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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 7.4, dec ‘10 jan ‘11 Rp. 48.000

Bali

Eat pray love, the samaya ubud, warisan and east residence and spa

Jakarta

japanese, chinese and french restaurants

Japan

Koh Samui

Lap up the luxury on Samui’s white sand beaches

Burma, India, Queensland Rp. 48.000

towering restaurants of nihon

The Class of Thursday

Fashion from bamboo blonde in bali’s Hu’u and The junction

Haseena Mukhi up close and personal with the lady from patron FRV Travel l 1


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DEcEMBER 2010 JANUARY 2011

CONTENTS FEATURES 40 The Quality of the Samaya.

Trauts goes to Ubud to test Samaya’s new riverside resort villas and restaurants.

44 Eat, Pray Love. Four Seasons Style.

Rachel Love sees how the Four Seasons in Bali is catering to the Julia Roberts ‘in crowd’.

82 A View to a Grill.

Typhoons, $200 dollar steaks and million dollar views in Tokyo. Mr Jones can’t resist.

54 They Call Me Ms. Patron!

Haseena Mukhi is the face that launched a thousand bottles onto the Jakartan night sea. Erza stops by for a tipple.

90 Port Douglas. Something for Everyone.

Nick Walton gets nostalgic on a his last Australian road trip before heading off to new horizons.

On The Cover:

Nick Walton dives deep into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

32 The Class of Thursday.

Trauts waxes lyrical about some of Bali’s best fashions and venues. FRV Travel l 9


28 East Meets West.

DEcember january 2010

CONTENTS

Samantha Coomber finds something unique and beautiful in Bali’s Villa East.

38 Warisan.

Care, style and taste. Dayu Sri is back in action at the renewed Warisan in Bali. Trauts finds out more.

60 The Shanghai Blue Experience.

Trauts finds a reataurant in Jakarta steeped in Chinese and Indonesian traditions.

66 Newly Bloomed Teratai.

Hotel Borobudur has opened their renewed restaurant Teratai and Erza’s mouth water each time he visits.

78 And the Award Goes to...

Thomas Jones stays at the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka to see why Michelin loves them so much.

88 Big City Blues.

Azure 45, Ritz-Carlton Midtown’s newest restaurant takes French food to new heights.

96 On the Road to Pondicherry.

134 Nick Walton sails the

The French may be long gone but their legacy of colonialism lives on in south India.

Irriwaddy and sees more of Myanmar than he thought possible. ..

104 Soft Cheese and Tax Evasion.

An interesting tale of pinched udders and money laundering. French cheeses just keep getting better.

104 Give Me Some More Samui.

How do you beat basking on the beach in Thailand? Do it in a Four Seasons Koh Samui Private Residence.

124

Rachel Love talks to artist Cok Mas Astiti.

74

Mixology.

108 Hotel Michael. The Stylish Side of Fun.

Named after its designer, this new Singapore hotel gets the Universal appraissal of Ve Handojo.

116 Metis Recipe.

50

Erza follows one of his favourite Jakarta chefs to his brand new restaurant and finds plenty to smile about. Amuz.

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Bits & Pieces 17 Recheque: Intercon 48 Overnight: Manila 76 Beverages 112 FRV Zodiac 144 FRV Listings 146 Last Word 162

Chef Arief Wicaksono shares his secrets for mini Wagyu burgers, steal tatare and a tasty cheese platter.

122 A Sanctuary of Natural Energy.

The Private Wellness Centre in Seminyak claims to use science to realign the chakras. Shari investigates.

130 Fashion Tendance 2011.

Trauts casts his eye over this year’s crop of fashions and finds conservatism on the ascendent.


DINE AND DANCE AT THE SUPPER CLUB. ANOTHER DISTINCTIVE LEGACY. A magical evening reminiscent of the luxury and romance of a supper club with a complimentary classic cocktail to begin your exquisite buffet dinner of seared foie gras and grilled baby lobster, not forgetting a selection of desserts and imported cheeses. Dine and dance in splendour to classics and jazz through the evening in an elegant atmosphere or retire to a sofa corner on the terrace with a cigar. Enjoy a very special service that only a century of experience can deliver. Dinner Dance and Supper Club features every Saturday at Boneka from7.00pm to 12.00pm, starting 11 December 2010. Reservation is recommended.

KAWASAN PARIWISATA NUSA DUA LOT S6 NUSA DUA . BALI 80363 . INDONESIA STREGIS.COM/BALI (62)(361) 8478 111

TO DAY: A S P EN ATLA NTA BA LI BEI JIN G BORA BORA DEER CRES T H AWA I I HO U STO N LONDON MA LLORCA ME XI CO C IT Y MONA RCH BEACH NEW YORK P UNTA M ITA ROME SA N F RA NCI S CO S H A NGH A I S IN GAPO R E WA S H I NGTON , D. C .

STREGIS.COM Š 2010 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. FRV Travel l 11


PT K ubu Dua Me dia J l. Petitenget 12A, Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia Te l. +62 361 746 3751/52. Fa x. +62 361 847 5458 email: info@finerestaurantsandvillas.com 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 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 Ma rk e ting Bra vina Eme ria (sales@finerestaurantsandvillas.com)

fashion,

restaurants

and

villas

Administra tion Gina , Yuni, Nurul Contributors Ve Ha nd ojo, Da vid Tra uts, Erza ST, Nic hola s Wa lton, 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, 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) Legal Associates Agus Sa mija ya & Pa rtne rs Gra ha Asa , Jl. Ka p te n Cok Agung Tre sna 49 Re non, De np a sa r. Te l: +62 361 242447, 247302, 08123924509. FRV Tra ve l ma ga z ine is a n inde pe nde nt, bi-monthly public a tion Ne xt e dition de a dline Ja nua ry 15, 2011

FR V Tr a v e l m a g a z i n e i s p r i n t e d u n d e r l i c e n s e d t r a d e m a r k . N o p a r t o f t h i s m a g a z i n e shou 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 R V Tr a ve l m a ga zin e is pr in te d by P T M e ga I n da h (T: 02161 9 0 5 2 9 ) a n d d i s t r i b u t e d b y ; P T K u b u D u a M e d i a ( I n d o n e s i a ) , P e r i p l u s - J a v a B o o k s (In d o n e s i a ) , P T I n d o p ro m ( I n d o n e s i a ) , F o re i g n P re s s ( H o n g K o n g ) , P a n s i n g D i s t r i b ut i o n (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 ) . C on ta c t th e e -m a il a ddre sse s a bove f or f u r th e r in f or m a tion .

F RV Travel M agazi n e

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E di ti on 7 .4

Dec ‘1 0 - J an ‘ 11


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Editor’s Thought FRV Travel – It takes you places It’s undeniable the way the internet is influencing our lives and our work, especially over the last year or so. It feels like a whole new ball game has just begun with new rules and new parameters throwing out the old and bringing in the new. The opportunities that exist through this medium that, in my opinion, are just beginning to present themselves to the masses, ourselves included, are nothing less than breathtaking, almost frightening in their scope. We’ve been having a close look at the possibilities that the internet offers over recent months and have slowly been formulating a plan to take us into that cyber future. Yes, we’ve had FRV website for many years, but it’s just now we are ready to do something with it. Sitting down with Ian Macaulay from Elite Havens recently the conversation, as it often does nowadays, turned to the subject of the internet. Here is one man who knows the game and is putting the web to good practice. You can read about

Elite Havens developments in the Bits and Pieces section. Meanwhile, back on terra firma, we have a very exciting edition of FRV Travel for you this month. Thomas Jones has spent an enjoyable couple of weeks in Japan and Nick Walton has been region trotting like no other. You can read their juicy travel stories inside as well as the Erza ST doing his thing in Jakarta and Rachel Love joining the Eat Pray Love set in Bali. Plus much more. Fun times are on the way. Enjoy the festive period, Merry Christmas to you all and may we have a happy and delicious New Year 2011. We hope you enjoy this edition of FRV Travel magazine. Send comments, gripes and letters to: editor@finerestaurantsandvillas.com

FRV CONTRIBUTORS

David Trauts Correspondent, English. This edition Trauts was in Shanghai Blue restaurant in Jakarta enjoying a night on the town. Then later recovering for a few days in the new Samaya villas on the Sayan Valley, Ubud. Fashion was high on the agenda as the APPMI fashion show was held in Nusa Dua and Classy Thursdays took his fancy both in Hu’u and The Junction restaurants.

Erza S.T. This opera guy seems to get busy and busier every month. Luckily, he still managed to try out 4 new restaurants that just opened last October and reporting the review for FRV. Not only that, he also conducted direct interview with Jakarta’s socialite darling Haseena Mukhi as well as arranging her photo shoot for this edition. He juggles all of these while preparing his concert production that was done in end of November.

Ve Handojo Snowed under by a pile of TV scripts to edit, ‘tis not the season to be jolly for Ve Handojo. He could only manage to escape to Resort World Sentosa, Singapore, where he screamed his lungs out in a roller coaster ride, and lost his hard earned cash in the casino.

Rachel Love Told by a fortune teller that her life would take a dramatic change in a move to the East, she arrived in Bali with a few hundred pounds and a vision to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a writer on a tropical island. FRV’s resident arts writer, Rachel is one of Bali’s most prolific authors, writing extensively on all things lifestyle and travel related.

Thomas Jones Koh Samui shows up on the radar en route to Japan where Thomas finds time to wind down the hard travelling and focus on the finer eating establishments of Tokyo. With nothing less than six couses, of course, the next destination could be a detox somewhere in the jungle.

Nick Walton Nick has been writing on travel for the past 10 years, including most recently as the travel editor for the South China Morning Post. From his home in Hong Kong he regularly travels throughout Asia and beyond, looking for new experiences, trends and destinations, both for his travel pieces in over 60 magazines globally, as well as his weekly radio show. FRV Travel l 15


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bits&PIECES

WHAT’S NEW, HOT AND COOL AROUND THE ISLAND OF BALI AND THE SE ASIAN REGION

VILLA KUBU

For sass and excitement dial 999. Villa Kubu, which has recently come under the wing of Marketing Villas management, has launched their newest luxury villa, 999, a smart, sharp and unashamedly sassy, two-bedroom villa within their existing Seminyak complex. With other ultra luxury villas soon to be launched in Berawa, Dyana Pura and Pererenan, each villa is individually designed with its own character and the finest fixtures and fittings, and of course their legendary service. Villa Kubu is fast becoming the only place to be in this fast moving and happening part of Bali. FRV Travel l 17


BITS&PIECES

New year’s eve in Bali There is plenty on offer for the night of nights to welcome in 2011. In a magical night, the latest playground of the Bali jetset, Cocoon, will be transformed into a tantalising dreamscape boudoir of burlesque and piquant frivolity, with nonstop shows of delight from some of the world’s greatest talents, at the Burlesque Butterfly Ball, New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2010. The Burlesque Butterfly Ball will be an event like nothing ever seen on the island of Bali before. With a mix of stage performances and roving performers through the venue all night there will be an endless stream of visual entertainment and Cocoon will come alive with the most lavish and extravagant props and performers costumed with the same eye for detail. Headlining this spectacular will be the Stunning Miss Victoria Butterfly, the most beautiful and exquisite burlesque performer in the world. Her butterfly release act is a sight to be seen and will tantalize guests through an evening of pleasure and delight. White tails and top hat host for the evening will be The Space Cowboy, current six times Guinness book record holder for extreme circus acts of genius and daring. He has been awarded the ‘street performer of the world’ award from the Edinburgh festival two years running, and is magically polished and divinely talented. Zoe L’Amore will be the flower of the trio with acts of circus, beauty and amazement. Flying in her aerial heart she is the princess of the night sky, only to compete with our self-lit lighting structures in the Cocoon big tent, which will keep all happily dry and coolly refreshed with overhead projections and surprises all night long. This star-studded cast will be complemented by the very best of Bali’s corseted, contagious magical delights and some of the best wining and dining the island has to offer. Tickets available for degustation dinner, VIP and general admission. Tickets: Degustation Dinner and Show: Rp. 1,300,000++ General Admission: Pre-sale Rp. 500,000. Door Rp. 600,000 Cabana (six people) + bottle of champagne Rp. 6,000,000 VIP four people) + bottle of champagne Rp. 4,000,000 Day bed (six people) + bottle of champagne Rp. 5,000,000 Private bale on the beach (Min 20 people : Max 30 people) canapés, 5 bottles of Champagne Rp. 1,500,000 per head For Details and Booking’s email NYE2010@cocoon-beach.com Jl. Double Six, no.66, Blue Ocean Boulevard, Seminyak, Bali, P. +62 361 731266, F. +62 361 731155 www.cocoon-beach.com

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BITS&PIECES BITS&PIECES

NEW YEAR’S EVE in bali

There is a lot going on for NYE at the Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua. Grand Ballroom – “Colours of Asia” New Year’s Eve 2010 will showcase modern Asia with creative and colourful displays, an eclectic mix of Asian cuisine and contemporary Asian dance performances with dishes from India, Thailand, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and Bali, all prepared at live cooking stations. Grand Hyatt Bali’s renowned pop band will fill the air with party tunes, and later bring on the DJ. US$ 198++ per person, including pre-dinner drinks and US$ 99++ per child aged 4 – 12. In the Karangasem Ballroom–“Balinese Palace” an elegant Indonesian and Balinese dinner buffet with sounds and dance from Bali and DJ till late. US$ 60++ per person and US$ 25++ per child aged 6 – 12. There other events at their many outlets all leading up to the Lobby – “New Year’s Eve Countdown” three … two … one ….the 2011 count down to the New Year whilst dancing to the beat of the band and DJ. Call Grand Hyatt +62 361 771 234. This year’s NYE festivities at Hu’u Nutmegs will begin with a special six-course set dinner menu for Rp. 1,800,000++, including party favours and live music entertainment during dinner. Then later, Hu’u is dressed in gold with the Golden Gala, NYE Party featuring DJ Golddigger & Adit RNRM, who will be pumping out the hits from the days of vinyl so dig out your platforms, put on your flares and get ready to shake your booty to mash up tracks all night long! KuDeTa chefs have pulled out all the stops this year to create an enticing cornucopia of contemporary cuisine with both French and Mediterranean flavours, followed by an end of year party for which they are so famous. The dining will be an extravaganza of culinary delights from the KuDeTa top chefs with many highlights through the four-course meal. At 11pm, KuDeTa dims the lights and segues smoothly into party mode. Presiding over this New Year affair will be in house duo, Donni One and Niina, who’ll be delivering an audio arsenal made up variously of sublime jacking house liberally sprinkled with anthems to make sure you arrive in 2011 on cloud nine. There will be myriad special performers through the night breaking into ballroom, contortionism to clowning, plus some improbable aerial acrobatics. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the middle of the action. Tickets on sale now at KU DE TA: Dinner and party Rp. 1,800,000++ / Party pre-sale Rp. 800,000 / On the night Rp. 900,000 For more information www.kudeta.net METIS also plans a gala night of fine food and entertainment: a festive tribute to 2010 and a joyful passage into a new

golden rice era. Métis has chosen a sumptuous four-course gala dinner, the most wicked drinks and organized some of the most dazzling performances to fully celebrate the entering into a new year blessed with joy, abundance and prosperity; the golden year of 2011. Rp 1,850,000++/person, starts with open bar & succulent canapés, then dinner and dance performances till 11.30pm when the party begins with DJ Kevin K and Guest DJ. At midnight witness a spectacular live countdown with MC Kamau & Dancers and greet the New Year with glittering splendor! Tel: +62 361 737 888. Count down to 2011 and unveil the New Year at The St.Regis Bali Resort. Revel in this last day of the year with an indulgence at Boneka, complete with the finest and delightfully extensive buffet menu at Rp. 2,500,000++ per person, or at Kayuputi with an elegant and rich eight-course degustation menu at Rp. 3,950,000++. Continue your celebration after dinner at the King Cole Bar or Vista Bar at the beach. Dinner guests of Boneka and Kayuputi are invited to enjoy complimentary cocktails from 6.30pm to 7pm, while taking in the splendid fire dance. King Cole Bar will feature a dance floor with live band for revelers in the mood to dance the night in to the New Year, starting from 9pm. Call The St Regis for more details + 62 361 847 8111 or email stregis.bali@stregis.com Friday Night Fever hits the Tugu for a “We are Family” style disco dance for New Year’s Eve. Starting with a traditional Balinese aeremony on the Batu Bolong beach guests will gather together to celebrate the grace with which another year has passed and then enjoy the first indulgence of the evening; welcome cocktails followed by the Tugu Hotel’s New Year’s Eve dinner. After the meal the party begins and the seventies funksters, the showgirls and boys, will take to the stage for a funk-a-delik phantasmagorical expose that will lead into the midnight countdown. US$ 95++ which includes a welcome cocktail, The New Year’s Eve dinner and a champagne toast. Contact Tugu at bali@tuguhotels.com or 0361-731701 Ultimo restaurant will be holding their famous NYE event which as always is sure to be a fun and packed evening for all their regular customers. A special festive menu with all the trimmings is available at Ultimo and Rumours from 23 Dec to January. There is a festive four-course set menu at 180k++ running right thru Dec/Jan at Toscana in Jakarta. For more information about Christmas and NYE don’t forget to check Bali’s number one entertainment guide, the beat magazine or go to www.beatmag.com FRV Travel l 19


BITS&PIECES

A NEW WAVE IN THE VILLA INDUSTRY? The holiday villa market just set a new standard for quality. facilities, among other factors. When asked about this business model, Jon Stonham said “We view ourselves as a consumer advocate, we want our clients to know exactly what property they are renting, and being confident about what will be there when they get off the plane”. Ian Macaulay, the MD of the Elite Havens Group commented “It demonstrates how big the villa market has grown. ‘Villa’ unfortunately is one of the most widely abused terms on the island.” When asked what prompted the creation of the new company, Ian Macaulay said about Jon Stonham and Riyaz Moorani, the other co-founder of aisa-hotels.com, “They had two very important things: vision and technology. what the villa industry has been waiting for is for the digitalisation of inventory that fits our specific industry model, and they’ve been working on this for over a year and a half”.

In the last decade or so, villas in Bali have become one of the island’s leading attractions and are gaining coverage around the world. Elite Havens has been one of the pioneers in the luxury villa rental industry and they have just announced they have teamed up with Private Homes and Villas, a regional villa company that was started two years ago by the team who started the very successful company asia-hotels.com. The new company, Marketing Villas Limited, is going to have a full regional presence, representing villas in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Lombok and Bali and will be headed by Jon Stonham, one of the co-founders of asia-hotel.com (which sold to Orbitz.com in 2006), who takes on the role of CEO for the new firm. The two companies initially approached the industry from different perspectives: Elite Havens had always sought out the best of the villas in Bali and presented those with top end professionalism while Private Homes and Villas have looked to review and present a detailed critique of each of the villas it represents, pointing out their strong and weak points, from a perspective of location, service,

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The two companies see the collection of villa knowledge, and top-quality product, combined with experience and reputation as an innovator in the international distribution accommodation industry as a recipe for success. Couple this with the scale and depth of resources the two firms posses, and a tradition of harnessing all forms of media – print, social, web that the two firms share and villa owners are set for better results, potential guests have access to more information, empowering their villa booking. Matthew Georgeson, the other partner at the Elite Havens group, says, “We’ve seen the benefits of scale and associating ourselves with strong overseas brands. Our sales division recently re-branded its property division in Bali as ‘Elite Havens Knight Frank’ allowing them to showcase Bali’s best properties to an international audience”. Knight Frank provides high quality residential and commercial property services in 43 countries across the globe, and are the world’s largest privately-owned global real estate agency and consultancy. Private Homes and Villas will shortly be publishing a book entitled The Asian Villa Guide which provides readers with a detailed overview over 200 villas around the region that they have personally visited. It’s an interesting taste of what the future could hold, is it the wave of the future? We’ll have to wait and see.


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BITS&PIECES

Reinvigorating Thailand’s Cultural Heritage Siam Kempinski combines nature and culture in the city.

I’m Dreaming of a Humid Christmas Orchard Road lights up for Christmas in the tropics.

Styled around a unique botanical garden representing Thailand’s most lush and impressive flora, the new Siam Kempinski hotel in the heart of Bangkok was a “labour of love” for interior designers HBA. The serene oasis is the product of an eight year collaboration with prominent Thai owners, including members of the Royal Family, to reflect Thailand’s unique cultural and natural heritage. The most surprising and refreshing luxury hotel in Bangkok now sets a new standard for tradition in Thailand: not a retrospective of what has been, but an artistic foreshadowing of the next generation, broadening the appeal of Bangkok itself.

Christmas is a special occasion that many visitors and locals look forward to every year, and from now to January 2, 2011, Singapore’s main shopping districts, Orchard Road and Marina Bay, will once again be lit up in a dazzling display of lights to celebrate that most joyous of Christian festivals. A much-anticipated highlight is the street light ups, and this year’s display promises to be even better under the overarching theme of ‘Starlit Celebrations’. “Over the years, ‘Christmas in the Tropics’ has become a key fixture in Singapore’s tourism calendar, and we have seen many first timers and repeat visitors come to Singapore to enjoy the festivities. We are confident that this year, amidst an evolved tourism landscape, our activity line-up and new tourism offerings will attract even more tourists,” said Mr Andrew Phua, of the Singapore Tourism Board. The glitzy light-up on Orchard Road is themed “A Starlit Christmas”, and will be lit up in three main colours - pink, blue and purple - to symbolise the true festive spirit of Christmas, namely peace, joy and love, with the blue section highlight being Tiffany & Co.’s eight-metre-high Christmas trees decked in the iconic Tiffany blue boxes and white bows to mark the magical moments of the season.

A Cosmic Experience to Bring in the New Year Absolute Sanctuary collaborates for an exclusive New Year’s Eve. Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand’s Premier Detox & Yoga resort will be tying up for the first time with NEURONIUM, a Spanish electronic music group headed by Michel Huygen for a special exclusive New Year’s Eve concert. The inaugural event held at the resort’s poolside, will see Michel playing for the first time in a live concert, pieces of music from his three new albums released in 2010, never before performed in concert. The highlight of the world premiere concert will not only be the music but also a special visual display of cosmic, relaxing, dreamy images of Michel’s own paintings which will be projected on a screen in tandem with the flow of music to create a surreal atmosphere for listeners to “fly away” in the still of the Koh Samui night. www.absolutesanctuary.com

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BITS&PIECES

The Quintessential City Guide City guidebooks are a bible for those who enjoy traveling. The Lonely Planet is a phenomenon that successfully gave traveling a new dimension by suggesting new, unknown and unusual places for us to visit. Some novelty guides such as “1000 Places To See Before You Die” highlight many of the world’s best destinations, hitherto unknown to many of us before. But what about a guide book for the urban traveler who enjoys the finer things in life? What kind of city guide book should their look for? Introducing “Louis Vuitton City Guide 2011”. Yes people, Louis Vuitton makes a travel guide and it will definitely guarantee you a whole new meaning for traveling. Since 1998, when the book was firstly published, the Louis Vuitton team has continuously perfected the guide by combining

Let the Celebrations Begin Grand Hyatt has a real show stopper this NYE in Jakarta. The Grand Hyatt Jakarta has a special event this New Year’s Eve with the Elfa’s Singers entertaining guests in a NYE Party in the Lobby, and after the countdown, dancing into 2011 with guest performer Lucy Holmes all the way from Australia presenting her show 100% Kylie. Special festive dining is available in their award winning restaurants. It should be a great party and not to be missed. Call +62 21 390 1234 for bookings.

traditional core values and all the finest new aspects in life with a series of surprising twists Thus all the best freelance journalists and writers have been summoned by Louis Vuitton to make this City Guide up-to-date and unique. Not only that, they also invite distinguished figures, whether famous or unexpected to reveal their best off-the-beatentrack addresses. For the 2011 edition, the line up includes writers such as the singer Dani in Paris, the producer Judy Cramer in London, the successful author Alexander McCall Smith in Edinburgh, the pianist Boris Berezovsky in Moscow, Bette Midler in New York and the high priest oh Kyoto’s most important temple, Sosho Yamada are ready to share you on what is interesting to see and experience in their cities. So, if you are bored with the current stereotyped guide books and would like to go outside your rcomfort zone, then perhaps you should give the City Guide a chance. After a decade of perfection, Louis Vuitton City Guide is well known as the vade mecum for those who called themselves globetrotters.

ASTON INTERNATIONAL INTRODUCES “ROYAL KAMUELA” Aston’s expansion into luxury villas in Bali’s Ubud and Nusa Dua. Aston International introduces its new high-end villa brand Royal Kamuela which are about to open in Bali. The first, The Royal Kamuela Villas & Spa Nusa Dua, is set less than 100 metres from the Beach and will open in December 2010. Aston International’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mr. Norbert Vas, said, ”With Royal Kamuela Villas, Aston International introduces an arresting line of exclusive properties that feature elegant private pool villas combined with complete resort facilities. Royal Kamuela properties are up-market resorts offering an unprecedented level of privacy, contemporary comforts, anticipatory hospitality and a sense of place inspired by admiration and respect for the local destination.” Aston aims to develop its line of Royal Kamuela Resorts throughout Southeast Asia and is already in an early planning stage for a large scale 78 Villa Royal Kamuela on Malaysia’s famed resort island of Langkawi.

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Pictures are courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Not everyone likes to backpack.


anantara uluwatu

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BITS&PIECES

Erdinger The ultimate premium weissbier. Erdinger Weissbier is one of the most popular wheat beers in the world. It is now being exported to over 70 countries around the planet and continues to grow in fame and fortune every year. Erdinger was founded in 1886 by Johann Kienle and continues to be 100% privately owned by the Brombach family. The beer is only allowed to be brewed in the town of Erding, Germany, using fine yeast according to a traditional recipe and within strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law, namely, well water from Bavaria, along with local malt, hops and yeast. Even today, Erdinger is bottle fermented in the traditional way where it matures in the bottle for three to four weeks. Constant quality checks ensure its unmistakable quality and flavour and should always be consumed in their original Erdinger wheat beer glass! Erdinger beer has been available in Indonesia since 2003, and recently FRV spoke to the principal of Erdinger for Indonesia, Haseena Mukhi, and the Asia Pacific region, Mr Oliver Helbig on the history of the product in this country. What kind of position does Erdinger have in the market here? It is the most exclusive wheat beer available. What kind of people drink Erdinger? Well, you could say beer drinkers of any age. Non beer drinkers tend to enjoy it too for its mightily refreshing taste— Erdinger has very low bitterness. From what we’ve seen even ladies who do not necessarily drink beer take to it very well. Where can you find it in Indonesia? Most hotels, up-market restaurants and bars and clubs around Jakarta and in Bali. 26 l FRV Travel

Erdinger appears to be making a solid push around the world right now. Is there a reason why or how that came about? Erdinger has been very export-minded for a long time. Since 2004 we have been opening a lot of markets in the Asia Pacific region. Erdinger recently sponsored a very successful 98.5 The Beat Radio Plus music event at KuDeTa’s up-market KUVE upstairs bar. Is that part of the strategy? Erdinger is very interested in events. Our Oktoberfest events are very famous around the region in Singapore, China, and Mumbai and now too in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and Bali. We look forward to doing more in the future. We’ll be looking forward to that. Prost! FRV


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BALI VILLA

Text by Samantha Coomber

East meets West

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take a journey of discovery through East Residence and Spa, A gem of a find amongst Canggu’s crop of holiday rental villas and rice fields, and you’ll find this magnificent property offers much more than just a home away from home.


I Left: The stunning infinity-edge pool features a de rigueur sunken bar and ornamental islands. Above: The open-air lounge pavilion makes the perfect spot for sundowners and barbecues.

get the impression that the New Zealand owners of East Residence and Spa are almost reluctant to put their villa up for private rental. And who can blame them? Completed in 2008, this palatial fivebedroom property set in two riverside acres, has after all, been the owner’s cherished family home on extended Bali sojourns. And it’s blatantly obvious, from blueprint conception to present-day realisation, from the smallest fixtures and discreet nooks and crannies to the Zen-infused grounds, that much passion, meticulous attention to detail and personality has been poured into the property. “This is a home away from home,” insists the owner, but frankly, that’s an understatement. Entering through carved wood doors with an overhanging alang alang roof, faced with a koi-filled water feature and Buddhist statues (and that’s just the perimeter!), I sense I’ve entered a private sanctuary with hidden treasures, which certainly stands out from the crowd. The main building itself presents a solid, western-style architectural design. But through glass doors in the sun-

drenched, open-plan living room, immediately beyond is a totally unexpected sight; a 20m infinity-edge pool which seemingly drops away to a riot of riverbank rainforest. Although tucked away in Tumbak Bayuh, amongst Canggu’s picturesque rice fields, here, you could almost be mistaken for being in Ubud’s jungly depths. More surprises ensue, as I’m led through beautifully manicured gardens – amazingly, once covered with jungle. Lovingly tended daily by three gardeners, these comprise three distinct terraces, with sloping lawns fringed by banana plants and bird of paradise blooms. Down stone steps, across the first of two rivers, we find the delightful Rainforest Cottage, a bedroom annex separate from four en-suite bedrooms in the main villa. Resembling a honeymooner’s bolt-hole, complete with tropicallyindulgent, outdoor bathroom, I imagine many heated discussions arise about who gets to sleep here. Further down, there’s the open-air Balinese lounge pavilion, almost submerged in rainforest foliage, and as I discover later, a wondrously peaceful spot for Gin and Tonic’s as daylight fades. And beside here, qu’elle surprise again, a spa pavilion! Exclusive to villa guests, this small spa is FRV Travel l 29


Yoga enthusiasts should waft below to the three balés cleverly placed alongside a shaded river.

part of the owner’s parent company that operates several upscale spas in New Zealand and Australia. Two fully-trained therapists are on standby for traditional therapies: try the Flower Petal Bath in the sensual outdoor stone tub, or ancient reflexology on the River Deck, reclining on vintage leather armchairs – all accompanied by soothing waterfall sounds. Yoga enthusiasts should waft below to the three balés (gazebos) cleverly placed alongside a shaded river. The globe-trotting owners welcome guests with Western comforts and contemporary Balinese interiors of the highest quality. Yet homage to their adopted homes’ traditions is omnipresent, from the frangipani flower placed behind my ear on arrival and bathroom amenities stored in traditional Balinese offerings boxes, to tasteful Indonesian artworks and décor. Amongst many examples, antique Sulawesi warrior waistcoats, framed on white-washed walls. With the owner’s flying back to New Zealand, their loss perhaps is our gain. The villa brochure blurb declares, “The Gods come here to rest,” but as from now, us mere mortals too get the chance to rest, restore and rejuvenate, at East Residence and Spa. FRV 30 l FRV Travel

Top left: All bedrooms feature modern Indonesian style infused with Balinese rustic touches. Below left: At home, in the open-plan and refreshingly airy living-dining room

Above right: Three riverside bales offer the perfect spot for yoga and meditation Below right: Even the antique Balinese wooden dining table reeks class here,

www.eastresidence.com


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bali fashion

The Class of thursday

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Thursday night is moving fine, waiting for the right moment has never been in your mind. The style of grace acidic in movement has you pinned to the wall without confusion. You are waiting and waiting for the one you love. TEXT BY TRAUTS PHOTOS BY SULTHON FRV Travel l 33


feel the energy of thursday night and ready to plunge from those VIP heights. i want to dance in the Hu’u light, i need to be in the middle of this classy life, while i am waiting and waiting for the one i love.

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i am at a Junction and not a seat in the house. my emotions are like jars, bottled, while i need to shout. thursdays are class, and i am ready to shine, while i wait and wait for the one i love. Hu’u - Classy Thursdays Jl. Oberoi Petitenget Tel: +62 361 736443 www.huubali.com

The Junction - Dining Jl Laksmana Oberoi Seminyak Tel: +62 361 735610

Bamboo Blonde - Clothing Jl. Laksmana 61 Oberoi Seminyak Tel: +62 361 731864

Model: Dayu Adnya - IAM MODEL MANAGEMENT (booking.bali@rightcharacter.com) Wardrobe: Bamboo Blonde Accessories: Bamboo Blonde and Mimi Collection Shoes: Espen Salberg Photos: Sulthon/Trauts Styling: Donnie Ardhia/Trauts 36 l FRV Travel


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BALI WARISAN

Warisan

Care, Style and Taste Dayu Sri is back in action. Text David Trauts Photos Sulthon

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The new Warisan features plenty of room for intimate dining in a rustic Bali style.

W

arisan restaurant has been a dining institution in Bali for 20 years and its present owner/occupier has been involved directly and indirectly since day one. Ibu Dayu Sri was brought up with hospitality in her veins. From her family-run hotel in Ubud where she grew up, and later as the PR at the Oberoi during the eighties, before starting the original Warisan restaurant in 1990, entertaining guests and relating to people comes as second nature to this Balinese woman. From the beginning Warisan was always a sociable place to be and has been part of the reason Bali has become an upmarket tourist destination. “Back then there weren’t many good dining options on offer in Bali,” Dayu told FRV. “So, myself and two friends, Tosca and Mary, decided to do something about it.” They opened the restaurant behind the existing Warisan gallery and ran it for the next four years. “By the time the boys came and offered to take it over I was pregnant again and said to them, yes sure, take it away. Said and Doudou were good friends and regulars at the restaurant by then and I was happy to let them have it.”

Thirteen years later the boys had moved onto their new project, METIS, and with Dayu’s children already grown up she decided it was time to roll up her sleeves and get back onto the front line. “I’ve always loved food, cooking and entertaining,” she confides. “I am involved with every part of this restaurant but it is the food that I most enjoy.” She has help too in an old friend and now general manager at Warisan, Cetin Candan, who brings an abundance of business and dining experience to the table. In the kitchen, Belgian chef, Vincent Denayar is cooking up a storm with the French - Mediterranean cuisine. “Personally, I prefer to call it an international menu because it does have dishes from all over the world,” points out Dayu Sri. The lunch and dinner menus are really quite enormous with a wide selection of delicious options. The new restaurant, which was completely transformed in nine months of renovation earlier this year, can seat over 100 people and has the Warisan furniture and jewelry stores on one side, with parking for over 40 vehicles

behind (unseen from the restaurant). The space is enormous. Dayu Sri could be considered in many ways the queen of Bali Style and now once again she’s back to being the grand dame of Bali Restaurants. She is a natural host and generous with her heart and smile to all comers. “Caring and love is good,” she said to me, “Money’s fine, but caring means more.” She proves this in many ways, but also in one particular place where it counts; the prices they have set at Warisan. They are a tier lower than their main competitors in the finer dining end of the Seminyak area. “I like people to come often to my restaurant, not just on birthdays or special occasions.” And she’s right; the price quality ratio is nothing less than value for money and with lashings of care, style and taste. FRV

Warisan Restaurant & Bar Jl. Kerobokan Raya 38 Kerobokan - Bali Tel: +62 361 731 175 www.warisanrestaurant.com FRV Travel l 39


THE SAMAYA ubud

The Quality of The Samaya An FRV visit to the new Samaya Ubud Bali. Text David Trauts Photos Sulthon 40 l FRV Travel


T

he Samaya villas on Seminyak beach have come a long way since being reinvented a while back. From a sleepy villa complex a few short years ago came one of Seminyak’s finer resorts – a resort placed number one on the tripadviser.com resort list for Bali for the past year. General manager, Ray Clark played a large part in those improvements and from that point he and the resort owners got things moving quickly. First across the road, building an extension called The Samaya Royal Courtyard villas—a group of 22 private villas complete with its own in-house restaurant, and connected by golf cart to the original beachside villa complex including famed restaurant, The Breeze and The Samaya Spa. Not sitting on their laurels there, over the last year and a half they constructed the new Samaya Ubud Villas and Spa on the Sayan ridge near Ubud. A secluded hideaway, The Samaya Ubud consists of 19 private villas built in two sections, one on top of the ridge and one below nestled against the Ayung river. These are all one-bedroom villas, but two- and three-bedroom villas will be coming on line in 2011.

Like a slow moving train the samaya group is gradually becoming one of the leaders in luxury accommodations on bali. David trauts gives the latest samaya in ubud the once over. We drove our own transport up to Ubud from Seminyak and were greeted with a large smile at the lobby by hotel manager Wayan Suambara. The lobby is at the top of the ridge so we were then whisked down a paved track to our riverside villa on the resort golf cart – golf carts are available to transport guests up and down at any time. The one-bedroom villa was spacious with a large private swimming pool within a walled compound. There is a raised, timber platform overlooking the river in each villa but the villas don’t offer further direct views to the river, but you definitely know the river is there. The constant buzz of the flowing river just outside pervades the villa at all times. A large flat-screen TV features in the combined living/bedroom while a smaller TV overlooking the big jacuzzi style bathtub that protrudes from the

wall in the bathroom. There’s plenty of space in the villa and especially the bathroom. The large bale gazebo in the garden is the ideal place to chill out or to enjoy the delightful breakfast served at The Samaya Ubud. The Samaya prides itself on the quality of food offered in their resorts—The Breeze in Seminyak is considered to be one of the top restaurants in Bali—and the Ubud restaurants are no exception. Australian chef, Dean Keddell oversees the kitchens of all The Samaya resorts and in Ubud he has two restaurants offering two distinct menus for in-house and walk-in guests. Right from the lavish breakfast served in the villa, through to the lunch and afternoon tea at the riverside Swept Away restaurant and degustation and á la carte menus in the evening at Scene, the

Facing page: The villas up on the ridge come with a larger pool and views over the valley. Top: The villa interiors are spacious and complete with all required amenities. Bottom left: The fullyequiped gym can help to pull a guest out of his or her lethagic state. Bottom right: There is so much room in the spacious bathrooms complete with a flat screen TV on the wall.

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dining is five star all the way. The best local and imported produce is used to create some of the best fine and casual dining on the island. A visit to the spa at Samaya Ubud is a must. Expert therapists are on hand to ease the tension from your body and soul at the riverside location. There seems to have been even more attention to detail in the finishing of the spa, which has the sounds of the rushing river as a sonic backdrop.

the therapeutic sound of the river offers a constant relaxing background.

Generally, the therapeutic sound of the river passing by, and especially at night, gives a constant relaxing background to a stay at this group of villas. I could imagine the ‘eat, pray love’ style of tourist coming to Bali nowadays and lapping it up with their yoga and meditative ways of life.

Above: Swept Away, Samaya’s river side casual-dining restaurant. Below: A delightful afternoon tea is served in the Swept Away restaurant on the river’s edge. Right: A visit to the riverside spa is a must with a full range of treatments on offer.

Overall, The Samaya Ubud is an ideal getaway resort. The management told me that many visitors are already mixing a few nights in the Seminyak and then a few in the Ubud resort with transfers supplied between the two. The food was excellent in both upstairs Scene, and riverside Swept Away, too. Since it has only just been open a few short months, the gardens and some of the finishing touches still have to arrive to their full potential. However, The Samaya Ubud and The Samaya group of villa resorts as an entirety have now really made their long term mark on the Bali accommodation and dining experience with a quality product and service. FRV

www.thesamayabali.com 42 l FRV Travel


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BALI FOUR SEASONS

In Italy, they’re devouring pizza. in India, they’re visiting temples. and in Bali they’re seeking palm readings from a medicine man while on a quest for love. Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling chick-lit memoir of post-divorce globetrotting, and the subsequent ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ movie starring Julia Roberts, has fuelled a boom in travel, with numerous hotel packages offering fans the opportunity to experience a reinvention of their own.

Eat, Pray, Love

Four Seasons’ Style

By Rachel Love

He may only have a couple of teeth, but Ketut Liyer has merry eyes, a big smile and a cheeky sense of humour. Photo by Neal Harrison. 44 l FRV Travel


To make the Satay Lilit spice paste, take some finelychopped shallots, garlic, red chilli, galangal and turmeric, add some freshly-ground black pepper, cloves, nutmeg and coriander, and lightly sauté on medium heat.

In

Bali, I decide to eat, pray and love in style, with a four-night package that takes me to both Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons at Sayan. The package provides the option to continue on the Eat Pray Love (EPL) trail at a Four Seasons’ hotel in either Milan, Florence or Mumbai, with a complimentary one-day personal concierge service, led by a ‘guru’ who will introduce the secrets of his or her city through a completely customised itinerary. My ‘Bali, Pray, Love’ journey begins in Jimbaran, and if you’re wondering why the ‘Eat’ factor has been taken out of the title it’s only for copyright reasons, there is plenty of chomping, munching and licking of lips on my voyage of self discovery. I stay in a blissful one-bedroom villa with an open-air lounge and a plunge pool, overlooking the magnificent Jimbaran Bay, where little jukung fishing boats bob over white-capped waves. Here, I am invited to explore the secrets of the local cuisine through a Balinese cooking class conducted by Chef Rudy. Although numerous hotels and restaurants on the island offer cooking programmes, the hands-on experience at Four Seasons Jimbaran is unique due to the resort’s state-of-the-art cooking school, which is dedicated entirely to cooking classes for guests. The experience is a foray into Balinese culture and life, so before we start cooking, Rudy takes me on a tour of the nearby Kedonganan fish market, as well as the vegetable market, where he introduces me to the fresh seafood, produce and pungent spices that make up the flavours and ingredients of Balinese cooking. From the markets, we head back to the cooking school, where I explore the herb garden and enjoy a hearty breakfast. Then, together, Rudy and I prepare the minced

chicken delicacy known as ‘Satay Lilit Ayam’, a fresh and crunchy vegetable pickle called ‘Acar Sayur’, a spicy ‘Sambal Matah’, and the delicious ‘Pepes Ikan Kakap’, which is grilled red snapper wrapped in a banana leaf. Finally, for dessert, we make ‘Kue Labu’, a Balinese pumpkin treat cooked with coconut milk. We leisurely savour the fruits of our labour for lunch, and I roll back to my villa with a very full stomach indeed. The next day, I swap the rhythm of the waves for the call of the jungle, relocating to Four Seasons Sayan. High above the gorge over a rushing creek, I cross a solid teak bridge, leading to an awesome elliptical lotus pond – the rooftop of the resort’s central three-storey building – which appears to float like a giant saucer above the trees. My first call is a date with Ketut Liyer, the ninthgeneration Balinese faith healer who was the inspiration for Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel. In the opening scene of the movie, Liz is on a journalism assignment in Bali, where she meets the Medicine Man. He predicts, “Someday soon you will come back to Bali and live here and teach me English. And I will teach you everything I know.” Then he beams toothlessly and says, “See you later, Alligator.” When Liz returns to Bali two years later, he doesn’t recognise her. I too have met Ketut Liyer before, also on a journalism assignment, and on this subsequent meeting, eight years on, he doesn’t recognise me either. Nevertheless – and despite his newfound fame – this “small, merry-eyed, russet-coloured old guy” hasn’t changed a bit. He practices from his home, a traditional Balinese compound, which was actually used in the shooting of the movie. This morning, two Japanese girls, an American couple, an Indonesian woman and an English woman are waiting in the Medicine Man’s immaculate walled courtyard, shaded by flowering trees in the pretty village FRV Travel l 45


Top right: The plunge pool and deck of an Ocean-View villa at Jimbaran Bay. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons. Middle: The fruits of the cooking school labour – Satay Lilit Bali. Pepes ikan kakap with wok-fried mixed vegetables and sambal matah. Below: Spa Villa at Four Seasons Sayan. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons.

“You have lots of energy, you can make love as often as three times a night, and you will still be pretty even when you’re old.”

of Penestanan. They are all taking the encounter very seriously. Ketut settles me down on his bamboo mat and reads my palm. He warns me that he will tell me everything “good and bad”, but it’s all okay, he assures me, “You will get married and live happily ever after. In fact you will live to be 100. You will be rich and successful, and you will remain healthy”, and then with a cheeky toothless grin, he reveals, “You have lots of energy, you can make love as often as three times a night, and you will still be pretty even when you’re old.” Not wanting to disregard a prediction of good fortune, I choose to believe it all. He says, “See you later Alligator,” and I leave, also with a smile on my face. Now if you’re wondering about the love factor, Four Seasons has designed two packages, ‘Bali, Pray, Love Travelling Solo’ and ‘Bali, Pray, Love and Discover for Couples.’ At this point in my – so far, solo – adventure, I decide I’m ready for some loving, and after deliberating on whether 46 l FRV Travel

I should search Ubud for a hunky Javier Bardem lookalike, I decide to bring along one that I’d prepared earlier. My Javier and I enjoy two blissful days in a villa at Four Seasons Sayan, complete with our own private pool and a glorious view of the river and the rice terraces. We are waited on by staff who astonish us because every single one of them – even the buggy drivers – has taken the trouble to learn our names. During the course of our stay we are pampered in tandem with a delightfully relaxing massage in one of the resort’s spa villas, followed later by an alfresco candlelit dinner for just the two of us, alone on the deck of the huge rooftop lotus pond, under a beautiful Bali moon. Eat, Pray, Love eat your heart out; real life is better than the movie. Four Seasons Milan, Florence and Mumbai, here we come! FRV

www.fourseasons.com


Terrines | Oysters | Snails | Salmon | Lobster | Seafood Fricasse | Goose | Lamb | Veal | Duck | Buche de Noel | Chocolate Truffles | Cakes | Tarts | Ice Cream | Sorbets Special Requests Accepted

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RE-CHEQUE INTERCONTINENTAL

Singapore Remains Stylish and Peranakan The hotel is a classic institution, nestled amidst the busy Bugis area. Ve Handojo experience modern Peranakan living in Intercontinental Singapore. The Lobby The doors that connect the busy Bugis Junction market with InterContinental Singapore are like a portal to transfer us back and forth between two different worlds. Inside this pretty, white-washed hotel is calmness and a refreshing aroma to soothe business travelers and shopaholics alike. The Peranakan-inspired lobby quickly gives a homely and friendly feeling. The decor throughout the hotel celebrates a unique blend of Chinese and Malay heritage and ornate art and tapestries of the Peranakan culture preserves subtle luxuries that stand the test of time.

The Rooms

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usual fare. The hotel also hosts Man Fu Yuan (a Cantonese restaurant), and KO (Japanese) and every weekend, the International High Tea in Olive Tree starts at 12.30 pm, and it has become a weekly ritual for socialites.

The Gym and the Pool A 24-hour gym with sauna gives you something to do in the middle of the night after a long day of doing business and shopping and comes complete with the latest cardio and weight equipment. On a sunny day, escape to the quiet and secluded swimming pool. It seems like most of the guests stay there for Bugis shopping experience, so the pool is often empty by the day. A good thing indeed for avid readers.

The last time we checked in to this hotel, we tried one of the most famous and most favourite rooms among guests: The Shophouse Room. This time, we inspected the classic corner room on the upper floor, which features lacquer cupboards and valance windows, with oriental bedside lamps. The bathroom could use some rejuvenation (a rain shower comes to mind) and bathroom amenities remain basic with nothing to surprise. Surely, this is what is usually tagged as “classic�. Other than the Shophouse Rooms and Deluxe Rooms, the hotel also has two Executive Suites, four Ambassador Suites, and a Presidential Room that comes with an additional bedroom.

The Bar

Dining

Intercontinental Singapore

Expect a standard breakfast buffet with a predictable array of international comfort food in Olive Tree restaurant; dimsum, noodles, rice, eggs, and the

80 Middle Road Tel: +65 6338 7600, E-mail: singapore@interconti.com www.singapore.intercontinental.com

Victoria Bar satisfies your craving for ale as a wide range of beers from around the world is served here. Premiums include Ramee Blonde, Saint-Arnoldus Dark Blonde, and Belle-Vue Kriek. All time favorites include Erdinger, Hoegaarden, Kilkenny, Stella Artois, and Kirin. Their whisky collection is ready to knock you out, either by the glass, or by bottle. In the meantime, the Lobby Lounge serves martinis at only S$10, and champagne and champagne cocktails by the glass at S$18. A good fare for a stylish evening before hitting the clubs. FRV


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JAKARTA’s AMUZ

Being Amused in

Amuz Text by Erza S.T. Photo by Ramadhan

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E Left: Warm and elegant interiors with a beautiful teardrop chandelier made by an artisan in Solo.

Right: The maestro Gilles Marx in his kitchen working hard at the art of seasoning.

xactly a year ago, I went to Riva and reviewed that legendary restaurant with the great man in the kitchen, Gilles Marx. He is recognized for his modern approach to traditional French cooking and for his success in dealing with the toughest epicureans in town (such as Laksmi Pamuntjak of The Jakarta Good Food Guide). It seems that Gilles provides something new every time you meet him. Well, like any true artist, Gilles once again stunned me with his new invention; his own restaurant in Jakarta called Amuz. First open to the public in October 2010, Amuz is pretty much still within its soft opening period. Prepare yourself to be amused with the ambiance and, of course, the cuisine. For his new atelier, Gilles has moved to a contemporary yet romantic and chic Parisian style featuring Eiffel Tower inspired iron work. Designed by Idris Samad, Amuz has the right elements to be an elegant fine dining restaurant without overdoing it. Sublime warmth from the teak wood flooring with fabulous teardrop-like chandeliers combined with Indonesian paintings from renowned artists and Indo–French styling has made Amuz a one of kind restaurant. Some of Gilles’s characteristics remain, such as the open kitchen area where all the delicious dishes were born. The difference now is that he FRV Travel l 51


“I like to think of myself a classic chef. I still believe in the traditional way of processing and using the correct ingredients.”

he has more freedom to create new and modern French cuisine. Some of his new inventions such as escargots served on a pastry bed with basil pesto is one of the best samples of his new creations. Food Left: Pan roasted Atlantic cabillaud fillet served with white coco bean puree and garlic-herb emulsion. Right: The Alaskan king crab salad has a great twist in taste coming from the gazpacho. Bottom: Amuz’s private room can fit up to 12 people and has a stunning decor. Idris Samad has designed Amuz to be uber sleek and super elegant. 52 l FRV Travel

Like the restaurant name (liberally taken from the words amuse bouche), Gilles enjoys spoiling the guests with his particular brand of pre dinner tastes. During my visit there, his surprise was a black truffle and foie gras consommé with puff pastry served in a cup. It was not only cute but also very tasty. Over twenty years of experience with French cooking has given Gilles a strong understanding of Jakarta’s market. Amuz’s menu is divided into a classic and a new inventions section which is simple but filled with handpicked cuisines designed to more than satisfy. I was very much impressed with some of his new inventions, such as the Alaskan king crab salad that had an edge delivered by a chilled watermelon gazpacho accompaniment. And my thoughts remained the same when it came to Gilles Marx’s famous foie gras. Gilles once again showed us

great skill cooking a classic pan seared foie gras. Marry that with a glass of Amuz’s fantastic house wine then you are guaranteed a fine result. It is quite tricky for me to not make this review sounds like purple prose, but it is as it is and Gilles excelled on both of my visits in Amuz. It will be interesting to see how the restaurant progresses and observe if it can be a new legend in the city. So far, my experiences there have exceeded my expectations for a new restaurant, though some improvement on the service could be appropriate. Nevertheless, the overall experience was simply superb. Make sure you leave some room for dessert to complete your experience, however, as Gilles and his team take their sweets seriously and it make it their goal to amuse. FRV

Amuz Gourmet Restaurant The Energy Building 2nd Floor Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53 Jakarta Tel: +62 21 250 5064


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JAKARTA INSIGHTS

They Call Me

Ms. Patron!

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Text by Erza S.T. Photos by Ramadhan

‘Who

is Haseena Mukhi?’ This is the question that came to my mind a year ago when my friend insisted on introducing both of us. Fast-forward one year and the question has been rephrased to, ‘who doesn’t know Haseena Mukhi?’ She is a happy mother of two and housewife, who is very much into fashion and definitely not a stranger to Jakarta’s social scene. But most people actually know her more as ‘Ms. Patron’. There is an interesting story behind it and FRV is here to unravel it for you. “Yeah, people in the industry call me ‘Ms. Patron’ now, as it was the first brand I handled when I joined this field,” she laughs. “People tend to remember the debut, right? That’s fortunate, as I’m also the brand ambassador. Thanks to Patron tequila, I gained experience, which opened many doors of opportunity.” Haseena started her career with a trading company before later deciding to move to one of Indonesia’s senior advertising companies. She took her last corporate position with the Bakrie Group, where she was in charge for Nirwana Bali Resort before she decided to take a long break to start a family. After a five year hiatus from the corporate world, Haseena received a call from a headhunter who offered her a position with a foreign architecture company. However, the fact that her children were still very young made her feel uncomfortable having a full time job. One thing led to another, and she was offered another job and this time, it was to be the brand ambassador for Patron. Just like that, Haseena Mukhi was back in business with full force. In just two years, she successfully managed to make Jakartans fall in love with Patron tequila as well as other premium brands such as Sagatiba, Ultimat and even famous beers Erdinger from Germany and Peroni from Italy. Though she achieved great success for

these brands in a short time, she explains it wasn’t easy for her. “Success is what success does. It comes with the right support, hard work and determination. Also, the willingness to always learn more and improvise as you go. To adjust and compromise, this is what I believe. Personally, I feel I still have a long way to go,” says Haseena. It is certainly a challenge for a lady like her in a man’s world where the situations can be tricky and with new regulations being continually changed by the government. “This is the great challenge in the industry that keeps us alert and on our toes,” she adds. Perhaps it is her charming persona, or perhaps it’s her quick wit that seduces us

“Success is what success does. It comes with the right support, hard work and determination.” into the realm of her great products, where not only does she believe in them but makes us into believers too. Almost all prestigious events in Jakarta and Bali, private or not, carry her products with a wide variety of wine, beer and liquor. When we did the photo shoot at The Apartment restaurant, I realized that Haseena’s persona is bigger then just a brand ambassador. Her natural style and fashion combined with her great taste and feelings for giving the best advice to her clientele on her products has put her in the centre of the social limelight in town. Everybody is looking for her these days to either get a piece of advice on how to create their own private mini bar at home or to have her as one of the hosts for their parties or fashion shows. “It is actually an honor for me,” she says. “I’m just an ordinary person that has worked hard and smart for the past years and I am flattered to

be known as one of Jakarta’s socialites and it surely does mean a lot to me.” She might be a picture-perfect example of a modern career woman who walks in all the glitz and glamour of a high society lifestyle, but at the end of the day at home, she is still playing the role as the dedicated mother and devoted wife to her husband Anil Mukhi. It may be hard to fathom, but somehow Haseena manages to juggle all of her roles and make them work. “It’s kind of tough. I love my family dearly and they are my priority, but I also love and enjoy what I do, so I have to be able to manage my time properly. Fortunately, in the field most events that I am involved in are mostly around midday onwards. I get the mornings to look after household matters and be with my kids at their school activities.” Her hard work in the last two years is paying off. Many prestigious and renowned restaurants, bar and hotels are now carrying her premium products and some of Jakarta and Bali’s best events are still pursuing her for sponsorship. But I was a little curious on one point and decided to ask her directly during our photo shoot. “What is your favorite alcoholic drink?” And she answered: “I enjoy exploring and trying something new. We have great outlets here that have creative mixologists and bartenders who make it difficult for us to just stick to the same drinks. In the afternoon, Mojito and Capiroschka would be fun. As for wine, I am more into Shiraz, and sparkling Moscato is my all time favorite. At the end, I always enjoy easy, yet classic cocktails, like a cosmopolitan or a lychee or chocolate martini.” With the rise of women’s empowerment these days, we are no longer surprised to see women making the decisions in a man’s world. However, to see one that is not only successful but also lasting, is pretty extraordinary. Luckily we do have one and her name is Haseena Mukhi. FRV FRV Travel l 55


“people call me ‘Ms. Patron’ now, as it was the first brand I handled when I joined this field. People tend to remember the debut, right?” 56 l FRV Travel


“the willingness to always learn more and improvise as you go. To adjust and compromise, this is what I believe.�

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Location:

The Apartment Restaurant Menara Gracia on Ground Floor Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. C-17 Jakarta Styling by Erza S.T. Wardrobe provided from S-Code by Steven Huang Hair and makeup by Iwwan Haroun Pro Makeup artist & wedding Contact: +62 858 9061 2217 www.iwwanharoun.com 58 l FRV Travel

“BEING A WOMAN is A great challenge in thIS industry. IT keeps us alert and on our toes.”


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JAKARTA’S Shanghai Blue 1920

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The Shanghai Blue Experience A restaurant in Jakarta steeped in Chinese and Indonesian tradition. Text: David Trauts Photos: Andri Yanto Hidayat

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aroeng Shanghai Blue 1920 is a lengthy name for a restaurant, but it does encapsulate the owner’s concept for the eatery in a proverbial nutshell. The old world charm of a turn of the century Chinese restaurant in the Indonesian capital is captured beautifully in this period-designed restaurant. Just like all Tugu group restaurants and hotels around the country, including Lara Djonggrang, Dapur Babah in Jakarta, and Tugu hotels and resorts in Malang, Blitar, Bali or Lombok, pieces of art and ancient artifacts have been brought together to create the setting and with the aid of appropriate colour decoration and lighting the magic of Shanghai and Batavia of the twenties more than still exists, it comes to life.

While the performance was warming up, we were seated and perusing the menu. The Shanghai Blue menu reflects Shanghai’s cosmopolitan past with dishes of Chinese and European influence and, just recently added, a new page of specialties. The new menu consists of seven dishes found by Annette Anhar and her mother, family of the Tugu group, on a recent trip to Shanghai and the southern region of China. These recipes were brought back and inspired the new Shanghai 7 menu. Without further convincing my companions and I decided to choose a few dishes from that particular page to share, starting with two family recipes, Chang Mo Sang Grandma Special and Siti Zaenab’s Steamed Fish a la Batavia.

Sited on Jalan Kebon Siri in Jakarta Pusat the restaurant isn’t very large, but it is cosy and consists of the entrance bar and three different dining sections. A stage takes up a lot of space by one wall, but we were fortunate it was there on the night we visited as we had the pleasure of seeing a new jazz sensation, Citra Idol, performing live with her band, Rhythm Tention. Keeping with the tradition of Shanghai tea houses of the past, live jazz bands and music are a regular feature at Shanghai Blue.

You could well imagine Annette and her mother smelling some great food wafting through the back streets of Shanghai and knocking on the door to ask for the recipes. Everything is authentic Shanghai style from the ingredients, which are exploding with spices and strong flavours, to the clay pot dishes used, and the waiters serving them, all dressed in authentic, old style Chinese garb.

A romantic atmosphere is created by old movie posters and dramatic colours. FRV Travel l 61


While the performance was warming up, we were seated and perusing the menu. The Shanghai Blue menu reflects Shanghai’s cosmopolitan past with dishes of Chinese and European influence.

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Shanghai Blue has a nostalgic atmosphere and could be called a theme restaurant; one rich in history and old world style. As soon as they walk through the door guests are transported back to this bygone Indonesian era. Unlike other modern, and sometimes decidedly cheesy, themed restaurants sprouting up in Jakarta in recent years, Shanghai Blue does have soul and a story to tell. While young and very talented singer, Citra Idol, began her second set our next wave of Shanghai 7 dishes were descending to the table. Classic Sweet and Sour Fish a la Szechuan, Wushan Kao Quanyu, a spicy marinated and then roasted fish in Wushan style, and then a curious Yandang Bride’s Sweet Yam, which is apparently a famous wedding dish coming from Yandang, but didn’t do me any favours with its pungent taste. A Zhejiang Shahe Fen Soup; a tasty seafood noodle soup, also made it to the table.

The playful colours and fun furnishings help to make Shanghai Blue a great place to be. The Chinese dining is flavoursome and inventive thanks in part to a recent trip to Shanghai by the owners.

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Citra Idol, performing live with her band, Rhythm Tention at Shanghai Blue in extremely rich and eclectic surroundings.

Shanghai Blue 1920 Jalan Kebon Siri 77-79, Jakarta Pusat Tel: +62 21 391 8690 www.tuguhotels.com

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Lucky there were five of us seated at our antique table as the final dish arrived, the Su Xiao Xiao Steamed Roast Chicken; chicken steamed for seven hours, infused with fresh orange and green tea before being stewed for another two hours on a low flame. All the dishes on this Shanghai 7 selection, just like this last one, are inventive, different and at times curious, but the flavours and spices of this Chinese and Indonesian influenced menu make dining at Shanghai Blue a great Asian experience not to be missed. As the table was cleared of plates, the band was now in full swing. Desserts and coffee were served and soon after chairs pushed back and the rest of the evening was set to begin. FRV


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JAKARTA’S TERATAI

Text By Erza S.T. Photo by Ramadhan Among the superior fivestar hotels in town, Hotel Borobudur Jakarta remains one of the most popular establishments to go, whether for a formal event or a simple gathering with friends. It is fascinating that this hotel has operated for over 36 years and is still running so strong. The revamped teratai could be one of the reasons.

newly bloomed

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The lounge is where you find Teratai’s huge cocktail and snack menu. Try the Cantonese Delight.

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n the past few years, the hotel has been busy reinventing itself to keep up with the competition and most of the rooms and their restaurant outlets now have a whole new look. The birthplace of their legendary oxtail soup, Bogor Café, was the first one which went under the knife, and this year, the hotel successfully rejuvenated another prominent outlet, their Chinese restaurant, Teratai. During its heyday, Teratai appeared in bright-sponged apricot walls and golden accents, a style that was pretty much adored in the nineties. After their multi-billion rupiah renovation, Teratai was finally back in business during October looking more stunning than ever. Roland Adam, who designed the new Teratai, has given the restaurant a more up-to-date modern and clean look that is dominated in white and wooden elements. Not only that, but he has also expanded the restaurant with a result 68 l FRV Travel

that is spacious, chic and separated into lounge, dining and private room areas. This restaurant even has a mini Chinese garden to complete its new look. “Teratai has not simply undergone a renovation, but it has actually become a new restaurant,” said the General Manager, Poul Bitsch. The original Teratai gained a great reputation for its food consistency and taste. Popular dishes such as Teratai’s special roast chicken with garlic soy sauce dip, deep-fried prawns with mayonnaise and Hong Kong style roast duck remain worthy of mention. To them I would add the wonderful long bean deepfried on egg yolk which was so addictive. However, this was the old Teratai. The new venue is moving in a modern Cantonese direction and introduces us to a completely new menu from dim sum to dessert, snack, dining and set menus. These are very extensive and offer close to 100 selections of Cantonese dishes.

The new venue is moving in a modern Cantonese direction and introduces us to a completely new menu at teratAi.

Elegant and modern and dominated by wood and white tones designed by Roland Adam.


Top: Tower of prawn roll, abalone, braised tofu on crab roe egg sauce has a zen balance of taste. Middle: The trio responsible: Chef Steven Low, Chef Alex Kwok and Chef Winston Yao. Bottom: One of the favourites among the customers, scallops, asparagus and sweet peppers marinated with fermented rice sauce.

I spent the first 15 minutes digesting the menu but finally gave up as there was way too much to choose from, so I decided to do it an easier way by requesting the presence of Teratai’s Restaurant Manager, Mr. Richard Chau, to recommend the highlights. It was a great decision and the result was more than satisfying. The appetizer sampler arrived in a very stylish manner, serving seared foie gras with soya honey sauce, fried shrimp with green horseradish and basil seeds, and crispy roast duck with fresh herb salad. By this time it is quite obvious to me that the new Teratai direction has gone not only modern, but also with a twist of western fusion. Nevertheless classic dish selections are available for those who have more conservative tastes. During my review, the lo han cai mix of veggies, fish mau, bamboo fungus and mixed mushrooms from the classic selection was really worth trying. It is quite a relief to know that the cooking remains technically accurate in all the important fundamentals. Thanks to three chefs from Hong Kong: Alex Kwok (Executive Chinese Chef ), Winson Yao (Assistant Executive Chinese Chef ) and Steven Low (Chinese Dim Sum Chef ), Teratai not only has upgraded it look, but also increased the creativity and the range of food. One of the new dishes that must not to be missed is the deep friend durian that has become an instant favorite amongst their discerning clientele. Mr. Poul Bitsch was right. Teratai indeed has bloomed into a new restaurant and its delicious food with great ambiance will surely seduce Jakarta people back again for more. FRV

Teratai Chinese Restaurant Hotel Borobudur Jakarta, Jl. Lapangan Banteng Selatan, Jakarta Pusat. Tel: +62 21 380 5555 www.hotelborobudur.com FRV Travel l 69


JAKARTA’S TATEMUKAI

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Left: In this beautiful carved wall lies the hidden entrance to Tatemukai.

Below right: The sushi bar area with the open kitchen concept is where we see Chef Tatesan at work.

Top right: The private dining room in Tatemukai can seat up to eight people.

Tatemukai:

No Ordinary Japanese Text by Erza S.T. Photos by Ramadhan

T

he latest culinary jewel in Jakarta that opened at the beginning of October inside the East Mall part of Grand Indonesia is Tatemukai; easily one of the best restaurants that I have ever found in the city. The restaurant is small and dominated by an open kitchen / sushi bar plus one private room. So what is so special about Tatemukai? Well, let me share with you why this restaurant has immediately become part of my top three list in Jakarta. First, Tatemukai is lead by the renowned chef Tatesan, who has built his fine reputation for over a decade through his previous restaurant, Kinokawa. Among Tate-san’s die hard followers he is known as a chef who makes each piece of sushi into an art form. Though sushi is essentially a visual food and much of its art is in the placement, colour, proportion, and spacing, taste and texture are always of uppermost importance. And all of this you’ll find in a piece of Tatemuki sushi. Forget the fancy sushi names for this is not Californian Japanese. Tatemukai is only for the serious gastronome as it gives you an authentic experience in appreciating and enjoying the finest Japanese cuisine. You will, however, pay for the

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experience. It’s not cheap. But let me assure you that at the end of your culinary journey here, you will find that it is worth every cent. Hidden in the restaurant jungle of floor 3A of the mall, Tatemukai is not made for walk-in guests. From outside, this restaurant looks just like a beautiful wooden wall with Japanese symbolic carvings. The carvings resemble traditional Japanese emblems, which represent and identify Japanese families or clans. Somewhere between these wooden carvings is the hidden door to enter Tatemukai. The atmosphere inside is warm with wood tones created by Methaphor Interior Architecture, who were behind the Tatemukai concept and design – a well-known firm that also created Hacienda, Oyster and Zhuma. The Tatemukai interior design is inspired by traditional Japanese culture and the beauty of the intrinsic Shinto shrine architecture. The space and domination of wood also reflects Chef Tate-san’s character, aside from the fact that it is also a common and major material used in Japanese building. Everything here is done with the air of simplicity. When you enter Tatemukai, you won’t be bombarded with shouts of greeting either. Sushi and sashimi at Tatemukai take the spotlight here. The dinner menu is short and focuses on the array of these selections that you can either get through a la carte or a set menu. I found that the most economical way to enjoy a decent selection of Chef Tate-san’s creations was by choosing the omakase chef ’s choice package that starts at IDR 1,500,000++. By choosing the omakase package, you don’t need to order anything and instead let the chef serve you with various creations and types of dishes from seafood to meat, from raw to grilled till you decide to stop.

amazing from their specialty toro (fatty tuna) to ika (squid), uni (sea urchin), wagyu grade 9+ beef and even kujira (whale meat). The most awesome thing of course, is that every single piece looks like a work of art. There’s something meditative, even religious, about the way the sequence of flavours works its magic. I, for one, was transported. The operative word in Tatemukai is refinement. This means a light, delicate, but very thorough spicing technique, combined with the superior ingredients. On a good day, Tatemukai can offer you specialies such as It’s not cheap. But let me horsemeat and the infamous, assure you that at the end yet much sought after fugu, of your culinary journey also known as blowfish. Tatesan could be the only Japanese here, you will find that it is Chef in town who can actually worth every cent. serve fugu without letting the lethal effects of the fish’s poisons affect the enjoyment of the diner. I was already overwhelmed at this stage by Chef Tate-san omakase set and decided to stop. The complimentary desert arrived and it is far from ordinary - slices of momo (Japanese peach), plum jelly and excellent red bean paste filled mochi of which I couldn’t get enough. As a city, Jakarta might not be the ideal place to live but thanks to Chef Tate-san, now I have one more reason to enjoy it. Though it has just been open for a few weeks, Chef Tate-san followers have found their way back to his cooking; this includes among others the famous batik lady Obin and marketing guru Hermawan Kartajaya. No dish is second-rate at Tatemukai. The prices are justified. And, like me, you’ll be kept in purple prose for the rest of the year. FRV

The quality of the fish and meat that is used in this restaurant is very fresh and 100% imported directly from Tsukiji markets in Tokyo. The variety of product used is also

Nearly all the produce comes straight from Tsukiji market in Tokyo.

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Tatemukai Grand Indonesia, East Mall 3A Jl. M.H. Thamrin no. 1 Jakarta


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mixologist

Kiwi Sakejito At The St. Regis Bali By Joseph Boroski, New York mixsultant™

J

oseph Boroski doesn’t like being referred to as mixologist, let alone a barman, but prefers to be called a mixsultant. He’s been in the bar and booze trade for many years starting by selling wines and spirits, and then working in bars all over the United States. New York is home for this amiable young man with a predilection for strong drink, but for the last three years he has been bar hopping, so to speak, all over Asia. As most foreigners discover in this part of the world, a short trip to Asia can turn into a lifetime affair if you aren’t careful. “I came for a month-long tour with a group of US chefs. Everywhere I went people would ask if I could help them. Naturally, I saw there was lots of opportunity here.” Since then, Boroski has been on a roll. “I don’t know where I am when I wake up anymore,” quips the New Yorker. “In the last month it’s been Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok and New York.” And what does he do exactly? “Set up bars, create cocktail menus, train staff, even design bars. I’m a bar consultant.” Joseph was in Bali last month helping to create a cocktail diner with chef Oscar Perez at the St Regis Resort. That’s where we caught up with him and asked him to show us how to make one of the cocktails on the menu. “This one’s a special cocktail; one that I created for them and has been on the cocktail list here at St Regis since they opened.” It’s tangy, fruity and not at all sweet, but it does have a kick. This cocktail is called a Kiwi Sakejito. Where to next? “Next week I’m off to the new W in Koh Samui and then I’ll be back in Bali for the opening of the W in Seminyak.” Hey Jo, nice cocktail and nice life, bud.

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Press a large bunch of mint leaves in the bottom of a Boston shaker glass. Add 3oz sake, 1/4 to 1/2oz kaffir lime syrup, and the juice of 1 whole Indonesian lime. Muddle 1/2 skinned kiwifruit in the bottom of a highball glass. Fill with crushed ice. Shake the contents of the Boston shaker with cubed ice and strain into the highball glass over the crushed ice. Stir contents up from the bottom until thoroughly mixed with the ice. Add a splash of soda water and top off with additional crushed ice. Garnish with a kiwifruit square.

Kaffir Lime Syrup: Heat two cups of water, two cups of sugar, and four thinly sliced kaffir limes (with skins) for five minutes after the sugar has completely dissolved. Strain out the lime and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before using.

www.sipslowly.com www.josephboroski.com FRV Travel l 75


MANILA’S OAKWOOD

Deciding in which serviced residence to stay while traveling is a no-brainer when you have a trusted name like Oakwood. In its Manila branch, the service, facilities, and location all rise to the occasion. Text By: Kenny Santana

Premier Living, Manila Style Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila

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Location

Located in Ortigas, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila is 30 minutes from the airport and literally right next to major shopping centres and prime business addresses. A few point of interests within walking distance include the high-end mall called the Podium, the SM Megamall, Robinsons Galleria and Asian Development Bank headquarters. From this central location, it’s an easy starting point to go anywhere in Manila,

Room

With a minimum area of 41sqm, Oakwood Premier Manila probably has one of the biggest standard rooms in the city. Every room comes with a city view, a fully-equipped kitchen, dining area and a separate living room. We were impressed not only by its size, but also by its modern furnishing, retractable waterproof TV in the bathroom, 40-inch home entertainment system with surround sound speakers and the built-in DVD and multimedia interface, perfect for post-business down time. Speaking of which, it was nice to have such a big bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower for unwinding, that and not having to share a basin.

Facilities

Oakwood’s indoor 24-metre long swimming pool is right next to the jacuzzi, spa and fitness centre for those in need of a work out and chill. If you care to entertain in-house

the Oakroom serves authentic Filipino and Asian cuisine while the nearby Oakroom Bar is perfect for “Happy Hour.” Don’t pass up their many varieties of soufflé in Enchanté, the French-Mediterranean restaurant—with touches of Filipino influence—which is owned by the popular Chef Jessie Sincioco. They are a bit of a delicacy we hear.

Breakfast

Breakfast in The Oakroom is an intimate affair. Located on the 6th floor, it is furnished with comfy sofas on one side, and dining tables plus chairs on the other. The food is made fresh and served buffet-style without the hectic rush of a big hotel breakfast. It is a stylish place to start the day and the atmosphere and personal service put the mind at ease. Best of all, it never feels cramped so you can spread out and enjoy the morning papers.

Above: The Oakroom restaurant and bar is open all day. Top left: The hotel has the biggest standard room in the city. Top right: The 24m indoor swimming pool swimming pool. Below: The lobby is spacious, elegant with hotel staff always ready to assist guests.

Bottom Line

I’ve been to Manila several times and have stayed in many different five-star business hotels and resort-style accommodation, but so far Oakwood Premier Manila has topped them all. With swift service, spacious rooms with modern amenities, wonderful breakfasts and great location, you just can’t go wrong. FRV

Oakwood Premier Joy Nostalg Center 17 ADB Avenue Ortigas Center |Pasig, Manila Tel: +63 2637 7888

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OSAKA’S RITZ-CARLTON

And the Award

Goes To... By Thomas Jones 2010 has indeed been a good year for The Ritz-Carlton Osaka. The hotel was awarded a five-pavilion ranking by Michelin for excellence, and two of its restaurants, signature French La Baie and Chinese Xiang Tao, each earned a coveted Michelin star - La Baie for the second year running. Thomas Jones visits and enjoys some hospitality under the stars.

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A

wards are a central part of the human condition and we can’t help but strive for the recognition of our peers so as to be seen as the very best. In the hospitality trade, awards constitute a lot of gravitas for a hotel since, if you are the best, people will come to check you out and spend their cash in your establishment. It is hard work but if you play at the top of your game, and you play well, you can only expect to be noticed and rewarded for your efforts. Ritz-Carlton Osaka does just that and, as a result, came out of this year’s Michelin trials on top. The hotel’s pavilion award represents a distinctive level of comfort based on exterior, interior, layout, hospitality and service, and the Ritz-Carlton Osaka was, again, the only hotel out of 19 hotels in Osaka to achieve it. La Baie restaurant

earned its star for the second year running along with a five-fork and spoon notation, the highest rating available and, again, was the only restaurant in Osaka to earn this distinction. Xiang Tao, also with a three fork and spoon notation, was one of only two Chinese restaurants to be acknowledged with a star. And as if this wasn’t enough La Baie also received The Best of Award of Excellence 2010 from Wine Spectator magazine for the fifth consecutive year. Talk about overachieving. The restaurant has won the award each year since its entry in 2004 for its wine of more than 400 labels, selected by their chief sommelier, Akihiro Kurimoto, and updated every month to ensure that the list gives guests the very best, the latest and up to the minute wines that perfectly suit the ever changing seasonsal cuisines of Japan.

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The design concepts remains in the 18th century English Georgian style as this still transcends all generations and symbolizes high quality and a richness of life. The hotel doesn’t just offer Michelin-starred (and priced) meals, however, and actually has more dining options that can be found in most mall food courts, let alone luxury hotels. Splendido, its Italian restaurant, is set up to look like a Tuscan villa and serves classic Italian food designed to satisfy the hungriest of Italiophiles with a wide range of authentic dishes and wines from the entire length and breadth of the country. Popular as it is, Italian food is only the second most favoured cuisine in Japan, and the

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Hanagatami restaurant offers fine local cuisine based on Osaka’s very unique dining culture. Set in a traditional Japanese garden setting the restaurant is a mixture of kaiseki, á la carte, sushi (of course), and high drama theatrics at the chef ’s teppanyaki tables enchanting both local and foreign guests alike. The Lobby Lounge is fit to bursting on the weekends when Osaka residents come to sample their splendid afternoon high teas of cakes, sandwiches and scones along with a wide range of fine teas and coffees from around the world, accompanied by live music on piano and violin. A few

Above: Fit for royalty. The elegance of the RitzCarlton Suite. Right: The Bar. Home to a vast array of top quality spirits and the sultry atmosphere in which to enjoy them.


sneaky post-shopping cocktails are also imbibed in abundance. For guilt-free relaxation The Bar will satisfy any cravings and has a very impressive collection of whiskies, martinis and cocktails with a smooth background of evening jazz. The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka is a classy hotel and despite being around for over 13 years, a self-spent US$10 million birthday present in 2007, in the form of a renovation of all of its 292 guestrooms, has kept that elegance relevant and alive. The design concept remains in the 18th century English Georgian style as this still transcends all generations and symbolizes high quality and a richness of life, yet the focus of the renovation was to achieve a stylish and sophisticated image, maintaining the legacy and traditions of the property. All this continues to pay off and it has been continuously named the best hotel in Osaka and in Japan by many prestigeous Japanese and international business magazines since its opening. At the time of print there is still one month left in 2010, so is there time for more awards? Watch this space. FRV

Ritz-Carlton, Osaka 2-5-25, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan. Tel: +816 6343 7000 www.ritzcarlton.com FRV Travel l 81


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