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F A R A H K H A N . C O M




Let us rejuvenate your skin in a radiantly fresh glow. Let us pamper you with extensive wellness opportunities. Let us arrange a boutique collections of Balinese inspired treatment. Let us turn a day into lifetime memories.

UNVEILING THE RITZ-CARLTON SPA - October 2015 Reserve your treatment at +62 361 849 8988 or email at

Jalan Nusa Dua Selatan Lot III, Sawangan, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, Indonesia TEL +62 361 849 8988 FAX +62 361 849 8989

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

L u c a & Z is ka D e c on e y






Volume Forty-eight september/october/november 2015 The Yak Magazine Sophie Digby, Agustina Ardie, Nigel Simmonds Creative Director Stuart Sullivan Sales & Marketing Peta Johnston Production Manager Evi Sri Rezeki Graphic Designers Irawan Zuhri, Ida Bagus Adi Accounting Julia Rulianti Distribution Made Marjana, Putu Widi Susanto, Gede Swastika Publisher PT Luxury In Print Licence AHU/47558/AH/01/01/2011 Advertising Enquiries Tel: (+62 361) 766 539, 085100431804, 085100431805, 085100431796

photo: amberly valentine. styling: the Ö. Hair & make-up: juno Pchelkina. dress: shakuhachi. model: Ksenia Senko. e:, OK you know the drill. No part of this publication may be copied or

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

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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contents 24

Yak On Brethren


Fridge Magnets


Charity Begins...

Yakety yak

dates with destiny

one world


New Billings


Product Collective


Bali Beloved

new in the hood

out of the box

culture vulture

82 18


Islands In The Sky










Eric Van Loon











South To Sian


The Lake House




yak fashion

oral pleasures



Ku De Ta


Tapas Fantasticas


oral pleasures

oral pleasures


contents P: 74 Omnibus: talking tolerance.


oral pleasures



Settimo Cielo


Kilo Conquers


Sushi by The Sea


Big Six

oral pleasures

oral pleasures

oral pleasures

oral pleasures

50 22


Constant wining

Wine On


Grand Nikko




Client Clobber


Mast From The Past

venting in a villa

venting in a villa

fashion freestyle


sounds around

O Man




What’s What


Horror Scope


advertiser’s directory

astro yak






Hospitality and residential furniture since 1989 INDOOR | OUTDOOR | CUSTOM

WARISAN LIVING | RESTAURANT Jl. Raya Kerobokan 38, Br. Taman, Kuta, Bali Tel: 62 (361) 730 048, Fax: 62 (361) 736 475

WARISAN CASA Jl. Raya By Pass Ngurah Rai Jimbaran, Bali Tel: 62 (361) 701 081, Fax: 62 (361) 701 634 wa r i s a n .co m


yakback Someone said of The Yak, one day of late, that it was a ‘sokdolager’ of a brand, a sokdolager of a publication. What? It sounded offensive. Did we hear him right? Did he say ‘salad dodger’? Is our hearing impaired? We’ve never heard of the word. Turned out it is American just like gentlemen that voiced it, early nineteenth century. He had me filipendulous – hanging by a thread – for a second, until he went on to explain that sokdolager aka sockdolager is a good thing, a positive thing, a compliment. Lucky that, for a second there we were about to ‘sock’ it to him! On checking – Google of course – it turns out that it means ‘exceptional in any respect’. Crackajack; daisy, dandy, dilly, doozy; the bees-knees even. But rather than blow smoke out of our beehive, we’ll let you the Yaketeers decide whether or not we are sokdolager. This issue we start with our rather nifty Dates with Destiny (through Bali to Barcelona and beyond) and our ever-essential New In The Hood. We follow that up with our eclectic Out of the Box and an incomparably beautiful look at Bali – black and white so intrinsic. Staying in the archipelago Stephane Sensey takes a unique look at the men that fish for a living – a meagre one as is stands today. Next up you get to meet some outstanding people based in, or connected to, Bali – sockdolagers the lot of them – before we hold your attention hostage with both Omnibus touting Tolerance and a ripper surf ‘n turf feature – South to Sian. Our Yak fashion shoot took everyone lakeside, with remarkable backdrops, fashion and photography: The O and AV are excellence in motion! Time for an oral pleasure-fest: ¨meet the guys behind our lattelicious Livingstone and later on life gets just as peachy when you drop into any one of our mouth-watering eating venues, Ku, Kilo, Sundara and Settimo Cielo, not forgetting the come-back of the original, inimitable Spanish tapas. Balcony food, rooms full of wine and beaches with camels add a dash of fashion, it’s humdinger of a mix. Wrapping up this September’s soliloquy, we get the in from Osunlade, a total phenom music man and get the insight into Propaganda, the screen play of which was written by a Bali film industry hero, known to his mates as Poho. And so we come to a memorable close. All that is left to say is check out your stars and may The Yak be with you, sokdolager!


Dear Yak, We would like to thank you as well as Sarah Douglas for your excellent paper on Caviar. We are very pleased by it and will definitely keep in touch should you have further events coming up. Regards, Benjamin Casteillo, Classic Fine Foods We keep looking in the office fridge but still can’t see any caviar. Maybe lost on GoJek? Dear Yak, I congratulate you on your excellent magazine.However with regards to the front cover photo of your most recent edition I am concerned with the potential subliminal negative effect ‘glamourising’ a young woman holding a gun to her mouth may have on your young audience. I say this with regards to youth suicide and the damage caused by guns in society generally. It has long been a practice of responsible parents and educators to exclude guns as acceptable in children’s play and I see this photo as outside the realms of responsible community education. I work in this area

so am acutely aware of such matters but I do feel the need to encourage you to be more mindful of such advertising in future editions. Regards, Carmel Bates, Sanur You’re right. KIDS: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME! Seriously though Carmel we do take your point on board. Dear Yak, A big hats off to you on the continued success of the magazine! Regards, Susanna Perini, Biasa Group Thanks love. Dear Yak, Your’s is a delightful magazine to revisit and get lost in. Regards, Julie Jackson, Bali. Well, thank you [blushes].

In The Lap Of: David De Gea Oh Bali! Oh woeful volcanic ash mayhem and what it’s done to our not quite so wonderful celeb sightings this salutary high season! Well at least some have a had a better one (season that is) namely Manchester United goalie David De Gea, spotted on our shores these past summer months with Spanish squeeze Edurne Garcia after possibly completing a multi-mega-million-dollar move to the world’s top team Real Madrid. Which is of course in Spain. Where her parents live. Best of luck, DDG!

Jl. Oberoi 3a, Seminyak / tel +62.361.736644 /

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


diary entries, fridge tags and event candy by stephanie mee.

ULTRA BEACH BALI House, techno, drum & bass and dubstep fans get ready, because one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals is rocking up to Potato Head Beach Club this September with a stellar lineup of some the planet’s most sought-after DJs. The ULTRA Music Festival began on the sands of Miami Beach in 1999, and since then the annual party has attracted such a huge following of music artists and fans alike that the ULTRA organisers have taken the party worldwide with block-rocking events in venues as far reaching as Ibiza, Argentina, Japan, Croatia, Chile and South Africa. Get down to world-class beats and be part of ULTRA’s first ever foray into Bali on September 24 and 25. BALINALE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL The annual Balinale International Film Festival is back again with the theme ‘Face of Diversity’, which is fitting considering they will be showing an array of award-winning fiction, documentary, feature and short films from around the world as well as associated events that will showcase a rich diversity of people, geography, culture and tastes. The festival will start with a free open-air cinema event on the (in)famous sands of Kuta Beach at The Stones each evening from September 18 to September 20. The main event will take place from September 24 to September 30 with screenings at Cinemaxx Bali at Lippo Mall, and a series of workshops where students and aspiring filmmakers can learn from both Indonesian and

IF YOU’RE IN SPAIN… September 18 to 24 — Fiesta De La Mercé (Barcelona): Barcelona’s biggest festival of the year is a cultural and artistic extravaganza dedicated to the Mare de Déu de la Mercé, the city’s patron saint. For five days the city streets, squares and parks will come alive with over 600 events including parades, street theatre, dance, music, circus performances and art installations. Not to be missed is the procession of giant papier maché figures called gegants i capgrossos and the gravitydefying human towers or castellers. Barcelona’s metro trains will run all day and night during the festival, so party-goers can pack in as many sights and events as possible. September 26 — Red Bull Cliff Diving World Competition (Bilbao): Watch on as the world’s best divers hurl themselves from the Salve Bridge and flip, turn and arc their way gracefully down to the Nervión River against a backdrop of the shimmering curves of the Guggenheim Museum at the grand finale of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Competition. This will be the 50th competition in Red Bull Cliff Diving and the final event of the 2015 World Series where the champions of the diving elite will be awarded their trophies. You can be sure the energy here will be electric and the dives nothing short of spectacular. IF YOU’RE IN MALAYSIA… September 18 to September 20 — Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta (Kuching): Set on the mighty Sarawak River, the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta dates back to 1872 when the river was the main gateway to 30

international professionals. Roll cameras. UBUD WRITERS & READERS FESTIVAL 2015 The 2014 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival attracted over 26,000 lovers of literature, and this year the festival is expected to be just as crowd pleasing with a slew of award-winning and up-and-coming international and Indonesian talents from journalists to bloggers, novelists, activists and filmmakers. From October 28 to November 1 guests of the UWRF can join in over 70 exciting events including workshops, panel discussions, book launches, poetry slams, literary lunches and more. Tickets are already on sale and selling out fast. BALI INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON The Bali International Triathlon may have been postponed last year due to the elections, but on October 25 the race returns to Jimbaran and Nusa Dua with more spirit and soul than ever. The event is comprised of a full Olympic Triathlon, a half-triathlon and a five-kilometer fun run, and it is expected to draw over 1,000 athletes from some 30 countries including more than 500 Indonesia triathletes. The starting point and end point of the race will be in the gardens of the InterContinental Bali Resort and Spa.

Kuching and the island of Borneo. During the festival villagers from around the region and competitors from as far away as Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Taiwan and Indonesia will gather in longboats with teams of 30 paddlers using all their strength to win the title of ‘Raja Sungai’ or king of the river. Spectators can gather on the waterfront to watch these colourful boats slice through the currents, and participate in the swimming and duck catching competitions, arts and crafts displays and the vibrant food fair. September 26 to October 4 — Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur: Tennis fans are already gearing up for the 7th anniversary of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, which will take place at the specially built indoor courts at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil. Some of the world’s best players have already confirmed their participation in the ATP 250 tournament including France’s Richard Gasquet, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Spain’s David Ferrer, each of whom will be vying for the grand prize of US $1,041,540. The qualifying matches will take place from September 26 to September 28 and the final match will go down on the afternoon of October 4. October 1 to October 31 — Malaysia International Gourmet Festival: For the entire month of October foodies can get their fix of gastronomic delights at an array of restaurants around Malaysia offering masterpiece menus by chefs at the top of their game. This year the theme is ‘Galactic Chefs! 2015: A Food Odyssey’, so diners can expect the most creative and innovative dishes as the chefs attempt to outdo one another.

The cuisines on offer include Japanese, Cantonese, Modern French, Latin American, Sri Lankan and Malay among others, and the participating restaurants will be offering great deals like discounts on food and drink and complimentary cocktails. IF YOU’RE IN IRELAND… September 24 to September 27 — Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival: The world’s oldest oyster festival began in 1954 with just 34 guests, but today the Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival attracts over 23,000 people and is one of the most internationally recognised festivals in Ireland after St. Patrick’s Day. The festival celebrates Galway’s rich annual oyster harvest, and it features the World Oyster Opening Championships for star shuckers, live cooking demos, street parades, live music, seafood trails, a masquerade ball, a circus for kids, and of course plenty of fresh oysters washed down with pints of Guinness, champagne and fine wine. October 17 to October 19 — Open House Dublin: Ever wondered what lies behind those historic facades and contemporary structures along the streets of Dublin? Now you can explore some of the city’s most intriguing buildings at Open House Dublin, a weekend-long architecture festival with hundreds of tours in some of the city’s greatest buildings of all sizes and periods. From centuries-old cathedrals to iconic modern landmarks, this is your chance to learn about the unique architectural landscape of Dublin from knowledgeable professionals and enthusiasts. And the best part is all the tours and events are completely free.

giving back

Stephanie Mee metes out charitable choices.

SUNFLOWERS FOR BALI Hailing from the small village of Pejarakan in north Bali, Wayan Sujana was known to many as an inspirational figure who worked hard to achieve his dreams and give back to his village despite having little money or time himself. His story may not be widely known throughout international channels or even around the island, but it is one of perseverance, resilience, and unfortunately, tragedy. Wayan was born in 1989 to a family of salt farmers, and it seemed inevitable that he would also go on to earn a meagre income harvesting sea salt. But Wayan had big dreams of achieving success in other fields. With help from his father and wages earned from part-time jobs, Wayan completed vocational school and went on to win scholarships to study English and tourism at Ganesha University of Education in Singaraja. Using the knowledge he gained from university, Wayan opened a spa in his hometown. He then enrolled in a student entrepreneurship program where he received funds to start up a nature course in Pejarakan where he offered free classes in English, spa therapy and nature preservation to young people in his village. Although he was still finishing his own university courses, Wayan found the time to teach classes three times a week and he managed to enlist overseas volunteers to help him with the program. Ben Chardome was one such volunteer who helped out with the nature course and became very close to Wayan. In 2014 Ben invited Wayan to his wedding in Belgium and offered to pay for his flights and expenses, including trips to various cities in Europe. Wayan agreed immediately. Before his trip Wayan wrote a post on his Facebook wall that read: “This is my wonderful chance to see the world. My dream is to see Paris and the rest of Europe. The son of salt farmer now is achieving this dream.” The European tour was a success and Wayan got to visit all the places he had dreamed about. However, neither Wayan nor Ben would make it back to Bali. The two men were among the 298 victims who perished on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 when the plane was shot down over the Ukraine on July 17, 2014. Now just over a year after the tragedy, two journalists are offering families and friends of the victims the opportunity to keep their loved ones’ memories alive with a unique symbolic keepsake. Fairfax correspondent Paul McGeough and photographer Kate Geraghty were reporting in the Ukraine at the time of the crash and witnessed the crash site firsthand with its debris scattered across a sea of bobbing sunflowers. Being in a war zone, they realized that the families of the victims may never be able to visit the final resting place of their loved ones, so they decided to bring a piece of the site to them. The journalists collected thousands of seeds from the Ukrainian sunflowers and flew them home to begin the distribution process. Although there were some issues at first with importing the seeds into Australia, the Australian Department of Agriculture did their part to quarantine the original seeds and cultivate new seeds from the originals that were safe for distribution. To date Paul and Kate have sent seed parcels across Australia and as far away as the Netherlands, Italy, Malaysia and Indonesia. Arrangements have already been made to send a packet of seeds to Bali and take them to Wayan’s village for planting, and Wayan’s family members, friends, students and fellow villagers are ecstatic to have something tangible to connect them to his death as well as a living memorial to his bright and tenacious spirit. JAKARTA ANIMAL AID NETWORK The Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that is dedicated to improving the welfare of domestic animals in Indonesia, protecting


Indonesian wildlife, and raising awareness in local and international communities about animal welfare through education programs and the dissemination of information. Since its establishment in 2008, JAAN has implemented many successful programs to help domestic animals in Jakarta and deal with pet population control in a humane way. They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home feral dogs and cats, as well as those that have been abandoned and abused. They also offer fostering opportunities and run sterilisation drives to reduce future populations of unwanted kittens and puppies. JAAN also works with the Indonesian government and the Forestry Department to rescue wildlife from extinction and put a halt to the illegal wildlife trade. Other initiatives that JAAN is involved in include marine mammal rescue work, coral conservation, primate welfare, the ‘Free Bali Dolphins’ and ‘Dogs Are Not Meat’ campaigns, nature conservation, and community activities like reef check programmes, wildlife conservation awareness programmes, eco tourism activities and their annual fundraising dog walk event, JAAN Paw Day. You can support JAAN in many ways including signing petitions, sponsoring, fostering or adopting a furry friend, donating funds or supplies, or volunteering at their shelter or with other activities. You can also become a member of JAAN by simply donating a minimum of IDR50,000. Members get to stay in the loop about their current programmes and activities via their newsletter, and they also get a five to 10 per cent discount at the Animal Clinic Jakarta. SOAP FOR HOPE It is estimated that hotels in Bali throw away nearly 50,000 hotel soaps combined every week, and that the average 400-room hotel throws away nearly 3.5 tonnes of soap year. These numbers are shocking considering the waste crisis Bali is currently experiencing and the number of people across the island who have little or no access to basic hygiene products. However, one company is tackling the problem head-on with a programme that aims to alleviate waste and help local communities by improving hygiene and providing a means of livelihood. Soap for Hope is the brainchild of Sealed Air Corp, a cleaning and sanitation solutions provider, and it aims to recycle lightly used hotel guest soap and distribute it to underprivileged families and communities in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The project was first launched in 2003 in the UAE in collaboration with the Grand Hyatt Dubai and Shangri-la Dubai, and today it operates in over 50 hotels in 10 countries to divert soap from landfills and donate soap to those who need it most. The mechanisms of the Soap for Hope programme are simple. Sealed Air teams up with a local NGO and partner hotel and then sends over the equipment to recycle the soap. They also help set up the equipment, train local people to recycle the soap and help distribute the soap to local communities. Everything is done on site and there are no costs to any of the partners or local communities. Here in Bali the R.O.L.E. Foundation has picked up the reins and is now running the Soap for Hope project in partnership with Sealed Air and Conrad Bali. They collect the slightly used soap and employ at-risk women to bleach it, sanitize it and rework it, even adding in organic fragrances like lemongrass and lavender. They then distribute the finished product to orphanages, the elderly and disadvantaged people in Bali for free and sell the soap in the foundation shop. To find out more about Soap for Hope or the R.O.L.E.’s other Waste to Wonder programmes, visit the R.O.L.E. Foundation’s website or their information centre in Nusa Dua.

FLAVOURS OF BALI Award-winning chef Mandif M. Warokka is no stranger to the food game, as he has held court as a judge on MasterChef Indonesia, Hell’s Kitchen Indonesia, and Top Chef Indonesia. After opening the wildly successful Teatro Gastroteque in Seminyak, he set his sights on the lush hills of Ubud and opened his second venture at the historic Antonio Blanco Museum. Blanco Par Mandif is a celebration of Indonesian heritage cuisine with rustic dishes that highlight native produce and a close connection to local farmers. Using ingredients like wild garlic from Singaraja, fresh fish from Jimbaran, and salt from Tejakula, Mandif and his team create divine dishes and drinks that burst with Balinese flavours and flair. Tel: 0361 4792284

CLIFFSIDE CALISTHENICS Get fit while flying high at Alila Villas Uluwatu in private aerial yoga classes taught by resident yogi Nyoman Warta in the ultimate setting for an uplifting experience - the Sunset Cabana jutting out over the edge of a cliff. Originating in New York, aerial yoga is a relatively new form of yoga that involves a set of exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics while hanging from a fabric hammock suspended about a meter above the ground. Doing the asanas in this position allows for greater freedom of movement and gets every part of the body stretching and moving to tone, strengthen and rehabilitate muscles and decompress and align the spine. Tel: 0361 8482166 BAMBOO BLONDE HITS UBUD Style savvy divas no longer have to make the trek to Seminyak for contemporary clothing now that Bamboo Blonde has opened its doors on Jalan Monkey Forest. All the latest fashions line the racks here including cute crochet crop tops, formfitting mini-dresses, patterned shortshorts, flowing boho skirts, sexy jumpsuits and tube tops, plus jewellery and accessories galore. The stock is constantly changing to move out the old and make way for the new, and there are always mad sales going on with huge discounts on last season’s styles. Tel: 0361 730450


GOOD KARMA AT MAYURA Mayura is the Sanskrit word for peacock, a bird that symbolizes beauty, grace, kindness, and good luck, which is a fitting name for Karma Royal Group’s latest five-star resort set in the peaceful woodcarving village of Mas, just outside Ubud. Perched on the edge of jungle-clad riverbanks and surrounded by rice paddies and coconut groves, Mayura offers 32 deluxe rooms for those seeking a serene escape. Each room has its own private balcony overlooking lush greenery, and the interiors are adorned with carved wooden furniture and indigenous Indonesian fabrics and artworks. The resort also boasts an open-air infinity pool, poolside restaurant and lavish spa.

SUSHI LOVING The dining room at Kajin may be tiny, but that only adds to the intimate appeal of this contemporary sushi bar located just upstairs from sister restaurant Rayjin Teppanyaki. The place is not yet a year old, but they are already smashing it out of the park with their modern take on sushi, sashimi and izakaya style snacks. Enticing starters like the cured Tasmanian salmon carpaccio and crunchy shrimp tempura are too good to pass up, but be sure to save room for the main meal which could include melt-inyour-mouth sashimi, the seared Sushi Aburicious nigiri, or the soft-shell crab maki rolls. Wash it all down with hot or cold sake or a fruit-flavoured chuhai. Petitenget 98x. Tel: 081 237896010

rooftop love Few things really tickle our fancy as much as a new sunset viewing spot. Add a rooftop, a sea view, amazing cocktails and delectable canapés and you’ll get us at hello. Space is part of the Luna2 brand, beachside on Sarinande between Oberoi and Gado Gado – it is very VIP and it is very Yak. Luna2 boasts, and rightly so, a private cinema and an exclusive “boite de nuit”. Luna2 currently operating in Bali, Phuket, Lombok and Niseko, Japan. Jl. Sarinande 20/22

Biasa’s new Look White, stripes and denim; cotton muslin, leather and linen. This year’s collection, Summer 2015, resounds with ‘extraordinary simplicity’. Painting the Biasa palette is ‘rosso’, pumpkin, violet and denim. Soft tones balance the vibrancy with limelight, ash, rose and champagne. The accessories are hand-woven, hand rolled with an attention to detail. Expect large colour-block totes, bright sandals and bold jewelry to compliment the ultimate elegant Biasa look. Biasa shops are in Seminyak, Sanur, Ubud and Jakarta. Don’t forget to check out Biasa+_ in Seminyak with a great range of menswear, shoes, sunglasses and bespoke jewelry. Jl. Raya Seminyak 36

IZAKAYA GOODNESS It’s all about izakaya style dining at Kuu, a newly opened Japanese restaurant located along Sanur’s vibrant sidewalk scene at Maya Sanur Resort & Spa. Inspired by one of Kyoto’s legendary eateries, Kuu specializes in authentic Japanese small plates and light bites and a selection of fine sakes. Relax amongst a contemporary décor palette of black, white and red at communal tables, comfortable banquettes and tables for two, and graze on vibrant plates of hand cut lotus chips, braised pork belly, fresh sushi and sashimi and grilled yakitori skewers. Everything on the menu is designed to share, but you just might find yourself keeping each dish all to yourself. Tel: 0361 8497800 36

TUILE AT KU DE TA Since opening in 2000 Ku De Ta has maintained its position as one of our favourite chic beachside hangouts, due in part to the fact that they never stop raising the bar in terms of service, style and creative innovation. Tuile is their most recent concept that testifies to their on-going evolution, and it is already set to be one of Seminyak’s sexiest seaside spots. Tuile was born from a total rebuild and redesign of the entire right side of Ku De Ta, otherwise commonly know as fidel’s right leg and it now features a gorgeous second floor deck overlooking the beach and the Indian Ocean and an elegant air-conditioned bar and dining room where guests can imbibe and indulge in unique signature spirit-based drinks, fine wines and gourmet French fare. Tel: 0361 736969

SPICE OF LIFE Best known for the award-winning Mozaic Restaurant and Mozaic Beachclub, Chris Salans has recently opened a new addition to his repertoire in the heart of Ubud. Spice is an all-day gastrobar serving Salans’ signature Western dishes infused with the exotic flavours of Southeast Asia. The atmosphere here is laid-back with a long bar counter that faces the open kitchen, and communal tables facing the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook bustling Jalan Raya Ubud. The innovative dishes include sliders like the breaded red snapper with sambal matah and wakame bread, proteins like the beef brisket with fat noodles and kluwek broth, and seafood like the slipper lobster with curry leaf butter and tempe. Best of all the gourmet beverages and bites all come at very affordable prices Tel: 0361 4792420

Seraya in Flores Seraya Hotel & Resort on Seraya Kecil in Flores (just 30 minutes from Labuan Bajo) is The Yak’s new favourite get-me-out-of-here bolt hole. It has all the ingredients. A long jetty surrounded by amazing coral just teeming with life, transparent kayaks to see the world below the surface, a salt water pool and an impressive restaurant with great food (slightly limited by the lack of Labuan Bajo’s supply chain). Well thought-out Double Deluxe Bungalows and Panorama Suites just nail it for a good sleep with a sunrise view. Could it get any better? Yes it does. A short walk up a small hill and you also get amazing sunsets. Don’t forget to ask the fabulous Seraya team for a G n T as you watch the sun go down. There really is nowhere quite like it. Seraya Kecil, Labuan Bajo

FLYING HIGH Back in 2002 adventure tour luminaries Nigel Mason and his wife Made Karyani (Yanie) introduced Helicopter Sky Tours under the umbrella of Bali Adventure Tours and were all set to offer riveting rides in their state-of-the-art Robinson R44 Helicopter. However, the tragedy of the Bali bombings caused the company to suspend operations until a later date. Now after a 12-year hiatus BAT has commenced their sky-high operations with the Bali Adventure Sky Tours, a luxury VIP helicopter service offering flights around the island in their brand new Eurocopter B2. The copter offers air-conditioned comfort and a cutting edge camera system that allows for views both inside and outside the aircraft, and fantastic souvenir photos and videos. Also available for media. Tel: 0361 721480


Ropp Pop Paul Ropp, infamously known for dressing ‘people who would prefer to go naked’ with intricately patterned cottons, silks and barelythere linens, has always been just as inspired with his PR accessories. Boots to bags; shoes to sandals; earrings to bangles. Brightly coloured, multi layered unique tapestries of all that is the Paul Ropp style. Loud and brash in colour they may be, but unique and elegant in style they definitely are. Stores recently opened in various locations in Phuket and are in Seminyak, Ubud, Kuta and Jimbaran in Bali and in DFS Jakarta.

TAMARIND KITCHEN & LOUNGE Set on the sugary white sands fronting the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Tamarind Kitchen & Lounge is a relaxing beachfront oasis by day and alluring tropical cocktail and cuisine destination by night. The unique circular structure features soaring bamboo beams and a lofty thatched roof that allows balmy breezes to flow in, and there is cosy seating both indoors and out. The menu boasts epicurean delights from around the Indonesian archipelago, and dishes are prepared in the open kitchen featuring a woodfired oven and a tandoori kiln. For sundowner sessions and after-dinner nightcaps, the bar and lounge offers an array of beverages for all types of tipplers. Tel: 0361 771210

ALAYA KUTA Alaya Hotels & Resorts manages to inject a touch of class to whatever neighbourhood they touch down in, and this couldn’t be truer for their newest boutique hotel in bustling and upbeat Kuta. Alaya Kuta is the only hotel of its kind in the Jalan Kartika Plaza area and it features contemporary design and cutting edge comfort throughout. The 116 rooms and suites offer tranquil abodes of peace and privacy, while the lengthy swimming pool and sundeck make for a tropical oasis away from the crowds of Kuta. Kick up the bliss another notch with a serene spa treatment at Alaya Kuta’s branch of the award-winning DaLa Spa. Tel: 0361 755380

Shop Eat Play A mall in Seminyak? Not exactly your average mall, Seminyak Village, between the Oberoi & Kayu Jati streets, brings over 50 prime retail spaces under one glorious roof. Forget rickety pavements, dangerous road crossings and insufferable heat stroke. Set over two levels, including a landscaped rooftop terrace with as-before-unseen views over Seminyak, you can expect high fashion brands such as MCM, Rococo, Farah Khan, Lily Jean, Milo’s Collezione, Spring Spa and Tiger Palm, Will Meyrick’s ¬– of Mamasan fame – new venue, amongst many other tenants. Designed by Bali’s favoured architect Freddo Taffin and David Cracken, this 60,000 sq. feet of prime retail space, Seminyak Village, also boasts underground parking and designated drop off points to ease traffic – bliss. And of course ATM’s, lifts and escalators, complimentary Wi-Fi and taxi bookings … Seminyak Village: it’s going to be iconic and it’s going to make shopping a whole lot more stylish. Jl. Kayu Cendana Ubud bold Shan-Shan – the name brings ‘love and new starts in life’. It is the creator and promoter of original ideas; it means bold, independent, inquisitive. This fashionable jewellery and accessories brand opened recently in Ubud. Together with the shops in Seminyak & Jimbaran, Shan Shan’s jewellery collections go from funky and bold to soft and feminine; think velvet, cords of many colours, silk, stone, beads, leather and diamante. Complete the Shan-Shan look with scarves that can double up as turbans and the can’t-do-without clutch bag. Jl. Hanoman 19 42

BEACHSIDE BOHEMIA It’s easy to slip into a groovy kind of mood at La Laguna, a bohemian beachside café awash in colourful gypsy caravans, a healthy smattering of beanbags and cushions, and even a resident peacock roaming the grounds. Brought to us by the creative team behind La Favela, the cafe is already becoming a hotspot for its laid-back vibes, great beach cafe fare like fresh salads, seafood and a range of tapas, and cool cocktails that seem to taste even better when downed while witnessing one of Canggu’s epic sunsets. You can find La Laguna on the beach between Batu Belig and Berawa. Just look for the big wooden bridge. Tel: 0361 4741214

Black Is The New . . . Religion Favoured urban fashion brand Religion just vamped us with their new flagship store on Jl Raya Kerobokan (opposite Mama San) – Religion Taman. Guerilla elegance at its best, the new store features Jean the Ripped a.k.a. denims, also on the floor are jackets, hoodies, belts, sunnies and yes sandals in larger sizes! Cozying up to the racks the gals range takes slovenly chic to new heights with maxis, minis, denim and cotton tees. Time to get new clothes? Time to get religion. Jl. Raya Taman – Kerobokan

La Bottega by Zibiru It seems we can never get enough of good Italian food so the Zibiru team finally caved in and opened La Bottega (streetside of Zibiru’s gorgeous restaurant on Jl. Drupadi in Seminyak). A piccolo delicatessen with very big flavours. From five to seven in the afternoon your taste buds can be assuaged with a glass of vino and complimentary finger food as you browse through the premium homemade Italian delicacies that bring the Zibiru touch into your very own kitchen. Don’t forget they host live Jazz on Wednesdays in the courtyard. Jl. Drupadi 7

F1 Singapore This year’s Singapore Grand Prix does not only bring a mass of petrol-headed excitement to the streets of the Merlion, with the likes of Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and my personal favourite Kimi the Ice Man Raikonnen, but the après race line up is a total music fest. Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Bon Jovi and for those just a tad over the hill there is Spandau Ballet and Jimmy Cliff. Three whole amazing race-days topped off with some of the best voices in the world. 2015 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix is definitely the best F1 race of the season, and this year is better than ever. See you on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

pothead cocktails Caribbean light rum, strawberry-infused, top-notch and quality Bali Arak (yes, it is tried and tested and possibly the only place to drink this safely), bar-made rosella syrup, coconut juice and citrus. Built and served big! Yep, that is one of Potato Head Beach Club’s new cocktails – Bali Boat, one that is for sharing and caring. Personally, when I took a peek at the new list I veered away from the sharing is caring ethos, being quite selfish when it comes to sharing anything alcoholic. I went for the ‘Bali Pimm’s Fruit Cup’ followed by a ‘Flower for Zoe’ and in between mouthfuls of delicious tempura, and an amazing salad, I squeezed in a ‘Bamboozie’ & finished off the longish lunch with a ‘Nanas Colada’. Thankfully there are many left to try on the Indo Tiki Exotica and Indo Classics lists. There is also a fab array of alcohol-free concoctions for those on a detox or for non-imbibers. I could possibly give up the booze for the bar-made pink ginger beer… Jl. Petitenget


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culture vulture

An exhibition of ‘30s photographs by Gotthard Schuh reminds us why we really live on this island. Words: Tony Stanton. Images: Gotthard Schuh © Museo delle Culture/FotoStiftunSchweiz.

THE perception of Bali as a small earthly paradise derives from a surprisingly limited number of observers, most of whom visited the island during the golden age of the 1930s. Among them was the German photographer Gotthard Schuh, whose book and portrait of the island has fuelled and sustained the idea – some would say the myth – of Bali as a place of free love, of paradise lost and regained, of a place in which a kind of magical equilibrium between nature and culture has created a powerful refuge from the poison of modern civilisation. Gotthard Schuh was born on 22 December 1897 in Berlin, and after an academic education embarked on a career as an artist by taking up painting. He became interested in photography in 1926, focussing principally on daily life in Central Europe and Italy. In 1927 he married Mara Zurcher, which prompted him to move to Paris, where he continued to experiment with photography and also did portrais of such eminent figures as Picasso, Braque and Leger. In 1935 Schuh was diagnosed with multiple scelerosis, but he continued to work as a photojournalist, and the following year began to collaborate with Manuel Gasser, a journalist and writer, with whom, together with others, he founded the Fotostiftung Schweiz. In March of 1938 he then sailed from Genoa on a trip to

Indonesia, where he visited the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali. The result of this experience was the book Insein der Gotter, published in 1941 and later reprinted and translated into several languages. The island portrayed by Schuh is a kind of jewel set in a luminous sea: lagoons with crystal clear water softly offset by the profiles of palms barely stirred by the breeze; fertile land shaped into terraces on the slopes of volcanoes; villages continually enlivened by feasts and colourful ceremonies conveying the joy of life; an everyday experience marked by carefreeness and by cyclical forms of almost tangible happiness. It’s a dream beset by problems of the modern age – those ‘poisons’ from which Bali has always appeared immune. Increasing development in the southern regions has threatened the natural core of Bali, bringing with it problems of refuse, pollution and traffic. Yet travel north from these beach blanket babylons into the heart of the island and Schuh’s world remains, for now, intact. These images, perhaps more so than any others of the age, remind us of real spirit of Bali, a spirit that should never be lost.


seconds out.


culture vulture

gunung agung.



stephane sensey’s images of indonesia’s


call to mind important issues facing the oceans and those who depend on them, writes stephanie mee.

Bangka Island, Sumatra.


As a nation of 17,000 islands, Indonesia has a symbiotic relationship with the sea. Nearly 6.5 million Indonesian people are directly employed in the fisheries sector and millions more depend on the ocean’s bounty for subsistence and survival. Fishermen ply their trade off the waters of nearly every island in the archipelago, and many use traditional methods that have been passed down through generations for thousands of years. Though their customs and catches may be different, they all share a close connection to the sea and rising concerns about the plight of their craft. Stephanie Sensey has spent a considerable amount of time travelling around Indonesia’s islands and capturing images of fisherman scouring the seas. His photos come from places as diverse as Sumatra, Bali and Sulawesi, and through them he aims to portray and preserve the beauty of the ocean and the people whose livelihoods depend on it. He says, “When I take photos my idea is to try to make a story and capture a feeling and a moment. Fishermen are interesting to follow and capture on film because for most of them this is an authentic tradition. It is an artisanal way to fish and part of their heritage. And I would say that most of them are doing it just to feed their families. None of them are rich; they are just surviving. “For example the fisherman throwing the net was fishing in the same place and in the same way that his father and grandfather did. But while his father fished every day, he only does it once a week because he has another job. This is because there are less fish today, so he can’t catch as much as his father used to 20 or 30 years ago.” Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities put considerable strain on natural resources and create unfair competition in the market. The Indonesian government takes harsh measures against IUU fishing, such as detonating and sinking foreign fishing vessels found trespassing and poaching in Indonesian waters, however, it is no easy task to police 2.8 million square kilometres of ocean. While overfishing and poaching are depleting fish populations at

a rapid rate, pollution is also taking its toll on both the quantity and quality of the fish and the fragile coastal environments where many of the fishermen live and work. Stephane says, “People talk a lot about the problem of plastic in Bali, but it’s not just Bali. Everywhere you go – from Flores to Sumatra to Jimbaran – once you put your feet in the water you have plastic everywhere. “I have this memory of travelling to Bangka Island too with one of the fishermen. From the distance the island looked amazing with all these granite cliffs that plunge into the sea, but when we arrived the beach was covered in plastic. This is a huge problem for the fish. How many fish must die because they have plastic inside their organs or wrapped around their bodies?” To his surprise Stephane found that many of the fishermen he encountered were less concerned about money and more concerned about these pressing problems. He says, “Fishing is one thing, but respect for nature and the ocean is another thing. Of course the fishermen are concerned, but they cannot find a solution. They don’t have the education or the power, so I don’t even know if anyone will listen to them.” Through this collection of images Stephane hopes not just to present a pretty picture, but also to inspire people to appreciate the sea and all the traditions surrounding it, and to raise awareness about marine conservation. He says, “Yes, the scenery is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and the customs are beautiful, but it can all be lost in just a few decades. Let’s try and save this. Let’s educate and warn people of the consequences of taking massive quantities of fish out of the sea and of dumping massive quantities of garbage into the sea. Let’s try to respect what we have so that we can take the same type of images in another 30, 40 or 50 years.”


issues fisherman off Bangka Island, Sumatra. transparency: Jimbaran, Bali.



issues Jimbaran, Bali. right: Bangka Island, Sumatra.




The Yak hooks up with Interior Ministry maven Caroline Dumergue, otherwise known as Ushers by Design . . .

star turn.


Birth date and anything else you’d like to add? Let’s just say I’m a Scorpio Monkey. Loyal to a fault, with a really cheeky and mischievous naughty side. The three most influential people in your life and why . . . My Mum Margaret, because she was an incredibly aware and wise person who was insanely creative, quite eccentric and very grounded. She was a complete realist, whereas I lean more to being an optimist. Then there’s Robert Pearson, a production designer from NZ who taught me a lot about time-lapse photography and set design in my teens. He’s been living in LA for a long time now and is doing great work. Graham ‘Grace’ Walker is another fantastic inspiration, he designed the first Mad Max. We got to spend almost a year in Thailand on a movie together in1997. Travels – your life started in New Zealand. Please continue . . . I started traveling at 17 on my own. Was fairly independent and have built a great network globally over the years. Went to Melbourne for a year, then home to work in the movie business. Travelled in choppers and in every type of vehicle around most of New Zealand on shoots and used to love driving around the country. Spent considerable time in Los Angeles, which I loved, then Boston, sadly didn’t really get the vibe there, a bit weird and waspy. Scored an art direction role for MTV in NYC for a year when I was 23. Mexico for six months in between projects was amazing; Fiji art directing a Carlsberg beer commercial on a yacht was pretty memorable; Thailand living and working, awesome; Vietnam sourcing for a movie, Burma, Japan, Hong Kong and a bit of China. Moved to the UK where I lived on and off for 11 years and London was where I decided to finish up the movie life. France, Italy, Spain, Ibiza and Copenhagen all for fun and friends. Sweden is also on the radar . . . Your passions are . . . In no particular order, food, wine, Champagne, travel, relaxing, reading, adventure, fitness and sleep – I dream of having consistent eight hour sleeps, yet of late I don’t. You’re hosting a dinner for 10 guests. Who would you invite, past or present? What a great question. Lee Miller an American Vogue model turned photographer from the 1920s. She was stunning, an adventurer, she was the lover of Man Ray for a time and was often partying with Picasso. She went into the front line when WWII was coming to an end. She shot some amazing and haunting images. Her autobiography was a great read. Kjell-åke Andersson, a Swedish film director. Everyone needs a Kjell-åke at the dinner table. We worked on a movie together. Had so much fun pranking around that the producer separated us. Rowland Fade, a British artist who has been living in southern Spain for over 40 years. I was connected to him through a Boston contact in the early ’90s, went to visit, turned out he was living with a Spanish princess. I ended up staying for three months. John Jackson, a long-time buddy, was Bob Dylan’s guitarist, he is the one to bring his music skills to the dinner table. I’ll never forget the day he humbly asked me, before a sound check, if I could please have lunch with his friend, who turned out to be Carlos Santana. David Byrne must be included and is another incredible talent. Very inspiring and totally down to earth. Drank with him after his Top of the Pops debut of Lazy. Bob Marley, been discovering some powerful wisdom from the herb man himself lately and Uprising was my first album. Brad Pitt, because

I had the fortunate moment of exiting a unisex washroom where he was standing waiting to enter. He is as every bit stunning as seen on any set or in any movie. Oh bugger it, let’s include Angelina Jolie, just because I don’t want her to feel insecure that I’ve invited Brad. When did your feet hit Bali soil? Came to Bali first in 1997, for three months before heading off to work on a movie in Thailand. It was love as soon as I set foot on the ground, it felt like I was meant to be here and yet there was no way I could have at that time. Things changed in 2007, made the decision after a quick visit and moved six months later. It wasn’t an easy transition and it took a while to get settled and set up. Had a lot of support from a dear mate who also happens to be from our homeland. What would you describe yourself as? Workwise. Diversely creative, expectations are high of myself and of others in the work place. A perfectionist. Demanding at times, especially when things aren’t happening fast enough, that is what a movie career will do to anyone. I can be quite stubborn when convincing clients the right way to go. Most of the time it comes down to available budget so I have finally learnt to pick my battles. Love to have a good laugh. The team I roll with all have a decent offbeat and twisted sense of humor. Imperative when we all work so close and intensely. You instigated, in Bali at any rate, ‘gudang glamour’ with Mama San and, correct us if we are wrong, Art Deco decadence with Plantation at Double Six Seminyak. Where do you get your inspiration from? The guys at Mama San gave me a solid foot in the door. It was a pretty deep year for me losing my brother just as the project started. I worked like a demon and just threw everything into it, so my brother was the inspiration, and working with essentially a great team at that time. Plantation and Seminyak Italian was a long and enduring 13 months on developing the overall concept designs including all specs, finishing selections and furniture. A huge amount of research, development and fine-tuning was undertaken. The restaurateur had a very clear idea what he wanted and the owner was always very accommodating. What’s in the pipeline? The current project is Shanghai Baby, a multi level Cantonese property with Nicholas Minniti. Ground floor dining, lounge club and rooftop event space. We have all worked so incredibly hard and for what feels like a long time. It is a big project and finally, we are all feeling very excited, especially now that everything is starting to take shape and seeing the overall vision come together. Am very much looking forward to dining and spending a great deal of time in the lounge club, at the bar with Nic and the team. Anything you would like to achieve in the next five years? Tons. Design restaurants and beach clubs around Asia and anywhere else where the Ushers style is sought and my creative energy is valued. Designing a super yacht and private jet are a bit of a yummy dream. Build the business and bring on board a protégé to take over in a few years. And with all the above, lots of time out with loved ones, travel and chilling. Best of Kiwi, Caroline.



Vito, the chap behind ilLido.

Anita Surewicz meets restaurateur Beppe De


A well-known name on Singapore’s dining circuit, Beppe De Vito believes that the secret to the success of his restaurants has been his never-say-die attitude and attention to detail. “I pride myself on never short-changing my customers in any way. A product with real soul and substance will always outlast any fads and trends,” he says. Over the past 20 years, Beppe has owned and managed some of Asia’s most sought-after dining destinations. Significantly, one of his creations, ilLido, at the picturesque Sentosa Golf Club, has been setting the standards for Italian cuisine in Singapore since it opened around 10 years ago. Cementing his success, Beppe recently opened ilLido Bali, his flagship restaurant on the island. All great successes have to start somewhere. In this case, Beppe’s restaurant group had its beginnings in the unassuming Italian city of Bitonto. “My earliest food memory is watching my mother prepare fried artichokes. She would place them on a tray to cool down and, of course, I usually started eating them while they were still piping hot,” says Beppe, laughing. Event at the tender age of nine, Beppe already knew that his passion for food would lead him to a culinary career. “I would help out at the local café after school and during holidays,” he says. “Later, I ended up studying at one of Italy’s best hospitality schools, and later worked at some of the most reputable hotels and restaurants in Italy, London, France, United States and Asia.” Beppe arrived in Singapore at the age of 24 to help launch BICE, a well-known Italian restaurant brand. In 2002, at the age of 30, he opened Garibaldi, now one of the city’s longest standing Italian restaurants. Since then, Beppe has brought to life over 10 restaurant concepts including some of Asia’s most acclaimed dining institutions such as the Latteria Mozzarella Bar, Southbridge, and Singapore’s first bacaro (traditional Venetian wine bar) @SONS. Beppe’s latest brainchild, ilLido Bali, the younger sibling of ilLido Singapore, is already making waves on the island’s thriving culinary scene. “There is a growing demand for a blend of fine and fun dining. Restaurants and bars fuse personal service, communal tables and accessible prices with an emphasis on elegant, exquisite dishes using fresh ingredients,” he says. “This is exactly what we wish to achieve with ilLido Bali.” ilLido Bali has taken over the iconic location of Kafe Warisan, which had been a favourite among the island’s food lovers since 1991. “It was an opportunity we couldn’t refuse,” says Beppe. “We saw the lack of authentic Italian restaurants in Bali. A restaurant like ilLido Bali - which combines real Italian flavours with high

quality ingredients, an elegant dining environment and great service - was missing in Bali.” In essence, both ilLido Singapore and ilLido Bali celebrate all aspects of elegant Italian dining. However, Beppe says that the concepts behind the two restaurants are not the same. “Where ilLido Singapore is about creative and modern interpretations of Italian classics, ilLido Bali focuses on timeless classics, traditional ingredients and familiar flavours.” From design and decor, ambiance and food, to service and employees, there are a myriad different elements and tiny details that must come together in order for a restaurant concept to ‘come to life.’ “I’m very hands-on when it comes to every facet of my work. This way, my teams always know that they have my support and can come to me for advice whenever they need it,” Beppe says. “This said, I do make it a priority to be home with my wife and four boys every night for dinner as often as I can and weekends are strictly family days.” Beppe says that seeing all the ideas, hard work and planning realised on the opening day of the restaurant is the favourite part of his job. “It is so fulfilling to hear customers tell you how much they enjoy the restaurant and how much they appreciate the concept,” he says. “It means a lot to me that customers immediately trust that they will enjoy a high quality experience at my restaurants and bars the moment they hear that the concepts are mine - even before they visit.” Not one to rest on laurels, Beppe is already working on his next project, a 9000-square-feet dining experience scheduled to open in October at the iconic National Gallery Singapore. “Aura will be a truly one-of-a-kind destination that combines four unique wine-and-dine concepts in one space,” Beppe says. “There are also plans for more openings in Singapore and Bali, but it’s too early to say anything concrete.”



eco-mantra Anita Surewicz meets Sean Nino and Maitri Fischer, whose company Mantra is committed to sustainibility in Bali. photo: stephane sensey.

“WE like to be out in nature so much because it has no opinion about us,” the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote. Nature is an agreeable beast, but we haven’t exactly been kind. While change and development are inevitable, especially on an island such as Bali, the scale and pace is often at the expense of the environment and culture. Sean Nino, one of the masterminds behind Mantra, a company committed to preserving Bali’s natural heritage by encouraging property owners to embrace sustainability, recalls the days before the island’s tourism boom with nostalgia. “I grew up on Jalan Drupadi in the early ’90s, and I could see all the way down to Oberoi and the beach. There were no restaurants or shops. We would take part in ceremonies, watch wayang kulit [shadow puppets] and hang out at the beach.” Maitri Fischer, who was raised in Ubud, says that the ever-increasing number of local and foreign visitors on the island is pushing the tourist destination to its ecological limits. “Bali is on the verge of a water crisis, it has no proper solution for waste management and the energy we consume is far from clean. We are even expecting rolling blackouts again in 2016, due to large overconsumption of energy in Java and Bali.” Sean and Maitri met through their sisters in Germany, where Sean was doing his Masters in Sustainability Economics. At the time, Maitri was studying geophysics and astrophysics in the Netherlands. The connection was immediate. “Our first project was an Indonesian curry and plenty of beers. We had a great evening and things developed from there,” Sean says, laughing. The friendship resulted in a pact to look into possible environmental projects once the friends returned to Bali. In 2014, the duo found their business focus in energy, water and waste ¬– what they refer to as the three main environmental issues on the island. Today their company specializes in sustainability consultation to help property owners increase resource efficiency and save costs. What sets Mantra apart is the company’s use of international eco-management accounting standards to measure sustainability and the savings associated with adopting more sustainability and model savings associated with adopting more sustainable solutions. “We realized that to incentivise businesses to become more sustainable we needed to offer more value. So we looked into resource efficiency and found that potential clients were much more interested in going green if they could generate savings with short return on investments,” Maitri says. “For example, we have found ways for property owners to save up to 40 percent on their water and energy costs.” For Sean, the key to the transition to a more environmentally conscious living is “time,” and how much each individual is prepared to devote to making positive changes. “It’s the sum of small things that will eventually make a big difference.” Before setting up Mantra, Sean was writing environmental policy reports


for political decision makers. However, being a part of what he refers to as a “big machine that created an endless array of numbers, tables and models so people could talk about change” didn’t sit well with him. Sean couldn’t help but think that it all didn’t make sense. “Big scale projects are so complex and policy makers are often quite detached from the realities on the ground. We wanted to affect change now and create realistic solutions that people would be able to participate in.” “Globalisation has led to an uncontrolled spiral of bad decisions and very unhealthy concepts of growth,” he continues. At the end of the day, Sean’s message is clear. The future of Bali is in our hands. Each and every one of us can make a difference. “My girlfriend and I did a trash walk in Canggu this morning. I cleaned up five kilograms of plastic and I felt way more productive than had I been writing a report on waste management.” Maitri and Sean are currently in the process of developing an eco-toolkit, an online resource management system to collect property data and help define ecosystem boundaries, as well as determine eco-performance benchmarks for Bali properties. “It’s basically a Google analytics dashboard for property data relating to electricity, water and waste,” Maitri says, adding that the company is already in the testing phase of their version 1.0. The company also specializes in sustainability consulting and the implementation of the proposed solutions. “We have found ways for property owners to save up to 40 percent on their water and energy costs,” says Maitri. “This is great for both our clients and the environment.” Over the past 10 months, Mantra has worked with eight properties, and the company is currently managing projects with four of them, including Ahimsa Seminyak, Ahimsa Jimbaran, Villa White Lotus and the Viceroy. Last but not least, Mantra also offers turnkey energy saving contracts, where it fronts the investment to kit out properties with sustainable features and takes the generated savings. While the biggest challenge for Sean and Maitri has been convincing their clients that they can actually save tens of thousands of dollars a year in operating costs by adopting more sustainable measures, the gradual shift in the attitudes of property owners on the island has been promising. “Given all the work being done in the environmental sector, and all the passionate business people and individuals out there doing great things, I have confidence that Bali will survive this phase of development,” Maitri says. “I want to ensure that Bali will still be a nice place to live for my kids and family, a well as all the Balinese.”

Sean Nino (seated) and Maitri Fischer.


...celebrate personal wellness

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

PEOPLE Marie: Sitting pretty.


Casamayor founder Marie Schmidt brings colour, atmosphere and great materials to Bali spaces. interview: stephanie mee. photo: lucky 8.

MARIE, can you tell us about what you were doing before Bali? I studied fashion design at a well-established French school, La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, but then realized that the fashion industry did not suit me. I have always been drawn to antiques and fabrics, as well as the idea of putting beauty in everyday life. I was slowly moving towards interior design when I first met the very talented interior designer Francois Schmidt, whom I married years later. In 2002 I opened the gallery NOSE in Paris where I sold many products found in Bali that were made by various designers and craftsman from all over the world. I went on to open my own office where I focused on interior design and collecting and selling vintage chairs under the name ‘Sitting Pretty’. When did you make your first trip to Bali and what were your first impressions? The first time I visited Bali was in 1998. I have never felt a similar feeling of enthusiasm for any other place in the world, and my husband and I have travelled quite a lot. Everything in Bali moved me: the amazing scenery, the locals, the odours, the food . . . it was as if I had found my true home and everything felt in place. What inspired you to open Casamayor? I moved to Bali with my husband and son a year ago (my two daughters live abroad). Casamayor slowly took shape in my mind and came very naturally to me. Everything inspires me here and there is a non-stop flow of creativity. I really love having a home in Bali, and my inspiration comes from all the beautiful materials and handcrafted objects here. There is no limit to what you can create. What I look for is to bring comfort into a home through warm lights, beautiful objects and simple things made of singular materials. I have always been motivated by the idea that you can create a nice environment without spending a lot of money and by using many little tricks. If you could choose three words to describe Casamayor, what would they be? Colours, atmosphere, materials. In your opinion, what places in Bali stand out for amazing design? Potato Head Beach Club, Alila Villas Uluwatu, and Shiro Japanese restaurant in Seminyak.

What are the hottest design trends happening on the island right now? Potato Head is working on a new hotel project in Canggu designed by the amazing Brazilian architect, Marcio Kogan (Studio MK 27). And of course the villas that my husband is currently building in Canggu (BSS). Any advice for first-time decorators looking to create a sweet and stylish space? In my opinion, the most important thing is to be true to your self. This means listening to what you like and what inspires you. You should also try to create a space that is easy to live in. Aim for something that is comfortable with a fluid circulation. What are a few of your favourite pieces at Casamayor at the moment? Some of my favourite pieces are the Balinese shadow candles because they bring the spirit of Bali into every home. I also love the rattan objects collection that includes mirrors, lights and day beds; as well as the bronze casted lamps, especially the ones with ceramic shades. If you could spend the perfect day on Bali and money was no object, what would you do? I would start with breakfast at RUKO in Canggu with my daughters, lunch at Amankila near the beach with my family, and sunset drinks and dinner in Seminyak at The Legian Hotel. What feeds your soul at the moment? My soul needs love and peace and to know that my family is happy and healthy. If that is in place, then I can start dreaming of Casamayor. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I hope being lucky enough to live as long as possible surrounded by the love of my family and friends and being able to give back the same to others.



Eric, where are you from and how did you arrive in Bali? I am from Holland, born in Nijmege, the oldest city in the Netherlands. I came to Bali in 2009 when the jeweler Rodrigo Otazu offered me a job at his company here. Rodrigo is still running his business with success in New York – he was an amazing and inspiring man to work with. Although he was difficult at times, he wholeheartedly embodied his brand with passion and energy. I learned a lot from him. After that I worked as General Manager at John Hardy in Mambal. The great thing with John Hardy was that I found the same passion and energy with Guy Bedarida and Damien Dernoncourt. These people were just very inspiring individuals to work with. There I also met Pak Werner, a German technician, who was responsible for development and production of all the amazing jewelry. Werner brought the technique and the quality to the John Hardy brand. The best quality I have ever seen. None of these people were easy to work with, but they earned my respect for the way they worked and talked with passion. That is what I like in people. How did you grow up? I grew up in Nijmegen with a sister and a brother; I was the eldest. I started horse riding when I was seven years old. We had our own horses. We lived in the suburbs of Nijmegen close to the woods, and the horses were kept in stables about 30 minutes away by bicycle. I was good at dressage and jumping. I even got a job working on a big ranch in Hanford, California. The people needed somebody to work with the horses, mostly Dutch and European horses, for riding shows and breeding. I was working with them daily. I also taught them dressage. It’s all about training, day in day out. It’s about balance and patience. You are never the boss of the horse; you can only be his friend. This was a great learning experience for me. Later I studied in Amsterdam at a technical school for the fashion industry, then I travelled the world for my job as a production and buying manager. What did your parents do when you were a kid? My father was a great sales man. He could sell oil to the Arabs. He was a very likeable person and he was always smiling. Inside he struggled a lot with himself, but he was an amazing father – always there for me. My father was an orphan, and he had a bad childhood. He joined the army when he was 18 years old and served six years. My mother was a hairdresser. She worked at home cutting hair for the neighborhood children. She was a strong person. When my father had a heart attack and had bypass surgery, he was not allowed to work anymore. So my mother found a job while my father stayed home. We had a great childhood. What gets you out of bed in the mornings these days? For as long as I can remember I have woken at 5.30am each morning. When I was younger I used to start work immediately. These days I run every morning for 30 to 50 minutes, it depends on my mood. This keeps me healthy and positive. It’s a great feeling to come home after the run. I feel so much energy and my best ideas come when I’m running. I love it. Tell us about the Vineri Media Group. Vineri Media Group is the first company to sell taxi advertising throughout the whole of Indonesia. We offer our services in 14 cities on the islands of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Lombok. We started the company at the end of 2010 and had our first cars on the road in May 2011 in Bali. We have recently made a deal with a company in Singapore to sell taxi advertising for our clients in Indonesia. That means their products and services from here are now being seen on taxis in Singapore and Hong Kong. Compared to all other advertising formats, we offer the


cheapest and also the most cost effective way to advertise. I see taxi advertising as a catalyst for all the other media in a company’s media mix. Our strength lies in the fact that we are selling throughout the archipelago. You can book your advertising in all of our offices for any city and as many cities you want. You can order 200 taxis for six months and divide it over more than one city with the quantities per city as you please. Or you can buy advertising on just two cars for three months, so we serve the smaller clients too. Nothing is more beautiful than seeing your favourite restaurant, bar or spa on the side of the taxi. It creates a connection with your brand. That’s what we want from advertising. Does advertising work? Henry Ford once said: “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” I believe that advertising is key to success. Advertising in any form and/or combined will make people remember you and make people aware that you are still out there. You have to be in their minds, you have to be remembered as soon as they need your product or your service. Of course you need a good product or a good service to start with. Like Brain Koslow said: “There’s no advertising as powerful as a positive reputation traveling fast.” But for that you need to reach people, a lot of people. To reach these people you need to start to advertise your great brand, your great service. More and more people need to get that positive experience. What’s the best piece of advertising you have ever seen? The walk-in fridge ad from Heineken. They have an amazing team with very creative people. Also, Axe deodorant, unbelievable what they have created all over the world. Here in Asia, I think AirAsia is the best example that advertising is important, as they are everywhere. They are not the best or the cheapest, yet they are a brand that is in everybody’s mind. What do you do when you’re not coloring the streets of Indonesia? I need my friends, I need the positive energy of people. Luckily I have some great friends all over the world. Meeting people is the best way to get your mind off the stress that you have on a daily basis. OK last one: you’re driving along a canyon road at night. There’s a large wounded beast blocking the road. It’s four hours back to the nearest town. You can’t get past. What do you do? Keep in mind that when I was young I lived and worked on a ranch with more than 40 horses and more than 3,000 cows. See, injured animals can be dangerous, but they are also in pain. You don’t want them to suffer any longer than needed. I would take a look and then call it in to the sheriff’s department. If it’s wounded and blocking the road, it means it is badly wounded. Otherwise it would find shelter and hide. That is what wounded wild animals do. If it is wounded badly, best thing to do is take its life. Don’t get me wrong, I hate people that hunt for pleasure. But I grew up with the fact that if your horse or a cow breaks a leg, the vet will come and take its life away. The cowboys were taking care of that during my time on the ranch. Eric, many thanks for your time. My pleasure.

Aspiring actor, businessman and polyglot Eric Van loon heads the Vineri Media Group, colouring up taxis of the archipelago. WORDS: TONY STANTON. pHOTO: LUCKY 8.

Forward motion.


Meet Marchela, aka Miss Jenja. She books the acts that make your night go bang. Words: Christina Iskandar. Photo: Stephane Sensey.



Where were you born Marchela? What is your background? I was born in Jakarta and I’m the second eldest in the family. I’ve got a diverse heritage from both parents: I’m actually a mix of IndonesianJapanese and Portuguese from my Dad’s side and Indonesian-Arab and British from my mom’s. But usually when people ask me, I always say I’m Balinese by heart. How long have you been based in Bali? My parents brought me to Bali when I was a few months old, then I left in 2001 to continue my education overseas. I came back again in 2006 and haven’t had any good reason to leave Bali since then. Have you always wanted to work in the entertainment Industry? Um, no. I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut! Even though I have always enjoyed good events and parties in town, it never actually crossed my mind that I would work on creating them. What do you love about what you do? I love having the opportunity to work with amazing people who are passionate about music and experienced in the industry. I get to meet a lot of influential people, musicians from all over the world, and I get to make many unforgettable nights out for those who seek it. What has been your favourite act at Jenja so far? So far that would be Craze, Jozif and Nicole Moudaber. What would be doing if you weren’t in this industry? I’d be applying for work as astronaut at NASA. Or playing billiards.


Any acts coming up in the near future we could look forward to? Yes! A lot of very interesting acts coming up, and of course we will always have something to look forward to every month. We’ll keep you updated! Are you a stilettos or flip-flops kind of girl? Definitely stilettos at work as Miss Jenja but then flip-flops for sure as Marchela. Name five recently played songs on your iPod… Ludacris featuring Miguel / Good Lovin’ Lexy & K. Paul feat. Yasha / Killing Me Glass Animals – Wild Culture remix / Gooey Ro James / Indiana Jones Slove – The Distance & Broken Tapes remix / Flash Name five things you can’t live without… Music. A long peaceful beauty sleep after work. Cuddles. Some good lovin’. My reading glasses. If you could go to any music festival (past or present) with anyone (dead or alive) what and who would it be? Jenja Urbanized with Biggie 1.



A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose appearances, opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.



good in, good out.


omnibus peace, man.


I don’t mind if you’re black or white, straight or gay, religious or a nonbeliever, pro-choice or anti-abortion, for capital punishment or against it — as long as your particular stance is not one that promotes hatred towards anyone holding opposing views. Be a Hare Krishna devotee if you want, and march along Kuta Beach tinkling your bells while chanting; it always makes for a colourful sight. Jehovah’s Witness? Yes I’d love to have a chat, but let me tell you about Charles Darwin and evolution while I’m making the tea. Eat pork if you like, or slaughter your farm animals a certain way to ensure compliance with your religion. Prefer dogs to cats, or choose red wine over white — even while eating fish? It matters not to me. And do I care whether you drink your Bintang out of a glass rather than the bottle it came in? Not one bit. Why? Because I like to think of myself as a tolerant person. The founding fathers of Indonesia prided themselves on being tolerant by writing it into the 1945 constitution in the form of “pancasila”, a political philosophy and national ideology that sought to unite an archipelago of 17,000-plus islands now populated by around 250 million people drawn from more than 300 distinct ethnic groups and boasting a tongue-tying 700 living languages. Obviously it is easy to find examples of intolerance in Indonesia today despite U.S. President Barack Obama — who famously spent part of his childhood here — telling the last APEC summit that the country was an example to the world. Christian churches are regularly targeted by fundamentalist Muslims in Aceh, while in Java, thugs purporting to be defending Islam have murdered and persecuted the Ahmadiyya community for years, claiming they belong to an heretical sect. Only recently, under pressure from a vocal but minority parliamentary bloc, the government banned the sale of alcohol at convenience stores (with some exceptions for tourist areas of Bali), ostensibly to protect teenagers. Wouldn’t it be better to actually enforce the laws that prohibit sales to minors in the first place? A month later, legislators in Sumatra drafted a bill that proposed restricting the availability of condoms to pharmacies as a means of preventing casual sex and thus (apparently) reduce the transmission of HIV. Actually, that isn’t intolerance, that’s idiocy. Fortunately it didn’t pass. But, by and large — and sometimes to the surprise of many who visit — Indonesians are a tolerant bunch. Here you can you find communities of transgender people in multiple cities — their non-derogatory nickname “waria” comes from a mash-up of the Indonesian words “wanita” (woman) and “pria” (man) — dominating certain sectors, such as hairdressing, fashion and cosmetics, while no local soap opera from Jakarta is complete without a regular appearance by a camp-asChristmas pantomime queen, lisping the latest gossip. People of all hues, religions, sex and ethnicity occupy high office across the

archipelago. Many politicians and leading state officials have multiple wives or mistresses, some celebrities are openly gay and Bali has become the latest go-to destination for same-sex couples wanting to solemnize their unions. Nobody bats an eyelid. There is, of course, a hierarchy of intolerance across the world and it is our duty as living, breathing humans to do something about it. Religious intolerance is probably top of the food chain. All religions claim to be tolerant of others, but history and reality suggests otherwise. The Inquisition, the Crusades and the oft-brutal forced conversion of Indian natives in South America by the Catholic Church are really no different to the murderous expansionism of ISIS today in the Middle East. Take a look at the Phelps family of the admittedly fringe Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, forcing their children to picket the funerals of U.S. soldiers with hateful signs reading “God hates fags”, or visit the unintentionally entertaining Creation Museum — founded by Australian Ken Ham at a cost of $30 million — where you can see dioramas of remarkably Anglo-Saxonlooking people living side-by-side with dinosaurs, because apparently the earth is only 6,000 years old. We allow these nutters to live among us because we are largely tolerant, but visit either premises and ask a pointed question and you’ll be shown the door, possibly violently. “While religious tolerance is surely better than religious war, tolerance is not without its liabilities,” wrote neurologist and philosopher Sam Harris in Waking up: A guide to spirituality without religion. Belligerent nationalism of the sort that sparks wars is probably next in line — the genocides that saw Turks massacre hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915, Germany and its allies gas millions of Jews in World War II and Hutus in Rwanda turn on their Tutsi countrymen in 1993. More recently Yugoslavia disintegrated into hate-filled carnage that scattered many of its people across the globe, only for them to recreate their intolerance as far away as Melbourne, where spectators came to blows watching a tennis match between an Australian-as-you-like Serb and his Croatian émigréturned-compatriot opponent. “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” wrote Samuel Johnson in 1775 — nearly 250 years before the first “Fuck off, we’re full” bumper sticker appeared on the back of a Sunshine Coast Holden. The tolerance for helping refugees, or asylum seekers, or economic migrants — call them what you will — seems to be at an all-time low across the world. Hundreds have died in the Mediterranean attempting to cross from North Africa to Europe in the past year, possibly thousands in Asia’s waters. Yet the Daily Mail — the self-proclaimed “voice of middle England” — can scarcely escape a week without a headline shrieking something along the lines “Britain being swamped by refugees” despite the country colonising more than 90 percent of the world over the course of its modern history.



Archives don’t show any headlines reading “World being swamped by Britain” during the Victorian era. Admittedly us mere mortals can do little individually to change much of the already offered examples of intolerance save by using our votes, believing (or not) in more tolerant branches of religion and not reading the Daily Wail (sic) — unless you absolutely have to find out the latest on the Kardashians, or Posh and Becks. But tolerance at a local and personal level is something we do have control over. Something we do have the power to change. Look at sport, for example. While things have improved since the days spectators threw bananas on the pitch whenever a black player took the field, just this year Ghanaian international Emmanual Frimpong was sent off in a Russian premier league game for giving fans the middle finger after repeatedly being taunted by monkey noises whenever he touched the ball. These were fans of his own team, and the coach helpfully suggested that Frimpong needed to “toughen up”. In Australia recently, immensely talented Aboriginal AFL player Adam Goodes celebrated a goal by performing an indigenous war dance that included mimicking a spear throw. Since then he has been booed every time he gets the ball by fans who disingenuously claim they are doing it not because they are racist, but because he is a grub and a sook — two of the most hilariously inoffensive insults ever to emerge from that country’s generally rich vocabulary of swearwords. What you do about incidents like this? Well for starters, don’t boo and secondly, if you are seated next to someone being racially offensive, or making monkey noises, then point it out to them. Tell them to stop. There are precedents. Australian rugby captain David Pocock caused a stir earlier this year when he complained to the referee — and then went public — after a teammate was constantly being taunted by an opponent as a “poofter” for having taken part in Sydney’s gay pride parade . Pocock was pilloried by some of the more Neanderthal pundits that populate the sport — and the internet erupted in a hash tag storm of indignation from some fans who suggested things along the lines that “rugby is a man’s game” and “what happens on the field, stays on the field”. “It was the least I could do,” said Pocock, who earlier this year was arrested, along with his wife and other protestors, after chaining himself to a super digger being used to create a coal mine in a national forest area. “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs, rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others for their beliefs,” said John F. Kennedy at the height of the Civil Rights movement in America when blacks sought equal opportunities to those granted white citizens — and


certainly the election of Obama suggests the U.S. has come a long way since. But is the world becoming more tolerant? International cooperation via such organisations as the United Nations, European Union, ASEAN and NATO have made enormous strides in reducing the likelihood of world wars or regional conflicts based on nationalist ideals, but rebellions and conflict remain. Some 18 countries now recognise same sex unions, with legislation in place in at least a dozen more, and apart from the usual suspects (looking at you, Saudi Arabia and ISIS) religious tolerance is also growing — and more importantly, the freedom not to be religious. And while we’re all products of our environment and upbringing, racial tolerance seems to be improving, although a lot more needs to be done in that area across the world. But being tolerant isn’t just about that. Being tolerant is not being rude about that spike-haired punk, or dark-eyed Goth you spot across the street, just because they happen to look different to you. Being tolerant is not making fun of someone because they’re fat, or ginger, or “look nerdy” — and there is no harm in gently chiding your friends if they do so. Being tolerant is not losing your temper or complaining about every little thing that goes on in your life or that doesn’t agree with you. Being tolerant is being good. Not everyone, however, is a fan of tolerance — as anyone who has watched Fox News for more than five minutes can attest. “Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It merely means putting up with people; being able to stand things,” said E. M. Forster — somewhat surprisingly given the celebrated author of A Passage to India, Room with a View and Howard’s End was homosexual and had a long-term relationship with a married policeman in an era when you could be jailed for it. “Tolerance is another word for indifference,” said fellow author (and homosexual) W. Somerset Maugham, while a third great British man of letters, strident Catholic G. K. Chesterton, suggested: “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” The great 18th Century English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge — who clearly had a high tolerance for opium given his lifelong addiction — wrote: “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance”, thus sparking a firstterm debate subject for every philosophy student since: “Should we tolerate intolerance?”. Perhaps the final word should be left to that other great man of letters, the fictional Nigel Powers, father of Austin Powers in the movie Goldmember. “There’s only two things I can’t stand in this world … people who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.” Yeah baby!

live and let live.




harrison roach pens his escape to seas unknown with a ‘70s landrover, a quiver of boards and a pair of bikes. photos: woody gooch.

Zye Norris and I were sitting in a Bluebird cab, wearing sweat stained t-shirts and inebriated expressions. It was 3am and the two of us had just witnessed a bule lose his two front teeth in a Balinese brawl. As with most drunken altercations, the guy on the receiving end hadn’t done much to deserve it. He was served his knuckle sandwich simply because his clothing was too ‘hip’. It didn’t take a genius to realise we would have been next if we hadn’t gotten out of there. Zye and I had been planning an escape from Bali in the two weeks leading up to that moment. We’d brought the surf/road trip concept, in all its sentimental glory, to Indonesia. The journey would start in Lakey Peak, where we’d surf ourselves stupid in perfect, uncrowded waves before island hopping the whole way to Lagundri Bay. For guys like us, Lagundri Bay on Nias Island is Mecca: The perfect place for us to end our long journey of self-indulgence. An ultimate automobile had been waiting in our villa’s driveway for such a time of flight. The weathered ‘70s Land Rover was pimped out with a tray to carry two motorbikes and a roof rack to stack a bevy of beautiful boards.

Zye rules.



Like Wingnut and Pat O’Connell, we were channeling Endless Summer ideas. Indonesia was where we’d find the waves of our dreams. Zye could pretend he was Robert August and I could choose between Mike Hyson and Bruce Brown, depending on my mood. Once we’d packed and bought wax, all that was left to do was inflate our ‘I can accomplish anything’ egos and get the hell out of Bali. Awesome. Awesome until we realised how far we had to go just to get to our starting point. Upon arrival, the waves were pumping … but why so many people? And people we knew! In The Endless Summer, neither Robert, nor Mike were ever dropped in on by someone from their hometown. Sure, Indonesia isn’t new to the surfing world. Most of its quality breaks have been found, ridden and for the sake of entrepreneurial surf capitalism, abused. But what the hell? Someone had even stolen my thongs. It wasn’t until we got over the fact that Lakey Peak would never live up to our film-inspired expectations that we appreciated it for what it was. In gusty offshore winds, dreamy three-meter cylinders spun along the reef. When we left after a week of waves, Zye decided the amount of time we spent in the barrel was worth a hundred pairs of thongs, at least. Our phone’s GPS system stopped working shortly after our departure. All of the travel stories I’d read in the lead up to this had implied that getting lost is a great part of the experience, but after ten hours of driving, the idea of misadventure had lost its charm. Our old Land Rover puttered through the mountains before reaching a gradient that had it beaten. Yep, we were stuck halfway up a hill. It was then that we realised the Land Rover didn’t perform as well as it looked. A few rice farmers crowded around and it was the first time of many that we paid the price for not knowing the local language. The only ‘sentence’ we could muster was “Jalan jalan ferry?” Unfortunately, ferry meant nothing to the farmers and their eagerness to please was wasted on the breeze. Egos now well and truly M.I.A, we retraced our steps, found the correct route and made it to the Lombok ferry a full day later than expected. Back online we found the surfing world was in its psychotic, code red mode. A huge swell was on its way and friends, friends of friends and friends we didn’t even know were all giving their own opinions of where would be best spot. Even with my amateur knowledge, I knew the direction was perfect for Desert Point. And it just so happened Desert Point was only a short drive from the harbour. We were filled with horrid excitement. It wasn’t going to be big. It was going to be huge. The four days of swell that followed were some of the wildest days of our lives. Only a handful of the surfers in town gave it their all and their reef cuts


could have easily been misconstrued for marks left by a tiger’s claw. Desert Point was three hundred metres worth of mind-blowing intensity with no room for escape. Many an alpha male felt a curbing of enthusiasm with his back oozing blood and his board in two pieces. It was thrilling. Afterward we found ourselves excited about the lack of red colour on swell charts. To be fair, both of us had just had our ass handed to us more than we were willing to admit. Some time out of the water would do wonders for our deflated egos. Not to mention the tender reef cuts scattered all over our bodies. Next stop was a tiny town two kilometers above sea level where three active volcanoes sat waiting to erupt. We first heard of Gunung Bromo from a friend who’d said the scene was breathtaking and the surrounding area a dream for camping and motorcycle riding: our kind of heaven. He was not wrong. It makes sense, being over two kilometers above sea level, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t suprised at how cold it was. It felt and looked like we were in Nepal, not Indonesia, and the whole place had a sulfuric, rotten egg stench. When the volcanoes came into view it quickly faded from our minds, if not our nostrils, and we tried unsuccessfully to compose our ‘I’m not shocked by anything’ attitudes. It was breathtaking. The center volcano shot thick plumes of grey smoke into the sky, its crater enormous. For the next week we rode our bikes on one magic piece of terrain after another. Zye and I flew up and down volcanic sand gullies. We used each turn like a berm and each bump like a jump. Our confidence turned to cockiness (the egos having returned) and it was only a matter of time before we had a string of fantastic spills. We took on one mound at full pace, not realising the sheer stupidity of it until both bike’s wheels had left the ground … there was a ditch behind the mound. I slammed into it and onto the dirt but somehow Zye managed to come out unscathed. Curled up in the fetal position with the wind knocked out of me, I looked and wondered how he’d done it. In what became a common occurrence, Zye laughed while I struggled to breathe. When we tired of riding, we trekked to the volcano’s crater. The two of us sat on the edge and stared at its hissing cavern with stunned, muted expressions, before walking back down, feeling insignificant in the scheme of the world. And that’s about where we’re at right now, packing up a tent underneath a volcano in the middle of Java. It’s time to put the old Land Rover back into gear and hit the road. Next stop is Sumatra and then the Mentawaii islands, before moving on to our final destination and Mecca, Lagundri Bay.



travel bromo carve-up.



yak fashion

Styling: The Ă–

Photography: AV


Ksenia Senko Make-up:

Juno Pchelkina Hair:

Juliette Hauer Post Production: Nick S.

Shot on location in Munduk, Bali. With special thanks to Sanak Retreat Bali


Coat, Dress & Shoes by Shakuhachi.


yak fashion Dress by Shakuhachi


Top by Miss Milne, Skirt & Shoes by Shakuhachi, Headpiece Stylist’s Own.


yak fashion

Silke wears dress stylist’s own. Ksenia wears top & trousers by Miss Milne & shoes by Shakuhachi. Medde wears top (worn as a dress) by Shakuhachi.


Top, Skirt & Shoes by Shakuhachi.



yak fashion

below: Top by Shakuhachi. left: Coat & Shoes by Shakuhachi.


yak fashion

Coat & Trousers by Shakuhachi


Top & Skirt by Shakuhachi


oral pleasures 100

Anita Surewicz meets the makers behind cafĂŠ Livingstone. PHOTO: LUCKY 8.

Fusing glass, timber and steel, the chic façade of Livingstone Café and Bakery on Jalan Petitenget would not be out of place in the more stylish parts of Melbourne or Sydney. The bistro’s sleek, minimalist design is matched by a tantalizing menu of daily-baked cakes and pastries, light meals and quality coffee. ANTHONY PRIBUDI What’s your background? How did you end up in the cafe game? Living in Sydney for 10 years gave me an appreciation of the city’s café culture. After coming back to Bali, I decided to open a café that combines a coffee shop with a bakery – a relatively new concept on the island. How did you meet Herdi? How did Livingstone get off the ground? We got connected through a relative, and realised that we both share the same passion and love for food. Things just kicked off from there. The Seminyak area is a magnet for chic cafes. What sets Livingstone apart? From the outset, the idea was to bring something different to an area that already abounds with great cafes and shops. So what we did was to come up with a unique concept for the space and interior. Our customers often tell us that the Livingstone experience is “fresh”. This is always a pleasure to hear. The one thing Herdi and I always tell ourselves is to stay true to our passion. Passion is visible. For example, even today Herdi and I are very hands-on. We still greet our customers, make coffee and explain our products. This is pretty rare in Bali these days, to be honest. What are the most popular items on your menu? Even though I am here almost every day, I am still surprised by the variety of our pastries and baked goods. Our staff always manages to come up with new items that impress me. It shows how passionate they are about what they do. While it’s hard to single out our most popular items, I think it would have to be our cheesecakes and croissants. I might be biased but I think they are amazing. Where do you source your coffee? We are currently using coffee beans from Common Grounds Jakarta, which happens to be the home of both the national Barista Champion and the Latte Art Champion for two years running. Besides using premium local coffee beans, we also use beans from Africa and South America. Who are your customers? Mostly expats who live around the area, but during the holiday season we

also get a lot of customers from places like Jakarta and Surabaya. Finally, what would be your hypothetical last meal? Ha, this is probably the hardest question of the lot. I’d say it would be a chocolate doughnut and a cup of coffee. This is just the kind of guy I am. HERDI GIRI What’s your background? What drives your passion for food? While passion for good food is something I have had ever since I can remember, it has taken me many years to get to where I am today. In the past, I worked as a pastry chef at hotels such as Bali Hilton International and Bali InterContinental Jimbaran, as well as cruise ships including Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mary II and Queen Victoria. What’s the secret to a quality meal? Only using the freshest of ingredients, following the correct cooking methods and, of course, passion for food. It’s very simple, really. What are the most popular items on your menu? Without doubt, chocolate desserts. From adults to the little ones, we get a lot of chocoholics at Livingstone. Don’t miss the baker’s lava cake, which comes with raspberry coulis and vanilla bean ice cream. For something more unusual, try our avocado or strawberry coffee. What ingredient do you feel is most underutilized in Bali?
 Local Fruit. From pineapples, bananas and mangoes to jackfruit and papaya, the variety of local fruit is staggering. What trends do you see currently emerging in Bali’s restaurant industry? A fusion between a coffee shop and a bakery. People these days are looking for more than just a cafe. They want a spot to hang out, chat and work. We provide a light, open space to cater to those looking for comfortable surroundings. What advice would you give to those intimidated by baking? It’s only in your mind! The whole process of baking is very exciting so give it a shot. Like me, you might just find yourself hooked. What does the future hold? The future is looking bright. Anthony and I are currently discussion the possibility of opening another Livingstone either in Jakarta or Surabaya. Best of luck!


oral pleasures

kudos With impeccable pedigree and new songs to sing, Ku shines on. Words: Stephanie Mee. Images: Lucky 9.

Soaking up sunsets is sine qua non on Bali’s sexy southern coast, and Ku De Ta is the original sunset gathering spot for the global trendsetting crowd. Since its debut in 2000 this beachfront destination has been offering elegantly designed spaces that smoothly transition into the sand and sea, plus unsurpassed service, dining, drinks and beats. You would think that such an establishment might go stale after 15 years on the scene, but Ku De Ta is constantly reinventing itself to stay on top of the game with chic new decor and dining concepts, killer themed parties and events, and creative cocktails and cuisine. Even on a Tuesday afternoon the energy at Ku De Ta is high as we walk past the bustling bar, DJ booth, and packed sofas, sun loungers and communal tables to snag a sublime spot directly overlooking the beach and ocean. Within minutes black-clad servers are taking our drink order and presenting us with watermelon and mint martinis made with premium Ketel One Citreon vodka. It is easy to slip into the laid-back tropical vibe here, as the seats are plush with strategically placed patterned cushions, the music is jazzy and upbeat, and the drinks are icy cold and go down a treat. Plus, you can’t beat the views of kites soaring above Seminyak Beach, surfers caressing the waves, and the shifting pastel shades of the sky as the sun sinks below the horizon. The Grazing menu offers a multitude of snacks that catch our eye, so we start with the Szechaun salt and pepper squid. The plate comes piled high with thick strips of crispy golden fried squid dusted with chopped basil and fried garlic and shallots and served with a creamy yuzu aioli. We also sample the lobster and pork gyoza and are supremely satisfied with the plump dumplings stuffed with seasoned ground meat and spring onions and served with just the right amount of black pepper vinegar sauce. Although ample in size and perfect for sharing, the snacks only serve to whet our appetite for more, so we follow them up with one of Ku De Ta’s famous pizzas. Although we could have gone continental with The Spanish Cure featuring jamon serrano, cherry tomato, Napolitana sauce, basil and bocconcini, or vegetarian with the Bali Hippy laden with roasted pumpkin, goats cheese, pine nuts, truffled honey and rocket, we decide to take a walk on the wild side. The diabolical sounding Ring of Fire pizza is a sassy mix of


pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, chilli flakes, fresh mint and Napolitana sauce. The first bite has a bit of crunch from the crispy thin crust, as well as a hit of heat from the chilli and spiced meat that is soon tempered by the fresh mint, juicy tomatoes and mild cheese. This pizza is not for the faint-hearted, but great for those who can stand the spice. Fully sated, dessert seems out of the question, but the cheese board is just too tempting to resist. It comes with sizable slabs of creamy, blue and sharp cheeses accompanied by freshly baked bread, pineapple and roasted cashews. And what better way to end the meal than an aromatic coffee? Ours are delightfully Irish with caps of fluffy whipped cream. We spend the evening lounging downstairs on the sofas facing the sea, but guests seeking a more fine dining experience can head to Mejekawi on the second floor. Designed as a tasting kitchen and food laboratory, this sleek space has a central open kitchen and floor-toceiling glass walls that offer bird’s eye views over Seminyak Beach and the Indian Ocean. Guests of Mejekawi have a choice of five or twelve-course tasting menus with optional wine pairings from the wine list that won the restaurant the Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator. The innovative plates here are prepared with fresh local produce, stateof-the-art equipment and modern techniques, so each dish is unique fusion of classic Indonesian flavours and contemporary artistry. Ku De Ta also has another exciting project in the mix that should be open by the time this magazine hits the stands. Located on the upper right side of the complex, Tuile will offer a sweeping wooden deck overlooking the sea and a modern minimalist interior where guests can indulge in the finer things in life like foie gras parfait, black angus steak tartare, caviar and oysters, as well as handcrafted cocktails made with seasonal ingredients. We don’t know how they do it, but Ku De Ta manages to remain the same stylish spot we know and love, but with cutting edge tweaks and twists that never fail to excite. And with the addition of Tuile, we have just one more reason to keep going back for more.

cocktail hour.


Savour the finest classic Italian cuisine in Seminyak, Bali.


11:30AM TO MIDNIGHT Featuring an all-day menu of classic Italian specialties, finest wines and cocktails.

tapas armadas

oral pleasures Tapas has re-landed and pintxos places are closing in. From the Bukit to Badung this savvy style of grazing so beloved of the Spanish is taking hold. Words: Ondy Sweeting.

la finca.


Like the films of auteur Pedro Almodóvar and String theory, there is no certainty about how tapas came to be. Some claim that a 13th Century tavern owner popped a snack on a wine glass to avoid sand being blown into the libation of King Alfonos X, El Sabio of Spain. The grateful King proclaimed that such ‘covers’ must usher all inebriants. Alternatively, tapas was spawned in roadside rough houses where patrons on the piss tired of flies bombing their booze covered their cup with coasters. One day a wit called on a cook to cast him a cut of jamon and thus tapas, quite literally, landed. Either way, the modest Spanish hors d’oeuvre is here to stay and with the help of sensational chefs tapas are attaining new heights in culinary sophistication while remaining a stronghold nosh for sangria-swilling compadres to share. In truth, nobody does tapas like the Spanish. Bali’s very own slice of Ibiza is the chi-chi beach club and restaurant El Kabron, which is set high on the Pecatu cliffs near Uluwatu. Transport your soul to the Mediterranean with whitewashed walls and a perennially chilled vibe that is enhanced by the epic tunes that roll out of the DJ’s booth. Then there are the tapas. A must try is the Bacalao Ahumado con Caviar de Arenque – a slider of smoked cod with avruga caviar that is a tasty snack while the croquetas are jammed full of creamy bechamel. El Kabron’s ham is imported Iberico and the cheese is traditional Spanish Manchego. Settle in to watch the superb sunset with a gorgeous array of tempting treats such as the Patatas a la Llama Con Aioli or grilled housemade butifarra sausage. Don’t miss the mocktails, cocktails and the range of gin and tonics. In true Spanish-style the menu is long with bespoke G&T’s and the results are impressive. Try the rose petal gin – with lime and orange peel - and tonic for a unique sundowner that will linger long in the memory palace. A recent addition to this Spanish culinary Armada is Toro Bar, a classic tapas bar in the TS Suites in Seminyak. What a perfect location for the hungry party peeps pouring out of the sizzling hot spot Jenja for a midnight feast. Opening at 7pm with tapas served through to 4am the team behind Toro knows exactly who they are feeding. Sit at the bar and point to what you fancy and the chef – who is from Malaga – will whip it up to order. The gambas – prawns in olive oil, garlic and chilli are succulent and the oil is packed with heat and flavour and calls for the bread to soak up the pungent sauce from this classic dish. Toro’s menu is relentlessly traditional and includes a few different types of croquetas including cheese, olive and tuna, beef and a particularly good goats cheese number. A wooden board with jamon and Manchego cheese comes with the ubiquitous smashed tomatoes on bread ‘pan con tumaca’ and is a winner with the ham delightfully salty and paper-thin. Word has spread among the expat Spaniards on the island and already some are regulars at the bar. Bread with a mound of creamed tuna and a sliver of red capsicum sells fast. Titus Ruiz and Michel Laline, who also have the mesmerising


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chocolate shop Be Chocolat by Michel Clement in Subaksari Berawa, are the duo behind Toro and aim to feed night people who fancy a taste of Spain. While they sell a tight selection of wine, beer and an omnipresent jug of sangria, an expanded wine list with a selection of Spanish wines is in development. Meanwhile in Canggu, Bali’s honorary Ibizan Thomas Mack, has ramped up the menu at his popular restaurant and bar La Finca with a new chef and a tapas menu that delivers the real deal. The fisherman’s stew is an unforgettable dish packed with chunks of tender barramundi, white beans, tomato and chorizo trimmings that is so high on flavour that the ability to put the fork down is compromised. This is comfort food that honours La Finca’s mantra of Alimenta el Alma – food for the soul. The alitas de pollo al ajillo – or chicken wings in garlic and white wine sauce, has the meat falling off the organic bone while the wood-fired octopus marinated in orange is butter soft and served with crispy rosemary. The double roasted pork belly served on a split pea puree with leeks and a piquant sauce is beautifully paired with crunchy roasted fennel. The Specials list changes frequently and luckily the meatballs in a mushroom cream sauce were up for this visit and they did not disappoint with the meat texturally as soft as the velvety sauce. La Finca has added new vegetarian dishes including a gorgeous salad of spinach and wood-fired roasted beets, red onion, cherry tomatoes, pomelo with toasted almonds and a salsa verde dressing. Fans of the humble spud will adore the Patatas Ibicencas, which come hot and creamy with a paprika confit and a crushed chilli. The pintxo foie gras with green apple is a single dose of fluffy divinity cut through with the sharp apple that lingered on the tongue. Many favourites remain on the menu including the legendary Jamon Iberico de Bellota – which is ham from acorn fed black pigs. Thomas has created a bit of a game changer with this new menu that will put out a siren song to foodies on the island. His very Spanish obsession with gin and tonic has led to a special menu of the aperitif. The London Blue Gin No1 with a cinnamon quill, slivers of orange and apple with a sprig of thyme poured into a huge burgundy glass with tonic and a cricket ball of ice at the centre has major WOW factor. Diners know that tapas is getting serious when Mozaic Beach Club embraces the single portion plate and claims ‘ole’. This is tapas with a helix twist. Fine de Clair oysters come in pairs, perched on a bowl of black volcanic stones, crushed ice with mint and sea greens. They are creamy, succulent and briny and topped with a Japanese yuzu dressing. Given it’s beachfront location it’s appropriate that the tapas menu is seafood loving and beloved is the tuna sashimi on chilled gem lettuce cups and finished with a citrus sauce. The Pata Negra Maldonado Iberian ham is exceptional and densely cut with a warm smoky flavour that drifts through the palate. These acorn fed piggies make an outstanding cut of Jamon and Mozaic’s chorizo is hewn from the same pig. Light on fat and subtly seasoned with paprika,

this chorizo could be the island’s best. Chorizo has been on the Spanish menu since before Roman times and Mozaic’s is an example of why it has lasted centuries. Another taste revelation is the baby octopus with crispy pork belly and Fuji apple plus a kaffir lime gel. The attenuated sweetness of the apple turns the pork belly into a sticky piece of sophisticated cuisine complete with a slice of crisp crackling. The bread served at Mozaic Beach Club is dark and a standout among breads in Bali. Don’t go past the Wagyu mini-burgers for a hearty little treat. Chef James Ephraim has branded the tapas with his cherished local ingredients and synthesised his time in Spain with the here and now. The sweet sensation of Valrhona chocolate mousse with candied orange and cinnamon bubble cream served in a little glass cup is the perfect example of this creative flair, one which is setting tapas on fire. Make a point to visit Seminyak’s new Miura– Pintxos Bar & Grill for delicacies from Spanish-French Basque country that will dazzle. Dirty talk about the 300 million olive trees that grow in Spain has hungry expats drooling in anticipation. Hosting the Bali Gin Club, Miura is nodding to the elegant G&T. This dining destination will be a foodie institution before you can shout ‘Guernica’. Very alternative is a cosmic hipster hole-in-the-wall tapas bar and speakeasy called LaRaMona Tapas in ethereal Ubud. With garden seating for about 15, a bar, a graffitied glassed-in pirate-radio box and decorated in psychedelic Hendrix-meets-Bali, this is the go-to haunt for Gen Y. The LaRamona platter comes with miso hummus, Sicilian pesto, streaks of tzatziki, slow roasted garlic, torched blue feta, pickled veggies, plus arancini and flat bread. Wash this lot down with a Spicy Mama margarita with fresh rawit and chilli salt rim. Crunch on a pile of matchstick fries with grilled shallot and a balsamic reduction and enjoy the art stuck on the walls. Everything from the caramel for the milkshakes and ginger for the beer are made from scratch on the tiny premises. It’s cheap and cheerful and hugely inventive. Look for the door wrapped in an azure urban wall art octopus.

Clock wise from top left: mozaic beach club; mozaic beach club; toro bar.




oral pleasures

Ondy Sweeting visits sultry beach club and iconic restaurant Sundara as it presents a new approach to customized dining. photo: lucky 8.

Sometimes the simplest ideas create the biggest change and the clever minds buzzing around at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay’s iconic restaurant Sundara have nailed a cool concept. Everything on the a la carte menu is available in three sizes. It starts with a small tasting plate – where good things come in pairs, like Lombok oysters with watermelon granita and a pinot reduction. The medium size is essentially a standard main course portion, which is generous, with the selection finishing at family size, which is large enough to feed, well, a family. An improved style of share plates to a degree, yes. But tapas it is not. The concept is based on the traditional Asian family style of eating where many different dishes are served and everyone helps themselves. What’s not to love? Sundara’s chef de cuisine Liam Nealon, executive chef Pasquo King and their team workshopped the idea, slipped some dishes onto the menu and slowly, slowly, took over the entire establishment. “It took about three months to integrate the new plate size concept,” says Liam. “Guests really enjoy that they can experience more dishes off the menu at one sitting. We gradually introduced different dishes with a much greater tilt toward Asian cuisine using locally sourced products. While a few items off the old menu have remained, the new concept has taken off. We now have about 30 dishes leaving the kitchen instead of 80, a lot less waste and much better pricing as a result.” ‘”After a couple of months we produced an entirely new menu, which is what we have now with 15 cold dishes, 15 hot dishes along with seven ‘booster’ dishes including salad, Balinese rice, tempura veggies, roasted pumpkin in lime and palm sugar caramel and fries,” says chef Liam. Given the lack of waste, this style of dining is also more sustainable and many elements are organically grown. It has to be good for the Earth. In fact the view is good for the diner, with a spectacular sunset delivered daily and outrigger fishing boats heading out into the blue from the white sands of Jimbaran Bay. The selection of food is a tour de force of Asian flavours with the occasional rep from Europe. Local slipper lobster sui mei is fishy and delicate and comes with freshly sautéed kangkung as a heavenly dim sum.

The betel leaf is stacked with pieces of prawn, coriander and chilli, which is delicate with most of the hot seeds removed. It’s a taste blast on many levels. It does come with a warning from the wait staff about the possibility of betel leaf burning the throat. This leaf was elegant, however, unlike the viscous leaf that I first chomped into years ago. A delectable coconut and crabmeat salad is prepared at the table French-style, which is an engrossing thing to observe and even better to eat with fresh and clean flavours. Slices of chilli and garlic and onions lend depth to the dish without overpowering it. Soy and ginger Black cod fillet is marinated in sake then drizzled in a rich coconut cream curry that compliments the sublime fish. A megablast of Asian spice comes in a dish of steamed blue mussels that is as gratifying as it is tasty in a chilli, lemongrass and citrus broth. The organic salad with edible flowers in light vinaigrette was the perfect partner to the heat of the shellfish. It also supports the crispy, crunchy duck that begins in a master stock with lemon salt then lands in a lychee salad with a peach and tamarind sauce. Tastebud-blowing flavours are partnered together with panache. The dining experience of a series of small plates was more complex and satisfying than a set degustation menu. The wait staff is as engaged as the kitchen professionals who pop out from time to time to ensure that guests are enjoying the food. If they make a recommendation, seriously consider it, as these guys know what they are talking about. End this fine example of culinary skill and taste-matching talent with some very Eurocentric chocolate lava cake that is hot, sweet and fluid, supported by a firm but feather-light sponge. A symposium of geographical regions comes into play with the lemongrass crème brulee that the French pastry chef executes with frightening style. Flat rate prices of Rp80,000 for a small plate, Rp190,000 for the medium portion and Rp350,000 for a family size ¬- and less for desserts are excellent value for five-star dining, even when adding the ubiquitous ++ to the bill.


oral pleasures

Sarah Douglas attains culinary nirvana at Settimo Cielo. Photo: lucky 8.

No one does sexy quite like the Italians, especially when it comes to food. The gang from The Layar is behind this latest little find in Seminyak and it has all the hallmarks of becoming a hot favourite with tourists and locals alike. Much like The Layar, which is located behind the newly opened Settimo Cielo restaurant, the design elements are what first draw your attention. Intimate and incredibly stylish, Settimo Cielo is smaller than you might imagine. With deep booths lining the smoky walls and luxurious armchairs located around the central tables, it is the perfect place to settle in for a romantic dinner. Being Italians though, there is also plenty to like for families and groups of friends as well. Chef Nicolas is behind the stoves and his youthful enthusiasm belies his experience. An Australian with a vaguely European accent, raised in Byron Bay, he took off for the bright lights of Sydney to learn his trade under such notables as Neil Perry before heading to Bali, where he has distinguished himself at Ubud’s Uma Cucina and Bridges, where he served as Executive Chef. Last spotted shaking the pans with Ryan Clift at the Ubud Food Festival, he combines experience with passion in a fresh and accomplished way. His vision for Settimo Cielo (which translates as ‘Seventh Heaven’) places him a very comfortable place food-wise. It is his execution that sets it apart. “We call it rustic refined Italian, so we have taken traditonal Italian favourites and we have refined them for a modern restaurant menu,” he explains. So we see a hot favourite like beef carpaccio transformed into a sublime dish featuring fine slices of angus beef dressed with foie gras shavings, truffle dressing, caramelized figs, shucked parmesan and micro greens in a beautiful transformation. While the batter on the zucchini blossoms was a little heavy for us the sublime goat cheese filling more than compensated with the sweetness of pumpkin and a lively salsa verde. A crudo of yellow fin tuna was sparkling and fresh, dressed with a little stracciatella, fried capers and peppered up with rucola, mint, basil, a pistachio pesto and a sprinkling of crispy pangrattato crumbs. The bruschetta arrived on grilled sourdough, made in-house like all the bread, dressed with ribbons of chargrilled zucchini, seasoned ricotta, a smoky eggplant puree and loads of garlic. Rustic? Yes. Refined? Definitely. The plates themselves are another design feature that plays into the concept; thoughtful and varied, the aim is to appeal to all the senses; the nose, the eye, and the taste buds. Nicolas is hands-on in this restaurant and it is small enough that he is able to talk the customers through the menu, and his enthusiasm is contagious. General Manager Federico has been on the island for over two decades and


slips easily into his role as host, greeting many of the diners as old friends. The aesthetics avoid being precious with the help of these two. Best of all, dishes are perfect for sharing, so we were able to sample a number of them and enjoy the full compliment of what the kitchen is capable of. Pasta courses were next and again, familiar dishes have been stepped up to meet the modern diner’s expectations. Arriving in little copper saucepans, our selection included a home-made pappardelle with a lively fresh crab ragu, minty and lemony and dressed up with roasted cherry tomatoes. One of our favourites was the potato gnocchi dressed with tomato braised pork ribs, however the ravioli won our hearts. A large ravioli filled with a whole egg yolk, spinach and ricotta with a warm pumpkin, sage and pine nut dressing. Mains all looked appealing so we left it to the chef who brought out a selection of two; a seared red snapper with caponata, mint, fennel and basil, together with a spiced and grilled chicken dish that is one of Chef Nicolas’ personal favourites; a great dish dressed with a sweet red wine dressing, pancetta wrapped radicchio, roasted capsicum and toasted hazelnuts, a definite winner. Lulled into a very comfortable place supported by a great soundtrack and soft lighting, the wine list offers excellent variety at very reasonable prices, the diners will like this. Dessert is a passion with the chef and our table had already noted a few we were lusting after, so the perfect solution arrived in the form of a tasting plate. A warm, oozy baked chocolate mousse was a standout and then so was the crisp, warm lemon tart. The tiramisu and an olive oil and rosemary panna cotta cut the sweetness and played off the others beautifully. Settimo Cielo is perfectly located between Jl Oberoi and Jl Petitenget, off the beaten track but close to everything. It is also open for lunch and there’s plenty to like on this menu as well with an abbreviated selection of mains alongside fresh ciabatta selections, some grown up pizzas, pastas and risottos, some fresh salads and sides to choose from and the full compliment of desserts. The restaurant slides very nicely into the Seminyak scene. It’s stylish without being pretentious, the food is a play on familiar dishes that shine with some subtle refinement and the location puts it in easy reach for casual or dressed up affairs (in fact, it’s the perfect place for an affair with the awardwinning villas strategically located just behind the restaurant). The prices are reasonable and the selection will keep everyone happy. In short: it’s a slice of heaven.

refined italian at settimo cielo.


oral pleasures

Like a mixed marriage that spawns beautiful children, Kilo combines myriad culinary cultures to create something refreshing and different. Words: Sarah Douglas. Photos: Lucky 8.

Cocooned behind an industrial cement wall, Kilo is a mystery that deserves to be solved. Despite the fact that it is around the corner and will soon celebrate its first anniversary, I had missed the allure and escaped the buzz. The menu left me confused, the façade giving little away. Where are these guys going with this? Finally, I think I’ve got it, helped along by a few of the finest cocktails I’ve had anywhere. Host Alejandro brings a lot of Spanish charm to his role, and he is a great entertainer, flitting from table to table, supplying much needed explanations of the dishes. The menu doesn’t tell the whole story. What was set for our dinner was adventurous, sexy and beautifully balanced on the tightrope of culinary fusion. Often a disaster, this one is cleverly conceived. Latino meets Asian in surprisingly successful dishes that float from sushi with a tickle to cocktails laced with herbs and spices and a range of dishes with Asian sensibility and Latinoinspiration, dishes that dance with Italian mamas dressed in Korean dresses wearing Japanese scents . . . it’s out there but it works. Highlights of the menu include Seafood Ceviche with tuna, salmon, and octopus; Beef Tongue Tacos with an apple miso slaw, roasted jalapeño, and garlic butter; Spicy Duck & Pomelo Salad with nam yam, green mango, and duck skin; and Chicken Bulgogi with pickled shiitakes, tempura flakes, and horseradish mayo . . . and like me, you are none the wiser, right? Our dinner began with a cocktail. A home-made vanilla-infused vodka brought a little lime and lemon to the table as a sushi dish arrived, dressed with a yuzu dressing, topped with tempura flakes, filled with fresh crab meat, with a raw snapper fillet sunbathing on top. Texture, flavours and fresh seafood loved the tangy dressing and the crunch of tempura. This one was a winner. The next dish had me a little confused. It was billed as a side dish on the menu and featured that strange mini corn. It was chargrilled, flavoured with chipotle, dragged through black and white sesame seeds and spiced up with a chili aioli, We started eating it and it was hard to stop, vegetarians look out, you might love this. Next course was black and white ravioli; one side of the prawn-filled pasta wrapped in white pasta, the other side dyed an inky black with


squid. Floating in a tangy foam sauce with deep fried prawn heads adding crunch to the flavourful pasta, it was big on personality yet kept it nicely in check. Another cocktail arrived, gin this time, shaken martini-style with fresh thyme and egg white, it slipped down like nobody’s business. They all have crazy names, a bit like the chef, who looks like an Indonesian biker, speaks with a vaguely American accent and grew up in Singapore. This is where he was introduced to Kilo, a Singaporebased business opened by a Puerto Rican and his American/Puerto Rican partner. Kilo has three venues in Singapore: a lounge, a restaurant and a raw bar. These guys are all over the place on paper but the Bali restaurant delivers a creative and different experience that is well worth a try. The seafood theme continued with squid ink rice dressed with crispy calamari, a kind of a hybrid of seafood fried rice with Italian pretensions. It wasn’t our favourite but that doesn’t take away from the skill required to create it, or the lusciousness of it. The kick came from yet another cocktail. This one was tequila-based (not hard to see how they won us over!), spiked with chipotle, blended with tamarind juice. The spicy cocktail gave the dish a real kick. Not normally favouring liquor with my dinner, I actually fell a little in love with this one. I love a good dessert and from the small menu of three, the last one I would have chosen was a thing advertised as a pistachio cake with pineapple. I would have been wrong. It was knockout; a delicate pistachio sponge with pineapple and a peanut butter caramel, all warm and gooey and the perfect happy ending. Don’t try and figure out Kilo, it almost defies description. Suffice to say this compact, modern space fills out the cement and glass walls with a surprising and successful menu of balanced flavours, excellent cocktails and very warm, friendly people. Not once did they stumble or fall, which is no mean feat considering how easily it could all go terribly wrong. A few surprises are in store with this one, definitely worth checking it out.

Weightless goodness from Kilo.


oral pleasures

Ondy Sweeting is tempted by sushi at Hotel Tugu Bali.

Never underestimate that wonderful moment when the chop sticks descend to the picture perfect plate, nip a piece of sushi then glide it through the tiny pool of wasabi and soy to enter the mouth with a blast of fishy bliss? Deep into the fertile grounds of Bali’s now-hipster paradise – Batu Bolong – Hotel Tugu Bali has created a special menu that gives thanks to Japanese culinary traditions and the sea. Sushi by the Sea is the name. And the joy of eating one mouthful of sushi after another is the main game. Eating sushi at the Tugu is an intimate and stunning experience and clearly the fish is prepared using ancient techniques that were developed to preserve the seafood as much as to flavour it and present it as art. The menu is traditionally split into sashimi of sea bream, top loin tuna, salmon, fatty tuna and prawn while Nigiri includes squid, top loin tuna, steamed prawns, sea bream, eel, salmon and fatty tuna. Maki rolls are prepared to order from a list that includes cucumber, avocado, tuna or salmon while special rolls are presented as classics such as California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, prawn tempura rolls and eel with asparagus and avocado. The sushi plates are put together as either regular or supreme. The supreme is a broad and good value sampling of this new dining path for the gorgeous hotel. In typical form, a beautiful – if not supreme – plate of sushi and sashimi arrives with the accompanying white pickled ginger, wasabi ball and dish of a delicate soy sauce. Note that the ginger is very pure looking without the pinkish hues. A trio of tuna, salmon and sea bream are cut to perfection and instantly grabs hold of the senses the moment it hits the tongue. With the first bite the firmness of the fish gives way to the soft buttery notes of the fine salmon and the extreme richness of the oily taste just kept building. The tuna was exactly the delicacy that is expected of sashimi that somehow is more like an amazing Japanese charcuterie rather than fabulously prepared raw fish. The sushi is solid and fresh while the spicy tuna is a tasty inside out roll that is a stand out. The eel sushi was full of smoky flavours that were sweet and delicate all at the same time while the rice was texture perfect. Hotel Tugu Bali is an amazing location to engage in some stylish dining and enjoy the contrast of having sushi in this fabulously Balinese hotel. There are many rooms to dine in. With a little notice the hotel will set up a private table on the beach for a romantic interlude, by the pool for a more casual experience or settle for one of the exclusive rooms that flank the tasteful reception area. Book early to secure one of the premium tables on the far edge of the lobby where diners are inside the hotel while taking in the view on the ocean. Sunset is a superb time to set aside for sushi eating. With a chef dedicated to producing these fine dishes and with more than 16 years of Japanese cooking experience, his skills are apparent in every bite. California dreaming.


big six

SARAH DOUGLAS goes bonkers over balconies.

Hank’s Pizza & Liquor It doesn’t get more urban, or urbane, than Hanks. A flight of stairs takes you to a funky pizza parlour balcony with a wide deck overlooking the lights of Oberoi Road below. Thin crust pizzas won’t break the bank, and toppings range from the humble margarita to a rocking seafood lovers delight. Cold beer, cool tunes, a little retro neon, some fresh salads for the herbivores and a compact wine list attracts a very cool crowd. Tables inside are made for sharing and a sweet wooden bar turns out a mean margarita or four. Tel: 0361 4741096/081239298089 Yak Map. M.7 La Lucciola Proof that keeping it simple is a formula for lasting success brings us to La Lucciola. The building is a simple, timber two-storey, the view to the beach is barely interrupted by a sweeping green lawn and some perfectly positioned palm trees and the food ticks all the boxes, with modern Italian favourites topping the list. Breakfast here is legendary, with freshly baked bread and pastries, perfect eggs and lots of local fruit and juices. Lunch is also a delight with some great pasta dishes, grilled seafood and homemade focaccia. It’s the perfect seat for watching the sun sink into the blue ocean while sipping on something sophisticated and dinner guests can watch the floodlit ocean while enjoying fine wine and a tempting menu of mains and light meals. Sublime. Tel: 0361 730838 Yak Map. M.7 Di Mare If you have made your way to Karma Kandara you can easily feel as though you have arrived at the edge of the world. The views from Di Mare are the stuff of Instagram legends and the food keeps getting better. This is one of the best hotel breakfasts you will find anywhere, with a range of a la carte breakfast dishes that will slip you into jet set mode. At lunch it is almost impossible to look away from the sweeping ocean views but when you do you’re likely to find some sumptuous seafood, a gourmet salad or a main with Mediterranean flair. Dinner can almost be left up to the chef, as the Chef’s selection is a special event. The fading light of sunset and the moment when the lights begin to twinkle on the horizon is nothing short of spectacular. Tel: 0361 8482200


Single Fin We’re in the mood for fun when we arrive at Single Fin, which plays it down with a casual menu that sits perfectly on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Uluwatu surf breaks. Sunset is always an occasion at Single Fin but it’s worth getting here earlier to watch the surfers ride the waves below. Expect a menu filled with pizzas, fish and chips and Asian favourites. Nalu Bowls, the Seminyak smoothie-in-a-bowl trendsetter, has set up a little kiosk here and the bar is always lively with a full menu of cocktails and bar bites. Take your shoes off, get into the beats and hang with a surf crowd that covers the gamut of age groups. Most of all, head here to soak up the view from the deck, it’s worth it. Tel: 0361 769941 Fb: Single Fin ~ Bali Jungle Fish If your idea of a sublime balcony view includes gazing across a tropical ravine, Jungle Fish is the place for you. Mixing it up with Greek, Swedish and Asian seems a queer fit but it works. Located at Chapung Se Bali villa resort, Jungle Fish is their pool club and literally hangs over the edge of the ravine and sports a full-length horizon pool that diners can enjoy. The restaurant upstairs offers incredible views as well. Jungle Fish is more of a pool club atmosphere but the bar and the food is casual yet delicious enough to make this a destination on the edge of Ubud. Tel: 0361 8989 104 Cascades at Viceroy For grown up diners, this is the gourmet destination with a ravishing view. Viceroy’s incredible location has made it one of the most popular images on Instagram and Pinterest, Cascades has a gourmet menu that is masterminded by their Belgian chef, Nic Vanderbeeken, that includes gourmet goodies like foie gras and caviar, lobsters and wagyu steaks. A treat worthy of superlatives, the restaurant is positioned high above the river below and almost as far as the eye can see, lush rainforest extends. Cascades is supremely elegant and often hosts gourmet wine dinners with visiting celebrity chefs. The birdcage style bar boats an incredible variety of whisky, cognacs and the like while the wine list is a testament to some of the world’s great winemakers. Tel: 0361 972 111



Constant wining

It wasn’t so long ago that the options for oenophiles in Bali were pitiful at best with few bottles to choose from and prices that went beyond the budget of your average imbiber. Fortunately for those of us who like a good glass (or five) of vino, the past few years have seen an upsurge in establishments offering vast and varied selections of quality wines that range from rare vintages to bottles that won’t break the bank.

MOZAIC BEACHCLUB Set on the sands of Pantai Batu Belig, Mozaic Beachclub is the younger, somewhat wilder sister of Chris Salans’ award-winning Mozaic Restaurant in Ubud. While the original restaurant does fine dining and garden elegance to a tee, the Beachclub offers a mix of laid-back vibes and seaside sophistication. Sun worshipers can settle in on the canopied daybeds and loungers by the pool for cool cocktails and tapas, drinkers can park themselves at the convivial bar for glasses of bubbly and drams of scotch, and diners can enjoy the sultry breezes and spectacular sunsets on the patio. There is also a newly renovated private dining room set up like a chic cabana and adorned with Indonesian art and artefacts. The atmosphere on the second floor is a little more intimate with candlelit tables overlooking the Indian Ocean. This is where Chef James Ephraim and Ashley Garvey have launched the new Mozaic Brasserie with an exciting new menu that presents modern French cuisine infused with vibrant Southeast Asian flavours. For wine lovers there is also the brand new Wine Room featuring a sizable collection of carefully curated bottles that have been chosen to pair perfectly with Ephraim and Garvey’s gourmet creations. Mozaic Beachclub has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence two years running, so you can be sure that the selection is top-notch. Guests can visit the Wine Room to peruse the shelves for interesting vintages that catch the eye or enlist the help of the knowledgeable staff who can make suggestions based on personal preferences and food pairings. You can also purchase bottles to take home and savour later. MÉTIS Long-time fine dining favourite MÉTIS is home to a multitude of spaces where your can wine and dine to your heart’s content. Featuring a restaurant, bar, lounge, and private dining spaces, as well as a gallery and a boutique, this is the ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch, a night out with friends and loved ones or a full-on fete. MÉTIS Lounge makes for a great pre-prandial drinking locale for its extensive wine list featuring exclusive wines from around the world, signature cocktails, tasty tapas and cushy sofas and banquettes overlooking a lush garden. A souped-up sound system enhances the beats by local and international DJs, and the room is open to the sky unless it rains, in which case a retractable roof saves the day. In the main dining room the tables are set with white linen tablecloths and sparkling 121

Constant wining

glassware, and each seat affords views of the hanging vines, lotus ponds and grassy central courtyard. The menu is all about French-Mediterranean flair with starters that focus heavily on foie gras and mains like butternut pumpkin and ginger risotto, slow-cooked Australian Saltbush lamb shank, and crispy skin Tasmanian salmon. And of course the sommelier can pair each course with a fabulous wine from the cellar. Serious vino votaries will want to gather a group and book into the Private Cellar for an unforgettable meal in luxe surroundings. The cellar seats just 10 diners at a long wooden table surrounded by walls of wine and original artworks, and the experience includes a special 6-course degustation menu tailored to your tastes with optional wine pairings. WINEHOUSE As the only professional wine school on the island, plus a super stocked bottle shop with an in-house bar and meeting room for courses and tastings, Winehouse is a pioneer in the Bali wine scene and a true temple to all things vinous. Step into the cool interior of Winehouse and you are greeted with floor to ceiling shelves stacked high with over 7,000 bottles that are divided into light, medium and heavy bodied wines with varietals ranging from Amarone to Zinfandel hailing from regions as diverse as Piedmont and Puget Sound. Display cases also showcase special vintages and select bottles offered at discounted prices. At the back of the room there is a cosy bar where you can sit and sip on your selection from the shelves or try one of the 16 wines by the glass served from an Enomatic dispenser. The proprietors change the wines by the glass every month, so you can sample new glasses on a regular basis, and wine expert Katrina Valkenburg is often on hand to fill you in on the finer notes of each selection. Moving upstairs you find a huge meeting room with glass walls, one of which looks down on the shop and bar below and the other out over the rooftops of Kerobokan. This is where the wine classes take place, and it is also a great venue for workshops, meetings, and group events. Slip out the door on the side and you arrive at a gorgeous Moroccan themed terrace replete with cushioned benches, hanging lanterns and vines and white and blue tiles. Wine lovers in the know head here around sunset for glasses of white, red or bubbly accompanied by a cheese board or homemade pate. VIN+ You can’t miss the soaring bamboo edifice and striking angles of the wooden roof of Vin+ on Jalan Kayu Jati. Venture in and you will find a sleek wine cellar and retail shop, elegant indoor dining rooms including two private rooms adjacent to the glass walled cellar, and an al fresco wine lounge that comes alive at night with twinkling candles and acoustic music by live bands. Born in Jakarta but gracing Seminyak since 2013, Vin+ is so much more than just a simple spot to pick up a decent drop. The cellar here stocks over 18,000 bottles of carefully curated labels, as well as sake and premium spirits, and there are prices to suit all budgets. All bottles purchased can be consumed in the restaurant on site, taken home, or even delivered directly to your door. The restaurant at Vin+ serves enticing bistro fare for both lunch and dinner, and the menu consists of tapas for snacking, shared items like the charcuterie plate and cheese board, light salads, hearty pastas, and meats from both land and sea. They also offer wine pairing menus that match up your meal with a glass of primo vino that will bring out the intense flavours of your dish. Besides excellent food and wine and stylish spaces in which to enjoy them, Vin+ also plays host to a variety of events all centred around the noble grape. In any given month


you can expect wine dinners with celebrity chefs, workshops, tastings, master classes, sake nights, ‘sun-downing’ sessions, wine auctions and charity events. MASÉ KITCHEN & WINE BAR Tucked away on a small road just off of Jalan Petitenget in the lush surroundings of MACA Villas and Spa, Masé Kitchen & Wine Bar is a true hidden gem for wine lovers as it offers alluring atmosphere and decor, an impressive wine list featuring local favourites and global stars, and a refined menu of international fusion dishes. The interior of this charming space features plenty of stone and wood, huge windows that let in natural light and illuminate the wine bottles lined up on the floor to ceiling shelves, colourful Oriental rugs, and seating on the leather sofas, ample armchairs, intimate tables or at the stone bar. As an added bonus, the space is refreshingly air-conditioned and smoke-free. There are also outdoor areas where you can kick back including plush seats next to the pool. The wine list here reads like a grand world tour of some of the best wine growing regions with over 100 bottles hailing from locales like Italy, Australia, California, France, and South Africa. Sip on a chilled Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a bold Monkey Puzzle Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, or Bali’s own fruity Plaga Chardonnay. Lunch and dinner fare includes starters like the quinoa and salmon salad and escargot ‘mille fuille’ with layers of sautéed escargot, baby potato and puff pastry, mains like the herb crusted grilled lamb chop with ginger onion sauce and chilli oil, and desserts like the lemon grass crème brulee. There is also a loaded cheese platter that goes divinely with wine. Be sure to join in Masé’s Thirsty Thursdays when they offer complimentary wine tastings, laid-back tunes by the resident DJ, and a 20 per cent discount off glasses of imported wines and champagne. BRIDGES BALI With seven spectacular levels overlooking the gently flowing Wos River and the dramatic Gunung Lebah temple, Bridges Bali makes for a scenic spot to sample fine wines and gourmet cuisine. Part casual fine dining restaurant, part wine bar and part wine shop, this Ubud darling has been offering leisurely indulgence since 2010. The culinary team here are constantly earning accolades for their innovative Indonesian and Western dishes. Lunch offerings consist of light salads, soups and pastas, as well as a ‘create-your-own-plate’ option where you can select from tasty Indonesian tapas like shredded chicken salad, spiced tofu rolled in singkong leaves, or beef in coconut curry. Dinner dishes are on the heartier side and include the caramelised laksa prawns and soy-braised wagyu. Although the superior setting and cuisine put Bridges in the upper echelon of Ubud’s dining scene, the restaurant is best known for its dedication to wine. The cellar and shop house over 300 bottles that you can take home or enjoy in the restaurant, and sommelier Antoine Olivain has put together a sublime wine menu with interesting wines by the glass that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else on the island. In addition, Bridges has an online shop offering free wine and spirits delivery in Ubud and around Bali. Bridges Bali also runs weekly wine events including happy hours every afternoon with glasses of imported wines at great prices, the Bridging Table dinner that includes a three-course dinner with wine pairings in a communal and convivial setting, and the Wine Masterclasses that cover everything from wine regions to grape varietals, flavour profiles, and winemaking techniques.



Club Life.


venting in a villa

Go grand or go home – luxe out at Grand Nikko Bali.

There are few hotels that can actually live up to the word ‘grand’, but the Grand Nikko Bali manages to meet all expectations in spades. Situated on a primo spot of land atop a 40-metre cliff in Nusa Dua and overlooking a secluded white sand beach lapped by the cobalt waters of the Indian Ocean, this luxury property is the stuff that Bali dreams are made of. Step into the expansive entrance hall and gentle sea breezes flow throughout, while soothing water features add to the elegant ambiance. Contemporary furnishings like soft sofas make for a great place to relax while the smiling staff checks you in, and exotic Balinese artworks remind you that you have well and truly arrived in a tropical Asian paradise. With over 389 well-appointed rooms and suites and 19 villas, there is accommodation to suit all sorts of travellers. Each of the living spaces faces either the Indian Ocean or the resort’s lavish gardens, and they feature contemporary design elements, marble bathrooms, and modern comforts like air-conditioning, LCD TVs with international channels, coffee and tea facilities, and free Internet. If you’re looking for a bit of pampering on your holiday, we suggest booking into one of the Nikko Club rooms or suites, as you get full access to the sleek Nikko Club Lounge. Here you will find ocean-facing indoor and outdoor dining areas, a private infinity pool, and poolside cabanas with curtains for privacy and protection from the elements. You can expect personalised service in the Nikko Club as well as extra perks like an extensive DVD and magazine library for your perusal, complimentary Afternoon High Tea with premium coffees and teas and decadent sweet and savoury treats, and Sunset Cocktails with an array of hot and cold canapés. Be warned though – the cocktails definitely pack a punch. However, if you really want to spend your holiday in style, the villas are the way to go. Set in their own secluded area of the resort, these gorgeous living spaces are like opulent oases of calm where you can truly get away from it all. Each villa boasts a beautiful garden, private swimming pool, semi-open gazebo and spacious interiors decked out in the finest furnishings and decor. Great for honeymoons, retreats, families or groups of friends, the

villas offer first-class accommodation and benefits like 24-hour butler service, exclusive access to the Villa Lounge with 24-hour refreshments, and access to the Grand Nikko Club Lounge with Club benefits. No matter where you stay at the Grand Nikko Bali, outdoor fun is at an all-time high with four interconnected lagoon style pools that wind their way around manicured lawns and gardens, a 30-metre water slide, a children’s wading pool with a manmade beach, three lit and covered tennis courts, camel rides onsite, and a serene beach retreat with private cabanas and loungers. Kids can join the exciting activities at the Jungle Camp to scale the climbing wall, frolic in the outdoor tree houses, or do some arts and crafts, while parents can head to the Mandara Spa for sumptuous body treatments in the breezy spa villas or beachside bale. Meet up again at The Shore Restaurant and Bar overlooking the beach and pool for pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and smoothies. Dining at the Grand Nikko Bali is an experience in itself, as the resort is home to a range of restaurants, cafes and bars each offering a different ambiance and cuisine. Some highlights include Benkay Japanese Restaurant for its fresh and flavourful Japanese sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki and yakiniku, La Terrazza for its bountiful Italian buffets, and Paon Bali for its authentic Balinese cuisine like Babi Guling (roast suckling pig) and Bebek Betetu (smoked duck). Guests can also grab a quick lunch to go at the Delicatessen, snack on light pub-style grub while watching live sports matches or shooting some pool at Oolooloos, indulge in al fresco drinks at Brasserie, or enjoy private group dinners with live Balinese dance performances at Kupu Kupu Amphitheater. The resort can also arrange romantic dinners on the beach under the stars and hands-on cooking classes where you can learn to create your own Indonesian dishes. For weddings, conferences, couples’ getaways or family fun, Grand Nikko Bali provides an alluring five-star resort experience that is pretty hard to beat. With its tropical elegance, superior service, and slew of special guest benefits, the resort definitely lives up to its well-deserved title of ‘grand’. S.M.


venting in a villa

join Fontana for a stretch of R & R.

Light, fresh and modern are the words that come to mind as I stroll through the grounds of Fontana Hotel, a unique fourstar property located just minutes from the shops, restaurants, bars and golden sands of Kuta. The concept here is part hotel hideaway and part funky art gallery, which immediately appeals to my hipster leaning sensibilities. Check-in is quick and easy, and as the smiling staff escort me to my room, I pass a lush garden courtyard with a glittering turquoise pool, breezy white balconies, and corridors lined with eye-catching black and white photos that take a different theme on each floor including candid street shots in various cities, celebrities, and Balinese life and culture. My room is decked out in minimalist decor with blonde wood accents, a plush king-sized bed and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow natural light to pour in from the balcony. A few fun art pieces adorn the walls to add a touch of colour and class, and all the mod cons I need like air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, a fully stocked mini-bar and a 32-inch LED TV are there at my disposal. As tempting as it might be to hole up in the room, Suma Spa is calling me. This serene rooftop sanctuary sports a Japanese stone garden, soothing pond, and tranquil treatment rooms for both couples and singles. I opt for the signature Balinese Zen treatment that includes an epic massage that simultaneously works out my knots and puts me in a state of utter relaxation. Suma is also the only spa on the island that uses mangosteen products, which leave your skin feeling super soft and supple. After 90 minutes of bliss it’s time to get my head out of the clouds, so I head to Sunny 16 Cafe for an energy boost. Inside the air-conditioned cafe the walls are lined with vintage style posters and photographs, as well as huge bookshelves with a range of books and all the latest magazines. Soft armchairs beckon and the baristas churn out artisan coffees, lattes and cappuccinos, as well as fresh juices, snacks like sandwiches and salads, and sweet treats like cheesecakes and tarts. Although the excitement of Kuta is just a few blocks away, I


decide to spend the afternoon chilling by the pool on one of the cushy sun loungers with a cold beer in hand. However, for those who want to get out and explore, Fontana offers a free shuttle service to hotspots around Kuta including Beachwalk Bali, the island’s biggest and best shopping mall just across the road from the surf mecca of Kuta Beach. If you do decide to take off for the day, try to make it back before dark because the Lobby Bar offers an enticing deal every afternoon between 3pm to 6pm where you can indulge in specialty cocktails, beers, and spirits and every third drink is free. Sit at the island bar and watch the bartenders in action, or gather with a group of friends on the huge circular sofas for a fun sunset session. Fontana’s convenient location on vibrant Jalan Dewi Sri means there are plenty of restaurants close by, but for excellent Italian, Portabella Bistro is wildly popular with both hotel guests and outside visitors. Settle into one of the leather banquettes and get ready for a feast of tasty tapas like Arancini and Crab Cakes, fresh salads and soups like the Asian Duck Salad and Borneo King Crab Soup, mains that include the Ravioli Lobster and Ossobuco, and heavenly desserts like the Grand Marnier Crème Brule. Portabella Bistro also serves a breakfast buffet every morning where you can start your day with cold juice and freshly brewed coffee, fresh pastries and breads, cold cuts and cheese, hearty sausages, eggs done the way you like them, and made-to-order crepes packed with your choice of savoury or sweet fillings. For a single traveller like me, Fontana Hotel was the perfect mix of sociability and seclusion. That being said, throughout my stay I saw plenty of couples, friends and families enjoying the fabulous facilities. And with a variety of rooms including a honeymoon style suite, family room, and stylish deluxe and superior rooms, Fontana truly caters to anyone seeking a sophisticated spot to stay in South Bali. S.M.

mixed media.



fashion freestyle


fashion freestyle



fashion freestyle



fashion freestyle





Hokule’a navigating the waters of the Indian Ocean – traditionally.


The Yak stepped aboard Hokule’a, a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, and spoke to apprentice navigator Jenna as the crew stopped off in Bali in a round-the-world voyage, guided only by the stars.

SO Jenna – welcome to Bali. Any first impressions you can relate to describe the Bali vibe? Aloha, and mahalo for your interest in and support of our voyage! Bali is a lot like Hawaii. The Balinese people are some of the friendliest I have ever met. We have visited many special places and communities, from meeting the local rice farmers to being hosted at the Governor’s house, to diving in Ahmed and learning about how communities in Bali are caring for their ocean and land resources. With the influx of people to this small island, the community here is facing a lot of the same issues as we are back home. Yet amidst the incredible amount of tourism, traffic and people, the Balinese always have a smile on their face and welcome you to their homes and look after you like you are family. How has the journey been so far? Our journey so far has taken us through places familiar and well loved, visiting our ‘ohana (family) in the Pacific. We have reconnected with our Pacific brothers and sisters, and prepared to venture out of our home waters for the first time in Hokule’a’s 40 years of sailing. The journey has been amazing – the familiar as well as the new has brought us greater understanding of how communities around the world are caring for their oceans, lands and people, and how traditional wayfinding is part of every indigenous culture in some form. Any surprises? Perhaps most surprising for us is that as we sail and explore ports outside of the Pacific, we are finding we are more alike than we are different. We are connected to every person we meet in some way, through shared values, through shared experiences, through a shared tradition of migration, and the richness of the history and culture that comes with that journey. What’s your biggest challenge in navigating such a vessel? One of the biggest challenges we face is sailing into the unknown. For ports like Bali that are outside of the Pacific, we don’t know what to expect because Hokule’a has never sailed here before. For example, the voyage from Ashmore Reef to Bali was an incredible learning experience for all of our crew – the biggest challenge was trying to find the island when we were getting close through the thick haze. Do you only rely on traditional navigation methods or is it fully high tech now? Hokule’a has been navigated traditionally for the last 40 years in the Pacific Ocean. Now that we are entering the Indian Ocean,

we still maintain traditional navigational integrity; however our escort vessel Gershon II is always monitoring us with modern navigational equipment to keep our voyage safe. How has it been retracing Polynesian ethnic roots coming back this way? When we first began to research this leg of the voyage in general and coming to Bali in particular, we learned that Polynesians originally came from South East Asia. Our welcome from the waters to the shore at Sanur was really a welcome home for us. There are even similarities between some of the names on Sumba island and Polynesian – how did this happen? We have learned that there is a strong connection between the Indo-Malaysian region and the Pacific which is why the words on these islands may have traveled into Polynesia years ago. In many ways, the Hokule’a is a restoration project – is it complete or will it continue to develop? Hokule’a has been the inspiration for many other canoes being built around the Pacific. The idea of cultural restoration will go on and build through these vessels and the people who sail them for generations to come. That’s the definition of a living culture, that it will continue to evolve and develop. We are just humbled to be a part of this voyage that will help in that process. This Worldwide Voyage is about making sure we perpetuate and honor the legacy of our teachers and those who came before us. Our job is to be the bridge to the next generation to make sure that this knowledge and practice of traditional wayfinding is well preserved. What’s your dream? As an apprentice navigator, it is my hope that people around the world develop and sustain an understanding of the wisdom of our ancestors, and the wisdom of the natural world. As a crewmember of the Worldwide Voyage, I believe it is now our generation’s kuleana (responsibility) to inspire the next generation to want to learn, explore, take risks and find solutions for our planet and our people. My dream is that we learn to work together with kindness and compassion as one people connected by one ocean, living and thriving on our one island Earth. Thanks so much for you time, Jenna! Best wishes to you and the rest of the Hokule’a crew and we hope you are blessed with smooth sailing the rest of the way. J.H.


sounds around

The Yak meets Osunlade, musical shaman, chameleon and long-time Bali lover.

SO, O – you have been to Bali a few times now? Any first impressions you remember? Or how you would describe the Bali vibe? Like all my visits to the island, my first impression is a peaceful one, the island has a natural draw to me, the energy of the island itself as well as the people, the culture and everything as a whole is simply bliss; one of my top three destinations in the world. You performed a live set with Balinese musicians last time at Potato Head Beach Club. How did this come together? Any surprises? We basically planned this last year as part of a future endeavour. No real surprises besides discovering Bali has some very talented musicians. Growing up – how did you first find music as the thing you wanted to do? It was the only thing that mattered to me as long as I can remember; I started playing piano at age seven and never looked back. Who were your strongest influences musically in your formative years? Prince would probably be the sole influence in my early years, I was drawn to the fact that most of his music was produced and performed solely by the artist. Being an only child and mostly spending time alone, music was my best friend and discovering the way to manage it without depending on others was important for me. Once upon a time you were doing music for Sesame Street? How did that happen and what did you learn from it? Nothing more than right place right time. I was living with Toni Basil of Oh Mickey fame, she was choreographing for the show. I made some simple beats, that’s all; never went to the set or met anyone there – again right place, right time. It’s funny how much this comes up in my life. As a child I never watched the show myself, in our hood there were better multiracial children’s shows with Soul and Funk and everything ’70s, so Sesame Street for me was always a white off-brand show, kinda corny to say the least. When asked about it, I’m amazed at how many abroad grew up with it and how it shaped so many lives. . .still a weird one to answer as it has less meaning to me than others. You now live between Santorini and Toronto some of the time – how and why


did you decide to plant roots there? I live in Santorini, not Toronto. . .that was a fleeting period during a past relationship and never really my home. Santorini on the other hand is the only place I’ve felt 100 percent at home – there is a mystical vibration that I connect with more than any other place. I live here as it’s a small, quiet island with less than 1,500 people. . .having a hectic life, I require down time with no distractions. Home provides me this, not to mention the music I’ve created here is far beyond and more complete in essence than I’ve ever experienced. How do you see the music industry these days with the Internet and constantly changing times? How do you see the future unfolding? I’ve been in this business since ‘88 and have seen so many changes that the one thing I have learned is that you never really know how or what to expect from it. The internet has definitely changed the industry just as it has the world and how we relate to everything. Today the scene is diluted with so many less talented people creating music, which is a downfall. However there are more live acts emerging and an array of great musicians happening, so we take the good with the bad. In terms of business in the industry, it’s definitely lacking in monetary value as we the independent artists make very little and most returns are funds that support the next project, even the major labels suffer. What used to be a huge market is now basically anyone’s playground. The great thing is that we still have great music in the world so no matter how the industry shapes you. I’m ok with the final outcome. What’s new in the pipeline? A new album which features a 15-piece orchestra. What’s your dream? I am living it. Favourite footwear? Bare feet. Mr Osunlade, many thanks. J.H.

Jenja offers a majestic night out, from delicious cocktails to dancing until dawn.

jl. nakula barat 18, seminyak - bali


Portabella Bistro • Sunny 16 Café • Suma Spa • Gym • Meeting Rooms • Private Party

film Michael Pohorly met with frequent Bali visitor Slavko Martinov, the New Zealand writer and director of the Michael Moore-championed documentary Propaganda. The movie, a critique of western culture told from the point of view of North Korea, had over five million views on YouTube before it was taken down for a festival circuit run and international distribution.

Let’s begin with the obvious – you probably were the only kid named Slavko at your grammar school in New Zealand . . . Yes, the name was a curse growing up in a conservative city like Christchurch, which was even worse in the ’80s at the height of the Cold War. I was in fights almost daily because I was being called a Commie spy. It’s much different in New Zealand now. Having a more unusual name is considered an asset – but it wasn’t back then. What led you to make three trips to Bali in the last year? A musician friend of mine who did the soundtrack to Propaganda moved to Ubud after deciding to study sound healing. Before ending up in Bali he had early career success in the music industry, but then later hit rock bottom in Melbourne. He actually looks a lot like Richard Branson and decided to start his life over by adopting the philosophy that every day he would ask himself, “What would Branson do?” It was an obvious story for a documentary and we are currently looking for finishing funds from potential investors. Your film Propaganda was released under the guise of a “smuggled North Korean movie about the hidden lies disseminated in western culture”, how was the actual launch handled? We released it originally on YouTube through this character we created named Sabine, who we said had intercepted this film while working as a translator in South Korea. When you create meta-fiction like this, you can’t do the normal publicity things with the film where you alert the press and try to push it, so literally we had to just put it out there and sit back and wait, not knowing if we would get any views. How did that work for you? We kept up the story by sending it out to film festivals as a single disc from Sabine. The festivals genuinely believed it was an intercepted film and when we called them up and told them the truth behind it, the Amsterdam Festival (IDFA) totally loved it and wanted to continue the ruse until after the world premiere. Sundance on the other hand said, “it’s a really clever idea and we like it but you didn’t play by the rules”, so they opted out. After the world premiere when we got up on stage and told the audience what it was really about, people were just really stunned. But then word got out around Amsterdam and all the screenings sold out right away. Propoganda: ‘smuggled’ Korean movie turned on its head.


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film It’s a brilliant idea, what led you to it? In 2003 I decided I wanted to make a film about western propaganda and I thought that the only way to truly to do this was to look at it through the eyes of the “other”, our perceived enemy. And North Korea is pretty much the only place left with no western influence that can objectively look at our culture. When you began this project what other work were you doing at that time? For eight years I was working in factories and literally I would be cleaning toilet bowls and then stop and take off my rubber gloves, grab pen and paper to scratch down another idea for the script. It was a battle of attrition with no end in sight and I never told anyone except a friend Mike Kelland, who became my co-producer and editor. He kept it secret all that time as well. In your TEDx talk you mention about how your life changed with an accidental discovery regarding your health, but what was the moment that turned the corner for you creatively? I was at a low point in my life and on a whim I just sat down one day and started writing down the things that mattered to me most. I started writing on all kinds of topics and then a clear pattern emerged, which was that I’d always had this prevailing sense of pursuing the truth at all costs. Even since I was a little kid, there was a compulsion to scratch beneath the surface of everything I was being told in order to find out what was really going on. And then after that introspection, I happened to be watching TV and realized that we are bombarded with breath-taking amounts of bullshit, 24/7. I started researching about propaganda, which more commonly goes by the name Public Relations. So it must have been quite surreal after almost a decade of doing this on your own to finally show the film and have Michael Moore call it “genius” and win the grand prize for best film at his festival? Yes it was. I had initially received an email back from Michael Moore’s festival saying that they would love to the show the film and there was another email from Michael saying he thought it was fantastic, which blew me away. I then received plane tickets and the next thing I know I’m standing on the stage listening to Michael Moore telling the audience he was honoured that I had used some clips from his documentary Fahrenheit 911 for the movie. As much as I’m not a fan of the polices of the George Bush years, in your film you have a quote from Bush that is taken out of context to what he actually meant. Is this you doing what PR spin-doctors do, but using it for the purposes of good? There are numerous layers to the film and we were hoping that there would be people like you who would think deeper and specifically mention that we’re guilty of doing the same thing that we’re critiquing – that was the entire point – using propaganda methods to highlight how effective propaganda is and how it works. So that example is absolutely propaganda. Throughout the making of the film, we always had to remind ourselves that we were making a ‘North Korean’ film and that they wouldn’t have any restraint in framing quotes and statistics to create the image they wanted to portray. It’s


perverse and twisted, but by quoting George Bush out of context you get closer to the truth about his motivations and actions than by adhering specifically to what he said. Given that it’s a propaganda film about propaganda using propaganda methods, it’s fitting. I realize Bush is an open target, but do you feel any regret for attacking Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton directly in your film? I’m not a hateful person and it’s not personal, in the sense that I obviously don’t know these people personally. However, if someone like Paris Hilton is prepared to position herself publicly in a certain way in order to benefit so massively from it then she’s fair game. They’re creating revenue via sex tapes in order to launch their personas because they lack any real talent. It’s a vacuous, grubby existence. I struggle to understand what’s gone wrong with humankind that people would pay attention to Kim Kardashian and buy into celebrity culture like that. I mean who really gives a fuck what they do? Do any of those viewers actually stop and think, “Why am I even looking at this? What value are these people providing to the world?” It’s an especially important question at a time when there are so many issues that require our attention and action. But instead of connecting with each other about these issues we’re being distracted. Is this kind of questioning one of the things you hope people to take away from your film? Yes, question everything. That’s the message. Question everything you see, hear, or are told. Be aware that we all are being lied to with propaganda. People think that in places with democracy, especially in the West, that propaganda doesn’t exist. But it’s the exact opposite. It’s in the West that propaganda is most sophisticated and seductive. And it’s incredibly effective. Any final thoughts on your time in Bali? It did seem utterly remarkable to me, for a place that depends on a reputation for being beautiful, that there was so much garbage everywhere. Even throughout all the rice paddies there’s rubbish and given Bali’s size it seemed that there are reasonably simple policies could be applied that would both take care of the problem and create employment opportunities that resulted in many benefits for everyone, regardless of status. But I also accept that there’s an arrogance on my part involved in thinking about applying certain policies to places we visit, however well intentioned. I was so focused on my documentary for most of my trips to Bali, but I finally stayed at a hotel in Jimbaran with an infinity pool. It’s such a cliché, but after being flat out for so long it’s the first time I had stopped – stopped thinking, stopped making notes, and sat still and did absolutely nothing. I realized I had forgotten to enjoy Bali for what it can be, and the warmth of the people I met had a lasting impression on me. So you’ll be back in Bali soon? I can’t imagine not coming back.

Slavko’s film Propaganda can be purchased at MVD Entertainment Group or viewed online on SabineProgram’s YouTube channel.

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moodofthemoment By Dr Deepak | | | Skype: drdeepakvidmar

Two planets change signs, Mr Serious-Responsible Saturn and Mr Abundance-Good Fortune Jupiter. Happy Go Lucky Sagittarius gets to pull the plough and analytical Virgo gets to see the Big Picture and laugh. Pluto in the middle of Capricorn testing, tasking and transforming all the cardinal signs. Nine more years to go. Last cycle was 1762-1779 when the colonies revolted against King George. Before that was 1515-1533 when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the chapel door.

aries You can live your life 84 years or repeat yourself 84 times. Time to do something new, to go to where you have never gone before, to quit that which is monotonous and boring to you. Shock and awe, awake and aware is your mantra now and you do something new not because it is logical or better, but because it is different. This Uranus transit only happens once in your lifetime and it only has three more years to go before everything slows down and you get stuck in the mud of ordinary everyday life again. Not a time to be told anything. You have to have your own experience.


OK, Saturn is out of your way and there are no more obstacles in the path of Leo. Clear road ahead and Mars transit in Leo gives you lots of energy to roar like the magnificent lion that you are. Jupiter transit 2nd House is a good indication for more money in your life, maybe both hands full. The joke is that it may not last very long. There’s a tendency to lose most of it through being deceived or unrealistic speculation. Then what is left burns a hole in your pocket and you spend it. Or it may be that you just give it away to a good cause. If you do it this way, then more will come.



It is a mandate of the Lords of the Universe that you enjoy yourself at this time. Like a bag of rocks dropped off your shoulders, Saturn has moved out of your sign after two and a half years and you can spread your arms wide again, open up your chest and breathe deep. The only job you have now is to feel good, to feel good about life and to feel good about yourself. There should be a stronger flow of energy now to help you live. Time to be creative or just time to play. Good fortune with your children and all things are bright and beautiful.

virgo Mr Good Guy Jupiter just started a one-year transit through your sign. Good fortune, good luck, and good feeling. Really good feeling. Jupiter transit happens every 12 years, but this one is particularly unique and strong in a soft, subtle, soothing and spiritual kind of way. Good time to just do a lot of nothing and feel connected to the Universe. Good fortune to dissolve, melt and un-do the fixed proper nouns in the boxed-in part of your logical mind. After you notice that you forgot where you parked your car, you will have more energy in October to go find it.




Oops, maybe a little heaviness just entered into your life. Ah, but joy, good luck, and abundance too. Your life is full of dualities, contradictions, paradoxes and approach-avoidance dilemmas. Jupiter transits for a year and brings good fortune. Saturn just started for two and half years and brings maturity and self-sufficiency, but you have to work for it. Saturn requires focus and responsibility and practicality and is not a lot of fun. Neptune square 2011-2025 brings the spiritual dimension and doesn’t like being in the body oppressed by gravity.

There are two energies in particular impacting on Libra during this time. One is the need to salvage and reconstruct that which is old and not working in a proper way. The other is the need to abandon the old and do something new you have not done before. The purpose of your incarnation (Happy Birthday) is to keep things in balance and harmony. It might seem like the way to do that is to keep things still and stable so the movement does not disturb. But that is impossible. Even the electrons in a rock are moving. Everything is always moving. The trick is to move together in rhythm and make a song.

Saturn moving into Sagittarius now for a couple of years. It did this 28 years ago, but things are different now. Now you have had a dream or a vision or a hope and the Saturn energy is to help bring it down to Earth and put it into form. You have shared many ideas before that were never meant to be realized, but this time it is different. There is a sense of goal or purpose. Saturn usually brings a sense of heaviness with its teaching of focus, concentration, and overcoming obstacles. Not this time for you because you are following your convictions and doing only what you love to do.

Pluto transit from 2008 to 2024. Since you don’t like sugarcoating on your messages, let me say that somewhere in this period of time you can bend over and kiss your pink wrinkled butt goodbye. It opens your eyes to The Dark Side, the abuses of power of governments and corporations and leaders and all manner of groups. And if it doesn’t bring Death, it brings the realization of our mortality, the grains of sand running out of the hourglass, the inevitability of The End. Then the question, the end of what? Does something survive? Is there another Something?

aquarius Good fortune through deeper and deeper intimacy with your partner. Conflict or fighting is ok if it is happening. It is just another way to get through the barriers that block us off from each other. The 7th House in astrology is about relationship. The next House, the 8th, is about the defense mechanisms we use to defend ourselves from intimacy. Paradox. We yearn for something and then block ourselves from it when we find it. You have the energy now to understand the emotions of the other and to think flexibly so your opinions don’t get in the way.


The only way out is up-up-up and beyond. To see the big picture is correct for you now. To have hope and faith will enrich your life with spiritual insight into the real meaning of life, your life, others’ life, life itself. Look to see as far as you can. Imagine yourself on the highest mountaintop looking at all below and beyond. Imagine yourself on the space station looking on planet Earth and all the civilizations changing and morphing from past to far, far future ahead. This is the other side of the coin that puts everything in perspective for you.



You should begin to feel less heavy now and a lightening of your Being. Saturn is leaving Scorpio after being there a couple of years. Time to use what you have learned and to take the next step. Time to take your aloneness and go be a papa to the tribe. Time to take your self-sufficiency and to nurture others to stand on their feet. Time to take your maturity and to contribute a youthful freshness to the community. Time to take the risk of sharing yourself to go deeper into the meaning of your life. Only with the sharing can the Higher Self be expressed.

pisces Beloved darling precious one, I apologize for planet Earth and all the gravity you have to endure to be in the body. But you need to have that body to take those long showers you do and to hold the hand of the one you love. I know you still have one foot in the spirit dimension and would love to be part of The All again, that you yearn to return. The transits are so good now, you were almost there, the door was open, but Saturn comes and burdens you with earthly things and gives you chores to do. The question is: if you can do both, can you be a fish swimming both ways at the same time in a world of clocks?

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