sks and Vintage hat stylist's own.
Part of the all-new W Retreat and Spa in Seminyak, W’s exclusively developed 'Away' Spa brand is pioneering in more ways than one – as Katie Truman discovered. THERE’s a few firsts that come with W Hotel’s Away Spa in Seminyak: it’s the only W facility worldwide to incorporate the company’s new detox-refuel concept; it’s open 24/7 and it's the first Away Spa operating W’s signature “Whatever/Whenever” service, offering guests whatever they want, whenever they want it. With just four W Retreats globally, this Bali retreat is also the largest – evident, given the ground-floor space it occupies covers a whopping 1,500sqm.
Spa With just seven treatment rooms, the spaciousness speaks for itself, and it allows more room for cutting-edge facilities, of which there are many. Best of all, it’s probably the only hotel spa that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Much more than ‘just a spa’, this fabulous space is all about fun: an escape within an escape…and W’s way of whisking you off to another stratosphere. More super-slick urban than beachfront retreat, Away’s all-white, sleek and futuristic-style interiors resemble a vast spaceship. Beside the ocean, water and fluidity are recurring themes, with details like speckled aquamarine floor-lights mimicking wave patterns and water reflections on floor-to-ceiling windows creating constant movement. Spacious ensuite treatment rooms cover three singles with meditation platforms, two doubles with vitality baths and two privately accessed suites, providing wet and dry treatment areas. Innovative ideas include plugging-in your own iPod in the Away docks and floor monitor screens that display flick-through calming photographs (as opposed to floating flowers, yawn) visible through the headrest hole. Set aside enough time to indulge in all the lavish, inclusive facilities available. Pre-treatment, male and female locker rooms incorporate a decadent wet area, with hot stone bath and cold plunge pool (alternated for maximum benefit) as well as hamam and individual rainforest showers. Through white sliding doors, next stop is the Detox Oxygen Room, which uncannily resembles a set from Star Trek (I half-expected Captain Kirk to pop-up). The ultimate in body preparation, inhale pure fresh oxygen through individual masks, while leisurely flicking through the glossies. And post-treatment, come up for air in the Decompression Room; a chic, sunshine-filled lounge where comfy sofas, health-giving juices and chilled sounds complete the relaxing debriefing.
Treatments are exclusively custom-made for W Bali. Don’t expect to find the usual suspects here: instead, traditional Asian therapies and techniques are all shook-up to create a totally unique menu of recharging, reinvigorating treatments. Spa products are also specifically designed for Bali’s Away menu, custom-blended to match individual treatments and made from fresh, organic natural ingredients, on sale at their store (called, rather nicely, Retail Therapy). Three sublime menus reflect different moods and personalities: Serene + Soulful (quiet passionate soul that delights in imagination and seduction); Fit + Fabulous (healthy and sexy mortal that delights in action, strength and young at heart) and Glamour + Glitz (magnificent and dazzling being that which basks in limelight, splendour and romance). Quite. These correspond with Massage and Bodyworks, plus Preludes, a 10-minute warm-up complimentary for any treatment, featuring Wushu (breathing and stretching), Tantric (meditation) and Warrior (Indonesian martial-arts). Menu highlights include aptly-named ‘Over The Top’ Bodyworks, featuring diamond dust polish and 24k gold wrap; ‘Zen Balancing’ Massage with heated bamboo and the signature ‘Well-Healed Massage’, combining ancient healing techniques with warmed fresh ginger packs – recommended for soothing away stresses. The SHHHH selection offers sensuous Balinese-derived treatments for men and women, like ‘Hot Mama’ for new mommies, plus there are facials and a la carte options. Multi-hour, decadent ‘Be Merry’ Packages include checklists that cover drinks from the bar. Yes, you read correct, there’s a bar in the spa. And why not? Chill Bar rewards all that good work with a glass of whisky, champagne, or a cocktail (try the ‘Diva Quaranta’) as well as naughty nibbles, like Tasmanian oysters, tailor-made to specific personalities.
The spa is entered via a contemporary-style wishing well, but Away goes one step further to making glamour pusses’ dreams come true, with elements of Hollywood-style, play-role escapism (that’s if you’re not already a celeb). The glitzy Salon is perfect for pre-event glamming-up and hen parties, with ‘Red carpet manis / pedis’ (Bolly optional). Locker Rooms feature vanity mirrors bulb-lit like Lady GaGa’s back-stage dressing room, while Glam Package ‘Tried and Trended’ spoils you with a day-long movie-star makeover and photoshoot. As the entire Away complex is open 24/7 (including Sweat, W’s hi-tech workout suite), treatments and facilities are available round-the-clock, accommodating anyone at anytime: from jet-lagged jetsetters and stressed-out execs to partygoers needing to wind-down after a long playful night, or those refueling for the next one (signature ‘Away Massage: Morning After’ magically covers both states). Away aims to be a one-stop playground; not only for treatments but for multiple elements combined – drink, eat, hamam, oxygen, fitness and more – in which, whoever you are, you can indulge, relax and enjoy for as long as you like. In this spa, you can do anything you want to do – provided of course, it’s legal.
Spa Your mission, should you choose to accept, is indulging in Prana Spa At the Villa’s opulent new Private Suite.
By Katie Truman
There’s lavish and then there’s lavish. And then there’s Prana Spa’s new Private Suite, which converts indulgence into an art form. And that’s saying something for Seminyak and indeed, Prana, one of Bali’s most sumptuous day spas, with a sensational riot of Moroccan and 16th century Rajasthan-inspired design, decor and ambience. Conceived as a totally separate and very private spa area, with its own dedicated team of four staff (including butler) and exclusive Package Menu, magnificent Private Suite is fantasy-land, stuff of legends – literally. Both the suite and sessions themselves transport you on a magic carpet ride (okay, complementary private car transfer) to an exotic, ancient world of Arabian Nights, Nile Kings and Queens and mysterious Persian fables. Led through by our personal therapist (attired like an extra from a Sinbad movie), my jaw drops as we enter a dimly-lit chamber of elaborate hand-painted drapes and murals, freeform bath resembling a giant clam – bedecked with 20,000 or so dark gold glass tiles – Moroccan lanterns and delicately stenciled, Arabian-style glass ceiling. Modern touches however stretch to iPod dock for personalized sounds, massage tables and telephone directly linked to the butler, on-call to attend to your every whim (not sure about peeling grapes though). The multiple treatment, Package Menu includes ‘Eastern Mystique’ (180 minutes), featuring ancient Middle-eastern healing traditions like ‘Black Moroccan Herbal Bath; ’Sinbad’s Seven Voyages to Health’ (270 minutes) sets sail on a quest to health, with sea-based therapies like Royal La Mer Facial; Arabian-nights charged, ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ (300 minutes) takes another angle with Karma Sutra yoga sessions – and the fourth, ‘Jewels of the Nile,’ is detailed below. A luxurious signature, all Private Suite massage oils come infused with 24k gold – centuries-renowned for its therapeutic and stimulating properties, including improvement of skin elasticity – as well as 100 per cent pure essential oils. Additionally, treatments conclude with a glass of red or white wine and selected canapés. Based on two people, the Private Suite and Package Menu are perfect ‘us-time’ for mothers and daughters, giggly girlfriends (like for this article assignment), special significant other, or your very own Marc Anthony. But really, it’s so the couples and honeymooner’s sensuous getaway. As well as
Package Menu, there’s also A La Carte Rituals: these all feature ‘Gold Infused Royal Massage’ (1.5 hours), plus allotted private time use, from half-hour to 3.5 hours, whereby you are totally left alone together in the suite – which also features candles, silkdraped bed, double tropical-rain shower and ahem, sound-proofed walls. In fact, your only interruption to soaking, feasting and chillin’ may be dialingup your butler, requesting him to bring forth a bottle of Champagne, or adding in an individual treatment lifted from the Package Menu, such as ‘Marrakesh Foot and Leg Massage.’ For this mission, the popular ‘Jewels of the Nile’ seemed most suitable, with my name – and Cleopatra’s – scrawled all over it; 240 minutes of beautification and pampering befitting a Queen of the Nile. First things first, with traditional-style ‘Egyptian Foot Cleansing,’ then extravagant ‘Gold Infused Royal Massage,’ with 24k gold blended with my personal choice of alang alang and mandarin essential oils. This then seamlessly all blurs into aligning my chakras, with my therapist placing selected heated precious gemstones on my energy centres to ignite positive energy flow. The sensational Genuine Pearl Facial, with pure pearl powder, followed by Crown Therapy, with warmed rosemary essential oil soothingly massaged into my scalp and hair, all contribute to Cleopatra-like glossy locks and luminous, pearl-white skin. Finally, the shell-like bath is transformed into an indulgent Jacuzzi for a legendary Cleopatra Milk Bath. I halfhoped a Roman centurion would come in and fan me, but at least there’s no nasty asp snakes lurking around. And we do have other distractions; namely tasty canapés and chilled glass of wine, left by our butler to savour in the half-hour designated for private bathing time. After four hours, I emerge smoothed, oiled, blissfully relaxed and as you’d expect of royalty, speckled with gold dust and pearl powder. I really should be floating down the Nile on my private Felucca bound for Alexandria and my foreign lover. Instead, fantasies well and truly over, I must waft back down to er, Legian, of all places (and by motorbike!), with not a Roman centurion in sight. And looking and feeling totally fabulous, where’s Marc Anthony when you need him? Private Suite at Prana Spa at The Villas; open 10am10pm, daily: reservations: 0361 734 757 www.pranaspabali.com Yak Map W.10
n e s t e t i q u e Katrina Valkenburg visits new clinic Nestetique, which offers an impressive range of specialist beauty treatments.
Tighter, lighter, brighter, whiter, younger – after you reach a certain age, that’s what we all want. Most of us also don’t want to have to expend too much energy to achieve it. So, being of that certain age, when asked whether I’d like to try out a new clinic called Nestetique, I jumped at the opportunity. Located in Istana Kuta Galleria, this hyper modern clinic covers three floors on a very visible corner. Equipped with the most modern technology available in the world today, with names like icoone, Alluma, Huniq, Hipulse, Cultra, Galileo and JetPeel, owner Marica Celotto is confident that she’s hit on a winning formula. Whether it’s cellulite, wrinkles, hair loss, drooping eyelids, skin spots, stretch marks, acne, water retention, firming, toning, contouring, detox-ing, peeling or just for pampering, this is THE place to go in Bali for specialised treatment. Having taken a close look at my visage, I was whisked upstairs to begin my treatment starting with a jet peel of the face. The machine employed was a high-
tech facial peeling system called JetPeel that uses only air or oxygen and saline micro-droplets accelerated to supersonic speeds to remove dead or dry skin followed by an infusion of oxygen and vitamins for rejuvenation. Tick that box and upstairs I went for the next treatment. This time it was with the Huniq, a device combining two technologies: phototherapy and direct micro-vibrations, with the aim of stimulating, increasing structural densification and energizing the skin deep down. Eye-glasses on and a robotic arm was raised over and very close to my face and on went the red LED. It took a few moments to relax but a leg and arm massage took my attention off the light flashing and the time sped by. On completion of these two treatments, I looked in the mirror and to my amazement, the crows feet, my deep laugh lines and my very deep frown lines had all but disappeared…okay, they’re still there but they’re very markedly less obvious. But here comes the really brilliant bit of the story. Marica asked whether I’d like to try the icoone, a truly 21st century robot that targets wrinkles, loose skin,
cellulite, localised fat and, in my case, water retention. Having disrobed, I was handed a stretch body stocking (very attractive!) and we then spoke of what area of my body I’d like to concentrate on – well that’s a big call – the entire body, actually. But I chose the contour-less ankles and the ever so contoured stomach. Two robotic arms with suction appendages were moved gently over my entire bod for the first 20 minutes and then a singular arm worked on my focus areas for another 20 minutes. Aside from having to excuse myself from a lunch the day after on five separate occasions for a wee break, the treatment was completely painless and enjoyable. It’s usually recommended as a course of between 10 to 15 sessions for a complete treatment cycle, however, I can categorically say that my ankles are back and I don’t feel the need to cover them up anymore. How long it will last I’m not sure, but as soon as my legs and feet look as one again, I’ll be hotfooting it back to Nestetique. www.nestetique.com Yak Map E.11
The most modern technology available in the world today. 129
A Villa in
Newontheblock A new wave of boutique resorts shows that Bali just keeps getting it right in terms of style, global trends and divine comfort, writes Katie Truman.
1O1 Legian The 1O1 Legian looks like something straight out of Seminyak – and suspiciously like The Haven. And you’re right, as Legian’s latest stylish offering is actually its sister hotel. Up the escalator to the first-floor, open-sided lobby lounge – expansive with cocktail bar and daybeds overlooking Jalan Raya Legian – and 1O1 is indeed a ‘smart, stylish experience.’ Designed by the Maya Resort team, this modern minimalist whipper-snapper also underlines the ‘smart choice for savvy travelers’ concept. Accommodating a mid-scale market, 1O1 aims to provide value for money with five-star attitude. The 197 well-equipped rooms reveal individual colour coordination and sparkly bathrooms, but advanced features run to one-stop guest service centre, VFR airconditioning that automatically adjusts to individual body heat and guest areas solely accessible by security passes. There’s also a 22m infinity glass Skypool (providing voyeuristic sights from street level), and spa, gym and F+B outlets on the evolving lower floors. 1O1’s beauty is that it’s within staggering distance (er, literally), of Kuta-Legians’ nightspots, – so bon viveurs don’t miss out. But they can also escape the madcap streets: marketed separately, the entire fourth floor is given over to a vast, open-air terrace, revealing sensational sea and cityscape views. Partly-covered Dine and Music Lounge and Skybar offer a mixologist-concocted array of cocktails, international cuisine, weekly live
music and resident DJs spinning chill-out sounds. A lower Skydeck provides additional daybeds and cabanas overlooking the third-floor Skypool. 1O1’s aim to put Legian back on the map doesn’t seem such a tall order. www.the101bali.com Yak Map D.12 Amadea Resort and Villas, Seminyak You’d think there wouldn’t be any room left in downtown Seminyak to build a broom cupboard let alone a smart new resort. But Amadea Resort and Villas unveils itself not just on standing-room-only ‘Eat Street’ but also within a massive 7,500sqm. Their ‘oasis in the heart of Seminyak’ sales pitch could be classed as cliché, but this really does sum-up Amadea well. With a broad choice of accommodation types, it’s ideal for those wanting to be in the thick of Seminyak’s shenanigans and near the beach (ten minutes stroll) yet recover in a calm urban space. Managed by Prime Plaza Hotels and Resorts, which covers Bali Dynasty, boutique Amadea provides both the definitive Seminyak experience and Balinese hospitality. The 100-room resort includes 86 rooms of three categories and seven double-storey pool villas that blend self-contained living with discerning back-up services. Six two-bedroom villas all interconnect – perfect for groups – while the private four-bedroom villa suits families. At the resort rear, surprisingly vast gardens contain a pair of accommodation wings
Venting In A Villa Semara. Right: Amedea.
framing two lap pools: highlights of which are three lavish, stand-alone rooftop suites incorporating traditional-style wood exteriors and similar-style, rooftop spa. Reflecting the neighbourhood, rooms are contemporary chic and filled with creature comforts (flat screen TVs, DVD players, et al): however, by paring down unnecessary frills (mini-bar contents, butler service, etc,) Amadea can offer savvy guests value for money. Street-front and independently-managed Batu Kali Bistro provides excellent F+B services, which extend to inclusive breakfasts, 24-hour room service and in-villa catering. www.amadeabali.com Yak Map R.8 Semara Resort and Spa, Petitenget Book-ended by W Hotel and Hu’u on increasingly happening Jalan Petitenget, this small, Australian-managed resort carries a big mentality. Semara Resort and Spa’s facilities come Texan-sized – no coincidence that most are stand-outs in their own right. There’s a great sense of space, calm and natural simplicity – with stone floors, woods, water elements, etc – in the contemporary-style design and rooms. So no surprise Semara emphasizes wellness, with hi-tech gym, 25m pool and sensational spa – the only one worldwide using Miranda Kerr’s exclusive organic spa products. Ten treatment rooms include dedicated spaces for Chill Out and Thai massage. Complimentary guest activities cover yoga and meditation sessions in the garden pavilion, guided beach walks and early morning lap-pool training. Another focus is family, from 44 interconnecting superior rooms with kid-friendly sofas, to kid’s pool and dining en famille at Georgies Pool-bar and Restaurant (try the wood-fired oven pizzas). Cubby House however is surely the largest,
best equipped kiddy’s club you’re ever likely to deposit your offspring at. A welcome addition to Seminyak’s culinary options, Atrium restaurant-bar is a stunningly designed space with its own entrance; vast, Zen and with sublime good taste, cuisine is modern Australian, utilizing fresh, locally-sourced produce. Signature cocktails, gourmet bar nibbles and home-made pastries however balance the wholesomeness. Like elsewhere, style and casual family living merge seamlessly. Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak, tel: 0361 847 6661/ www.semararesorts.com / www. semaraseminyak.com Yak Map N.5 Ametis Villa, Canggu Amongst rice fields and minutes from the surf – but not too far from Seminyak’s livelier numbers – Ametis Villa is one of Canggu’s new wave of upscale resorts. Luxurious yet lowkey, this one-off Canggu gem contains just 14 pool villas – thirteen one-bedroom villas and one three-bedroom. With privacy and space paramount, the generous-sized, highwalled sanctuaries are set well apart in 7500sqm grounds. Named after precious stones, semi open-sided villas reveal classically stylish interiors of premium materials, sensuous bathrooms and gadget-indulgent kitchens. Several villas interconnect by James Bondstyle, secret sliding garden walls. Uber-contemporary and deluxe, trad Balinese references however include batik padded headboards. Three-bedroom Sapphire is the crown jewel. Resembling a massive tree-house – albeit sumptuous – this double-storey timbered villa features mezzanine-level overflow pool, upper-deck with open-air lounge-dining and
A Villa in
kitchen and palatial master suite. Although providing five-star standards, Ametis concept is a welcoming home – albeit not so family-orientated – cleverly balancing sophistication with genuine hospitality. There’s no reception; guests are whisked through the whimsical-style lobby lounge for private villa check-in (returning later for cocktails). Personable service is a highlight, from 24/7 butlers assigned to individual villas, to chef whipping-up gourmet requests in guest kitchens, while complimentary inclusions cover personal mobile phones, private beach club, refrigerators crammed with goodies and tandem bicycles; Sapphire provides an on-call driver and car. Ruby Spa and Eternal Bar-Restaurant are matching-standard facilities – with its own street entrance and yummy, home-style local cuisine, Eternal is already a Canggu stand-out. www.ametisvilla.com Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa One of Seminyak’s originals, the first resort armed with the ‘Seminyak’ mantle and nearly two decades of repute, that still wasn’t good enough. Facing stiffer competition (sandwiched twixt Ku Dé Ta and The Legian, no less), this four-star boutique was completely demolished two years ago. This year, The Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa
rises from the ashes as a swankier five-star with upgraded services and state-of-art facilities. Along Seminyak’s quieter beachfront, 107 accommodation options features spacious beach wing rooms, suites with Jacuzzi baths, 11 villas, allowing you to fall out of bed straight into a private pool, and two top-floor penthouses with private boardroom. Across the street, the garden wing provides additional guestrooms. Spanking new facilities comprise soothing spa, wedding pavilion, wave-caressed infinity-edge pool and open-air sunset lounge– seafront with sunken bar and daybeds. Despite all the modern luxuries, The Seminyak aims to preserve the traditional traits of Bali’s yesteryear resorts. Lovely gardens merging with the Indian Ocean are a big selling point, landscaped with thatched bales, water elements, Mount Agung boulders and fragrant trees, while guestrooms incorporate richly carved woods. Of course, it’s also about location, location, location. At Seminyak’s epicentre, with a slew of fabulous wining-dining spots on your doorstep, a pebble throw from Ku De Ta, this would tempt the most pious Gods. Yet, partying accomplished, The Seminyak welcomes with a blissful retreat, where the only din in earshot is constantly pounding surf. www.theseminyak.com
Yak Map N.8
Over The Edge
h t r o UPn Bali to Paris or just head north…
A GREAT wave of artistic experimentation hit Bali in the 1920s, when Bali’s famous Gamelan Gong Kebyar morphed from the classic gamelan into a new, frenzied style courtesy of Buleleng’s Gede Manik. From there it traveled to Ubud to Peliatan and even tripped across the ocean into the Paris Exposition of 1931, provoking “profuse responses from Artaud, Cocteau, Milhaud and a host of other auds and eaus of the Paris intelligentsia…” (Michael Tenzer’s Hidden History of Gamelan Gong Kebyar). Previous and post this musical visit to Paris, Singaraja and Bali’s northern coast was host to numerous artists, sculptors and globe trotters looking to escape from the drudgery of the First World War and various ‘depressions’…now, pre and post the rise of Kuta, we too are all trying to escape the drudgery of the traffic, the unbridled building and the shocking roads. What do we wish to exchange it for we might ask? The real Bali? That depends if you prefer scenic roads of rice paddies, coconut groves and clove plantations with waterfalls, bathing pools, hot springs and spangled black beaches to a less-than-iced cocktail with dubious alcoholic content served in a Martini glass as is prevalent in the Legian heartlands of today. Will it be pristine snorkeling and diving, riding and trekking or do you prefer a challenging walk along a hot, dusty and less than mended pavement? Will you choose quiet temples, mountainous views, and verdant roads or will the hot and cold Sushi on tap with a plethora of boutiques be what you are searching for?
The sun rises - The Menjangan Resort
Over The Edge In a Matahari frame of mind.
Bedding down at The Damai.
Over The Edge
Don’t get me wrong there are cocktails up north too! Very nice ones. Just as there are luxury boutique hotels, sweet little restaurants and temples steeped in history. Lots for the culturally active tourist to do. The marine enthusiast and the lie-by-the-pool literate. Peace and quiet is bliss and Buleleng tops the list. Stretching along a vast swathe of the north coast of Bali – think Gilimanuk to almost Amed – the region encompasses the old capital of Bali Singaraja, still vibrant yet delightfully faded. Here the Royal Palace (built in 1604), the Lontar museum – ancient scripts in Sanskrit written on palm leaves denoting mantras and medicinal cures as well as epic stories of yore and ‘just’ ways to govern – rub shoulders with a rare Chinese Buddhist temple, mosques and a former shipyard. It bustles with eclectic architecture, colonial Dutch, Chinese, Arabic and of course, today’s less-than-visuallypleasing style of building. Travel west to Lovina, a quaint fishing village turned tourist spot with its black sand beaches, dolphin tours, a variety of starred and lesser starred over night options and possibly my favourite warung ever – Aria. I have said enough with giving you the name! In the foothills behind Lovina is the lesser known but globally popular Damai Resort – where the food is definitely worth turning off the main drag for. Totally romantic villa-ettes gaze over the sea view approximately 10 kms out of town. Romantic couples laze around a pool reading books in a number of languages and sleep in cute and chic wooden and stone villas. The well tarmac-ed, beautifully tree-lined road heads in a westerly direction – past Buleleng’s famous grape-growing region - home to Hattens vineyards, where our favourite, locally grown accolade to Bacchus is grown – on to Java passing by two of The Yak’s favourite pensions, which have been putting north Bali on the map for quite a few years now. First is Matahari Beach Resort and Spa, Relais and Chateaux-standard no less and a cultural delight in all things Bali. The architecture, the landscaping, the statues. A reverence has been gifted to the layout, the spaciousness and to tradition – sorely missing on the southern side of these mountains. The food is deserving of the Relais and Chateaux name with the Matahari staff topping the icing on the proverbial cake of luxe. The rooms are delightfully comfortable and sport the best outdoor shower I have ever come across, and I believe I have come across a few. The mouth a stone carved Bali dragon spouts forth fresh spring water that probably tracks down the nearby verdant mountainside – I feel I will never look a rain shower with the same respect again. Neighbouring Matahari Beach Resort and Spa is a personal favourite, the unique shabby chic retreat that is Puri Ganesha – Bali’s most secret beachfront hideaway. Exceptionally designed by the ever-effervescent Diana von Cranach, these four private villas are exactly that, private and resemble
something even more stylish than can be seen in the pages of Architectural Digest. Here the food spoils with ‘rawfull’ goodness and the Bloody Marys are so out of this world that they, like the globally recognized gamelan of today, should also make the global tour to Paris and beyond. And so also beyond runs the road, heading west into the Bali Barat National Park and into The Menjangan Resort now run by Luxury Lifestyle Retreats. Set on no less than 382 hectares of pristine parkland, the resort has gone through a complete and expansion refurbishment (with newly added beachfront joglos) and is not only a haven for wildlife – both above and below the sea – but also for travelers. Once you reach here you will probably have found what you are looking for. Nature, peace and quiet. A massive estate to walk, bike or ride around (they stable 16 well-kept horses). Bird walks, diving, snorkeling, the everromantic picnic. Or if you want to stick closer to what you know, drink and dine in The Bali Tower – a jungle-monument of understated luxury that hosts the restaurant and lounge and features excellent Mediterranean cuisine. Alternatively head down to the Azure beach bar with beanbags, sun beds for cocktails and move on to Pantai restaurant for an excellent barbeque and a quick paddle in their see-through mini boats. So all in all, the north is the new Bali, or is it the original Bali? Or just the best of Bali? Whatever it is maybe, just maybe, you’ll have found just what you are looking for.
How to get there: Via Tabanan and Bedugul or Antosari and Pupuan. Driving time: 3 to 4 hours of stunning countryside. Recommended places to stay: www.matahari-beach-resort.com www.puriganesha.com www.thedamai.com www.themenjangan.com Outstanding: A Royal Sultanate Spa treatment at Puri Ganesha. Book a private waterfall through Matahari Beach Resort in the foothills of Singaraja – yes, you can charter your own waterfall! (Massage bale and WC on site). Horse Riding at The Menjangan Resort. Snorkel The Wall off Menjangan Island. Enjoy the drive along the tree-lined, immaculately tarmac-ed road from Seririt to the west.
Sultans of Spa at Puri Ganesha.
Sarah douglas samples a trio of sublime signature dishes from three of bali's best favoured restaurants.
Refined and French at Warisan Reflecting the soft beauty of the new-look Warisan restaurant, Belgian-born chef, Vincent Denayer has taken his love of French and Mediterranean dishes and given them a tropical sparkle. Starring on his starter menu is this sublime dish that sings with simplicity in a pure soprano. Using the classic French technique call mi-cuite, which means half cooked, Vincent has created a dish using the freshest scallops that plays with textures and delicate flavours. The scallops are sliced thinly and then dressed in a warm buttery cream that supplies the heat to transform them. Citrus lifts the sauce to achieve a deceptively light and tangy coating which adds to the meltingly tender texture of the dish. The final flourish is the making of the dish, the rich and buttery Sturian â€œVintageâ€? caviar, imported from France, used to great visual effect against the creamy scallops but also creating the snap and crackle in the mouth that raises this dish well out of the realm of the ordinary. A lemon foam completes the plate and it is all over in mere moments as this is a dish that is difficult to master but incredibly easy to eat. Reinventing Warisan, one of Baliâ€™s perennial best, was always going to be a challenge but one that has been met with grace and style. The new team has managed to rise to the occasion and created a totally new Warisan that is modern, vibrant and exciting.
Fresh Flavours and a Sea Breeze Surprising how a short interlude in life can have such an impact. English-born chef Stephen Moore knows all about seaside dining; having worked at Icebergs, the spectacular eatery overlooking Bondi Beach. He has also worked at Rockpool, arguably Sydney’s most celebrated restaurant specializing in creative seafood. Yet it is a few months he spent in Spain that has shaped Cocoon’s menu and sets the tone for much of it. In a flavourful ode to one of his mentors, the controversial and much-loved Spanish chef, Santi Santamaria, who died suddenly last year, this quail dish has become a mainstay on the Cocoon menu for a very good reason. It is an artful dish that packs a lot of personality into a small dish. To really appreciate it, one has to linger over the layers and take the time to savour it. Such a simple bird, the quail – ripe and willing to accept a whole lot of flavours and here it does just that. Char-grilled on the barbecue, the flesh is tender, the skin perfectly marked. Sitting on a bed of remarkable romesco sauce, it is this simple step that takes the dish to new levels. At first it’s
hard to place – earthy, tangy, nutty and altogether spectacular, this Catalonian classic is far more than just a sauce. Quail becomes the perfect partner. Together with wilted radicchio, a bitter note, grapes for a sweet touch and a sprinkle of fresh pistachios, it is no wonder they can’t take this dish off the menu. The story it tells, of a young chef who was charmed by a more experienced chef during a five-month stint in Spain, infuses a little extra magic into this dish. An ode to Spain indeed. Hu’u Takes A Classic Bow Babi Guling is arguably Bali’s most famous culinary creation, one that takes pride of place at all the most important occasions, and many of the least as well. Philip Mimbimi has put Hu’u on our map for all sorts of reasons, not least being his remarkable culinary skill, his elegant menus and a wicked sense of humour. And here we see it all on one plate; Babi Hu’uling. Who would have thought this humble dish from the villages of Bali could become a genuine restaurant dish with star quality? Many have tried and failed, but not here. All the traditional elements of the dish somehow appear the same but so different. Babi Hu’uling is a masterful dish, deconstructed and recreated to become a meal worthy of this thoroughly modern venue. A perfect piece of
young pork belly has been prepared Chinese style and then given a little heat to crisp the skin to glistening perfection. The ribs are slow cooked and melting off the bones. An authentic lawar, the traditional spiced stuffing for the pig, is served as a side, while nutty red Balinese rice provides the perfect starch. A thickened broth created from the suckling pig is also on the plate, another nod to tradition. Not many Balinese villagers would recognize their favourite dish in this form, until they took a taste, and found that all the authentic flavours of the Balinese classic are still here, true to the roots of the dish. As signatures go, Babi Hu’uling has a lot to say about Hu’u’s stylish take on all things culinary.
Babi Hu’uling, Nutmegs at Hu’u.
Katrina Valkenburg wants to play Backgammon with you.
LIKE the good girl that I was (and still am), when I turned 14 I duly found a job to supplement my growing needs and desires. The job was not unusual for a girl my age, a waitress in a particularly groovy area of Sydney that served great coffee and light snacks. It was a hang for a certain Bohemian crowd who would sit for hours on end on one cup of coffee, play backgammon and gossip. The boards were all wooden and inlaid with mother of pearl that had been loaned to the café by the manager, a Greek Lebanese by the name of Dimitri. The sound of wooden counters being slammed down on the board was exhilarating and, even though it’s an obvious strategy to put the opposing player off guard, I felt strangely excited. In the quiet between lunch and afternoon service, he would teach me the game that would become an increasingly important element to my emerging adulthood. He was a good teacher and I was an eager and willing student. He taught me not only strategy but also tactics to disarm your opponent like the slamming down of the counters. Dimitri, as his name implies, was a lover of all things that could be harvested and that included…well, for one thing…alcohol. Although the café was unlicensed it didn’t mean that there was none, it was hidden under the counter and was his mother’s specialty – arak. The word arak comes from Arabic, meaning condensation (a similar sounding, but altogether different liquor is produced in Indonesia and also in Bali). This rather innocuous looking aniseed-flavoured liquor is widely popular in most countries bordering the Mediterranean. It is made by distilling fermented grape juice and is prepared quite simply with water or water and ice. The mix is usually 1/3 arak and 2/3 water and, once diluted, turns from being clear to a translucent milky-white colour. Those who are regular readers will remember that the same is true of absinthe and other similar anise-flavoured liquors. This is due to the essential oil in anise that is soluble in alcohol but not in water. For a young and impressionable girl, playing 152
backgammon with a suave, obviously sophisticated European man many years my elder, drinking arak on a Saturday afternoon was intoxicating. Having once been repelled by the smell of the liquor I quite quickly became enamoured with it. A couple of years went by before I was given my own backgammon board, not a traditional wooden board like those from the middle east, but a vinyl and fake-felt set that closed up and could be carried as a case. For years I would practise by myself in bed, always playing the white side, but fairly – as in, I didn’t cheat. Funnily enough, white usually won but that wasn’t the point. I became good, really good at the game. Soon, after turning 17, I saw an advertisement for a backgammon competition being held in a small, exclusive nightclub in Sydney. Although underage, I never had any trouble being admitted as an over 18-year-old, so I registered for the event. I had a couple of arak’s to ply me with fortitude and played about 20 matches before being named the winner – a cash prize of $2,500 – an enormous sum in the mid 1970s. It was then that my disgruntled opponent finalist suggested looking at my driver’s licence for proof of age. As I pulled it out of my wallet I knew I’d been busted. Poof went the elation and the money and out the door I was thrown. No doubt that miserable good-for-nothing reaped the reward. However, this setback was what I needed to move forward with my game. I moved to London and after a number of years working at a drudgy job I took off to explore Europe with a couple of girlfriends in a Combi Van. My backgammon board came with me, resplendent with a new sticker of the Australian flag that had the stars replaced with the ubiquitous leaf of a generation of great Australian wanderers adhered to its outer casing. The Greek Isles were first, specifically, Ios, well known as the party island. Without a real job, monies were running decidedly low before I figured out that I could gamble on dinner. I set up my trusty board each afternoon at a table
in a local taverna at the harbour where passengers disembarked. They would be hot and thirsty and I had just the solution – a glass of Ouzo (the Greek equivalent to arak) to whet the appetite and get the chat going. Soon enough the chat would turn to my board and then I had them. I told them I wouldn’t play for money but if I won, they could buy me dinner. All went swimmingly until the local policeman got wind of my scheme and put a swift end to it – he’d seen the sticker on the board and decided that I must be a drug smuggler or, at the very least, user. We’d all seen Midnight Express and the idea of being holed up in some filthy, stinking jail was not my idea of fun. So we moved on to Italy where the penalties for being young and naïve were not so great. Unfortunately that meant I had to say goodbye to my Ouzo happy-juice. But a solution miraculously presented itself on the very first night – Grappa. Grappa is another liquor made from distilling the skins, pulp, seeds and stems of grapes. It’s usually served as a digestive but in my case it was an aperitif. A couple of grappa’s, a couple of games with unwitting locals and dinner was served. Italy soon blurred into France and I was on to Pernod in Val d’Isère and Paris. The story was always the same – they played, they paid. Returning to Australia nearly 20 kilos heavier than I’d left attested to my successful game. How unfortunate it was that I didn’t stop off in India on my way home to get a sun tan, drink the local version of arak with fresh Ganges water and get dysentery. Play, Eat, Leave! Wine On. Katrina Valkenburg is a wine consultant and educator. All correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org
Backgammon board courtesy of GV Amazing Crafts, by Pepe Verdacchi, www.gvbali.com. Shot at Ku DĂŠ Ta. 153
Bali’s classy beachside venues provide sublime, quirky and fun distractions…from gourmet beds on the beach to cocktails and massages for happy hour.
It’s a far cry from sandcastles, deck chairs and whipped ice-cream, says Katie Truman.
MA JOLY, TUBAN FINE-dining French restaurants are generally confined to four walls. But Ma Joly seamlessly combines quality French cuisine and life’s finer things, beachside. Part of eleven-suite Sandi Phala Resort (although a separate entity) Ma Joly rests on Tuban’s lovely stretch of beach, with its trademark fishing boats and lagoon-style seas. This is quite the serene spot, remarkable given that it’s slap-bang in Kuta and round the corner from the airport. Try a Berrytini or Lychee Martini enjoyed on the openair bar deck while surveying the wide open beach views and sunsets. For dining, Ma Joly offers alang-alang roofed dining pavilion (mirroring the traditional-style resort, hidden behind) or Romanesque-style pergola. Post-sunset, starched white tablecloths, soft jazz sounds and dapper service adds refinement from the previous breakfast and lunch. Beautifully presented French classics include premium imported products and local organic produce – but still surprising value for money. Chef Paolo’s sublime a la carte signatures include fresh French oysters with four different tastes, lobster demi-thermidor and Indonesian and pan-seared Australian Angus Beef Tournedo, with French duck liver in black truffle sauce. Gastronomes will also appreciate the five-course Petit Degustation, paired with wines from the cellar. For the supreme romantic encounter, book in advance the private beach tent set-up beachfront at dusk; apart from one other (carefully spaced apart) it’s blissfully secluded. Loved-up couples have their own special five-course feast (Rp750,000 per person. Resembling an Arabian-style white canopy, encircled by flickering candles, it’s hardly a surprise that this is a
proposal-friendly spot – which leads onto sunset wedding ceremonies, performed on the same patch of beach. Ma Joly organizes the whole package; think white archways and seating bedecked in tropical blooms under a mangostreaked sky. www.ma-joly.com www.thesandiphala.com Yak Map B.14 THE LAGUNA, NUSA DUA BESIDE upscale Nusa Dua’s quiet expanse of blond sand, backed by tropical gardens and sky-matching lagoons, The Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa is a secluded five-star with some surprising hidden gems. Head to the beachfront open-air lounge-bar, Kul Kul, where watching the last rays of sun is even better accompanied by an exclusively created luxury cocktail collection. The select choice features Bali Tai (a local take on mai tai) and signature, The Last Cocktail (or maybe not?) with Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon juice and pear puree, topped with Prosecco and cloves. Nearby, the resident DJ spins suitable chill-out loungey sounds from sundown. This is the perfect stage for aptly-named, Ocean Terrace. With its ‘Jimbaran Bay without actually going there’ concept, Laguna’s beachfront restaurant offers its own island seafood barbecue – and far more comfort – from 7pm onwards. Shoes are optional. On the extended terrace seating, aglow with fishing basket lanterns, succulent snapper, giant prawns, clams, squid et al come grilled right in front of your table. For couples after something more decadent – and private – the traditional-style beachfront gazebo offers a mouth-watering alternative. ‘Romantic Dining Experience’
is just that, with a sensuous, seven-course menu (featuring freshly-shucked oysters, pan-fried veal sweetbreads and glass of Champers), served on an exquisitely-decorated table behind drapes. The gazebo hosts another intimate extravaganza, ‘Moonlight Massage’ (7pm to midnight); a 90-minute combo of traditional Indonesian massage and exotic oils, cocktails, fresh tropical fruits and hand-made chocolates. Daytime spa treatments can also be enjoyed here, or within smaller bale bengongs dotted along immaculate lawns – splendid for outdoor manis, pedis and massages.These bales are also available for rent (daily, 220,000rp), if you just want to simply do nothing. www.luxurycollection.com/bali ST. REGIS, NUSA DUA ANOTHER Starwood luxury brand, St. Regis Bali Resort oozes refinement, timeless good taste and impeccable service, yet hugging Nusa Dua’s pristine beach, offers a surprising informal touch. Actually, one of this six-star resort’ s most alluring features is its prime beachfront location, complete with immaculate soft white sands. And with no resorts visible either side, this section remains quite secluded. An idyllic setting for a picnic, but this being St Regis, it isn’t going to be Scotch eggs and thermos flasks. For lunching par excellence, swing by their Gourmand Deli (stocking a wide range of imported gourmet and freshlymade goodies) and select your salad, sandwich, soft drink, antipasto, cheese or cold meat platter, plus cookies and fresh fruit. Loaded-up in a classic picnic hamper, these are then carried down to a quieter section of beach, slightly removed from the main resort. Sit, relax and munch upon
Sticky Fingers Canggu.
Left to right: St.Regis; Ma Joly; InterContinental Bali.
a large straw mat, a pebbles-throw from gently lapping waves. Champagne on ice or Pimm’s is almost de rigueur; resort staff are occasionally on hand to pour the drinks. Perfect for a birthday or anniversary, or whatever; concoct any excuse to enjoy this indulgent treat (Rp450,000 per person). For those seeking a firmer seat and something more sophisticated, head to Kayuputi, St. Regis’ signature finedining restaurant. But facing beachfront, this is informal too: ‘Kayuputi’ means white wood, and its classic, white clapboard-style structure blends right in with the ocean backdrop. A highlight of the premium Asian-influenced haute cuisine is naturally fresh local and imported seafood; try the divine seasonal selection of caviar and oysters, or ‘Seafood Chilled and Grilled’ – accompanied by stellar wines selected by five-time Wine Spectator awarded sommelier. Or there’s the Champagne Bar. Private dining cabanas just outside offer another idyllic spot to appreciate the surrounds. www.stregis.com/Bali THE ROYAL SANTRIAN, TANJUNG BENOA JUST north of Nusa Dua, sweet Tanjung Benoa is even mellower – perhaps why The Royal Santrian’s mantra is ‘Serenity by the Sea.’ Neighbouring The Conrad and Melia, The Royal Santrian is the latest addition to Balinese royalty-owned Santrian Group and relative newcomer to this beach. A sumptuous couples-ville retreat with just 22 private villas, this resort isn’t geared to families (guests under twelve aren’t permitted). So it’s no surprise to find at the end of extensive gardens and infinity-edge pool, an 158
ocean-view fine-dining restaurant. Aimed at discerning diners, intimate Allspice reveals elegant interiors plus wine cellar, cigar lounge and refined global faves like grilled Wagyu pepper steak and escargot bourguignone. Adjoining here, a glass-encased sushi bar and teppanyaki grill serves modern Japanese cuisine, while on the alfresco bar-deck, Friday night barbecues sizzle with fresh seafood and DJ sounds. With villa-living well-suited for honeymooners, so too the surrounds; 200m of tranquil beach with uninterrupted Indian Ocean views – apart from Nusa Penida, opposite, and fishermen wading through low tides. Twosome sofas strung along the boardwalk, illuminated by palm-tree lanterns, are ideal for sampling some of the dozens of cocktails from the bar, like Almond Martini. Or try Balinesestyle picnic lunches, with local delicacies like duck, served the traditional way in beach cabrioles (US$100 per couple). The Royal Santrian also organizes all-inclusive wedding packages, from simple floral-strewn gazebo on the sand to floating platform on the pool, all just footsteps away from where the honeymoon really starts. www.theroyalsantrian.com INTERCONTINENTAL BALI, JIMBARAN BAY AH…Jimbaran Bay! This gorgeous palm tree-fringed crescent bay tends to get overlooked, but shouldn’t be. Its clean sweep of beach and calm waves are ideal for families and safe swimming, and there’s a lovely village-type ambience at dusk, when locals play football and lovers stroll arm-in-arm. Sunsets aren’t quite so spectacular as up the coast, but gee, it’s hard to whinge about these scarlet-
streaked beauties, while devouring seafood freshly caught near where you sit. One of Jimbaran Bay’s old-hands welcomes with colonial elegance, high-class comforts and multiple luxe facilities within its 14 hectares of ocean-front gardens. But InterContinental Bali Resort regards Jimbaran Beach – and its own pristine 500m frontage – as one of its prime assets. (If you’re up early, watch the cows come home, literally; InterContinental’s team of cows plough the sand every morning ready for another beautiful day!) Amongst several dining options, relaxed Jimbaran Gardens is located a few steps off the beach. Slightly removed from the bustling main section, two wooden gazebos with raised dining deck provide the finest lunching spot, with prime sea views and cooling breezes – not to mention fresh-from-Jimbaran market seafood and yummy comfort food. Beachside lunching is also available at revamped Sunset Bar, complete with tasty new menus. A long-time barfly haunt, this aptly-named watering hole comes into its element at days’ end. Post-renovation, you’ll find it’s now a central square bar station, dominated by massive tangerine-hued lantern overhead. Prop yourself up at the bar with fellow raconteurs and engage in cocktails like signature Pina Colada, contained within a fresh pineapple. With its sand-in-toes dining experience (no dress code here!) evening barbecue buffets are a specialty, including ‘Sunset Bonfire Barbecue’ (Wednesday) with live band and nerve-wracking fire dances and ‘Spirit of Bali’ (Saturday) with indigenous cultural and culinary highlights – both family-friendly with children’s discounts. Nightly ‘Local
Left to right: Four Seasons Jimbaran; The Laguna; The Royal Santrian. Lobster’ combines lobster gazpacho shooter and fresh grilled lobsters, washed down with wine punch. Beside the beachfront pathway, Spa UluWatu provides soothing outdoor treatments in two spa tented pavilions. The selected menu includes Anti-Stress or Balinese Massage, reflexology and InterContinental Signature Massage (60/90 minutes) – a fusion of massage techniques from InterContinental’s worldwide, combined with Balinese touches. Behind flowing white drapes, healing hands and rhythmic wave sounds have you floating off in no time – if not, you need help. Book late afternoon, for cooler temperatures and sneaky sunset views. These same tented sanctuaries convert to romantic dining hide-outs postsunset; giveaways are candles and heart-shapes made from rose petals in the sand. www.bali.intercontinental.com STICKY FINGERS, CANGGU FOR something laid back and altogether more intimate, there’s Sticky Fingers at Echo Beach in Canggu. This bijou Italian eatery offers the best of beach dining – Italian food cooked (and served) by Italians; the rolling surf of Canggu (complete with surfers, of course) and a position from which to watch the world go by (mostly in shorts and bikinis). Sticky Fingers is an independent, family owned restaurant with soul. Lunch is breaded fish and salad and a pasta of the day, freshly made by Massimo. Seafood is often sourced fresh from the beach ibu’s. Dinner is more elaborate, but the restaurant never looses its intimate appeal. Take a seat outside along the boardwalk with a bottle of wine, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of one of 160
Bali’s most popular (and still relatively tourist free) seaside spots. www.stickyfingersbali.com FOUR SEASONS RESORT BALI, JIMBARAN BAY OPEN since 1993 and arguably one of Bali’s most beloved beachfront restaurant-bars, PJ’s unobtrusively rests at the bay’s far end. Part of iconic, long-established Four Seasons Resort Bali (albeit with its own street entrance), PJ’s presents simplistic rustic charm of alang alang thatched gazebos with two wooden deck areas, bounded by stoneclad walls. Don’t be fooled however by this island-style nonchalance; this comes with Four Season’s sky-high standards. PJ’s is open for lunch and great for lazy Sundays (bring the family, there’s two kids menus); however this plan of action starts 5.30pm. Grab a table nearest the sand or daybed on the outer deck, primed ready to watch the sun sink behind wooded cliffs. Dining options could include Kudapan (Indonesian sampler) or Mezze, superb grilled selection and wood-fired pizzas, while signature Bloody Mary’s or summery Champagne Rosella are recommended tipples. Tuesdays or Saturdays from 7pm, and PJ’s is even more enticing: for laid-back refined dining (literally), Beds on the Beach is the ultimate culinary journey. Up to 25 Bedouinstyle, canopied beds of varied hues are strategically placed for privacy upon the sand in front of the bar. Recline and dine with your favourite bedfellow on comfy beds dissected by an elevated table. Four Season’s help push the romance factor further, with a sea of flickering candles, white orb lanterns, placed up high in aged trees, as your
very own full moon, and live jazz band serenade discreetly in the background. BOB’s decadent five-course set menu is bite-sized and light, with ‘Seafood Indulgence Platter,’ featuring Moroccan spiced tuna, a pink champagne sorbet and either beef tenderloin in truffle jus or grilled spiny lobster. Pace yourselves (no hurry here) for outrageously wicked ‘Chocolate and Chocolate,’ containing a sinful iced white chocolate soufflé with hot raspberries. Justifiably popular, book in advance (US$125 per person) and soon: PJ’s closes later this year for several months’ renovations: emerging 2012 as a more contemporary, expansive venue with new levels of luxury dining and wining. www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay/ JIMBARAN BEACH CLUB, KUPU KUPU JUST along from Four Seasons, another new Jimbaran Bay development launches this July. Part of recently- opened Kupu Kupu Jimbaran Suites, ensconced within new leisure concept Jimbaran Corner, Jimbaran Beach Club will extend to 26m on the bay’s fine sands. The new beach club will offer appropriate ocean-side dining, with fresh seafood, crispy crust pizzas, tapas, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and more, while the beach-bar will focus on wines and sunsets cocktails. Daybeds, cabanas and live music are also on the agenda. Both guests and outsiders will have access – and shuttle transfers operate from Kupu Kupu’s boutique hotel, a ten-minute stroll from the beach. With few beach clubs per se at Jimbaran, this promises to be an exciting new addition here. www.kupuresorts.com/jimbaran/
Sarah Douglas casts her net far and wide to find the best fish and chips in Bali.
Once the bastion of the working classes, fish and chips is one of Britain’s most famous culinary exports. It is widely believed that Spanish and Portuguese Jews emigrating to England brought the recipe with them, although Holland also lays claims to the original. The Australians love it and there are lots of ways to enjoy this culinary classic in Bali too. Indonesia is blessed with a plentiful supply of fresh seafood and local varieties come out on top in our survey. Snapper emerges as the number one choice – robust, firm white fish with a fresh and lively taste that stands up to a good frying. Barramundi and Mahi-Mahi are also delicious choices. There are winners and losers in the fish and chips stakes – clean oil, a light touch, the freshest fish and a vibrant, modern presentation met our highest standards for this classic dish, which remains a firm favourite on the most modern of menus. The Yak delivers Six of The Best. The Flying Fish at O-CE-N The Flying Fish at O-CE-N has embraced local seafood with a passion. Only the freshest arrives daily from Jimbaran’s markets and their choice for fish is the local white snapper – a superior model of seafood in so many ways. Succulent fish with a great bite emerges steaming from a crisp beer batter. Chips on the side with a splash of vinegar, fresh lemon and tomato, chilli or tartare sauce is served up to accompany your meal. Downstairs, Flying Fish has a street-side takeaway with a very Australian flavour. Breaded or battered fish bites, prawn cutlets, calamari rings, fresh prawns, lobster rolls with lashings of mayo and a great version of the potato scallop are quick and ready to eat. Upstairs in the restaurants guests can choose their favourite fish and their preferred method of cooking. Upstairs or downstairs, Flying Fish at O-CE-N puts fresh fish first. www.outrigger.com Yak map Q.14
Beach House at Echo Beach A partnership between an Aussie, a Brit and a Balinese gives plenty of personality to this seaside bar and restaurant and their fish and chips is a classic. Also using fresh snapper with a confident and tasty beer batter, hand cut chips on the side and a creamy tartare sauce beside, the batter is light and crispy and the fish meltingly tender. Together with an international collection of ice-cold beer and an up-close view of the surfing, this is summer on a plate. Tel. 7474604 Sea Circus If Goldilocks moved to Bondi, she would probably hang out in a place like Sea Circus. A quirky little café modelled on the many cafes dotted along Australia’s coastline, this Mod Oz eatery simply had to serve fish and chips. Decorated in colours of the sea, rustic timbers and coloured glass, fish and chips here is served with a load of fries (not classic chips), on the side and a tangy tartare. Three juicy fingers of steaming white snapper hold up to the deep fryer admirably. The batter is golden and crunchy and the price appeal is perfect. The serving size, not too much and not too little, would suit Goldilocks down to the ground. Tel. 738667 Yak map N.7 W Retreat Bali Seminyak W is working overtime to establish its slick, upmarket, urban cred, and their suitably up-scale fish and chips is a perfect fit. Sculptured to artistic effect in order to ensure evenly cooked, perfect slabs of gleaming fresh white snapper. The gravity defying batter is created with rice and cornflour mixed with beer to achieve a light and crisp coating. The chips are more American diner than local chippie; served in a black cloth bag, they suit a more delicate palate. The tangy homemade tartare is enough to convert the less-than-enthusiastic and pink salt with fresh lemon sides are perfectly placed
accompaniments. Fire is their grill venue and fish and chips, W style, makes a regular appearance. Tel. 738106 Yak map O.4 Ku Dé Ta Aiming to create their own upstairs downstairs gourmet experience by the sea, Ku Dé Ta offers fish and chips two ways. Downstairs their lunch menu offers slender fingers of tender, juicy mahi-mahi delicately wrapped in herbed pangko crumbs and gently pan-fried. While the tartare is nothing to write home about the chips are an afficonado's dream – hand-cut with a pleasant showing of peel at the edges. A muslin-wrapped lemon half and (save the Lord) a fresh, tangy Japanese coleslaw is served on the side. Keeping us humming for over 10 years, Ku Dé Ta has introduced a new concept upstairs with the Ku Dé Ta beer garden where they have played with the famous mac fish burger to produce a meltingly tender fish burger, a barramundi fillet fried in herb crumbs on a freshly baked roll with those fab chips. Together with a frosted cold ale and one of the best views in town, Ku keeps bringing us home. Tel. 736969 Yak map N.9 Mannekepis Defying the odds but always on the money, Mannekepis serves up a delightfully different and decidedly Belgian take on fish and chips. Served as a pan-fried John Dory fillet with a fabulous crusted top with a fresh meuniere butter sauce, redolent with capers and a pan fried potato; or a Cajun-style mahi-mahi fillet, crumbed and fried with Belgian fries (don’t mention the French here), and a robust tartare sauce, the jazz and blues bar never fails to entertain. Atmospheric and warmly welcoming, Mannekepis puts quality and skill on their all-day all-night menu and the fish dishes are no exception. Tel. 8475784 Yak map U.10
Bamboo Blonde Tel. 3640060
Nico Perez Tel. 738655
Just Doin' It
Tennis titans stormed the 2011 yak canggu classic to bring action on and off the courts.
Players stepped up once again for The Yak Canggu Tennis Classic with more than 100 participants taking part in a record number of categories this year, the third in which the tournament has been staged beneath The Yak offices at the Canggu Club Tennis Centre. Title sponsors for the 2011 Yak Canggu Tennis Classic included Red Carpet Champagne Bar and legal eagles Limcharoen Hughes and Glanville, with more than 40 supporting sponsors offering prizes to players and participants. The action came thick and fast, with Indonesian and expatriate residents alike competing for coveted cash prizes. The Men’s Open Singles trophy was lifted by Sana Darmawan
for the second year running after beating Ismail Jaya, while the Women’s Open Singles title was taken by club coach Nining. The Super Amateur Singles was won by Megan, who beat Mike Walsh to lift the trophy, with Ketut and Yudhi winning the Men’s Amateur Doubles. Ismail Jaya didn’t miss out completely on the silverware, winning the Men’s Open Doubles with Didik Gunanto. Tennis Centre director Robbert Willie and coach Nining won the Open Mixed Doubles category, while Kim Sonderen took the Women’s Amateur Singles. Shizuka and Tomoko won the Women’s Amateur Doubles, with Dewa Suardana and Sita taking the Amateur Mixed Doubles title.
Action on the courts.
W e W o u l d l i k e t o tha n k :
Lou Nietunz catches up with award-winning producer, DJ and fashion icon Mark Ronson for his lessons from the road, visions of the future and perspectives on Bali.
So Mark, any first impressions of Bali from your time here so far? I’ve heard all my whole life what a magical island this is, and obviously I’m here for a job and I’m here to deejay, but we did get a chance to go around and see all these amazing places like the Water Temple up north and Goa Gajah. It would have been kind of a waste to come all the way here, and then go to the beach, you know. Obviously you need at least a week for somewhere like this, but we managed to cram as much in as we could in two days. And the gig was great. What events in your early life first got you interested in music? It’s really impossible to say, because every memory I have from early life has to do with music in some way. I remember when I was around three years old, my parents used to have these wild get-togethers in their house until all hours of the morning, and I would wake up in the middle of the night and come down and sit in front of the speaker and just play air-drums. No-one would notice me as there were three hundred drunk adults around. All I wanted to do was just to be with the music. So all these memories are intertwined and I don’t really remember thinking about anything other than that. I wasn’t necessarily a very prodigious player from a young age, it wasn’t like a clear-cut thing of what my path was going to be. It wasn’t like “Oh, he’s a brilliant violinist!”, but I kind of just assimilated all these things like from interning at Rolling Stone magazine when I was 13, and writing for these metal-magazines in high-school and playing with bands, and kind of just bringing them all together until I figured out what I was good at. In my case, it was being a producer. How did your time growing up in New York affect or shape your musical direction? I think wherever you grow up is always going to shape your development, unless you’re like Bob Dylan and decide you’re going to leave Minnesota and crack the big time. Most of the time, where you grow up kind of influences what you make, whether you live in a brilliant bustling musical metropolis or in a tiny town in, you know, Iowa. I moved to New York when I was eight years old, and at that point it was 1983 and Hip-hop was very much the sound on the streets. Being in New York and going to high-school in the late '80s, you know kids on the school bus would be listening on their headphones and I would be like: “What’s that?” And it would be Eric B & Rakim or something, and we would sing along on the bus. New York was definitely a giant dose of Hip-hop that I might not have got if I had grown up in another city like London. What was the first concert that you ever went to? It was probably something pretty shit…CareBears on Ice, no… actually I think it was a Billy Squire concert. He was sort of an '80s Robert Plant-ish type rocker who had a few hits. I think he was maybe trying to get with my mother, so we took all the kids there and he got us all children-sized Billy Squire tour-merchandise. You know, custom-made, which is kind of the equivalent of getting a tie at Christmas. I’m sure he’s a pretty nice
guy, but it’s quite ego-maniacal to think a bunch of kids want your tour-merchandise. How would you describe the shift you’ve made from producing to performing? It was just an accident, something that I had to do. Version was very much a bedroomalbum that I made, and because of the support of people like Zane Lowe and certain deejays, they put me on the radio, and then you get to go on tour, and then I thought I’ll put together a band. But it’s one thing to be playing a few guitar parts and loop it for 12-bars or whatever in your bedroom, and it’s another thing to be playing on stage. So I had to learn how to be the best guitarist I could possibly be, quite quickly, and now it’s something I’ve become a bit more comfortable with. I feel like on this tour, just the way it’s set-up, I get to be in the back and that’s the role where I’m most comfortable. I think on my first tour, for Version, I was just working it out as I went along, and I’ve seen some footage where I was getting carried away and climbing up speaker-amps, and I was thinking who the fuck is this deejay, climbing up a Marshall stack like he’s Chuck Berry or something? I realized my ego started to get a bit carried away with it, but now it’s to a point where I like how I feel on stage. How do you see the advent of the internet towards the music industry? It decimated record sales but it’s also opened up a whole line of amazing new ways to discover new artists and ways to put your songs out. You can make a song and put it out that same day. You can upload it to Soundcloud or wherever and it can be written about on some blog and downloaded by 8,000 people, you know, seven hours later. It is a shame on the sales-side, because it limits everything. The freedom of the artist is constantly under pressure to make hits, and labels don’t usually have enough money to sign new acts that are considered a risk, so they don’t take risks on anything anymore. But running around, pulling your hair out and screaming about how the internet ruined music is pretty much Luddite behaviour at this point. What has been your most satisfying gig so far and why? Band-wise, all of the gigs that we just did in Australia were amazing, especially because we hadn’t been there for this album and didn’t quite realize how much they loved it. You know, someone can tell you, “ Yeah, I heard your song a lot in Australia.” But it‘s another thing to see 10,000 people po-go’ing from front to back. I would say our Melbourne shows and the Brisbane shows were pretty awesome. And finally, what’s your favorite footwear? I’ve been wearing these Repetto shoes a lot lately. They’re these French kind of dance shoes, Serge Gainsbourg used to wear them. Very natty. Thanks so much for your time, Mark. www.markronson.co.uk
Deck chairman, and the name behind some of today's biggest stars.
Artist: Robyn. Album: Body Talk. Label: Konichiwa Records/Island Records Group Swedish siren Robyn has returned to the forefront of thinkinglady’s dance music with a tightly fit finale to her first two subalbums. Five years since her debut release, she is not one to wait any longer. With three releases in the past year, Body Talk marks the capper in the trio. An epic tour de force, this Dance-Pop pixie has saved the best for last. Calling upon a heavyweight team of studio talent including Diplo and Royskopp, among others, the depth of production is rich and pristine. From the first track Fembot, the defiantly cheeky android-lover tone is set, whirling with epileptic-electro vocoder-teasings. If anything, this album exhibits a maturing and perhaps more worldly wise Robyn. There is a grittier, dirtier quality to the music here, but also a darkly sweet sense of humor. Combining vintage synth electro sounds along with deep layers of harmonizing production, the result takes you forward while looking back, much like the track Time Machine she seems to
yearn for. Hang With Me is another cozy epic that soars for a magical ride. This album cruises across a wide spectrum of electronica, with no less than 15 tracks exhibiting Robyn’s limitless creative juices. It also explores new directions and talents, collaborating with (of all people) Snoop Dogg on the jet-set party-anthem U Should Know Better. It’s almost startling to see where Robyn’s mind and music go now. We Dance to the Beat is an instant trip-hop classic while None of Dem and Dancehall Queen turn cosmic-roots and showcase this Nordic nymph's talents as a techreggae MC. Who would have thought? The sheer volume of work on this album can almost make it exhausting at times, but the undulations of tempo are designed to let you catch up overall. Turn this one up on the weekends. www.robyn.com
Artist: Jack Johnson. Album: To The Sea. Label: Brushfire Records/Universal
Album reviews by Lou Nietunz.
Surfing troubadour Mr Johnson is back with a wistful easy-rock score from the North Shore. His aptly titled latest foray doesn’t bowl you over with surprises but rather returns you to that somberly triumphant place that Jack describes so well. Actually this might be his most riotous romp to date, more up-tempo than previous albums along with some of his familiar soft tones. The range of instruments is also more diverse, with more use of pianos, electric riffs, brush-drums and harmonicas. The opening track You and Your Heart scored a top twenty breakthrough in the US, while it’s not even necessarily the best track on the album. To The Sea follows with epic Beatles-esque
pianos and floating key-chords to amazing effect. The track-list meanders on with Johnson’s sardonic humor and musings from No Good with Faces, At or With Me and From the Clouds. It seems Jack has grown stronger musically and personally, perhaps fatherhood crystallizing his resolve to hone his craft, polishing it further for a smoother tail ride. His band is also tighter than ever and more prone to experimentation in a good way. Perfect for mellow mornings or laid-back sunsets or a road-trip of discovery. www.jackjohnsonmusic.com
Album: Songs For Japan. Artist: Various. Label: EMI/Sony/Universal/Warner THE “big four” labels in the music industry plus an all-star cast of talents have contributed some of their best works towards recovery efforts in quake-ravaged Japan. All artists, labels and publishers involved have waived their royalties towards the efforts of the Japanese Red Cross Society. Ranging from veteran voices to newbies, a star-studded selection of nearly 40 stand-out uplifting hits await. Featuring the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, John Mayer, Sting, Norah Jones, and almost anyone else you think of
current chart-toppers, all have stepped up to lend their voice to the cause. This double-CD album makes a great addition to your collection or as gift item while generating proceeds for those still in dire need. So pick up a quality mix from around the world and make a much-needed difference in one go. You can also donate directly via the JRC website. www.jrc.or.jp/english
By Dr Deepak | email@example.com | www.astronlp.com | Skype: drdeepakvidmar
MOOD OF THE MOMENT. Many things changed when unpredictable Uranus was discovered in 1781. Old structures fell down. Monarchies were challenged in the name of democracy and the French were cutting off the heads of the aristocracy. The religion of science was taking hold and the Industrial Revolution ended craftsmanship. Something else happened in terms of human consciousness. We mutated from a seven-chakra being to a nine-chakra being. Pluto was discovered in 1931, a time of the Great Depression and the beginning of nuclear research. In Astrology, Pluto has to do with trauma or transformation, crisis or consciousness. In human design, Pluto has to do with ‘Truth’ and it is found on the dark side, not in the light. When these two energies come together, we can expect the unexpected with a shock. Busy, busy, acting, moving, changing, changing. Maybe you change your long term goals or career. Ultimate success or dismal failure, but the planet of abundance in your house of money indicates more than sufficient resources will be available to you. Quit anything that restricts your freedom or spirit. Burn your bridges and don’t look behind. Go for what is new in your life and lets you move your energy. But be courteous about it and avoid stepping on peoples' toes. Inform others who will be affected by your actions before you do it and it will reduce resistance in your life.
Your partner is going through some kind of stress now and will not be able to give you the support or sense of security you deserve. They may even be trying to dominate you or ‘improve’ you in some way. In August, there will be a strong clash of wills. Your friends are where the juice is and it's a good idea to spend more time with them. They will be supportive and encouraging and a source of wisdom to you. Your goals in life will change and you are looking for a new direction. It has to be something new to you that stimulates you and fits your individuality.
libra Before you can really, really be comfortable in a relationship, you have to be comfortable being alone with the presence of yourself. Not missing anyone. Not needing. Be with the presence of yourself until you feel self-sufficient and full, in harmony with all your parts. That is what this time is about, this cold and heavy feeling you sometimes have. It has turned cold on the outside so that you can see the warmth within. You cannot rely upon the other anymore. They come and go. Embrace the music of silence and let yourself be the instrument.
Not a time for shallow superficiality in your life. Do or Die. California or Bust. To the mountain top or fall down in the attempt. Time to reach down inside yourself and pull the power out. Time to eliminate anything in your life or personality which holds you back or does not give you strength. If anyone tells you that you are being too serious now, then tell them goodbye. They do not know your essence. They are in your way. This is not a laughing time. You have a job to do and that job is to learn to be in your power and to survive anything. Even beyond death, there is another door.
scorpio Arrows will bounce off your chest, bird poopie from the sky will miss your head, your feet will step in soft grass, your refrigerator will be full, there will be a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Lucky time. Mr Good Guy of Abundance, Jupiter, is transiting in Taurus now until the summer of 2012. It lasts for one year and it is a 12-year cycle. Yes, you will still have problems, but you will be bigger than those problems and your increased self confidence will handle them easily. Learning, expanding, travelling is the game now and wisdom is the goal.
Happy Birthday and many more. This will be a successful year for you and your work will be recognized. Part of your success will be due to careful and cautious thinking that eliminates guesswork and risk taking. Step by step to achieve your plan. The disadvantage of this is that new ideas are coming your way and they will have to wait until they can be tested. Success can be addictive and there is a tendency to work yourself beyond your limits to make it happen or keep it happening. Also a good idea to pay attention to your body now and to do those healthy things that need to be done to keep it in best shape.
You tend to be more active now and there is lots of energy available to you. Mars transits. You can use it to get things done or just to run around like a chicken with its head cut off and have a good time. There is really no ultimate goal for you now. The emphasis is on the moment and being here now. Friendships are changing. Many new people are coming your way, free and creative spirits who come and go. You tend to be impulsive now and next month particularly in spending money. It flows through your open fingers like water and it is not the time to save for a rainy day.
Not the time to be logical now. It is not a logical world anyway. It is a mystery and you are a mystery. Do it a different way. Into every life, a little rain of mysticism must fall. This is a time for faith and for trust, particularly in your own intuition. The walls of the box you are in dissolve and vast horizons open up to you in a wide angle view that sees everything is connected to everything and all is one. The juice is in gaining insight into philosophy and religious awareness about the meaning of life. This will make you rich. You don’t need money to feel rich.
Let self reflection wait for another day. This is not the time. This is the time to be in the world and to be involved with others. This will do. The other is the reflection of yourself and the deep, deep secret knowledge you seek will be found on the outside and not in. Observe, watch and pay attention to what it is that is universal about all of us. You will notice that we are all looking for this missing mystery of love. Everyone is looking for love and even those that have found it know that it is not deep enough and it doesn’t last long enough. This is the secret.
aquarius What you have to have in life now is awareness and consciousness. You have to open your third eye. It is an imperative as much as other people need food and drink and a bank account. You have to see. This is what you are born for and now is the time. Money is not so important to you. You are actually careless about it now. It is the knowing that is important. You will find it in old, traditional beliefs that have endured the test of time. Just look at them in a new way, your way. Go on a search and scan mission to find new information about old beliefs.
sagittarius Ah, my travelling, adventurous and risk-taking friend, sometimes you go so far that you forget where home is. You will never know. It is not out there and it is not somewhere you left behind. Home is where the heart is. Be in your heart and you are home. Be where you are loved and you are home. Be where you can give love and feel the inexhaustible flow of this infinite energy and you are home. When you feel tired on the journey, just give something to someone that makes them feel good and you are home.
pisces Born with one foot on Earth and one still in the other dimension, you have never felt comfortable in the body in this material realm. Now the energy of the other dimension is calling and it is time for you to dissolve even before you have fully arrived. Your soul has been tipping its toe in the water and the temperature was never quite right. You are useless on the earthly plane now and there is no choice. Your mask has dissolved and your feet do not bear the body’s weight. No more desire. No more direction. No more burden. All that is left to do is to Be.
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Yak Map F.12
EVENT ORGANISER Pro Motion Events Tel: 287250 pro-motion-events.com Page 188 HEALTH, SPAS & SALONS AMO Beauty & Spa Tel: 2753337/38 amospa.com Page 107 Yak Map O.5 BIMC Beauty Clinic Tel: 761263 bimcbali.com Page 131 Yak Map F.12 Chill Tel: 730840 pranaspabali.com Page 129 Yak Map W.10 Fabulously Feet Tel: 8475764 fabulouslyfeet.com Page 195 Yak Map Y.11 Fivelements Tel: 469206 fivelements.org Page 74 Prana Spa Tel: 730840 pranaspabali.com Page 129 Yak Map W.10 Sunset Pilates Tel: 7914127 Yak Directory Yak Map C.14 Theta Spa Tel: 755726 thetaspa.com Page 35 Yak Map C.14 HOTELS & VILLAS Alila Villa Soori Tel: 8946388 alilavillassoori.com Page 22 Amadea Resort & Spa Tel: 8478155 amadeabali.com Page 145 Yak Map R.8 Ayana Resort & Spa Bali Tel: 702222 ayanaresort.com Page 106 Batu Karang Tel: (0366) 24880 batukaranglembongan.com Page 133 Bidadari Private Villas & Retreat Tel: 9000401 bidadarivillasubudbali.com Page 94 Cielo Santo Tel: +62 8123883559 cielosanto.com
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Cafe Bali Tel: 736484 email@example.com Page 159 Yak Map Q.7 Cocoon Beach Telp: 731266 cocoon-beach.com Page 38 Yak Map Q.13 EVO Tel: 730333 balisentosa.com Page 69 Yak Map O.6 Hu’u Restaurant, Club & Bar Tel: 736443 huubali.com Page 8-9 Yak Map N.6 Ku De Ta Tel: 736969 kudeta.net Page 3 Yak Map N.8 Ma Joly Tel: 753780 ma-joly.com Page 2 Yak Map C.14 Mozaic Tel: 975768 mozaic-bali.com Page 123 Potato Head Tel: 737979 ptthead.com Page 31 Yak Map N.5 Queen’s Tandoor Tel: 765988, 732770 bali.queenstandoor.com Page 195 Yak Map D.14/U.10 Sardine Tel: 738202 Page 12-13 Yak Map U.3 Sarong Tel: 737809 sarongbali.com Page 152 Yak Map P.4 Sea Circus Tel: 738667 Yak Directory Yak Map N.7 Siam Sally Tel: 980777 baligoodfood.com Page 157 SOS Supper Club Tel: 737773 SOSaSUPPERCLUB.com Page 179 Yak Map P.11 Sticky Fingers Tel: 8090903 stickyfingersbali.com Yak Directory Yak Map O.1 The Junction Tel: 735610 Page 135 Yak Map Q.7 The Shore Tel: 773377 nikkobali.com Page 144 Warisan Restaurant Tel: 731175, 7492796 warisanrestaurant.com Page 55 Yak Map U.4
Wild Orchid Tel: 737773 ext. 7802 bali.anantara.com Page 136 Yak Map P.11 Word of Mouth Tel: 8475797 wordofmouthbali.com Page 83 Yak Map Y.10 SHOPS 69 Slam 69slam.com Page 49 Yak Map T.8/V.10 Alabaster Lighting Tel: 769007 alabasterlighting-bali.com Page 188 Yak Map E.11 Anjaly Bali Tel: 971599 anjalybali.com Page 152 Bali Towel Tel: 7437598 Yak Directory Yak Map V.11 Bamboo Blonde Page 23 Yak Map S.8/U.11 Beach Gold Tel: 737549, 081338017256 beachgoldbali.com Page 152 Yak Map S.8 Bel Kazan Tel: 7492644 belkazan.com Page 118 Yak Map U.8 Biasa Tel: 730308, 8878002, 0217182322 biasabali.com Page 10-11 Yak Map V.12 Bloomz Tel: 2171149, 7802401 bloomzflowers.com Page 131 Yak Map V.2 Body & Soul bodyandsoulclothing.com Page 32 Yak Map V.13/V.13 Bong's Tel: 8084168, 730580 selphiebong.com Page 26 Yak Map V.11 By The Sea bytheseatropical.com Page 39 Yak Map E.13 Carlo Tel: 285211 carloshowroom.com Page 25 DeLighting Tel: 420512, 7447041 de-lighting.com Page 27 Yak Map T.8/V.10 Deus Ex Machina Telp: 3683395, 735047 deus.co.id Page 14,15,79 Yak Map O.8 Duo Furniture Tel: 766650, 766595, 8475976 duoallweather.com Page 73 Yak Map V.8 Eight Degrees South
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