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B I A S A G R O U P. C O M B A L I S E M I N YA K - S A N U R - U B U D | J A K A R TA K E M A N G

I saw cute little creatures swimming, so I rescued them. By reservation only +62 361 731343 One Eleven 2 nd Floor #3 Pangkung Sari Seminyak 80361 Bali, Indonesia

Feed your imagination.

Volume Forty-Five december/january/february 2014-2015 The Yak Magazine Sophie Digby, Agustina Ardie, Nigel Simmonds Publisher's PA Indrie Raranta Creative Director Stuart Sullivan Production Manager Evi Sri Rezeki Graphic Designers Irawan Zuhri, Ida Bagus Adi Accounting Julia Rulianti Distribution Made Marjana, Putu Widi Susanto, Gede Swastika, Untoro, Didakus Nuba Publisher PT Luxury In Print Licence AHU/47558/AH/01/01/2011 Advertising Enquiries Tel: (+62 361) 766 539, 743 1804, 743 1805

on the cover: midnight in the garden of good and evil.Styling: the Ö. model: irina roshik @ Bali Starz. Hair: essensuals bali. location: michaela macdonnell @ bali starz. dress by Ali Charisma.

e:, The Yak Magazine, Kompleks Perkantoran Simpang Siur Square, Jl. Setia Budi, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia

OK you know the drill. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced electronically or otherwise without prior permission from the Publisher. Opinions expressed within this publication are those of the authors not the Publisher. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising that does not comply with the magazine's design

© PT Luxury In Print

criteria. The Yak will not be held responsible for copyright infringements on images supplied directly by advertisers and/or contributors.

The Yak Magazine Bali.


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G O D C R E AT E D F O O D , A N D TH E D E V I L C H E F S .

Jl Drupadi 7 . Seminyak . Bali . Reservations +62 822 36631302 .



Yak On


Fridge Magnets

Yakety yak

dates with destiny


Christy Drive


New and Noted


Gear. Stuff. Schmatta


Irma Wy

one world

new in the hood

out of the box


68 22


Souq Success


Kukuh Zuttion




David Murrell


Jack Penrod


Mack Finca


Anthony's World




culture vulture


80 90

yak fashion

Midnight In The Garden Of God and Evil travel

We Love NY


Double Six


Parlour Games

oral pleasures

yak fashion


Bistrot Classic



oral pleasures

oral pleasures



contents P: 74 Omnibus: reality check




Big Six: Risotto


oral pleasures

oral pleasures


Fabric Of Life


A-Glamping We Shall Go


Spa Life



80 26


Eastern Promise


3 Of A Kind

staying over

Venting in a villa


Love, Inc


We Went and Did It Again


Client Clobber

staying over

yak awards


Ghost Town


Star Turns


astro yak


What's What


Indy Siddik

advertiser's directory

last word

fashion freestyle




Our 10th annual Yak Awards got us wondering the extent of the influence the word “Yak” has had in our modern day society and its accompanying jargon. So doing a little Google search here and there we have come to the conclusion that, after the high-altitude bovine and a Russian fighter jet – both of which had little or no influence on language and vocabulary since their inception – others have certainly created quite a few ripples. If we take into account the famous song Yakety Yak, written, produced, and arranged by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for The Coasters and released on Atlantic Records in 1958, the word Yak as an antonym has definitely grown proportionally since our inception in late 2003. Is it all to do with us? Gosh, no! And, if we can cherry pick from only the positive yak words then we will choose this one: yakamondo – a word expressing excitement – coined in September 2007. And, with this issue, we are very excited about the outstanding people we get to meet on the amazing island of Bali; Irma Wy – designer, photographer and child of the world; Peter and Sophie from the recently-opened Souq; Kukuh Zuttion - fashionista extraordinaire; fashion photographer, documentarian and cancer survivor David Murrell and the globally-known Jack Penrod of Nikki Beach fame – mutual blessings all round. La Finca founder and fashion mavens The People Versus pre-empt our Reality Check, and our obsession with looking into other people’s (staged) lives. Why do they do it, we wonder? Never mind. Where we are totally yakamondo-ed is over this issue’s Yak fashion spread! Exceptionally blessed by stylist The O, we get to enjoy, what I personally consider to be, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott in fashion – elegantly energising and ever so glamorous! Quite obviously, with mouths enlivened by all the morsels we have tasted, we happily pass on the words of recommendation of where to eat, and possibly what to choose, at Bali's top eateries. Paul Ropp’s new adventure into the world of interiors and soft furnishings has positively raised our heart rate – just gorgeous. Spas, glamping and trips outside of the ‘Hood’ rejuvenate our endorphins so that we may enjoy all the parties flooding our calendars this December and January. Talking of parties – check out The Yak Awards feature and don’t forget to read your horoscope – the New Year is upon us so let’s see what the incoming one brings; as you might imagine we are totally yakamondo about 2015. As ever, may The Yak be with you.


yakback Dear Yak, I want to congratulate you on another awesome issue of The Yak, it’s always a pleasure to receive the magazine. Have shared issues with many Jakarta-based friends as an example of a great publication here in Indonesia. Juliana Bali *Takes bow Dear Yak, I’ve been a fan ever since I saw a copy while on holiday in Bali and have been showing all my friends back here, it’s such a cool publication. Keep up the great work. Roberta UK *Doffs cap Dear Yak, We were in Columbia and Miama recently visiting art galleries and when we showed the gallery owners The Yak they were all very surprised at its quality. All very positive. Catharina and Sebastiano Bali Ah yes, the Columbian and Miama connections. Salutations. Dear Yak, A great balance of old and new Bali with some fascinating articles. I’ve become a fan of Andrew Hall’s Omnibus column. Always hits the issue on the head. Thanks. Daphne Jakarta *Curtsies

Dear Yak, The yPpod app is cool! Makes me want to get to Bali, like today. Joe Yogerst Hong Kong Thanks Joe, you are not forgotten. Dear Yak, I've seen your magazine in a lot of cafes and art galleries and my boyfriend and I were commenting on how good it was . . . very eye-catching and great content. Chelsea London Thanks. Good name/place synergy btw. Dear Yak, Bought your magazine when I was in Bali and have been showing all my friends back in England. Such a cool magazine! Brookie UK Good work trooper. Dear Yak , The quality of your publication is never lost on me – not only by Bali standards but internationally. It's one of the few publications I actually read . . . Des Koval Bali Win. Dear Yak, I recently visited Bali and picked up a copy of your amazing magazine (Volume 43). Is it possible to get a subscription here in Australia? Kim Chambers Sydney You pay, we ship!

In The Lap Of: Jean Paul Gaultier Inventor of the manskirt, the Madonna cone-bra and a few other of our favourite fashion creations, Jean Paul Gaultier swept into Bali for a flying visit recently during which our correspondent cornered him and thrust into his hot sweaties our esteemed organ. 'Oh, nice!' exclaimed The Great One. 'Will you be featuring moi next issue?' Well, yes. So here he is. Mr JPG.

the pursuit of excellence Meyrick to explore the culture of Asian cuisine from its roots in rural society to its zenith at ceremonial banquets. Inspired by the delightful simplicity that creates farmers and kings to share Asia’s rich culinary culture with you.

Restaurant Bookings Essential: +62 361 4737 809 or Jl Petitenget No. 19X Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia




these are the days of our lives. by susan hu.

GALUNGAN AND KUNINGAN GALUNGAN is one of the biggest and most important holidays on Bali, and it celebrates the triumph of good over evil, as well as the arrival of ancestral spirits who visit the temporal earth for a period of 10 days. Before Galungan the Balinese begin to erect majestic bamboo penjor decorated with coconut leaves and fruit, and throughout the 10-day period lion-esque barong roam the streets with their requisite band of children, locals indulge in much feasting and visiting family and friends, and there is a whole lot of praying going on. The holiday culminates with Kuningan, the day when the spirits go back to their ethereal realm. Galungan will begin on December 17 and end with Kuningan on December 27.

ATI-ATIHAN FESTIVAL ALSO known as the Mardis Gras of the Philippines, the Ati-Atihan Festival is a spectacular celebration of vibrant costumes, dance and music. Legend has it that in the 13th century the mountain dwelling Ati people allowed a group of Malay refugees to settle in the lowlands of Kalibo on Panay Island. One year the Ati had a dismal harvest and were forced to ask the Malays for food. In return for their generosity, the Ati offered song and dance performances to show their gratitude. This became a yearly tradition, and later the Spanish added a Christian element, which is why the festival now also features colourful religious processions. The festival will take place from January 18 to January 25 in Kalibo, Aklan province.

ABU SIMBEL FESTIVAL RAMSES II is often called Egypt’s greatest pharaoh, and today his legacy still lives on in his impressive building projects, particularly the Sun Temple at Abu Simbel. In a stroke of architectural genius Ramses II had the temple built in such a way that the sun’s rays would penetrate the inner sanctum and naturally illuminate the statues of Ra, Amun and Ramses II himself on precisely two days of the year: his birthday on October 21 and his ascension to the throne on February 21. When the temple was moved to higher ground due to flooding, it was reconstructed in a way that this incredible phenomenon still happens - but one day later. Join thousands of spectators on February 22 to witness this unique architectural feat.

IF YOU’RE IN HONG KONG . . . December 5 to January 1 – Hong Kong WinterFest: You won’t find too many other places in Asia where Christmas spirit is celebrated with such gusto as Hong Kong. During the Hong Kong WinterFest from December 5 onwards the city will be bright and buzzing with glittering lights and visual displays that will take up the entire sides of select buildings, special Christmas-themed events at amusement parks and attractions, fabulous winter sales, and festive menus throughout the city. The atmosphere will be a mix of Western tradition and Asian flair with fun events for all ages, and the grand finale will be simply sublime with a dazzling fireworks display over Victoria Harbour to ring in the New Year.

year’s event will include the full marathon, half marathon and 10km and 3km wheelchair races.

traditional dances on the sand dunes, and performances by snake charmers, acrobats, the Air Force and more.

IF YOU’RE IN INDIA . . . December 27 to December 29 – Sunburn Goa: Asia’s largest three-day electronic music festival is brought to us by the Sunburn brand, which is renowned for throwing incredible bashes with some of the world’s best DJs. This will be the 8th annual Sunburn Goa, and party people can expect super sonic sets by the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Danny Avila, Dub Vision, and Diatonik to name just a few. Not only does Sunburn provide the perfect soundtrack to round off the year, but festivalgoers can also let loose with a range of adrenaline powered activities like bungee jumping, volleyball and zorbing.

IF YOU’RE IN AUSTRALIA . . . January 9 to January 31 – AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015: This January thousands of fans will congregate in stadiums and in front of televisions across Australia to watch Asia’s best football teams battle it out for the biggest sporting prize in the region, the Asian Cup. Throughout the month of January 32 games will take place over 23 days in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle, with the final match on January 31. This will be the biggest sporting event in Australia in over a decade, and it already has fans guessing whether defending champions Japan will take the win or a new contender will rise to the top.

December 25 to December 29 – Hong Kong Food Festival: For the 12th year in a row the Hong Kong Food Festival will tantalise the taste buds with good eats from all corners of the globe. Located in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, the festival will feature special themed zones including Hong Kong Delicacies, New Years Food, Taste of Korea, South East Asia Flavour Zone, International Wine and Luxury Food, and Coffee and Dessert. Guests can sample a diverse range of dishes and cuisines, and pick up tasty artisan treats to take home.

January 9 to January 11 – India Yoga Festival (Goa): Start the year off with a celebration of wellness and spiritual expansion at the India Yoga Festival. Gather with like-minded practitioners for three days of yoga, music, and healthy food . . . all in a sublime setting at La Cabana Beach & Sunset Ashram in exotic Goa. The festival will feature more than 20 different yoga styles, more than 20 teachers and artists, and 50 inspirational yoga sessions. And for those who want to take their practice even further, the Bhakti Camp continues on with five days of Bhakti yoga sadhana chanting, Thai yoga massage, January 25 – Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon: AcroYoga and Bhakti pranayama from January 13 to January 18. Join over 73,000 people to run for a reason this January February 1 to February 3 – Jaisalmer Desert Festival: at Hong Kong’s largest participatory sports event, the Every year the ancient sandstone city of Jaisalmer heats Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. The event things up at the beginning of the year with a wild aims to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle and colourful Desert Festival that attracts attendees and exercise, and they support three different charitable causes which include Seeing is Believing-ORBIS, the Hong from far and wide. The three-day gala features fun and quirky events like camel decorating, parades and races, Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for competitions for turban-tying and the most glorious the Physically Disabled, and the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer moustache, the Mr. Desert contest, concerts and Society through the Marathon Charity Programme. This 34

February 13 to March 7 – Perth International Arts Festival: Founded in 1953 by The University of Western Australia, the Perth International Arts Festival is the longest running international arts festival in Australia. Each year the festival features an explosion of energy, filling venues from concert halls and theatres to disused buildings and parks. Visitors can view contemporary works by world-class artists and up-and-coming newbies in the form of theatre, music, film, visual arts, street arts, and literature, and there will be plenty of free community events for all ages. February 21 to March 1 – Soundwave Festival: Soundwave 2015 may just have the most spectacular star-studded musical line-up that Australia has ever seen with headliners like Slash, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Slipknot, Faith No More, Incubus, Lamb of God, Fall Out Boy, Lagwagon, Judas Priest, Ministry, Fear Factory, Godsmack and Papa Roach among others. The festival is spread out over two weekends in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and the musical acts will criss-cross between each city. All shows are licensed and the festival has a strict 15-or-older policy.

The authentic taste of home-cooked Indonesian cuisine Now open for lunch. Open daily 12 pm — 4 pm, 5 pm — midnight Potato Head Beach Club Jl. Petitenget No. 51 B, Seminyak, Bali, 80361 +62 361 4737977

giving back

stephanie mee reminds us how lucky we are . . . dig deep.

Anak Unik WHEN is development work a success? The team at Sukacita Foundation repeatedly ask themselves this question. Since 2011, this non-government, non-profit organisation has been disseminating knowledge about children with intellectual disabilities to teachers, parents and healthcare workers in Indonesia via workshops, seminars and training in collaboration with the Suryani Institute for Mental Health. Although they have had great success in reaching people from all walks of life, they knew that there were still ways that they could reach even more people, hence the creation of their first book titled Anak Unik. Anak Unik translates to “unique child”, and the book is a collaboration between Marieke Nijland, Mila van der Meer, and Yolanda Onderwater of Sukacita Foundation, famed Balinese cartoonist Jango Pramartha of Bog Bog Bali Cartoon Magazine, Sarita Newson from Saritaksu Editions, and the support of Professor Suryani from the Suryani Institute for Mental Health, and Yayasan Anak-anak Bali (from the Netherlands). The aim of the project from the very start was to present information in Bahasa Indonesia about children with intellectual disabilities in a simple, clear and practical way. It attempts to explain exactly what an intellectual disability is and put the reader in the shoes of a special needs child to portray how it feels when you do not always understand the world around you in the same way that others might. In addition to these important issues, the book tells the reader how to recognise a child with intellectual disabilities and provides tips on how you can support these children. One of the most compelling aspects of Anak Unik is that it acknowledges the fact that the people in the immediate environment of the child are actually experts in their own right based on their unique experiences and relationship with the children, so the book contains a range of helpful tips that readers can pick and choose from to use in practice. And as the title of the book suggests, the manual will be different for every reader, because every child is unique and beautiful with his or her own (im)possibilities. By distributing Anak Unik to as many people as possible in Bali and the neighbouring Indonesian islands, Sukacita Foundation hopes that they can reach a wider audience who will benefit from the information in the book and perhaps adopt alternative models to educating and interacting with these special children. This is


very much in line with its vision of sharing knowledge and experience with those working in the existing special education system and the wider community, and encouraging a sustainable mode of growth and development in this area. Yayasan Sehati Anak OFTEN when we think about HIV and AIDS we tend to think of adults, but the truth is children are also greatly affected by the disease. Since the first reported case of a HIV positive child at Sanglah Hospital in 2004, the rates of infected young people in Bali has increased dramatically over the years. Many contract the disease while in the womb and spend their entire life dealing with the health effects and social stigma that HIV brings. In addition, those who are not infected but have parents who are may also suffer social stigma and neglect. These heart-breaking realities brought about the formation of Yayasan Sehati Anak. Established in 2010, Yayasan Sehati Anak operates out of the Children’s Health Department at Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar and their mission is to support and help HIV-affected children in Bali so that the children can lead happy, healthy lives. The founders believe that these children are no different than any other children, so they have the same right to grow and develop to their full potential. Working with a team of medical professionals headed by Dr. Dewi Kumara Wati MD, as well as support from volunteers, the foundation provides medical care and counselling to HIV-positive children, does testing for new cases, provides safe birthing for babies with infected mothers, distributes formula to infected mothers who cannot breastfeed, and raises awareness and educates the wider community about HIV and HIV-affected children. Another important role of the foundation is sending field workers to remote villages to check on patients. The field workers make sure the patients are taking their medicine, and that the children are being nourished and cared for. They also offer transportation with help from the Bali Kids Orphanage to pick up children and take them to the medical centre in Denpasar. This is vital for those living in remote villages with little economic means. Yayasan Sehati Anak depends on the support of donors and volunteers to continue their hard work here in Bali. The number of new cases of HIV-infected children is rising at an alarming rate, and there is always a need for funding as well as donations of baby formula. To find out

more about how you can help, please visit their website or email Kolewa Foundation AFTER many years of entrepreneurship, Holland-based Syta Plantinga knew that corporate social responsibility was something that was very important to her. She began to explore ways that she could make a difference in the world using methods that were in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Her first foray into philanthropy was in Kenya, where she set up an organisation to help disadvantaged youth, and in 2007 she founded Kolewa Foundation here in Indonesia. The mission of Kolewa Foundation is to help disabled people in Indonesia, particularly children and the elderly. They do this by facilitating a number of projects that include scouting individuals with cleft palates and physical abnormalities and transporting them to Jakarta for free surgeries, training hearing-impaired children, and distributing second-hand hearing aids to those who need them but cannot afford them. In Bali, Kolewa Foundation has partnered with Yayasan Swara Swari to help young people with hearing impairment. At their centre in Denpasar they test children for hearing problems and either provide them with hearing aids or arrange for implants and operations. The centre also offers free speech lessons for hearing impaired children, which can greatly improve the children’s chances of attending school. On Rote Island the organisation gives ad hoc assistance to villagers who desperately need operations for everything from cleft palates to tumours, burns and open wounds. With fundraising money, donations, and help from the John Fawcett Foundation and Yayasan Sinar Pelangi, Kolewa Foundation sends the patients to Jakarta, covers their travel expenses, and arranges for free operations. To date they have helped more than 125 patients, and there are similar projects taking place in Timor, Sumba and Flores. Many people make the work at Kolewa Foundation possible including donors, volunteers, doctors and fundraisers. You can help by donating money, doing volunteer work in Indonesia or abroad, doing an internship with the organisation, or organising fundraising events.

S greaT nTS, r e f f o a p epic ap beST reSTaur nd 'S k a Y a ’S The of bali pS, ServiceS TacT S g n i T ho on liS illaS, S wiTh mapS, c v , S a p S S! fun . . . familY S and review r numbe

SPLASH DOWN AT CANGGU You'd have to have your head in the sand not to have heard that the Splash Water Park is now open at the new Canggu Club. Offering up a tidal wave of fun, something for everyone, there are eight different areas to amp up the adrenalin. The five-storey Giant Racer has four lanes where you race your mates to see who is the fastest down the track. The Super Bowl takes a turn before taking a tailspin around the bowl then shooting into the plunge pool below. Or for the more mellow, just cruise along the Crazy Creek – a meandering 102-metre water course. For the young ones there's a Splash Playground providing plenty of excitement with slides, slippery pools, climbing forts and the classic giant water pail . . . all under the watchful eyes of lifeguards. Wraps, burgers, sandwiches HANGING OUT IN ROYAL STYLE

and a BBQ saté and corn cart fuel the fun. Open daily from 10am-8pm. Tickets available

Ubud Hanging Gardens is delighted to introduce the Hidden Palace, it’s newly refurbished

at club reception or via the website.

five star luxury private villa set deep in the heart of Ubud's lushness. Exclusive and totally

Tel: 0361-8483939

Yak Map. N.1

private, the royal suite enjoys jaw dropping views of the rainforest and the ridge below. It's a remarkable, one-of-a-kind wedding venue or place for a special event, while your guests enjoy other top suites including the supremely romantic Presidential Suite or the spacious and luxurious Royal Suite. The staff is trained at keeping the paparazzi at bay so you can luxuriate in style with your court of guests. Tel: 0361-982700

MORE WINE ON THE VINE VIN+ has over 300 wine selections of global origin and is managed by an internationally experienced team with combined knowledge in wine and hospitality gained throughout SPREADING THE LOVE

the world. What you may not know is that the VIN+ restaurant is now open with daily

Will Lovejoy, founder of popular LacaLaca, is spreading more love with a new stylish

specials of homemade rustic fare to match every wine and suit every diner. Comprising a

little sister in Batu Bolong called Lacalita. The design gives a nod to Mexico while

wine retail store, restaurant and wine Lounge, VIN+ Seminyak is the only place where you

referencing other South American countries, all in his trademark bright colours

can purchase wine from the retail store and dine in, with only a service charge added. The

with generous open spaces that include a wraparound bar where you can order

restaurant features an open al fresco dining space including a tropical garden and relaxing

the “Love’n’Joy” margarita with pulped strawberry, watermelon and citrus. The

lounge with multi-purpose floor-to-ceiling air-conditioned space perfect for private parties

menu has evolved beyond Modern Mexican and includes influences from Cuba,

or corporate functions. The stunning bamboo architecture that soars nearly 20 metres has

Peru, Hawaii. For LacaLaca fans don’t fret . . . there are still plenty of Mex favourites).

quickly become a landmark in the hood and a favourite amongst both locals and visitors.

Tel: 0361-7111027

In the words of W.C. Fields: “I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to food”.

Tel: 0361-4732377 42

Yak Map. N.6

PORTABLE EXHIBITION @ BIASA Perennial favourite Biasa Art Space has unveiled its new exhibition space at BIASA ArtSpace’s new gallery located on level one of BIASA+. The new gallery area provides a more intimate space for visitors to interact with artists’ works. Currently on view is the exhibition Portable (a group exhibition) in which a thought-provoking body of work has been curated by Naomi Samara comprising international visual artists focusing on “simple subject matter that often goes unnoticed but is an integral part in defining cultural identity”. Two of many marvellous examples are S. Teddy Darmawan – originally from West Sumatra, who uses self portraiture to investigate social, historical and environmental family issues – and Melbourne-based Lisa Roet, who has spent 25 years working on the relationship between humans and monkeys, having spent much time in Borneo studying apes. Tel: 0361- 8475766

THE WORD is the island’s new exclusive online video guide offering the best of Bali at the touch of a button. From any mobile


device or your computer you can find the latest

Dessert Maestro Chef Will Goldfarb, formerly of Ku De Ta notoriety, has opened

restaurants, clubs, shopping, salons attractions.

Room 4 Desert in Ubud, next door to Naughty Nuri's. Open from 7pm nightly

The high quality footage lets you browse

Goldfarb has worked with Giuseppe Verdachi to present an urban vision of

virtually for places you want to go on your next

“decadent deliciousness”. Desserts are made in front of you to whet your

night on the tiles, dining or a spot of shopping.

appetite and to wet your whistle there are classic cocktails with the signature

The “This Week” section gives a heads-up on the

drink, the Sidecar, made with a authentic family recipe passed down form

latest news in Bali; the “All Events” section gives

Goldfarb’s grandfather. It's made with Armagnac, lime juice and orange liqueur

you a full calendar of events; and “Headline

is all we'll say. Wonderful wines and champagnes can also accompany your

News” is updated every 48hours.

desserts, which makes for a perfect finish to a night out in lovely Ubud.

Tel: 081547130150

Tel: 0361-5532598

DRAGONFLY MOSCATO Unusual for a Yakker to go for a lighter wine, meaning less alcohol, but we have gone potty for the long-awaited Dragonfly Moscato which is made in Indonesia with imported grapes. With a philosophy of enjoying wine in moderation anytime, anywhere because it’s pleasurable we can go along with the theory. With only eight per cent alcohol, this sweet and slightly sparkling wine has been tailor-made for freshness with a pale lemon colour and fresh and fruity notes of pineapple, melon and peaches. The finish is crisp, clean and refreshing. Available at your local grocer or wine shop, Dragonfly is distributed by Hatten Wines and available now throughout Indonesia. Tel: 0361-767422 44



Trans Hotel Bali, owned by millionaire

Opening in the first quarter of 2015, GHM

entrepreneur and former economic

will bring Bali it’s fourth property, The

coordinating minister, Chairul Tanjung, will

Chedi Club, to the honey hued sands

open it’s doors on December 15 2014. You can

of Jimbaran Bay, setting a new bar for

swing more than a cat in these 16 tricked out,

privacy on the Island of the Gods. Intimate

palatial villas that come with Acqua Di Parma

villa retreats are designed by Australian

amenities. There are also 200 rooms with

architect Robert Nation and the wonderful

luxury fit-outs. The first Trans Hotel opened to

Indonesian interior designer Jaya Ibrahim,

rave reviews in Bandung and many more are

the chap behind interiors at The Legian,


slated for Indonesia with the next stop Bali for

Aman @ Summer Palace Beijing and The

Already nominated for the World Luxury Awards 2015, Amarterra in Nusa Dua was also

a refined experience that is centrally located

Chedi Milan, to name a few. Ibrahim lends

awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor in 2014. The hotel is based on the Tri

on Sunset Road and minutes to Seminyak’s

to The Chedi a sophisticated Indonesian

Hita Karana principle – a lifestyle that advocates perfect harmony and spiritual balance,

action-packed nightlife and shopping.

flair and you can expect the top of the line

and offers its guests calm and comfort. The eco-conscious resort layout allows guests an

Rooms are appointed with the fine furnishings

when it comes to guest services. Special

authentic Balinese kampong experience through its exploration of culture, art, organic

and and there are ample world-class facilities at

island experiences are custom made here

farming and complete wellness. Other nearby activities include watersports and golf.

the hotel for the all-important MICE (meetings,

to suit each guest's needs.

The 39 private pool villas have all been sustainably built and there is a spa and restaurant

incentives, conferences and exhibitions).

Tel: 0361-704435

on the grounds and even a private beach club nearby. A romantic getaway or a place to

Tel: 0361-4735796

gather friends and family Amarterra is on the mark. Tel: 0361-776 400

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Makan Minum at the top of Petittenget is a great new relaxed spot for terrific, classic and surprisingly hard-to-find Indonesian food as well as pastas and burgers. Take away and delivery are also available and it’s totally convenient to Umalas and Batu Belig. Soon to be open 24 hours, this isn’t a nightclub it’s a place to actually have a conversation, eat, drink and chill out. With a mission to simply provide great food at a price that won’t break the bank this is a great place to have a bite before heading home. Tel: 0361-738388

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Fairmont Sanur Sanur welcomes Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to its shores with the rebranding of the former Regent property on the sunrise beach. To celebrate this milestone, Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali has announced two introductory offers. Travelers can enjoy 25 per cent off the best available rate when they reside in a spacious suite featuring captivating, panoramic views of tranquil gardens or the ocean. For the ultimate getaway experience, guests can book one night at the best available rate in a home-away-from-home pool villa – available in one, two and three bedroom configurations – and stay the second night for free. Complementing both offers are a range of additional benefits including late check-out and daily breakfast for two. Visit for more information. 0361-3011888


THE BIG EASY at MOZAIC BEACH CLUB Known for it’s fab food this beachside beauty has a new addition. “The Big Easy” or (as it’s commonly known) Sunday brunch at Mozaic Beach Club, happens from 11am-4pm. “The Big Easy” aka New Orleans, Louisiana, has a controversial background with some saying that it has its origins due to the laid back attitude of alcohol consumption in the city during prohibition. Others say it’s the city’s history of being a great place for a jazz musician to pick up a gig and make a living. Either way Mozaic is on the mark with the resplendent Rio Sidik on trumpet and Erik Sondhy on keyboards, with the rest of the band playing fabulous old school jazz and some of their originals. Brunch with free flow imported white and red wine and champagne is fantastic value with brunch classics like eggs benedict and a proper English Sunday Roast. Just like New Orleans the ambiance is easygoing and relaxed but with top notch service. Marvelous. Tel: 0361-4735796

Yak Map. J.2



Nominated as one of the Best New Retail

TACO BEACH, with its second location

Spaces for the Yak Awards 2014 Souq – a

in Batu Belig now open, is home to the

high-end lifestyle boutique – also has a

original Babi Guling Taco that has brought

wonderful café that serves up European-

punters from around the island lining up

style organic breakfasts, lunches and pre-

for more at their new location. Whether

dinner snacks and is a destination unto

it’s pork, pulled chicken or fresh island

itself. Co-owner Peter Kemp was behind

fish, Taco Beach employs the millennia-

Sydney’s infamous The Grand Pacific Blue

old Mayan cooking process to bring

Room, and his wife Sophie has a passion

you Bali’s only genuine hand pressed

for cooking that evolved over years spent

and ground nixtamilzed corn tortillas.

travelling the world and studying cuisine.

Add in the complimentary fresh salsas


Proving popular are the Mint and Ginger

made three times daily and you have a

The Yak is a staunch fan and we are thrilled to announce that infectiously enthusiastic

Tea, the Souq Sangria and the home-

fresh feast for the senses. Zesty salsas like

British celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver is coming to Bali in 2015 with a gaff across from The

baked cheese scones with prosciutto.

Mango-Lime, Tomatillo-Cilantro, Papaya-

Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta. As Jamie himself says, “beautiful food, some really amazing

Tel: 082237801817

Pineapple, and many more. Deliciouso!

cocktails coupled with the sun, sand and sea, what’s not to love?” Jamie’s Italian menu is

Tel: 0361-8697766 (Batubelig),

inspired by tradition and offers original takes on country dishes found all over Italy, from

8546262 (Kunti)

anti-pasta planks to gorgeous hand made pastas.Bring it on. Yak Map. M.2

WHERE'S YOUR HEAD AT? SKULL, the Yak Awards winner for the “Best Retail Space 2014” has opened a second location on Jalan Oberoi next door to the Red Carpet Champagne Bar. The eclectic shop run by a dynamic duo sells everything to do with the human skull – and since mankind has had an obsession with bonces since time began, there is a wealth of curiosities to choose from, including visual arts, paintings, sculptures, homewares, furniture, clothing, one-of-a-kind rock and roll accessories. . . basically anything to do with the human form of the skull. Something for all ages it’s a fun shop in which to potter – you'll be surprised by what you come home with. “What's that skull chair doing at my desk?”. Etc. Tel: 0361-7161731


BRIGHT NIGHT ON THE TILES It would be hard to miss the bright new roof tiles of Hu'u Bar and Restaurant, which is under renovation. If you haven’t seen them take a gander at this bold new addition. Creating a fresh new vibe with a new entrance and a brand new Chef, Frazer Wood, there is lots happening at one of Bali’s favourite all day and all night spots. Chef Wood has introduced a new breakfast menu with his popular homemade granola with pumpkin seeds, coconut, nuts served with berries and a dragonfruit and banana smoothie. That might just do the trick the next morning if the night before you have had the most popular new drink, the Purple Haze, a combination of gin, honey, cinnamon, picked grapes, rosemary and soda. Keep a peeper on the progress at Hu’u. Tel:0361- 4736576

Yak Map. N.6

MEJEKAWI The tasting kitchen and laboratory concept at Ku De Ta, Mejekawi, which was three years in the making, continues its progressive innovation to “constantly evolve and set, rather than follow, trends worldwide,“ according to Juri Menicucci, Ku’s General Manager who was responsible for the wine list that won the restaurant an Award of Excellence from the prestigious Wine Spectator and who has curated the wine parings for the five and 12-course tasting menus. The “laboratory” is one of the best equipped kitchens in the region and its admired menu showcases Indonesian influences in the locally sourced specialities that are full of surprises for lucky diners. Designed by Chefs Ben Cross and Stephen Moore and Executive pastry Chef Nuno Garcia, a new firm favourite is the Crusted Slipper Lobster with Indonesian Pepper Caramel, Baby Carambola and Mint Salad, not simple but delicious. Tel: 0361-736969

HOWLING AT THE MOON Tugu Hotel Bali, long known for its ability to create Indonesian experiences that are off the beaten track, has done it again. This time they are offering Purnama (Full Moon) and Tilem (New Moon) Massages. These two days in the Balinese calendar are in special accordance with the Balinese belief that they represent a perfect time for purification and cleansing. At the Warong Djamoe Spa you begin your treatment with a small blessing by the sea with holy water form the Batu Bolong Temple. You are then led to an outdoor area for a 75-minute massage using frangipani oils, soft caresses and firm rotating circles imitating moonlight and full moon energy. The treatment ends with a tranquil herb bath and a closing ceremony with more blessed water. There is a light menu on offer before and after the treatment to complete your divine experience. Tel: 473 701


Yak Map. N.8



French owned, this new Alsace restaurant has

Indowines and Winehouse are pleased to

Alsacian food that is a delight and is proving

announce the arrival of Frankland Estate

to be a perfect place to unwind and enjoy

wines from Western Australia. Frankland

authentic French food. Run by French owners

Estate's range of single vineyard wines

who are nothing short of perfectionists,

are reflective of their organically farmed

expect European, French and Gastropub

Isolation Ridge site – one of the most

cuisine in the light and breezy interior which

isolated vineyards in the world. "These

is a lovely place to while away the time

scattered vineyards produce far more than

and get a dose of European sophistication.

their fair share of Australia's most lauded

Alsace is tucked into France’s northeastern

wines, wines with a distinctive lightness of

corner, and follows the Rhine with more than

touch combined with ripeness of fruit – an

100 wine villages and 26 Michelen-starred

unusual combination in Australia," says

restaurants in its environs, more than any

The World Atlas of Wine. Also, don’t forget

other area in France. We are lucky to have

Winehouse’s Happy Hours (Thursdays,

such quality right here at home in convenient

Fridays, Saturdays 5-7pm) during which

Batu Belig. Fondues with imported hard-to-

most everyone who is anyone can be seen

find cheeses here are fun to share and the

prepping for a night in the Yak.

wine pairings are well thought out to further

Tel: 0361-737217

enhance palate and pleasure.

Tel: 0811867493

Yak Map. O.4

KATSUNORI, Japanese Designer Katsunori Ueda


Tappy Yoshikawa Glider by deus Rp14.700.000

Polar Loop Rp1,750,000

Trigger Point GRID Rp730,000


qawali print on tableware, shahinaz collection.

Bludru & bludru print on antique cushion, shahinaz collection


Spining Ular Ring $45 nagicia

maltese cross ring $145

Sirsak Leak Cuff-Link $285

Balinese Palm Leaf Lightshade, from RP100,000.



Irma Yasandikusuma is an innovative and exciting young jewellery designer – she talks to david a. carol about Bali and bling.

Irma, where did you grow up, and what’s your connection to Bali? I was born in Geneva, but I’m Indonesian. Since a young age, I’ve been visiting every summer to see my extended family. I only have one sister, but a lot of Indonesian cousins. This year, some friends joined me, and it was the first time I got to experience Bali on my own terms. How was Bali different with your new independence? It was the first time I felt really connected to the local people. I ate at local restaurants with our Balinese driver and visited jewellery artisans. I discovered a part of the Bali that I had always wanted to discover. I went to the Ubud Village Jazz Festival and was happy to discover great Indonesian artists and musicians. There’s something about the energy, spirituality and creativity that really touches me and I can’t wait to experiment more there. Any major surprises on your last visit? I was surprised to discover that there is a lot of Latin culture in the bars and restaurants across the island as I love salsa! I danced from the age of four, but I had to stop because of an accident playing basketball. Yes, I’m small but I used to play basketball. Now, I’m going back to dancing as an inspiring hobby. When did you know you were meant to be a designer? I was always in a creative frame of mind; my mother was the same and still is. From an early age, I always loved to dress myself the way I wanted. As I’ve always loved to draw, I decided to become a fashion designer, and studied at Studio Berçot in Paris. I always felt passionate about the discipline. How would you describe your jewellery? I always try to tell a story, and the jewellery is a symbol of that story. It starts with something that touches me. For example, my last collection, “Souvenir”, which is in Souq Bali right now, combines emotions felt in Paris and Bali during the summer of 2012. What type of materials do you use? With my jewellery, it’s less about gold and silver. I’m into fabrics, and at the moment, I use a lot of cords. It’s similar to creating clothing in that there’s a lot of sewing, but also painting. The cords become a canvas and I love to combine them with semi-precious stones. Where do you source materials? In Paris, I have a supplier. Some stones, I find in Jakarta at a special market. Sometimes, you are dealing directly with the people who source them from the mountains of Indonesia. It’s really enriching because they can add


more to the story, and more charm to the piece. Who do you make jewellery for? I make jewellery for myself. It’s a form of self-expression, and a way to feel completely free in my life. It’s touching when other people want to wear my work. It’s like sharing my love for creation. I don’t want to create to please. I have to be true. It’s not always easy but to me the most powerful quality that you can have as an artist is for your creativity to be truly valued and respected. Do you take special commissions? If someone asks me for a special piece, I first ask them for a picture. From that image, I then ask them their favourite colours and the type of seasonal feeling they’re after before proposing a composition. Usually, people trust me. I like how you use Tumblr to share your inspirations. When I think about a collection, I need to feel inspired. You can always tell if I’m being creative because my Tumblr is very active. Two years ago, I began to get into photography. I improved my skills and became passionate. I particularly appreciate when people understand the link between my inspirations and my jewellery. Who are the models that appear in your collections? Most of the models are my close friends. They’re all from different countries and ethnicities, and they really are a part of my creativity. I love the photos by Daniella Beneditti. How did that collaboration come about? She’s from Colombia, but I met her in Paris. I was introduced to her through a Parisian designer. We both wanted to meet each other and as I was touched by her photos I asked her to work together on my last campaign. I was deeply happy. Are there any other designers that you’d really like to work with? My dream would be to work with Dries Van Noten. I love the way he combines prints with unique shapes. He has a style identity which I feel close to. One day, you never know. Where can people go to buy your jewellery? There are still a few unique pieces at the Galerie Insolite in Geneva, and pieces from my “Souvenirs” collection are at Souq in Bali. I’m also working on an online store, I think it’s a nice way to have your own boutique.

irma's world.



Laurie Osborne meets Sophie Gargett & Peter Kemp, the duo behind high-end lifestyle boutique and cafĂŠ, Souq. pHOTO: lUCKY 8.



Morning peeps. What first led you both to Bali? PK: We spent eight exciting, challenging years living in Shanghai, observing and absorbing the buzz of a transitional time in China. Once we had two small children, we made the decision to give them more space, clean air and a natural environment. Though we are both Australian, we were not ready to leave the excitement and opportunity of Asia behind us so Bali was the perfect mid-way. How would you describe Souq, and what is its mission? PK: Souq means “market” in Arabic. The name conjures up beautiful romantic images of the canvas-roofed markets along the Silk Route under which the vendors sold everything, from clothing to tableware to food. We want to be a premium, modern version of these souqs, where wonderful, original things can be discovered. SG: In its essence, Souq is a high-end lifestyle boutique and café. The café exists both to compliment the store – for guys weary of the female shopping trail and who prefer a chilled drink to a dress – and also in its own right as a destination for thoughtfully executed and refined café food and drinks, all made with chemical-free and ethical, locally-sourced ingredients. How would you describe the process of working with each other, as husband and wife? PK: It’s not for the faint-hearted! And it makes it difficult to leave work at the office. SG: But we really are a great complement to each other – when it comes to design we have a similar aesthetic but our styles and fortés are different enough that we constantly inspire each other and bring new ideas to the table. We also share our values which we think are crucial. We are both ambitious, but not at any cost: social and environmental principles always guide our decisions and we are both passionately committed to this. How did Souq’s combination of hand-crafted-clothing-homeware-andjewellery-with-a-café first come together? PK: When we were living in China, we spent so much time exploring the country and broader Asia and finding so many inspiring things that were not represented elsewhere. And we were both constantly designing and making things. Creating a space where our designs and other finds could be brought together was the ultimate culmination of our experiences. SG: Originally we thought we would first open in Shanghai but the barriers to entry there are very high. Then we moved to Bali where we had access to artisans who could work with small quantities and found this amazing building – it was the perfect place to bring the vision to fruition. What are people’s reactions when they first come inside? PK: At this early stage of the business, these are the most heartening moments – we have had such a wonderful response to the space. People seem to love it. That is motivation alone to keep going through the hard early days of a new business! SG: One the loveliest compliments that we have been paid is by a French guy who came in and said he thought it was unlike anything he had seen in the

world and could see the care and dedication in every detail. Thank goodness people understand what we are trying to do! Would you say there is a Souq community growing? PK: Very much, and we love this. Wherever we have lived, we have always had a “local” to go to for our morning coffee and we love the sense of familiarity and comfort you get from this ritual. So we really enjoy that people are finding that place in Souq. SG: Also, we have a number of very talented designers represented in the store and they are part of the community of the space as well. What was your approach with the menu? SG: As we wrote on the menu: “We believe in cooking and eating with integrity and compassion”. There is a tendency to consider ethical food as health food, but we do not. We are driven by taste and the joy of eating but we like to know about the source of our food. How did you come to stock Irma Wy’s range of jewellery? SG: I found Irma’s beautiful pieces in a shop in Paris. I love things made by hand and I thought her pieces were very unique and beautiful. I looked her up on Instagram and I loved her aesthetic – all her elaborate neck pieces were styled with simple clothing to look polished but easy. The lovely thing was that it was only when I started corresponding with her that I discovered that she is in fact Indonesian. Her parents are both from Indonesia, but she was born and raised in Geneva. I loved the story of her pieces coming back to be displayed in the country of her heritage. I have since met her and she is such a charming, warm, beautiful person that the relationship has been a winning one for us. How would you describe Bali’s local design community? PK: Very talented, but under-represented. There are so many people here doing amazing things that are not visible in retail and business in Bali. There is an impression that the market here is only interested in inexpensive souvenirquality purchases. We are here to challenge that idea. Tell me about some of your most noteworthy items currently in stock? PK: Where do I begin? We have a super-cool range of Feiyues and Shulongs, the iconic trainers from China that were made famous by the Shaolin Monks and kung-fu masters. We have a pair of black leather high-top Shulongs coming in this month that I won’t be able to keep my hands off. SG: We also have a selection of stunning hand-carved glassware that we designed and had made for Souq. It is dual-coloured and is the particular skill of four generations of one family from India. The paper-mache wall-mounted animal heads are very special – designed by us and made by a local sculptor who does beautiful work. Do you ever fall in love with items that you stock to the point that you can’t let go of them? SG: Always! There is so much love that has gone into the purchasing of all these pieces and it breaks our hearts a little bit to see them go. The jewellery is very hard to part with. We had some amazing gold snake bracelets with jewels on their heads that I was in love with but we had to let go. PK: I became very attached to a white petrified wood fish. It was unlike any of the petrified wood we have seen before and had the most gorgeous wood patterning in it that almost looked as though it really was the scales of a fish.



rising star kukuh.


Fashion designer Kukuh tALKS TO Laurie Osborne. photo: lukas Vrtilek

KUKUH, where did you grow up? I was born in North Jakarta. When I was eight years old, we moved to the south. I’m the youngest of two sisters and one brother, and we grew up in an army family. My Dad was a soldier. I worked as a stylist in Jakarta for about 10 years before moving to Bali about seven years ago. What first brought you to the Island of the Gods? When I was 23, I went to Bali on a holiday with friends to party. At first, I thought there’s no way I could live here. A week in Bali seemed pretty boring. Now, my outlook is the opposite: I could never go back to Jakarta. I can maybe handle four days, but that’s it. Your clothing label’s called The Story Of. Who is it designed for? The Story Of was conceived for girls that want to be themselves and don’t care about following trends. You can’t put them in a box, and they are free to do whatever they want. It sounds like you might design for yourself? Yes, myself for sure. And now, I’m also designing for little girls aged one to eight years old with The Story Of Kids. We’re going to New York to put on a fashion show soon so I’m pretty excited about that. We’ve already started selling in Australia, and have had a very good response so we thought let’s go to New York to show the range. Congratulations. What was it like styling on the movie, Eat Pray Love? I was doing product development for Minkpink when they asked me to style for the movie. I decided it would be a really great experience so I took that on too. In every scene, we had to prepare the clothes and costumes for the lead actors and extras. There was a huge wardrobe full of clothing. It was a crazy, huge project, and I’m very happy to have been a part of it. Did you know much about the book before accepting the job? I only read the book when I got the offer. I’d heard about it, but I’m not a wide reader. I only read things I know I’m going to like. As a designer, how important were the years that you

spent as a stylist? I learned so much from styling. I have a lot of friends that design too, and my husband is in the industry. It’s not that easy designing for other people. Sometimes, what I like just doesn’t sell. What kind of role does your husband play in The Story Of? He helps me stay within the red lines. Sometimes, when you’re creative, you’re very excited about an idea. All you want to do is make it, but you need to be aware of price points. There are a lot of processes that need to be looked at so you have to adjust your design in many aspects. I learned a lot working with Minkpink, a brand that does very well in Australia. It’s not just about creating. You also have to consider whether or not something is going to sell. Is it going to be popular with your customers? It’s a long process, but I really enjoy my job. That makes the workload easier for me. If I get a little stressed, it doesn’t feel like real stress. You launched The Story Of in 2010. What were the greatest obstacles that you faced, and how did you overcome them? The biggest challenge was presenting my designs. It was a challenge to make every single design presentable. Every time I wanted to present, they would ask me a thousand questions. When I’m designing, I’m happy, but it’s always hard for me to express myself verbally. What is Kukuh Kulture? That was my original brand name, but there was another company in Australia called Kuku so we had to brainstorm to come up with a new brand name. How did you land on The Story Of? I love to read poems, and stories. I saw the opening words, “The Story Of” and I just loved the phrase. And where did the inspiration for your owl logo come from? I simply love owls. I’ve always loved them.


interwho Sometimes you have to nearly die to be reborn – Christina Iskandar riffs with David Murrell about art, film, and love of life. self portrait by D.M.

essential murrell.


David, where do your roots lie? I was born in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, and grew up in New Zealand, then Queensland and Sydney, then I lived and worked all over the world for 14 years . . . and had an amazing time! Favourite cities I have lived in are Barcelona, Paris, London, New York, Hong Kong – they all have a pulsing energy and, most importantly, contrast. Tell us what happened to you at 34, whe your likfe took a turn. I was in Jakarta in hospital with dengue fever and I asked for a CT scan as six months before I had had some dizzy spells . . . and they found a brain tumour the size of an orange. I was working around the world as a photographer and director and suddenly BOOM! Life changer. Grade 4 glioblastoma multiform and a few months to live, documented by you, what was going through your head at the time and why did you find the need to film it yourself? What was going through my head – a giant tumour. As a director I thought, “wow this is surreal, this is going to be an amazing story that could help many people” and with my positivity and strength of character I would hopefully help others to fight life’s big challenges. By sharing an extremely difficult and intimate story with the world – combined with a bit of rock & roll – it is a story about cancer. The feedback thus far has been amazing from people from all walks of life. I picked up my iPhone and started filming myself because I didn’t have a film crew with me. Film crews and producers came later and are helping me finish the project. A challenging journey to say the least, how has it changed you? It has been a difficult journey with highs and lows but I am a warrior at heart and I will fight to the bitter, beautiful, sweet, happy/sad end! It has only made me stronger in mind, body and spirit. It has also made me more aware of the fragility and beauty of life. Tell us why you chose Bali? I had been coming here for years and thought it would be a good place to recover. I love the place. Can you tell us a little bit about your appearance on Australian Story (a package by the national broadcaster that profiles prominent/interesting Australians) and what’s going on with National Geographic. I have been interviewed on Australian Story and they used some footage from my documentary. The documentary itself will be aired as eight

one-hour episodes in Australia and NZ going to air in March 2015 on National Geographic Channel with many more countries to follow. The style of documentary is real – highs, lows, some rock & roll and plenty of fun. I am a candid person and have been able to laugh at myself and my experience. But there obviously have been heavy, deep moments . . . shared with family and friends. Are you using your experience as an example for other cancer sufferers and how are you doing that? Yes I am doing that with my film and I hope that it will open doors to allow me to speak to people about my experience with cancer. But this is just a small part of my life and it doesn’t define who I am and my future plans . . . it is just a part of a much bigger story. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? I do consider myself a spiritual person. I believe that energy primarily is what encompasses our body and how we reflect that. How we balance and use it is a whole other thing. We all go through good and bad days but how we dispel negative thoughts and emotions with meditation/ energy work etc is what helps and defines us. Fear is a useless emotion in life, as is hate. A man named Tim Strachan has helped me immensely with this practice. Once a top fashion photographer and director in Sydney, you have worked all over the world, are you still in the same industry? Yes and I’m still loving being creative. I am an artist by nature – I paint, conceptualise photo shoots, direct film/video . . . in Bali it may be on a smaller scale than some places I have lived but it’s what wakes me up in the middle of the night and I grab my journal and start scribbling ideas down. I always dreamed of making films but I never thought the first big one would be “Davie Wants to Live”. Bali is a great place to create – I still do a lot of personal art works and am planning an exhibition of them soon. Stay tuned . . . What inspires you and why? Everything. Cinema; art; literature; poetry; my beautiful family and friends; asymmetry; nature; the ocean. Why . . . one life no rehearsals. “This is not a drill,” has been my mantra for 20-plus years. David Murrel in 10 years? Living the dream; spreading good energy; creating art and film; surfing and riding horses . . . for starters . . .



Jack & the beach talk From tragedy to triumph – Jack Penrod sets the record straight with Stephanie Mee.


Jack, your career trajectory has taken some interesting twists and turns. You started as a line cook at McDonald's, went on to become the largest McDonald's franchise owner in Florida, and are now the owner of Nikki Beach Worldwide – a luxury lifestyle and entertainment company with sleek and stylish beach clubs and lounges all over the world. What was it that drove you forward over the years? I come from humble beginnings. I was raised on welfare and at a very young age I decided I needed to take control of my future. My desire and determination to be successful gave me the strength to focus and make my work my passion. I love what I do. The payoff is very rewarding. I’m a marketer at heart. I truly live life to the fullest so when tragedy struck my family in 1997 and I lost my daughter, Nicole, all I knew to do was to turn the rest of my life into a tribute to her and celebrate her life. From line cook to franchise owner and then the creator of your own chain of hamburger restaurants, you then segued into the world of nightlife and entertainment. How did that come about? The common denominator is marketing. Life brings you lots of opportunities and I was always ready to take them and make them happen. My passion is marketing and the desire to create and build new businesses. When and where did you open the first Penrod's Beach Club, and in your opinion, what was the secret to its success? The first Penrod’s on the Beach opened in Fort Lauderdale in 1981. Again, it’s all about marketing. Give your customers more than they expect and create unique events and entertainment. To promote the opening of Penrod’s on the on Miami Beach we built a snow mountain right on the sands of the beach and had an Olympic silver medalist come out of the water with her skis and ski down in her bathing suit! This event got national attention. It’s all about creating dreams. How did Nikki Beach come about? Nikki Beach was born to celebrate the life of my daughter Nicole. It started as a beautiful garden by the sea; which we called Café Nikki where friends and family could get together and share great times. What inspired you to expand the Nikki Beach brand internationally? We actually didn’t have any plans for a global brand, however, the magic between our family concept and our customers created a demand. It was then that we decided to strategically expand worldwide while always keeping the core message behind Nikki Beach (a celebration of life) of utmost importance by ensuring each location combines the key elements of dining, entertainment, music, fashion, film and art

into a single entity . . . which, in addition to family and friends, are the things in life that Nicole loved most. We now have 12 locations throughout the world, and two of them are also hotel resort properties. Nikki Beach has become so much more than just a chain of beach clubs. It now includes suites and villas, a clothing line, music label, a lifestyle publication and a charity division. With such a multifaceted brand, you must have had your fair share of challenges. What have been the biggest hurdles been so far? And the biggest rewards? We always listen to our customers and give them more of what they want. Our growth and expansion has been gradual and easy. I would say the biggest hurdle has been integrating the cultural differences of our staff and the biggest reward is to see them come together and become a strong family. You recently opened Nikki Beach Bali in Sofitel Bali, Nusa Dua. What can we expect from this much-anticipated new venture? The quintessential Nikki Beach experience. Bali has always been on our list of locations for Nikki Beach and when we had the opportunity to work with the Sofitel Resort we just made it happen. The Sofitel Resort is a beautiful property. Guests can expect great food, great music, great entertainment and great service in a beautiful beachfront property. We wake up each day ready to celebrate life and to make it contagious (to each of our guests). In your opinion, what will set Nikki Beach Bali apart from the other beach clubs on the island? Just being who we are and always striving to provide our guests with the best service. Seeing our customers’ smiling faces from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave is everything to us. As we are a family owned and operated brand, regardless of which Nikki Beach location someone is at, they always feel at home with us. That said, we wish all neighbouring beach clubs nothing but success – there is room for all of us in beautiful Bali. Are there any hot upcoming events at Nikki Beach Bali that we should know about? We have a few big themed events coming up including the highly anticipated December 6th Grand Opening White Party and our NYE celebration on December 31st. We also have our famed Amazing Sunday Brunch each Sunday which is a do-not-miss entertainment dining experience showcasing popular dishes from all the countries in which we have Nikki Beach locations across the globe. What does the future hold for Jack Penrod and Nikki Beach Worldwide? We are opening a massive hotel resort in Dubai in late 2015. And this is just the beginning . . .


Ondy Sweeting talks spirituality, lifestyle and food with La Finca’s Thomas Mack. photo: Lukas vrtilek.

RECENTLY married restaurateur Thomas Mack has a taste for the spiritual and bohemian life. He dreams of Ibiza, but has his feet firmly planted in the rice paddies of Bali. Maybe being born in San Francisco post flower-power may have informed his mystical and entrepreneurial spirit, both of which appear in abundance in the man behind La Finca – the funky Spanish bistro past Batu Belig before Canggu. Thomas started his Indonesian odyssey when he left New York City as a brand consultant and jetted to Jakarta to set up a business offering IT services to banking. “Some old friends got in touch with me with a great business idea. I jumped at the challenge and got on a plane to Jakarta. I was young and ready to take a risk. I had nothing to lose but a few years of my career,” he says. Five successful years later, plus one hell of a health scare, Thomas was Balibound chasing his passion . . . food, specifically home style Spanish soul food. “At the time I re-evaluated everything in my life and decided that I wanted to chase my passion and that is food. I love the restaurant businesse because I immediately see the impact of what I am doing. Seeing people enjoy our food and atmosphere gives me instant gratification. It's a fun business that you actually live. You have to be constantly present.” Notions about the high stress nature of running a restaurant are flung aside. “It is a fun stress managing La Finca. It is completely unlike working in a corporate office where the results of your efforts are not seen until the end of the week or month, if ever,” Thomas says. Having grown up ranging the world with his parents, he called Singapore, Tokyo, New York and Paris home and was educated in California and Virginia. But his stabilising secret was Ibiza where endless summers were spent among family and friends. His German aunt was among the first of the indie folk that went to Ibiza in the 1970s seeking an alternative life to the all-encompassing cold war in Europe. This was his open invitation for a summer dreamland of cuisine and culture that continues to influence his life. “Because I was moving around every four years as a child, Ibiza became my reference point for deep connection but I always saw that I would come back to Asia,” he says. Thomas is now permanently bound to the island. He has become a


confirmed son of Bali having married into a local family. Before his march to the temple, he underwent two weeks of important Balinese ceremonies to convert to this unique branch of Hinduism and marry his lover. “Every important spiritual benchmark from the birth of a Balinese baby to marriage I had to acquire including tooth filing, ” Thomas says. “I had expected a token-type of ceremonial tooth filing to get married but the elders thought it would be best for me to undergo the full experience.” After the application of herbal aesthetic to his mouth and gums, his Balinese family and friends started to supportively lay hands on his body. The pemangku (priest) filed away while beautifully dressed women and men buttressed him. “It didn’t hurt at all but it was a very intense experience. Very emotional,” he says. Thomas believes that Bali and Ibiza have more in common than being uber-chic holiday destinations. “Both islands are very spiritual and they both attracted the first hippies that were trying to get away from western life. They were trying to create a new type of living that free and bohemian,” he says. “Ibiza is so mystical. There is a rocky outcrop island off the coast called Es Vedra where there are all types of heavenly sightings with fisherman observing lights coming out of the water and unearthly beings are often spotted. The island, which does not have a single animal that is toxic to man, has such magnetism that a compass spins. People go there to meditate.” Even that wonderful wag of ages past, Nostradamus predicted that Ibiza would be the earth’s final refuge after Armageddon. Sounds familiar, apart from the poisonous animals and Armageddon bit? There is little doubt that Thomas Mack will continue to make his mark in Indonesia. “We are scouting for locations on Flores to create a similar type of restaurant to La Finca. It would have to be adapted since Flores is really remote and tourism is just beginning. We are also considering some locations in Seminyak,” he says. But he will not jump ship to whisk his Balinese beauty to the Balaerics. “I would love to have many restaurants in Indonesia, but not in Ibiza. I would never want to work there.”

mack & cheese.


culture vulture

Tony Stanton talks to

photographer Anthony Dodds about faces in the crowd.

Photography: Anthony Dodds

Creative Director / Producer: Omee Moon Photographic Assistant: Mirza Nurman Retouching: Samantha Hawken


Necklace and earrings: Tiger Frame.


culture vulture necklace: part of four.


black and silver bracelet: maru Bali. black diamond string bracelet: nafsu. ring and silver bracelet: model's own.


culture vulture 74

Anthony, what the hell have you been up to since we last had lunch? Plenty! I spent some time in Sumatra, going off on a solo mission for a bit of tranquility then visiting my friend’s surf camp in Krui – the Mandiri Beach Club. When I got back Dustin Humphrey asked me to shoot and co-direct the next Deus movie with him. The last movie, I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night, was so fun to make and a huge success, so I packed my bags again and we set off to make South to Sian. It was a small team: one photographer, Woody Gooch, two videographers, Andre and myself, and two surfers, Harrison Roach and Zye Norris. We spent three months driving to beaches, up mountains and through jungles, overland from Sumbawa all the way up to Sumatra. Spending three months in a close space with four others guys can be hard at times, but lucky for us we’re all close friends and shared an experience that none of us will forget. After the drive around Indonesia I planted my feet back in Bali, doing bits and pieces and documenting surf trips. When I reunited with Omee we started a new portraiture project which will be an ongoing adventure for the next few years I hope. I see you've made a new compadre in Omee, how has she been involved in your work? Omee was introduced to me by a mutual friend. That was last year, and ever since then we’ve discussed working together, and now we are. I feel very lucky to have met her because she’s a well travelled person. Having worked in the photography industry for 25 years or so I have a lot to learn from her. Meeting these sorts of people in Bali, who have knowledge of the industry and all those years of experience under their belt, working in cities such as New York, London and Paris, is a treat. Bali is such an international destination. So, why black and white portraits? I’m passionate about shooting portraits, and I wanted to do a personal project that can be ongoing for a long time. Omee originally came up with the concept and pitched it to me and I was crazy about the idea – especially shooting portraits for myself and not for anybody else. We talked about how we would approach it, and were influenced by Richard Avedon and his work on the Great West project. I love the characters that he chose, such beautiful people and such unique individuals. What I love to do is to bring the true representation of a person out in a portrait, and that is exactly what I’m trying to achieve with this project. It pays homage to the greatness of Richard Avedon, and at the same time it’s homage to the people who live right here in Bali. How did you make the shoot different from other portrait shoots in Bali that have been done over the years? We collaborated with some very talented local jewellers, like Tiger Frame, Johnny Ramli, Parts of Four and Just For The Money, with the idea being we would invite our subjects to be photographed in their own clothes, and then put a piece of jewellery on them. It gives the subject something to work with. Sometimes they’re uncomfortable, sometimes it’s like they were born with it, but it has worked to give everyone something special, somehow it becomes not just about them. The white background brings the focus completely to the person, their mood, their skin, their age, their eyes. It isolates them. I hope that I’ve captured an emotion within each of the portraits, and I certainly hope it stirs an emotion in the people who look at them. How did you choose your subjects? The subjects chosen for this project so far range from people I know

already, individuals that we have found walking down the street, along with neighbours, friends of friends and children of friends. Casting has been fun with some real surprises. Omee and I have both come up with some characters. Once you start it’s hard to imagine where you could finish. I’ve noticed myself looking at people on the street differently. Who was your favourite subject and why? That’s hard to say. The 90-year-old ibu, who lives across the road from Omee, danced for us and laughed, kissed us and hugged us. She had such an amazing energy . . . it was a beautiful shoot. Shooting people who have experience in front of the camera or in performance is also fantastic, people who can take direction and add to it. Where did you set up your studio, and for the photo-heads out there, what equipment did you use? This was a simple set-up but a very effective way to shoot. With a white background at the back of Omee’s house and open shade, we would have to wait until a certain time of day to shoot to use the natural light, which I love to shoot with. My dream is to shoot on a large format camera and on film again, but living here, with limited access to film stock and processing, really restricts you from doing so. So I’ve been using my Canon Mark II along with very expensive lenses, that always helps . . . Who was the oldest person you shot? Who was the youngest? How did they compare? The oldest person I shot was the 90-year-old ibu who was full of life and wouldn’t stop dancing at the end of the shoot. Xavier McCutchinson, who’s nine years old, might be the youngest at this stage, but we have a lot more to go. It’s funny looking at subjects at that age, because you scrutinise them in so much detail you start to picture how they used to look in the past or how they will look in the future. Do you think people are more relaxed in front of the camera these days, given that the whole world is into selfies? I haven’t noticed to be honest, because the reactions that I have been getting in front of the camera have been so varied. It’s hard to believe these people are obsessed with selfies, but it could be a reason why they chose to be part of the project. Are you staging an exhibition of this work? It looks ripe for that . . . I am. We were trying to have the opening in mid-December, but with time required for printing, framing and finding the right venue for the exhibition to be hung for longer than a few days, we’re now looking at the end of January or early February. The prints are going to be big and we hope that it will be an event that people will revisit. You can check into Anthony Dodds Photography Facebook page for details. We’ll be sending out invites next month. What's next for Mr Dodds? I plan to carry on with this project alongside other work, but it feels great to use my photography as an art form rather than to use it to make money. A visit back to England could be on the cards also. This is a really exciting time for me and I’m very happy with what I’m doing and how everything is going.



reality TV shows are the disconnect that fuel a dysfunctional heroic narrative, writes andrew e. hall.


WHILE the equally deadly viruses, ebola and Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL), decimate populations in West Africa and the Middle East, a deeply sinister social scourge has knocked them from atop the electronic pages of otherwise reputable newspapers . . . at least in Australia. The story (that gained more hits than egregious human circumstances in the northern hemisphere) is about the aftermath of the most recent run of the “reality” TV series (let's call it RTV), The Bachelor Australia – a programme out of the US, franchised to production companies throughout the world. In my extensive (and, frankly, depressing) research for this article, in one major Australian newspaper alone I counted no less than 40 top-of-thepage stories – parading as legitimate journalism – between October 7 and November 4, 2014 . . . before I stopped counting. While I have never watched an episode of The Bachelor (why would you?) I sadly feel I now know the protagonists in this story in a somewhat intimate way. Here’s a quick synopsis about the basic premise of the show: First and foremost, The Bachelor is founded upon an elimination-style format – as are most other contemporary RTV shows – where there are “winners” and “losers” . . . the tension element. The show’s producers (in this case Shine Australia) engage in a selection process for “suitable” contestants which results in one “eligible” bachelor being chosen with a far larger number of similarly “eligible” women (average age, 25). They are thrown together into a large and fluffy villa . . . let the fun begin. Most recently the bachelor was a chappie named Blake Garvey (31) – a real estate agent, and, it has been reported, co-owner of a company that hires out male strippers. During the first couple of weeks of filming there are activities, dates and cocktail parties and female contestants are whittled by way of being denied a red rose from Blake . . . out the door you go darling. In the final week/s of production the show goes on the road with Blake and the four remaining women to exotic locations throughout the world – this one ended up in Cape Town, South Africa – and, long story short, Blake presents a AUD58,000 engagement ring to a woman named Samantha Frost (25). It is shortly after the final enthralling episode goes to air that things go pear-shaped – much to the delight of the Australian media and broadcaster, Channel 10. Horror of horrors, Blake dumps Sam (she gets to keep the ring) and hooks up with third-placed contestant Louise Pillidge (26) – whom he was allegedly “in love” with all along and only dumped to protect her fragile sensibilities – amidst rumours that second-placed, Lisa Hyde (27), is “in the family way” thanks to Blake – she denies this and says she’s “lucky” to have been ousted by Blake. People are shocked. They are outraged.

As Ben Pobjie writes in the Fairfax media: “Love is dead. The magic and mystery of the human heart have been crushed to dust by the relentless gears of modern life, and the insatiable maw of popular culture has left the very notion of romance a bloated, reeking corpse mocking itself even as it decays in the gutter of our befouled imaginations. By which I mean, of course, that it's time for another episode of The Bachelor Australia, the show where a man with abs instead of personality engages in light petting with numerous women who have been raised to consider philandering a desirable quality in a life partner.” Meanwhile ebola is killing people in the thousands and ISIL is murdering people in the hundreds, if not thousands. “News” organisations update every thrilling twist and turn in the tawdry saga and a rapt audience sends social media into hyper-drive – which is exactly what “news” organisations revel in these days. And largely why the “news” agenda is driven by “hits” and “likes”. C’mon news directors and editors, I dare you, say with a straight face it’s not true. Do it. And vilify me at your leisure. Interviews are organised by all manner of media and “tell-all” stories are promoted; the protagonists paid large sums. A financially struggling Channel 10 receives a fountainhead of free publicity. Fuck my old boots. And at the time of writing it’s far from over. Sorry, Arab and African peoples . . . this is “reality”. REWIND: In 1948, Allen Funt’s Candid Camera – arguably the first “reality” show – became immensely popular for its depiction of ordinary people placed in unusual, often prankish, situations. In a psychosocial sense Candid Camera probably fulfilled a similar post-war and (at the time) mid-depression role played by the slapstick movies of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin et al in the 1920s and ‘30s . . . humour and hope in the face of adversity in a world rebuilding from abject conflict and compromise. I can’t remember if it was Funt’s original show or a run-on from it but as a youngster in the ‘60s (‘70s?) I was (please note) “allowed” to watch a programme of the same name. It was innocent and funny. My mother – when confronted by her, sometimes, fractious children – would chant the mantra: “Smile, you’re on candid camera”. Which, in retrospect, probably didn’t have the desired effect in alleviating our moodiness. Kids . . . Allen Funt’s legacy can be found in America’s Funniest Home Videos (franchised around the world), which first aired in 1990 – and marked a point in technological history whereby the average person had the capacity to capture and publish images without the necessity of a dedicated film crew. In other words, it was “cheap” content for broadcast networks. In the 1970s Australian actor Gary McDonald developed the character Norman Gunston (who is the template, whether he acknowledges it or not, for Sasha Baron Cohen’s character, Ali G). The “little Aussie bleeder” (because his face was covered in shaving bandages) interviewed celebrities all over the world. An hysterical landmark in RTV – The Who drummer, Keith Moon, poured beer all over him; ballet doyen Rudolph



Nureyev chucked a hissy fit and threw Norman out of his dressing room. Others simply cracked up in the face of Norman’s sheer gall and apparent insouciance. Those were still the days when RTV was harmless fun – although in a very clever way McDonald’s bumbling interrogations were revealing with respect to his target parties. It was also a time when there tended to be a more harmonic balance between cooperation and competition in music, the arts, industry and the public space in general. McDonald as Gunston garnered a certain celebrity but was largely dismissive of it. FAST FORWARD: The 1990s emerged much in the fashion of a stream of projectile puke – morphing western demographics, in particular, into a chunder of divisive demagoguery. In the academies false prophets were busy deconstructing modernity in a desperate struggle to sell a “post-modernist” zeitgeist – and in doing so drove yet another unnecessary wedge between women and men. Gen Y’s desultory disposition became mired in the desperation of “grunge”. Corporate CEOs and their minions were lionized and corporate raiders rewarded in a manner more than hideous. The have/have-not gap became a yawning chasm. The oldest investment bank in Britain was brought to its knees by a single, greedy, rogue employee – and sold for a dollar. And with unprecedented advances in technological innovation the dot-com bubble began to inflate, only to collapse with a resounding “POP” at the end of the decade and the beginning of the next – taking many a life savings with it. The aspiration to acquire “celebrity” (sans any appreciable merit) became a Machiavellian movement. Enter Big Brother – an RTV series (originally out of the Netherlands) that took the world by storm. I confess to having watched a few episodes. But quickly became uninterested because I’d lived in shared houses on numerous occasions and understood the dynamics . . . for myself and my cohabitants washing-up duty was the biggest source of conflict. That, and where the hell to find the bong after it was hidden by the last person who used it.

Big Brother, again, was franchised across the globe, attracting massive audiences and, hence, viewer ratings, which determine the level of advertising content and revenue. It was pretty much the first big RTV thing that delved into notions of tribalism. While the initial set-up costs considerable money – the house and all the recording equipment, monitoring crews etc. – the rest of it is relatively low cost network content (because the networks aren’t actually paying the “actors” as real actors would ordinarily be remunerated on a fictional TV production). As Thomas Fenoglio writes in A Critical Guide to Reality Television: “The cost of reality TV in itself is the final factor in its current network saturation. The fact of the matter is reality TV is cheap to make, and in order to pursue a more ‘authentic’ depiction of reality, cheap production is a must.” The title Big Brother comes from George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen EightyFour. “Big Brother” is the disembodied “controller” who sets tasks for


the “housemates” and who introduces conflict into “the tribe” – over and above the conflicts created by its members. Why anyone who has read Nineteen Eighty-Four would want to consciously bring it to life is beyond me. “Reality” is unashamedly manipulated and sold as a fait accompli to the chattering classes and those they look down upon. And the “new-speak” of the genre has become embedded in our linguistic cultures. In earlier incarnations the rationale for the “game” was for the tribe to cull members by consensus until there was one “winner” left standing who received an enticing prize package. As the show evolved and personal communications technology progressed the audience played a larger role in who got the boot and who got the loot. There are a number of points to be made here: Big Brother was more cutthroat than anything that had come before (and more so as time went on) – reflecting the mores of the era; contestants became celebrities for no other reason than they were going the biff with each other on TV; and a voyeuristic audience bayed for the blood of “losers” while idolising “winners”. Everyone should read Ben Elton’s take on the Big Brother phenomenon in his book, Dead Famous. It’s dead funny.

Survivor is a more recent and more overtly tribal RTV show set in more primitive surrounds that rewards skullduggery and connivance to a greater degree – a reification of a faux survival of the fittest . . . and meanness and sneakiness: human characteristics that are, apparently, to be applauded. How does this speak to the mentality and morality of the voyeurs who watch the stuff with rapt attention enough to incorporate it into everyday conversation . . . as if it actually mattered? As if it were real? Again, what is “reality” anyway? Christopher J. Wright in Welcome to the Jungle of the Real: Simulation, Commoditization, and Survivor writes: “each 44-minute episode is culled from as much as 72 hours of footage from multiple cameras. (The editing) team can make anyone look bad and they can make anyone look good”. Did you ever watch a series called Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls? I did because I quite like nature. However, despite the fact he did hurl himself out of the odd plane and helicopter, ford the odd river, and (claimed to) walk vast distances through deserts, I knew he was never as alone as he gave the impression of being. Film crews are a dead giveaway. I stopped watching Man Vs. Wild after an episode that was shot in the northwest of Western Australia. There’s the plonker, Bear, wandering through an apparently barren landscape when he sticks his hand into a bit of scrubby bush and pulls out an olive python – which is indigenous to the area but rather rare. “Ahh,” says Bear “. . . dinner.” He then dangles this “wild” (two-metre) snake around his neck and proceeds to stroll on in search of a suitable campsite “for the night”.


Now, I was brought up in that kind of country and I never met a wild snake that would obligingly hang around my neck for hours while I wandered about – pythons are quite prone to biting and strangling things if they feel threatened . . . and Bear Grylls is no Steve Irwin (bless him, Steve that is). Anyway, that was the bit I found funny – that this snake was likely more indigenous to a pet shop in Perth than anywhere else. The part I found dreadfully unfunny was when the indomitable Bear battered the poor creature to death on a rock as a precursor to cooking it. Do you know what he said as he was doing this? “It doesn’t hurt them.” Wanker! What kind of message does this shit send to kids?

Doomsday Preppers was another cracker that one just had to watch at least once . . . about American bible-bashing bozos preparing for the Apocolypse. I laughed until I cried when a father decided his young children needed to be taught how to handle firearms (presumably to shoot the neighbours when they came scrounging for food come the end of days) . . . and blew his own thumb off when he had a misfire with his AR15 – and promptly fainted. Top Shot is another RTV show out of the US where two teams of people are banged up in a house – a la Big Brother – in the desert and eliminated over the duration based upon their ability to shoot things. Of course, some of the most avidly watched RTV series that have exploded over the past 20 years or so involve the highly dangerous martial art of . . . cooking. The rabid Gordon Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen being a piquant example. Shut up Gordon! You’re belligerent and boring.

Master Chef – same bollocks, different show. Manufactured tensions, winners, losers . . . smug judges. A venal groveling for celebrity. The RTV series with an outrageous double entendre title, The Biggest Loser, puts fat people through hell under the tender mercies of a bunch of fascist personal trainers who would not be out of place as wardens in Abu Ghraib. Told you my research was depressing. There are abundant vacuous series’ about becoming a “top model” – almost the antithesis The Biggest Loser. . . . and then there are the ubiquitous “talent” programmes such as (pick a country)-Idol and The X-Factor. Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl, speaking on the US current affairs show 60 Minutes, fired a broadside at American Idol, The X-Factor and other TV talent shows for crushing aspiring singers. “Who's to say they're good or not?” Grohl told interviewer Anderson Cooper. “Imagine Bob Dylan standing there singing Blowin' in the Wind in front of those judges?” he said.

Grohl then imitated a TV talent show judge offering a verdict on Dylan: “Sorry, it's a little nasally and a little flat . . . next,” he said. According to a November 2014 article in the Canberra Times Grohl is not alone in his criticism of the TV talent show genre, and the prominence it now has in the search for emerging talent in the recording industry. Sir Elton John famously said TV pop competitions had “killed talent”, while Sting, the former frontman of The Police, has described The X-Factor as “appalling”. Former Take That frontman Robbie Williams said TV talent shows were cruel. “They fuck with people’s lives for entertainment,” he said. I think a most pithy perspective is provided by Passenger in his song, I Hate: “ . . . And I hate the X-Factor, for murdering music You bunch of money-grubbing pricks . . .” I’m pretty sure that Simon Cowell isn’t terribly fussed about the negativity. We could go on and on because there’s a “reality” show based on pretty much any subject you can think of and we’ve already established why. Questions remain, however, about the ramifications and consequences of this peculiar ubiquity that doesn’t look like going away any time soon. As Jennifer Friedlander writes in her essay, No Business Like Schmo Business: Reality TV and Fetishistic Inversion: “ . . . as viewers, we know that reality TV is, in fact, a sham. Through a combination of casting decisions, generic conventions, celebrity aspirations, etc., the participants of these shows are, in effect, not acting ‘authentically’, but are rather ‘playing roles’. Nevertheless, we enjoy watching them as if we think of them as ‘real people’.” Reality shows, therefore, are the triumph of the manufactured image: the articulation of our desire to relate to fabricated identities and carefully edited personas. They are the blank screens upon which we can project our own need to belong. Or as Yasmin Ibrahim puts it in Transformation as Narrative and Process: Locating Myth and Mimesis in Reality TV . . . “Makeover shows reflect the anxieties of our time; in a society where youth culture dominates the media, social deviance is shown in the form of poor selection of apparel, neglect of bodies or the natural process of ageing, these shows portray change as salvation and compliance as a heroic narrative.” So, I return to the thoughts that got me into this story in the first place and my obtuse opening paragraph. In the wake of never ending news reports about (mainly) young people from many different countries making the decision to travel to Syria and Iraq to take up arms with ISIL and participate in its murderous spree, I wondered – and in a very real way, worried – what motivational force might lie in the “heroic narratives” of popular culture. And about the sycophancy of mainstream media that makes them “real”. Meanwhile, let’s all look forward to the next intoxicating series from the RTV networks: Kill-Factor – pilots are already on a website near you . . .


yak fashion

Styling: The Ă– Model: Irina Roshik @ Bali Starz Hair: Toni & Guy Essenuals Bali Location: Michaela MacDonnell @ Bali Starz


mix of layered dresses by Ali Charisma.


Ali charisma and vintage top available at a.muse.


Magali Pascal dress teamed with ALi Charisma jacket.


vintage top by a.muse teamed with ALI Charisma dress worn as skirt.


DRESS BY dinderella.


DRESS BY dinderella with Ali Charisma train.


dress by Ali Charisma.







Asal Shahindoust peels the Big Apple. photo essay by stephane sensey.

if you can make it there...


Past the busy streets, the echoing honks, the elaborate noise pollution and the waves of ever-changing scenes you will find a gem that permeates brightly through the charcoal painted air of New York City. Some say NYC isn’t for everyone but this vibrant corner of the world surely has a little something to offer anyone who makes their way to the Big Apple. Whether you are visiting as a tourist, visiting friends, or moving in, there are many layers of the city waiting to be peeled away. The city can be intimidating on the surface, but beneath are enticing secrets ready to be dug up by anyone who is eager. The city is renowned for its popular landmarks – the Empire State Building, Broadway, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and much, much more – but it is not the landmarks per se that define NYC, rather the diversity, energy and spirit of the people who live there. As an important landing spot for many immigrants from the early 1800s, its cultural diversity makes New York unique. Different influences can be found in its music, food, people, fashion and personalities . . . and at the center it all melds together into one great melting pot. There are so many pieces to the NYC puzzle that it is easiest to break them up and give each piece equal attention. The diversity of the city can begin with its vast and prominent music scene. Essentially every music genre has been rooted and grown out of the city’s soil. From early on it was known for its ever-evolving jazz scene, which is still very popular today. Powerful hip-hop and rap music have been defined here with groups like Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., the Beastie Boys . . . the list goes on. It’s a haven for all musicians and music lovers alike. You don’t have to look hard to find a venue, nightclub, recording studio or practice space. The city caters as well to the more mainstream music lover with venues like The Bowery Ballroom, Radio Music Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Underground music lovers find solace in live music all over the city with venues like Union Pool, Baby’s All Right, Terminal 5, Cake Shop and Mercury Lounge. NYC is also host to many musical festivals throughout the year including the popular indie music fest All Tomorrow’s Parties, The Governor's Ball, Electric Zoo and the New York City Jazz Festival, just to name a few. New York City itself can be considered a work of art, perhaps of the abstract variety. In every corner you’ll find inspiration for art or you’ll find art within the city itself. Gorgeous photography of the ins and outs of the city have been put on display in museums around the world, showcasing NYC as the exotic, wild and fast-paced metropolis that it has been since it first emerged in the USA. Renowned photographers and photojournalists such as

Bill Cunningham give glimpses into the soul of the city. As one of the art capitals of the world, there is a wide array of different works represented across the city. Of the most influential, one might think of Andy Warhol . . . but the list is clearly too long to define. Artists from all over the world come to here to find inspiration from every street corner. Some have even found inspiration through creating art on the streets with graffiti and street art. Banksy has made his mark here numerous times and most notably, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who made a whole movement out of hip-hop, post-punk and street art. These days you can get a taste of what’s going on in the art scene at exhibits and art openings that happen almost daily in the city. Cruise into Williamsburg and you’ll find many bars displaying local artists, art showings and a crown of laid-back people and art admirers alike. Food in NYC is just as diverse as the music and art. With a number of different neighborhoods representing a spread of cultures that have migrated over to the city over the years, the food is just as authentic as it would be in its homeland. Pizza and hot dogs are the New York trademarks. But it would be foolish to miss out on the delicacies of the Mediterranean, Chinese, French and seafood. While all these aspects make up NYC, it’s the people, their characteristics and their style that give the city its edge. The affluence of creativity is proof of the eclectic mix of humans that dwell in NYC. It’s not called the Fashion Capital of the world for nothing. Style comes in waves here. In the city you are bound to see a multitude of personalities and looks. With Europe being their major point of influence, the city has the most international mix compared to the rest of the country. In Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Brooklyn you’ll find a crowd of young hipsters sporting a variety of vintage looks. The abundance of thrift stores and consignment shops are enough to give the inspiration needed to compliment the thirst for unique and original looks. Enter the Upper Eastside and high fashion is no secret to the frequenters of this neighborhood. During New York Fashion Week, the city is flooded with the top in the industry and with anyone who hopes to make it in the industry whether as a model or designer. On the other end, sophistication is found all over through business-savvy workers and eager students. However, despite the separate entities, thanks to walking culture and the public transit, at the core NYC is blessed with human interaction and colliding of different worlds. It is safe to say that New York City has a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you are a city slicker looking for a busy life with endless nights, or a laid-back coast-sider who wants to take advantage of the surf on the Atlantic, if you look hard enough, New York can be your soul mate.



subway sessions.


the ride of your life.



faces and places.


Authentic Japanese Cuisine

oral pleasures

66 Sara Douglas checks out what’s hot at the new Double Six.

RISING like the phoenix from the faded embers of our youth, Double Six, the resort, has risen again as a sexy and shiny edifice to modern Bali tourism. Stretching languidly along the shore of Bali’s favourite playground, much like the proverbial cat with nine lives, Double Six resort has taken a step back from the madness that it now peruses from a higher plane. Content to play big brother, perhaps, to the younger siblings that now thrive on the stretch of beach it once occupied exclusively. Taking on the high-profile Australian restaurateur, Robert Marchetti, to oversee the food and beverage operation was perhaps a risky move but its impact can’t be underestimated. The man behind iconic restaurants like Icebergs and North Bondi Italian has brought his own brand of culinary luminosity to our shores and it has proved a winner. The numerous restaurants and bars echo the original Double Six with their vibrant energy and they are integral to the design and the experience. The Rooftop is where it all begins and ends. Sunsets up here are amazing with views that sweep the island but the venue is tailor-made for partying late as well. Overlooking the activity on the beach at sunset is voyeurism to the max. From fully clad locals, wannabee football heroes, the obligatory tourists playing bat and ball in their bikinis and the numerous sunset bars, it offers a bird’s eye view that sweeps all the way to Tanah Lot on one side and Uluwatu on the other. Cocktails here are king and at present prices are still low. A low slung private booth invokes a minimum spend of Rp.2million (at the time of writing), an easy stretch for 8-10 people. Music reverberates through the large space, complete with high ceilings and a décor that turns to pineapples for its inspiration. Funky and fun and . . . yellow! A glass of sparkling called my name, a fruity cocktail with thick, delicious foam caught my friend’s eye. The food here is overseen by young chef-in-charge, Jamie, who is the executive chef across the food and beverage team. Centre stage on a podium is a saté grill that flickers flames and is the source of a lot of the saté-inspired menu, including the fabulous slipper lobster skewers, served with scallops and caviar we enjoyed. Bite-sized sliders with wagyu or crispy pork belly, popcorn chicken, calamari, tuna and tandoori chicken are among the selections, retro yet


appealing, simple and yet the perfect side to the sunset and the cocktails. Seminyak Italian, downstairs, extends out over the pool and overlooks the beach beyond. The first venue to open, it is a slick open Italian diner with chefs busily making fresh pasta, a cheese room and a charcuterie room. The menu is easy to digest with some appealing appetisers and salads to compliment the charcuterie and cheese selections. Pasta here is a highlight but not all there is. A slow-cooked ragu of lamb shoulder tops a perfectly al dente penne, tagliatelle with hand picked crab meat, tomato, garlic and cognac is a stand out as is the home-made tortellini filled with mortadella, veal, prosciutto with sage, parmesan and truffle. Mama-inspired for sure, and honest, delicious food that is as light or as rich as you like. The meat here is from Marchetti’s own farm and it is really good. A Black Angus T-bone, perfectly charred with a vibrant salsa and fat chips is total indulgence. While the “Una minuti Bistecca” topped with anchovy and garlic butter, watercress and lemon or the rib eye topped with a peppery rocket is a paleo’s dream. Fish, veal and a whole roasted baby chicken are also great choices. Seminyak Italian food is easy, food is familiar and wholesome and the restaurant is great for groups or even solo. The wine list is exclusively Italian and not too expensive, everyone will find something they can afford. Two venues are already on our dance cards. The final touches are being made to Rooftop and some big parties are being planned to celebrate the holidays. This is going to be a hot pick for New Year’s Eve, when they plan to party all night and then all day, a la Icebergs Bondi. Plantation Grill was almost open when we visited last and it is perhaps going to be the icing on the cake, and more than likely where this reviewer will lay her hat! A Gatsby-style grill restaurant; A two-storey, glass edifice that enjoys sweeping views to match the Hollywood-style staircase that will traverse the elegant dining room and the smokin’ billiard room, bar and martini lounge upstairs. Oh yes. Think aged steaks and line-caught fish; think an open kitchen with flaring stoves and waiters flamboyantly flashing large menus. Think grown up. Like Double Six! Like us! Get excited.

to be seen a double six.


oral pleasures

Recipes infused with youth and enthusiasm make for happy days in harmonious surrounds.

THE Parlour is playing with the big boys at their location in Petitenget but they are ready for it, armed with a lot of class and a vibrant mix of youth and enthusiasm. One might be tempted to think they have bitten off more than they can chew, but on leaving I thought not! In fact there’s something very refreshing about this team and both the venue and the food reflect that. Set back slightly from the road with an open air bar at the front and a seating area for smokers, the dining room is air-conditioned and decorated in classic French bistro-style; a theme carried through on the menu. An incredible mural that scales the wall and spills onto the ceiling brings the whole space to life. Classic booths line the wall and café tables scattered around are lit by a funky installation of lights. It’s quite a beautiful dining room, classic and yet a little funky as well. Breakfast and lunch is classic café-style with bakery items made inhouse, eggs, salads and sandwiches and light meals served throughout the day. A snack menu is available in the lounge and a kids’ menu is also offered. By night, the menu is a solid mix of French classics with a little Asian spin. Not surprising when you find that many of the kitchen staff have trained in some of the island’s best restaurants, including Mozaic and Mozaic Beach Club. The open kitchen means you can see them working and meet them if you are so inclined. They are all busy yet smiling and


happy and it shows in the food. For dinner we settled on the five-course degustation, thinking we’d test them a little. They sailed through it with some really beautiful dishes, more nouvelle cuisine than molecular, beautifully sauced and artfully arranged. First up was a crisp goat cheese salad; a parcel of tender warm cheese wrapped in a thin layer of filo and laid out with wild rucola, honey mustard and jewel-like mango. Next up was milk-fed veal tenderloin. A medallion of the tender, pink veal sat on a delicious jus, the plate dotted with baby carrot and leek. Next up was a barramundi fillet. Served in a large bowl which gave it a very retro feeling; a smear of pumpkin purée, a herby beurre blanc and a flourish of herbs was all there was to it really but each component was perfectly cooked, the fish was tender and the sauce balanced and gently flavoured. A nice wine list, including a good selection by the glass, gave us enough choice to keep us happy. A little safe maybe but a nice pinot noir by the glass worked perfectly with the menu. The service was crisp yet friendly, our waiter introduced himself, took good care of us and he was sweet. The owner, TJ, an Anglo-Indonesia from Jakarta, who fell in love with food while at university in Sydney, formerly owned a beach restaurant on Double Six Beach, the Sand Pit. There he learned the ropes in a very competitive atmosphere, always staying just a bar above the others, with fresh seafood being the house specialty. This time he has bigger plans and is very hands on, involved with every aspect of the restaurant. The final course on our degustation menu was called a chocolate cremaux. I love a happy ending and this one proved to be all that and more. Not a mousse and not a cake but a deeply delicious, creamy chocolate dessert topped with rock salt and served with a mango and hazelnut sorbet, really fabulous! The Parlour has set its course on French classics with an Asian twist and there is something very appealing about the twist they have taken. Nouvelle cuisine is no longer new and therefore there is something funky about harking back to the ‘80s when these guys were still in school. There is plenty that’s substantial about the menu for those with a big appetite however to my mind a proper degustation should be portioned so that one can eat it all without leaving feeling like you’ve just had Christmas dinner. This one fit the bill perfectly. S.D.

oral pleasures

B i s t r o t CLA S S IC Dining at Bistrot is like visiting an old friend. Photos Lucky 8. BISTROT on Jl. Oberoi is remarkable in some aspects and yet it fits like a favourite shirt . . . the kind of place you can revisit over and over. What is truly unique is the interior. Designed by owners, Zohra and Blaise, who now have a chain of interiors stores and villas, including Balquisse Living on Sunset Road, it is an incredible rendition of French boudoir meets shabby chic. The two-storey space with a mezzanine bar and lounge is a treasure trove of collectibles from their incredible array of lights and lanterns, furnishings, bric-a-brac, artworks, mirrors, and antiques, both old and new. Rendered brick and glass, the shell is pared back and industrial and the perfect showplace for the collection. It also manages to be intimate despite the size and boasts my absolute favourite bathrooms in Oberoi Road. The concept behind the food is French bistro, classic and appealing with the emphasis on good ingredients, handled with respect; classic recipes that remain favourites. You will find steak tartar and a perfect rib eye with bernaise; you’ll find scallops and roasted chicken, classic French style salads and soups and very French desserts like crepes suzette and iles de floatante – not flashy, yet lovely all the same. A few Asian classics are thrown in as well, including a rich red curry and a green Thai-style curry. The prices are moderate making it an easy choice for the many regulars who swan in and out, making it a second home of sorts. It has that feeling. In keeping with the Bistrot philosophy, we chose two French classics for lunch; a crisp duck confit served with mashed potato and ratatouille; and a black sole meuniere served with a traditional brown butter sauce, baby potatoes and a green salad. We dined in one of our favourite velvet booths


upstairs, where smoking is allowed. We drank a smooth shiraz from Frankland, perfect tucked away on the smoky-coloured mezzanine. Fortunately we had commitments in the afternoon, as the urge to linger was almost irresistible. Not before we tried dessert though. Temptation got the better of us so we chose crepes suzette, two folded crepes in a bitter orange sauce and an artful tarte tartin which featured a disc of tender apple atop a round of puff pastry, all draped in a dreamy caramel. Luscious and decidedly wicked. Bistrot is perfectly suited to long lunches or leisurely dinners, after-dinner cocktails or just a quick café lunch on the trot. The upstairs bar is a perfect hideaway, surrounded by velvet sofas, the bartenders are quick with a cocktail, a nice wine by the glass or a frosty beer. There is no pretention, which is the appeal. It has the hallmarks of a private meeting place on Oberoi, away from the madding crowds. Former chefs have come and gone and now the long-time sous chef is in charge of the kitchen and turning out the classics like a pro. The kitchen overlooks the downstairs dining room and is a hive of activity, providing an entertaining flow during service. General Manager Yassin is Swiss Morrocan, a friendly face with some serious experience in bistros in Paris, lending an authentic geniality to Bistrot. Well-worn and personal items dot the two levels while a great collection of music has been compiled from owner Blaise’ personal collection. There is something very personal about Bistrot and while the light fades behind the lead light windows, a warm glow is cast by a multitude of lamps and lunch fades into dinner. Bistrot remains open, welcoming and familiar. S.D.

the kind of place you can revisit over and over.

vintage cool @ bistrot.


oral oral pleasures pleasures

Sara Douglas has a nice pair at Vin+.

WINE pairing is a bit fiddly at the best of times but with lunch specials at Rp120,000++ the pluses keep on coming at the wine shop, restaurant, gallery and bar that is Vin+. A soaring bamboo structure that towers over the little road leading back from La Lucciola, Vin+ is a magnet for wine lovers. Owned by one of the country’s largest wine importers, it is filled with features to lure both food and wine-lovers, including a dishy Sicilian chef. At this time of year the weather can put a damper on the most enthusiastic foodie but Vin+ has a great solution for that; eat in the wine room. It is cooled to perfection and provides a perfect hideaway among the bottles of fine wine and champagne. Don’t be late though, these tables are in demand. The courtyard and under-cover tables make for a fine alternative, albeit a little warm, and at night the space comes alive with music, wine tastings and special events that twinkle in the glow of candles and soft lights as music fills the space and everything from wine to sake goes down a treat. The menu over lunch or dinner is an easy match for the many wines and travels easily through the Mediterranean, courtesy of the Sicilian chef, while it tips its


lid to Asia in dishes like the crispy Asian pork salad, which, for the record, was perfect on a blistering hot day. There is also an all-day á la carte that features a range of baguettes and salads and a more formal menu for evenings which are designed to find a perfect match among the 300-plus wines, all premium imported varieties and many offered by the glass. The lunch and dinner menu starts with a series of small bites with appetising selections such as croquettes with salsa verde, prawn rice paper rolls, crumbled mozzarella with pesto and crispy soft shell crab with Asian ‘slaw. Shared boards include a charcuterie plate, a cheese board, and daily dips. The salad selection is both interesting and delicious with selections from rare Thai beef, classic ceasar with rosemary chicken, Asian style crispy pork and a rib eye and rocket salad. Pastas are a highlight here and include temptations such as Nonna’s Rib Eye Ragu with pan seared gnocchi and traditional risotto Milanese. The menu then meanders through land and sea before ending with some great desserts like a creamy dark chocolate mousse and an incredible pistachio-topped vanilla cheesecake. The daily wine pairing specials are easy on the diner,

the drinker and the wallet. Each menu item comes matched with a glass of premium wine. The chicken Milanese, served with salad and some of the best looking, home-made chips in recent memory, was matched with a Californian chardonnay while the Asian crispy pork salad came with a biting, Chilean sauvignon blanc. Each month, Vin+ offers a wine of the month; not surprisingly December’s tipple of choice is champagne. They hold sake nights and sangria sessions and often have visiting winemakers popping in for some very affordable wine dinners and cellar door type tastings. Wednesday nights are reserved for some swinging jazz and acoustic sessions. Vin+ does a handy business in supplying wine for weddings and events. The in-house sommelier is always on hand for advice, whether it is one bottle or a hundred. Vin+ occupies a space that Bali needed; a wine store that is also a restaurant, bar and venue, where all the good things in life come together; wine, food, song and conversation. That’s life! Happy holidays.

...celebrate personal wellness

Sanur I Ubud I Nusa Dua I Jimbaran P. 62 361 705 777 F. 62 361 705 101 E.

oral pleasures

Sara Douglas gets all fired up at Lilin.

ENTERING Potato Head is a little like walking through Alice’s looking glass into a parallel universe. Its horseshoe shape creates a looking glass effect where all but the beachfront is obscured and within are private little worlds that flow into one another, each with its own quirky personality. Lilin is situated on the left of the horseshoe, facing the pool and the ocean. A family-style Asian eatery where Balinese chef, Gede, has put his considerable international experience to work creating an Asian diner that is part Chinese emporium and wholeheartedly Potato Head. Walking in through the narrow ramp, it can be disorienting when the full realm of Potato Head hits you in the face. Should I head right towards the main bar and bistro, stumble straight head across the lawn, past the “reservations recommended” day beds, dive into the pool, hike up the other side, a quick forward roll and land in the ocean? Perhaps not! Or take a leisurely stroll to the left and land at Lilin. Potato Head is all encompassing and things like that occur to you in Potato Head world. However . . . Lilin it is, tonight. Gede Susila Yadnya is a homegrown Balinese who hails from Singaraja and is proud of it. His career has seen him working in seven countries for large hotel groups and he came to be an Asian chef because: “Well, you can’t see a Western guy being the Asian chef, so I got the job,” he laughs. Classically trained, he has embraced the job at Lilin, where he brings a wealth of professional and personal experience together. Lilin is Asian in more ways than one and the food meets the fiery expectations of locals and travellers alike. It isn’t all hot but a dish that is traditionally spiked with chili is liberally seasoned. Order your own live seafood or meat and have it fried, grilled or steamed. Sauces are served alongside with many of the meat and seafood mains so you can be as spicy as you like. Despite his classical training Lilin owes more to street food than restaurant food and the authenticity sets it apart. “I have travelled a lot and I always enjoy getting out in the streets to see what real people eat. By experimenting myself with various recipes I have created my own tips, and I cook with my instincts based on exploring the street food and home cooking of the places I have visited,” he says.


China, Thailand and Indonesia are the influences that flavour most of the menu but other Asian influences are felt. Like the venue, it is quirky, different and fun, but serious enough to be classed among great Asian restaurants. Highlights are the Asian Tapas menu, made for sharing, with a choice of dishes that travel from India to Vietnam, Malaysia, China and of course Indonesia . . . and the live seafood tanks. “At the end,” Gede says, “much Asian cooking is derived from Chinese, and in a lot of ways this is a Chinese style menu but the look is contemporary, the taste is very real, that is the starting point, our focus is on authentic recipes.” The signature rice dish is a take on fried rice, mingled with olive paste, it is more than a little bit wow. Vegetables are a point of interest here rather than an afterthought and banish the thought of overcooked, steamed dishes – these are flavourful, aromatic and interesting enough to satisfy the vegetarians. The tapas menu, which offers a choice of four plates for sharing, opens the evening and gives guests a chance to dive into different flavours. Ours included a tangy red duck curry. Best of all, the flavours are authentic, spicy and BIG in the real sense. Bold and confident, never dumbed down for tourists. The dishes all are punchy and aromatic and come with sauces that range from mildly hot to dare-you-to-try it? Dinner winds down to it’s sweet conclusion and unlike many Asian restaurants, the desserts here are tailor-made to leave a lasting impression. While we failed to encounter any large white rabbits, a few queens and some rather startling glamazons were spotted . . . no doubt enhanced by the numerous cocktails that lead to our filmy fantasies. Nevertheless, gliding out through the fluoro’, neoprene bikinis and glittery kaftans that festoon the boutique exit, our encounters at Potato Head will linger. A club, a diner, beach club, function centre, concert venue, bistro, café, bar and Asian eatery all at once, there’s a lot going on here, always, and there is a lot going on with the flavours and the food at Lilin. It’s big, bold and beautiful and well worth a visit.

food fantasy @ lilin.


Ondy Sweeting and Susan Hu tell us where to find the finest grains on the island.

RICE has magical properties and has been considered sacred since before Elvis was a boy. The rice terraces of Jatiluwih in Bali and the Philippine’s Cordilleras are heritage protected by UNESCO. The Lamet tribe of Northern Laos believe that a special energy is shared exclusively between human and rice. Chefs around the world have seized the grain and made it a rock star. Italy’s legendary risotto and Spain’s fabled paella are the gastronomes go-to dishes of the Eurocentric pantheon of rice while those clever Dutch took the Indonesian national dish of nasi campur and created a feast of flavours with the fanciful rijsttafel. Zibiru LOCK the number into speed dial to get your fix of outstanding risotto. For those with a coastal taste order up big on the black squid ink and prawn risotto that allows diners to digest the sea and for the tastebuds to sing the song of the sea. Salty and smooth this is a winner for those who like to venture into the dark side of rice. Chef Luigi has added professional finesse to his grannie’s take on stracciatella – chicken and egg drop soup made with rissoni. While rissoni is not exactly rice but rice-shaped pasta, this meal is so outlandishly delicious that it deserves a mention in this revered column – neither soup nor stew but a magnificent melange of nourishing chicken broth, crisp wine, egg drops and a touch of salt. Zibiru also has a dynamite mountain man risotto made with locally produced sausage – Luigi’s recipe – fresh radicchio and a handful of Italian washed-rind taleggio cheese. Romans will love the rendition of strawberry risotto, which is not a dessert but a uniquely savoury new-comer to the family. Tel. 733265 Yak Map. T.9 La Sal THIS Valencian version of the highly mythologised dish is purist to the core. No, you will not find a Mexican chorizo at this authentic Spanish operation. “Never, it is a sin”, says proprietor Gonzalo. You get the picture. La Sal has a traditional range of paella and a passion for perfection of the dish that is impressive. The seafood sensation is packed with prawns, fish and squid that is insanely tender. Paella is all about the rice absorbing the flavours of the sea or land – never together – with saffron that is more expensive by weight than gold. The sofrito is the all-important mixing of the aromas of the base ingredients such as herbs, garlic and onion is a serious activity here. The chicken paella maximises the intensity of the fresh bird and hand selected vegetables to deliver a moorish dish that will place La Sal on your to-do list. The soccarat – the crunchy layer that connects rice to pan – is the delicacy and this restaurant has a chef serve it into its own special dish at the table for the delectation of diners. Estupendo! Tel. 738321 Yak Map. S.10 Jemme Among the glitz and glamour of this chic diner are two of Bali’s best risottos. Creamy rice that is light and infused with delicate flavours that push these two rice dishes into the stratosphere. The truffle and mushroom risotto, which has a cultlike following, includes Swiss brown, cap and shitake among the range of funghi in this dish that give it the warmth of the forest finished with wonderfully earthly truffle. The perfect amount of excellent Parmesan is added to permeate the rice but not overwhelm the subtle nuance of the wine-to-truffle balance. There is more . . . the chilli prawn risotto has large pieces of lush scampi, uber-lightly cooked spring 108

onion, a sprinkle of tomato and a hint of chill and is divine. Add a chilli martini to this and weep for the goodness of the earth’s offerings at this renowned Petitenget restaurant. Tel. 733508 Yak Map. R.3 El Kabron TUCKED into a cliff on the Bukit is this smartly named provedore of paella. Partaking of the noted rice dish while overlooking the beautiful blue ocean from the cliff top is a mutil-sensory experience. Seafood paella is served with four large crayfish on top and munching into these bad boys is a lunchtime showstopper. Littered with tender tiny clams this dish takes a contemporary turn on the official version and packs paella punch for the books. The chicken paella could almost be classed as a vegetarian dream, were is not for the fragrant pieces of fowl that make this take so wonderfully filling. Peas, zucchini and fresh herbs combine with the rice to taste fresh and delightfully healthy. No post-prandial coma here. Jump into the beautiful infinity pool to freshen up, grab a signature sangria and watch the sunset from this excellent late lunch venue that transports diners to the beautiful Balearic island of Ibiza. Tel. 7803416 U Paasha THE Dutch rijsttafel at U Paasha is very good, indeed. Appropriately positioned on Eat Street, this Tuesday and Thursday-only special showcases 15 samples of exquisite dishes from Bali and Indonesia’s archipelago. A woven basket of Balinese red rice – or nasi merah – mixed with white rice almost pales besides the enormity of this rijsttafel. Centre stage is a heavenly soto ayam – or chicken soup – full of Asian flavours. It is flanked by more than a dozen elegant banana leaf bowls holding examples of beef rendang, Balinese spiced ayam bututu, barbeque scampi, four types of fiery sambal, beautiful satay fish skewered on sticks of lemon grass, sweet corn fritters and tasty gado gado, to name a few. This combination will amaze your mouth. U Paasha’s rijsttafel is ideal for a gastronomic tour of Indonesian dining in upscale style and staff are happy to walk you through every flavour. Hold some tummy space for fresh fruit and sweet treats including a dadar gulung, which is pandan crepes stuffed with grated coconut and palm sugar along with banana fritters and the ever popular bubur of sweetened black rice pudding with coconut cream. Tel. 7803416 Yak Map. Q.8 Uma Resort Ubud UMA Cucina is one of our all-time favourite Italian restaurants on the island, as the food and decor is rustic yet chic, the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced when possible, and the recipes are authentically home-style Italian. Although Executive Chef Nicolas Lazzaroni and his team pull out all the stops for each and every dish, one of the stars of the menu is the Black Ink Risotto. Tender chunks of squid have a subtle smoky aroma from the charcoal grill, the silky spec adds richness, chilli brings a touch of heat, and the fresh coriander complements the creamy squid ink infused Arborio rice. Pair it with a glass of chardonnay from Uma’s excellent international wine list, and try to save room for dessert because the Valrhona Chocolate Nemesis is to die for. Tel. 972448

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Fabric of Life

Lording Lofty Above the Rest...sophie digby experiences paul ropp interiors at his exclusive pied a terre. photos: lucky 8.


Open the red and yellow lacquered door and you have stepped into a wonderland, The Wonderland of Paul Ropp. His new wonderland, fit for his new venture . . . Wall to wall, silk wool, embroidered carpets silently glide you up the few stairs, into the open plan sitting, dining cum kitchen area. Is that a dancing stage back and centre I see? Take anything you think you need to decorate a loft-apartment and … give it a Paul Ropp edge, or should I say twist? Since we are talking about his unique take on fabrics. Having dressed bodies who would "rather go naked”, Paul has done a fabulous job of dressing this ("I would give my eye teeth for it”) would-be pied à terre. Bar stools of aluminium have been “resined” in hues of orange and red with rounded cuffs and topped with an olive green hand-stitched red silk. Aluminium kitchen throughout. Woven aluminium kitchen cupboards to boot. Quite a texture Ropp has going on here. Oversize, but not as in the fashion of fast food, more Alice throughthe-looking-glass with a dash of Mad Hatter's Tea Party. That is what the sitting/dining area has going on. The avant garde rugs are made with fabric left-overs, in fact not just left-overs...tiny, tiny scraps. Here is a man that believes "wasting is wanting” and he’ll be having none of that! Maybe more of us should think like him... Throwback '60s retro, pile carpets are not made of wool strands to be raked every morning, but of off cuts in every shade of blue - I’m sure I have a skirt in my cupboard just like that bit there! I spy a well-known blue wool shirt within the upholstering of the “matching-pairing but not” Ottoman too. Genius! Then there is the massive sofa, welcome to the era of eternal sleepovers aka couch surfing for four. The bedroom, with its sliding doors with fabulous single-design Indian tapestry sandwiched in between, gives way to a more intimate space, with balcony and bathroom, which as with the kitchen sports the lattice work of aluminium. Multiple cushions and a traditional Paul Ropp multi-fabric bedcover with iconic Indian designs cover the two-plus by two-plus mattress, and a gorgeous, large, modern Noelstyle sofa is lovingly upholstered in all my favourite greens - silks, wools, devoré with beautifully rounded armrests in my dear friend, corduroy! Yes I am a fan! The dancing stage? What is that covered with? I hear you ask…Why nothing of course, it's one of Ropp's Shop in the Box designs - so it is elegant, dark grey and bevilled in gold! Paul Ropp Interiors - Loft apartment/showroom - viewing by appointment only. material possessions by ropp.



Stephanie Mee gets into her glad rags to experience some indulgent camping.

WHAT exactly is glamping? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as: Noun. A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Word Origin: A blend of glamorous and camping. Sample sentence: Glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries. Is it any wonder then that Bali, a place where more often than not nature and luxury go hand in hand, offers a wealth of opportunities to get your glamp on? Sandat Glamping Tents BALI’S first ever bona fide glamping site can be found hidden away in the midst of undulating rice paddies three kilometres from Ubud. Sandat Glamping Tents is a luxury resort that features five elegant safari style tents, three lumbung traditionally designed to store rice but converted into beautiful two-level suites, and an impressive three-level bamboo living and dining pavilion. Each of the buildings here has been adapted to the landscape to preserve the environment and create a symbiotic relationship with the natural surroundings. The first thing you notice when you approach Sandat Glamping Tents is the huge


central common building made entirely of bamboo. Built by local experts, the building draws on the latest innovations in bio-architecture, and it features three levels that reach a height of 10 metres. Inside you will find a bar made from a huge slab of volcanic stone, a breezy lounge with sofas, armchairs and a library, and a dining area with a 26-foot table fashioned from the trunk of a giant tree. Guests have the option to stay in one of the magnificent tents made with water and fire repellent cotton, or a wooden lumbung. Each sleeping space has been designed differently with natural materials, fine linens, Balinese antiques and artworks, and designer Italian touches. Depending on your room, you may find Venetian mirrors, leather chairs, bed stands made from petrified wood, or coloured rattan. Private plunge pools overlooking the jungle add to the ambiance. Besides the unique sleeping arrangements and green philosophy, Sandat Glamping Tents stands out for its incredibly peaceful atmosphere. There are no televisions here, no pounding bass, no roaring traffic or howling dogs. During the day you can hear birds chirping in the trees and the wind rustling the palm leaves, and by night crickets chirp in the fields. Moreover, the management accepts only a limited number of guests to ensure the utmost peace and tranquillity.

green peace at sandat glamping tents. photos by: andrea cacopardi.



spalife Katie Truman gets out and about for a bit of primping and pampering.

THE EDGE BOYFRIEND left you? Job driving you nuts? This may help a lot. Those savvy enough will already know about aptly named The Edge, a lavishly luxe villa estate by Indonesian Mesa Hotels and Resorts – four private villas and exclusive facilities secluded on Uluwatu’s cliff tops. But you may not know about the spa – open to outside guests (but book ahead) and offering new heights in Bali spa experiences. Teetering on the very edge of Bali’s southernmost cliffs, The Edge Spa presents a stunning space pod design, minimalist and all white with curved walls following cliff contours. This massive open-plan area offers total exclusivity for one guest booking at a time, with a couple of wall-less mini-treatment capsules leading to a spectacular elevated main treatment deck with wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows for gloriously unobstructed ocean views, floods of sunlight and, if cleverly timed, to-die-for sunsets. You might be 80 metres above the Indian Ocean, but this spa brings the ocean to you, with a unique “liquid floor” – permanent ankle-deep water flooding the treatment deck. No wonder The Edge won, “Most Innovative Spa 2010,” from Asia Spa magazine. The treatment menu focuses on total pampering and indulgence, anything from Chocolate Mask to Herbal Compress Massage. Contrasting with ultra contemporary surrounds, spa experiences are inspired by Bali’s Hindu traditions and four rudimentary elements of Balinese temple offerings. This is especially highlighted in four exclusively designed signature spa rituals: Oceanic, Sacred Flower, Divine Fire and Dewi Sri – all 120-minute rituals, priced at US$150 and featuring core body scrub, wrap, wash and massage. Natural, certified organic products used are custom-made for the spa. I chose Dewi Sri (Rice Goddess), as rice is a source of energy and nourishment and this therapeutic ritual promises to “revitalise a stressed body and fatigued mind for renewed health”. This ritual incorporates distilled rice wine, arak (actually, there’s no alcoholic content present here). What the arak and tropical spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) do when combined is warm and nourish the body, and along with wet and dry heat, soothe muscle and joint pain and improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. First, in the mini-treatment capsule, a scented paddy water ritual, followed by an invigorating rice-wine scrub, then10 minutes under warm jets of water pelting out from the overhead Vichy shower. To maximise the rice-wine wrap benefits, I sit for 20 minutes atop a private steam pod seat, whereby herbal steam rises up through strategically placed holes – the encircling curtains keeps all the therapeutic steam within. This is followed by a sloppy, rice-wine body wash, before being led up to the elevated treatment level for an outrageously soothing rice-wine massage combined with heated lava stones. Post-treatment wraps up 116

with a hot chocolate beverage reclining on an indoor lounger, submerged in water, or out on the deck . . . blissed out. Sometimes it pays to live on the edge. VIETURA WITH Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle Institute finally opening in August 2014, you could almost hear the collective cheer from ladies across the island. Vietura offers 100 per cent non-invasive, non-surgical procedures matched with gradual progressive treatments, for instant yet long-lasting results. With its comprehensive approach to wellness, combining aesthetic procedures with integrative medicine and lifestyle coaching, the focus here is on full-body medical detoxification, anti-aging including no-pain instant facelifts and body sculpting with Weight Management, such as same-day slimming. Too good to be true? Vietura is ensconced in five-star Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua, and employs medically trained nurses and a charming Australian GM. It also comes on the back of the experience and reputation of Vietura at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila –the first aesthetic institute of its kind in Asia and Manila’s top clinic. With its12 treatment rooms and top-notch aesthetic technology, equipment and salon products (including premium quality Botox) Vietura is luxurious, sparkling clean and stylish, almost underlining the businesslike, no-nonsense approach to looking and feeling fabulous. Vietura’s philosophy is “Measure, Mentor, Monitor”; far from offering a quick fix, patrons receive ongoing guidance and care to reach their goals with long-term benefits. Thus, treatments and services begin with an in-depth doctor’s consultation. It’s exhilarating to learn you can get slim, lose that unsightly mole, firm-up your jaw line and reduce that jelly-belly. However, Vietura doesn’t sugarcoat it – consultations can be brutal, darling, with two hi-tech machines (the island’s first that tell you how it really is: Skin Analysis, which scientifically analyses your facial skin and skin health and Tanita Body Analysis that prints out results measuring BMI, body fat, metabolic age, and more). Cutting-edge skin treatments include Carbon Laser, blasting a black carbon facial paste with gentle laser therapy for tightened skin and fine-line reductions. And, Vietura signature – unique to Bali – Lipocryo, the ultimate fat removal technology that freezes fat cells and progressively eliminates them . . . providing the ultimate body sculpting even after one session. Other “high brow procedures of hope” include Platelet Rich Plasma fillers; Power Cell FaceLift – a non-invasive face-lifting and tightening technique; and Carboxy Active Therapy Mask: again unique to Bali and a signature facial, stimulating oxygen for glowing, supple skin. A liposuction alternative and

kaiana spa.

heavenly spa by westin.


the edge.



bestseller is Meso Lipo therapy that promises no scarring and fast healing time. Nutrition, lifestyle and wellness coaching are also available, as are inside-tooutside treatments, such as Bali’s first Colonic Hydrotherapy bed, a customised sculpted contraption for state-of-the-art hydro colonics, in a dedicated, softly lit room with TV and iPods. Very competitively priced compared to overseas, especially with ongoing 30 to 50 per cent promotional discounts until early 2015. KAIANA FOR nearly two decades, we have all at some point headed to Made’s Warung in Seminyak to chow down on authentic Indonesian dishes. Now, thanks to their ever expanding empire you can also ‘spa it’, as the owners of this iconic restaurant decided to venture into the spa business. Discreetly positioned above the main restaurant on their mini-arcade’s first floor, you’ll find Kaiana Spa – a one-stop salon-spa, covering all essential needs. Throughout the surprisingly spacious bi-level property, dedicated rooms cover reflexology, waxing and facials, singles and couples treatments with ensuite bathrooms, and a chic Mani-Pedi salon room (with black leather massage chairs that gently vibrate) and hair salon. European-style interior design, yes, but Balinese elements are the inspiration for their East-West treatments and products (including their own customised range). Facials – including a mega handy 30-minute Hydra Express and Anti-aging Vit C with Oxyxomes (60 min, Rp.1.08m) – feature outstanding global beauty product, Pevonia. For massages, apart from oil-free shiatsu, choice of individual essential oils is dependent on your personal mood and needs. Good value, top-to-toe spa packages are very popular . . . so turn your mobile off and de-robe for lavish pampering with the likes of Vanilla Coconut Passion or Island Beauty Spa Sampler. The signature, Kaiana Indulgence (2.5 hours, Rp.1.1m) is a soothing and indulgent package highlighting iconic tropical flower, frangipani, in various forms and two therapists working ensemble for max benefit. A rejuvenating Biokos Facial is administered at the same time as reflexology therapy. Kaiana Spa provides in-villa and bridal party services, but its best strength is well-priced, inventive tropical treatments, and a spotlessly clean and unpretentious environment. SPA AT SENTOSA THIS year saw Sentosa Seminyak rebrand as Peppers Retreats first Asian resort, but most of the lofty standards in this luxury all-villa resort in Seminyak remained the same. That goes for its Spa at Sentosa; undergoing a major overhaul late 2013 and evolving beautifully throughout 2014. With well trained therapists and specialists, the spa offers Elemis Facials and body treatment packages from British skincare brand, Elemis (with highly-acclaimed, innovative anti-ageing products); massage and spa packages; salon services include a light medical beauty treatment menu from Cocoon Medical Spa and Mini-Me teen spa range. Spa at Sentosa however really stands out for its excellent holistic wellness and detox programmes. French-Caribbean, Meli – a Theta Healing expert and certified nutritionist (and increasingly, acclaimed healer of VIPs) seems to be the star component in their wellness programmes, using various Theta healing techniques, even at DNA levels, to facilitate instant change in personal belief systems. Healing treatments can be heavy duty, but guest feedback has been glowing – clearing


past issues, hurts and limiting beliefs and conditioning to overcome fear, anger and resentments that block goals to moving forward. Detox Package (210 minutes, Rp.1.08m), incorporates soothing Detox Massage (for increased blood and lymphatic circulation), Detox Facial and Colon Hydrotherapy session – these components can also be taken separately. Sentosa’s signature is their Wellness Escapes (three, seven, 14 or 21-days, from US$1,656) with three unique programmes: Bringing Back Harmony (stress release and healing), The Way to Beauty (weight loss, healthier and sexier you) and Pure Rejuvenation (cleansing and detox). Note, “escapes” rather than “retreat,” or, god forbid, “boot camp:” this, a gentler, realistic, less scary approach for normal, regular people new to retreats. Programmes are customised to individual goals, but generally cover a painless balance of yoga, colon hydrotherapy, private healing, healthy meal plans and cooking classes, breathing and meditation, spa therapies and nutrition workshops – with follow-up support back home. HEAVENLY SPA BY WESTIN Like its other five-star hotels worldwide, Westin Resort Nusa Dua’s mantra is “wellness through travel” – and this is especially so in the Heavenly Spa by Westin. The overall Heavenly Spa brand is an integrated facility for health, beauty and overall wellness, taking a holistic approach to personal indulgence and designed to embody the brand’s wellness-through-travel philosophy. At the Nusa Dua Bali branch, Westin combines brand elements with symbols of Balinese purity and nature-inspired facilities. One year old and Indonesia’s inaugural Heavenly Spa is already winning accolades, including Country Winner for “Best Luxury Wellness Spa”, in the World Luxury Spa Awards 2014. This must surely rank as one of Westin’s largest spas, sprawling in its own section of grounds at the Nusa Dua resort. The uber-contemporary interiors – designed by award-winning spa consultants A.W. Lake – is a refreshing alternative to other spas; as a nature-inspired sanctuary, forest and leaves are a recurring motif. Within, the spa is all grey and dimly-lit, with a never-ending corridor decorated with grey and white silk organza curtains . . . a launch pad for 16 wellness-oriented rooms including dedicated Shiatsu, Wet Treatment (featuring heated wet bed, steam room and chromatherapy shower) and ultra-chic Salon and Hair Spa. Pre-treatment, allow at least half an hour to indulge in complimentary his and her’s Thermal Facilities – hydro-pool, Himalayan salt wall sauna and herbal steam room. You’re encouraged to do this, as the thermal facilities relax and warm-up muscles, prepping the body for treatments and maximising their therapeutic benefits. Spa signatures include Heavenly Scrub, with rice powder and cempaka (an important Balinese ceremonial flower) for full-body exfoliating treatment and velvety-soft skin; and Heavenly Massage, with heated herbal compresses combined with an ultra-relaxing Swedish-style massage. Choose your own essential oil, such as Hope incorporating ginger, jasmine and orange. Be sure to book a singles or couples room with bathroom and outdoor terrace with floating bed, not all rooms provide this. Post-treatment, float along in your fluffy bathrobe to the Relaxation Lounge and a sink-in lounger, to be served a pot of ginger and lemongrass tea and signature Westin SuperFoodsRX combos. Outside, the spa offers Swirl Pods for beachside meditation and massage sessions focusing on holistic wellness and Balinese healing practices.


staying over

EASTERNPROMISE At Alila Manggis the whole is an excellent sum of its parts, writes David A. Carol.

There are many parts to Alila’s Manggis resort, which is quite fitting because its name means ‘mangosteen’ in Balinese. Nestled between Bali’s most sacred mountain and the sea, the resort oozes relaxation yet offers an overwhelming array of uniquely local activities and experiences. When guests first check-in, they glimpse the inverted underwater pyramid that forms the resort’s focal point. Shallow around the edges, it’s always cool in the swimming pool’s deep middle. From 3pm, horizontal guests can be seen savouring complimentary afternoon tea and snacks under the swaying coconut palms. Surrounding the pool, many of the resort’s 55 rooms boast private terraces, with views stretching out across a coconut grove to the black sand beach and azure waters. Alila Manggis is a luxurious base from which to venture out and explore one of Bali’s least-discovered areas. The concierge offers a list of authentic local experiences that would take you weeks to complete. You can meet a holy man, take an eight-hour sunrise mountain trek and even spend a day with a Balinese priest. If you like more adrenalin with your activities then white water rafting might be more your thing. Guests travel 14 kilometres along the Telaga Waja while descending 200 metres down a mountain. The waters around Manggis are home to seven dive sites, including a Japanese patrol boat from World War II. Death-defying divers can even look for sharks to swim with at Gili Mimpang, a group of four small islands between Gili Tepekong and Bali’s mainland. Looking back to shore, the majestic Mount Agung dominates the skyline. If booked a day in advance, early-risers can join local fishermen in a traditional Balinese fishing boat. The Nusa Penida Strait teems with small tuna fish, red snapper, jackfish and mahi-mahi. After a successful trip, guests can choose to have the kitchen prepare their catch of their day, or learn to cook it themselves in a Balinese seafood cooking class. Inspired by the nearby salt pans in Goa Lawah, Seasalt Restaurant is contained within a traditional Balinese pavilion on a lotus pond. The signature traditional dish, megibung, is an excellent way to sample several flavours of East Balinese cuisine. There’s a laser-sharp focus on locally-sourced ingredients, and it’s possible to take a


guided tour of the organic garden so that the disarmingly cheerful Chef Santika can design a special menu based on your favourite fruits and vegetables. Seasalt offers seven varieties of satay on Tuesday evenings, a locally-caught seafood barbecue on Fridays and a suckling pig feast on Sundays. A mouth-watering speciality that takes six hours to prepare, bebek betutu is slow-cooked duck served in banana and is delicious any day of the week. Alila Manggis’ policy of hiring the majority of its staff from the local regency has led to some notable success stories. Many years ago, Chef Santika began working as a gardener at the resort before it had even opened its doors. Having worked his way up to the top of the kitchen, he also runs a popular cooking school for guests with classes of two to 16 people. There are special classes for culinary kids, who might also enjoy taking lessons on traditional kite-making and bird-watching. The resort’s spa is housed in two outdoor bales facing the sea. Guests can hear the soothing sounds of the waves on the shore while being pampered in a range of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. In one, hour-long option, frozen water is guided over the guest’s body in order to increase blood circulation. The spa uses organic ingredients in its spa products, some of which are available as Alila Living products that guests can take home with them. Sourced from villages in East Bali, the spa’s virgin coconut oil is shredded, then cold-pressed to make coconut milk, fermented, then separated and filtered. On the 28th of every month, the resort collaborates with a local dive centre to ensure removal of underwater debris. Together, they collect plastic bags and bottles and record their findings as part of a larger effort to improve the region’s local marine life. A new bar and lounge area is planned for 2015 that will make full use of Alila Manggis’s breath-taking seascape. Looking out towards Padang Bai, ferries can be seen on the horizon transporting eager backpackers to the Gili islands. From inside the pristine landscaped gardens of Alila Manggis, it’s remarkably easy to feel sorry for them.



venting in a villa Amarterra.

the layar.


villa kresna.

3 OF A KIND Among the plethora of villas to choose from, Katie Truman discovers three gems that stand out and suit all tastes . . .

KRESNA VILLA Kresna’s linear row of villas blossomed organically over the past decade down a laneway in central Seminyak. Now, inevitably boxed in by other Seminyak villa properties, what makes Villa Kresna’s eight properties stand out is how utterly sweet and charming they are – hidden behind antique wooden doors and amongst lovely landscaped gardens with lawns carpeted with frangipani blooms falling off matured trees. Wonderfully relaxed, and epitomising low-key island life, Villa Kresna rates as an holiday home-from-home; especially for Bali first timers bedazzled by the Seminyak villa lifestyle but on a restricted budget – Villa Kresna is remarkably good value. Nighttime, you can almost hear a curling iron drop, even though a short walk down a meandering gang leads you to Laksmana “eat” Street one direction and Dhyana Pura, in t’other. With all villas named after Indonesian volcanoes and mountains and incorporating endearing Balinese designs and indigenous artisan heritage, a German-Balinese family is behind Villa Kresna. It was designed by owner and architect, Stefani Kanginnadhi which may explain why some villas evoke a cozy Alpine lodge feel – with the stone-clad walls, milk-chocolate-hued wood staircases and flooring, timbered beams and atelier-style upper floor. Bearing a rather homely, lived-in ambiance, villas reveal striking interiors of distressed blond woods and hand selected Balinese artworks, archipelago artifacts and rustic-inclined furniture. Each villa bears characteristics of its own but general features include semi-open living spaces, with either a small kitchenette or well-equipped kitchen and some bathrooms with outdoor tubs and garden showers. Complimentary fresh fruit and flowers, Wi-Fi and high thread-count sheets are additional comforts. Within a private garden compound, Kresna’s five one-bedroom villas are grouped around a lovely long pool, instantly accessible for guests from each of their open-air kitchen/dining patios. Wave ta-ta to total privacy but hello to excellent value, especially for families – two adjoining villas (actually more like suites) sharing a lengthy terrace divided by curtains can be booked together, as can the entire property. Each villa has a mezzanine attic area with sofa bed for any extra guests. At the pool’s far end a delightful two-storey rustic cottage, Villa Merapi (the epitome of that Alpine lodge feel), provides an expansive kitchen- dining room, complete with lengthy teak dining table overhung with glass chandeliers; up wooden stairs, a master bedroom reveals a raised mezzanine area, which converts into a second bedroom. Otherwise, one-bedroom private pool Villa Batur, is a dreamy bolt-hole for honeymooners and couples, as is Kresna’s lead-in accommodation, a one-off Superior Room – a super cute Balinese-style studio suite with enclosed garden courtyard for romantic tete-a-tetes. No pool, but at around US$100 per

night and loved-up, who’s noticing? Behind high garden walls, a couple of two-bedroom private pool villas (approximately 200 square metres) are again, great value. One, Villa Batukaru, is impossibly cute, revealing Japanese-inspired gardens with carp ponds and stone plunge pool and an antique Javanese daybed placed on an inner terrace. Inclusive breakfasts are served at The Straw Hut, a sprawling thatched roof all-day café heading up the main entrance; take your seat out on the front terrace and watch Seminyak’s daily tableaux play out. A few hundred metres away and close to Seminyak Beach, Villa Kresna Boutique Suites offers an alternative sister property – 13 suites in a private garden compound, offering an intimate boutique hotel feel complete with Kresna Café and communal pool, but more personable and better value than hotels . . . especially given its generously appointed accommodation. Housed in white, double-storey units topped with terracotta tiles, all suites frame a freeform pool and deck – in keeping with the villas they are all different but present more of a contemporary style. No kitchens here, but all three suite varieties provide modern comforts including flat-screen TV, DVD Player and Wi-Fi. Surfers may well appreciate the close beach proximity; business travellers, the ground-floor Junior Suites, with front lounge for low-key meetings; and families, the spacious Kresna Suite, with expansive first-floor terrace and separate living room. Booking up several suites together is also a popular and savvy option for wedding parties. Suite and Villa rates from US$100 (low season). LAYAR VILLA Layar has got to be one of the island’s most stunningly designed villas. Upon learning that the entire team behind this aesthetically pleasing, designled villa estate – architects, developers, management, even the culinary crew is Italian – it all makes sense. In Bahasa, layar means “sails” which turns out the most distinctive feature of these exclusive villas’ core design (and company motif ). Each of the 23 villas are unique in terms of space, configuration and furnishings, and all reveal cuttingedge, ultra-contemporary design and an architecturally striking signature – a couple of high pitched, angled and overlapping roofs. Suspended aloft with hardwood pillars, which dramatically taper down to the ground, are evocative of two sails of a traditional sailing boat. And sculpted beneath what looks like, from a distance, a mini Sydney Opera House, an immense, open-plan living/dining space with curved and angled walls.


venting in a villa

Like many Seminyak villa properties, this one-off villa enclave grew in a piecemeal fashion for years (hence each villa is unique). Consequently another Layar stand-out is the sheer size and scale of each of the private villas, considering the downtown Seminyak location (conveniently near Jalan Laksmana). The one, two, three and four-bedroom villas start from 100-square metres; the tantalising freeform pools (no plunge varieties here) come sized from 45-square metres, with some pools designed with a sunken pergola and daybed; while the pretty landscaped gardens of manicured lawns, date palms, bougainvillea and tropical flower beds are ample. Villas here truly celebrate that deliciously irresistible Balinese outdoor life; apart from air-con bliss found in ground-floor bedrooms and a few mezzanine spaces, living dining and kitchen spaces are all purposely open to the balmy air. Extending from here, the stone-bottomed azure pool is a highlight, from a quick pre-breakfast dip to late-night moonlit laps. You may find yourself also spending far too much time in the outdoor Jacuzzi, or within the stylish bathroom, in the circular ceramic bathtub a deux and foliage-fringed garden rainshower. Luxurious appliances, from ice-makers in well-equipped kitchens to superior sound systems contrast with tribal wood carvings and quality natural materials sourced from the Indonesian archipelago – palimanan stone, acid-washed marble and premium woods of ironwood, teak and merbau – for a tropical modern yet organic look. Decisions, decisions: one-bedroom villas are do-not-disturb honeymoon havens, and two-bedrooms provide ample space for holidaying couples or families. Once you get to Layar’s signature – the spectacular three-bedroom villa (all 11 of them) – it really does get gobsmackingly extravagant; under extended sail roofs, vast split-level open-air living/dining spaces are primed for serious entertaining or lolling about and the gorgeous pool, incorporating Jacuzzi and shallow-end steps, plus an extensive sun deck that swallows-up half the garden. Needless to say, the sole four-bedroom villa (a whopping 430-square metres) is a showstopper, fit for celebs, VIPs and lucky so-and-sos that hole-up here; the ultimate in sumptuous tropical living, wedding party bashes and special celebrations. One-upmanship hosting is guaranteed, with the 86 squaremetre lap pool, snazzy pool deck barbecue and private, in-villa spa room. If that isn’t enough, these designer villas pride themselves on professionally trained staff and five-star standards, albeit with a go-with-the-flow Italian mentality. Villa rates include hearty breakfasts, served in-villa at guest allotted times, daytime butler service, shuttle transfers for prime Seminyak hotspots, complimentary Wi-Fi and welcome head and shoulder massage. With an Italianrun kitchen team and discerning wine cellar, in-villa dining is superior; a guest favourite being poolside barbecues (Mediterranean or Brazilian Churrasco options) at sunset, or customised candlelit dinners. Layar is family-friendly, from pool safety fences to kids’ menus. Look out for the 2015 launch of Villa Layar’s new Italian restaurant, with dedicated streetside entrance for outside guests. Rates from US$350 per night, minimum two-night stay (low season). AMARTERRA SEMINYAK doesn’t hog all of Bali’s villa experiences. Without doubt, one of Nusa Dua’s star players is Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua – 39 luxurious villas but ensconced in a five-star resort, guaranteeing fivestar facilities and hospitality. Amarterra is Bali’s second MGallery Collection resort (the other, Royal Beach


Seminyak) courtesy of Accor, Asia-Pacific’s largest international hotel operator. The MGallery Collection concept is for independently branded upscale hotels selected on merit of individual personality and characteristics, exceptional locations, historical heritage and beautiful design. Amarterra Villas comes under MGallery’s “Serenity” category, which it deserves – even for Nusa Dua, this small-scale boutique resort is exceptionally serene and secluded . . . a private sanctuary heaven-sent for discerning guests but especially couples or families with older children seeking total relaxation and shameless indulgence. Unlike many five-star Nusa Dua properties, Amarterra Villas is not beachfront but rather located in the depths of Nusa Dua village. Once checked in to your private villa, trust me, the beach is but a distant thought (or a few minutes drive away). This all-villa resort’s distinct concept aims to reflect traditional Balinese elements and culture, taking inspiration from traditional Balinese kampong daily life and Tri Hita Karana philosophy, where ultimate happiness is achieved via a “harmonious balance of God, Human and Nature”. Superb architectural designs are influenced by 13th century Majapahit kingdom and throughout the resort, cultural heritage references pervade, starting with impressive Chandra Surya gate and in-villa welcome of traditional purification ritual. Well spaced out amongst lusciously landscaped gardens and Zen water features the 32, one-bedroom villas, six two-bedroom villas and one opulent three-bedroom villa, are all palatial with an overall layout influenced by a traditional Balinese compound format. Entered through a slender Balinese wooden entrance, separate thatched and timbered pavilions, including the open air, open-plan living/dining pavilion with kitchenette, are set off a garden courtyard with a generous private pool with sun deck and relaxation gazebo. The overall feel is one of sumptuousness, a clever combo of contemporary style and 21st century technology blending with Balinese ethnicity and traditions. Air-conditioned ensuite bedrooms interiors feature richly textured soft furnishings such as vibrantly coloured silk cushions and throws, and ornate furnishings of carved wood canopied beds and chaise lounges. Use of quality local materials with fine craftsmanship are omnipresent, from parquet flooring and wood paneling to woven rattan. Deluxe ultra-modern comforts however cover state-of-the-art entertainment system, coffee machine and complimentary Wi-Fi. Luxuriant bathrooms are a highlight – sensuously sleek and crafted with marble and polished woods, and replete with designer toiletries, couple-sized Jacuzzi bathtub with an extra LCD TV overhead for essential bath time viewing, and indoor and outdoor showers. The complimentary mini bar is replenished daily with nibbles and drinks and delicious breakfasts can be enjoyed at leisure invilla. The resort’s main F&B hub, Terra Terrace Restaurant and Bar – a towering thatched and timbered open-air pavilion – is the epitome of traditional Balinese design . . . book the romantic, five-course aphrodisiac dinner menu on the dining terrace beside the striking communal pool. The divine spa is, again, inspired by Balinese traditions (treatments preceded by a holy water blessing and coconut foot bath and china bell ritual for balancing energy). The property also has a fitness centre; meeting room; boutique and gallery. Staff can shuttle you to Amarterra’s serviced beach club, exclusive to guests, on a nearby quiet stretch of white sands. Then again, you may just find your villa far too alluring to set foot outside. Rates from Rp. 4,631,880 a night (low season).

staying over

LOVE, inc. David A. Carol finds some luxe at Alila Ubud.

AN UNDERSTATED, glowing sign points to Alila Ubud from the roadside, and the winding, moon-lit path through the rice paddies feels full of secrets. However, rather than delivering you to some manner of tropical Bat Cave, you arrive at a serene, two-storey resort on stilts overlooking lush rainforest. The resort is laid out like a Balinese hillside village, with 68 rooms and villas standing above a ravine on the banks of the Ayung River. Wherever you look, the resort marries Balinese design elements with modern geometry and minimalism. Think concrete and thatched roofs, terrazzo tiles and crushed rock. “Alila” is Sanskrit for “surprise”: a word that describes even the most jaded globe-trotter’s first reaction to the resort’s dramatic emerald-green infinity pool, which appears to levitate effortlessly into the horizon. Even the stairs down to the pool are dramatic enough to trigger a double take, but if there’s an accompanying sense of déjà vu, it’s probably because you’ve seen this view before as a solid contender in lists of the world’s best swimming pools. Looking out from the Cabana Lounge, monkeys can be seen swinging in the trees by the water’s edge. Open all day, every day, Cabana serves up everything from light bites to mouth-watering, family-sized roasts that require 24 hours’ advance notice. If you’re peckish between meals and dips in the pool, then try the citrus-flavoured popcorn, spicy roasted cashew nuts with Balinese sea salt, or the breaded calamari with crispy parsley, lemon and remoulade sauce. At the other end of the hunger spectrum, cave in to the crispy roasted local pork belly served with oven-roasted baby potatoes, homemade apple sauce, wholegrain mustard and braised red cabbage. Overlooking the jutting pool and plunging valley, Plantation offers open-air dining under towering coconut pillars and a traditional alangalang roof. Due to executive chef Erwan Adri Wijaya’s strong commitment to using local ingredients, all vegetables and herbs are grown in a nearby organic garden and an extensive cocktail list includes locally-sourced arak infused with lemongrass, vanilla, coffee and cinnamon. Tables of two or more can order from the authentic Balinese or seasonal tasting menu, where highlights include pan-seared scallops with tapioca, herb crème fraiche, salmon caviar and crispy potato wafer, as well as pork ribs with chilli glaze with wok-fried fern tips. Stand-outs from the local tasting menu include grilled mackerel fillet topped with mild tomato sambal, pickled vegetables, wok-fried water spinach and slow roasted chicken wrapped in banana leaf and smoked in rice husk. A dedicated concierge team provide guests with a smorgasbord of 126

unique experiences just outside the resort’s grounds, including visits to the mountain village of Kintamani, the spectacular rice terraces at Tegalalang, and the natural springs at Tampaksiring. There are bicycles available for guests to explore the gardens, where complimentary yoga and tai chi lessons are taught. However, more active spirits can choose from a detailed list of trekking, mountain-biking and rafting adventures. There are also experiences to understand Bali’s cultural roots, with the focus varying from history, religion and ritual, flora and fauna to architecture and art of living. On excursions to the local markets, the chef can teach guests how to identify exotic fruits and vegetables before teaching an outdoor cooking class. Rooms are scattered throughout the lush gardens, with the Superior Class on the second level offering wonderful unobstructed valley views. Sitting below, all Deluxe Rooms feature individual garden terraces and a back courtyard with an open-air bathtub and shower. Valley Villas boast spectacular views from a spacious walk-around deck while the Pool Villas offer even greater seclusion with large private swimming pools and openair bathtubs set in the middle of lotus ponds. Perhaps the best place to view the sunrise is from the spacious, wooden deck of the Terrace Tree Villas, surrounded by the tranquil views of far-off plantations and rice paddies on the banks of the valley. Spa Alila blends ancient Asian healing techniques with age-old beauty recipes. During the warm stone massage, stones taken from the riverbed below are heated and placed on guest’s energy points to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential. The rhythmic flowing strokes are designed to melt tension and soothe emotions. The more traditional Balinese Massage combines gentle stretching, long therapeutic strokes and skin rolling to relieve muscle pain. Luxuriant treatments include a rich cacao, coffee and coconut scrub designed to awaken senses and tone the body. Alila Ubud effortlessly exudes placid romance, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular with its honeymooner clientele. With cinematic vistas and some of the best local and international cuisine available on the island, what’s harder to understand is why the resort’s restaurants and bar are not discussed more as local destinations in their own right. Next time you’re ready to impress that special someone, all you have to do is show her/ him the view and s/he’ll be picking their jaw off the floor for the rest of the evening.



yak awards this photo: Bali Tonight. Top Right: Robert Rosen. Overleaf: Images by bali tonight.


FRIDAY Night Fever struck the Mozaic Beach Club on November 14. Ten years previously the founders of The Yak magazine had an idea to reward excellence in the business and social communities on Bali . . . and a decade later The Yak Awards is still going strong. The 2014 awards was themed “A Decade of Decadence – Disco Inferno”, so you can imagine the couture chaos that descended upon Batu Belig on a balmy Bali evening. Some simply chose the most garish shirt in the wardrobe but others went whole hog: John Travolta was there; Cindy Lauper dropped in for a few sherbets; and I think Twiggy was spotted on stage from time to time . . . or was it ABBA’s Frida? Some Irish bloke thought it was an excellent idea to count legs and divide by two to get an attendance figure – he’d had one or two too many sherbets which were generously provided in free-flow fashion by Indowines, Plaga, Kim Crawford Wines, Belvedere, Moet&Chandon Sparkling. The Beluga Noble Russian Vodka and the very delectable Patron Silver and Patron Coffee came from Paniaga. Thank you all! We finally figured out that some 700-plus fun-filled folk attended on the night whose taste buds were amply titillated by our hosts for the evening and the original Mozaic Ubud. Other fantastic fare was provided from Bali’s finest kitchens: Anantara Seminyak and Uluwatu, Barbacoa, Be Chocolat, Gelato Secrets, Jenja, Ku De Ta, La Finca, Merah Putih, Mozaic Beach Club, The Oberoi, Sardine and Teatro Bali. Vision One and Bloomz . . . you guys rocked our world. And speaking of rocking – with a goodly amount of discoing – the glitterati busted moves to an ‘80s vibe masterfully manufactured by the Erik Sondhy band – featuring a guest appearance by Aussie-born songstress Edwina Blush. Canned sounds were pumped by Mattie White of the DJ Dispensary. Fabulous work one and all! As has been the case for the past 10 years the highlight of the evening was, of course, The Yak Awards themselves. In 2014 more than 6,000 Yak fans voted worldwide through The Yak Magazine online ( and the votes were tabulated by web partner and

provider Island Communications. Voting closed two days prior to the gala and nominees were selected by prior years’ winners and The Yak’s directors . . . . . . and the winners of the 2014 “Shoe” statuettes – designed by Philip Lakeman of Pesamuan Ceramics were: Yak Man of the Year – Mark Baker and Mike Pohorly (a tie!) Yak Woman of the Year – Suki Sukma, Green Vision Outstanding Achievement – Isabel and Melati, Bye Bye Plastic Bags Best Community Service – Bali DIVA Lunches, Christina Iskandar Best Newcomer – Jenja, TS Suites, Legian Best Wine List – METIS, Petitenget Best Event – White Party @ Ku De Ta Best Restaurant – Barbacoa, Petitenget Best Chef – Keiran Morland, Merah Putih Best Sunset Venue – Mozaic Beach Club, Batubelig, Seminyak Best Spa – Karma Spa, Ungasan Best Bar – Townhouse, Seminyak Best Retail Space – SKULL, Petitenget Best Ad Campaign – BIASA Best Fashion Label – Adine ltd edition and franksland (another tie!) Best Jewellery Design – Chloe Rappy, JFF Best Resort – WakaGangga, Tabanan Best Villa – Villa Vedas, Tabanan Best DJ – Damien Saint, W Retreat & Spa, Seminyak Congratulations to all of you – you make YakWorld and our world a better place. But there are no losers here . . . we at The Yak adore our readers, contributors and advertisers. Your feedback and support is very important to us – that we might go from strength to strength in bringing you the glitz, glamour and gutsy reportage for the decade/s to come. As for the Yak Awards 2015 . . . watch this space.



yak awards



fashion freestyle











Martin East ponders an emergent gus till.

Gus Till: Ghosts of the Earth.


WHAT can one say about the Bali legend known as Gus Till? First off all let’s acknowledge that he is not only one of the kings of the Bali electronica scene but has held prestigious studio positions in Australia and in London. Working on important releases over the years. If you like your tunes to be both musical and textural, and I, for one, do, you will love this album. In this work Gus draws on his vast experience and calls in some favours from some music business heavyweights, to sprinkle on his already stellar personal talent. Lovely acoustic guitars from Tim Valkenburg. First out of the gate comes We Advance the Masked. This track lures you in to a spacious amalgam of world and electronic influences and then sidebars you in its second half into its dreamy web laced with progressive rock elements with Steve Hillage’s great guitar work. One of the central themes (for me) is the idea of technological advancement juxtaposed with the spirits of our ancestors. This is repeated in a number of tracks and in the denouement at the end, “we no longer exist here”. “We advance to the future”. Of course we do. But also “we advance to the masked”. Mmmm. Interesting . . . I might have to switch off the Khardasians and actually listen to this properly. The mask is a powerful place to hide. When a being is masked it can take on the personality of the character (of the mask) it wears . . . powerful echoes of strong primitive cultures. Of course that’s just my take on it. But this work asks you to think and if your take is different, then that is valid too. In a world where music has become overtly didactical, it’s a brave position to draw the palette and create the

space that allows you and indeed challenges you to think, by asking questions in an open way. Ghosts of the Earth does this. From a production point-of-view these tracks all have amazing depth, clarity and elements that run in opposition. For me really good electronica is a tapestry of sound that hits you in a Brechtian way, every now and then slapping you around the face and waking you up and forcing you to examine it. This is not really an album to put on and zone-out to. Although I am sure you could. But the depth of the work deserves to be listened to as is sublimely rich and if you choose to follow it down its wormhole, it will lead you to a place of otherness. Tomorrow Delta, another standout track – sucking you in with its siren call and the space at the beginning welcomes you into Gus’ world only to be eventually overwhelmed like a kid with a sweet tooth in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The Psychedelic playfulness is a prevalent theme in the album. The title track Ghosts of the Earth comes at you early with a dance beat. No repetitious monotony here. Out of the ether comes a tripped out didgeridoo to dance around your cranial cavity. There was a time when albums were listened to as albums. You sat down in your dorm or your bedsit in some distant part of the world and for an hour or so an artist took you on a journey. For sure Ghosts of the Earth is an album that is one of those rides. Take some time. Enter the space that Mr. Till so craftily creates for you and allow the elements and textures that he pulls from his machines and various seemingly unconnected world cultures and let them wash over you like a sonic 3-D rollercoaster ride.

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moodofthemoment By Dr Deepak | | | Skype: drdeepakvidmar

All the people in the same sign are not the same. All the Capricorns are not the same nor Aries, or Libras, or Cancers, or any of the other signs. This is just your sun sign. There are all the other planets also and they are all in different houses with different aspects. Altogether, there are a million possibilities in any given chart. The usefulness of a sun sign horoscope is that some of it will be true in some kind of way. The usefulness of this kind of horoscope is that it gives you significance and meaning instead of prediction. So what if someone slaps you across the cheek. It could be an act of aggression or someone trying to wake you out of a coma.



The Truth for you now doesn’t last longer than the blink of an eye. It is the Experience that matters, the experience that happens right-here-now that doesn’t have a conclusion because it just is what it is and it is constantly being replaced by something new. It is a been-there-seenthat type of time and what used to be tomorrow becomes yesterday really soon. It is all about turning your life from a static Noun into an active Verb. It is about the process of life and not the meaning or conclusion. That which is old gets left behind.


Jupiter transit is still in your sign, particularly strong if you are born the middle of August. It brings expansion, joy, self-confidence, and optimism. The paradox is that you feeling good about yourself is going to piss some people off. Your joy will disturb people who are sad. Your self-confidence will disturb people who are judgmental or caught up in self-doubt. Your optimism will disturb others who are pessimistic or negative. But others will come into your life and love you for who you are. Either way it doesn’t matter. You gotta be who you gotta be.

Remember when you were a kid and the grownups said it was time to come in from play and to sit down and do your homework. Saturn just moved into Sagittarius for the next couple of years. Saturn is not a playful or joyful energy, but it is a necessary one to be grounded in the world and get the job done. This just the opposite of the Neptune aspect you have been having since 2012. Neptune is more a dreaming, spiritual energy that has no ambition and no plans. The paradox now is between the two energies of Being or Doing


That which was heavy becomes lighter now and you are busy reaping the fruits of your efforts. That which was slow quickens and the duty you did for others now you enjoy for yourself. It is a good time to expand your sense of security, friendship, and wellbeing, but there is a paradox. This is also a time when you see that the truth has a dark side that can be disturbing and should be revealed. The paradox is that you yourself are positive and full of light and yet there is this darkness outside of you in the world.

virgo Payback time. This is a time when all the good deeds you have done in all your lifetimes blossom in the garden of your soul. Angels sit on your shoulders and guide your steps. Faith and hope replace the endless ruminations of the logical mind and the empty promises of the material world. It is also a time when your eyes open to all the imperfections and sufferings of the world around you. There is the urge to help and almost immediately the question arises: “Is it better to be compassionate or to be kind?”



There is a paradox now for you about either melting into the spiritual universe where all-is-one or keeping your feet planted on firm and solid ground. The first way you are a drop in the ocean as part of everything and the other way you are self-sufficient, but alone and separate. When you try to communicate or explain, sometimes the other wants to argue or they are busy with something and don’t take the time to listen. Time to go deep with the question, my friend, of do we live just once or forever as separate or together.

libra You meet many people during this time of all different types and traits. Some will be uncooperative individualists who do their own thing. Some are into control and dominance. Some are thinkers and some are creative artists. Some bring harmony like Libras and some are disruptors. It supposed to be this way. The Cosmic Cross of Creation is two degrees from perfect. That causes friction and it is out of that friction that life happens. If the Cross was perfect nothing would move and nothing would live. So just watch and enjoy the show.



If you have been taking your relationship for granted, like we all do, that is not going to work anymore. This is a time of extremes in your life in partnerships, both romantic and business. Either you go deep, deep, deep and meet soul-to-soul, essence-to-essence or you boomboom break apart because of control or dominance issues. No in between habit-forming ordinary expectations are possible now. Cancers ordinarily don’t like change in their relationships but now is that kind of time. Attachment to the other is your theme but attachment to their life spirit or outside personality is the question.


Saturn is out of Scorpio after a couple of years of restrictions and blocks holding you back. If you have done your homework and prepared the ground for planting, now is a high-energy time to get it all done. There is a big, wide window now for success in your work or reputation in the community. The main caution at this time is to be conservative in your finances and to invest in low risk ventures for your future. Do not take chances with your money or speculate because all the facts are not what you see.

Your job in this life has been to prepare and organise everything so that they work in a way that is practical, efficient, stable, and secure. With this Pluto transit going on, this is not happening. The Universe needs to do a cleansing once in a while to rid itself of toxins and mistakes that have been made. The ultimate intention is to make things stronger, but it can be a hard process to go through. When things cannot be fixed, the best strategy is to do what it takes to survive, to live another day, to build things back up again.


Full of energy and the world is your playground during this time. Any ropes that have been holding you back loosen up and you become free to move and fly. That’s on the outside in the world around you. There is another story in the world inside you – the subjective, personal world that the logical, conscious you doesn’t see. There might be an old fear that has never been resolved but has been covered over. There is a profound spiritual and psychological insight possible now if you look to see what that is.

pisces There is a time To Dream and a time To Do and sometimes there is a time to do both. Neptune will still be in your sign until 2025 and this is a time to use your imagination and intuition To Dream. Saturn just went aspect in your sign until 2018 and that is a time to bring your dream to earth and give it form. You are your creative best now. The world needs your dream and all the creativity and imagination and kindness that comes with it. The world needs you. You are more important to us than you think.

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EVENT ORGANISER Pro Motion Events Tel: 287250 Page 145 HEALTH, SPAS & SALONS Cocoon Medical Spa Tel: 08113882240/8475997 Page 111 Yak Map E.7 Kaiana Spa Tel: 730562 Yak Directory 7 Yak Map V.11 Kayu Manis Tel: 705 777 Page 103 Spoiled Tel: 8475141/081999288555 Yak Directory 6 Yak Map G.1 Vietura Tel: 8492988 Page 123 HOSPITALS/CLINIC Sunset Vet Tel: 754881 Yak Directory 8 Yak Map E.7 International SOS Tel: 720100,710505 Page 145 HOTELS & VILLAS Alila Manggis Tel: 0363.41011 Page 6 - 7 Alila Seminyak Page 6 – 7 Yak Map. N.5 Alila Ubud Tel: 975963 Page 6 - 7 Alila Villas Uluwatu Tel: 8482166 Page 6 – 7 Alila Villa Soori Tel: 8946388 Page 6 – 7 Double Six Luxury Hotel Tel: 734300

146 Page 65 Yak Map. P.12 Fairmont Sanur Beach Tel: 3011888 Page 35 Grand Nikko Bali Tel: 773377 Page 95 Karma Beach Club Tel: 8482202 Page 14 Komune Hotel Page 13 L Hotels & Resorts Tel: 8947898 Page 47 Yak Map. P.3 Mesa Hotel Tel: 8470700 Page 41 Nikki Beach Bali Tel: 8492900 Back Inside Cover Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort Tel: 815900 Page 10 Yak Map U.1 The Gangsa Page 103 Tugu Page 117 U Paasha Seminyak Tel: 8465977 Page 45 Yak Map Q.8 Viceroy bali Tel: 971777 Page 12 Villa Palma Tel: 081236301330/0817347389 Page 141 Yak Map K.1 MEDIA / PRINTING Indonesia Printer Tel: 021 29022055 Page 143 MISCELLANEOUS

Bali Handara Golf & Country Club Resort Tel: 288944 Page 110 Third Millennia Health Tel 737317 Page 145 Yak Map Z.15 PROPERTY Elite Havens Tel: 731074 /738747 Page 1 Yak Map P.8 RESTAURANTS & BARS Alibi/Rooftop Bar Tel: 8465977 Page 45 Yak Map Q.8 Balique Tel: 704945 Page 29 Bazaar Tel: 4732292 Page 78 Yak Map S.3 CasCades Tel: 972111 Page CP Lounge Tel: 978954 Page 144 El Kabron Tel: 7803416 Page 110 Jenja Tel: 8469077 Page 22 Yak Map W.14 Ku De Ta Tel: 736969 Page 3 Yak Map N.8 Laca Laca Tel: 2032323 Page 49 Yak Map T.8 Lilin Tel: 4737977 Page 33 Yak Map N.5 Livingstone Tel: 4735949 Fb: Livingstone café & Bakery Page 107 Yak Map S.3

Mozaic Ubud Tel: 975768 Page 39 Mozaic Beach Club Tel: 4735796 Page 99 Yak Map J.2 Potato Head Beach Tel: 4737977 Page 33 Yak Map N.5 Sarong Tel: 4737809 Page 30 Yak Map O.4 Shiro Restaurant Tel: 731343 Page 11 Yak Map R.6 Single Malt Tel: 8466996 Fb Singlemalt Bali Page 26 Yak Map O.6 Sundara Tel: 708333 Page 38 Tirtha Dining Tel: 8471151/0828361111 Page 103 The Bistrot Tel: 738308 Page 25 Yak Map S.8 The Parlour Tel: 4734654 Page 43 Yak Map Q.4 VIN Plus Tel: 4732377 Page 34 Yak Map O.7 Zibiru Tel: 082236631302 Page 17 Yak Map T.8 SHOPS 69 Slam Page 23 Yak Map T.7, V.9, V.10 Ayu Pearl/ATLAS www.atlaspearlsandperfumes. Page 55 Yak Map U.10 Bamboo Blonde

Page 19 Yak Map S.8, U.11 Balquisse Living Tel: 8476833 Page 27 Yak Map W.7, E.5 Biasa Page 8 – 9 Yak Map V.12 Bloomz Tel: 2171149 Page 107 Yak Map V.2 Body & Soul Page 31 Yak Map V.13 Deus Ex Machina Tel: 3683395 Page 4 - 5 Yak Map O.8 Dragon Fly/Hatten Wines Page 54 Grammes Jewelry Tel: 731562/283861/769555 Page 117 Yak Map U.10 Kapal Laut Page 143 Yak Map T.14 Nagicia Page 18 Yak Map V.10 Paul Ropp Tel: 701202,081238159153,731002 Back Cover Yak Map T.8 Periplus Page 107 Yak Map F.13/P.7 Pesamuan Ceramic Tel: 2107110,281440,284213 Page 34 Shan Shan Tel: 737160/704945/5512857 Page 29 Yak Map U.9 SKS Page 21 Yak Map T.8 Stephane Sensey Tel: 735035 Page 2 Yak Map V.3 Uluwatu Lace Tel: 8497097, 8497098 Page 15 Yak Map V.3

Kiwis have a new representative on Bali. Indy Siddik chats with Andrew E. Hall about the connection between fine food and finding herself the new Honorary Consul. photo: Lukas Vrtilek.

Hi Indy, can you tell us something about your background please . . .

quite busy dealing with the issues of others?

I was born in Indonesia and went to Holland at young age where I was educated and grew up in a small town, spending the most influential years of my life as a teenager. In that time you had to be able to speak and write at least three different foreign languages to be able to graduate from high school. The Netherlands was getting ready for globalisation and European Union, and I am glad that I was there to be part of it as it upgraded my future. Beside the Dutch language that I spoke daily or the Javanese language that my mum speaks at home I can claim to be a multi-cultured and bilingual person, like most of the new generation in Bali now.

My household? Hah! We are certainly busy with hosting guests and attending invitations but actually regarding Consular matters, not really . . . at least not yet from the New Zealand side! So far for Brazil are light matters, like losing a camera, a passport, visa or overstay.

When and why did you come to Bali?

I came to Bali for the first time about 30 years ago as a teenager on holiday with my family. The second part of my life was when I was working for a Dutch Travel Company as a tour guide in the mid-‘90s. I was here almost every month in Bali to work, but if you meant, when I did come here and decide to stay, that was about 10 years ago when I found my soul mate and the peace in paradise. What is your pedigree in the hospitality industry? I don’t have a formal education in the hospitality world. That went along with the experience of life. When I lived in Holland my mum used to sell food and snacks at an Indonesian stall during the week and on weekends – the so-called pasar malam where all the “Indos” ( half Indonesian people ) got together to eat, dance and shop for souvenirs to remember their far away country. You recently became the Honorary Consul for New Zealand – how did that happen? 148

What are the greatest challenges of being another nation’s representative on Bali?

Good question! We have been friends of His Excellency David Taylor and his wife Teresa for some time since they came here more than four years ago. I think David was impressed with me, when some friends and I had organised a Grand Chapitre or the International Gala Induction Dinner in Yogyakarta for the fraternity of the Chaine des Rotisseurs. I am proud to carry the responsibility and title as the first New Zealand Honorary Consul for Bali. As the Honorary Consul, what are your duties?

My task is to bridge New Zealand and Indonesia with the theme maju bersama, which means "progressing together", whether it is in agriculture, importexport, education, culture or green projects. Besides that there are the less fun duties: New Zealand citizens losing their passports or getting into an accident or becoming involved in a conflict with the local authorities or people. Your husband, Firdaus, is the Honorary Brazilian Consul – is your household

The challenge is actually that we are not only representing another nation, but we also have to represent our own country, to bridge the two nations for mutual benefit.

Yourself and Firdaus are members of the Bali branch of Chaîne des Rôtisseur – a society that has existed since 1248 which celebrates fine cuisine and wine – can you tell us something about it . . . does this mean that Kiwi and Brazilian citizens can expect to be fed rather well while you are dealing on their behalves? That means you have not been to my home yet, ha ha. I believe all my friends know that even before we were both Honorary Consuls my home was always full of food and drinks. Good food with good wines to be shared with good friends. But yes, being a consul we do have some privileges and a it is bit easier to find suppliers, as we also have to promote the products of the country we are representing. Thank you, indeed . . . do we call you “Your Excellency”?

No darling, just Indy sounds good enough. I am “her highness” however . . . in my own kitchen.

Profile for The Yak Magazine

The Yak #45  

The lighter and darker sides of Bali, Asia's fashionable playground.

The Yak #45  

The lighter and darker sides of Bali, Asia's fashionable playground.

Profile for balinigel