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VOLUME 1 - NO 8 - 2008 | Rp. 48.000

TRAVEL- Surabaya; Bugis; I-San FOOD - Healthy Mediteranean; cheese; Bobby Chinn HOTELS - Oberoi Bali; Epicentrum


Contents

16 08

12

32

20 28 16 HOTELS

The magnificent Majapahit Hotel in Surabaya gets a face-lift and maintains its unique place in modern tourism as well as Indonesia’s history

20 CHESSE

a look at three great ones for the festive season

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24 OLEH -OLEH

sick of mass-produced junk, VA goes in search of quality souvenir material in Indonesia

08 CHEF’S TALK

Celebrity chef Bobby Chinn clowns his way into Jakarta for some TV, some street food and some cooking classes

12 PERSONALITY

Possibly the man with the most difficult job of the moment COO of Bakrieland, Dicky Setiawan who is forging ahead with the Epicentrum mega-project in the face of intense commercial uncertainty

28 SALT

is not just salt any more. There are dozens of varieties and brands. This month we look at a new and natural one from Western Australia

32 TRAVEL

despite its troubles, tourism is still a big issue. We take a look at the wild, wild east of the country – called I-San


Contents

36 5O

62

40 58

66

44

36 FOOD

Your own private chef – well he will be if you stay at the super-smart new Pantai Lima Villas in Bali

40 HOTEL NEWS

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58 BY THE BOOK

this month we look at Alison Taafe whose has had a colourful career, culminating in a new book called Fun, Fast & Fabulous Food

The Oberoi Bali – a seeming constant in Indonesian tourism, this grand old lady just keeps on going – and she turns 30 this year

62 OUT TO LUNCH

44 TRAVEL

66 WINE

The other side of Singapore – we look at the historic Bugis area, now a hidden shopping, dining and cultural centre only the locals know about

50 FOOD

Mediterranean Food – why it is good for us – not to mention delicious

today VA goes to lunch with Alessandro Santi from the Shangri-La Jakarta, currently making some of the best Italian food around

a tribute to the late Robert Mondavi, more or less the father of the Californian wine industry

74 MIXOLOGY

a trip to fabulous Venice and its grandest hotel, the Danieli – all for a cocktailCalifornian wine industry


EDITORIAL

T

he year 2008 ends in global uncertainty. The financial crisis, fuel prices and unrest in South East Asia. Our thoughts go to Mumbai and a quick recovery, especially for our colleagues in the tourism industry. We hope that 2009 will see us all recover. At their recent summit, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation concluded that the tourism sector needs real time market information, innovation and increased collaboration at all levels. Greater than before public-private cooperation was identified as a key to adjust to global macroeconomic developments. This applies particularly to Indonesia. (Note this, the people holding up food and wine supplies, along with the producers of the awful new TV commercial for Jakarta – please get some help with your English!) But resilient we are. And instead of being moaning Minnies, we should be getting together to make positive moves – some say a new emphasis on domestic tourism; others for short haul travellers, i.e., non-stop flyers, say from the immediate Asian region. A timely move would be to scrap the visa-on-arrival system, as well. Not the idea but maybe write the visa into the ticket so tourists don’t have to line up twice when they get here. Graham Pearce

This month our cover features a view from one of the villas called Pantai Lima in Bali. All the villas are designed using local materials and artwork. This one is special for the extra-long covered waterway that brings the idea of the ocean indoors. Cool!

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Publisher PT Artha Cipta Pratama  Editor in Chief Graham Pearce  Production House Origomedia  Graphic Designers Marco,Tody, Lea, Cerri Senior Promotion Evy Yulianti Marketing Executive Uchie Susilowati, Indria Hapsari Website www.vivaasiamagazine.com  Email info@vivaasiamagazine.com

ORIGOMEDIA Jl. Setiabudi III / 2A Setiabudi, Jakarta Selatan 12910 Indonesia p +62 21 5292 1638 / 7031 6882 f +62 21 5292 1637 e info@vivaasiamagazine.com www.vivaasiamagazine.com  

Contact: Editorial: Graham Pearce gp@vivaasiamagazine.com

Advertising: James Weston jim@vivaasiamagazine.com

No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without prior permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed within VIVA ASIA are those of the authors not the publisher. VIVA ASIA will not be held responsible for copyright infringements on images supplied directly by advertisers and contributors.


CHEF’S TALK

TAKING IT ON THE CHINN We

catch restaurateur and TV food-show host Chef Bobby Chinn in an Egyptian moment. He is late - but he arrives at the InterContinental full of apologies, a little tired and edgy but a cold beer restores his humour and that famous energy ñ and his breathless patter. “I am sorry but I thought we had it all planned,” he said. “We wanted to show a glamorous side to Jakarta for the new series of World Café Asia and we started out well – in an executive helicopter and then a ‘limousine ojek.’ And that is where it started to go wrong,” he decries. “We were decked out in designer helmet and jacket, on the back of beautiful yellow Piaggio – and then the driver had no idea where the InterContinental was!” “And it got worse – it started to rain,” he laughs. “So, I guess I know exactly how people live in this city.”

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Fans of food television will know him as the cheeky chappy who does not take things too seriously as he eats his way around Asia for the cameras. But read between the lines and you realize this energetic personality hides a keen intelligence and a genuine curiosity about food and culture. Chinn’s colourful personality could stem partly from his background: he is French trained, New Zealand-born, Englisheducated, San Francisco-based. His father is Chinese, his mother Egyptian. He began life as a commodities trader in New York before becoming a stand-up comic

in Hollywood and then moved into the food business, finally ending up with his eponymous restaurant in Hanoi. He was giving a cooking class at Scusa while he was here but cooking was almost secondary to a series of anecdotes about his career, his restaurant and his experiences with food. He peppers his patter with mild obscenities and (having been to boarding school in England) has mastered funny accents. He even gets a dig in at the sexy Nigella and another at Jamie Oliver. “If Jamie is the naked chef, I am the ho!” he says but it goes over nearly everyone’s head.


CHEF’S TALK FOOD “I think my interest in food was inherent. I just took it for granted my entire life. I think it began in Cairo with summers in Alexandria – as one does,” he says, reverting to a toffy British accent. “My two grandmothers (one was half Chinese, half Australian) were always cooking and they simply recognised good food. “I supposed I really learned to cook by the book. When I left the zoo life of the Stock Exchange on Wall Street, I moved to L.A. and started doing stand-up comedy. Lisa Kudrow was in my group and look where she ended up, a star of Friends.” “I used to support myself waiting on tables but I still thought it was show-biz. I think having lived abroad, going to all these international schools, I could do all these different characters, play around, I loved it,” he recalls. “I was not a real good waiter and then I moved back to San Francisco and landed a job. They take food seriously there; I watched everything; learned everything, often by osmosis. The techniques were fascinating to me.” “San Francisco has embraced the whole philosophy of regional French cuisine which is exactly what Alice Waters (Chez Panisse), Thomas Keller (The French Laundry) and others do.” “Then my father came to see me and he was kind of ashamed, I think,” says Chinn. “He told me my education was far too expensive for me to be waiting tables. He said think about the future and he saw the future as Vietnam. Right out of left field. But I never thought I would seriously go there until I got my ticket.” “So I opened a restaurant, first in Ho Chi Minh and then in Hanoi. It was so different 14 years ago, sort of a time warp. I had to search out ingredients, improvise and who knew if the refrigerator would work more than three hours at a stretch?” “I was actually cooking a lot of, in my mind, 4-star San Francisco food. Not that I was anal because you could not get the ingredients. Basically French with Californian sensibility and understanding of Asian ingredients,” he recalls. “The Vietnamese have had a cooking tradition for a thousand years,” he says. “But sometimes you can improve on tradition – after all, taste is everything.” After explain this at his class, he then gets a dig in

a pretentious presentation by some chefs. This, among jibes against George Bush and Indonesian food. “I am a street food guy and I did not like what I tasted in Jakarta. In many places they throw MSG on a dish and call it spicy,” he says. When he was howled down by the audience, he did admit he was badly advised and probably did not go to the right places. “I love doing TV and there is still a lot I would like to do after Series Two. Perhaps one on the spice trade; I do have a background in economics and I would love to explore how it began, who ran it, how it is today,” he says. “I would love to explore Latin America and Bali is fantastic, but when you need a break but I am a city boy I think. I need the bustle and the energy. I need to work. I never have a day off!” he laughs. “I think I need to find a relationship; someone who can give me a routine, discipline. For example, if I start to do some research on the internet, I don’t stop. I can go all night.” So, there is no Mrs. Chinn? “No, I wouldn’t do that to somebody,” he laughs again. “I suppose if I do have time off, it is often with a hangover and then I like Indian or Mexican food. He confesses tequila is his spirit of choice and, of course, he loves good wine but it has to be imported to Vietnam. “Vietnamese wine is deplorable – only good for sangria or red wine sauce,” he grimaces.

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CHEF’S TALK

BEEF AND RICE NOODLE SALAD

“If you asked me to make a Sunday dish it would probably be pasta – but with wild mushrooms, shaved white truffles, white truffle oil, a cep reduction, 10 different kinds of mushrooms,” he says and you get the impression he might be half serious. At his cooking classes in Jakarta, though, he showed his fans some recipes from his book Wild, Wild East, Recipes & Stories from Vietnam. CARAMEL GINGER CHICKEN 90g chicken thighs (boned), cut into 5cm cubes 2 tbsp vegetable oil MARINADE 1 tsp sugar 2 tsp fish sauce 2tbsp shallot, chopped 2 tbsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp black pepper 1 green chilli, finely chopped 40g ginger, chopped and squeezed CARAMEL 200g brown sugar 4 tsp fish sauce 750ml hot chicken stock 1 chilli, halved 1 tsp lime juice 1 cinnamon stick 1 tsp black peppercorns Combine marinade ingredients and marinate chicken 1 hour. Make sauce by caramelizing the sugar to a dark brown colour. Deglaze with fish sauce. Pour in the stock; add the

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chilli and lime juice. Reduce and add the ginger, cinnamon & peppercorns. Sauté chicken in a hot pan until marinade is dark brown. Add the caramel sauce and simmer until cooked. Garnish with sliced ginger, spring onions and coriander. Serve with steamed rice. BEEF AND RICE NOODLE SALAD 100g beef fillet, thinly sliced 2tbsp vegetable oil 1tsp lemon grass, finely chopped 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped 2tbsp beef stock or water 80g bean sprouts 1 tbsp sweet & sour sauce SALAD 5g coriander 20g shiso 50g mixed greens 100g rice noodles GARNISH Fried shallots, sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. Marinate the beef with half the oil and the lemongrass. Mix salad and herbs in a bowl and top with blanched noodles. Sear the beef, add some garlic and deglaze with the stock. Reduce, then add the bean sprouts, cover for 2 minutes. Add sweet & sour sauce to taste. Spoon the beef into the bowl of salad and garnish. www.intercontinental.com www.bobbychinn.com

CARAMEL GINGER CHICKEN


PERSONALITY

CENTRE OF THE WORLD!

Despite the economic crisis and almost daily reports of financial hurdles, one of the most ambitious nonindustrial projects of the Bakrie Company is going full steam ahead – the ambitious Epicentrum ‘superblock’ in Jakarta’s Kuningan area. At the helm: Dicky Setiawan. 12


PERSONALITY

A

s if a testament to defiance of any fiscal woes, the jackhammers are beating a noisy tattoo, 24 hours a day to finish this huge project covering 55 hectares – a combination of residential, retail and commercial buildings. At the helm is Director and COO of Bakrieland, Mr. Dicky Setiawan, who displays an air of confidence as he tries to fit more hours into each day. Although admitting to working twice as hard in this currently difficult economic climate, he is extremely optimistic. “This is nothing new to us. I remember in the 1997-8 crisis, when the market plummeted to something like 700, it gradually improved over two years and then took off again for six years,” he recalls. “So it is very much a matter of forging ahead.” “Our major difficulty, perhaps, will be to continue building and continue marketing the complex. I hope that our own banking sector will support us. The other company loans, incidentally, do not support this development project itself.” “Our strength is in our versatility,” he adds. “And we have confidence in this concept and we will continue to seek buyers and we will certainly try to deliver on time.” Epicentrum comprises: - The new Bakrie Office Tower - The Grove Apartments - The Wave Apartments - Epicentrum Walk (shopping and dining) - A theatre and TV studio

- A building up-for-grabs that was going to house the Jakarta Stock Exchange - Pasar Festival - Klub Rasuna with its gym, tennis courts and pool - Future plans for still more apartments (a total of 40) and smaller office buildings As their advertising suggests, it will be a place where you can ‘live, work and play.’ On other words, a central city haven where you do not have to cope with Jakarta’s notorious traffic. “Our vision of this city within a city is that you will not necessarily have to leave during the course of your working day or even, if you like, at weekends. We have residential, office, entertainment and sporting facilities right throughout the complex.”

HOTELS “In the new area west of the river and below Jalan Rasuna Said, we will have the Grand Aston, due for completion next year. This is the upscale brand of the Aston Group, which already successfully manages hotels, villas and apartments all over Indonesia,” says Setiawan.

APARTMENTS “The Grove is first; we are currently building the first two of four towers in this complex, which sits behind the Mall and beside the Bakrie Office Tower,” says Setiawan. “Then there will be the new Wave – we call it that because that is just how the 10 towers are shaped. That will be further north on the river side; upmarket but more affordable.” “I would like to point out here that we regard ‘going green’ as very important,” states Setiawan. “Basically, we have three concepts: green design, green operation and green attitude. Our architects have designed the buildings to accommodate the sun so air conditioning will be lessened. We have also sought out energy-saving building materials, waste disposal and recycling programs and we will recycle as much water as possible,” he says. “We also have a lot of water around the complex, even a small lake at the roundabout entrance; all part of the green concept and it will help the place breathe,” he adds.

MALL

“And there will also be a Condotel, which will be a 150-room apartment hotel. Basically, this is like a condominium where people buy a unit with a guaranteed return. They will be strata title put back into a leaseback arrangement with the hotel management.”

“What we call Epicentrum Walk opens next February; it is a complex of boutiques and lifestyle restaurants and cafés. Of course, a world-class supermarket and play areas for children. And you will be able to get around it (and the rest of the complex) by nonpolluting electric trams,” he adds.

“We hope both of these will be finished by July 2009.”

“Pasar Festival is also part of the overall plan. We shall make that better and more

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PERSONALITY

Epicentrum Walk The Grove

attractive as we have plans to upgrade the tenants so it will be a great complement to the rest of the area.” “Then, there are the general infrastructure plans: new entry and exit roads (the same size as the one already built outside Klub Rasuna) from the centre to Jalan Rasuna Said, Jalan Casablanca and other to exit near Menara Imperium. We already have approval from government and these will begin very soon.” Talk of a ‘river front café’ brings a smile to the face of many people who only know Jakarta’s rivers as little more than sewers. Not so, here, apparently. “We have designs in place to make the riverside a little like Singapore’s Clarke Quay,” says Setiawan. “We have plans in place to divert the detritus from that small river into underground tunnels. Purified water will then flow past the Epicentrum complex,” he explains. We have cornered Mr. Setiawan between two meetings – one of them with bankers – so it sets one to

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wondering if he ever gets a moment to himself. He roars laughing at the suggestion. “Well, I do try to have a game of golf whenever I can; there is a course near my house in Jakarta. I also like tennis and I am already a regular at Gold’s Gym in the Klub.” “And one of the benefits of this job (Setiawan is an engineer by training; he came later to property development) is that I have learned a lot about food over the past five years, which is a nice change from cement and steel,” he smiles. “I have gained a lot of knowledge from Pak Aulia who is one of our experts.” (Aulia Masjhoerdin is the GM of Aston Rasuna across the river). As he rushes to another meeting, Mr. Setiawan wants to emphasise again his confidence in the Epicentrum complex and its place in the capital. “With this project we are trying to help Jakarta on its way to becoming a beautiful world city.” www.rasunaepicentrum.com


THE PRIVILEGED WAY TO TRAVEL

President Director of PT. Angkasa Pura Schiphol, Syarkowi Pabli (right) and Vice President PT. Angkasa Pura Schiphol, Dieme C. Ketel (left)

Saphire Service Center at Terminal II F Soekarno Hatta International Airport Automatic Border Passage

BEHIND THE MANAGEMENT In partnership with Schiphol Group which is the best airport operator in Europe, PT Angkasa Pura II formed PT Angkasa Pura Schiphol as a company that exclusively manages the Saphire program available at Soekarno Hatta International Airport. Saphire is an executive membership for frequent flyers that require an expedited travel experience by getting in and out of the airport in a breeze. With numerous benefits offered to its members, the Saphire Membership has grown extensively to over 4.000 members since it was launched in December 2006. Members include both corporate customers and private individuals. SAPHIRE FACILITIES: • Automatic Border Passage (ABP) This feature enables Saphire members to fast track through the immigration process. With state-of-the-art iris recognition technology, the members identity can be recognised within seconds and there is no immigration card to fill in or passport to stamp which simply translates into saving a lot of time. • Preferred Security Lane An exclusive entry gate that allows members to go through swift security checks and directly proceed to check-in counters without having to wait.

• Preferred Parking and Drop Off-Pick Up Zones A special Parking area is provided free for thirty minutes for your convenience and exclusive drop off and pick up zones are provided to use for a maximum of 15 minutes. HOW TO APPLY FOR A MEMBERSHIP To enroll as a Saphire member, the applicants must have: • A valid passport with minimum validity of 12 months for Indonesian citizens or 18 months for foreign nationals. • Kartu Izin Tinggal Permanent (KITAP) or Kartu IjinTinggal Sementara (KITAS) with Multi Reentry Permit (MREP) for foreign citizens. • Multi Visa with minimum validity of 30 days or free Visa (for citizens of certain countries). • The applicants will be photographed, clarified and have their iris scanned after showing immigration documents and complete the application form to the Saphire Service Center at Terminal 2F. SPOUSE MEMBERSHIP Apart from corporate and private membership, Saphire also offers current members to enroll their spouse with a special discount of 25% for the spouse membership.

Saphire Service Centre Terminal 2-F, Arrival Hall Soekarno Hatta International Airport Jakarta, Indonesia Tel : +6221-55 910 910 Fax : +6221-55 910 912 Email : info@saphire.co.id


HOTEL NEWS

MONUMENT TO HISTORY T Not only does the Hotel Majapahit in Surabaya take you on a grand tour back into more leisurely luxurious days, it gives you a romance and elegance along with a wonderful glimpse of history. In fact, it is a centre of the history of Indonesia.

he Majapahit was built in 1910 by the famous Sarkies brothers. Its graceful architecture has three wings around landscaped gardens (including one herb garden). Thankfully, all the original tile work, teak floors, furniture and fittings still survive – to make it a masterpiece in a combination of art deco and oriental art nouveau. It sits on a busy street in the centre of Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city and a fabled trading port since the 15th century. Over the years, the hotel has had six names; its first was the Oranje (after the Dutch royal house), given to it by Lucas Martin Sarkies of the famous Armenian family who also built the iconic hotels: Raffles in Singapore, the Strand in Rangoon and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang. In the old days it had a grand driveway and lawn but, in 1936, a new wing was built at the front, its opening attended by Hollywood greats Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard. During World War II when the Japanese occupied Java, it was renamed the Hotel

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Yamato. After the Japanese were sent packing, it was renamed again in 1946 as the Hotel L.M.S. (after Mr. Sarkies himself) and continued as such until 1969, when new owners decided to rename it the Majapahit, after one of ancient Indonesia’s most enduring kingdoms. In 1996, it had Mandarin Oriental added to the name when it was re-opened after two years of restoration by that luxury hotel group. Then, in 2006, it reverted to the simple ‘Majapahit’ when new owners re-established it as an independent five-star property. Fortunately for us (and Indonesian tourism in general) it has just been completely restored and is a centerpiece on the historic East Java icon trail. Today, it sits directly in a major city thoroughfare but walk into the beautifully restored lobby and through to the gardens and the two-storey accommodation wings and you will not hear a hint of motor noise – instead you will believe you have taken a step back to a much more peaceful and glamorous time.


HOTEL NEWS

Each of the 142 rooms has kept its original design, even to the ‘privacy shutters’ on the windows. Most have the original furniture, the huge armoire in the bathroom where you will also find gold tap fittings. The teak floors have been restored, oriental rugs added – along with air conditioning, of course, although they still have large colonial fans everywhere. Another plus, having been built early last century, is the rooms are bigger than those in modern hotels. The suites (including the Merdeka where General Mallaby negotiated with Independence fighters) are also impressive – the biggest at some 800 square metres, makes the Presidential Suite on of the biggest in Asia. Many rooms have sitting terraces and you leave by covered arcades that lead you to the lobby, Indigo dining room and the beautifully reserved Sarkies, the Chinese restaurant upstairs.

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HOTEL NEWS

Orange Hotel 1910

It is truly a credit to the new owners who have decided to keep its integrity, originality, history and design. Others agree too: in 2006, the hotel received the accolade as ‘best cultural preservation effort’ by the ASEAN Tourism Association. It is now on a must-see list, especially by adventurous Europeans who make a circle line of Jakarta, Solo, Yogyakarta and Bali. It is also home to the many keen golfers who come to play in Surabaya from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. www.hotel-majapahit.com

Surabaya is closely linked to the birth of the Indonesian nation, as it was here that the battle for independence began. Here also, that the Oranje Hotel played a major part. At the end of World War II, the future President Soekarno declared independence on 17 August 1945 but, on 19 September,

Dutch internees, with Japanese support, occupied the Oranje Hotel and hoisted the Dutch flag. When young Indonesians heard this, they stormed the hotel where a battle ensued but several young men managed to climb

the flagpole on the entrance tower where they ripped the blue stripe from the Dutch flag, leaving the red and white of Indonesia. Later, some 6,000 British troops under Brigadier Mallaby entered Surabaya, to recover allied POWs but also to recapture the city for the Dutch. The British then secretly landed 24,000 troops, tanks and warplanes along with several navy ships. On 9 November, the British gave the Indonesians an ultimatum, ordering their leaders to surrender. When they refused, bombs were dropped on Surabaya, beginning a three-week battle which left 16,000 Indonesians and 2,000 British dead. Although the Indonesian resistance had been defeated, it an important turning point for the Dutch, who until then had believed that the resistance had no popular support. The Battle of Surabaya shocked them into realising that they were no longer a colonial power. Five years were to pass after those young men tore up the Dutch flag when Indonesian Independence was a reality. And, still today, there is only red and white on the flag. And Surabaya is still known as Kota Pahlawan (City of Heroes).

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FOOD

THE BIG CHEESE

Good entertaining isn’t easy, especially in the holiday season so the challenge is to do it simply but with style. One perfect (and relaxed) way to end a festive meal is simply with good cheese. As great cheese becomes more readily available in Indonesia, Sarah Reiter explores three international entertainers..

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Sensational Stilton For many, part of the Christmas lunch always includes Stilton. A Christmas Stilton is an easy-to-prepare and a classic way to celebrate. Long known as “The King of Cheeses” blue Stilton is one a handful of British cheeses granted the status of a “protected designation origin” (PDO) by the European Commission. Only cheese produced in the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, and made according to a strict code, may be called Stilton. Stilton was first made in the early 18th century in the midlands, specifically around

Stilton


FOOD the Melton Mowbray area. Stilton takes its name from the village of Stilton (though no Stilton was ever made there) located about 80 miles north of London on the Great North Road. This cheese is soft, sweet and savory and is best enjoyed with a glass of port or robust red wine. It is at its best when there is an even distribution of blue veins, a smooth feel in the mouth and long, sharp flavours. If you can’t get the real thing, Australia’s King Island Endeavour Blue has been favorably compared with English Stilton. Serve at room temperature with almonds, dried apricots, whole meal baguette, lavosh or oaten crackers Ideal drink pairing: port, sauternes and stickies. Pont L’Evêque

Comté

Perfectly Petite

Lusciously L’Evêque The Norman forebear of camembert, Pont L’Evêque cheese was developed by monks during the 11th century. The surface rind is carefully washed with a brine and ‘b’ linens culture over a period of a month while it matures in humid cellars. It is packed in a special poplar-wood box that creates a micro environment around the cheese as it ripens. This cheese has a slightly sticky orange brown, soft rind and distinctly strong smell. Get past the smell and you’ll enjoy a sublime experience - the interior is soft, mild and creamy. To use and keep moist, cut in half, and then cut slices from the open edges, placing the cheese back together between meals. Serve at room temperature (or until runny) with red grapes, white baguette and plain crackers Ideal pairing: Apple cider or pinot noir

Marcel Petite Comté is a type of Gruyère and similar to several of the large mountain cheeses that are made in the Alps on the borders of France and Switzerland. This cheese originally took its name from the forests known as the gruyères which were once used as the fuel to heat the copper cauldrons of curd. Comte now represents the largest volume of all cheese protected by the AOC system and Marcel Petite Comté affineur’s (cheese makers) mature the young wheels under a cold maturation system at 1,100 metres in the old underground fort of Saint Antoine. The concentrated nutty texture and gentle sweet honey flavour reflects the rich milk of the Montbéliard cows that graze the natural mountain pastures. A wonderful entertainer this cheese will sit perfectly between a blue and a brie when preparing a platter. Serve at room temperature with green grapes, thinly sliced pear or apple and plain crackers or just enjoy on its own! Ideal pairing: Spanish, dry sherry or cabernet sauvignon

“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations” Oscar Wilde

Dining tips: Serve just one great cheese and then pair it with the right accompaniments and wine. Use flowers on your cheese board to bring colour. Don’t be afraid to choose alternatives to crackers (for semi-hard and hard cheeses) like sliced pair, apple, bread or dried fruits. Use pastes and chutneys only with cheeses with a big enough flavor to compete like blues and cheddars.

Availability: Stilton, Pont L’Evêque and Comté are available at Cheese and Caviar, Grand Kemang, FX Mall and Plaza Indonesia.

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GALLERY HOTEL

DRINK AND DRIVE? NOT IN SINGAPORE Not many people in Singapore can afford a private driver so the Conrad Centennial Hotel has introduced its “Designated Driver Program” so you can enjoy a glass a wine and not have to worry about driving home. The campaign aims to encourage individuals to volunteer as a designated driver and to provide safe transportation for friends under the influence of alcohol. Designated drivers receive complimentary free flow mocktails for the evening when they identify themselves to the staff at Oscar’s, Golden Peony and Lobby Lounge as well as banquet events. These generous people will receive a “I’m A Designated Driver” car decal as a souvenir and a complimentary Uniquely Singapore lunch voucher at Oscar’s. The hotel is also providing other options: a taxi calling service and special room rates for those who wish to simply stay in for the night. www.conradhotels.com

ATLANTIS FOUND Not the legendary lost city but something pretty spectacular. This new Atlantis is the largest water-themed attraction in the Middle East and is the new $1.5 billion flagship resort of the Palm Jumeirah on the famous “Palm” island in Dubai.

New ‘Urban Lifestyle’ Retreat in Switzerland The trendy Post Hotel Weggis is the newcomer to the shores of Lake Lucerne. In the bracing weather and within view of the Alps, this boutique hotel combines “cool design with pure pleasure” targeting the 20-45 age group with the promise of “chilling-out in style”. The retreat is nicknamed POHO is on the so-called “Riviera of Central Switzerland,” with chestnut trees, palms and orchids adding to its Mediterranean look. And when you finish chilling out, they have waterskiing and wakeboarding, paragliding, nordic walking and a rope park of 2.5 kms. When the snow falls, the resort is a base for winter sports. Hearty Swiss fare (from bratwurst to bauernrösti) is on the menu at the Weggiser Stübli, in a converted 100-year-old ancestral gallery. www.poho.ch

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The hotel has 1,539 rooms and something they call Aquaventure, a marine habitat of 65,000 animals, a beach, luxury boutiques, and 17 dining options, including Nobu, Locatelli and Rostang. Highlight: the Lost Chambers Suites, each three stories high with views into the Ambassador Lagoon, designed to create the illusion of being beneath the sea, looking at a recreation of Atlantis itself. The water playground has rides with cascades, tidal waves and rapids, and the Mesopotamian-styled Ziggurat temple featuring seven water slides – two of which catapult riders through shark-filled lagoons. www.atlantisthepalm.com


GALLERY HOTEL

AAH, CAPELLA Capella Singapore has just announced it will open on Sentosa Island in March next year. No lesser master than Lord Norman Foster led the restoration of Tanah Merah, two colonial buildings from the 1880s, which form the centrepiece for the 111-room hotel which sits in a natural tropical forest.

HYATT GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

1963 as Gene Autry’s Hotel Continental).

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has launched its second property under its new brand, Andaz on the famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

Throughout the new hotel, visitors will uncover unique details of the West Hollywood culture such as quotes from local neighborhood personalities, art installations from Los Angeles artists and impromptu music performances from some of the city’s up-and-coming musicians.

The first was the Andaz Liverpool Street in London before Wall Street and Fifth Avenue in New York and one in Austin, Texas. The Andaz brand was designed with simplicity and locality in mind, hoping to share local insights and the cultural pulse of the neighbourhood. (The hotel was originally opened in

Add to that, it is a short walk to the best shopping and dining in Los Angeles. www.andaz.com

‘ARCHISCULPTURAL ICON’ Two hotels, the boutique city retreat Zendai Hotel Yin and the business-oriented Zendai Art Hotel are set to open in Shanghai’s latest architectural eye catcher, the ‘Himalayas Centre.’ The Zendai Group has invested RMB 2.4 billion in the Himalayas Centre which is located opposite to Shanghai’s New International Expo Centre and near to the city’s main financial district of Pudong.

The interiors are by Indonesia’s leading designer Jaya Ibrahim

who has just completed the Aman Summer Palace in Beijing. (He also did the Dharmawangsa in Jakarta). Its restaurants will specialize in Chinese and Singaporean cuisines and it will have a Swedish Raison d’Etre Spa. New Yorker Elizabeth Weiner will oversee the burgeoning collection of significant art pieces that will decorate the hotel and its sculpture garden. www.capellahotels.com

“New Age Aerotropolis” Novotel Hyderabad Airport has opened its doors at Shamshabad, just 5 minutes from the new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. It sits on five acres of landscaped gardens and is setting the tone for what they are calling an Aerotropolis in the southern Indian city. We suppose that means a self-contained city near any airport! Hyderabad is a good stopover with its royal attractions and lively shopping and, with this in mind, they are already offering a ‘FlexiStay’ package for short stays of four or eight hours. The hotel also features a Premier Lounge – an exclusive lounge for Premier Floor guests and a purpose built Crew Lounge for the aircrew members to ‘unwind and rejuvenate.’ www.accor.com

The complex is designed by Arata Isozaki who is known for his work as architect for the Barcelona Olympics Stadium and the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art. The Himalayas Centre will also incorporate the Daguan Theatre with multi-functional auditorium seating 1,600, the Himalayas Mall and Himalayas Creative Complex and Museum Zone. www.zendaihimalayas.com

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MINI FEATURE

Indonesians are among the world’s finest artisans – they often spend months making a unique piece of art, be it wearable or simply decorative. Why then do tourists still take home a mass-produced painted giraffe? Viva Asia’s Julie Hill goes in search of the best souvenirs (Oleh-oleh) the country has to offer. 1.

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always get excited when I have overseas visitors come to stay. As a long time resident of Jakarta, I’ve learned that there are so many fabulous things to do here, not least of which is shopping. And it’s a great chance to show off some of the wellkept secrets of this amazing city. So where can you get that special something you can take home and treasure as a precious memento for years to come? My years of dedicated shopping research has uncovered some priceless gems...

1. Babat stole fully hand-made by using stitching, ripping and pulling of threads to create an elasticised crinkle effect. 2. Cut-work stole and blue silk handwoven stole. - Both from BIN house

Now not all of these wonderful pieces are easy to come by. Some need to be sought out and bargained for, which, I think, makes them all the more valuable. Sometimes the vendors speak little English and can put your Bahasa to the test. But that, too, makes your final conquest oh so much sweeter! So let me share with you some of Jakarta’s best-kept oleh oleh secrets. Bin House in Menteng has been leading the way in Indonesia’s evolution of textiles for the last 25 years. With workshops throughout Java, their cloth-makers are artisans who study the skills of weaving, dying, cutting and stitching for many years. Bin House cloths are works of art and sometimes take years to create. They can be worn or displayed in your home. When you see the end results of these labours of love, you can understand how pieces can be priced as high as Rp 20 million.

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2.


MINI FEATURE Battling through the busy Kemang traffic, we find our way to SIP- Gallery Antique. Fight your way past the stone statues out front and begin your search inside. The hot and dusty showroom can reveal some unique and fascinating genuine pieces of Indonesian history. This shop is definitely worth a visit from time to time to check what new stock has come in and the owner, John is very knowledgeable about the background of his pieces.

Alun-Alun

Alun-Alun Alun - alun

Wayang Kayu wooden puppets original limited edition (circa 1950) SIP Gallery

So now it’s back out into the traffic and we head north up to Grand Indonesia and Alun Alun (it means “town square” in Indonesian). What a wonderful cultural showcase this store is for antiques, batik and weaving, jewellery and regional artifacts. It’s the kind of store you can linger in for hours and you are very likely to find that special Indonesian something here. The only (slight) drawback is that the prices are fixed and there is no bargaining, as is the case with department stores. An essential element of the experience for weary shoppers is replenishing those energy levels and at Alun Alun, I highly recommend Palalada for delicious quality Indonesian cuisine fused with a contemporary style and great service.

So with our taste-buds tingling, we hit the road again, but this time it’s just a short distance around the corner to Zainal Songket Butik. Known and loved by many Indonesians, Songket is an extremely rich and lustrous ceremonial fabric and is a member of the brocade family of textiles. Handwoven in silk or cotton, songket is intricately patterned in gold or sometimes silver threads. The fascinating art of songket-making came about at the time of our early trade with China (for the silk) and India (for the gold and silver threads). It was then that this most complex handicraft was handwoven by court artisans for the exclusive use of local royalty. Songket prices start from Rp1,000,000 and upwards and it is returning to popularity, particularly for use as wedding garments. They can also be used to enrich the design of your house as covers for cushions, beds and sofas, or simply as a splendid and unique piece of wall art.

go by word of mouth to find them. But that’s part of the fun! So heading back along Jalan Kemang Raya to number 30, you’ll find Mitra Hadiprana Boutique Mall, which houses a couple of fabulous shops.

Just near the entrance you will find Tenun Baron, a gorgeous retail store with an exclusive range of hand-made Indonesian fabrics. Created by textile designer, Baron Manansang, the range includes shawls, scarves, sets of cloth and shawls, and fabric for men’s shirts. Each Tenun Baron fabric is crafted by hand and the uniqueness lies in the fine intricacy of the fabrics’ woven textures. All contain a delicate blend of modern, natural-dyed colour, combined with exquisite Indonesian heritage motifs, making each piece one to be treasured. In fact I have friends who collect these as family heirlooms. Designs can be made as special orders for weddings or other occasions and prices start from Rp1.5 million. Zainal Songket Butik

One thing I’ve learned about Jakarta is that all the interesting places are well hidden and you sometimes simply stumble across them by accident or you have to

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MINI FEATURE

Hadiprana Jewelry

Lubuak Art

Hadiprana

Walk a few steps beyond Tenun Baron and you’ll come across Hadiprana Jewelry, another beautifully presented store featuring precious stones and shells from all over Indonesia. One of the more unusual items you’ll discover here is fossilized coral, which so far has only been found in Indonesia. Essentially this is coral which has fossilized in rock. It is sliced then cut and polished into cabochons. My final recommendation for those looking for special antiques or artwork is Lubuak Art Shop in Ubud, Bali. If you are heading that way, my friend Adek’s shop is worth a visit. With so many nongenuine copies around, Lubuak is a breath of fresh air, with some gorgeous pieces from throughout Indonesia.  So now we’re done with shopping, satisfied with our purchases, it’s time for a spa....  Ah but that’s a whole other story! 

Stockists  Bin House (Main store - but has outlets throughout Asia) Jl Teluk Betung 10 Jakarta Indonesia Tel: (6221) 31935941 Or   (6221) 31934948 Email: info@binhouse.com    SIP Gallery Antique Jl Kemang Raya 126 Jakarta Tel: (6221) 71792637 Contact: John 

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  Tenun Baron Mitra Hadiprana Ground floor Jl Kemang Raya 30 Jakarta Tel: (6221) 7182779 Contact: Maya    Hadiprana Jewelry Mitra Hadiprana Jl Kemang Raya 30 Jakarta Tel: (6221) 7194715 Email: g_hadiprana@cbn.net.id      Alun Alun Indonesia Grand Indonesia Shopping Town West Mall Level 3 Jl MH. Thamrin No 1 Jakarta Pusat Tel: (6221) 5700669 Website: www.alunalunindonesia.com    Zainal Songket Butik Jl Kebon Kecang 29 No.13 Jakarta Pusat Tel: (6221)3141118 or 3144461 Email: info@zainalsongket.com    Lubuak Art Shop Jl Dewi Sita Ubud Bali Tel:(62) 0361 972944 Mobile: (62) 0817 9748 658 Email: lubuakshop@yahoo.com Contact: Adek

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Tenun Baron


FOOD FEATURE

SALT OF THE EARTH

Gone are the days when salt was salt – and in many Western households, the only spice in the kitchen. Now we have quality salts from many parts of the world – the latest (and purest) is from the desert of Western Australia.

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FOOD FEATURE

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t is called Lake Crystal, a private company owned by Shaun and Susan O’Toole and, as the name suggests, it is natural lake salt, an original alternative to sea salt and it is produced totally by nature. It actually originates from ancient primeval oceans from eons ago when Australia had several inland seas. About five million years ago, one of these became a lake, still totally pristine.

Some delicious recipe suggestions using lake crystal salt

However, the salt crystals still contain several trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium which, together, contribute greatly to the “finger-print” of the salt’s character and are essential for our health. Lake Crystal Salt is harvested using one of the most truly sustainable methods as the harvesting operations are slotted into the natural seasonal cycles of the salt lake. The rainfall over the winter months lifts some of the crust of the lake into solution to create brines that cover the surface of the lake. The summer sun evaporates the brine, new salt crystals form and fall to the surface of the lake. When the new season’s crop of salt crystals dries, they are simply collected by scraping them from the surface of the lake. Winter makes new brine. Summer evaporates the brine (‘solar power’) and salt crystals form and so the seasons repeat this entirely natural process. It is then filtered and kiln-dried, all the while retaining its totally natural character. Nothing is added, nothing taken away; it is formed and then harvested as nature intended.

FLAVOUR As Lake Crystal is harvested naturally, with no interference to the salt’s natural characteristics or composition, it’s distinctive, mild and gentle flavour is retained. Unlike processed sea salts which often have a harsh and bitter aftertaste, Lake Crystal has a natural depth of flavour, which proves to be an economical and healthier option for today’s consumer. The flavours of the salt are also released into solution quickly and harmoniously, generating a gentle but complex “saltiness” to the tastebuds. This all makes it an ideal ingredient for everyday use in the kitchen, sprinkled as a garnish, easily ground or crushed for emulsified sauces or simply used at the table. Its unique depth of flavour also makes it economical as you use less. (This makes it a hit in commercial kitchens as well – it is now exported to Europe, the USA and many parts of Asia). info@lakecrystal.com.au

LEMON & HERB STUFFED SEA BREAM Lake Crystal Salt 1 whole Sea Bream - cleaned 1 Lemon 1 glass white wine 25g of Melted Butter Bunch of Aromatic Fresh Herbs METHOD - Stuff cleaned fish with fresh herbs and 2-3 slices of lemon. - Slash flesh with sharp knife and brush with melted butter; sprinkle white wine over skin and in the belly of the fish. - Squeeze remaining lemon over body of fish and sprinkle generously with Lake Crystal salt. - Heat griddle; frying pan or BBQ until quite hot. Place fish in pan on moderate heat, turning once until cooked. - Serve on a bed of wilted spinach and baby new potatoes. TUNA STEAK WITH A WARM CAPER & TOMATO SALSA Lake Crystal Salt 2 Tuna Steaks 1 large Red Onion diced 2-3 Sweet Cherry Tomatoes, quartered 1 tbsp Capers Juice from 1 Lime 25g Butter Oil

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FOOD FEATURE VODKA GRANITA 1 Pineapple 1 Melon 1 Mango 2 Kiwi fruit 1 shot of Vodka 1 small glass of Orange Juice 1 teaspoon of Lake Crystal Salt Crushed Ice Mint Leaves 1 Lemon or Orange METHOD - Peel and cut fruit into bite size chunks, divide between 4 serving bowls. - Mix Vodka, Orange Juice and Crushed Ice; spoon over fruit and sprinkle with Lake Crystal Salt. - Garnish with Mint leaves or a Julienne of Orange or Lemon. Serve Immediately. SMOKED SALMON SPAGHETTI METHOD - Lightly coat tuna steaks in oil and half of the juice from the Lime Set aside. - Drain capers and sprinkle with Lake Crystal salt - set aside. - Melt butter in small pan and gently sweat the onion 3-4 mins, add tomatoes; capers and remaining lime juice. Gently heat through. - Heat griddle or BBQ to high temperature and cook tuna steaks 30 seconds-1 min on each side, as desired. - Spoon salsa on top of tuna steaks, sprinkle with Lake Crystal salt to taste and serve on a bed of dressed rocket leaves. THE PERFECT SOFT BOILED EGG Lake Crystal Salt Large Free Range Organic Eggs Continental Bread Butter METHOD - Place eggs in a small saucepan covered with cold water. - Slowly bring water to boil. - Check egg after 2 mins when water has boiled, by raising the egg from the pan, when the shell is dry the egg is cooked. - Serve immediately with Lake Crystal salt accompanied by hot crusty buttered bread, cut into ‘soldiers.’

Lake Crystal Salt 250g spaghetti Black pepper 300g smoked salmon, cut into strips 25g salmon roe 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil 2 level tablespoons chopped fresh chives 1 level tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley METHOD - Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water according to instructions on the packet. - Drain well. - Return to the pan. - Add all the remaining ingredients and blend together. - Season to taste with Lake Crystal salt and black pepper. - Divide among 4 warmed plates. - Sprinkle with a little extra chopped chives. - Serve immediately. CORONATION CHICKEN Lake Crystal Salt 1 large firm mango 50g sultanas 500g cooked chicken breast, skinned, cut into strips 150ml Mayonnaise 50g cashew nuts, toasted 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon mild curry powder or paste 1 tablespoon mango chutney Ground black pepper METHOD - Remove the skin from the mango. - Cut the flesh off either side of the stone and slice into strips. - Put chicken strips and half the mango into a large bowl. - Mix the mayonnaise with the Lake Crystal salt, curry powder or paste, chutney, lemon juice, and black pepper. - Pour over the chicken mixture and toss gently to coat well. - Add half the nuts and mix again. - Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining mango strips and cashew nuts. - Serve with a rice salad or arrange on a bed of crisp green salad leaves.

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TRAVEL

Just a couple of hours drive from Bangkok, you will actually see cowboys. We are not quite sure what it is about I-San – perhaps a difficult agricultural life, some wild and wonderful scenery – but it is absolutely the oriental version of the American West, complete with these cowboys (who actually look more like Indians) and country music. Graham Pearce goes exploring.

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-San simply means ‘north east’ and it is the Khorat Plateau region of Thailand, bordered by the Mekong River (Laos is on the other bank) and by Cambodia to the south east. The people even speak dialects of Lao and Cambodian although everything is written in Thai script. You can get there by air, rail or road – the highways are excellent and just about every sign has an English translation underneath and the road houses take credit cards. ISan is also the gateway to Indochina. Many capital-dwellers have chosen to build weekend houses up here, all of varying architectural styles (even including one called Ponderosa) and with them have come inns, motels, hotels, lodges and home-stays. The tourism industry is young but they are very keen to see more people take the adventurous plunge out of Bangkok and see what they have to offer. They already have very professional tourism material, including maps and this invaluable brochure pictured here.

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TRAVEL One of the major initiatives is agro-tourism and you can easily visit plantations, orchards, farms and there is even a dude ranch called Chokchai Farm, actually a working dairy but they have a rodeo where you can walk around on a horse, help milk the cows and even stay over in luxury airconditioned tents. Their home made ice cream is delicious, by the way. If you have children, try the Thong Somboon Club – a wild west theme park – but only if you know the words to Achy Breaky Heart... which opens their stage show. There is a brand new wine industry in ISan as well and a visit to the Granmonte Vineyard is a must. The vintages are coming along nicely and they have a super indoor/ outdoor restaurant where they are serving robust Italian country food. You will find pottery villages scattered about and centres for Thailand’s famous silk. A good one is called Machada where you can actually see the silk being woven and then move to a huge showroom in front where you can buy bolts of fabric, scarves, sarongs, clothing and all manner of home wares.

HISTORY I-San covers 160,000 km² making it about half the size of Germany and a third of Thailand itself. The provinces have a number of important Bronze Age sites, with cliff paintings, artifacts and early evidence of rice cultivation. Iron and bronze tools, such as found at Ban Chiang, may predate similar tools from Mesopotamia. The region later came under the influence first of the Dvaravati culture and then of the Khmer empire, which left temples at Phimai and Phanom Rung. Phimai Temple in Nakhon Ratchasima is considered the model for the immensely larger Angkor Wat. The people were predominantly Lao, and they still have much in common with that of the neighbouring country of Laos. This affinity is shown in the region’s cuisine, dress, temple architecture, festivals and arts. I-San food is distinct from Thai and Lao cuisines, but has elements in common with each. The most obvious characteristics are the use of sticky rice that accompanies almost every meal rather than plain rice. They are also famous for their fiery chillies. Popular dishes include papaya salad, larb (meat salads) and grilled chicken. I-San food is distinct from Thai and Lao cuisines, but has elements in common with each. The most obvious characteristics are

the use of sticky rice that accompanies almost every meal rather than plain rice. They are also famous for their fiery chillies. Popular dishes include papaya salad, larb (meat salads) and grilled chicken. The Thai silk trade received a major boost after WWII, thanks to the works of Jim Thompson and I-San is a major production centre. One of the best-known types of ISan silk is mut-mee, which is tie-dyed to produce geometric patterns on the thread. And no less a person than Queen Sirikit helped set up the Sericulture Centre in Surin. The people of I-San celebrate many traditional festivals, such as the Bun Bungfai Rocket Festival. This fertility rite, originating in pre-Buddhist times, is celebrated in a number of locations but most vigorously and most famously in Yasothon province. Others are the Candle Festival, which marks the start of vassa in July in Ubon and other locations; the Silk Festival in Khon Kaen, which promotes local handicrafts; the Elephant Round-up in Surin; and the bangfai phayanak or Naga fireballs of Nong Khai. On the horizon beyond the city of Nakhon Ratchasima City, you can see the mountains of the marvellous Khao Yai National Park that extends over the border with Cambodia.

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TRAVEL

This park is for everybody; you can go for half a day or trek around for a week. They have well-marked trails to see the animals, the birds, the plants and the flowers. There are a couple of spectacular waterfalls and the butterflies are gorgeous. Thankfully, the Thai Government has taken steps to preserve many areas as national parks that double as wildlife sanctuaries – and you will find all these in the I-San Travel Handbook. You cannot ignore the Buddhist experience, so much a part of Thai life. There are dozens of wats and monasteries, some enormous and quite beautiful. The provinces also have a number of excellent museums, which you will also find in the guide book. Shopping in Thailand is very much like in Indonesia: huge luxurious malls, colourful markets and street stalls – the difference being mainly in silk and handicrafts as well as Buddhist art. History buffs might be interested in Ban Na Jok in Nakhon Phanom. This is the humble house where Ho Chi Minh stayed when he had to flee Vietnam and seek asylum from the Thai King. It contains much interesting memorabilia and, in fact, a Vietnamese village sprung up around it, complete with little restaurants. So, if you like nature and you like to get off the beaten track, do try I-San – if only to see the cowboys. Some useful websites: www.tourismthailand.org www.tat.or.th/northeast01 www.granmonte.com www.dpn.go.th (wildlife parks) www.farmchokchai.com www.thongsomboon-club.com

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GALLERY

SWISS-BELHOTEL BALI

Swiss-Belhotel International has a new 39villa property in Nusa Dua. It is called Swiss-Belhotel Bay View Hotel, Suites and Villas and is on Nusa Dua Hill in Taman Mumbul – about 15 minutes south of the airport. It features 35 one-bedroom villas and four two-bedroom villas set in a large, landscaped garden with views of Tanjung Benoa or Nusa Dua Bay. It has all the modern technology guests now expect but the design has been kept to a ‘minimalist Balinese style,’ each villa having its own private swimming pool and balé. Many have a fully equipped kitchenette but guests have the choice of having their meals prepared by semi butler service or dining at the hotel’s restaurant. Guests can also relish al fresco dining at the gazebo or “balé bengong”. Say Swiss-Belhotel: “it is perfect for leisure travelers but it is also an ideal retreat for worn-out corporate executives looking for a rejuvenating and relaxing getaway.” www.swiss-belhotel.com

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CHEF’S TALK

It is probably a first for Bali to have a private French chef to take care of just five villas. But Villa Pantai Lima is no ordinary property; each villa has five bedrooms and each is set in 25 are of beautifully landscaped gardens. Each is of different design but all give directly on to Pantai Lima (Beach Number Five in English; sounds much grander in Indonesian.)

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CHEF’S TALK

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part from offering guests a luxurious, if not overly grand ambience; all the villas have a certain organic feel and all use natural timber, stone, terra cotta, bamboo and textiles. The artwork on the walls and around the living rooms is superb. A little secret: most of the owners are French, and so is the villa general manager, so they have naturally taken the effort to give guests a little of their native passion – fine food. Overseeing this is the personable Manuel Wendling. Despite the name, he was born in Tours and trained in classical French cuisine. He is actually ‘group’ chef: he has a team of cooks, each eager to perfect traditional European cuisine as well as contributing to the menus from their own unique backgrounds. Chef Wendling is probably the only French food expert I have met who is not a culinary chauvinist. “I love spices and I love to taste different food, so here it has all become a daily experiment to produce interesting food. Our only ongoing criteria being best quality produce, simple but elegant presentation – and, of course, good distinct flavours,” he says. Guests (they specialise in families and groups of friends) can email before they arrive and ask for any special food requests, list any allergies and discuss menus. “We change our menus every two weeks,” says Wendling. “There are fourteen items on each so guests will not get tired of the same thing. And then, of course, if they want a particular dish, we can do that as well.”“The nationality of the people who

come to stay is also important. We have Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Australians, Europeans – so we can make dishes from all those countries. But (and a big but) about half the food is still in the French style,” he smiles. “I like to source as much produce as I can locally and Bali is really coming ahead now. So the vegetables are great and most of them organically grown. We get our fish from the Jimbaran market but, of course, we have to import things like foie gras and we do get good beef from Australia and our lamb comes from New Zealand,” he explains. His menus offer simple and main course salads, soups, even a cheese soufflé. For main courses, half a dozen fish dishes, chicken, beef and lamb – even traditional babi guleng. There are also less formal items such as sandwiches and burgers, sandwiches and, yes, a croquet monsieur. The dessert list is extravagantly long and offers everything from fruit to nuts – and, in between, a dark chocolate pie, pannacotta, tiramisu, and tarte Tatin. CAREER In his peripatetic career he has been F&B director for Club Med in France, The Canary Islands, Spain and in Bali where he was also opening and exec chef at La Pergola in Bali. In his native France, he worked in Tours, Gien and Cognac. Along the way, he managed some extracurricular training with the Frères Troisgros. He is also somewhat of an adventurer, apart from trying new food, listing his interests as flying, sky-diving, sea-diving and tennis.“So, not like many French people, I have tried the food from all those

places and I do try to sometimes adapt and adopt food ideas from them. Of course, the recipes are basic but I often try little nuances such as the adding of a spice or an accompaniment.” “I have grown to love Balinese food – and, in fact, the food (which is vastly different) from all over Indonesia. So, you will certainly find a few Indonesian touches in our menu and, since we are in Bali, there will certainly be things such as nasi goreng on the menus. I love it: it means we get the best ideas from everybody.” And unlike possibly any French chef, Wendling believes cuisine is an evolution. “We love to experiment; try new things – we have even mastered a couple of molecular things here,” he says. “One special point we have here at Pantai Lima is that we give the guests food at cost. They only pay what we pay and then it is cooked in their villa – so they only pay what we pay in the market, no restaurant prices although the food is cooked to restaurant standard. We also have a very good (mostly French) wine list.” EATING OUT “I love any kind of food,” chuckles Wendling. “Here in Bali I go to Mozaic for fine cuisine but I also haunt dozens of warungs for basic dishes. I love Chinese food – my wife is Chinese; first generation come to Semarang and she is a great Chinese cook. If we go out there is a tiny place in Chinatown in Tuban, near the airport. I cannot even tell you the name of it but you choose your fish from a tank and they cook it fresh and it is fantastic.”

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CHEF’S TALK

“It is strange but of all the places I have lived, I like the food from Cuba the best. They have the influences of the Caribbean but also from all the places where Cubans come from: Africa, Spain, Portugal and, more recently, Russia. So, the food has influences from all these places.” EATING IN “Remember my early background was as pastry chef, so I still get a kick out of baking a cake at home. Perhaps some pastries. But when Fenny (my wife) is not cooking, I like something simple like this salad.” BEETROOT AND APPLE SALAD (6) 4 apples, cubed 2 radishes, cubed 4 cooked potatoes, cubed 20cl cream 10cl lemon juice 5g parsley 20g shallots 20g plain yoghurt 100g mixed green leaves 3 beetroot, sliced Mix all vegetables except beetroot with the yoghurt, cream and lemon juice. Arrange beetroot slices on a plate and place a mound of the salad in the centre. Garnish with parsley and greens. www.exotiqvillaholidays.com

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GALLERY HOTEL

BACK BAY CHIC The Mandarin Oriental, Boston has opened to bring a little East-MeetsWest design and service to the North American city. The new MO combines “classic New England elegance with refined Oriental touches” including the signature Asana Restaurant and is located in the prestigious Back Bay area, where you will find the city’s finest shopping, cultural venues and business institutions. It is also only a 15-minute drive from Logan International Airport. www.mandarinoriental.com

InterContinental Cares The InterContinental Bali continues its ongoing social and environmental initiatives with several worthy projects, including support for Yayasan Bumi Sehat, which provides services such as prenatal care, midwifery and paediatric care to low income women in rural Balinese villages. Another undertaking is the ‘Drip Trickle Irrigation’ Clean Water Project that aims to bring sanitised water supplies to a remote mountain hamlet. And, during the festive season, surplus food will be donated on a daily basis to the Panti Salam Orphanage in the regency of Tabanan. In-house guests on Christmas Eve will be invited to a cocktail reception to hear carols by the children’s choir from Panti Salam Orphanage. www.bali.intercontinental.com

SURREAL LUXE The Luxe Manor in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui has opened six luxurious suites, each named for the ‘fantasy they create.’ You can imagine the décor of each; they are: Nordic, Safari, Liaison, Royale, Chic and Mirage – the design of each part of the 153-room hotel’s ‘surreal’ concept, styled after a European mansion. But, in case you were wondering. Yes, the Liaison has a round bed, the Nordic does take its inspiration from the Eskimos and the Mirage’s curved walls do have optical illusions. www.theluxemanor.com

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HOTEL NEWS

“The Oberoi opened in August, 1978,” recalls Kaul. “I was with the opening team but I arrived to take over in November of that same year.”

There may be others that are slicker and sleeker but the Oberoi Hotel in Bali is a three-decade success story. This success is due, in no small part, to Kamal Kaul the genial GM who has been there since the doors opened.

“It opened as an amazing private club called Kayu Aya, built by some American investors who acquired this extraordinary site – some six hectares on the beach with 450 metres of actual beach frontage. It is now possibly the most expensive piece of real estate in Bali.” “These Americans found the most amazing architect in the person of Peter Muller. He is the father of resort architecture and he has also designed Amandari in Ubud and the Oberoi in Lombok, among many others. He has also designed the Oberoi in Ubud, which is still on the drawing board on land we already have.”

30 YEARS YOUNG “The hotel remains unique,” Kaul adds. “It has been discovered by perhaps a sixth generation of traveler now, as a garden

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oasis on the beach. “It is due largely to the development of the site, the positioning of the buildings, the landscaping. People 30 years ago loved the gardens where you can walk around the lanai cottages and the villas and today it is maybe their grandchildren who are enjoying it all again.” “Their comment is usually ‘what an amazing paradise’ – so we still adhere to the original concept: keep it simple, keep it green and keep it like a Balinese village. That is why we have no high rise; it might give you a view of the ocean but it would destroy the concept of the village.”

MARKET During these past three decades, Bali has developed as a world tourism destination and, with that, some of the best hotels there are – many bigger and more lavish. So, how does the Oberoi cope with such fierce competition? (It should be pointed out that, as we speak to Kamal Kaul at the Frangipani Café by the beach, occupancy was at 100%).


HOTEL NEWS

“We have 15 of the most amazing private villas – they have a waiting list and are the second-best performing in Bali. Our 60 lanai rooms are in the top five,” says Kaul. “The reasons for this are simple: people are not buying a room here. Rooms you can buy anywhere; perhaps with a more dramatic view, perhaps more luxurious. People are buying a lifestyle. They look at our brochures and our website – and I don’t know – it sort of comes up to their expectation of exactly how Bali should be. It seems to be the epitome of all their dreams of a tropical holiday in this most beautiful of islands.” “There are other little things: such as our complimentary afternoon tea where we serve lemon grass and ginger teas. At night we have performances by the best local artists, music and dance. And then I still get a kick out of seeing young children by the big pool, learning to dance, learning to weave and learning to carve wood. All just as it happens in the village; so it happens here.”

KAMAL KAUL “Originally I come from Kashmir. I grew up there but I left in the early 70s to join the Oberoi group,” says Kaul. “My wife Sarita is from Cawnpore, south of Delhi. Our children grew up here in Bali (our daughter is a lawyer in Bangalore,

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HOTEL NEWS our son is studying in Bangkok) and I have to tell you we became Indonesian citizens in 2006. Proud to be – and Bali will remain our home.”

STAR POWER “The Oberoi has played host to many VIPs over the years and what the heads of state and other celebrities love is that they can relax totally and nobody bothers them; nobody disturbs their enjoyment of the place,” Kaul says. “Julia Roberts recently stayed for nearly a month. And every Thursday when we have our manager’s cocktail party up on the terrace and most of them come just like other guests do. I remember we had some German guests who nearly fell over when they arrived to see the President of Germany and his wife.” “I think I am the longest standing hotelier GM here in Bali. Stanley Allison and Paul Blake could vie for the title, I suspect. Stanley is retired now but Paul is still at Maya Ubud. I did spend a few years as Vice President in charge of development for Oberoi in South East Asia. And now I am back. Temporary, I might add. Our previous GM was called to India when another GM left. So I am here till we find a permanent replacement.”

FUTURE “I see the hotel remaining as you see it today. It is just a matter of maintaining everything. We are not chasing the minimalist modern look but there are changes all the time you never notice; things like bathroom porcelain, lighting, high-tech communications in the rooms. And this is not easy when columns are built of coconut wood and the roofs are alung along,” he says. “We are blessed to have Mr. Bikki Oberoi as chairman. As an hotelier, he has a unique vision, especially those with a sense of place – and then he can anticipate what a customer wants from a hotel. You know that the Oberois in Udaipur, Agra and Jaipur won top ranking in the world last year?” And what of the rumours that the Oberoi Bali was to close and its concept changed to condominium villas? “We are always looking at the best way to do business, to maximise the use of the property and its position in the market place. So, of course, we have done many studies on paper but the conclusion was that what we are already doing is success in itself. We will keep this as the classic Bali hotel it is!” www.oberoihotels.com

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GALLERY South Korea’s luxury hotel, The Shilla Seoul, has been ranked among the ‘World’s Top 100 Hotels 2008’ by the prestigious international business magazine, Institutional Investor. The winners were nominated by the magazine’s readership of chief executive officers and senior executives from the United States, Asia and Europe. The Shilla recently underwent an extensive makeover creating what they call a “lifestyle destination” with dramatically improved shopping (20 new world brand boutiques), dining, health and beauty, wedding, conference and business facilities. Featuring 465 rooms, Shilla Seoul is an affiliate of the Samsung Corporation and member of the prestigious, The Leading Hotels of the World which also honoured the hotel in its latest annual “Leaders Club” awards with a coveted Gold. www.shilla.net

SEOUL MATE


TRAVEL

Get Down and Bugis

When you get sick of they hype of Orchard Road – shopping, labels, bad coffee, crowds and more shopping – head over to the Bugis area where you will be surprised at its new look, its bustling malls and markets, street restaurants and some quite iconic attractions. Be warned, though. Thousands of Singaporeans already in the know have beaten you to it, so be prepared for crowded streets, hawkers but a visual feast of colour. 44


TRAVEL

B

ugis has a colourful history. It was named for the Bugis people, mostly bloodthirsty pirates who terrorized the Straits until the last century. For many years it was Singapore’s red-light district known for its transvestite ‘working girls’ who were a great hit with locals and tourists alike. In 1985 the area was razed and turned into the sanitized family shopping experience you see today.

Art Centre here and a little further afield, the Nanyang Centre for Fine Arts with several galleries and the Singapore National Art Gallery. Incidentally, Bugis is a short walk across the river to Kampong Glam or the Arab quarter and Arab Street with its textile shops and the city’s biggest mosque, Masjid Sultan. Walk the other way and you are in Little India, which has its own fascinating attractions.

But don’t be down-hearted; it is possibly the liveliest area in Singapore with hundreds of shops, restaurants and now multi-storey malls. It is a taxi ride from the CBD or Chinatown but don’t be afraid of the MRT; get off at Bugis and just walk upstairs. You will come first to what is now called Bugis Junction which has been built over the famous Bugis Street of old. This is now an upscale shopping centre with designer shops (including many local labels), a decent food court and several sidewalk restaurants. Walk directly across the street (you will have to look carefully) for a big red sign that says “largest shopping arcade in Singapore” and you will find a huge covered market that sells clothes and accessories galore. About a block further, the pedestrian walks of Albert and Waterloo Streets hold a wealth of colourful sights, not least the Sri Krishnan Hindu temple and, almost next door, the Kuan Yin Thong Hood Cho of ancient Confucian origin. In a Singapore increasingly concerned with fostering the arts, there is also the Raffles

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TRAVEL SHOPPING Let’s face it, shopping is a participation sport in Asia and you will not be disappointed in the Bugis area – it has its own character, different from the rest of town. Apart from the bazaars and the (air conditioned) Bugis Junction Mall, there are many different things to be had in this area. Chief among these is Sim Lim Square, a rather anonymous building, but inside a tech-head’s paradise with six huge floors of phones, computers, sound systems and cameras. Across the street is the Bencoolen building; kind of bland on the outside but inside a treasure house of Chinese antiques ‘old and new.’ Down the way is the Fu Lu

46

Shou centre, full of jewellery and Chinese luxury goods. If these are your bag, also try the Sin Chew Chinese Cultural Products Supermart, in Waterloo Street. And while you are there, don’t forget to rub the tummy of the Laughing Buddha outside – he is ‘guaranteed to bring good luck.’ There is the OG department store and, for the really eclectic, the Army Market on Beach Road sells surplus goods from the Singapore military, as well as outdoor and hiking goods. If you want go really local, try the Sungei Road Thieves’ Market, open daily but weekends are best to spot that hidden treasure amongst the junk.

For eating, it is great fun to search out a place and you will find Chinese, Thai, Indian and Malay food all over the area. For staying, the glam place is the Singapore InterContinental, just upstairs from the MRT and there are dozens of others. Best to look on the net and hone in on the area. But a couple of other names are the Golden Landmark and the Park View. Best way to get around is to get yourself a map; any tourist kiosk will give you one – and then just follow the crowds.


GALLERY

T

he famous Jimmy Watson wine trophy for a last year’s vintage has gone to Western Australia: to Flametree Wines for their 2007 cabernet merlot. It is a break with a trend as the trophy was won for the last three years by vineyards in McLaren Vale. However, South Australia was dominant elsewhere (all this at the annual Royal Melbourne Wine Show), winning 11 out of a possible 21 trophies. Among the winners, Yalumba’s Y-Series 2008 Sangiovese Rose was hailed as an icon for its budget-priced success in one of the fastest-growing wine categories in Australia. It pipped some 90 other wines. Rieslings from the Clare Valley (the Leasingham 2005 Classic Clare) and the Eden Valley (Grant Burge Thorn Eden Valley 2008) won gongs in their classes. Meantime, the veteran Peter Lehmann got yet another look-in with his 2003 Wigan Riesling named the best white from or before 2004 or before.

JIMMY WATSON GOES WEST

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FOOD NEWS

LAND OF MILK AND … CORN! A marketing first for Thailand: corn milk! It may sound strange but corn milk is already finding a handy niche in the Thai domestic market and they are already looking to export. (Perhaps an opportunity for Indonesian farmers to look into its production here?) Like all great inventions, it came about a little by accident. It happened at the Inseechandrastitya Institute for Crop Research and Development where they deal mostly in corn and sorghum but also as a general research centre for many economic crops – among them, oil and high protein and cover crops, medicinal herbs, drought tolerant crops and orchard products like mango, sugar apple, banana, papaya and several vegetables. One of the branches of the Institute (now part of the university system) is the Suwan Wajokkasikit Research Station, about 160km north east of Bangkok in the I-San region. This sits on land donated to the people by former Prime Minister Sarit Thanarat; his weekender is still there – modest but boasts a visit by the King and Queen, whose portraits hang over the huge fireplace. Around it are fruit trees and fields of corn: the original seeds came from Hawaii and they have improved it many times over the years. The corn milk operation is basically a cottage industry just below the house. The corn is husked, boiled and crushed to extract the ‘milk’ which then has some natural cane sugar syrup added. It is bottled in one-serve-size plastic containers. They will no doubt soon develop recipes for using it more extensively but for now, as a refreshing (and healthy) drink, the verdict is universally: delicious! www.iicrd.ku.ac.th

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GALLERY

SNOW POLO

It’s gotta be fun, polo in the snow. The event takes place at the Argentine ski resort of Las Leñas in the Andes. The Jumeirah Culu Culu Polo Resort hosted a women’s tournament and a friendly celebrity match between the world’s number one polo player Adolfo Cambiaso and David Nalbandian, the world’s number seven tennis player. Snow polo is played with three players per team and the horses are shod with specially cleated horseshoes for traction.

SEX IN THE CITY? BETTER…. For those who don’t live in New York, San Francisco is familiarly known simply as ‘the city.” And both denizens and visitors to this place, shopping and dining are the major pastimes. This is why there is a new tourist service there: a personal guide to its hidden style establishments. Donna Fujii, inventor of the “Shop and the City” tours, shows guests where to find oneof-kind wardrobe additions: mostly in the Mission, the Haight, Union Street, the Fillmore District, and of course, Hayes Valley. One highlight is the RAG Co-Op which features some 70 local designers and Lemon Twist where they offer ‘slow clothing.’ This apparently means the clothes are made well and go beyond fashion fads. And this includes shoes, bags and jewellery. www.shopandthecitysf.com

The Jumeirah Culu Culu Polo Resort, incidentally, is in Lobos, a 30-minute drive from Argentina’s Ezeiza International Airport and just one hour away from Buenos Aires. Guests have access to eight polo fields and a spa and fitness centre as well as swimming pools and tennis courts. It also includes Jumeirah Living serviced privately-owned villas. www.jumeirahcollection.com

KEE TO THE KINGDOM The Hong Kong-based KEE Club has opened a new space in Shanghai at the city’s prestigious new heritage site Twin Villas, built in 1921.

ETIHAD RECORD Etihad Airways has been voted ‘Airline of the Year’ at the British Travel Awards. This adds to a series of accolades this year, including the Middle East’s ‘Leading Airline’, ‘Leading First Class’ and ‘Leading Travel Website’ at the 2008 World Travel Awards; ‘Best Cabin Staff’ and ‘Best Economy Class’ at the Business Traveller Middle East awards and ‘Best Website’ at the 2008 Pan Arab Web awards.   Meantime, Etihad has set new records in 2008 with a figure of 4.4million passengers between 48 destinations – more than a million over 2007.

KEE is a private members’ club for people who are interested in art, music, food, wine and – other people who are ‘interesting, influential and fun.’ KEE Shanghai is furnished with rich fabrics and textures, antique furniture and collections of art from past centuries in rooms reminiscent of European salons. It has a brasserie style restaurant, a lounge and bar, both with outdoor balconies overlooking the gardens, and rooms for private dining. www.keeclub.com

Crises notwithstanding, they look set to exceed their target of six million passengers by the end of December. Etihad’s services to Asia and Australia turned in a particularly strong performance with overall seat factors averaging 82 per cent across the region. Passenger loads to Jakarta came in at 90%. www.etihadairways.com

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FOOD

It is not just those ancient Greek grannies all in black or those wizened Italian shepherds who struggle through the hills with a walking stick that bear witness to longevity. There is also medical evidence that people around the Mediterranean live longer – large thanks to their diet. And mention the word diet and many people simply cringe and ignore it. But diet in the sense of what people around this sea have eaten for millennia. Extensive European studies show that a socalled Mediterranean diet heavy in plant foods and unsaturated fats can help you live longer. And, let’s face it, whoever heard of an Italian, a Greek or a Spaniard skimping on things like olive oil and wine? Mediterranean food is not restricted to one country, but some 15 – from Portugal, the southern parts of Spain and France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Northern Africa Northern Africa, all the way to Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. The most recent study shows the health-ratio is strongest in Greece and Spain, probably because their diet is ‘genuinely’ Mediterranean. This indicates a high intake of fruit, vegetables and cereals – with a lower intake of meat and dairy products. But there is also a high intake of what they call ‘monounsaturated fatty acids’ over ‘polyunsaturated fatty acids.’ Basically this means they eat olive oil. The study also shows that these ingredients can not only actively boost health but also help in preventing certain cancers, neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular disease, the world’s number one natural killer. Take the humble tomato: they are full of healthy antioxidant lycopene, a carotenoid which is thought to reduce the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Even newer research shows it could help prevent heart disease. As to olive oil, studies from many diverse areas show that it is beneficial to blood lipids – meaning it helps keep blood pressure low. But it is also thought it is a very good anti-heart disease agent as well. Fish and fruit are already proven as healthy to eat. In the non-Mediterranean world, about 30% of strokes and 50% of heart diseases are caused by high blood presser. This notion is fast spreading to the processed food production world and one recent piece of research from the UK (from Mintel) forecasts that in Britain alone, the ‘functional market’ will rise £1.7 billion in the next five years, largely incorporating tomatoes and olive oil.

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FOOD The study, incidentally, condemns the general European diet of abandoning their traditional foods; it has now become too fat, too salty and too sweet. The American Heart Association has found, though, that a (vaguely) Mediterranean diet is gaining in popularity as a tasty, heart-healthy alternative to low-fat eating. They cite the island of Crete where people live longer than any other populations in the world - and - they are 20% less likely to die of coronary artery disease than Americans. They also have 30% less cancer than in the U.S.

Method Chop all the vegetables, chop and purée in a blender. If you want a fine soup, pass it through a sieve, then add the breadcrumbs. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the olive oil, vinegar, salt and cumin. Pour in a little water at a time and whizz until you have the consistency you want. Check seasoning. Serve chilled in bowls and you can garnish with chopped vegetables, chopped egg, croutons or parley or whatever you like..

To promote the idea in the U.S., the AHA produced its famous Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

Obviously you should eat food types in proportion from the bottom. The AHA also notes that regular physical exercise helps enormously, along with drinking lots of water. But wine in moderation is quite OK. Strictly in the interest of your health, VIVA ASIA gives you a nice healthy lunch to go with the next bottle of wine you can find in Indonesia. Not only are they simple and quick make but delicious, as well. (All serve four people). GAZPACHO Gazpacho is a refreshing vegetable soup from Andalucía, Southern Spain, dead easy to make and delicious, especially for lunch in the tropics. Ingredients 115g of fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs 3 large very ripe, peeled tomatoes (or 1 can) 1 small red pepper 1 small green pepper ½ cucumber ½ onion 2 cloves of garlic 3 tbsp of olive oil 2 tbsp of wine vinegar 1 tsp of salt ¼ tsp of ground cumin ¼ - ½ litre water

Gazpacho

FETA CHEESE SALAD Ingredients 200g Feta cheese 100g lettuce leaves 100g pitted black olives 10 cherry tomatoes ½ small red pepper ½ small green pepper ½ onion handful of freshly chopped basil leaves Dressing 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp of red wine vinegar 1 tsp of freshly chopped parsley salt and pepper Method Wash and drain the lettuce, roughly chop or shred. Place in a large bowl and add chopped peppers, onion, half the tomatoes, the cheese cut into chunks and the olives. Dress and toss. Serve as a starter or as a side salad to the main course.

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FOOD EASY LASAGNA

EASY PASTA SALAD

Cooked lasagna noodles 2 cups broth Chopped spinach Chopped onion, garlic Tomato pasta sauce Fresh herbs Grated Mozzarella cheese Feta cheese crumbled

(You can virtually use any vegetables you like in this one)

Sauté onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a heavy pan. Add broth and herbs and then the spinach. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce. Meantime, grease a baking dish and spread noodles over the bottom. Add a layer of shredded mozzarella and then a layer of the sauce. Keep doing this until everything is used up. Add a top layer of mozzarella and the feta. Bake in medium oven, 30 minutes. MEDITERRANEAN SALMON 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Four 180g salmon steaks Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Slather both sides of the fish and then immerse to marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Grill the salmon for 3 minutes on each side, brushing with the marinade. Serve with lemon wedges.

¼ kg wholemeal pasta (penne or short variety is best) 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 4 to 5 medium tomatoes, chopped Pitted green olives, halved 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn 2 tablespoons capers, drained Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Place in a large bowl and toss with other ingredients. Season. Dress with a vinaigrette of 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 smashed garlic clove, dash of Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper. EASY MINESTRONE (Use as many vegetables as the number of people you want to serve) 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock Diced bacon for garnish (optional) 3 garlic cloves chopped Diced zucchini Rosemary, bay leaf and thyme Diced tomatoes ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Chopped onions, celery, spinach and carrots 1 cup pasta (cooked) hot peppers (optional) Parmesan cheese Sauté garlic, celery, onions and celery in olive oil. Add spinach and herbs and cook for two minutes til soft. Add stock and the other vegetables. Simmer about 15 minutes on low heat. Add the pasta, stirring til hot. Serve and garnish. ROAST CHICKEN WITH MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLES

Salmon

Mediterranean Salad

4 chicken legs 10 cloves garlic, unpeeled 2 lemons cut into eight 1 red pepper, large dice 1 yellow pepper, large dice 2 small red onions,halved 15 black olives, halved 1 fennel bulb, peeled, cut into thin slices, seared on bbq or hotplate Pinch of thyme and rosemary 3 tbsp olive oil 150 ml white wine Black pepper Preheat the oven to 160 degree. Coat chicken with olive oil and roast with the garlic, lemon wedges, onion, thyme and rosemary. Pour in wine, season and roast, covered with foil for 2 hours. Turn up heat to 200 degrees, and cook uncovered a further 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the peppers, olives and the fennel. The chicken will be soft but well cooked and the lemons will be starting to caramelize

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ICE COLD

GALLERY WINE

We have long been doing it in Asia, but now it seems the Australians are getting over their reluctance to put ice into wine. A new marketing campaign, including huge billboards and press advertising, in the hot-climate state of Queensland are introducing a new a lower-alcohol sparkling wine that is made to be poured over a whole glass filled with ice. It comes from the Rosemount vineyard with its new label called ‘O’ but it is expected other brands will soon be jumping on the bandwagon. The publicity will have you believe the sweet and lively flavour of the grapes is actually enhanced by ice and its flavour does not diminish as the ice melts. Wine snobs are not keen on the idea, one saying the practice “degrades the product.” Wonder what he would say about the Chinese drinking fine Cognac with ginger ale?

ZUT ALORS! France saw another revolution this month – this one not over bread and cake, but wine!

Hundreds of winegrowers took to the streets (no word if they had torches) to protest against government moves to ban free wine tastings and online advertising for alcohol. They said it was little more than Prohibition. The Health Ministry has introduced a bill that would ban open bars and handing out free alcohol – a move that would include cellar door tastings. In Bordeaux, they were (naturally) most vociferous, led by no less a person that its Mayor Alain Juppe, who also happens to be a former prime minister: “I am committed to fighting alcoholism, but history shows that prohibition is not the answer,’’ he says.

SAUCE BOAT

A new-look bit of wine tourism from Australia. Canak Adventures, a new tour operator in the Victorian goldfields town of Bendigo, has launched kayaking tours that showcase the beautiful region along the Goulburn River (pictured here). As well, you stop off at some great wineries. And sensible, too - tourists who become a little ‘tired’ at the first winery and can’t be bothered rowing any further can take a bus to the next winery. The rest can continue a second kayaking stretch (two hours) through spectacular wetlands teaming with wildlife. Tahbilk Winery is the final destination, where lunch is served in the wetlands café. www.canak-adventures.com

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GALLERY FOOD

YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS

G SPOT

Renowned Japanese chef, Morio Sakayori’s dramatic new restaurant ‘Morio J’ has opened at Beijing’s designer boutique Hotel G. It looks like a hybrid of high-tech nightclub and space-age design – in a ‘wasabi green.’ Morio’s flamboyant cuisine is equally enigmatic – a fusion of tradition, cosmopolitan style and new Japanese taste. His distinctive fusion sashimi, for example, ranges from Oyster Honeymoon (a combination of ikura, uni, tobiko and quail-egg on fresh oysters) to thinly sliced live flounder with soy balsamic and extra virgin olive oil to home-grown Beijing rolls of roast duck breast and asparagus.

The Japanese have come up with a new diet they claim will shed weight without stress and it has swept the country like a Hokusai wave. It is from a book called the ‘Morning Banana Diet’ and is dead easy to follow, except, of course, if you live in Japan where the fad has produced an unprecedented banana drought. Put simply, the diet requires you to start the day with a banana and a glass of water at room temperature. After that, you are free to eat anything you want,

unless, of course, it is sweet. Desserts are strictly banned except for one sweet snack mid-afternoon. They also ask you not to drink alcohol, eat dinner before eight and go to bed before midnight. As for exercise, they say you can work out only if you feel like it. If you want a scientific explanation, apparently the indigestible starch found in bananas is said to give you a feeling of ‘having already eaten’ and increases the body’s capacity to burn up at.

Main course includes stewed ox tongue with daikon and fresh seaweed in broth. www.hotel-G.com

ROMANTIC BALI

Wondering what to do for that intimate Christmas Dinner? Engagement, birthday – any celebration at all. Or simply just the for the romance… The Laguna in Nusa Dua is offering on of Bali’s most lavish menus to do any of these in their unique Beach Front Gazebo. They don’t guarantee a full moon every night – but certainly gourmet food and discreet super service. You can choose: Pure Luxury (USD350++ a couple); Seafood Romance (USD250); Sweet Succulence (USD230) or Vegetarian Delights (USD180). www.luxurycollection.com/bali

CHINA MOON

With the Taiwanese forming a large portion of Bali’s tourist arrivals, it seems logical somebody should cater to their eating tastes. Enter China Moon Café in Ubud, where they are now offering traditional Taiwanese food as well as the best of Balinese cuisine. It is situated near the famous Monkey Forest and is the brainchild of Carol Chen.

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“Taiwanese food is Chinese food, but the difference is in the taste as spices and cooking techniques,” she says. “It is typified by stews and soups, so you might try the mushroom pork soup or the sesame oil chicken noodle soup, beef noodle and fish ball soups.” “Our other most popular traditional dish is chicken fried popcorn, which is essentially Taiwanese-style small chunks of crispy chicken sprinkled with pepper.”


GALLERY

RESORT - INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY

I

ndonesia has been named three times at the annual TTG Media Travel Awards, just announced in Bangkok.

Votes are taken from all readers of TTG media and internet publications, an exercise which, this year, saw a huge number (43,000) taking part across Asia Pacific. The 19th TTG Travel Awards 2008 is held on the last day of the IT&CMA and CTW corporate travel and MICE convention which this year attracted 1600 delegates. In Indonesia, the winners are Le Grandeur Hotel in Jakarta in the Best Mid Range category, the Hotel Mulia in the Best City Hotel category and Panorama DMC as Best Travel Agent in the country. Here is an extended view of the major winning categories: AIRLINE AWARDS Best Airline Business Class Cathay Pacific Airways Best North American Airline United Airlines Best European Airline Lufthansa German Airlines Best Middle Eastern Airline Qatar Airways Best South Asian Airline Air India Best South – East Asian Airline Thai Airways International Best North Asian Airline All Nippon Airways Best China Airline Air China Best Pacific Airline Qatar Airways Best Regional Airline Silk Air

Best Beach Resort Tha Nam Hai Hoi An, Vietnam Best New Beach Resort Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Pattaya HOTELS – INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY Best Luxury Hotel Raffles Hotel Singapore Best Mid-range Hotel Le Grandeur Hotel, Jakarta Best Budget Hotel Hotel Jen Best Independent Hotel Royal Plaza on Scotts

Best Resort Hotel Banyan Tree Lijiang Best Integrated Resort The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel SERVICED RESIDENCES Best Serviced Residences Operator The Ascott Group

Best Boutique Hotel The Scarlet Hotel, Singapore Best City Hotel: Singapore The Ritz-Carton Millenia Singapore Best City Hotel: Kuala Lumpur Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur Best City Hotel: Jakarta Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta Best City Hotel: Manila Dusit Thai Manila Best City Hotel: Bangkok Grand Hyatt Erawan, Bangkok Best City Hotel: Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City Intercontinental Hotel Westlake Best City Hotel: Delhi The Oberoi , New Delhi Best City Hotel: Taipei Grand Formosa Regent Taipei Best City Hotel: Tokyo The Conrad Tokyo Best City Hotel: Seoul The Shilla Seoul Best New City Hotel The Peninsula Tokyo Best Airport Hotel Regal Airport Hotel

Best Domestic Airline Jet Airways Best Asian Low –Cost Carrier Air Asia

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GALLERY TRAVEL

INDONESIA’S FIRST ‘GEOPARK’ The government has proposed to UNESCO that Mount Rinjani on Lombok become one of the world’s geoparks. There are 53 geoparks around the world in some 17 countries, the current closest being Langkawi Island in Malaysia. Tourism experts say that the 3,700m Mount Rinjani has immense natural beauty, flora and fauna and a unique geology, notably its Segara Anak Lake, sitting 2,000m above sea level with its crater, hot springs, waterfall and the formation of a new mount within a caldera named Baru Jadi. The area is already attracting foreign mountain climbers and officials say it will help greatly in promoting a more diverse image of Indonesia overseas.

STOPOVER BANGKOK If you find yourself waiting for a domestic connection at the old Don Muang Airport, you can now do it in comfort. The Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel is just nearby, with 423 soundproofed guestrooms and suites – all with high-tech communications so you can continue doing business. The hotel also offers international cuisine at Zeppelin Restaurant, Tex-Mex and Thai food with live music at Henry J. Bean’s Bar & Grill or the Cockpit Lounge and Library, which is a great place to chill out and meet with friends. www.amari.com/donmuang

ON LINE CHECK-IN We do hope this catches on – and read Bali Airport into that…

dedicated ‘Fast Bag Drop’ counters in the departures hall of the main terminal.

Qatar Airlines has introduced a service where you can check in on-line up to three days before your flight.

Qatar says it will roll out the online check-in service to other airports

At the moment, it only operates from the airline’s hub in Doha and it does not include passengers flying to New York or Washington (for the old reasons).

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The service, in all classes of travel, allows you to check-in as late as two hours before departure and you can choose a seat, print a boarding pass or have a bar-coded boarding pass sent to a mobile phone.

worldwide over the next few months.

Passengers with baggage can use the

www.qatarairways.com


GALLERY TRAVEL

PET FRIENDLY For people who feel they must travel with their pets, here is good news.

The Mandarin Oriental (in Miami, of course) has introduced its “MO Pets’ Program” that seeks to pamper your pooch or cajole your cat. It includes special menus (including tenderloin, chicken –even dessert) and pet turndown service, play dates and grooming services.

Their Doggie Boot Camp provides training with a certified trainer and ‘simply playing.’ They will arrange grooming service, pet-sitting and, of course shopping: doggie bathrobes and stylish doggie shirts with Mandarin Oriental’s logo in pink or blue Swarovski Crystals are always in stock… Nothing is free, however, and there will be a $100 fee for ‘deep cleaning the room.’ www.mandarinoriental.com

Pets will find a plush pet bed, a bone-shaped place mat with food and water bowls, special edible treats and bottled water in their rooms.

BALI GOLF The country’s most prestigious tournament, the Indonesian Open will move to Bali next year. Add to that a purse that will be raised to US$1.25 million, making it Indonesia’s richest sporting event. The event will staged at Dreamland’s new Kuta Course and will run from February 26 – March 1, 2009. The Asian Tour Chairman, Kyi Hia Han has been quoted as saying the decision to move the event from Jakarta (where it has been held for the past four years) to Bali is based on a desire to “further spread the gospel of golf across Indonesia.”

FRENCH CHINA A treat for diners at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong – now you will eat from a new designer range of tableware from the French luxury house, Hermès. Called Les Poèmes du Mandarin this collection will be used in the hotel’s exclusive Krug Room and is the first line created for a specific place. It features artist Fung Ming Chip’s beautiful calligraphy relating poems of friendship, drinking and merry-making by the renowned poets Li Bai,

Ch’eng Hao, Yuan Lie and Du Fu. This was then carefully re-interpreted by Hong Kong-based Marc & Chantal Design to create a sense of movement and water effects on the ceramic. If you cannot get to Hong Kong, the range will soon be available in Hermès stores worldwide. www.mandarinoriental.com

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BY THE BOOK

A

lison Taafe attributes much of her success as a chef to the vigorous training she received at the worldfamous Westminster Hotel School in London which boasts other celebrity exstudents such as Jamie Oliver. Her first job, at the tender age of 20, was as head chef with JP Morgan Investments in New York. She went on to cook in other parts of America, France and Australia. She has cooked for many luminaries (Queen Elizabeth for one) and she was eventually appointed as chef for the VIP Lounge of the Australian Pavilion at World Expo 88 in Brisbane, where she decided to settle. She now teaches professional cooking at the Southbank Institute of Technology but her new book Fun, Fast & Fabulous Food is designed for the amateur cook at home where she promises to shoulder all the pressure. Not only does it have recipes but Alison has designed a menu for just about every occasion, along with a shopping list. So, she promises that no-one who has her book will ever again be stuck for an impressive idea — without any fuss — for a successful dinner party for friends, family or the boss! Dishes that take the minimum effort to produce the maximum wow factor. The section titled “Saturday Night with Old Friends’ offers an east/west menu perfect for the tropical climate we live in.

Fun, Fast and Fabulous: a practical guide to home entertaining By Alison Taafe Publsiher: Sid Harta Australia Available online via Sid Harta Publishers and in all good bookstores in Australia. Soon via Java Books in Indonesia, Periplus and Pansing S.E. Asia.

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WOW FACTOR


BY THE BOOK Vietnamese Chicken Salad Ingredients The Chicken Salad - 400 g wombok/Chinese cabbage (finely shredded) - 2 medium limes (1 for juice and 1 cut into - 6 wedges for garnish) - 50 g bean sprouts (topped and tailed) - 2 medium red chillies   - (seeds removed and finely-chopped) - 6 small red chillies (for garnish) - 2 chicken breasts (cooked, skin removed) - 1 bunch coriander, roughly-chopped - 1 tbsp finely-shredded Vietnamese mint (or normal mint at a push) - 75 g roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped - 40 to 60 ml dressing The Dressing - 2 cloves garlic (chopped finely) - 1 medium red chilli (chopped finely) - 40 ml fish sauce (Nam Pla) - 10 ml rice wine vinegar (or normal white vinegar) - 40 ml water - 2 tbsp castor sugar Method 1.Slice the cooked chicken breast thinly. 2.Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing until the sugar is dissolved 3.Mix all the ingredients of the salad together and moisten with the lime juice and dressing 4.Pile the salad up onto a nice square white platter or individual plates or bowls 5.Garnish each portion with peanuts, a small red chilli and a wedge of lime.   Finish off with a small bunch of coriander Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Pan Fried Fish

Pan Fried Fish with Bok Choy, Noodles and Laksa The advantage of this dish is that so much can be pre-prepared and it only takes 5 minutes at the point of serving …  Pan Fried Fish Ingredients - 6 x 160 g pieces filleted white fish, skin removed - 1 tbsp plain flour (sifted to remove lumps) - 1 lemon (juice only) - 25 ml olive oil - 60 g butter (cut into six even pieces) - sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper 1.Dry the fish and check there are no bones. Season well 2.Lightly dust both sides of the fish with flour 3.Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the fish. Cook for about 1 minute on each side to seal it 4.Place on a lightly-oiled tray and put a piece of butter and a good sprinkling of lemon juice on each one 5.Finish by placing in the oven (170°C) about 5 minutes before you want to eat it Bok Choy - 3 bunches bok choy - 1 small knob ginger (peeled and cut into thin strips) - 30 ml peanut oil - salt and pepper 1.Remove bases from the bok choy 2.Cut through the large pieces and split into individual leaves. Wash well and drain 3.Heat a wok and add peanut oil and strips of ginger and cook quickly for 20 seconds without allowing the ginger to colour

4.Add the bok choy leaves and toss for a couple of minutes until just cooked and still vibrant green in colour. Season with salt and pepper and serveLaksa Style Sauce Ingredients - 3 cans coconut cream - 1 bunch coriander - 20 g ginger (peeled, finely-sliced) - 2 stalks lemon grass (crushed) - 6 kaffir lime leaves - 4 cloves garlic (peeled and finely-sliced) - 2 tsp turmeric - ½ tsp Thai green curry paste (or more if you like it hot) - 4 tsp approx fish sauce (Nam Pla) to season Method 1.Put the coconut cream into a pot and add all other ingredients except the fish sauce. Bring to boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes 2.Strain, taste and season using the fish sauce instead of salt   Noodles These aren’t called minute noodles for nothing! Ingredients - 1 pkt thin, dried rice noodles (from the Asian supermarket) - 30 ml sesame oil Method 1.Boil a large pan of salted water 2.Turn off the heat and add the noodles. You don’t need to boil these as they cook so quickly 3.Tip them carefully into a colander and then cool under cold running water. Drain well and store in a bowl covered with clingwrap 4.At serving time, heat them by pouring boiling water over them, drain well and splash the sesame oil through to add flavour

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BY THE BOOK Spiced Pineapple Ingredients - 1 large ripe pineapple - 400 g soft, brown sugar - 125 ml pineapple juice - ½ lime (juice only) - 2 cinnamon sticks - 12 cardamon pods - 12 star anise - 12 whole cloves - 1 large, dried red chilli

Palm Sugar Semi Freddo and Spiced Pineapple Assembling this dish 1.Put the fish into a pre-heated oven of 170°C for approximately 5 minutes 2.Heat the laksa sauce gently, taking care not to burn the bottom of the pan 3.Fry the bok choy in the wok and remove. Place onto a tray lined with absorbent paper to remove excess oil 4.Reheat the noodles and add the sesame oil 5.Pour even amounts of the laksa sauce into each of 6 large, white bowls 6.Add a good helping of hot noodles into the centre of each bowl 7.Place the fish on top of the noodles 8.Divide the bok choy and place it at the side of the fish 9.Garnish with coriander

Palm Sugar Semi Freddo This is just like ice-cream without all the pain of making it. A handy tip is you can add anything for flavour or texture: crushed Maltesers; chopped bits of Toblerone; crushed nuts; or dried, candied fruit …  Ingredients - 40 g castor sugar - 40 g palm sugar (grated) - 4 extra large eggs (separated) - 1 large vanilla pod (seeds removed) or vanilla extract - 600 ml cream  Method 1.Place the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl 2.Put the yolks in a large, separate bowl with both of the sugars and vanilla seeds or extract and whisk until the mix turns white and fluffy 3.Whisk the egg whites until stiff 4.Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks when you gently pull the whisk out of it

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5.Fold the cream carefully into the egg yolk and sugar mix. Then very carefully fold in the egg whites, taking care not to beat out all the air. If you want to make any additions, now is the time to do it by folding them in carefully 6.Cover with clingwrap and place the bowl in the freezer for about 4 to 6 hours 7.When you want to serve it, remove it from the freezer and leave for a minute or two and then scoop out and serve

Fresh Spices

Method 1.Place the sugar, pineapple juice, spices and dried chilli in a pan and make the syrup by boiling slowly for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly 2.Cut peeled pineapple into 2 cm chunks. Place in an oven dish and pour over the warm syrup. Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C) for about 10 minutes or until the pineapple is caramelised and golden 3.Finish with a squeeze of the lime juice Assembling this dish 1.Remove the semi freddo from the freezer about 5 minutes before you need it 2.Reheat the spiced pineapple in the oven until warm 3.Place three balls of semi freddo into a bowl or glass. Then stand each glass onto a large, white plate on which to serve the pineapple chunks, 4.Spoon over a little syrup 5.Garnish with 1 star anise and 2 pineapple leaves for a stunning effect.


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OUT TO LUNCH

RED HOT This month, Chef Alessandro Santi from the Shangri-La Jakarta invites us out to lunch – the menu : fresh and, of course, Italian.

“I think this job was meant to happen,” says Alessandro Santi as he caresses his uniform: red jacket and black trousers. “These are the colours of AC Milan and I am passionate about the team,” he smiles. His one possible regret about coming to Jakarta is that ‘the programming on RAI TV is appalling – all game shows and no football.” Santi is the new Italian chef at Rosso, the cool restaurant on the lobby level of the Shangri-La. He comes to Indonesia after stints in Myanmar, China, Australia and Monaco. In 2007, he joined the International School of Italian Cuisine (ALMA) to promote authentic Italian gastronomy around the Shangri-La chain. He describes his cooking style as ‘light, low in fat, easy to eat and understand.’ Add to that a quest to find the best fresh ingredients and to provide strong flavours and you have the reasons why he has made Rosso one of the places to go for Italian food. Santi was born in Pesaro, in the Marche region. He still has a hankering for the dishes of his home province, notably capelletti stuffed with meat, risotto with truffles, the meat stew called pasticciata (brasato in the rest of Italy), the local version of lasagna called vincisgrassi – and, of course, Tournedos Rossini, after the composer who was also born in Pesaro. (There are the inevitable claims from the French that it is a French dish because he later lived and died in Paris). He has introduced a refreshing menu at Rosso and he always has a daily menu from the ingredients he has found at the market that morning. He is also not afraid to keep it (very) simple with plates such as a salad of tuna, green beans and onions. And you will never find cream in his Spaghetti Alfredo: “it is always just parmesan and butter,” he says. “Anything else and it is not Alfredo!” Thanks to this simplicity, Santi has given us a simple but elegant lunch menu of two courses, a fish with a wickedly rich tiramisu for dessert.

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OUT TO LUNCH PAN SEARED SEA BASS with ROASTED RADICCHIO OLIVE OIL and BALSAMIC EMULSION  Ingredients: 900g Sea Bass (Kerapu) 200g Radicchio 200g Potato 100g Carrot 300g Green Asparagus 100g Extra Virgin olive oil 20g Balsamic vinegar Salt & Ground black pepper METHOD: 1. Clean and fillet the fish into 150g portions. 2. Wash and peel potato and carrot, cut them into julienne and dry it with a towel. 3. Blanch the radicchio and asparagus in salted boiling water 4. In a bowl, whip the olive oil and Balsamic until the emulsion become smooth. 5. Pan sear the fish a little oil until both sides are golden and crispy; finish to cook the fish for 5/6 minutes in the oven at 180c 6. Cook the radicchio and the asparagus with olive oil salt and pepper. Dip carrot and the potato in flour and deep fried until crispy. 7. Place fish on a plate with radicchio, asparagus, potato, carrot and dress with the balsamic emulsion.

TIRAMISU  Ingredients :  4 Egg yolks 120g Sugar 400g Mascarpone 200g Cream 2 pieces Gelatine Lady Finger biscuits Method: 1. Boil sugar with equal amount of water to make a syrup. 2. Whip the egg yolks and pour in the syrup slowly, still whipping until it cools. 3. Add mascarpone, whipped cream, gelatine, combine well. 4. Use glass to make the shape. Fill one third with the tiramisu mix, add a layer of Lady Fingers (cut to the glass’s diameter), fill in another one third of the glass with the tiramisu mix, place another Lady Finger biscuit, and do so until the glass is full 5. Sprinkle with your favourite coffee powder at the top 6. Your tiramisu is ready to be served, either with a nice espresso or a shot of Kahlua

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GALLERY

JAKARTA LANDMARK

One of the capital’s most anticipated events is the re-opening of the icon Hotel Indonesia, the first international hotel in Indonesia. The hotel sits across from the famous Bundaran HI fountain and in the heart of Jakarta’s business and diplomatic district. It was opened in 1962 and now rebuilt as Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. They are in soft-opening mode and guest rooms will be available from February. Meantime, this month sees the opening of the Designer Café in the East Mall at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. This comes after the opening of Times Square a 1950’s style New York diner, The Kempinski Grand Ballroom and the historic Bali Room restored with its unique oval-ceiling and fitted with a huge custommade chandelier. www.kempinski-jakarta.com

METALLICA Sands Bali was born with a fascination to provide exceptional hand crafted home furnishings. Their aim is to provide accents for the home, whether it be in Indonesia or overseas, that not only reflect the cultural traditions, customs and practices, particularly of Bali but that they are also functional in design to meet a modern

lifestyle and living environment. Their new line features metal home ware pieces, all hand-hammered and epoxy-finished so it never needs polishing. Brand new store on the new ‘in’ area: Jalan Gunung Salak Utara in Kerobokan. www.sandsbali.com

HOLIDAY BLUES Christmas is not always a time of good cheer. And this seems to be exacerbated when you live in the Southern Hemisphere or the tropics when this time of year means you have to buy last minute presents, organize big family lunches and cope with the heat. But don’t take our word for this. Research from Holiday Inn has found that many people experience a festive season fraught with disagreements and rows. And this where they should be cooler, in Britain. It found that: - A third of people set to quarrel over what to watch on TV on Christmas Day - 45 per cent of people think

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staying in a hotel is the solution to seasonal arguments - Undercooking the turkey is the most common Christmas mishap - Men outshine women in the Christmas lunch cooking stakes

Nearly 30 per cent of respondents also declared that deciding whose family to spend Christmas with is a catalyst for arguments. Once this is decided, a fifth of people feel that relatives overstaying their welcome lead to even more rifts during the holidays. Cheating at board games also scored highly in the survey as a key source of aggravation. Solution? Turn off the TV and check into a nice hotel. Happy Christmas!


WINE

Vale Robert Mondavi T

he name Mondavi is synonymous with California wine. So the news of the death this year of the vineyard’s patriarch Robert Mondavi saddened people not only in California, but around the world. “It is hard to imagine anyone having more of a lasting impact on California’s $20 billiona-year wine industry than Robert Mondavi,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a state tribute to the man. “He was a tireless entrepreneur who transformed how the world felt about California wine, and an unforgettable personality to everyone who knew him,” said Schwarzenegger. When Mondavi opened his winery in 1966, California was still primarily known for cheap jug wines. But he set out to change

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that, championing use of cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels – all commonplace in the industry today. In another bold move, he introduced blind tastings in Napa Valley, putting his wines up against iconic French vintages. His confidence was rewarded in 1976 when California wines beat some world-famous French labels in the renowned tasting that became cheekily known as the Judgment of Paris. Half a world away, here in Jakarta, RIVA Restaurant has teamed up with Robert Mondavi wines for another of the Park Lane Hotel’s now legendary wine dinners. Guests were able to enjoy a wonderful selection of wines from the Mondavi estate along with a sumptuous dinner prepared by Chef Gilles Marx and his team.


WINE

2005 CHARDONNAY, NAPA VALLEY The 2005 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay is a fresh, youthful wine, with lively acidity and abundant fruit. Aromas of zesty citrus, green apple and tropical coconut are enhanced by the subtle use of oak. Ripe layers of fruit flavors unfold in the glass, with citrus and green apple leading to pear and pineapple. In the background, smoky oak deepens into crème brulée.

1997 Oakville District, Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVE, NAPA VALLEY

The 1997 Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the great climate and soils of this celebrated region in the heart of Napa Valley. Complex and muscular, the wine slowly unfolds with deep layers of black currants and wild berries, interwoven with nuances of cedar, vanillin and spice. The flavors culminate in an exceptionally long, complex finish. The texture is opulent, with well-integrated tannins and beautiful balance that promise long aging potential. The Oakville District has been the cradle of great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for over 130 years, and Robert Mondavi has selected grapes from this region for over 50 of these years. For this wine, they have selected more than 70% of the grapes from the historic ToKalon Vineyard surrounding their winery.

This is the premiere release of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve handcrafted in the new To Kalon Fermentation Cellar. They selected fruit for the 2000 vintage from their finest vineyards and created the wine with traditional techniques, including hand-sorting of the clusters on tables, gravity-flow movement of the must and wine, and fermentation in a traditional oak tank. “We believe these ‘back to the future’ advances result in a powerful, concentrated wine with supple, integrated tannins, suggesting immediate approachability combined with incredible aging potential,” said Tim Mondavi. The 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has deep, highly extracted color and dark fruit character of ripe black cherry and cassis. Violet, mineral and truffle nuances add complexity to the profound aromas, deep, rich flavors and lingering finish. Seventeen months of aging in willow-hoop, French oak château barrels added vanilla and toasty oak accents. The wine was clarified with gentle barrelto-barrel racking and bottled without filtration

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WINE

ROBERT MONDAVI WINE DINNER FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5TH, 2008 RIVA, Park Lane Hotel, Jakarta Menu : Crunchy, Thai Coconut, Breaded King Prawns, Sweet Mayonnaise and Broccoli (Robert Mondavi Napa Valley, Chardonnay, 2005) Terrine de Chevreuil; Country Style Venison Pâté, Cabernet Sauvignon-Onion Jam, Toasted Baguette à l’ancienne (Robert Mondavi Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005)

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1997 Stags Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 CABERNET SAUVIGNON , NAPA VALLEY

The 1997 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is made exclusively from grapes grown in this renowned region of Napa Valley. The Winery selected four vineyards, including their own, that yield exceptionally pure flavors and silky tannins, the signature of the district. Layers of black cherry, currant, violets and sandalwood are enveloped in the wine’s lush texture; spicy complexity from French chateau barrels lingers on the finish.

Deep, dense and delicious, the dark, blue-tinged color of this beautiful Cabernet signals its excellent extraction. The wine opens with a perfume of ripe, wild blackberry jam with a hint of black olive. The first sip delivers loads of fresh, youthful fruit flavors of blackberry and cassis. Subtle notes of the black olive found in the nose mingle with dark chocolate flavors and wellintegrated layers of rich oak. Assertive and sophisticated, it is an elegantly structured, smoothly supple wine with fine-grained tannins, good acidity and a lengthy finish.

Juicy Veal Shank Ravioli, Bone Marrow Emulsion, Natural Jus & Herbs Salad (Robert Mondavi Oakville District, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1997) Poitrine de Canard au Griotte; Oven Roasted Duck Breast, Creamy Polenta, Morello Cherry Sauce (Robert Mondavi Stag’s Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1997 Magnum) Young and Aged Gouda Cheese, Roasted Almond Bread (Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003) “I Love Chestnut” Combination of Marron Glacée, Chestnut Cream & Chestnut Cake Coffee or Tea


GALLERY

PRINCE ALBERT

AND V

THE POLAR BEAR

iva Asia loves a good picture and this one is terrific. It shows the M/V Prince Albert II returning to the Arctic… Silversea’s latest addition to the fleet, Prince Albert II will operate nine expeditions in the Arctic in 2009 after she returns from her winter voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, exploring the remote islands of South Georgia and the Falklands. “The Arctic region, which comprises parts of Canada, Norway, Greenland and Iceland, has become a very sought-after destination with seasoned travellers and first-time cruisers alike,” says Steve Odell, CEO of Silversea Cruises. “It is the harsh beauty of the terrain, its forbidding remoteness and indigenous fauna and flora, which have awakened travellers’ sense of wonder, as well as –sadly – a growing awareness of global warming.” On-board, they have a veteran expedition team, along with a panel of lecturers and naturalists including geologists, environmental scientists, biologists, historians and marine biologists to accompany and guide travellers – including this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot a polar bear in its ice-floe habitat from one of the vessel-operated zodiacs. www.silversea.com.

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HOTEL NEWS

GROUNDBREAKING of

Royal Kamuela Villas Nusa Dua

N

ov 22nd saw the Groundbreaking Ceremony take place for Aston Internationals latest development in Bali; The Royal Kamuela Villas in Nusa Dua. Located in the BTDC area and developed by PT Bali Star Resort Indah, the project will consist of 38 one and two bedroom luxury villas. The timing of the commencement of this development is testimony to PT Bali Star Resort Indah & Aston Internationals continued confidence in the Bali tourism market. The Royal Kamuela Villas are set to open to the public in the second quarter of 2010. Aston Internationals Head of Marketing, Mr. Norbert Vas commented “We are delighted to have been appointed by PT Bali Star Resort Indah to manage this

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project for them. There has been a limited choice of Villa options within the BTDC for visitors to Bali and we are confident that this development will bring more tourists, who prefer the privacy of a Villa, to Nusa Dua�. The Groundbreaking event commenced with a traditional Balinese Ceremony followed by the setting of the Ground Stone. Bpk Sonny Innayathkan, President Commissioner of PT Bali Star Resort Indah gave the opening address and Bpk Mandra, President Director of BTDC also addressed the media and guests and welcomed The Royal Kamuela Villas to the BTDC. Aston Internationals Head of Marketing, Mr. Norbert Vas then presented an overview of Aston International and The Royal Kamuela Villas Event; highlighting the strategic location of this new development, the quality

of design and finish, and its appeal in the marketplace. Mr. Norbert also went on to outline Aston Internationals continued expansion in Indonesia and the diverse range of Villa, Hotel, Condotel, Serviced Apartments, & Residences that developers are entrusting them to manage. A small number of the Royal Kamuela Villas will be offered for sale and investor interest has already been strong. Representatives from Bali Top Property were on hand to answer questions relating to investment sales in the development. A limited number of Villas will be released to the market in December. For more information contact Anita Limparaharja, General Manager, BALI TOP PROPERTY, Phone. +62 361 765201.


TRAVEL

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched a new campaign, simply called ‘Visit Amazing Thailand Year 2009.’ So-called ‘Visit Years’ have been used by many countries as a market generator – to varying degrees of success. But the Thais are serious about theirs next year. The campaign was launched at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre in Bangkok – in the presence of more than 1,000 delegates from the travel industry and the press from all over the world. This ‘Mega Fam’ was obviously designed to promote inbound tourism but also to encourage locals to travel inside Thailand as well. Hence, the project was heavily endorsed by the Thai Minister for Tourism and the entire domestic and international machinery of the TAT. It is not only in Thailand that current crises affect tourism; these are global. Especially, the cost of fuel, the credit meltdown and political events. It was pointed out that the current unrest (which is evident only in a tiny part of Bangkok near government office centres) is the unfortunate, in this case, ‘result of a healthy democracy where people are allowed to disagree.’) Agents and journalists from 50 countries were taken over some 30 routes into the countryside after the ceremonies in Bangkok – and most away from the already-publicised areas such as Phuket and Chiang Mai. One of these areas is called I-San (simply North East in Thai), a relatively raw tourism area but already keen and energetic to develop a sophisticated tourism infrastructure – and so serious are they, they launched their own campaign called ‘Visit I-san Year 2008-2010’ – also supported in person by the Tourism Minister Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, a handsome man who enjoys almost rock-star status in Thailand (he is also Minister for Sport). The national campaign has the sub-theme of the “Seven Wonders of Amazing Thailand” – and these include history and architecture, shopping, adventure, golf, diving – and, of course, the marvellous Thai cuisine. Thai Airways and the entire private sector (especially hotels) have joined the campaign. And these bring in what is probably the ‘eighth wonder’ of the country – its people. It is no mistake Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles – and you will find them especially unjaded and broad in the far reaches of the country. When you go to Thailand next time, make sure you take a little extra time to go beyond Bangkok and meet the people. www.tatnews.org

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TRAVEL

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MIXOLOGY

The Bellini O

nce again we have searched far and wide to bring you some new and exciting cocktails from around the world. This edition we travel to Venice and visit the historic Hotel Danieli.

The Hotel Danieli is a masterfully restored palace synonymous with the splendour and romance of Venice itself. Only steps away from the Piazza San Marco, and legendary sites such as the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, the Danieli has been the luxury hotel for discerning visitors to Venice for generations. Its main building is the original 14th century palace of Doge Dandolo, a Venetian gothic landmark lavishly appointed with pink marble, stained glass, gold leaf columns, Murano glass chandeliers and countless antiques. Designed in the late 14th century to meet the demands of Europe’s travelling nobility, the Hotel Danieli continues to set the standard for hospitality at its best La Terrazza is their charming rooftop restaurant and delivers delectable Mediterranean and regional cuisine that beautifully complements the captivating panoramas of the Grand Canal and, on the horizon, the Lido and Adriatic Sea. Appetizers and drinks can also be enjoyed at the Dandolo piano bar. At the Dandolo piano bar you can indulge in a cocktail which the world over is synonymous with Venice; The Bellini (originally created in the 1940s at the famous Harry’s Bar by Giuseppe Cipriani and named after his favorite painter, Giovanni Bellini). Originally, the Bellini was intended to use sparkling Italian wine and is still made that way in Italy, elsewhere it is often made with champagne.

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MIXOLOGY

Ingredients. • 2 ripe peaches, peeled, halved and stone removed, or the equivalent using tinned peaches in natural juice • chilled champagne or sparkling wine • 2 chilled champagne glasses

Method.

Place the peaches in a small blender and purée until totally smooth. This can be done well in advance and kept in the fridge. Spoon half into the chilled champagne glasses and slowly top up with champagne, stirring as you pour. You should ideally have one third peach purée to two thirds champagne. Serve immediately as a predinner drink. www.luxurycollection.com/danieli

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WHERE IN THE WORLD ?

of

Royal Kamuela Villas Nusa Dua

Where In The World ? In each edition of VIVA ASIA we feature a photograph from a hospitality establishment somewhere in the world. So take a close look at the photograph above; The question is “You are sitting on the Executive Floor off a Westin Hotel and this is the view out of the window; which Westin Hotel are you staying at? If you know the answer send an email with your answer to info@vivaasiamagazine.com We will draw two winners who will each receive a 700 ml bottle of Hennessy XO courtesy of Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific.

Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific Indonesia Representative Office Sentra Mulia Building suite 708 Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav X-6. No. 8 Jakarta 12940 Phone: +62 21 5279228

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VOLUME 1 - NO 8 - 2008 | Rp. 48.000

TRAVEL- Surabaya; Bugis; I-San FOOD - Healthy Mediteranean; cheese; Bobby Chinn HOTELS - Oberoi Bali; Epicentrum


VIVA ASIA 8th Edition