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d e c e m be r - J a n u a r y 2 0 1 2
CONTENTS FEATURES 44 Fashion
Surrounded by models and high fashion, Khaima restaurant shows off its best side.
60 Taste Of India
Neal Harrison takes us through his lens to the beauty and intrigue of the Subcontinent.
66 Kawah Ijen, 2799m
Thomas Jones climbs a volcano in East Java and encounters both beauty and human misery.
86 A True Oriental Experience
Nick Walton travels on the Grande Dame of travel from Venice to Calais.
92 Bohon Beauty
Nick Waltonâ€™s boat breaks down as he floats the waters of Cebu in the Philippines.
120 A Scarlet Letter
Thomas Jones spends some quality time in Singaporeâ€™s sexiest and most seductive hotel.
138 Hope Springs Eternal
Emma Westwood cleans out all her pores at the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa in Victoria.
Cover FRV Travel Cebu, The Philippines.
Kawah Ijen, East Java. FRV Travel l 7
28 Grilling Up in Petitenget
Being president for a day can be a tiring affair. Trauts steps into some big shoes at St. Regis.
Chef Phil Mimbimi talks of changes coming to Hu’u.
38 Villa Puri Tirta
Tanjung Benoa’s best-by-far Bali villa locale.
Chris Le stops out on Dyanapura in Bali.
De c e m be r - J a n u a r y 2 0 1 2
54 So Spa, So Good
Katie Truman pampers herself though Bali’s best.
72 Base Camp Banyuwangi
Enjoying the cool mountain slopes of East Java.
76 The Newly Born Cassis
Erza ST takes us all out to dinner again.
Erza gets his just desserts in the Jakarta Negev.
84 The Real Masterchef
Erza talks to celebrity chef Vindex Tengker.
96 Aurora Adventures
Nick Walton gives readers some North Pole options.
Rachel Love talks to artist Geoff Hardy.
Words on the most fashionable address in Penang.
104 Private Dining in Hong Kong
Lata Liana Villa shows off amongst the tall trees.
100 G Hotel Penang
Five great restaurants. Five great dining rooms.
Events 14 Bits & Pieces 16 Overnight Bangkok 58 Wine 126 Cheese 129 Recipes 132 Listings 148 Last Word 162
108 The Happy Workshop of Flavourserfront Ve experiences the delights of Joël Robuchon.
112 Home of Business Travellers
The Quincy Hotel in Singapore gets the once over.
116 Ahoy, Titanic
Melanie Lee talks us through the Singapore exhibit.
124 Chinatown, With a Difference
A walk through Saigon’s neglected corner.
130 Wine Dinners
Wining and dining from both Bali and Jakarta. 8 l FRV Travel
REJUVENATE, RELEASE, REMÈDE Offering a new dimension to spas worldwide with our imported spa products and the latest facial and manicure, pedicure equipments, our menu features an exclusive selection of therapies and holistic treatments with a specialized section for men. Enjoy the calm tropical surroundings and with complimentary use of our Aqua Vitale Pool, Sea Salt Bath Therapy and aromatherapy steam room with your treatment, invigorate in the spirit of Remède. www.balibeyondgourmet.com
KAWASAN PARIWISATA NUSA DUA LOT S6 NUSA DUA . BALI 80363 . INDONESIA STREGIS.COM/BALI (62)(361) 8478 111
HOT E L DE BU T S : DOH A ©2011 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and
A BU DH A BI
F LOR E NC E
M AU R I T I U S
SA N YA
BA L H A R BOU R SH E N Z H E N
their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.
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P T K ubu Dua M edi a J l. Petitenget 12 A, Kerobokan, Bali, I ndonesia Tel. +62 361 746 3751/52. Fa x. +62 361 847 5458 email: email@example.com www.frvtra ve l.c om Di recto r Guna wa n Ind rob a skoro Graphics Coordinator Sya ffri Soe wa rd i (artwork@frvtra ve l.c om) Graphi cs Teguh Ana nta P ho to g raphy Moc h. Sulthon, Ra ma d ha n, Ad a m Ra syid Di stri buti o n Nyoman Rupma Ii n Ind ra p utra , Ic ul, Ma d e i nfo@frvtra ve l.c om Fi nance Sri W ita ri, B a gus Oka Mark eti ng Gina , Pha y (firstname.lastname@example.org) A dmi ni strati o n Poojie , La lu Co ntri buto rs Thoma s Jone s, Ve Ha nd ojo, Da vid Tra uts, Erza ST, Nic hola s Wa lton, Katie Truman, Rachel Love, Herman Von Ber nhardi Aguayo, Sarah D, E mma We stwood , Da vid Burd e n. S ubscri pti o n Yearly subscription available in I ndonesia - Rupiah 250,000 Conta c t: sub sc rib e @frvtra ve l.c om Send e-mail to the above for details. C o nsul ti ng Stua rt D W ilford (stua rt@frvtra ve l.c om) Leg al Asso ci ates Agus Sa mija ya & Pa rtne rs Gra ha Asa , Jl. Ka p te n Cok Agung Tre sna 49 Re non, De np a sa r. Te l: +62 361 242447, 247302, 08123924509. Fine Restaurants and Villas Travel magazine is an independent, bi -mo nthl y publ i cati o n. N ex t edi ti o n deadl i ne J anuary 15, 2012
FR V Tr a v e l m a g a z i n e i s p r i n t e d u n d e r l i c e n s e d t r a d e m a r k . No p a r t o f t h i s m a g a z i n e sh ou ld be re produ c e d with ou t th e wr itte n pe r m ission of th e pu blish e r. Al l r i g h t s re s e r v e d . A r t i c l e s re f l e c t t h e o p i n i o n s o f t h e a u t h o r s , a n d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y those of th e pu blish e r s. F R V Tr a ve l m a ga zin e is pr in te d by P T M e ga I n da h (T: 02161 9 0 5 2 9 ) a n d d i s t r i b u t e d b y ; PT K u b u Du a Me d i a (In d o n e s i a ) , P e r i p l u s - J a v a B o o k s (I n d o n e s i a ) , PT In d o p ro m (I n d o n e s i a ) , F o re i g n P re s s ( H o n g K o n g ) , P a n s i n g Di s t r i b u t i o n (Ma l a y s i a ) a n d N a t i o n B o o k s In t e r n a t i o n a l (T h a i l a n d ) . C on ta c t th e e -m a il a ddre sse s a bove f or f u r th e r in f or m a tion .
FR V Trav el M ag az ine
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E dit io n 8 . 4
D ecember â€˜1 1 - J anuary â€˜ 1 2
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Editor’s Note FRV Travel – It takes you places It appeared that Bali had once again become the centre of the world for a few days in November. A visit from global celebrity, Paris Hilton brought an international flavour to many events around town. The arrival shortly after of just about all the global heads of state worth their salt in the current political world map, including the US, China, and India, all regional heads and their hundreds of delegates for the ASEAN and East Asia summits in Nusa Dua was the largest political get-together ever on the blessed island of Bali. Bali has always been a crossroads of sorts on this planet, lines of energy crossing right through the island, with mysticism and religion meeting on the same paths. Even Paris Hilton was saying she now saw her life differently, more spiritual, after a visit to Bali. With all this, it’s not surprising Bali is busier than ever and even though many are lamenting the traffic and trash, and the loss of a bygone island style that wasn’t in fact so long ago, Bali does remain a special place to visit and be. We hope you get the chance to visit Bali soon.
of airline lounges around the region from Bangkok to Hong Kong and everywhere in between. We are all very pleased with the results since moving the magazine’s focus more into a travel direction and even more pleased with the response from readers and professionals alike. In the competitions we are running in these editions of FRV Travel, we are asking entrants to tell us what they think of this magazine and we want to ask you, the reader, too, what you think. Please enter the competition on the next page to have the chance to win a luxury stay in a Bali villa or just send us your thoughts direct via email@example.com. This edition is ram packed full of travel goodies and, once again, there are stories from around the corner and from around the globe. We hope you enjoy your read through this edition of FRV Travel magazine and from all the crew here at FRV Travel magazine we’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year.
Meanwhile, FRV Travel magazine is now available in-flight on Cathay Pacific and Dragonair flights around the world and dozens
David Trauts Correspondent, English. These are busy times and Trauts this month is visiting St. Regis Bali in an unlikely guise, checking hu’u bar’s new dining concept, he waltzed down to Khaima for a touch of fashion, and was seen having a taste from the kitchens of The Legian and Mama San, and entrees all over town.
Erza S.T. Coming to the end of the year, this opera loving scribe decided to just stay in the city and check out the latest additions to Jakarta. He found a new dessert haven and a favorite fine dining institution that finally re-opened after its long renovation.
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Ve Handojo Ve Handojo has rediscovered his passion for Batik and has been lolling around Singapore’s theme parks and fivestars joints wearing all kinds of Batik shirts to make a fashion statement. Perhaps it’s his nationalism, perhaps a personal mission, but for all we know, it’s simply a sign of aging.
Rachel Love Told by a fortune teller that her life would take a dramatic change in a move to the East, she arrived in Bali with a few hundred pounds and a vision to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a writer on a tropical island. FRV’s resident arts writer, Rachel is one of Bali’s most prolific authors, writing extensively on all things lifestyle and travel related.
Thomas Jones Thomas visits Kawah Ijen crater on the east coast of Java for some wild volcanic action adventures way up above sea level and lives to tell the tale. He also lives long enough to try out some five star Bangkok and Singapore surprises.
Nick Walton Nick has been writing on travel for over 10 years, including most recently as the travel editor for the South China Morning Post. From his home in Hong Kong he regularly travels throughout Asia and beyond, looking for new experiences, trends and destinations, both for his travel pieces in over 60 magazines globally, as well as his weekly radio show.
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DECEMBER 2011 10 Tis the Season - Hong Kong
Roof of the World – Tibet During the Palden Lhamo
Nowhere brings together East
Festival disciples of the
and West like Hong Kong,
female Buddha Tian-Mu
and that’s why this month’s
come together to worship the
Hong Kong Winter Festival
deity in their own unique way.
will be the place to visit to
Carrying statues of Tian-Mu
experience countless over-
on their heads along the
the-top Christmas and New
streets Tibetan people adorn
Year’s festivities that will fill the
the figures with thousands
streets with light and seasonal
of pieces of raw silk before
cheer. Think window displays,
the statues are led back to
decorations, lights, music, and
the Jokhang Temple amidst
more food than even fat old
much merriment, colour and
Santa could eat in a lifetime.
chanting. Dec 10
Nutcracker – Singapore
Slip, Slop, Slap - India
More ballet, but of the
One of the biggest outdoor
traditional Tchaikovsky kind this
dance parties to hit India’s
time, in Singapore’s Esplanade
beaches, the Sunburn Festival
Theatre as The Nutcracker
is in its fifth year this year and
gets a turn-of-the-century
will almost double in size when
colonial Shanghai turn for the
it cranks up on Candolim
Xmas season. Expect to see
Beach. The festival features
spectacular new sets and
well-known artists and DJs
costumes, along with well-
from the electronic dance music
loved and familiar characters
scene from all around the world
who will dance their way into
spread across three days, seven
your hearts during this festive
stages, and untold genres of
performance. Dec 8-11
music. Dec 27 – 29
6 Jazz Market By The Sea Bali, Indonesia Local jazz musicians will be performing in the inaugural Jazz weekend of music and market stalls at Bali’s new outdoor venue in Tanjung Benoa, Taman Bhagawan. The event goes for thre days and nights and includes performances from Indra Lesmana, Syaharani, Ayu Laksmi, Balawan, Rio Sidik and many more. There will also be 50+ market stalls selling local crafts, food and beverage. It will be fun for all the family. Jan 6 - 8
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29 A Kiwi New Years – New Zealand New Years in New Zealand is always good, not only because its the first to see the light of a new year but because of the number of rocking festivals going on all over the country. Rhythm & Vines is one of the best with over 25,000 people converging on Waiohika Estate in Gisborne to rock out to over 100 local and international acts on four stages. Dec 29-31
at the ancient Prambanan
Anthrax in Concert – Jakarta
Start Your Engines – Tokyo
Temple in Central Java this
Not the deadly killer spores,
Whatever your preference
Andaman Ocean off Phuket
month - one of Hinduism’s
but the New York heavy metal
for heavy metal underneath
in December for a week of
most holy sites. The cultural
rockers who will be blowing
the hood, petrol heads the
sailing, partying and beautiful
performance will combine
minds and eardrums at
world over should make the
people. This year marks both
the diversity of Javanese art
Carnaval Beach, Ancol while
pilgrimage to the Tokyo Motor
the event’s 20th anniversary
through dance, drama and
they plug their new album
Show at least once in their
alongside the auspicious
music on stage to present
‘Worship Music’. With support
lives to experience what the
Diamond Jubilee celebrations
Hinduism’s most holy of
from HELLYEAH, this is one
Japanese have done, are
of Thailand’s beloved King
narratives . All thru Dec
night of musical madness and
doing and will do to the world
mayhem that no head banger
of automotive engineering.
Dec 3 – 10
will dare to miss. Dec 10
Style, speed and sass, it’s all
Spiritual Ballet – Java The sacred Hindu Ramayana text gets a public airing through the medium of ballet
here for the taking at the 42nd annual event. Dec 2 -11
Setting Sail - Thailand Phuket’s famous international yachting event, The King’s Cup Regatta, returns to the
JANUARY 2012 14
TGI Figura – Indonesia
The Fat Boys – Japan
With its origins rooted in the
It’s time to bring sumo to the
early arrival of the Portuguese
capital with the Tokyo Basho
the Figura Festival is held each
taking place in the middle of
year to celebrate Kuncikan,
the month. Get up close and
Oz Honky Tonks - Australia
the finish of business for
personal with the big boys of
Tamworth is a typical country
the previous year. Manado’s
the wrestling world as they try
town: friendly, easy-going,
towns and villages mark
to smack each other out of the
The first Grand Slam event of
small. It has a population of
the event with huge musical
ring in a deeply spiritual quest
the year rallies in Melbourne
fewer than 40,000 but come
parades where folk dress up
for both prize money and the
with the Australian Open 2012,
January it goes Country
in costumes that showcase
coveted winner’s crown and a
a tournament set to offer the
& Western crazy with the
both the different ethnic groups
chance to climb the ranks to
highest prize money in the
Tamworth Country Music
in the region along with the
the sport’s most coveted rank
history of Grand Slam tennis.
Festival. 50,000 music lovers
bizarre, strange and fun.
of yokozuna. Jan 8 – 22
With a total prize pool of $26
will descend on the town for a
million - the champions will take
week of music, food fun and
home a record $2.3 million
festivities with highlights that
each - get set for two weeks
include the Australian Country
of strawberries, champagne,
Music Awards and the highly-
celebs, and great tennis.
prized Golden Guitars.
Jan 16 – 29
Jan 14 – 23
16 Tennis Anyone – Melbourne
Loving the Red – New Zealand
Backing the Sheep – Australia
For the pinot noir lover nothing
Time for something a little
Short & Sweet - Malaysia Showcasing efforts by filmmakers from around the world to an audience of film executives and buyers, journalists, film fans and filmmakers, the Kuala Lumpur International Short Film Festival
Pinot Noir Celebration, where
Caulfield Cup in Jundah
(KLIS) will be showing films,
they will be transported to
where sheep replace the nags
throwing parties and hosting
carefree days and nights of
in a day of wining, dining,
seminars and workshops for
fun filled tastings, informative
wagering and family fun.
everyone with a passion for
discussions, clear skies, balmy
The day features a four-race
local cuisine. Dazzling NZ
runners spurred on by their
backdrops are the sub -theme
jockeys clinging to the woolly
as wine, food and celebration
backs over the 50m track. This
take centre stage. Jan 26-28
is certainly racing with a difference. Jan 15
popular event and is timed to coincide with the Chinese New Year. Held at the heart of the Old Town traffic is banned creating walking streets filled with colourful entertainment including cultural parades, Chinese opera performances
around the streets. Jan 9
unusual with the Woolly
programme, each fielding eight
Festival will be the 13th for the
food stalls and rickshaw tours
compares to the Central Otago
nights and the very best of
This year’s Old Phuket Town
and folk dancing troupes,
Old Town Celebration Phuket
Madras Madness – India This hugely popular and much anticipated month-long Chennai Music Festival - often described as the world’s largest cultural event - serves up a plethora of traditional South Indian Carnatic music, dance and arts. Over 1,000 performances take place during the festival, along with music related seminars, discussions, and demonstrations. Dec – Jan
16 The Jesus Beat – Phillipines The Ati-Atihan Festival is a feast in honour of the baby Jesus, concluding on the third Sunday of January in the town of Kalibo. Characterised by tribal dance, music and the ceaseless banging of drums Christians and non-Christians alike dressed in indigenous costumes and brandish traditional weapons while they parade along the streets showing the love and respect that the Filipino people have for the Son of God. Jan 16-22 FRV Travel l 15
More Awards for a Nusa Dua Resort The St. Regis Bali Resort nabs HAPA and ITTA Awards. The St. Regis Bali Resort, the first St. Regis resort in Asia, once again won the title of Indonesia’s Leading Luxury Resort for the second year in a row, from the Indonesia Travel & Tourism Awards for the period of 2011/2012. This award is decided by popular vote and a board of independent judges. “As a resort that is only three years old, we are delighted to have been chosen for this prestigious award and we are confident that this will spur us to continue to offer inspiring experiences to our guests,” said Ms Yvonne Wan, Hotel Manager of The St. Regis Bali Resort. Meanwhile, the busy resort also picked up a bunch of Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) recently for the 2011 – 2013 Regional Series, winning the award for the Indonesia Resort of The Year, while the Kayuputi restaurant overlooking the Nusa Dua beach and Indian Ocean was awarded Indonesia Restaurant of The Year. These awards are adjudicated by mystery visits to the resorts from unannounced judges staying as regular guests.
bits&PIECES C’s Steak And Seafood Restaurant Welcomes Jessica Pickering Grand Hyatt Jakarta’s new restaurant manager. C’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant has a new face, Restaurant Manager Jessica Pickering. South African born and raised in Malawi, Jess started her career as a Cordon Bleu Chef, graduating from the prestigious Christina Martin School of Food and Wine. Her first international posting took her to Whistler in Canada as a chef at the award winning Rim Rock Café before returning to Malawi to manage F&B at the premier Boutique Lodge, Kumbali.
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“C’s, with its long history of great service and food, and Jess’ vivacious and outgoing personality, added to her extensive experience in food and beverage, will contribute to guest satisfaction and the restaurant’s success in the years ahead,” says Director of Food and Beverage, Dale Parkington. And as for Jess? “I feel passionate to be a part of the famous C’s Restaurant and look forward to foster close relationships with our guests”, she stated.
Win Two Nights at villa san in Bali’s cultural capital of ubud Less than 300 metres north of Ubud’s Royal Palace lies Villa San, a private and serene oasis in central Bali. Designed as a labour of love, the villa is only minutes from sensational shopping, superb spas, classic cultural performances and luxuriant rice fields. Showcasing an impressive array of artworks and handicrafts originating from China, Africa and Indonesia, Villa San can comfortably accommodate up to 12 people in six large bedrooms (three doubles, three twins). The buildings are nestled around a 25m lap pool and set within lush gardens which incorporate elegant sculptures and a tranquil meditation terrace. Friendly professional staff will quickly make guests feel totally relaxed at this spacious and recently (2011) refurbished villa, which is particularly suitable for an extended family or a group of friends.
All you have to do to be in the running to win a luxurious two-night stay at Villa San is simply answer the following three questions and tell us what you think of FRV Travel magazine. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org 1. What is the name of the northern lights that appear in the polar skies each winter? 2. What is the average weight of each load of sulphur that is carried off Kawah Ijen by the mine workers there? 3. How many grams of fresh clams does Mario from Toscana Jakarta recommend using in his Insalata di Mare? 4. And tell us what you think are the highlights and downsides of FRV Travel magazine and where you found it.
The winner of last edition’s FRV Travel competition with a prize of three nights at Villa Kailasha with a value of approximately US$ 1,500 was Gary Seah from Singapore. Entries must include full name, address and telephone number and arrive at FRV Travel by January 10th 2012. Prize winner will be contacted by email and results will be published in the February - March edition of FRV Travel. Prize includes two nights accommodation at Villa San, Bali and airport transfers. Conditions apply and prize subject to availability. FRV Travel l 17
Bali Classical Nights
Where to Go? Go Down
A bit of culture from the old countries.
The best experiences Down Under on screen.
To celebrate the festive season Bali Classical Nights brings you two enchanting evenings of classical music featuring the works of Chopin, Litz, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Puccini and Rossini. Performances will be given by pianists Boris Kraljevic from Montenegro/Singapore, Ariane Jacob from France, Neil Franks from the United Kingdom, Chang Tou Liang from Singapore, along with violinist Yuijian Chung of Korea and flautists Philippe Bernold from France and Korea’s Beomjae Kim. Concerts will be held on Wednesday 28 December 2011 at Hotel Tugu Bali and Thursday 29 December 2011 at the Canggu Club. Rp 550,000 concert and buffet dinner. Rp 300,000 concert only. Contact venues for tickets. www.cangguclub.com www.tuguhotels.com
With the release of In Australia: Where to Go, (The Best Travel Destinations Down Under) Australia’s overwhelming opportunities have been condensed into 175 top sites and 2,500 photos including a host of must-do activities and hidden gems all in one app. Full of curated content, it is opinionated and discerning and gives as much detail as a guidebook but in a more compact, interactive, and user-friendly format. It crosses traditional guidebook genres to offer not only luxury digs, interesting cultural experiences, the best restaurants and great wineries, but also terrific adventures, beaches, wilderness and wildlife experiences, fabulous indigenous art, and non-saccharine family travel tips. Check it out; it costs less than a sandwich and it will last much longer! Buy it once and get free upgrades for life.
Keeping The Skies Clean and Blue World’s first low carbon fuel to be developed for Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic has announced the development of the world’s first low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative. Within two to three years Virgin Atlantic plans flights with the new fuel on its routes from Shanghai and Delhi to London, and following successful implementation, a wider roll-out could include operations in the UK and the rest of the world.
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“We were the first commercial airline to test a bio-fuel flight and we continue to lead the airline industry as the pioneer of sustainable aviation. This partnership to produce a next generation, lowcarbon aviation fuel is a major step towards radically reducing our carbon footprint, and we are excited about the savings that this technology could help us achieve,” said Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic.
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Angsana Opens Flagship Resort In Phuket Carrying the five star resort torch though Phuket. Angsana Laguna Phuket, the newest resort within Laguna Phuket’s idyllic beachside complex, opened on 1 December 2011 following an extensive refurbishment totaling US$ 30 million, and is ready for the Christmas rush. Nestled within Bang Tao Bay at Laguna Phuket it occupies the site of the former Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket and the refreshed and stylish resort is the largest Angsana property in Southeast Asia with 409 rooms and 10 different room categories offeing a plethora of accommodation options. bedroom including the 490 square metre Angsana Grand Pool Residence with four bedrooms, a private kitchen, sun deck and an outdoor sala. Wow!
Heading South NZ’s Southern Lakes a mustvisit destination for 2012.
Lonely Planet has chosen New Zealand’s Southern Lakes region as one of the world’s Top 10 Regions to visit in 2012 alongside other grand international locales such as Borneo, Sicily, Northern Kenya and Coastal Wales and is the only New Zealand region to feature in the new book, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012 - the best trends, destinations, and experiences for the upcoming year. Queenstown and Southern Lakes is ranked eighth in the book’s list of Top 10 Regions for its year-round activities and spectacular scenery. www.southernlakes.org
The Miele Guide Awards Mozaic and Sarong Best Asian restaurants #12 and #18 for Bali. Bali’s Mozaic made it to number 12 at The Miele Guide’s Top 20 Restaurants in Asia, while Sarong as a new entry rocketed to number 18. Chris Salans and Will Meyrick were present in Singapore to pick up their awards in person at the launch of the fourth edition of The Miele Guide in Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore in November. The guide ranks and selects restaurants in Asia based upon the opinions of the region’s most respected restaurant and food writers, a popular public vote, and the votes of The Miele Guide’s invited jury, as well as anonymous tastings conducted by The Miele Guide’s contributing editors and editorial team. 20 l FRV Travel
The launch was filled with heavyweight chefs from the region, and four of them served the dinner. Sarong’s Will Meyrick had the honor of cooking the main course – a plate of Vietnamese Caramelised Duck served with young coconut juice, black pepper and tamarillo. The Miele Guide 2011/2012 edition is available at US$15 at www.mieleguide. com or at major bookstores across Asia.
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New Dining in Seminyak Mama San is quite the dame. After enjoying incredible success over the past few years with Sarong, the same group has come up with another winning restaurant; Mama San, which opened just a few weeks ago and it has been full every night since. What is the winning formula you may ask? Simple. Give them style, design, delectable food and a well proven pedigree, and the punters will come marching in. That’s exactly what’s happening in this new two-storey, urban-chic restaurant that is reminiscent of an old dockside warehouse that features a dining area on the ground floor, and bar and lounge area upstairs. There’s no smoking downstairs so the bar up top is more wellfrequented than you would imagine. Another reason for being upstairs are the exotic and fun cocktails being created and served by Singapore mixologist, Joel Fraser.
A Moving Masterpiece The largest art exhibition ever.
But meanwhile, downstairs it’s all about the food. I’m sure they wouldn’t want me to say this, but, think Sarong, and knock 20% off the bill and you more or less land on the Mama San experience. I’m not 100% sure it is exactly 20% less, but there definitely is a sizable difference in price between the two - on some dishes anyway. But leaving the comparisons behind, Will Meyrick and the team know their Asian cuisine and once again have proven it with an inventive and exciting menu of Asian tapas, noodle dishes, wok specials, larger mains...and the punters are flocking in to spend some time with Mama San. They are open for both lunch and dinner. Tel. +62 361 730 436 www.mamasanbali.com
Enjoying Vietnamese Junk Guests set the pace on Ha Long Bay.
Singapore is hosting the largest art exhibition the city has ever seen - a single painting from the Chinese Song Dynasty by Zhang Zeduan that has been digitally animated and enlarged to the size of a football field. The “Qing Ming Shang He Tu” painting has been revered throughout history and is known as “China’s Mona Lisa”. It depicts everyday life in the old capital Bianjing (now Kaifeng in Henan Province, China) in minute detail. In short, it’s like watching a gigantic IMAX movie that lasts all day! “A Moving Masterpiece” runs from December 7 to February 6, 2012 in Hall 3 of Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Center. Info: www.amovingmasterpiece.com 22 l FRV Travel
Steering toward a more personalized cruise experience, the first of Life Resorts’ fleet of 22 heritage junks took to the waters of Ha Long Bay on overnight trips in October allowing guests to have a say in how they holiday. “With Life, guests custom-design their trip, choosing where they want to go,” said Chris Duffy, group general director of Life Resorts. www.life-resorts.com
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Check into Ubud Villa San is Ubud’s newest place to be. In central Bali, near Ubud’s Royal Palace and only minutes from great shopping, superb spas, cultural performances and luxuriant rice fields, Villa San is a private and serene oasis. With open-sided living and dining areas, Villa San features an entertainment lounge, gym, playroom, studio and meditation terrace, and comfortably accommodates 12 people in six large bedrooms nestled around a 25m lap pool – all set within lush tropical gardens. Friendly professional staff make guests feel totally relaxed at this spacious villa, which is perfect for an extended family or a group of friends. www.villasanbali.com
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Insider Travel Tips Singapore: Yu-Mei Balasingamchow What do you say to people who say that Singapore is just a sterile shopping hub? They need to get away from Orchard Road! I encourage visitors to wander around quirky neighbourhoods like Arab Street, Tiong Bahru or Katong. You can’t really say you’ve “seen” Singapore till you’ve spent some time exploring the old shophouses in these areas. Who knows, you might just come upon an interesting photography gallery, a cool new café or a gorgeous traditional fabric store! And then there’s the food – some of the best Singapore eating experiences are outside the city, in hawker centres and coffee shops, or in upscale restaurants tucked away in leafy suburbs. Whichever neighbourhood you find yourself in, there’s always something good to eat, if you know where to find it. Even if you must shop, the indie boutiques at Haji Lane, Club Street and Tiong Bahru offer a much more eclectic selection than Orchard Road.
here’s nothing quite like getting good travel advice from a seasoned local, especially if said local is a writer who has written extensively about her home country. Born and bred in Singapore, Yu-Mei has co-authored (with Mark Ravinder Frost) the award-winning history book Singapore: A Biography. Her travel stories on Singapore have appeared in numerous publications and one story, “Three Perfect Days – Singapore”, picked up an award from the Singapore Tourism Board in 2010 for the best Singapore experience story. Recently, she co-authored the iPhone travel app Singapore: The Savvy Guide, which is available from the iTunes App Store for US$3.99 (sutromedia.com/apps/ Singapore_The_Savvy_Guide). She shares some insider travel tips about discovering a more authentic, soulful side of Singapore.
In your opinion, where is the best place to: a) …chill out with friends? I have two favourites. Wild Oats is right in the middle of town, tucked away at the top of Mount Emily in a gorgeous old colonial bungalow. It also has some of the best bar snacks: luncheon meat fries, wasabi prawns and stuffed chicken wings (the calories are worth it). My other favourite is The Wine Company at Dempsey Road, which has an incredible selection of wines, from affordable to splurge-worthy. If you snag the right table, you can look out on pure greenery and imagine you’re relaxing in your own private tropical garden. b) …go on a romantic date? The Cliff, at Sentosa. Sky above, sea below. and it feels like you’re taking a short vacation from everyday life. The food and service are always great too. Perfect for a tête-à-tête with that special someone. c) …party like a wild animal? Clarke Quay. Sure, it can be a bit of a meat market, but there are so many nightspots there, you can hop from club to club all night
long. Start things off slow with a glass of wine and people-watching at Vintry, then pick up the pace with live music at Highlander Bar or the Pump Room, before graduating to the dance floors of Attica and Attica Too. d) …be blown away by food? Definitely one of the big hawker centres, where you can order food from different stalls to create your own meal. There are lots of good ones, but one of my favourites is Old Airport Road hawker centre. You can get great satay (skewers of barbecued meat served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce), wanton noodles (served with barbecued pork and dumplings), char kway teow (flat noodles fried with seafood in a dark sweet sauce), and sambal stingray (grilled skate slathered with a spicy sauce). Having co-authored a history book on Singapore, could you also suggest a few heritage spots that would give a more indepth perspective of the Lion City? The major museums and landmarks in the city do a good job of recapping Singapore history for visitors, but for those who want to go further: Visitors interested in Peranakan or Straits Chinese culture should check out two beautiful Peranakan homes: the Intan at Joo Chiat Terrace or the Baba House along Neil Road. The Intan is a personal home that has been lovingly maintained, while the Baba House was restored a few years ago by the National University of Singapore. Visits are by appointment only and absolutely worth it. The Chinatown Heritage Centre is a good place to get a glimpse of what a roaring community Chinatown was – a far cry from the squeakclean reputation of Singapore today. World War Two buffs should head out to the serene Changi Museum and Chapel, which is dedicated to prisoners of war who were interned at the former Changi Prison, and Reflections at Bukit Chandu, an interpretive centre about a Malay regiment that bravely faced overwhelming enemy odds in the Battle of Pasir Panjang. Interviewed by: Melanie Lee
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u’u restaurant on Bali’s Petitenget Road will be going through a major menu make-over in December. According to chef Phil Mimbimi, they have decided to make a more conducive atmosphere for punters and diners alike and by unveiling the new Hu’u Bar and Grill, keeping it simple and back to basics is the name of the game. Mimbimi is no new-comer to a grill either, having started his career behind a grill station in Newport, Rhode Island, where he ended up ruling the floor. “I started on an evening grill station, which was a bit lackluster and by the end of the summer, Bon Appetite magazine came in and 29 out of the 35 guests ordered grilled items from my station.” He opened the Prime Steak House in Ritz Carlton Jakarta, implemented the grill at the One Ninety restaurant in Singapore’s Four Seasons and in more recent times he’s been behind the grill at The Beat Gourmet BBQs, held monthly at Liquid Exchange in Jakarta to rave reviews from all in attendance. “Americans are brought up with grills and it’s part of our make-up,” says the American chef. So, while Hu’u bar has been pulling in the crowds for their weekend shows it’s time to get the festive feel back into their spacious garden area. “We’re changing the look of the outside dining, from the table settings, the staff uniforms, the cutlery and crockery, right down to the menu cover itself, which will be looking very rustic and made from a wooden board,” says Phil. They want a more natural feel and a less fine-dining appearance so the plan is to be more casual, more approachable and less expensive. “We’ll be keeping the signature dishes from the existing menu, basically the favorites off it, so guests can still choose the typical dining dishes, but the rest of the menu is now all about the grill.” Phil Mimbimi on the grill at Liquid Exchange, Jakarta.
Grilling up a Storm on Petitenget
After ten years in operation Hu’u knows their market well and they are basically people looking for simple, easy food and not wanting to spend a fortune. According to Mimbimi, they would rather spend more on drinks and having a good time than the fine-dining style. “The food needs to be good and the presentation nice of course, but as far as getting a real gourmet fine-dining experience, that’s not really their objective,” he says. So, that’s what this grill is all about. “We have a great space and we want to use it,” enthuses the chef. There will be a selection of sirloin, tenderloin and rib eye cuts coming in two sizes, medium and large, which guests can choose for themselves. The grill menu will also feature a selection of bone-in meats like veal and pork chops, lamb racks and chicken and seafood. “We’re doing a butcher’s block which is a medley of grilled items and a grilled seafood platter, with lobster, fish, scallops and crustacean,” says Phil. They are working with some great farms to source the meats and there will also be more than 15 different sauces available. “The beauty of this concept is that guests will be able to pick their main course, their sauces, and their side dishes which sums up the essence of the new grill at hu’u – it will be tasty, casual and inexpensive,” concludes Mimbimi. This will all be happening in the first weeks of December and it will be in full swing before Christmas. FRV
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a sPac E
presidential Text: David Trauts Photos: Sulthon
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was the first time since being elected a year before that I was representing my country at a major international summit and I have to admit, I was feeling the pressure. It had taken a long time to get to this point. Starting in the back blocks of a small city helping the underprivileged, I never knew I would end up coming this far. I never knew I would become president of my country, but now that I am, I have to make it happen. I have to make this world a better place on my watch. You only get one crack at it and this is my time. After waking at 6am and having meeting after meeting all day long, shaking hands with hundreds of people, assisted by a dozen staff and not having a moment to myself all day, there was only one thing on my mind as the clock was nearing midnight - that room at the St. Regis. I’ve been in some fine rooms over the years, but this one was special. I was told by the
staff that it had recently been remodelled and enlarged and I was the first head of state to be staying there. After being accompanied to the front door by an assistant I entered the room and literally collapsed onto the sofa. A few minutes passed as I reflected on the day’s events and then I fixed myself a drink. I moved outside onto the timber decked terrace and in the calm of a balmy Bali night lit a cigarette, which is something I like to keep to myself, as the anti-tobacco lobby takes out their knives every time they see a photo of me with a cigarette in my mouth. I walked down to the lower level where a garden setting awaited and behind a wall of tropical shrubbery I drew slowly on my smoke – you can never be too careful with the power of the paparazzi’s telescopic lenses nowadays. I should call my wife and tell her the news of the day, but first the bubbling outdoor jacuzzi was becoming irresistible. Throwing caution to the wind, I discarded my clothes and plunged straight
there was only one thing on my mind as the clock was nearing midnight that room at the St. Regis. Above top: The horizon plunge pool is deep and warm. A relaxing spot to view the world. Above bottom: The master bedroom offers one of the best sleeps in Bali. Facing page: The opulent interiors of the living and dining areas are typical of St. Regis styling.
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into its frothiness. Taking in the exotic view from the 15m2 pool over the entire hotel complex and out to sea, while enjoying the bubbling sensation of the jacuzzi, was exactly what I needed to wind down.
Everything about this president’s suite is opulent and the St. Regis style is always unmistakable no matter where you are in the world. Above left: The classic styling of the polished timber desk and floors. Above right: Italian marble and the finest fittings await in the master bathroom.
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The expansive and luxurious master bedroom was beckoning. There is also another large twin bedroom at the far end of the suite, but for me right now, this king-sized bed with the 300 thread count linen and a beautifully carved Balinese carved head board was the only place for me. Everything about this president’s suite is opulent and the St. Regis style is always unmistakable no matter where you are in the world. The furnishings are immaculate and the finishing of every detail is nothing less than perfect. From the mahogany wood and Italian marble flooring, to the indigenous materials and artefacts employed in the decoration, all the way through to the amenities used in the bathroom (Rèmede products, of course), this presidential suite has all the stops covered. And so it should with the price they charge! That wasn’t worrying me much right now as I had already made deals that day worth trillions so I figured my government could afford it.
At that point, 300 thread count sheets never felt so good. Next morning my assistants were meeting me early to discuss the day’s activities. There was one big sticking point in all our Asian discussions. Pacing up and down the Italian marble floor near the glass-topped wooden dining table where they were seated, the oversized flat screen TV flashed an image of me and the president of the largest Asian country talking together. I knew right then and there what the next step was and who I had to meet. It was the last day of the summit and my last day in this room. From my humble beginnings I had made it to here; the top, the leader of one of the world’s greatest countries, and staying at the St. Regis Grande Astor Presidential Suite in Bali. As the door closed and we moved out into more meetings and discussions, I was wondering, does it get any better than this? FRV
St. Regis Grande Astor Presidential Suite Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua, Bali Tel: +62 361 8478 111 www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis
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Villa Lata Liana
Text by Rachel Love
The main five-bedroom villa with the dining pavilion to the left and the joglo bale at the far end of the pool.
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From the owners of Bali’s famous Villa Kubu comes the exquisite Lata Liana, a contemporary two-villa masterpiece, with a total of seven bedrooms, a private spa, refined fivestar service and gourmet food, And just 500 metres from the vast sweep of Seminyak Beach.
This page: A showcase of the two-bedroom Lata Liana II. The dining area and kitchen; the spacious open-plan living room; and the master bedroom which opens to the pool deck.
ata Liana means ‘Place of Tall Trees’ and when you see the property up close you will understand why. From the towering 30-year-old baobab upside down tree in one of the bedroom gardens to the spectacular flame trees that drop their scarlet petals into the open-air bathrooms, Lata Liana is bounded by some of the most beautiful trees in the district. Offering huge amounts of space, good taste and extreme comfort, the main five-bedroom villa is characterised by ironwood shingle roofs, white pillars, and a series of single-storey buildings linked by covered walkways, terraces, ornamental ponds and secret gardens, offering private spaces where guests can escape, or social areas for dining, relaxing and recreation.
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Lata Liana oozes sophistication and elegance, harmonised with artistic flair, a touch of local history, and more than a nod to the Balinese Hindu culture.
Above: The living room with its soaring roof and spectacular gold light installation. Left: The main building, swimming pool and lumbung at Lata Liana II. Below: Lata Liana’s glamorous gold bedroom and a shot of the freeform pool.
Here, a 25-metre swimming pool meanders through the centre of a flat velvety lawn, enhanced by a water feature fashioned from an old millstone, while three gnarled frangipani trees punctuate the deck, as well as a funky relaxation gazebo adapted from a grass-roofed cowshed. Presiding over the garden is a ‘joglo bale’, crafted from a century-old timber building from Java and showcasing intricate woodcarvings. This multipurpose pavilion can be used for wedding ceremonies, parties and alfresco dining. Lata Liana oozes sophistication and elegance, harmonised with artistic flair, a touch of local history, and more than a nod to the Balinese Hindu culture. In their quest for furnishings, the owners thought well outside the square by recycling the timbers of a century-old, wooden, Indonesian sailing ship. The well-weathered stories ingrained within the ship’s deck, prow, stern, bulkheads and rum barrels have been transformed into couches, beds, chairs, tables, 36 l FRV Travel
vanity units and cabinets, following the life in the natural curves of the wood. Meanwhile, Lata Liana II, the charming twobedroom villa next door, presents privacy and modern architecture inspired by Indonesian vernacular design, incorporating two separate buildings positioned on opposite sides of a 15-metre swimming pool within a tree-andflower-filled garden. One of the buildings, modelled on a traditional rice barn or lumbung, was designed specifically with kids in mind providing accommodation for up to six. A full complement of professional staff includes a five-star kitchen team and a crew of personal butlers. Expansive and luxurious, Lata Liana is perfect for families with children, large groups of friends, and glamorous weddings. FRV
Villa Lata Liana www.latalianavillas.com
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Staring off into the Sunset Text by Thomas Jones
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ali’s Tanjung Benoa has long been known as a place where watersports junkies can dive, parasail, jetski, banana boat, waterski, swim and play to their heart’s content out on both the clear sea off Nusa Dua’s white sand beaches and the protected waters of Benoa Harbour. There are more than enough five star resorts lining Nusa Dua’s beaches to house a vacation army so accommodation is never a problem for those who love hotels. But, what if you don’t fancy being surrounded by hordes of holiday makers and their noisy children and are in search of something unique and private to call your very own at Tanjung? Then Puri Tirta is the place for you. Meaning ‘water palace’ in Indonesian, Puri Tirta is an enclave of four, private three-bedroom villas located in a traditional Balinese village right on the edge of the still and tranquil waters of Bali’s Benoa Harbour, offering anywhere from three to twelve bedrooms, which can accommodate just about any size group. At the front of the property, Villas Sunset and Selamanya both sit on the water’s edge and are almost identical in structure with three bedrooms, (one up, two down), a large living room and kitchen, tropical gardens, private butlers, outdoor dining, huge pools and relaxation pavilions from where to lie back and take in the stillness of the harbour and Bali’s breathtaking sunsets. Villas Cantik and Alamanda are just a 50 metre walk back from the jetty and are equally as charming with the same set up and facilities, although they get their sea views from the upper floors. Modern and comfortable, the interior design and architecture of the villas work with the environment to create an atmosphere of extreme relaxation and privilege, a sense of spiritual harmony and balance that moves with the ebb and flow of the tides.
Facing page: Evening views across Benoa Bay from Villa Selamanya and the only private villa jetty in Bali. Above left: The huge master suite in Villa Cantik. Above: Looking over the water from the upstairs master bedroom in Villa Selamanya.
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If you should happen to tire of the serenity and the chef â€™s brilliant cooking it is an easy 10-minute stroll to the main street of Tanjung Benoa where you can find shops, boutiques, five star resorts, spas, and restaurants of all description. Along with all the 21st century fun, food and fashion, Tanjung Benoa also happens to be a cultural melting point for the seafaring peoples and traditions of Indonesia. All religions live together in harmony in the surrounding villages and they offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to wander or cycle the streets and take in all the diversity of the region and its friendly people. What more could you want?
Villa Puri Tirta is an enclave of four private villas right on the tranquil waters of Baliâ€™s Benoa Harbour.
In keeping with the water sports theme that the area is famous for, Puri Tirta also has its own jetty and speedboat and there are four kayaks available for exploring the mangroves and waterways. If your marine desires stretch further to say, a big game fishing trip, then they can easily arrange that too. Perfect for a family holiday or a group of friends, the fully-staffed Puri Tirta is paradise for both water sports lovers and sun worshippers alike. FRV
Villa Puri Tirta Tanjung Benoa Bali Tel: +62 361 847 8197 www.villanabali.com
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Above: The villas become even more beautiful when the sun goes down. Top left: More sunset views, this time from Villa Alamanda. Middle: Gourmet alfresco Balinese lunch, anyone? Left: The opensided dining space at Villa Sunset.
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Text by Chris Le Photos by Sulthon
he Breezes Bali Resort and Spa has just entered the Seminyak upmarket realm with their new junior suite offerings. The new suites are quite spacious and are completely suitable for a small family, a small group of friends or a couple looking for something bigger than the standard room. At first glance, the suite looks like a large room in a luxury villa, with a sizeable bed and a more than roomy couch. All the junior suites are on the ground floor beside the pool, where an artificial beach has been set up complete with white sand. The terrace facing the pool is just about as comfortable as it gets with plush cushions arranged along one of the outer walls forming a couch. Looking at the fine interiors, youâ€™ll notice the lime-washed wood, which gives the
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suite a natural feel more akin to your classic villa than a hotel room. The furniture is as elegant as it is simple and small touches like closets that automatically light up when you open them are very thoughtful. A full entertainment system complete with a computer, DVD player, iPod dock, and a flat screen television nicely equips the suite. The bathroom facilities are also very elegant with a full rain shower pouring down cleansing water at the perfect pressure. Curiously, extra guest toilet facilities are also included, making the room ideal for multiple guests and friends. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the junior suite is that it is located in Breezes, which is in the heart of Seminyak. A number of clubs, restaurants and retail outlets,
Facing page: The generous use of wood gives the suite a classic natural look. Left: The room leads out to the pool and the terrace has sun loungers right outside your door. A rain shower is a nice touch when staying in the tropics.
that make Seminyak the most in demand destination on the island, are only a stone’s throw away. The Breezes itself also has some interesting facilities including a full tennis court, a gym, and a very cool multi-level pool that snakes around the hotel. There’s also a full bigscreen cinema equipped with plush leather chairs that can be used at any time. Activities such as games and fitness classes sprout out seemingly at random for guests, and their staff were much more helpful and friendly than most resorts I’ve been to. A royal breakfast with your choice of Indonesian, Chinese, Balinese or Western food is served, with your own personal waitress to privately serve you from a gargantuan platter of food fit for a king and
the breakfast is all set for you on the comfort of the terrace of your room. The bottom line about the new junior suites at the Breezes is that they are a hybrid of villa luxury and all the conveniences a hotel has to offer. Staying at your standard villa can be a very private experience with few distractions, but for those seeking all the amenities and the unique social possibilities of staying in a hotel with all the luxuries of a private villa, this seems like a very happy marriage between the two concepts. FRV
The Breezes Bali Jl. Dyanapura, Seminyak Tel. +62 361 730 573 W : www.thebreezesbali.com FRV Travel l 43
gold sequin top by Ali Charisma handmade detailing, lining 100% silk. Red tango pants by Espen Salberg 80 % nylon, 20% elasthane. 44 l FRV Travel
text by trauts photos by adam rasyid
A modern ethnic
KHAIMA The stylish Moroccan restaurant on oberoi road is the stunning setting for clothing designs from charisma and epsen salberg.
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simple golden dress by Ali Charisma. handmade detailing, lining 100% silk. shoes by 108 Fashion Forward, 100% leather, 13 cm heels, 1.5cm platform. bangle by TJ Concept FRV Travel l 47
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Black Gown by Espen Salberg. 80%nylon, 20%elasthane, handmade detail on neck (black sequins). Clutch - qalania collection.
State of the art kitchen facilities, and warm timber interiors and lighting help to create an authentic modern Moroccan dining experience FRV Travel l 49
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The use of primitive structures and materials juxtaposes the modern elements of the khaima restaurant design Printed leopard Knee-length dress, epsen salberg 80% nylon, 20% elasthane. boots by 108ff : 20% leather, 70% leather suede, 10% wooden wedges FRV Travel l 51
Gaga Dress by Espen Salberg. 80% nylon, 20% elasthane, sculptured pockets and details on the shoulder.
Moroccan Restaurant Jalan Laksmana Kerobokan Bali - Indonesia Tel: +62 361 742 39 25 www.khaimabali.com GARMENTS Model: Cherry I AM MODELS Management (email@example.com) Wardrobe: Ali Charisma & Epsen Salberg www.alicharisma.com www.espensalberg.com Hair & Make Up: Eka SHOPisticated Bali Tel: +62(0)81237830079
Photos: Adam Rasyid. Assist: Rama. Styling: David Trauts /Happy Hidayat
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adding a touch of glamour and form to the restaurant, the new bar area is the perfect entrance or exit to khaima FRV Travel l 53
So Spa, So Good Baliâ€™s award-winning premier spas donâ€™t just rest on their laurels, rather they continually research and launch new therapies and treatments to keep up to date with global trends and making sure we all stay glowing, balanced and rejuvenated.
Text by Katie Truman
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Dala Spa Size doesn’t matter for Dala Spa. Hidden within the boutique luxury villa retreat, Villa de daun in Kuta, the seven-room Dala Spa has won many prestigious spa awards since opening over four years ago. Their opulent, French boudoir-like treatment rooms contrast with traditional Southeast Asian inspired treatments, incorporating bespoke spa products derived from pure, natural ingredients. Their three unique Signature Rituals (two hours plus) celebrate the bygone healing traditions and customs of Indonesia, incorporating elaborate foot cleansing rituals, specific local ingredients and therapeutic massages. The Royal Wedding Ritual recreates thr pre-wedding beauty rituals of Java’s ancient palaces; the Palace Ritual recreates Sumatra’s ancient kingdoms; while the the latest treatment, launched in 2011, the Bunga Rampai Ritual celebrates old Indonesian and Malay cultures. Two more Indonesian rituals are being lined up to be introduced in 2012. www.villadedaun.com
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Tugu’s Waroeng Djamoe Spa
Thermes Marins Bali Spa This celebrated spa is located within the confines of Jimbaran Bay’s Ayana Resort and is a pioneer of innovative, exclusive treatments which incorporate ancient Eastern healing therapies and modern European treatments. Highlights include ‘Spa on the Rocks’, a treatment given in an outdoor covered pavilion suspended on a rock out in the ocean, and the world’s largest Aquatonic seawater pool, pivotal to their curative Thalasso and hydrotherapy treatments. Four signature treatments introduced in 2011 offer a deeper holistic approach, using natural resources to counter negative influences of modern living and help to restore balance. These include the Hot Shell Massage, using warmed seashells for nurturing the face, body and feet. The spa has also introduced cosmetic treatments for natural, non-surgical face lifts and slimming procedures using LPG technology as well as a two-hour L’Atelier Perfume Spa Package. www.ayanaresort.com
Hot Shells at Ayana
As one of Bali’s most sumptuous and acclaimed day spas, Prana Spa in Seminyak is a riotous concoction of Moroccan and Rajasthan-inspired design, decor and ambience. That said, their new Private Suite, introduced in 2011, takes decadence to a whole new level. This sensuous, Middle-Eastern playground offers an exclusive, multiple treatment menu inspired by the Arabian Nights and Persian legends. Multi-hour packages feature Eastern Mystique, Sinbad’s Seven Voyages to Health, One Thousand and One Nights and Jewels of the Nile - all incorporating massage oils infused with 24k gold and the purest of essential oils. Additionally, their á la carte rituals feature the Gold Infused Royal Massage, which has an allotted private suite time of 3.5 hours with a silk-draped bed, a clam-shaped bathtub and double tropical-rain showers. A recent menu update offers an inclusive post-treatment bottle of wine and a selection of canapés and tasting plates to help while away the time. www.pranaspabali.com
Spa Alila Sandwiched between a black-sand beach and the rice terraces of timeless Tabanan, the luxurious Alila Villas Soori Resort’s Spa Alila is an earthyhued sanctuary with volcanic stone walls that contrast with contemporary touches such as heated terrazzo massage beds. Spa Alila balances naturally with sublime pampering spa rituals and deeply therapeutic massages using nurturing Balinese massage techniques. Alila’s spa products are 100% pure, natural and derived from indigenous plants, herbs and spices, including high quality blends of virgin coconut oil. Their 2011 additions include a Toning and AntiCellulite Body Ritual and their signature FourHands Massage, while the soon to arrive Hair Spa features authentic hair and scalp treatments influenced by age-old Indonesian beauty recipes, where raw herbs, fruits and vegetable oils are blended together in full-view for treatments that also include the Brown Sugar and Lavender Scalp Scrub. www.alilahotels.com/soori
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Waroeng Djamoe Spa Hotel Tugu Baliâ€™s acclaimed Waroeng Djamoe Spa celebrates authentic, centuries-old Javanese and Balinese therapies, rituals and treatments combining spirituality with healing. This is complimented with island-sourced organic ingredients based on ancient traditions, such as Javanese Djamoe herbal drinks. Treatments take place in five atmospheric kamars, or chambers, plus a gubuk, an outdoor hut, set amidst tropical gardens beside Canggu Beach, and like the hotel, they come adorned with Indonesian antiquities. Signatures include Gemulai Penari, an eight-hour massage and bathing ritual based on traditional Balinese dance movements and a trademark of Tugu Hotels. The Mantra Massage, is their signature reflecting the local Balinese culture. Within the mystical kamar the meditative Mantra Massage combines deep healing massage, ancient mantra chanting and Hindu blessings from a highcaste Balinese woman. Tuguâ€™s recently revised menu delves further into Balinese spirituality and cerebral healing with journeys such as CranioSacral Healing Therapy, Soul Blessing with a priest and the Pray Session at various local temples. www.tuguhotels.com FRV Prana Spa
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ntercontinental Bangkok sits right in the heart of Bangkok’s shopping and business district and couldn’t be better positioned. The Skytrain, the river, shopping malls, restaurants and the CBD are all easily accessible from the front door of the hotel. It also spoils guests upon their return with oodles of space and beautifully designed interiors flush with style and good taste and all backed up by traditional Thai hospitality. The hotel is like a city within a city thanks to its outstanding facilities, which include full MICE
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readiness, a spa, six restaurants and bars, and a large and inviting rooftop swimming pool. There are 10 different types of rooms ranging in size from 45 square metres for a Grande Deluxe right up to 250 for the Royal Suite, and include the hotel’s many Club InterContinental rooms and suites, which offer additional personalized attention with butler service. Located on the 37th floor and commanding panoramic views of the city, Club InterContinental Lounge provides exclusive services, with buffet breakfast, fresh juices, snacks, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and canapés. iPads are
available for guest use upon request. Unforeseen events like the recent flooding in Bangkok need never affect hotel guests who will be spoiled for choice with restaurants and dining outlets. From fine dining to a quick sandwich on the run the hotel has everyone covered. Fireplace Grill is an experience not to be passed up and is one of Bangkok’s most popular fine dining venues, accompanied by an impressive wine list and fresh imported meats and seafood. Grossi Trattoria & Wine Bar is the first such internationally branded Italian restaurant in Bangkok serving up one-of-akind cuisine for those in the know who crave true trattoria-style Italian dining. Espresso is a modern bistro serving international plates whilst overlooking bustling Bangkok with both á la carte and buffet selections available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Summer Palace, their acclaimed Chinese restaurant, is renowned equally for its traditional Cantonese specialties and dim sum favourites. Balcony Lounge & Humidor Cigar Bar is where business deals get unofficially sanctioned by the
powers that be. This is the place to savour the finest rare malt whiskeys, and smoke up large in Bangkok’s first real cigar bar - by day it serves one of the best high teas in the city. Finally, for those on the go, or with only limited time, the Deli is a gourmet café and shop offering fresh baked breads, soups, sandwiches, salads cakes, and pastries as well as superb tea and espresso. A place where casual meets sophisticated, and where friends and co-workers meet for quick but superb cuisine. When it’s time for pure relaxation drop by the spa or head way up on the roof on 37 to the Oasis Pool Bar, where cool and classic cocktails are served up with sweeping views of the City of Angels. In the hot and humid city there is simply no better way of relaxing than up to your neck in water with a cold drink in hand. Superbly located only 30 minutes by Skytrain from the airport with direct access to Chit Lom BTS Skytrain station, one thing that anyone who has ever stayed here will know, the Intercontinental casts a pretty big shadow over the city. FRV
Intercontinental Bangkok Tel: +66 2656 0444 www.intercontinental.com
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Taste Clearing algae from a pool in Fatehpur Sikri before a visit by French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, which required everything to be pristine and clean. 60 l FRV Travel
of IndiA Photography by Neal Harrison
A land as old as history itself, India presents the photographer with infinite opportunities for capturing images of an intense and wonderful culture. The only problem really is what not to photograph.
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Sampling colourful bracelets at a market in Jaipur. A mahout and his elephant on their way to the impressive Amber Palace in Jaipur. Roadside barber shops on the Agra to Delhi road. Serrated arches in the Amber Palace.
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Catching up on news in Old Delhi market.
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A woman with bowls beautifully balanced on her head in Jaipur. Only the finest dress is required to enter the tomb of Sheik Salim Chishti where devotees seek fulfilment of their wishes. Two women in dazzling blue saris stand in an archway in the Amber Palace. Traditional Kathakali dancer in Fort Cochin, Kerala.
Neal Harrison is a photographer who has travelled extensively for more than 20 years as a producer for Associated Press TV News and British morning TV. He now leads a healthier life in Bali from where he plans to continue travelling â€“ to more positive parts of the world than the news agenda allowed. e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Kawah Ijen 2,799m East Java
Text by Thomas Jones Photos by robert Koster
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Antok has a hernia. He has dropped his basket of sulphur and sits against a rock on the mountain path. “Obat, obat - medicine, medicine,” he calls as he clutches his stomach in obvious agony. We have nothing but cameras, passports and crackers. I give him my water bottle and apologies along with a kretek clove cigarette, which he accepts. we walk down to the weighing station to tell the manager about his plight. “Antok sick? Yes. Everyone knows about Anton’s stomach,” he says, as he goes back to stacking bricks of brimstone. We look at each other and shrug.
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uch is the working life at Kawah Ijen in East Java, one of the hardest places in the world to make a living. It’s a daily grind filled with backbreaking journeys, heavy loads, poisonous gasses, low pay and a life expectancy of less than 50. Yet, despite the hardship and marginal working conditions it is one of the most dramatically beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. We had risen at 4.30 that morning for the hour-long drive up the mountain to the start point for the three kilometre trek up the mountainside to the crater rim. We pass through all the wonders of tropical agriculture along the way. Rice terraces and bananas gave way to coffee and clove plantations before we hit the heavily forested slopes of the mountain where the land is
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too distant and high up to farm. The road also seemed to give up its domesticity and our jeep struggled to find a footing along the once long ago paved road. “Just like Jurassic Park,” says our driver, Hasim, of the misty, towering forest. It is the only English he seems to know but it gets a laugh, and that’s all you really need to communicate sometimes. But make it to base camp we did and we loaded up with water and biscuits and small denomination notes before heading on up the path to the crater rim through coniferous forests filled with song birds and troups of langurs, the large black monkeys endemic to the area. We hear the sulphur miners before we see them, the creak-creak-creak of bamboo against shoulder gives them away. Coming
down the mountain with their yellow payloads of sulphur, 80kg of it, the maximum a man can carry, two men stop to chat briefly with us and pose for photos in exchange for cash and cigarettes before we part ways; them down, us up. One worker, Ali, shows us the disturbing scars on his collarbones from six years of toil. He has no plans to stop. He can’t, he has a family. For the tourist, it requires a medium effort to hike the three kilometres to the top, making it pretty much accessible to everyone. The track is wide and in good condition with covered rest areas along the way. At the 2km point is the weighing station where the workers stop to tally their loads before carrying on down to the collection point. The last 500 metres become quite barren with
scarred scrub and ferns and scorched trees, and at every corner is unveiled an impressive view back down the valley - but itâ€™s nothing compared to what waits for us at the top. The odour of rotten eggs hit us before anything else and turning the last corner we were faced with a colossal sight that, if the sun wasnâ€™t shining, could be mistaken for the gates of hell. Before us lay a huge barren crater, devoid of life, with choking sulphur clouds wafting up from a milky green lake, deceptively beautiful in the sunlight and giving no hints as to its extreme, unfriendly pH of 1. It was ages before anyone said a word. For the workers, the journey isnâ€™t over just yet as they still have to descend over 200 more almost vertical metres down to the lakeside and into the heart of the mine. An active vent at the edge of the lake is the source of elemental sulphur and it is here that escaping volcanic gasses are channelled
We hear the sulphur miners before we see them; the creak-creakcreak of bamboo against shoulder gives them away. Facing page: The heavily acidic sulphurous crater lake at Kawah Ijen.
Clockwise from top: A miner taking one of many, wellearned breaks on the descent. A long way up to the top.
The view from the crater rim, and the mine face from hell where the sulphur is gathered.
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Clockwise from top left: The rangerâ€™s station where park fees are paid. Looking south along the crater rim. A laden miner starting the long climb down. Two black langurs sitting in a tree having a chat and a cup of coffee. And the deceptively dangerous emerald waters of the crater lake.
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Turning the last corner one is faced with a colossal view that, if the sun wasnâ€™t shining, could be mistaken for the gates of hell.
through a network of ceramic pipes resulting in the condensation of molten sulphur. Deep red in colour when molten, the sulphur pours slowly from the ends of these pipes and pools on the ground, turning bright yellow as it cools. Amidst the toxic fumes the miners break the cooled material into manageable pieces and carry it out in loads of about 80kg up to the crater rim and then down the mountain. Few have decent walking shoes and almost none have gas masks. But what is it all for? Sugar. In its raw state it has a yellow to brown colour, but by bubbling sulphur dioxide gas through the cane juice before evaporation it turns white, the perfect colour for our kitchen tables and sensibilities. The nearby sugar refinery pays the miners by the kilo and most of them manage two journeys per day earning them about US$6 per trip. Despite the very real tragedy playing out in its mines, Kawah Ijenâ€™s mines are the only source of income for the men in this part of the world. Several years ago a suggestion was made to employ mules and horses to shoulder the burden but it was met by howls of protest from the workers. How else would they feed their
families and educate their children, they cried? So, the daily march to an early grave carries on regardless, but strangely enough, we tourists have become a vital part of the supply chain with the extra money the miners make from posing for photos and selling small pieces of sulphur going a long way to padding out the household expenses for people like Antok. Because of the stark contrast of lush green agricultural landscapes and the barren wasteland of the crater, Kawah Ijen has to be one of the most sublime areas of the world I have seen. In all, we spent about four-and-a-half hours up there, clamouring over rocks and scree, sitting on the denuded hillsides and pondering the dark beauty and awesome power of nature, while being bombarded with the acrid steam clouds that vent out of the sulphur vents. Itâ€™s beautiful and itâ€™s tragic, but the Banyuwangi region of East Java is a place that has so much to offer the tourist looking for something more than just Bali. If more visitors would venture to this land of rice fields and volcanoes, the long term opportunities for Antok and the people of the region could be made just a little bit better. FRV
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Base Camp Banyuwangi Ijen resort and villas
Banyuwangi Regency on the east coast of java offers an unrivalled and unspoilt land completely devoid of the bali holiday hordes and is just a relatively short drive and ferry ride away. Thomas Jones gets on the boat and stays at the Ijen Resort and Villas to see for himself.
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East Java the calm and peace of an evening is enhanced by the clock. Crossing from Bali into a new time zone means the hour falls back and drags the sun down with it into an early dusk, encouraging a much slower pace to the end-ofday ritual of washing, eating and preparing for bed. With no TV at Ijen Resort and Villas to keep the mind awake itâ€™s easy to find yourself retiring well before 9pm with the upside that you will be up well before the dawn, ready and raring for a hearty breakfast before taking the long drive up to the start point for the climb up to the treacherous sulphur lake of Kawah Ijen, the major volcanic drawcard in the Banyuwangi area (see story on page 64). Itâ€™s not all about climbing mountains, however, and there is plenty to do for non-adventurous types. The resort is a peaceful destination unto itself surrounded by terraced rice fields, coconut groves and tall trees with immaculate lawns and mature gardens filling the fourhectare hilltop estate. To the east the land looks down across miles of farmland to the distant sea where Bali looms on the horizon. Looking west the rice fields yield to coffee and rubber plantations and then jungle as the slope rises steeply up the sides of the many cloudshrouded volcanic peaks that dominate the eastern coast of Java.
Facing page: How much clichĂŠd tropical landscape can one take in a day?
This page: Simple Java-style villas, stone terraces, gardens and a pool with a view.
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Ijen Resort and Villas was the first luxury hotel in the area and is great base for tourists to experience a different side of Indonesia from Bali. From the hot, humid lowlands to the cool alpine forests, this resort halfway up the mountainside takes it all in and encompasses everything that is exotic about tropical geography and agriculture. Sitting anywhere in the resort and looking around one can totally understand why the Dutch took full advantage of Java’s climate to grow the world’s coffee, cacao, spices and sugar. Each of Ijen Resort’s 30 rooms is comfortable and well appointed to offer views of rice fields, rainforest or mountainside. There is no need for air conditioning at this altitude - the ceiling fan will usually suffice - and consequently
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there are very few mosquitoes. However, the cicadas start up around 4.30pm and chirp away in opposing harmonies until well after dark before the frogs take over and sing on trough the night until the sun comes up… which again is very early. But it’s no problem. Like crashing waves on the shore it is the most beautiful and natural sound to fall asleep to before rising early to either climb or not climb a mountain.
Looking west the slope rises steeply up the sides of the many cloudshrouded volcanic peaks that dominate East Java.
If you do ascend Kawah Ijen crater, however, upon returning to the resort aching muscles earned from both the ascent and bouncing
Left: A glimpse of Glenmore Restaurant through the lawns and gardens.
Below left: Glenmore at dusk. Javanese design is dominant throughout.
Below right: A view over the pool to the distant mountains.
over dodgy roads in equally dodgy four wheel drive vehicles, guests are greeted with cold towels and foot massages. Then it’s time for hot showers and a couple of hours in the inhouse spa for some serious reconditioning before taking in the resorts best feature - it’s location. Lazing away the afternoon in the gardens or by the infinity pool and enjoying the mountain views are popular afternoon activities, although swimming at 650m above sea level can be a bit of a cool challenge.
The resort is under new management and the General Manager is a very clued up individual who is committed to expanding Banyuwangi’s reach as a tourist destination. The resort can arrange tours of the surrounding area to experience its natural beauty and culture and new private villas and a yoga studio were underway on the time of the author’s visit, which promise to offer guests a more rounded trave experience in this uncharted territory.
The focal point of the resort is the Glenmore restaurant and everyone gravitates there at some point of the day, even if to just take tea and stare up at butterflies. There is an extensive menu of international and Indonesian foods along with a wide selection of wines and spirits to satisfy any weary traveler… and the beer is always cold!
If you are waant the ‘next big thing’ in travel, then this is it. It’s only a short drive and ferry ride away from Bali into the magical realm of Banyuwangi Regency. And, best of all, there’s hardly another tourist in sight. FRV
Ijen Resort and Villas Banyuwangi East Java Tel: +62 333 773 3338 www.ijendiscovery.com
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The Newly Born Cassis
The newly renovated Cassis is back in ‘ladies who lunch’ territory. 76 l FRV Travel
Text by Erza S.T. Photos by Ramadhan
a time when many fine dining restaurants in the world are changing their concept into bistronomy (a concept offering haute cuisine in a bistro setting), Cassis in Jakarta chooses to keep its fine dining status as it is and proved it by recently undergoing a million-dollar renovation last February, before finally reopening on August 13th 2011. Established in 2005, Cassis has always had a strong reputation as one of the best French dining venues in town with its romantic maroon and beige hued ambience. It was a good restaurant back then, reminiscent of a typically classy European dining establishment. The new Cassis, however, has taken us totally by surprise having said goodbye to its old colours by welcoming in black, brown, white and wooden elements instead. Cassis has been reborn into a new, seductive, stylish and elegant French fine dining restaurant that is equal to any other in Southeast Asia such as Gunther’s in Singapore or L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong.
Clockwise from top: The Chef’s Table. The new bar. And the steel framework in the open kitchen and a brand new wine cellar.
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The famous Yabu Pushelberg design studio, based in New York and Toronto who created remarkable establishments such as the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco and the Louis Vuitton boutique in Hong Kong, were responsible for creating this new design for Cassis. They have provided a breath of modernity to the restaurant without losing its classic and classy feel. They also changed Cassis’s layout resulting in a bar, two main dining rooms and three private dining rooms, one which has a chef ’s table for 10. Impressed by the new stunning interiors and design, we wondered if they had also rejuvenated the menu and the taste. Chef Stephane Simond, the person in charge of the kitchen for the last three years, has changed over half the menu and upped the ante by offering seasonal products such as white truffle. In doing so he continues his great flair for providing us with fabulous creations. Matching the beautiful and dazzling décor, Chef Stephane Simond’s cooking shows finesse, originality and great technique. He still sticks to his traditional base of French cooking, but with a modern twist. During our visit, Chef Stephane satisfied our palates all night long. We started with a classic appetizer, a petit roule of sea urchin, crabmeat and mullet bottarga served with fresh herbs salad and lemon dressing. It was
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Cassis has been reborn into a new, seductive, stylish and elegant restaurant that is the equal of any in Southeast Asia.
oozing with spring freshness and put us in high anticipation of the next course, which was roasted French pork tenderloin, foie gras and port wine gravy with pickled pistachio and walnut. Our chef ’s table experience ended with Chef Stephane’s take on the famous American red velvet cake dessert. It was cute and addictive. The fact that they take the food and service so seriously in Cassis is what has made this restaurant popular and able to survive over the years. And while this fine dining establishment is definitely not meant for those with a shallow wallet, the whole experience really is value for money and justifies what you pay at the end. For a less expensive option, try to visit during lunchtime. The lunch set menu of three or four courses, including the Cassis signature soup, comes highly recommended. FRV
Top left: A private dining room for larger groups. Centre: Chef Stephane Simond. Above: A mini red velvet cake and the magnificent roasted French pork tenderloin, foie gras with port wine gravy.
Cassis Restaurant Pavilion Apartment Jl. K.H. Mas Mansyur Kav. 24 Jakarta Phone: +6221 5794 1500
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