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eat • enjoy • explore AUG - SEP 2012 Vol.17

Heaven in Haven

A Koh Samui Travel Special

Soups for Beauty


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EDITORIAL

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The Value of Mid Autumn Festival

W

hen I was a child, Mid Autumn Festival was a time when lanterns and goodies such as mooncakes and pomelos were sold in almost every shop. As the years passed, the fanfare and festive spirit seemed to have quietened a fair bit. In its place however, is the rise of commercialism, especially in the arena of mooncakes. In a bid to outdo fierce competition during this period, there are now more mooncake flavours than ever. The packaging can get so fancy that one can hardly bear to open the box or eat the mooncakes inside. Such progression is quite natural and not something I would disagree with if it means more delicious mooncakes! However, we should not forget the real value of Mid Autumn Festival - a day where the family can get together, spend quality time with each other and share the fairytales behind this colourful festival while partaking from the same mooncake.

PHOTO Paul Yap, Sze Kiat, JK Ho

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MAG is a free bi-monthly publication, published by PCL Publishers Pte Ltd. Website: www.pnl-group.com/emag MICA (P) 023/11/2011 ISSN: 1793-8988 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher.

eat • enjoy • explore AUG - SEP 2012 Vol.17

Bring out the lanterns and enjoy this special day! Yours Sincerely, Collin Chee Editor

Heaven in Haven

A Koh Samui Travel Special

Soups for Beauty

Cover Photo: Love Kitchen, Absolute Sanctuary

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eMAG Aug - Sep 2012


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Slurp in the

Name of Beauty It’s well known that Hong Kong residents love soup. For Chef Julian Tam, the art of soup brewing is a deep pot of passion and discovery. He not only takes care in matching ingredients according to Traditional Chinese medicinal principles but also travels back to Hong Kong regularly in search of quality ingredients for new recipes. In this issue, we explore more soups from Wo Peng Restaurant which is not only famous for Poon Choy but also its popular soup creations. Created with exotic ingredients, these two soups are great for those who want a delicious sip of beauty. Be forewarned: Soups run out fast at Wo Peng so remember to reserve yours before heading down!

Double-boiled Superior Chicken Soup with Changbai Mountain “Bu Lao Cao” and Fish Maw

With a name that sounds right out of a martial arts novel, “Bu Lao Cao” loosely translates to “Immortal Grass” and contains a host of health benefits that are nearly as magical as its name. This rare medicinal plant grows on the high cliffs of Changbai Mountain approximately 1450-1800 metres above sea level and is reputed to aid in the healing of multiple health conditions including numbness in limbs, lower body pain, reproductive dysfunction, constipation, rheumatism and arthritis. It is also believed to be useful in strengthening one’s health and longevity. Used together with collagen-rich Fish Maw and other herbs, this is a soup brimming with health and beauty benefits. Compared to soups normally served in Chinese restaurants, this soup has a stronger herbal taste. Its initial taste may be a tad bitter for some people but it quickly grows on you after a few sips.

Double-boiled Shell Clam with Winter Melon

This is an easy soup to love because of its fresh appetizing taste. While abalone is the darling of most people seeking its health benefits, the relatively affordable shell clam not only tastes like abalone but also has similar properties. This is another soup that was also created with beauty in mind. Cooked for over four hours with other ingredients such as dried scallop and Jinhua ham, this soup has a robust flavour despite minimal addition of salt and other flavouring. The addition of winter melon adds a touch of fresh sweetness to balance off the savoury taste of the other ingredients. One can easily polish off two bowls of this soup in one go!

Wo Peng Restaurant 60 Eu Tong Sen Street Furama Hotel #03-01/02 Singapore 059804 Tel: 6533 2282 www.wopeng.com.sg


Gourmet Culture Bistro Bar 20 Hong Kong Street #01-03 Singapore 059663 Tel : 8288 8261

Gourmet Culture

Have you ever gone on a night out and found the experience marred by high prices or bad service or having to run from one place to another just to have dinner and drinks? Most of us would have just dismissed the night but for Mr Darren Neubronner, it became the inspiration behind his new dining bar, Gourmet Culture Bistro Bar.

Wine and dine reasonably

A self professed foodie who enjoys his drink, he explains, “Sometimes I would like a glass of wine or whiskey when I go out for dinner but the prices at some establishments are very high. If the prices had been more reasonable, I would have been able to order another drink and have an overall much more pleasant experience.” It was with such thinking in mind that he designed the menu and prices in Gourmet Culture Bistro Bar. Indeed, we found the prices surprisingly

affordable. For example, a glass of whiskey costs below $15 even for premium whiskey such as Yamazaki 12. We had an unusual pair of Yakult shots ($11.90 for a pair) which offered a shot of alcohol smoothened with the sweetness of Yakult. Prices of side dishes and tapas range from $4.90 to $9.90 while main courses and pastas are mostly below $20.

Meeting of worlds

The menu selection is eclectic with selections from Japanese, Vietnamese, Western, Italian, Indian and Peranakan cuisines. The wide variety can be attributed to the restaurant’s talented chefs - a native Vietnamese chef experienced in Japanese cuisine and an Indian chef who had trained in Western dining. Being Peranakan himself, Darren had also added his own secret family dishes to the menu for a touch of local flavours.

We tried the Nonya Sambal Chilli Prawn ($8.90), GC Vietnamese Wings ($8.90) and Truffle Pasta with Caviar ($16.90). We favour the Vietnamese Wings which was tender and juicy with a subtle taste of fish sauce but spice aficionados will love the fiery taste of the prawns. The pasta is a tad oily but would suit those who love their pasta luxurious.

Party up before the party

With food and drink in one place, Gourmet Culture makes a great pre-party location before you hit the nightspots. There is a free flow promotion between 7pm to 12 midnight where you can have your fill of cocktails, housepours and draft beer within a 3 hour period. The free flow promotion has been very popular with patrons so reservations are highly recommended for dinner. In fact, call one week in advance if you intend to head down on a Friday or Saturday night.

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Nando’s is Peri Hot When Nando’s opened its first outlet in Singapore back in 2010, it created much fervour among Singaporeans and saw long dinner queues for a taste of its world famous flame grilled chicken. While there were initial hiccups, the chain has continued to see success in its expansion here. There are now 6 outlets including the latest one in JCube, which we had an opportunity to visit.

Love at first taste

“I knew nothing about the food business, I just knew it was the best chicken I had ever tasted,” said Robert Brozin, the founder of Nando’s, after he ate his first Peri-Peri flame grilled chicken at a small Portugese restaurant in 1987 and eventually decided to buy the restaurant. It was this love at first taste that led to the formation of the well-loved Nando’s chain of restaurants. It was under similar circumstances the Nando’s came to Malaysia and Singapore. The owner of the 2 franchises sampled Nando’s chicken as a student in United Kingdom and loved it so much that she decided to bring it back after she returned. The rest, like they say, is history. The chain enjoyed great success in Malaysia before they expanded to Singapore.

Peri closely guarded secret

Many great dishes come with a closely guarded recipe and Nando’s is no exception. Fresh chicken with excess fat trimmed is used to keep the dish healthy. The chicken is then butterfly cut and marinated for 24 hours with an ageold secret marinade sauce to ensure flavours penetrate the meat deeply. Finally, it is grilled over an open flame to get the Nando’s signature brown and succulent finish all over. Of course, the dish would not be complete without PeriPeri basting sauce, which is added to the chicken while it’s on the grill. Much of Nando’s success can be attributed to its Peri-Peri sauce, which comes in 4 levels of spiciness: lemon and herb, mild, hot and extra hot. Coming from the chilli family, Peri-Peri is low in calories, high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and even believed to enhance the release of endorphins – the stuff in your brain that makes you feel happy.

Not just about food

The people at Nando’s believe their business is not just about food or spreading their footprint. Nando’s is also actively involved in social causes

around the world be it in supporting aspiring artists through a global arts program, sponsoring football jerseys for talented children or creating anti-Malaria awareness in South Africa. As Robbie Brozin says, “Nando’s is not just about chicken. It’s never been just about chicken. It’s about the pride, the passion, the courage and the integrity of a Nandocas, the name given to members of the Nando’s family.” To find out more about Nando’s Singapore, please visit www.nandos.com.sg or https://www. facebook.

com/Nandosperiperichickensingapore

Nando’s Outlets:• Tampines Mall • Katong • Bugis Junction • Plaza Singapura • Tanglin Mall


Event

A Bigger

O

Established since 2003

Big O’s delectable signature cakes

Elaine Tay, Faith Howe, Wendy Choh, Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Sylvia Han, The Divas

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lients and members of the media gathered at The Butter Factory for the official launch of Big O group and their brand new concept: catering, events and cake delivery services. This expansion is an exciting venture for the management and their decision came naturally as Big O Café & Restaurant has been winning the hearts and mind of the many customers with an extensive range of delectable award-winning cakes and desserts.

Natalia Parfenova, Victoria Mystyk, Winnie Foo, Celeste Chen from Cycle & Amunugama Anushka Bandara from Med Travel Carriage Industries Pte Ltd

Kym Lee, Cynthia Ng, Alvin Seah from Yeo Hiap Seng (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Sherlyn Koh, from Taste of Tradition (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd, Paul Bedi from DBS Bank Ltd

Distinguished guests

Spike “D”, the award winning cake Aug - Sep 2012 eMAG

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Getting Fresh with Texas

Being a small island city with a huge variety of food choices, one might think that Singapore has seen enough of fast food chains. After all, while there are fast food giants who have managed to gain a foothold, there have also been those who have come and gone.

Texas Chicken Outlets:-

Local F&B veteran, Select, thinks otherwise. In fact, the group decided to bring Texas Chicken, the American fast food chain famed for fried chicken, into Singapore 2 years ago and has seen aggressive growth since then. From the first outlet that opened in Jun 2010 at Singapore Expo, they have expanded into 8 other branches with the latest being located at Gardens by the Bay.

• Expo • United Square • Airport • nex • Tampines • Causeway Point • Changi City Point • Gardens by the Bay

Fresh chicken only, please

As easy as it sounds, fried chicken is more than just throwing chicken bits into hot oil. Without proper technique, one is likely to end up with chicken that is either tough or soggy from oil or both. Having been in business for over 50 years, Texas Chicken has perfected its own secret marinade, flours, techniques and even fryers designed specifically for their use. In bringing the franchise into Singapore, the marinades and flours are imported directly from US to this day and the local franchise works closely with the chain’s R&D department to develop new menu items and innovations.

Most of the fresh ingredients such as vegetables and chicken however, are sourced locally or from Malaysia because the most important requirement of all is that Texas Chicken uses only fresh chicken. Besides being Halal-certified, Texas also has a stringent set of internal requirements that have to be met in order to maintain the quality of meat served.

Juicy, tender and not oily

While using fresh chicken equates to higher costs, the chain believes there is a big difference between using fresh chicken and frozen chicken. We agree because the chicken we tasted at Texas was not only crispy on the outside (thanks to special frying techniques which are closely guarded trade secrets), the meat was surprisingly tender and juicy with flavor inside. We have also seen fried chicken in other places which oozed a frightening amount of oil, but the oil was on our paper boxes was surprisingly little. The menu offers two flavors to choose from: original and spicy, with the latter being more popular. The menu also offers burgers, sides such as mashed potatoes, coleslaw and fries as well as dessert choices and a breakfast selection. To find out more about Texas Chicken and store locations, please visit www.texaschicken.com.sg


SENKI

JAPANESE RESTAURANT 109 Killiney Road Singapore 239548 Tel: 6734 5565 www.senki.com.sg

Senki is a hot favourite with Japanese food lovers. Dive into a Japanese gastronomic adventure on our buffet table with over 138 different kinds of dishes to choose from! Let your taste buds go wild with ocean-fresh sashimi including rare finds such as swordfish. Bite into crispy tempura, snack on tangy barbecued yakitori or enjoy the Miso creaminess of your complimentary prawn dish. Refresh your palate with crunchy salads and feast again!

$30++ Ala-carte buffer with, 138 different kinds of dishes to choose from!

Bring your friends and have your fill of good times and wonderful food at affordable prices. Throw parties, invite your clients or share a romantic meal with a loved one. Whatever you do, remember to make a reservation!

Extravaganza! Japanese Buffet


signature dish

2-pc Spicy Chicken Meal

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ouldn’t it be nice to have fried chicken that doesn’t sacrifice juiciness for crispiness? At Texas Chicken, it is possible to have your juicy chicken and eat it.

Marinated with a secret sauce for 12 hours before it is coated with special flour and fried using specialized techniques, only fresh chicken that has passed Texas’ stringent screening process is used to produce their signature fried chicken meals. We were surprised to find that the flesh beneath the thin layer of crispy skin was not only juicy and tender, but was also bursting with flavor with every chew. Another pleasant surprise was the little amount of oil left on our plates after the meal – less guilt for indulging! Texas Chicken Outlets:UÊExpo UUnited Square UAirport Unex UTampines UCauseway Point UÊChangi City Point UÊGardens by the Bay

Claypot Dry Bee Hoon Crab

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t first glance, the gleaming red giant crab enthroned in the claypot may seem like the star of this dish but it was the thin vermicelli hidden underneath that kept our chopsticks busy. The vermicelli braised in stock together with fresh live crab allows the natural sweetness of the crab to seep into the bee vermicelli, which turns out to be a winning move because the vermicelli oozes with flavor at every bite. We would not mind a drive out to Sembawang for this dish anytime!

1036 Live Seafood 1036, Sembawang Road Singapore 758504 Tel: 6555 1277

Fish & Chips

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ever judge a fish by its cover. While this dish may look ordinary on the outside, great effort has been taken to prepare the fish within. Hidden beneath a layer of crispy homemade batter is a generous slice of Dory Fish fillet that has been marinated over two days in a variety of ingredients including milk. This leaves the flesh tender and juicy even though the external layer has been fried to crispy perfection that’s not too oily. Accompanied with thick cut stick fries and salad, this dish makes a hearty meal. There are only ten portions prepared daily so you may want to order in advance, especially on a weekend. J’s Bar & Grill 1034, Sembawang Road Singapore 758503 Tel: 6481 0338

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Agnello Scottadito

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cottadito, which is “burning fingertips” in Italian, was derived from how young Italian men used to get their fingers burnt in an anxious bid to savor this lamb favorite of Roman origins. The lamb is seasoned rosemary, sage, orange zest and lemon zest before it is vacuum-packed and allowed to marinate for one week under low temperature. The lamb is then seared and accompanied by mint pumpkin. We were captivated by the beautiful color of the lamb which retained a healthy pink in the centre when it is sliced open. The mint pumpkin rounds off the edges of the dish by providing balance to the lamb. The meat has been so well seasoned that even people who are not usually inclined to lamb would find this dish an easy bite. PACO CAFFE @ Raeburn Park 10, Raeburn Park, #01-28 Singapore 088702

Nonya Sambal Chilli Prawn

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lert to fans of Peranakan cuisine! Being Peranakan himself, the boss of Gourmet Culture Bistro Bar had decided to incorporate this family secret recipe into the menu. The preparation process is tedious and can take up to an entire day. The chilli paste alone requires dried chilli to be soaked overnight, onions to be cut to specific sizes and the family is even particular about the type of belachan used. The dish comes in 2 versions: mild and original spicy. We tried the latter and it is indeed not for the faint-hearted. We could taste the freshness of the prawns even through the spice and the sauce is excellent for polishing off rice with. So if you are up for some heat, go original!

Gourmet Culture Bistro Bar 20, Hong Kong Street, #01-03 Singapore 059663 Tel : 8288 8261

Petisco

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his platter is great for those who can’t make up their mind because it has a little of everything: Nando’s famous grilled chicken wings, mini chicken thighs, pita bread, olives, Perinaise and a choice of hummus or Grilled Vegetable Drip. We love the thick and creamy hummus which went perfectly with the toasty pita and gave the dish a Middle Eastern touch. The servings are generous so order this when you visit with another or a group of people.

Outlets: • Tampines Mall • Tanglin Mall

• 112 Katong • Bugis Junction • Plaza Singapura

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TRAVEL SPECIAL

HEAVEN in Koh Samui

H AV E N


Absolute Sanctuary Sanctuary for the weary

The life of the 21st century urbanite is one characterized by speed. In order to keep up with ever-changing fast-paced lifestyles, people are working longer hours than before and as a result, finding a loss of balance in their lives. In Japan, they even have a term called “karoshi”, which means working to death. For those who are seeking to recharge, Absolute Sanctuary may just be the place to rest one’s tired feet – and perhaps, soul. Operated by Absolute Group, which also owns Absolute Yoga, the largest yoga studio in Thailand with 8 yoga centres nationwide, Absolute Sanctuary is the fruit of the owners’ passion for yoga, detox and wellness all wrapped up in a stunning Moroccan-inspired boutique resort.

Meeting different needs

We live in a world where unfortunately, much of the food we eat has been processed. Even the air we breathe is more polluted than before. The accumulation of toxins, poor diet and stress can lead to a host of health issues such as unhealthy weight gain, lack of energy, poor digestion, constipation, fatigue and even depression. The centre has an extensive menu of programs to meet different needs through with different combinations of therapies, fitness or yoga sessions, spa treatments and meal plans. Those who are seeking a relaxing holiday or are hoping to beat stress and improve their fitness levels may wish to look into the Lifestyle Programs, which include different themes such as Fitness Program and Anti-stress & Burnout Package. For yoga enthusiasts, Absolute not only runs yoga classes daily, but also plays host to regular trainings, retreats and other yoga events. For those wish to cleanse the body deeply, Detox programs may just be the answer. Read about our writer’s own experience with Absolute’s 7-day Holistic Detox program on the other page.

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Diary Of A Detox-er

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hile some of my friends have expressed reactions ranging from suspicion to fear towards detox programs, I’ve been curious about them for a long time so it was with little hesitation that I decided to undergo Absolute’s comprehensive Holistic Ultimate Detox program for 7 days in preparation for this article.

This package includes colonhydro-therapy, essential juices, yoga classes, spa treatments, massages, use of Absolute’s facilities and more - an excellent way to experience the different facets of Absolute’s hospitality. Here is a short diary of my detox journey: Pre Arrival I received a survey from Absolute which required me to provide information on my state of health and was also given instructions on how to prepare for the program. This included cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, meat, sugar and strong foods to ready the body for detox. Arrival Day Upon touchdown, I was driven to the resort via Absolute’s airport transfer service. The schedule for the week ahead was explained to me and I was given a liver flush drink made from fruits, vegetables and garlic, to get the liver started.

Food made with love

Food plays an important part of any plan to renew and rejuvenate oneself. The Love Kitchen in Absolute prides itself on serving dishes which are not only tasty but also healthy. The innovative menu not only supports those who are on detox or a vegetarian diet, but also those who desire a hearty and healthy non-vegetarian meal.

Day 1: Absolute’s in-house Wellness Consultant explained the program in detail after understanding my current state of health through an interview. My first colonhydrotherapy session was a little awkward and uncomfortable initially but the nurse was very patient and guided me through the procedures. It became more bearable towards the end. I finished the day with a relaxing Magnesium Footbath and a Thai full body massage, which were also part of the package. Day 2: started with a short meditation session followed by my daily complimentary yoga class. While I had opted for full fasting, there was a steady supply of juices and soups that had to be taken throughout the day. That kept me full and helped in fighting food cravings. My favorite part of the day was certainly the Detox Massage which was so relaxing that I fell asleep during the session.

If you think healthy food is supposed to be bland and boring, think again. We tasted the Marinara Zucchini, which tasted just like fettuccine and is favored even by Italian guests - except that no pasta or cooking has been used to prepare it!

Day 3: By day 3, I had gotten so comfortable with colonhydrotherapy that I could read a book while doing so. The Holistic Facial and Reiki sessions were both so soothing that I fell into deep sleep again. There was a pleasant surprise from the cleaning ladies after they made up my room: a cute piglet made from towels!

It is such innovation and the use of fresh ingredients that keeps people fascinated with Love Kitchen. In fact, the restaurant has just launched their own cookbook, which will be available at Absolute Yoga studios and selected bookstores at SGD$55.

Day 4: While I didn’t feel tired, my energy level did feel a little lower. That was quickly solved with another yoga class in the morning. A second round of Magnesium Footbath and Thai Massage worked out the knots that had been in my shoulders for a while.

Not just a resort

While we were impressed with Absolute’s programs, it was the warmth of the staff that touched our hearts. Be it the staff at the front desk or the therapists or the servers and housekeeping team, the staff at Absolute were not only professional but also served with genuine infectious smiles and warm sincerity. It is this human touch that completes the balm to soothe a weary soul.

Day 5: One would have thought that the stomach would be empty after being on a liquid diet for four days. Well, day 5 was where I experienced a major discharge of deposits that had been accumulated in the body over years. That was probably why I experienced a mild fever and body ache later that night - a form of healing crisis which may occur when the body is expelling toxins. The staff was understanding and quick to assist with delivering my juices and soups even past service hours. Despite the discomfort, I was glad to know that my detox was working. Another surprise from the cleaning ladies: a towel elephant this time! Day 6: I was still feeling a little tired from the day before but the fever was gone. I had my first experience of Indian Head Massage which felt a little bizarre but relaxed the tension in my scalp. I also took advantage of the complimentary activities at the resort and got myself a postural analysis where I learnt about my own body alignment. Day 7 : My energy levels were edging back to normal so I headed for another yoga class in the morning. I broke my fast with fruits a few hours after the final colonhydrotherapy session. My first meal was delicious vegetarian food at Absolute’s Love Kitchen that night. I am not sure if the detox had cleansed my palate but my taste buds seemed more sensitive and food tasted better than normal! After the detox, I feel lighter and my clothes feel a little looser. Would I do the same thing again? The answer is yes. Without intending to sound gross, some things are better left outside the body than inside. I would like to thank the warm folks at Absolute who had taken such good care of me and made the whole experience such a breeze!


The Scent Hotel If this hotel was to be likened to a woman, she would probably be a tease. There are all the tell-tale signs: She doesn’t call out to you. Instead, she hides coyly behind a cool wash of gray and green along the road, almost like she doesn’t want to seen. If you land your eye on her, her mysterious blue door lures you in like a siren call. Once you step past the door, you find yourself drawn into a universe of breathtaking sea views, lush greenery, refined design and old world charms.Before you know it, you would have fallen utterly in love. Welcome to the secret world of The Scent Hotel.

Built on love

Situated in the northeastern region of Koh Samui on the most serene part of Bangrak Beach (which incidentally translates to “Love Beach”), The Scent Hotel is an elegant hotel with the beach as its front porch and the rest of exciting Samui just outside its doors. As a member of the renowned Relais & Chateaux, staying at The Scent is a luxurious hospitality experience that goes beyond the surface. With only 13 rooms and suites in total, the hotel resembles a private mansion more than a commercial establishment and follows the nostalgic colonial style of the 1940s and 1950s right down to the smallest detail. The rooms are tastefully

decorated in Chinese, Western and local styles to suit different preferences, and come completed with modern amenities and conveniences.

Your holiday home

One of the advantages of staying in a property of modest size is personalized service. Staff can often remember every guest, especially those who stay at the hotel for weeks at a stretch. The hotel is also home to La Jaroen, an award-winning restaurant offering an imaginative and timeless mix of French, Mediterranean and Thai cuisine. The Scent Hotel brand began from a small shop in Bangkok which sold scents created from ancient Chinese recipes and eventually became famous for the best aromatic products in Thailand. Drawing from its origins, The Scent Hotel weaves its signature aromatic fragrances into every stay with the intention of providing excellent hospitality - creating a truly unique experience for every guest. So close the door, leave the world behind and fall in love.

Scent-sual Seduction There are hotels that awe with size. There are hotels that impress with grandeur. And there are hotels like The Scent Hotel, which seduce with character.

The moment I stepped beyond the hotel’s deceivingly unremarkable door, I snapped away with the camera because there were just so many postcard-worthy views both inside and outside the rooms – a remarkable feat for such a cosy enclosure. What impressed me was how the hotel seamlessly blended European influences

with Asian inspirations to create a picture of elegance. No details were spared. For instance, even the different types of antique telephones (which are usable, by the way) match the different styles of the rooms. The view of the sea in the evening is one of my most memorable so far. The colours of the gentle waves looked as if a painter had splashed his best shades of blues across the water. Romance lingers in the air at The Scent and I am happy to say that I have been absolutely charmed.


Q SIGNATURE SAMUI Get high

Beautiful scenery is often best viewed from a high vantage point and this is one of the many reasons to head up to Q Signature Samui. Perched on a gentle slope north of Chaweng Beach overlooking an endless horizon of uninterrupted blue, the resort is a sprawling enclosure of Thai-inspired rooms and luxury private villas, all designed with gracious living and relaxation in mind.

Hidden gem

At first glance, it is hard to tell how big the entire property is until you see the internal map because the clever use of tropical landscaping maintains a sense of privacy between all the pavilions and villas. A quiet stroll along the sea is also not too far away on the resort’s private beach. If you are up for more of what Samui has to offer, the resort office would be able to arrange an exciting day through a wide variety of local activities including hikes, elephant rides, day tours and more. The resort is also versatile enough to accommodate meetings,

weddings and small functions for up to 100 people through its function room. If relaxation is on the agenda, the in-house Health Spa is where guests would be able to ease away the strains of the daily grind. Try the signature Ayurvedic Thai Massage and let the therapists knead the stress away.

Not too far, not too near

There are times when we want to get away for some peace and quiet but not too far away from some fun. Tucked away from the bustle of town and yet just a few minutes’ walk to civilisation, Q Signature offers a good balance for those who want a little of both.

Panoramic Seaviews One thing that continued to amaze me on a daily basis during my stay in Koh Samui was how beautiful the sea was. I never grew sick of the marvellous shades of blue and it was staying at Q Signature that gave me the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Koh Samui’s sea views in all its splendour. It seems the owners knew how to harness such beauty for there are plenty of opportunities to just sit back and soak in the magnificence of Mother Nature. Bask in the sun while kicking up the laps in the pool, enjoy the cool sea breeze while you tuck into breakfast at the restaurant, relax to the soothing sight of the sea at the spa and stroll under rich greenery while you get from place to place in the resort. If you are intending to travel with family or friends, it would be a great idea to get a villa because you would get to enjoy the convenience and privacy of your own pool along with additional common spaces. Some bigger villas even come complete with private jacuzzis and of course, beautiful sea views to complete the picture.

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“It is said that the name Samui may have originated from the Malay word ‘Saboey’, which carries the meaning of ‘Safe Haven’. “


Dining

by the Sea Located on the coast of Johor with a view of the Singapore shoreline, Taison allows you to dine to the sound of lapping waves under your feet. Besides a spacious indoor dining area, one also has the option of dining alfresco style with fresh barbecued food and affordable duty free drinks. The large selection of live seafood which guests are able to choose from ensures maximum freshness in what arrives at your t able.

太子楼

TAISON SEAFOOD (THE ZON) SDN. BHD. C3, Fun Zon, Jalan Ibrahim Sultan. Stulang Laut, 80300 Johor Bahru,Johor. Fax: 07-221 8511 Website: www.taison.com.my

Tel: 07-221 9988


Features

HUA TING CELEBRATES MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL Enjoy natural Goodness at its finest with Hua Ting’s traditionally baked golden brown pastries and exquisite snowskin delights, presented in a newly-designed vibrant packaging, all set to impress your loved ones! 22

eMAG Aug - Sep 2012


Don’t miss your chance to savour award-winning Hua Ting Masterchefs Chan Kwok and Lap Fai’s Masterpieces this Mid-Autumn Festival from 1 to 30 September 2012.

New Creation

To celebrate Hua Ting’s Double Awards at the World Gourmet Series Awards of Excellence 2012, Group Masterchef Chan Kwok, Masterchef Lap Fai and their talented culinary team have specially created a new addition to Hua Ting’s traditional baked favourites. For all you health buffs out there looking for a guilt-free alternative, be pleasantly surprised to find a custard yolk in the ingenious White Lotus Custard with Hazelnuts. At $17 a piece, this delectable delight not only provides a traditional twist to our favourite festival, but also retains our favourite homemade traditional taste from the renowned kitchen of Hua Ting.

Single Yolk & Macadamia Nuts ($16 per piece) and Lotus Paste with Single Yolk & Macadamia Nuts ($16 per piece).

Signature Snow Skin

Skilfully handmade and wrapped in soft snow skin to perfection for your indulgence, these chilled signature creations are freshly prepared by Hua Ting’s team of artistic chefs. They include Mini Snow Skin Beetroot with Red Wine & Cranberry Paste ($7.50 per piece), Mini Snow Skin Custard with Yolk ($7.50 per piece), Mini Snow Skin White Lotus Paste with Yolk ($7.50 per piece), Mini Snow Skin Green Tea Paste with Yolk($7.50 per piece), and Mini Snow Skin Green Tea Twist with Yolk ($7.50 per piece).

Traditional Baked Mooncakes

Along with our new highly-welcomed addition to the family, Hua Ting’s ever popular traditional favourites are not to be forgotten. These include White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts ($15 per piece), Seeds of Harmony (Assorted Nuts) ($17 per piece), White Lotus Paste with Double Yolk & Macadamia Nuts ($17 per piece), White Lotus Paste with

Hua Ting’s mooncakes will be on display and available for sampling at the Mooncake Booth in Orchard Hotel’s Lobby from 12noon to 8:00pm daily from 1 to 30 September 2012. For enquiries and orders, please call Hua Ting at 6739 6577.

Aug - Sep 2012 eMAG

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Room Type

Description

Total Cost (RM)

Standard Double

One Queen Size Bed

38.00 ^ nett

Superior Twin

Two Single Beds

48.00 ^ nett

Deluxe Triple

Three Single Bed

58.00 ^ nett

Deluxe Family

One queen Size Bed & one Single Bed

63.00 ^ nett

Junior Suite ( window )

Two Queen Size Bed

88.00 ^ nett

Deluxe Suite ( window )

Two Queen Size Bed, One Single Bed & One Sofa Bed

128.00 ^ nett

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43 & 45 Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/2, Taman Sutera Utama, Skudai 81300 Johor Website: www.herehotel.com Tel: +607-5566777 / 888

A paradise in the city, enjoying the benefits of massage, reveling in the serenity of nature No. 17 & 18, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebru, 80050 Johor Bahru Johor, Mslsysia (սછཱིٛᇖྖ‫)૲ؚ‬ Tel: 07-335 1333 Booking 07-335 8880

57, 59 & 61, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, 800500 Johor Bahru Tel: 07-332 8111 Booking: 07-331 8111 L1-040/041, Sutera Mall, 1 Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Tmn Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Tel: 07-559 9118


An effluent lifestyle awaits your arrival...

The promise of a refined lifestyle is presented to you here at Nusa Duta,. Welcome to Park Living, an innovative concept that offers you a personal taste of park living and much more. At Nusa Duta, we create possiblilities that shape your future.

Boulevard of Dream

Located at the very heart of Iskandar Malaysia, a new trans-urban development is breathing new life into the locate. Designed with the discerning in mind, Nusa Duta is one of IJM LAND’s inconic star properites that epitomizes luxury and elegance.

A Place for All

With the success of earlier developments at Nusa Duta, we have gone one step further to introduce yet another standard of affluent living. These new lifestyle home carry the hallmark of IJM LAND’s standard of living the encompasses both 2 Storey Cluster Homes and a magnificent Central Park. Here, a combination of spectacular landscaping and planning of parks and gardens compliments the elements of fresh and healthy living.

A Lifestyle ‘Jewel’

For the connoisseurs who appreciate the finer luxuries in life and love living above all others, IJM LAND presents yet another ‘jewel’ of your dream - the 2 storey cluster home.

At the Pinnacle

Each home comes complete with quality finishes and fittings that provide the accent of luxury you deserve to enjoy. The open layout of the living and dining room reflects grandeur, while the generous high ceiling promotes a cool and well-ventilated living space. With thoughtfully crafted layout which can be adapted to your personal indulgence, the Lifestyle Deck where you can do your morning meditation or tai-chi exercise, right from your very own bedroom. On the ground floor, there is also a spacious patio where you can entertain guests or simply dazzle the night away with your loved ones. For absolute privacy, retreat in style into the master bedroom where you can relax and experience a world of immense comfort.

The Strategic Network Advantage

Nusa Duta is a fully integrated self-contained residential community, situated in a strategic location with superb accessibility. It’s premier location has the added advantage of being near to the Second Link and the new Iskandar Coastal Highway, linking Nusajaya, Danga Bay and other major inter-city highways. With all the surrounding amenities just minutes away from Nusa Duta, you can rest assure of a beaufiful life here.


Your Italian Lifestyle

Looking for sleek Italian-style furniture without having to make a trip to Italy? GUCCAITALY

www.guccaitaly.com.my Showrooms nearby: JOHOR BAHRU No. 2, 4, &10 Jalan Molek 1/12 Taman. Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor Careline: +6 012-762 6100 TAMAN GAYA, ULU TIRAM 33, 35, 37, 39 Jalan Gaya 27, Taman Gaya 81800 Johor Bahru, Johor Careline: +6 016-771 4904

The good news is: there is an option much closer to home. GUCCAITALY, a 6-year-old furniture brand with over 10 showrooms in Malaysia, prides itself in producing quality furnishings with a signature style that draws inspiration from modern Italian chic. Managed by a team that has been in the furnishing business for over 15 years, it is the only furniture brand in Malaysia which manufactures all their products directly. Starting from design right down to sourcing and production, all Gucca furniture is produced in-house with strict quality controls across 3 manufacturing facilities. Home owners would have probably experienced situations similar to this one before: You have found your dream couch but it is just a few inches too big for your living room so you let it go unwillingly and hope to find something else that comes close. This would not be the case at Gucca, which is a firm believer that design should be customer-centric and based on one’s personal preferences and lifestyle so customers have the option of customizing furniture according to materials preferred and size of housing. Producing in-house also gives Gucca the ability to provide warranty, after-sales and repair services to their customers. The management explains, “A big proportion of our clients are Singaporeans or Malaysians working in Singapore so we deliver to Singapore or provide after-sales services nearly on a weekly basis.” Besides Singapore and Malaysia, Gucca’s furniture can also be found in homes across the region. We were certainly impressed with what we saw in Gucca’s showroom. The furniture was not only sturdy, but also stylish and finished with high quality leathers and fabrics. Pop down to one of Gucca’s showrooms today to discover Italian living concepts that are just about you.

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Where Service Matters

M

ention renovation to most home owners and chances are, one would find a ready pool of horror stories about anything from hidden costs to quality shortfalls and failed expectations. This is something Mr Ray Tan, Managing Director of Gucca Creative, is well aware of. Instead of competing with price cuts, his firm prefers to deliver with service and quality. “People often encounter hidden or sudden extra costs after work has started but we prefer to be upfront with our clients. This is why our services may look more costly in the initial quotation but it actually works out to be about the same in the end.” He explains. Having lived and worked in Singapore for over 8 years, he is not only familiar with Singaporeans’ tastes but also the latest trends in interior design. The same goes for most of his team. Moving his base to Malaysia has further expanded his horizons which in turn, benefits his clients. “Our clients also hail from around the region including China, Taiwan and Korea. Singapore has a greater concentration of apartments while there are more landed residential and commercial projects in Malaysia. At the same time, we work on both interiors and exteriors. This has widened our exposure to different living concepts and materials usable so it aids us in presenting more creative ideas to our clients.”

Gucca Creative Sdn Bhd www.guccacreative.com Tel: +607 861 9749 Email: sale@guccacreative.com 30

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It isn’t just creative concepts that have made Gucca sought after. Gucca’s designers dedicate themselves to supervising renovations regularly in order to ensure that high quality materials are used and designs are executed as closely to what was envisioned as possible. This is the case even for clients outside Malaysia. While their efforts may sound time consuming, Gucca’s efforts have paid off. The firm is so popular that they no longer offer walk-in services so remember to give them a call first if you are looking to jazz up your house with a modern new look!


Newly Opened In JBís Johor Jaya



eMAG Vol 17 - August 2012