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IDR 48.000 - SGD $10.50 - HKD $55.00 - MYR RM26.00 - AUD $10.00 - TWD $230 - THB 190

fine restaurants and villas | bali & southeast asian style & travel | edition 6.6, apr may ‘10 Rp. 48.000

B A L I - J A K A R T A - S I N G A P O R E - T H A I L A N D - H O N G


K O N G - A U S T R A L I A



ju-ma-na kembang goela nerovivo tipling club white rabbit meradelima

Dive Papua

get away in a diver’s paradise

Farah Quinn

Saigon Tet

sfasdfn dfagarqw sdffjf

indonesia’s stunning celebrity chef

Rp. 48.000


a fashionista’s escape

Spas in the Region

bali’s ayana, bandung’s jiwa, malaysia’s ritz carlton Fine Restaurants & Villas l 1

design food architecture fashion ar t wine restaurants

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CONTENTS On The Cover:

The vivacious and decidedly delicious Farah Quinn, Indonesia’s first glamorous TV celebrity chef. Photo Ramadhan.

26 New Villas in Koh Samui

58 Life’s a Beach

42 Ju-Ma-Na… A Sequence Of Surprises

96 Saigon Tet

Set on the cliffs of southern Bali Banyan Tree Ungasan’s signature restaurant, Ju-ma-na is contemporary fine dining with an Asian twist.

Thomas Jones heads to Saigon for the New Year celebrations and revels in a bit of socialism, capitalism and hedonism.

46 Ala Chef Farah Quinn

106 Swimming with the Fishes

FRV again highlights the best new villas in the region and this edition features Koh Samui.

A new era has begun. Erza ST discovers the TV cooking sensation that is Farah Quinn.

FRV visits the Amanpuri in Phuket and finds it still living up to its name and reputation.

Thomas Jones steps aboard the Cheng Ho for 12 days of cruising through Raja Ampat in Indonesia for a dive trip of a life time.


Walls of glass and white interiors. The Banyan Tree’s cliffhanger Ju-Ma-Na. Fine Restaurants & Villas l 5



24 Quality Dining at an Old Favorite

Trauts re-checks Hu’u Nutmegs restaurant in Seminyak.

50 The Sense of Belonging

Ve Handojo finds nostalgia and familiarity while on a revisit to Jakarta’s Kembang Goela.

54 No Place Like JIA

The tranquil and stylish JIA Hotel wins over FRV’s Melanie Lee on a recent visit to Hong Kong.

68 Catching the Tide


The six bedroom sanctuary on the beach in Tabanan, Villa Babar.


A fashionista’s visit to the capital of the fashion world, Milan.

Kuala Lumpur’s new High Tide fine-dining seafood restaurant brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘fresh’.

74 Méradelima: Delicious Indonesian-Chinese Goes South Jakarta

Ve Handojo once again is in a nostalgic mood visiting a new Indonesian-Chinese restuarant, Méradelima.

78 Epicurean Wonderland at The White Rabbit

Melanie Lee takes a trip down the rabbit hole and comes out grinning like a Cheshire cat.

82 A Coffee Shop with Cheesecake To Die For

Besides the stylish decor and ambience Erza ST finds a rather delightful cheesecake at the Bel Piatto Restaurant.


Six Degree Architects and the rejuvenation of Melbourne’s Riverland.

92 Sensational, Innovative and Very Italian

Thomas Jones tries the unpretentious, yet full of life, Italian restaurant Nerovivo in Kuala Lumpur.


The place to reignite your love for food and drink, Singapore’s Tippling.

Bits & Pieces 13 Overnight Jakarta 40 Overnight Tokyo 66 Health 72 Beverages 120 FRV Zodiac 140 FRV Listings 144 Last Word - 158

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102 Top of the Town

If you think you have tried the most expensive drink in town you better try a sunset cocktail in the 45th floor Lobby Bar of the Ritz Carlton in Midtown, Tokyo.

114 Wabi-Sabi… A Beauty of Things Imperfect, Impermanent and Incomplete Joanna Cutri’s artwork speaks of impermanence and Rachel Love speaks to her about the here and now.

132 Spa Time

What makes the world’s best spa? Emma Westwood asks the question and the Ayana Spa gives the answer. The Hilton Bandung’s Jiwa Spa and The Spa Village Kuala Lumpur also have their say.

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PT Kub u Dua Me d ia J l. Petitenget 12A, Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia Te l. +62 361 746 3751/52. Fa x. +62 361 847 5458 email: www.fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om Dire c tor Guna wa n I nd rob a skoro Graphics Coordinator Sya ffri Soe wa rd i (artwork@fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om) Gra phic s Te guh Ana nta , Anike P (I llustra tions) Photogra phy Moc h. Sulthon, R a ma d ha n, Da rre n Soh Distribution Nyoman Rupma Ii n I nd ra p utra , I c ul, Ma d e i nfo@fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om F ina nc e Sri W ita ri, B a gus Oka

more tales of buildings and food

Ma rk e ting E nstina ( Administra tion Eli, Ya ti, Yuni Contributors Ve Ha nd ojo, Da vid Tra uts, Erza ST, Me la nie Le e , R a c he l Love , Thoma s Jone s, He rma n Von Be r nha rd i Agua yo, Rina ld i, Ke nny Sa nta na . Subsc ription Yearly subscription available in Indonesia - Rupiah 250,000 Conta c t: sub sc rib e @fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om Send e-mail to the above for details. Consulting Stua rt D W ilford (stua rt@fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om) Le ga l Assoc ia te s 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: 0361- 242447, 247302, 08123924509. FRV ma ga z ine is a n inde pe nde nt, bi-monthly public a tion Ne xt e dition de a dline Ma y 10, 2010

Fi n e R e s t a u r a n t s a n d V i l l a s 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 . N o p a r t o f th is m a ga zin 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. A l 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 th ose of th e pu blish e r s. F in e Re sta u r a n ts a n d V illa s m a ga zin e is pr in te d by P T M e g a In da h (T: 021-6190529) a n d distr ibu te d by; P T K u bu Du a M e dia (I n don e sia ), P e r iplus Ja va Book s (I n don e sia ), P T I n doprom (I n don e sia ), F ore ign P re ss (H on g K on g), P a n s i n g D i s t r i b u t i o n ( S i n g a p o re a n d M a l a y s i a ) a n d N a t i o n B o o k s I n t e r n a t i o n a l ( T h a i l a n d ) . Con 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 .

F RV M agazi n e

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E di ti on 6 . 6

A pr - M ay ‘ 1 0


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Editor’s Thought is it the destination or the journey? Luxury villas and the lifestyles that go with them are an envious way

much and others so little, but in the end, we all seem to be basically

of life. Just imagine laying by your pool reading the newspaper

the same. This luxurious lifestyle is quite the life to aspire to and

-or this magazine for that matter - in the morning, sipping on your

here in Indonesia it is very acheivable for many. Life is what you

espresso, one suger will suffice, the sun shining down on your

make it and I’ve found through my experience that the more you

shoulders in your tropical paradise and not having a care in the

listen and follow what other people say the less chance there is of

world, before moving along to the most fashionable restaurant in

having the lifestyle you wish to acheive. We have great pleasure in

town for your lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. This is the life for some

making this magazine, it’s a magazine that comes from a group of

and I’d imagine the life of many of you reading this editorial. It’s

special people to me that keep their eyes open and take chances

definitely the life we have on assignment and many have while on

when they come their way. Just like our own lives we don’t know

holiday. Achieving this lifestyle can be a life long process of hard

exactly where it’s all going, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it is one

work and tears for some or on the other side, can be achieved by

hell of a road trying to get there. Here’s cheers to the lifestyle, get it

simply being born into it. One meets and sees many people from

while you can, friends.

many walks of life, and I always find it amazing how some have so

David Trauts Correspondent, English. Trauts has been enjoying a touch of domestic bliss lately. This is all well and good but having to mix it up with the new Beat Jakarta magazine, the old Bali edition and then pulling this FRV together does complicate things a tad. Here’s cheers to happiness and the three virtues and may we all reach the place we hope to go. FRV Travel is just one part of it.

Erza S.T. Erza S.T. is an opera lover and producer in Indonesia who also shares a great passion In fine dining and travelling. He travels around the globe to find uniquely designed hotels and the best culinary that a city can offer. His last journey took him from Arab lands to the Mediterranean searching for new experiences. He believes that life is perfect if mixed with great food, great wine and great music.


Ve Handojo Approaching his birthday in April, Ve Handojo has a lot of age-related problems going on in his mind, hence his growing fond of healthier Indonesian food in Kembang Goela, and Chinese in Méradelima. He even seeks some soulful redemption in Jiwa Spa, Bandung. As his birthday gift, tell people to follow him in http://www.

Rachel Love Told by a fortuneteller 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.

Melanie Lee Singapore Correspondent, Singapore. Melanie has written freelance for an array of publications including Singapore Women’s Weekly, Teens and TODAY (a daily newspaper). She is currently teaching writing and communications at a polytechnic in Singapore. In her free time, Melanie loves eating, traveling and meeting interesting people - which is why she absolutely loves writing for FRV!

Thomas Jones After taking five plane trips so far this year to the four corners of East Asia, taking in two new countries and three new cities along the way, Thomas found 12 days on a sailing boat, without cell phones or internet, to be the most exciting luxury the digital age has had to offer so far.

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Villa Belong Dua A new luxury villa in Canggu’s Seseh area is now open for rent. Villa Belong Dua is an enchanting two-bedroom holiday villa in Bali, located in the heart of the tiny fishing and temple village of Seseh on the southwest coast. Resting on 1,600 square metres of land in a beautiful, walled garden complete with 20-metre swimming pool, the traditional architecture and artefacts celebrate the heritage of Bali, incorporating all the symbolic elements of Balinese Hinduism. A series of five stand-alone pavilions are positioned in accordance with ancient cosmology, while the interiors are contemporary, stylish and romantic, incorporating both modern and antique furnishings as well as 21st century facilities. This includes WiFi internet access, LCD screen satellite channel TVs and DVD players, an iPod and three docking stations, and European kitchen equipment.

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Bistro Baron French home inside a mall. the Success of Capocaccia has driven PennyRoos to open the Bistro Baron, their second restaurant, in Plaza Indonesia Extension. The idea is to serve popular French, not-so-fine dining dishes – the onion soup, the duck confit, the cote de beouf, etc – in a casual setting. Imagine your average street side French bistro relocated inside a luxurious shopping mall in Jakarta. Chef Emmanuel Stroobant – previously helming the kitchen of The Fig Leaf Singapore, and consulting for 7atenine in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore)– will give a starting boost to Bistro Baron as Consulting Chef. His menu concept will go along with the style of the interiors – simple with a homemade feel. And, where else do Jakartans feel at home but a shopping mall?

Plaza Indonesia Extension Level 1, Unit E20-21 Jalan MH Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta Pusat 13350 Tel: +62 21 2992 3505

Marrying Hotels and Shopping Malls Harris Hotel opens a new business in Kelapa Gading. Combining shopping malls and hotels seems to be a new trend in Jakarta. After the great success of marrying Plaza Indonesia and Grand Hyatt Jakarta over 20 years ago, and Kempinski and Grand Indonesia recently, now Kelapa Gading Mall and La Piazza Lifestyle Center have followed the trend in tandem with Harris Hotel in Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. Opened in February, 2010, this is the second Harris Hotel that Tauzia Hotel Management has opened in Jakarta after their previous in the Tebet area. As well as being a great place to stay or have a meal when visiting Jakarta the new

Harris Hotel is also family-friendly as they have their own special kids club called “Happy Feet” (their own style of course) dedicated to the hotel guest’s children so parent’s can relax and enjoy their time there. It seems that this newly-opened four star property may really lift the profile of the Kelapa Gading area into a better business district. Despite the intolerable traffic and the annual flooding, the area is still known as one of the busiest retail districts in Jakarta. To have a decent hotel in this area will surely help bring kudos to the streets.

EASTER COLLECTION AT METIS METIS has created a lavish and delectable selection of Easter Eggs for the coming season. The entire MÉTIS Easter Collection 2010 has been exclusively designed and made with French imported Chocolate Valhrona. Dark Chocolate Caraïbee is a blend of Grand Crus from a small plantation along the Caribbean Sea. It has exceptional warm nutty notes and a soft aroma of nuts on the palate. The composition is 66% minimum cocoa, 33% sugar with 40% fat. Caraïbe can be applied in almost all chocolate application, cremeux and more. Jivara Chocolate Milk known as the “Cream of Cocoa” is composed of 40% minimum cocoa, 33% sugar, 23.5% fresh milk with 41% fat. Creamy with a powerful cocoa taste and notes of vanilla and malt taste, Jivara is used in all chocolate applications. The chocolate used for their Green Tea Chocolate line, is an Ivory Valrhona. And it will change your life! For orders please contact Karina at +62 361 737 888 14 l Fine Restaurants & Villas


BCP WINNER I Wayan Wicaya Of Bulgari Bali Resort wins Global Chef Title. R eturning home to Bali with one of the culinary world’s most prestigious prizes, I Wayan Wicaya, the winner of the Global Chefs Challenge 2010, was greeted enthusiastically by friends, family and colleagues in February. The Global Chefs Challenge is the largest single chefs competition in the world, sponsored by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and entered by 88 countries in seven continental regional finals. “Winning the

title of Global Chef is one of the highlights of my career. I remembered to stay calm and focused and just did my best. It was an amazing experience and I am very happy for myself and for my colleagues who have supported me and given me the confidence to take on this great challenge,” said Wayan, Executive Sous chef of Bulgari. Joining Wicaya as his aid was the BCP’s first scholarship student, Alex Tanuhardja, who currently is a Commis Chef at Buglari Hotel in Bali, and the current President of the Bali Young Chefs Club. There was a wine pairing competition running in tangent with the Global Chef Challenge where each Global Chef was allowed to Taste eight premiere Chilean wines and pair three of the eight with their menu. Indonesia also won this award, creating a clean sweep for Wicaya and Indonesia.

Nirwana Bali Resort becomes the first integrated Pan Pacific resort in Asia Pan Pacific comes to Bali’s ruggedly beautiful southwest coast. The five-star Le Meridien Nirwana Bali Resort will be rebranded to Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort from the first of April 2010, following the signing of the management agreement with Pan Pacific Hotels Group on 9 February 2010 in Jakarta. “Pan Pacific has a long-standing reputation for premium hospitality steeped in a culture of personalised care, delicate service and attention to detail,” said Henu Kusdaryono,

President Director & CEO of PT Bali Nirwana Resort. “We are confident that under the Pan Pacific brand, the resort will create new and unique experiences for our guests.” The expansive 103-hectare resort is located on Bali’s magnificent southwest coast and features spectacular views of the island’s volcanic mountains and the Indian Ocean. Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort will be Pan Pacific Hotel Group’s second hotel in Indonesia.

Tirtha Elements of Style Jazz and fine food is just part of what Tirtha Bridal offers. Tirtha Bali held a special evening in February, showcasing everything needed to plan the perfect wedding or social occasion in Bali with attendance by many of the top media, wedding planners, event organizers, and hoteliers from around the country. Tirtha Luhur offers one of Bali’s most stunning wedding locations located right next to the Indian Ocean and for the evening’s dining experience, Tirtha’s Michelin Chef, Mr. Hikaru Take, presented a stunning five-course French-fusion menu. Dinner was followed by an intimate jazz performance by Tirtha’s entertainment director from Tokyo, Ms. Chika Asamoto, who performed with Ning Baizura, a Malaysian pop and R&B singer while invitees enjoyed cocktails in the prepared jazz lounge. The event was a luxurious and opulent affair demonstrating all that Tirtha Bridal had to offer. Fine Restaurants & Villas l 15


THE 2010 TRIP ADVISOR TRAVELERS CHOICE AWARDS The 2010 Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Awards have been announced, the team at Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali are celebrating. Within three months of opening, the resort was rated the number 1 hotel in Tuban, Bali on Trip Advisor. With the announcement of the 2010 Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Awards, Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali has had its status as a trend setting newcomer in Bali confirmed having been chosen in the Top 10 Trendiest Hotels in Asia and Top 10 Relaxation and Spa Hotels in Asia. Trip Advisor is one of the most trusted travel review sites in the world and the results of the Travelers Choice Awards are based on millions of real travellers reviews and opinions. General Manager Stephane Varoquier said, “We’re very proud to be recognized as one of the most trendiest and relaxing hotels in Asia, the fact that the awards come after only being open for nine months makes us even prouder and more determined to continue our quest in becoming a “great hotel guests love”

JIHA christmas charity Not sending last year’s Christmas cards had very positive effects. The members of the Executive Committee of Jakarta International Hotels Association (JIHA) recently presented the money collected during the JIHA Christmas Charity project to three worthy charities. Members of JIHA decided to contribute to protecting the environment by not sending Season’s Greetings cards to their clients in 2009. With support from more than 20 publications in Jakarta, the association instead placed prominent advertisements explaining the charitable program and wishing clients a joyful festive season and a prosperous 2010. A total of Rp120 million was saved by member hotels not sending the cards, and this money was presented to the Indonesian Care for Cancer Kid Foundation which provides every child with cancer the best access to treatment and care, Yayasan Citra Baru that helps children and young people with cranio-facial surgery and the Emmanuel Foundation which provides free food and education for malnourished children and scavenger communities.

Oxtail Soup Goes to the Mall Borobudour’s famous Bogor Cafe to open in Pacific Place. Who doesn’t know about the legendary oxtail soup from the famous Hotel Borobudur Jakarta coffee shop Bogor Cafe? Even from my childhood, my parents would take me to this hotel just to have their delicious oxtail soup, or sop buntut. It is so addictive and you will definitely be craving it again and again once you’ve tried it. Perhaps it is the spices in the soup or the scrumptiousness of the oxtail itself that keeps us returning. If you are in this group of oxtail lovers then we have good news for you. The Hotel Borobudur Jakarta has informed us that they are going to reach for the wider market by having their first ever branch open soon in Pacific Place. According to the latest news it will have a more casual atmosphere without losing it’s original taste. This is definitely good news for people who are living in the South Jakarta area, as it is now closer and easier to get this yummy oxtail soup without having to struggle all the way to the hotel. FRV looks forward to the opening of this restaurant. The name is Bogor Café (like the original in the hotel) and if all goes well, they plan to open it by mid-May 2010.

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IFFINA 2010 Exceeds the Target The result was so positive that now they will do it again in October. The International Furniture and Craft Fair Indonesia (IFFINA) 2010, which was held in March was a great success. Value of transactions during the four-day exhibition exceeded the target and IFFINA is booked to be held again in October 2010.

New Face at Breeze

Ambar Tjahjono, Chairman of the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry Association (Asmindo) announced that the transactions that occurred within the three-day exhibition reached US$317 million, while the number of international buyers who came to the event reached more than

2,700 and came from more than 105 countries. Local buyers or traders were estimated to be around 1000. This achievement triggered enough optimism for Asmindo to announce that the IFFINA exhibition will be held again on October 13-16, 2009 at the JIExpo Kemayoran. But unlike IFFINA in March, which is an international focused exhibition, IFFINA in October will be an Asian furniture exhibition and the timing also coincides with the launch of ‘The national furniture month’ by Asmindo. IFFINA looks set for bigger things in the future.

Dean Keddell, who needs no introduction in Bali dining circles after his tenure at Ritz-Carlton Jimbaran, has taken over the reins of the kitchen at ‘Breeze at The Samaya’. This unique hotspot in Seminyak dining, where guests can enjoy gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean, and some of the best sunsets in Bali, should only get better with the advent of this master chef.

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The Passion of Chef Mark Long The Latest Addition in Grand Hyatt Jakarta Team. The Grand Hyatt Jakarta has a new kid on the block. Not just any kid, but actually a great chef named Mark Long, who is now the Executive Chef of this renowned five star establishment. He is also the one responsible for all the delicious delicacies during the Grand Hyatt reopening event of the new Fountain Lounge.

journey at the tender age of 15 by working in various positions in several well-known hotel chains in Europe before finally obtaining a position as Executive Sous Chef at the Edwardian International Hotel in the UK.

With his creativity and superb experience, Chef Mark Long has made a chili chocolate cake that is now becoming one of the most famous signature cakes in Fountain Lounge. He started his culinary

We are convinced that we will see a lot more great surprises from him in the future at Grand Hyatt Jakarta. So far, the chili cake is more than convincing enough for us to know how good he is.

Many great recognitions have been given to him from various media such as Gourmet Traveller as well as Vogue Entertaining + Travel for his fantastic skill and passion. Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher and Al Gore are some of the worldrenowned celebrities who have tasted Chef Mark’s excellent cooking. “It is purely passion, the adrenalin rush and the excitement that makes me love my job so much,” Mark says.


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Fountain Lounge: Springs Youthful Spirit Ve Handojo visits the newly-revamped Fountain Lounge, and instantly feels like a British lady – the only one in the village. Some of my most personal experiences have taken place in Fountain Lounge – from a heartwarming Christmas, witnessing demonstrations on the Bunderan HI, being a debutante in a super-discreet local queer society, to roleplaying “Sex & The City” with my friends over a delicious plate of chicken spring rolls. I grew up, and got tired of the annoying Carrie Bradshaw, and my friends were hitched, and busy with husbands and children. Demonstrations around the Bunderan HI got less and less important, and Christmas shied away from the crowds, and moved back to Mother’s dining table. It’s a part of my life when I felt I had no more reason to hang out in Fountain Lounge. Elegantly, Grand Hyatt Jakarta understood this, and decided to click the refresh button on Fountain Lounge. For one full month, the lounge with a million-dollar view over the 14-billion Rupiah fountain in Bunderan HI received a facelift treatment from Grain and Green, a leading international architecture and interior design firm. The next thing I knew, gone are those masculine and elegant couches – replaced by pretty, maroon-colored sofas with curvy heads. Seatings by the window are slightly modified. With table-side lamps, the atmosphere is made more homey and warm. The new Fountain Lounge has been redirected into more of a beautiful place for aunties,

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mothers, and Burberry-dressed young ladies, leaving no trace of machismo at all. The good news spread, and my friends are more than excited to have a reunion in Fountain Lounge. The more girlie the place is, the more reason their husbands for not joining – and, that is good. For us, at least. By tea time, we are already a bunch of pseudo-British ladies, chitt-chatting around just anything insignificant while sipping French’s Damman tea selection, or that famous frozen Earl Grey lemon and mint leaves tea. The dessert trolley includes the irresistible Chocolate Chili Cake. Post high-tea, it’s time for the oyster trolley to stop by next to our table, and sundowners and martinis welcome the evening. A vocal ensemble has replaced a chamber orchestra to sing out some nostalgic tunes. The new Fountain Lounge breathes a youthful spirit that will inspire. The facelift is a design-botox to make it an evergreen lady. Fountain Lounge lives on as the envy of other five-star hotels in the city. Fountain Lounge Grand Hyatt Jakarta Jl. MH Thamrin Kav. 28-30 Jakarta Pusat 10350 Tel: +62 21 3901234

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new at the bookstore Editions Didier Millet, prolific publishers of beautiful volumes on tropical lifestyles and fascinating lives, have recently released three new books for connoisseurs of all things Asian. Javanese Antique Furniture and Folk Art The David B. Smith and James Tirtoprodjo Collections By Bruce Carpenter This new compendium compiled by Bruce Carpenter is a complete guide on Central and East Javanese furniture and folk art. Before this book, the quirky, enigmatic and uniquely beautiful art and furnishings of Central and East Java’s villages were little known to the art historians, museum curators and collectors of the world. The main distinguishing features of this folk art are revealed in this book—bright, bold colours; naïve forms and compositions; flattened perspectives; anonymous origins; functionality; humour and social affliction. Carpenter and David B. Smith have written a complete and exhaustive commentary on the subject backed up with beautiful photos and lay-out design. Javanese folk art is the product of a complex and ancient culture renowned for its ability to pick and choose from the outside world while creating completely original, and undeniably, Javanese styles. Javanese Antique Furniture and Folk Art captures the fundamentals of this art form beautifully.

Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery In this landmark publication, Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery, which accompanied the exhibition of the same name, notable archaeologist and scholar John N. Miksic (NUS) reconstructs a vivid image of the development of Southeast Asia’s unique ceramics. Along with three contributing authors —Pamela M. Watkins, Dawn F. Rooney, and Michael Flecker—he summarises the fruits of their research in the last 40 years, beginning with the founding of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society (SEACS) in Singapore in 1969. The result is a comprehensive and insightful overview of the technology, aesthetics and organisation, both economic and political, of seemingly diverse territories in pre-colonial Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery is essential reading not only for those with an interest in the economic history of the region but for all who seek a better understanding of the brilliant but too often underestimated material culture of our forefathers.

Journey From Paris to Java Honoré de Balzac, the renowned French novelist and playwright, and one of the pioneers of literary realism, makes a short fantasy diversion to the mystical island of Java, where he, or rather the narrator, encounters a deadly poison-breathing tree, civilized monkeys, love-sick sparrows and that epitome of Oriental desirability of his day – the women of Java. Written just before he started on the multi-volume La Comédie humaine, this charmingly small work was nevertheless much loved by Balzac himself and it provides a captivating glimpse of the breadth of his imagination.

E d i t i o n s D i d i e r Mi l l e t Jl.ByPass NgurahRai No.96B/331 Sanur,Bali80228,Indonesia Tel: + 6 2 3 6 1 2 8 4 1 5 3 w w w. e d m b o o k s . c o m These books are available in all good book stores.

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Quality Dining at an

Old Favorite FRV Travel re-checks Hu’u Nutmegs, one of Bali’s better restaurants and entertainment venues. Text: Trauts Photo: Sulthon

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u’u Nutmegs still remains in the top five, free-standing restaurants in Bali. It has evolved over the years since opening in December 2001 with the outdoor garden and bar space expanding and developing, creating one of the finest outdoor dining areas on the island. I have been a regular diner at Nutmegs and a great fan over that time and for me there are many reasons to continue returning. Tucked away on a bend at the start of Jalan Petitenget a first time visitor would be surprised as to what lays behind the entrance. Passing the car to the valet parking staff we made our way through the front

door welcomes and into the main room of Hu’u - the venue of many a large bash in the history of Bali nightlife, and onto the rear decking of the dining area. Frangipani trees delicately lit by fairy lights line the main dining area with solid timber, white cloth-draped tables and chairs sweeping from the timber deck and swimming pool area to the outer garden dining area. There’s space for many in their dining area. In the wet season this whole zone is covered by white marquees adding to the whole fairy tale atmosphere and in the dry the stars shine above like summer fireflies.

I recall the chef, Phil Mimbimi once telling me he always chose a carbonara to test a new restaurant and chef, so I had to give the carbonara a try. loves his food and his cooking, and his time spent at some of the best restaurants in many parts of Southeast Asia has given him the insights required for his predominantly Southeast Asian, Jakarta included, clientele. Hu’u has always been a bastion of Singapore in Bali and remains that way to this day.

The menus are placed before us and water is served while the waiter takes us through the specials of the day. I chose a salad, a charred romaine with shaved pecorino romano, anchovy fillet, with a lemongrass chili dressing salad, no less, and one of the specials, a fettuccini carbonara. My partner goes for another salad, a portobella tempura rocket salad tossed in a pinenut truffle vinaigrette, and a lemongrass skewered tuna with wok-seared Asian greens, purple potato, and passionfruit sauce. We weren’t particularly hungry and I recall the chef, Phil Mimbimi once telling me he always chose a carbonara to test a new restaurant and chef, so I had to give the carbonara a try. Wine was chosen and poured, conversation and cigarettes were ignited and we were once again heading down the path of another great Hu’u dining experience.

There weren’t a lot of people in the restaurant for a Saturday night. Hu’u Nutmegs is not the busiest restaurant in town by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have its staunch regulars. They come from far and wide and, like me, from just around the corner. They come for the good service, the elegant surroundings and the delicious food. They also come for the nightlife that the club offers. Some people might not come because of the prices, and in particular the wines prices, but they do have an exceptional selection of wines in the cellar. Mark Wee, bar manager and sommelier, can definitely point guests in the right direction in that regard. The food, though, is well-priced for what you get and the menu is large, well-balanced, creative in concept and made from the finest ingredients available. Let there be no mistake about that. Chef Mimbimi

Our dishes came out and as always were delicious. Our salads were divine. It’s not often one gets excited about salads, but mine in particular, was excellent and substantial with such an explosive combination of crispy, slightly charred salad, cheese, anchovy and such a tasty sauce. My partner’s main happened to be one of our all time favorites out of Mimbimi’s kitchen and didn’t let us down again. Now, for the carbonara. I wasn’t very keen on one of the chef ’s pastas on a previous occasion (a rigatoni of some sort) so I was very pleased to find that he had nailed it; it was perfect variety straight out of the hills of northern Italy. There are a great variety of dishes on the menu to choose from—meat, fish and more—and one can also ask the chef to make a special tasting menu on any occasion, which can always be fun. Now, is there time for a little boogie inside the club? Why not? The club was filling up and the sounds were beginning to pump. Hu’u Nutmegs is the one stop shop in quality high-end and secure Bali dining and entertainment. FRV

Hu’u Nutmegs Jalan Petitenget Oberoi, Seminyak, Bali Tel: +62 361 736 574

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kOH SAMUI IS ANOTHER HOT SPOT for LUXURY VILLA DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. THESE ARE THE LATEST TO APPEAR IN THE THAI ISLAND. SEVEN OF THE NEWEST AND BEST Ban Suriya Villa, translated as “The Sunshine House”, sits on Lipa Noi (Little Palm) beach on the peaceful, southwest coast of Koh Samui. Lipa Noi is regarded as the most unspoilt and best swimming beach on the island. Ban Suriya Villa is a deluxe, contemporary style villa, almost exclusively in white, contrasted by the use of vibrant colours and accents and is undoubtedly a stylish paradise. The villa features superb tropical gardens and extremely spacious accommodation, comprised of a large main living villa with six en-suite bedrooms, plus a gym and games annex. The villa sleeps up to 16 and has four full-time staff including a chef, ensuring your stay at Ban Suriya Villa to be superbly luxurious and relaxing.

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Location: Lipa Noi beach, southwest coast Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 6 Swimming Pool: 20m Price: US$1,450 up to 1,900

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Baan Jakawan is a very large, seven-bedroom property, but it’s more than just another high-end villa. Set high on the prestigious and exclusive Narayan Heights area, it not only maximizes the outstanding views, but also creates a home that will always continue to excite and amaze. The pavilions which make up this property have wooden shingle, Thai temple-styled roofs, giving an almost regal appearance. Each of the large and extravagant rooms are fully air-conditioned, featuring ensuite bathrooms and satellite TV. A unique feature of the property is the large unchlorinated infinity pool, which starts off as a rectangular shape but then slowly joins a narrower strip linking it to a round pool which is divided by a Thai sala pavilion. With so many rooms and private areas within the lushly landscaped grounds, add to that the stunning sea view location, this is the perfect villa for friends and families to share the holiday of a lifetime.

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Location: East coast Bedrooms: 7 Bathrooms: 7 Swimming Pool: Two. One Rectangular. One round Price: US$1,000 to 2,500

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The first impression you get when approaching this villa is one of style, class and quality. This is confirmed and enhanced with each and every room you enter. The villa sits majestically at the top of a gentle mountainside and has magnificent views over the floating temples of Wat Plai Laem and out across the ocean. The main living space features walls and floors of white terrazzo, set off nicely by door and window frames painted in a white lime effect, as has the high-vaulted wooden ceilings. A natural balance is provided by black counterpoints such as chandeliers and mirror frames. The five bedrooms continue the theme of the blank white canvas accentuated with black accessories, all with simply breathtaking ensuite bathrooms. The villa also features a private cinema room with seating for 12 people, an in-house spa, and an outdoor BBQ and bar area.

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Location: Between Choeng Mon and Chaweng beach Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 5 Swimming Pool: 18m Price: US$ 900 to 1,800

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Baan Asan sits on the beach in one of the island’s most exclusive areas. The property is a mix of modern architectural features and furnishings with just the right amount of Asian touches to create a stunningly stylish villa. The villa has six bedrooms, two in the pavilions that flank the pool (both have separate children’s room with two bunk-beds and a private en-suite shower room which makes them perfect for families), and the remaining four sit on either side of the magnificent infinity-edged swimming pool, which runs through the middle of the villa towards the sea. All guest suites are fitted with a lounge area, en-suite bathrooms, walk-in closets and plasma TVs. Baan Asan also features a fully-equipped kitchen and a carpeted TV and game room. Simply paradise.

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Location: Taling Ngam, west coast Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 6 Swimming Pool: 20m x 5m lap pool Price: US$ 1,450 to 2,200

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The Cove is a large and highly contemporary beachfront villa with its very own secluded beach. This villa provides everything you would expect at a leading five-star resort but with the added exclusivity of having all of the facilities to yourself and lies only minutes away from the buzz of Chaweng and only 5 minutes from the airport. It features five luxury en-suite bedrooms plus a huge children’s dorm and adjacent twin room ideal for a nanny. It also has a gym, TV room, outdoor cinema, extensive tropical gardens, in-villa dining, a pool, and the beach is only footsteps away, ensuring that you never have to leave the villa at all. The Cove’s spacious layout blends beautifully with the stunning natural environment and beachside location to provide the ultimate holiday experience.

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Location: Between Choeng Mon and Chaweng beach Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 5 Swimming Pool: 22m Infinity edge pool Price: US$ 1,250 to 1,750

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One of the most exclusive, prestigious and private properties in Samui is the Headland 1 Villa, with its magnificent views of the Five Islands and sunsets over the Ang Thong National Marine Park, visible from the outdoor patio and pool, make this a great place to relax and getaway in privacy. The villa has two fully air-conditioned bedrooms, with the first master suite sporting a four-poster bed whilst the adjacent room is a mirror image, except it’s a twin, meaning it is a great family destination villa. Each room features en-suite bathrooms with large rainfall showers. If extra space is required, this villa can be rented in conjunction with other villas available within the estate. The privacy, exclusivity and atmosphere of the property is unmatched and a stay here is a truly memorable experience.

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Location: west coast Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2 Swimming Pool: 22m Infinity edge pool Price: US$430 up to 690

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Villa M is a lovely townhouse villa. It is full of charm and character but also loaded with modern conveniences. On top of this, the five-bedroom villa has all the benefits of being right on the beach as well as being at the quiet end of Fisherman’s Village with its popular street of restaurants and bars. Being new the stark white walls, furniture and fixtures looked striking, which with all the memorabilia, gives a really pleasant colonial touch. Villa M has definitely struck the jackpot in the location stakes and as a result has stunning views over the bay. An absolute beachside stunner with handy access to the ocean and all that makes Samui famous.

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Location: Bo Phut Beach Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 5 Swimming Pool: 6.5M x 3.5m Price: US$ 825.00 - US$ 1,200.00

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Hotel Millennium Sirih Jakarta Thomas Jones We arrived very late enroute to Bali, and needed to stay over in Jakarta, so didn’t manage to check in at the Hotel Millennium Sirih Jakarta until about 1.15am. The cleaning crews were in action in the grandly-built lobby, but that was no problem - they have to work sometime. The concierge was there to greet us with a smile, knowing our pre-booked names and, in an act of generosity that didn’t go unnoticed, we were given a complimentary upgrade to the Club Level, and all within less than five minutes. The hotel’s central location is ideal for business and pleasure, being only five minutes from the CBD. The nearest shopping mall is only five minutes away on foot while the Plaza Indonesia and the Grand Indonesia’s highclass shopping, American chain restaurants and movie viewing pleasure will only require a short taxi ride. It’s 30 minutes from the airport on a clear run, but then again, everywhere in central Jakarta is. The hotel is well outfitted for all comers. Business conferences, weddings, parties and banquets in any one of their 18 function rooms, accommodating from as few 40 l Fine Restaurants & Villas

as 12 people right up to 1500, with lots of size variety in between. There is a fitness centre and a spa, sauna and steam room which was a great place for lazing around once the rains chased us from the poolside terrace. The hotel has three restaurants to suit many tastes, The Lobby Lounge for snacks and breakfasts, Café Sirih for Indonesian, Chinese and Western cuisine, and Matsu, their Japanese restaurant where you can watch the sushi masters at work. The verdict: The hotel was built in 1994 so is a bit old by city standards and the aging process is starting to break through the facade with cracks in the plaster and bad caulking and paint finishes. Looking up at the hotel from the swimming pool the outside looks very much in need of some love. Like a lot of hotels, I wish that the Club Lounge would be just that…a lounge. This one is not much more than a private breakfast room with three tables and a nice view. They have all the newspapers and private exclusivity but a couple of sofas would help this place live up to its name and make it worth spending time in.

The rooms are clean and comfortable and the beds soft, big and perfectly conducive to a good night’s sleep. The bathroom was small, yet clean and adequate with full amenities and some seriously good shower pressure. Not bad for less than US$70 dollars a night, including breakfast (and the chance of an upgrade) and a very passable choice for a night or two in the big smoke. Helpful hint: when it comes time to check out, take the hotel car to the airport. It’s the same price as a taxi and infinitely more comfortable and stylish. FRV

Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta Jalan Fachrudin 3 Jakarta 10250 Indonesia Tel: +62 21 230 3636 millenniumjakarta/

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Upscale gastronomic energy greets guests at Ju-ma-na, Banyan Tree Ungasan’s signature restaurant, set amid the rocky splendour of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula. BY RACHEL LOVE



W Left: A glasssided edifice overlooking the ocean. Above: The alfresco dining terrace.

ith an intoxicating view of the Indian Ocean, Ju-ma-na stands proud like the white pearl after which it takes its name. The contemporary architecture showcases walls of glass bordered by a cliff-hanging terrace for alfresco dining, while the air-conditioned interior is characterised by pale timbers, an ivory décor, and an open, interactive kitchen with a low service counter on four sides. Swish, custom-made furnishings include leather sofas, chaises longues and padded director’s chairs. The tables are set with adorable amenities, such as glass tags with guests’ names and

charming seashell dishes holding salt and pepper. Handbag stands are delivered to the ladies, and copper basins and jugs filled with lukewarm rosewater are offered for a Japanese-style hand-washing ceremony. The ladies are presented with white menus and the gentleman with black. Anticipation runs high. Funky touches continue through the dining experience with novelty factors and an impeccable standard of service that guests won’t forget. “The intention is to go that extra mile and exceed expectations,” explains F & B Director Johannes Rabl. “A restaurant needs more than just good food,

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so we’re not targeting a high volume of customers at any one time. Our style is young, modern, hip and easy going, with absolutely no compromise on quality.” The evolving menu introduces light dishes that reflect the surroundings, plenty of seafood and natural ingredients, but nothing that might pose a threat to the survival of a species; you won’t find shark fin soup here! The concept is contemporary fine dining with an Asian twist. At Ju-ma-na, they do this well. Japanese dishes are tweaked with a touch of French accent, familiar ingredients are melded in new ways, and the outstanding result is not only delicious but also camera beautiful. We started with cocktails, actually signature molecular creations, in which our mixologist was recast tableside as a scientist as he prepared familiar flavours in startling forms. The Cherry Blossom for example, is cherries caramelised with angostura mist and topped with sparkling rosewater. The drinks menu is extensive and, when completed, the wine cellar will contain 200 labels of wine.

The concept is contemporary fine dining with an Asian twist. Japanese tweaked with French accents, familiar ingredients in new ways, and the result is not only delicious but also camera beautiful. Above: Funky furnishings include director’s chairs. Right: Comfy lounge area.

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Top: Eye tuna. Middle: Sea urchin. Bottom: Wagyu nº 9 duo. Right: Elegant ivory interior against a backdrop of the vast Indian Ocean.

The chef recommended the sea urchin, or to be more precise, the saffron-coloured roe of this brainless echinoderm, served in its spiky shell with bright-tasting celeriac mousse, ponzu sago pearl, cucumber kombu salad and coral fragrant oil. It’s custardy, it’s rich, and it’s simply dynamite. We also ordered the Fin de Claire, six, freshly-shucked, French oysters, progressing in taste from natural to classic to refreshing to sour to spicy and finally to complex. If you ever loved a bivalve, you owe yourself this indulgence. Then there was the awesome lobster cappuccino, created from bisque that had been reduced from 40 litres down to two to produce a sea-kissed lobster essence with rouille, homemade savoury granolas, and a layer of creamy foam swirling on the top. A palate-cleansing sorbet was followed by yet another jewel of the tropics – the slow-roasted rock lobster, meeting truffle potato, miso butter and a winning cassava fondant. Tearing ourselves away from seafood, we also tried the wagyu Nº 9 duo grilled striploin and syrah-braised short rib, which

had the roasted root vegetables and comté potatoes dancing around the plate as music for our taste buds. Desserts at Ju-ma-na are named to sink your willpower: yuzu panna cotta with champagne jelly and pistachio tuille, or perhaps vanilla soufflé with cherry au Porto and caramelised banana ice cream. But for us, the 70% Valrhona Grand Cru soft chocolate cake, along with petite fours, espresso, and a single white rose for each lady, proved to be the most affable ending. FRV Ju-Ma-Na is only open for dinner, from 6.30 pm to 11.00 pm.

Ju-ma-na Banyan Tree Ungasan Tel: + 62 361 300 7000

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A new era has begun! No more Betty Crocker types doing tv cooking shows but instead let us welcome Farah Quinn, A fabulous model-esque beauty who cooks with a twist

A la Chef Farah Quinn Text Erza S.T. Photos by: Ramadhan Location: OnFive at Grand Hyatt Jakarta


Indonesia, TV cooking shows are always dominated by Betty Crocker and Nigela Lawson types. This all changed when Farah Quinn got in front of the cameras last year. What are the changes? Well… for those who aren’t aware yet who Farah Quinn is, then just look at her pictures in this article and you will get the idea. Farah is one sexy lady but let there be no doubt about it, she can really cook. Farah still follows the age-old tradition of discovering new menus everyday to keep the family happy, however, she modifies the existing menus and makes them into her own style. See, her wisdom here is to create her own style of cooking and make it special with a very simple approach. A graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Finance, she has had her love of cooking since she was very small. “I started to love cooking when I was a little girl. My grandmother and my mother are both fantastic cooks. I remember being so happy playing “masak-masakan”

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(pretend cooking) in the kitchen when I was growing up. My mother never stopped me playing with sugar, flour, eggs and other ingredients that I could find in her kitchen. As I was growing up, I used to bake and cook for myself and my family. When I was in high school, I moved to the US to continue my education there and I kept cooking for myself and my friends. I continued on to get my college degree in finance, but my heart wasn’t there. So I decided to follow my passion, which was cooking. I went to the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and got my degree in pastry arts. And I’ve been in the industry ever since.” To pursue her passion, Farah started working at a couple of restaurants in Pittsburgh in between her school time. She then moved to Phoenix, Arizona and worked at Biltmore Resort and Spa for six years, before deciding to open her own restaurant “Camus” with her husband, the famous mixologist Carson Quinn. Two years after the opening, they sold the restaurant because its value had increased

and “the offer was just simply too irresistible to refuse.” says Farah. Baby Armand came next into her life and she and Carson decided to come back to Indonesia for a break. “I was supposedly here only for a few weeks vacation, but I was offered a contract with TransTV to do a cooking show, so I grabbed it and decided to stay here. The TV station back then had an idea to do a cooking show and was looking for someone different. A family friend of mine, Helmy Yahya, suggested that they contact me. I got the email just when I was planning on visiting Indonesia for my routine “home sweet home” vacation. I think it was all about the right timing. All of the cooking shows here are hosted by male chefs so when I came along, it was something different. It was a bit of a shock for me, too, how well the show was received. It has been a fantastic experience for me.” I don’t think there has ever been a cooking show on Indonesian TV that has received such

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I like to be inspired by local cuisines and ingredients wherever I am traveling. Then I add my own twist to make it my own. rave reviews like hers. Surely her manner and beauty have played a big role in this matter; nevertheless, she is still a chef who knows her stuff. In regard to her style of cooking, she believes that it should be fun and doesn’t have to be complicated. “By keeping it simple and using fresh ingredients, we can make the most amazing meals,” she says. “Every chef has their own outlook in cooking. I like to be inspired by local cuisines and ingredients wherever I am traveling. Then I add my own twist to make it my own.” Her early TV career in Indonesia almost stumbled with language issues. “True, when I first returned, I had been away for almost 13 years. And of course I had learned how to cook, etc, in the States. So when I had to speak in front of a camera while I was cooking, it was much easier to do it in English, especially all of the cooking terms. But I have been back for a year and half now. I have learned all the recent slang and my Bahasa has become much more relaxed in front of the camera. So it’s not a problem anymore. But I still mix it up sometimes, I think it has become my trademark.” This trademark makes her show more original and unique. During the photo session, I asked her how she juggles the schedule between Armand, Carson, her TV show and social events while still looking fabulous. “My schedule is very full. But I have to balance everything. I love doing what I do, it keeps me very busy but my family is also very important. I usually drag Armand along with me to wherever I can. He knows that his mummy works in front of a camera. When I am away, I call my family everyday and tell them how much I love them. I can say I am still pretty new in town, so attend the social events to make new friends. I think it’s also important for me to have a social life. Thank you for saying that I look fabulous. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline. I have a fully-equipped gym at my house that I use all the time. I make time to get my work out done, even though my day is always busy. I love food, I love to cook, I love to eat and I also love to work out.” With all her activities, Farah has no plans to open her own restaurant in Jakarta like she did before with Camus. For her, opening her own business is pretty much like having a new baby. “You can’t just 48 l Fine Restaurants & Villas

give birth then have other people take care of it. When the time is right, I will definitely open my own place.” Knowing Farah for almost a year now, I believe that she and Carson will eventually open their own restaurant in Jakarta. Why not? All the elements are there. A gorgeous chef and a handsome mixologist who will create all the cocktails… that is pretty much, as they say, a match made in heaven. People say that Farah Quinn is a sexy chef and her comment: “I am very flattered”. FRV Styling: Erza ST. Make-up: Teddy Luntungan, Cutting Room. Jl. Pakubuwono VI No24, Jakarta

Farah brings a casual style and an easy cooking attitude to Indonesia’s cooking scene. ‘Everybody can cook’ is her motto.

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dining in kembang goela is like visiting a best friend’s house that’s filled with familiarity and good food. ve handojo still recommends.

Kembang Goela

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Left: The communal dining table with Iwan Tirta’s batik collection hanging as the backdrop.

Right: The big, bright, private dining room is perfect for small-scale gatherings. Previous: The comfortable and elegant smoking lounge can make you feel at home instantly.


atik Master Iwan Tirta still visits Kembang Goela every now and then just to look up to the walls and observe the elegant pieces of his creations which are hanging around the main dining room of the restaurant. He will ask the staff to remove some of them, and replace them with new ones. Regular diners can tell which items are new, and they smile in contentment. The beauty of Indonesian heritage never fades, just like the quality of food and service in Kembang Goela. I suspect familiarity is the key to the success of Kembang Goela being so highly consistent. First timers will instantly feel at home when they step in this high-ceilinged restaurant.

The fresh smell of the place, the friendly smiles, and the hassle-free attitude of the staff work all together to make guests feel instantly at one with this place. I mean, home. This high sense of belonging is what keeps the staff caring so much about maintaining the quality, and the diners to keep coming back. That’s why the dendeng balado – beef that’s thinly sliced, dried, spiced, then fried – is still as addictive as ever. It’s crunchier than a couch potato’s Pringles, and much tastier. And, that’s why the sop asam iga is as delicious as ever. The tender meat is bathed in a clear soup with throatclearing sourness. Pinch the tiny chili inside the soup with your spoon, and let it squeeze

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Left: The addictive thinly-sliced dendeng balado redefines “protein snack”.

Right: Fillet of gourami fish is adorned with some egg processed with a magic trick.

Bottom: Sop asam iga is a hot and tasty pool filled with many tender cubes of meat.

Previous: The smaller private dining room is made warmer with strong, deep blue tones.

out the hot sensation. It will give each spoon of the soup an extra, harmless sting. Whoever Yance is must be flattered to see what is Sosis Oom Yance – Unce Yance’s Sausage – here. It’s a one-metre long chicken sausage that is so juicy it literally makes your mouth water with each bite. Gurame kremes is another magic trick. The fillet of gourami fish is dressed with something as soft as cotton fibre, but golden, and tastes like heaven. They are made with egg slowly poured into the boiling cooking oil while being stirred vigorously. Finish the meal with super excellent kopi luwak, and you’ll get a beyond-perfect Indonesian dining experience. Kembang Goela embodies the spirit of excellence in a very subtle and humble way – a true national culture that it successfully maintains. And, so very deliciously. FRV

Kembang Goela Plaza Sentral Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav. 47-48 Jakarta Selatan Tel: +62 21 520 5625

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No Place Like

There’s no better way to feel right at home in the bustling city of Hong Kong than in the tranquil and incredibly stylish (lovingly designed by Philippe Starck no less) boutique hotel, JIA. Melanie Lee Images courtesy of JIA Boutique Hotels


one of the first few authentic boutique hotels to be established in Asia, JIA Hong Kong, which opened in 2004, has set a high milestone when it comes to niche hospitality. Their unique brand of chic accommodation has even extended to Shanghai, where another JIA hotel opened in 2008. It would be safe to say that the award-winning JIA is the forerunner of boutique hotels in this region, and offers a fascinating juxtaposition of comfort and luxury, quirkiness and classiness, home and hotel. You might miss out on JIA while making your way there. It is hardly a flashy building – it was formerly an office - and camouflages well within the crowds and the noise coming from the seemingly endless rows of shops at Causeway Bay. But then you see it – a small sign with the purple word “JIA”, which means ‘home’ in Chinese. You peer through the

tinted glass and see another world with teak wood floors, marble tables and satin couches within. One can only enter JIA’s hotel premises with an access card – this is only given to guests so as to prevent their lobby from becoming overcrowded. As I enter, I soon understand the rationale behind such exclusivity. In line with its homely theme, the lobby is really like a designer dream living room come true with eclectic chandeliers, African artifacts, and laidback lounge music. Further back in the lobby, I spot a few guests helping themselves to some cake and tea, leisurely flipping their papers. “It’s the little things that we do which we hope make our guests feel at home,” says Vivian, the hotel manager as she tells me about how complimentary breakfast, afternoon cakes and evening wine are served in the lobby so as to give the feeling that guests are really having the most splendid stay over in someone’s home.

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Previous page: The relaxed yet stylish vibe of JIA Hong Kong makes this an ideal home away from home for travellers to Hong Kong.

Left: French design guru Philippe Starck and hotel owner Yenn Wong are the ingenious masterminds behind this eclectic boutique hotel which has set new trends in the hospitality industry in Asia.

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There are 54 hotel rooms in this 25-storey hotel, including two duplex 146 square metre penthouses, 35 square metre studio rooms and 72 square metre one-bedroom suites, all generously spacious by Hong Kong’s standards and impeccably furbished. All rooms are fitted with an equipped kitchen, which is a perfect way to try out some local produce you can buy from the nearby shops. And if you need laundry done, you can hang out with some cocktails in the outdoor terrace where there’s a laundry room. Besides this unique living arrangement, there are plenty of perks to look forward to while staying at JIA. There’s the hotel’s own Michelin-starred restaurant The Drawing Room headed by Master Chef Roland Schuller, as well as the Insider Access Card, a special card all JIA guests receive which gives

them privileges and perks around Hong Kong in restaurants, bars, and various fashion and lifestyle stores including Kee private member clubs, The Press Room, Jean Paul Gaultier and Hugo Boss. “While it is great travelling to new places, the trip is so greatly enhanced when you are treated to a true insider’s experience – it is fun, convenient and makes you enjoy a city so much more. With our Insider Access Card our guests get instant recognition at so many venues around Hong Kong,” says Yenn Ong, owner of JIA Boutique Hotels.

JIA Hong Kong

My favourite part of the hotel? The bed, which has an illuminated, evocative word “Dream” perched just above your pillows – dream well indeed, in such a fine, fascinating hotel such as JIA. FRV

1-5 Irving Street Causeway Bay Hong Kong Tel: +852 3196 9000 Web:

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After 22 years in business, the first Aman resort, Phuket’s Amanpuri, still has the style and the service it’s renowned for. Kenny Santana checked in to one of its pavilions and never wanted to leave.

Life’s a Beach

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The Terrace restaurant by the pool offers casual, all-day dining in an alfresco setting.


s he grabbed our bags, the hotel’s chauffeur informed us that Amanpuri is located on the west coast of the island, a 25-minute drive from the airport and 40 minutes from the Old Town. When we arrived we realized that its a secluded location, far from the hubbub of Patong beach, has the advantage of having the pristine Pansea as the resort’s private beach. Perched in a forested hill, Amanpuri’s pavilions and villas were built in different heights for privacy purposes. It’s easy to see that the resort was intelligently constructed so that even though you can see pavilions in between coconut palm groves, you won’t eye the activities inside. It’s perfect for honeymooners, or any lovebirds for that matter. Upon arrival, we were quickly swooned by the open-air ‘sala’ in the pavilion’s private terrace. During our stay, we often spent time in the sala by ordering room-service dinner, which is served with a candle lit ambience on the table. In the mornings the sundeck is also our favorite spot just to simply relax facing lush greenery and a partial view of the sea.

Stepping in, the pavilion is equally impressive, a spacious space elegantly adorned with Thai sculptures, fresh flowers, with a wood-andmirror-walled interior. The bedroom, with enormous mattress and excellent bedding, faces the open bathtub. We appreciated two sinks on each side, not to mention a vast space for dressing. In case you haven’t tried an Aman before, there’s no TV set in the room, although you can request one. We opted to stay TV-free for a few days so we could really take pleasure in the nature and surroundings. On top of it, an authentic Thai atmosphere was created en suite by the presence of an audio system furnished with a CD of traditional Thai music. What a refreshing choice that was! For additional CD choices, stop by the Amanpuri library where it offers many selections to bring back to the room. Grab also some reading materials for the pool where everyday from 4 pm onwards guests can unwind and enjoying the hotel’s complimentary afternoon tea.

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For almost an hour we enjoyed the most luscious banana cake one could imagine, endless choices of Thai mini pancakes Kanoom Krock topped with virtually every tropical fruit from mango to jackfruit (or our favorite - spring onions). We cool the warm weather down with a couple of glasses of iced passion fruit and lemongrass tea before dipping our feet in the white sand beach. Afternoons are the best time to go down to the beach where the chairs were reserved for the hotel guests to lounge at sunset time. Though Thai government regulation allows all beaches to be open for public, Aman guests are spoiled with the resort’s private facilities. Staff will provide iced water, while clean towels are also available for those who like to soak in seawater. Beside swimming, Amanpuri also encourages its visitors to try out other water sports. Snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing are on the house with helpful employees always

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on duty to assist. As first time snorkelers, we were assisted on how to do it and where the best spots were to ogle marine life. Not only gladly sharing their vast knowledge, they also asked our room number to address us personally by names. It’s a typical Aman service they’re legendary for. The next day, we woke up early to jog on the gym treadmill. The ceiling-to-floor glass window gives gym rats a breathtaking vista of the Andaman Sea while sweating it out. Guests can also choose to have a complimentary scheduled yoga classes each morning. Then to release muscle tension after a work out, we pampered ourself with one of the Thai herbal treatments the Aman spa offers.

Clockwise from top: Perched atop the resort’s high level, The bar gives an excellent Andaman sea view. The pavilion’s bedroom features a warm wood and mirror walled interior. Stop by in the Amanpuri library to borrow some books for some beach reading.

Above: Guests easily fall for the resort’s open bathtubs and spacious dressing rooms.

Aman Spa combines the very best aspects of Buddhism, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and yoga into a unique healing experience. Try its Ancient Thai massages, holistic kinesiology or a spicy ginger detox among many options. The latter treatment uses ginger extracts to remove toxins from the skin that will make your body feel revitalized afterwards. Follow a morning massage with a late a la carte breakfast which is served until noon. The body conscious will appreciate its healthy living section, from organic brown rice porridge to egg white and herbs frittatas, which tasted as magnificent as it sounded. We also favored their smoothies; combining fresh fruits shaken with the likes of green tea are filling and will give one enough energy to last the day. With its vast beach activities, amazing pool, private sundeck, impeccable service and everything else on offer, our finish-too-soon experience in Amanpuri, Phucket was truly what a true island vacation should be. Out of this world. FRV

The resort was intelligently constructed so that even though you can see pavilions in between coconut palm groves, you won’t eye the activities inside.

AMANPURI Phuket, Thailand Tel: +66 76 324 333

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T iptop Tippling Reignite your love for food and drink at one of the most exciting restaurants in Asia.

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By: Melanie Lee Images Courtesy of Tippling Club

The dynamic duo of Head Bartender Matthew Bax and Executive Cheft Ryan Clift promise a

tantalizing, imaginative meal at Tippling Club with creative cocktail concoctions and evolved food creations.


is best to make an occasion out of dinner at Tippling Club, one of the most progressive and well-regarded dining establishments in this region since it was established in late 2008. For one, it is advisable to book way in advance at this cosy, industrial-chic, 38-seater restaurant, preferably reserving the counter seats by the open kitchen. It is from this strategic position that you can observe the bustling kitchen and bar at work with their alchemic concoctions, and where founders Ryan Clift and Matthew Bax will probably banter with you about their food and drink respectively. Also, don’t bother driving given the substantial amount of alcoholic consumption that will occur – each course is paired with a cocktail from their five-course or ten-course degustation menus. You’re definitely in for an allout tipple from Bax, who is a world-renowned, award-winning mixologist no less. Finally, come with an open mind. This is a restaurant that defies dining norms, so chuck out your knowledge of dining fads and just come with an empty stomach and adventurous taste buds.

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Left: The meal is best appreciated by directly observing the kitchen at work from the counter - there’s plenty to learn from Chef Ryan Clift as he makes his rounds explaining the philosophy of his food to diners.

“We want to take our guests out of their comfort zones – I don’t want them to know exactly what they’re going to get and then thoroughly delight them with what they receive!” says British-born Executive Chef Ryan Clift of the ambiguouslyworded items on their menu such as ‘Escargot’ and ‘Aloe Vera’. However, you can be assured of painstaking explanations once the dish is served in front of you. Clift, who was previously the Head Chef of acclaimed restaurant Vue de Monde in Melbourne, is absolutely meticulous as he muses about his culinary experiments and anecdotes that led to each creation. The wonderful thing about the food at Tippling Club is that while it always takes you by surprise, it also sticks to the foundation of what delicious food is about – the freshest of ingredients (their seafood supply comes in daily from Tokyo’s

Food at Tippling Club takes you by surprise, but it also sticks to the foundation of what delicious food is about – the freshest of ingredients.

Tsukiji Market) and made with plenty of heart and passion. For example, the re-interpretation of chilli crab came about from Chef Clift’s appreciation of a dish of the same name from his favourite seafood restaurant in Singapore. Tender loving care was also evident with dishes like the Surf ‘n’ Turf where a beautiful piece of wagyu was cooked sous vide for 48 hours at 72 degrees. And there are also some unforgettably zany personal touches like bourbon-infused carbonated grapes for the amuse bouche which were an absolute delight to pop into the mouth. Admittedly, my review of the food is a bit blurry here as I was getting rather distractedly merry while swilling the rather ironic The Importance of Being Earnest cocktail, but suffice to say that I’ve never left a restaurant so thrilled before with this realisation that eating could be such a sacred, exploratory process if the food was prepared with utmost deliberation and imagination. “My aims when creating a dish are primarily to create a depth and range of flavours, and secondly to create something that is visually endearing. Flavour must always come first and foremost, and this is achieved through the use of quality ingredients, plenty of experimentation and a knowledge of how to bring out the best in those ingredients,” Chef Clift explains of his unique approach which he refuses to categorise. (Tip: don’t mention ‘molecular gastronomy’ unless you want to see plenty of eye rolling.) And as he regales us of tales of passionate chefs who swim in the sea to catch their own seafood or refuse to cook for more than four diners every night, I realise that Tippling Club is one of the few restaurants that I’ve come across that has authentic ideals about what the dining experience should be like. Their utopian and artistic imagination when it comes to food and drink is absolutely infectious and something that every epicurean should experience at least once in his or her life. FRV

Tippling Club 8D Dempsey Road Singapore 249672 Tel: +65 6475 2217 Web: Fine Restaurants & Villas l 65


Grand Hyatt Tokyo

The Art of Being

‘Grand’ Kenny Santana

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sk anyone from Tokyo for advice on where to go for nightlife, and they’d immediately point out Roppongi as the place to be. And when happy hour ends, the vicinity’s Grand Hyatt Tokyo is the perfect place for a hangover remedy. FRV finds out why. Location, Location The 389-room Grand Hyatt Tokyo is nestled right in the middle of Roppongi Hills, Japan’s largest integrated shopping, entertainment and residential complex. Guests of the hotel can reach the shopping centre, Mori Art Museum or the 52nd storey observation deck Tokyo City View within minutes by foot. Roppongi is also conveniently positioned in between Shinjuku and Ginza areas, an ideal base from which to explore the city. Bedtime Stories Guests can choose from a range of room sizes between 42sqm to 260sqm for their temporary residence in Tokyo. The oversized fluffy bed, covered with 300-thread count Frette sheets, is a snug little sanctuary for admiring the Tokyo skyline or Mount Fuji.

Come naptime, we loved slipping into Grand Hyatt’s sleeping uniforms, the cotton kimonos. In case of sleeplessness and the automatic black curtain doesn’t help, turn some chapters with the headstand’s focused reading lights. A better option, though, would be a warm soak in an overflowing

tub á la Japanese traditional bath. It sure makes for a soothing lullaby. Foodies’ Fave Nine food outlets scattered around the hotel premises let guests enjoy a sumptuous array of global cuisine. Have a feast in sixth floor’s The Oak Room, with its open kitchens displaying premium meats cooked in an oakwood-burning oven, or the neighboring Chinaroom with its seafood specialty. French Kitchen on the second floor is also popular for its weekend brunch. Give local specialties a try by choosing from several restaurants offering diverse Japanese fare from modern teppanyaki to traditional sushi, which would surely leave diners wanting for nothing gastronomically. Art Grand Hyatt Tokyo is notable for the art displays dotted throughout its premises. Ponder at the Untitled Head Sculptures by Jun Kaneko in the lobby then be awed at the nearby stone waterfall sculpture by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. You’ll see why guests won’t easily forget this elegantlydecorated property. FRV

Grand Hyatt Tokyo 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-Ku Tokyo, Japan 106-0032 Fine Restaurants & Villas l 67


Catching atching the Tide Thomas Jones

Fish and seafood are incredibly popular in Malaysia, and although there is plenty of fantastic fish available, prior to the end of 2009 there were no high-end European fish and seafood restaurants in the city, particularly ones with the unique concept of using only fresh and sustainably harvested products. With the opening of High Tide that has all changed.

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Left: Monkfish under a vegetable crust with spinach and green peas and oven-baked North Sea Cod with mussel emulsion, asparagus and ricotta cannelloni, just two of the tasty fresh fish dishes available this day. Above: Blonde oak floors meet starched white tablecloths for a setting of pure elegance.


ucked away on a corner in a hidden part of central Kuala Lumpur lies High Tide, the city’s latest fine-dining restaurant, and the first and only one dedicated to fresh seafood and fish. Where they differ from other restaurants is that they fly about 70% of their fish in from Europe…fresh. (Well, the Australian Spenser Gulf prawns and the Scottish langoustine are frozen, there’s no getting around it... but in the best way). As a result the menu changes every few days depending on what they can get their hands on. This is what is creating a buzz amongst

seafood aficionados in the city as there are now choices of fish available, fresh as you like, that the locals have seldom seen before. High Tide is a contemporary, chic and elegant dining experience, and it’s very fresh - in more ways than just the produce. Spacious in layout, it has floor to ceiling windows looking out to a marble terrace surrounded by a lush garden of palms, ferns and frangipani. The interiors are elegant and simple with floors of Tasmanian oak and tables dressed in starched white tablecloths, with elegant cutlery, fine Fine Restaurants & Villas l 69

“It’s always a treat, and fantastic for our regular diners that whilst our special signature dishes are usually available, the menu changes so regularly there is always something new to try,� 70 l Fine Restaurants & Villas

glassware and tables attended by golden-sand coloured fabric chairs and benches. Large eight metre long freshwater fish tanks divide the restaurant in two, allowing the smokers to keep on puffing away to their heart’s content without creating a disturbance. Big bold walls murals by British artist Imogen Slater finish the picture by adding colour and expression to the subtle decor. In combination it all leads to the creation of a beautifully light and tranquil interior space. The owners of High Tide were very lucky that both the Head Chef and Manager were able to up and relocate whilst the restaurant was still being built. Belgian Chef Evert Onderbeke and French Manager Carole Pinel quit their Michelin-starred former posts in Europe and moved to KL several months before High Tide opened so they could source the best ingredients, put together an exceptional wine cellar, and hand pick and train their staff. Their professional input from such an early stage was incredibly important in creating and maintaining the high standards and quality of High Tide. Carole brings a wealth of professional restaurant experience from restaurants of the highest calibre in France and England and is relishing the challenges of working in Malaysia. “Diners here and in Europe are in many ways very similar,” explains Carole. “Our guests are often discerning, sophisticated and well-traveled and many are familiar with fine-dining and are enjoying the fact that High Tide can provide excellent European fish and seafood cuisine and great wines here in Malaysia. Guests for whom such dining is a novel experience seem very excited to try something new and innovative.” While Carole runs things front of house, Chef Evert Onderbeke masterminds the menu from the selection of the ingredients, to their preparation and final presentation. “Because of our emphasis on fresh products, the menu

changes with every delivery of fish and seafood depending on the catch,” says Evert, a graduate of Belgium’s most famous culinary school Ter Duinen in Koksijde. “This makes the menu very dynamic and allows me to regularly create exciting new dishes. Some of the fish we serve is rarely found here in Malaysia, and old favorites are made even more special by their freshness and exquisite preparation and presentation. Introducing our clients to new dining Where they experiences is a privilege that we are very much differ from other enjoying.” restaurants is He selects his fish on that they fly quality, freshness and about 70% of availability following the seasons. “I have noticed their fish in from that our clients appreciate Europe…fresh. top quality European fish, such as monkfish, Dover sole and turbot,” he says, “and I am always looking for new products and am in daily contact with our suppliers whom I encourage to source fish and seafood currently unseen in Malaysia.” The whole team sampled the entire menu prior to opening the restaurant and everyone tries each new dish that the Chef creates. “It’s always a treat, and fantastic for our regular diners that whilst our special signature dishes are usually available, the menu changes so regularly that there is always something new to try.” Only open since the end of October 2009 the restaurant is slowly building its reputation through word of mouth and is fast becoming a stand out amongst the cognoscenti of KL expats and locals, with a smattering of tourists heading in from the nearby five star hotels sent their way by adroit concierges. “Word of mouth is a powerful tool in this city,” explains Carole. “It can take time to get known, but High Tide is receiving wonderful recommendations. We have been given consistently rave reviews in the local media and this has helped raise the profile of the restaurant considerably.” FRV

High Tide

Lime panna cotta with with fig cream cannelloni and pear sorbet.

Ground Floor, Menara Taipan, Jl. Punchak 50250 Kuala Lumpur Tel: +60 3 2072 44452

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Nasty little bugs can be getting in the system without you even knowing it and creating all kinds of issues you’d prefer not to know about. The tropical heat doesn’t help but maybe holistic lifestyle coach, Lian Monley can...

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parasite is the technical term used to describe any organism that lives in or on a host organism while causing that organism harm. The word parasite is a combination of two Greek words: para (meaning “beside,”) and sitos (meaning “food.”) There are several types of parasites, and each of these organisms can infect their host in different ways, and cause different symptoms within the body. Human parasite infections can mimic diseases such as the diabetes, heart disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and the flu. Human parasites can cause weight loss, fatigue, sore aching muscles, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, and in extreme cases, even death. Read on to learn more about these harmful invaders and what you can do to keep your body free from parasites that affect humans.

How Do Parasites Infect Humans? Human parasites can enter the body via four possible avenues. A person can become infected by consuming infected food or water, sexual contact with an infected person, contact (such as swimming or bathing) with contaminated water, or the bite from an infected agent (such as a mosquito or fly). Once inside the body intestinal parasites will multiply, migrate, and progress through their life cycles, causing damage to the different systems in the body as they go. Parasites may persist in the body undetected for months or even years, causing damage that may manifest itself in the form of mild conditions such as digestive disturbances, allergies, colds and flu’s.

How Do Parasites Affect Humans? There are many symptons of parasites that you should be aware of. First off, know that each organism will affect the human body differently. Some parasites nourish themselves on the food that humans eat, causing weight loss, vitamin deficiencies, digestive disorders, and fatigue. Others may actually attach themselves to a point on the body (such as the liver or the intestines) and suck out their nutrition from the host itself (i.e., YOU)! Depending upon the type of parasite infection can occur in many different areas of the body such as the lymphatic system, the intestines, or the liver. Some human parasites may continually explore the body causing damage in a number of body parts. For example, some of these harmful organisms will attach to the nerves and eat away the protein coating that is responsible for signaling the brain. Others may feed on the synovial fluid of the joints causing arthritis-like symptoms.

What Are Parasites?





There are four main types of parasites — protozoa, nematodes, cestodes, and trematodes.

Are You Infected? Most physicians and general practitioners will not test for human parasitic infections as a first line of clinical diagnosis. Rather, many traditional physicians will attempt to treat other conditions that may be causing your condition and will only resort to parasitic testing if these other treatment methods do not bring relief. If you think you may be infected with parasites, try this simple experiment: do a parasite cleanse and stay away from sugars and carbohydrates for a couple of weeks. These are foods that human parasites thrive on. If your symptoms start to alleviate that is a sure sign you have a parasitic infection.

Treating Human Parasitic Infections There are several herbal remedies that can be used to help remove parasites from your body. Herbal remedies can be used not only to kill off parasites, but to remove eggs and other life stages that could eventually re-infect the patient. There are a number of herbs with ant-parasitic properties that can be used to treat parasitic infections. Talk to your local herbalist for more information about products that can be useful for you. I would personally recommend a product called Paratrex, but there are many ways to safely kill off these types of harmful organisms.

Keeping Parasites Out Human parasites may be prevalent, but that does not mean that you are destined to become infected. There are several steps that you can take to keep parasites out of your body. First and foremost, be careful to wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before eating, and after going to the bathroom, handling food, swimming, changing diapers, or playing with pets. You should also be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat them, and make sure you know the source of the water you are drinking. If there is any question about the safety of the water, then make sure to buy a good purification filter. Do not walk barefoot, especially in areas that may be contaminated with animal waste such as playgrounds and beaches. Finally, get regular parasitic check ups to make sure that you are free of these harmful organisms and the eggs they leave behind. FRV Lian Monley - Holistic Lifestyle Coach

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Méradelima Delicious Indonesian-Chinese Goes South Jakarta

With the arrival of Méradelima, now Indonesian-Chinese cuisine can gain a respectable status in the westernized South Jakarta. VE HANDOJO finds his mother’s home-cooking there.

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Left: Snacks to bring back our sweet childhood memories. Right: The elegant restroom feels like home.


ood Chinese food is not that difficult to find in Jakarta. That’s if you don’t mind traveling to the north part of the city, going to Anthony Bourdain’s smoking “no reservations” spots, and service quality that may send you to some anger management classes. In the central and southern parts of the city, chances are you’ll find Chinese restaurants with oh-so-cool designs. Yet, the rule of thumb is the taste of the food will be as contemporary as the look of the place. Kiss authenticity goodbye. Yes, by authenticity, I mean pork. Méradelima introduces the concept of a Peranakan food that leans strongly to the Chinese side. The setting is not temple-like. No heavy ancestorial figures, no memorabilia

Previous: Chinese and Malay identities come together in one of the dining rooms.

from the Qing dynasty, or anything even close. The palette of the design is a soft natural tone on walnut parquet flooring. Most of the walls are white-colored, varied with pale hues, and only a few corners of bold colors. Tables are dressed in white, while the cushions are red or green. Adorning the place are antique ceramics and household appliances that create a homey atmosphere throughout the twostorey building, which can host around 200 diners. Aroma of vanilla injects your nerve with a sense of calmness. Hanging on the walls are vintage kebaya encim – or traditional dress for Indonesian Chinese ladies – and many colourful Batiks. Plenty of rooms – big, medium, and private sizes – give different experience for frequent

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I could name the five flavours as bitter, sweet, sour, chili, and salty, but you might actually find the sixth or seventh. Top left: Why pay for one if you can have five? The five-flavours gourami. Bottom left: The handsome deep-fried cakwe are stuffed with squid. Right: A relaxing daybed, better used only if the whole place is booked for your own private function.

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diners. The tea lounge is very casual and friendly, while bigger dining rooms are warm and appealing. A smaller dining room surrounded by glass walls is perfect for private parties of up to twenty. Upstairs, two patios overlooking the street can serve romantic dinners. Baso Nyonya Sioe, or Madame Sioe’s meatballs, quickly reminds me of my mother’s own recipe. Chicken mixed with spices and vegetables are made into meatballs, served inside a bowl of clear soup with glass noodles. Another starter is cakwe isi, or deep-fried cakwe (made of flour) stuffed with squid. It is as original as those you can find in Jalan Mangga Besar, or Jakarta’s Chinatown. The oseng sampek engthai – stir-fried long beans with tiny slices of chicken – tastes a bit raw and plain. It works good, though, if you combine it with gurame lima rasa, or

five-flavours gourami. The fish is deboned, made into cutlets, then deep-fried to perfect tenderness, and bathed in spicy sauce. I could name the five flavours as bitter, sweet, sour, chili, and salty, but you might actually find the sixth or seventh. Located right in the intersection of Jalan Wolter Monginsidi and Jalan Adityawarman, South Jakarta, Méradelima is a strategic place for good Indonesian Chinese culinary heritage. It is close to the business districts, and leafy residential area. Méradelima – derived from “merah” dan “delima” – is the local vernacular for red pomegranate. The auspicious fruit that represents the freshness and authenticity of Peranakan food. FRV

Méradelima Jl. Wolter Monginsidi No. 1 Jakarta Selatan Tel: +62 21 756 5112

It’s your day... let every detail reflect your personality

Celebrating Marriage

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wonderland at the white rabbit by: melanie lee

images courtesy of the lo and behold group

the white rabbit, with its alicein-wonderland allure and delectable european fare, is a lovely place to have an idyllic meal and escape from the real world for a while. 78 l Fine Restaurants & Villas


hile Dempsey, the hot dining spot in Singapore, has become quite crowded of late, The White Rabbit still manages to retain that original countryside charm which drew diners to this area in the first place. For one, it is housed in a beautifully restored chapel that is tucked away from the cluster of restaurants and bars where parking can often be a nightmare. Its classy yet whimsical interiors with gorgeous high ceilings, retro mosaic floors, vintage furnishings and sunlight shining through stained glass windows, give this restaurant a peaceful, otherworldly feel that made me very comfortable and relaxed during my visit there. The White Rabbit may be known as a place where beautiful people hobnob (especially at its cozy outdoor watering hole aptly called

The Rabbit Hole), but its scrumptious menu of reinvented classic European comfort food created by its Chef, Daniel Sia, has not gone unnoticed. After hearing and reading about some good things about its menu, I went there for lunch with pretty high expectations and was not disappointed. Cheryl from The Lo and Behold Group (the majority shareholder of this restaurant) made it a point to let us sample a spectrum of starters, mains and desserts to get a good sense of their imaginative offerings. We whetted our appetites first with the sinfully creamy chicken and duck liver parfait ($19) served with port wine jelly and buttery and toasted brioche soldiers, brochette of roasted sea scallops and crispy pork belly ($19) succulently served with wakame salad and a sesame soy dressing and steak tartare ($23), spiced minced top grade beef served raw with

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After hearing and reading about some good things about its menu, I went there for lunch with pretty high expectations and was not disappointed.

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Previous page: Chef Daniel Sia’s cuisine is about the reinterpretation of classic European comfort food such as the tournedos Rossini and steak tartare.

Above: The timeless interiors of White Rabbit by Takenouchi Webb: Its iron grills have been retained to retain the historical charm of this former chapel.

soft quail eggs. While our appetizers on paper seemed to be quite heavy and meaty, everything turned out surprisingly light, making me wonder if the calories could have magically disappeared in this enchanted place. The main dishes were all about bringing indulgent yet contemporary comfort with The White Rabbit Mac and Cheese ($28) emitting a heavenly fragrance from its truffle sauce (a big favourite with diners here for obvious reasons), 48-hour braised short ribs ($32) which was lightly crisped and served with a rich Burgundy-style red wine sauce made with bacon and mushrooms as well as the hearty Tournedos Rossini ($45) a classic pan roasted US choice tenderloin topped with pan-fried foie gras and black truffle sauce. There’s just something about the taste and scent of truffles

that transports me to a happier, calmer plane so this selection of dishes was definitely a fantasy come true. The mystery of the bottomless tummy continued as we transitioned quite effortlessly to our excellent desserts of baked alaska ($16), a delightful vanilla ice-cream cake encrusted with lightly browned meringue and topped with fresh berries as well as the crepes suzette ($18), homemade crepes dramatically flambéed with grand marnier at our tableside by the service staff. It was a fitting finale to our splendid little “Eat Me” adventure to The White Rabbit. FRV

The White Rabbit 39C Harding Road Singapore 249541 Tel: +65 6473 9965

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FRV Travel 6.6  

FRV Travel Magazine