AYANA’s New Chef – Jusman So

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet, Luxury Travel

The AYANA Resort and Spa Bali is proud to announce the appointment of Jusman So as Chef de Cuisine at Dava, the signature fine dining venue at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Jusman is founder-chef of Singapore’s much-awarded Sage restaurant, and was the winner of Singapore’s Best Rising Chef (WGS 2008). He will be introducing a new menu highlighting his signature style, which combines a blend of classic European techniques with the highest quality imports and local ingredients paired with modern presentation. The results are visually stunning dishes which will delight all the senses. Jusman’s arrival at Dava follows six years at Sage, a fine dining restaurant which he founded in 2005. The restaurant has won a slew of awards, such as Best New Restaurant at WGS 2008, one of Singapore’s Best Restaurant by Singapore Tatler, as well as being named on the prestigious Miele List.

The DAVA Restaurant at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali has welcomed a new Chef de Cuisine, Mr Jusman So. Jusman is the founder-chef of Singapore’s much-awarded Sage Restaurant, and he will bring along his signature style to DAVA. The new menu will blend classic European technique, high quality imported materials and local ingredients. All this will be paired with a modern presentation that is sure to delight. Jusman boast a long list of experience – six years at Sage, a restaurant he founded in 2005 to critical acclaim, prior to which he worked at the Hilton Hotel Singapore.

The well-traveled chef is a passionate surfer, and will be relishing the prospect of squaring up against the waves in the Island of the Gods. He also pointed to the freedom of creativity and the chance to provide a unique dining experience to guests of DAVA as his reasons for coming over. The new menu at DAVA will feature one of his all-time favorite foie gras creations, sauteed and served on raisin corn bread with a combination of beetroot capellini, dried orange and topped with black grape emulsion.

Equinox Flair – Chefs with Altitude

October 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet, Luxury Travel

The iconic Equinox Complex in Singapore is turning 10 this year, and it is celebrating with a bang with the return of the annual Chefs With Altitude from 23 to 30 October 2011. The week-long gourmet festival will feature the best in fine dining, mixology and entertainment. The event will feature the return of the illustrious Chef Bruno Menard to JAAN restaurant, where he will be presenting a special menu and helm an exclusive 9-Course Dom Perignon Vintages Dinner. The event will also ushers in a ground-breaking collaboration with Fifteen restaurant in London – three of their chefs, Dean McClumpha, Andrew Parkinson, Trevor Howard and Robin Soutar will present their signature Fifteen menu and culinary experience for diners and guests.

Paying respect to 10 amazing years, The Equinox Complex is proud to announce “10 TRIBUTES TO 10 FABULOUS YEARS OF THE HIGH LIFE” at this year’s Chefs With Altitude with an array of premium events featuring a stellar list of chefs. Highlighting this event is the return of the famed Chef Bruno Menard to JAAN Restaurant where he will be showcasing his special menu on 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29 October and head a very exclusive 9-Course Dom Perignon Vintages Dinner on 27 October (which will be featuring some of the rarest Dom Perignon Champagnes).

Chefs With Altitude 2011 will also usher in a ground-breaking collaboration with Fifteen restaurant in London. Developed by its inspiring founder and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, several remarkable chefs will present their signature Fifteen menu and culinary experience for diners and guests at Equinox Restaurant from 23 – 30 October. They are – Head Pastry Chef Dean McClumpha, Executive Head Chef Andrew Parkinson, Senior Sous Chef Trevor Howard and Restaurant Manager Robin Soutar.

“We are very honored and privileged to bring the team behind Fifteen restaurant to Singapore through this year’s Chefs With Altitude event. The philosophy and quality behind this magnificent culinary institution created by Jamie Oliver is inspiring, and the caliber of their Italian–inspired culinary creations is equally mesmerizing. We are confident that our diners at the Equinox Restaurant, which will showcase these talents’ specially-created menu, will be in for a truly epicurean experience,” says Mr. Nigel Moore, Director of Food & Beverage Service, Swissôtel The Stamford.

For reservations and enquiries about the event, call +65 6837 3322 or email dining.reservations@swissotel.com.

Culinary Yogyakarta – Central Java

July 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet

Yogyakarta, located in Central Java, is a province filled with mysticism and cultural charms. The location makes it an attractive option for tourists heading to visit the Borobudur Temple, while the charming colonial architectures of old give it a unique flavor who keeps those tourist staying for more. Eating in Yogyakarta is notoriously cheap compared to other tourist hotspots such as Bali and Jakarta, and as more and more people move to Yogya, the flavor of this small town has started to evolve.

4 Before you head back out to explore the town, pay a visit to Holland Bakery (Jl Jend Sudirman 48C) where you can stock up on various delicacies. Popular favorites include the Lapis Legit (Baked Layer Cake) and Bika Ambon (Honeycomb Cake).

5 For the more adventurous at heart, try out the Sate Kuda Gondolayu (Jl Jend Sudirman No 25), a small humble warung selling satays – grilled meats on a skewer. The only difference however, is that they sell exclusively horse meat satays, which were claimed to lack any fats and help improve blood circulation.

1 The Lekker Je Cafe (Jl Cik Di Tiro 22) is a nostalgic rock and roll establishment with an excellent atmosphere and ambiance. Hundreds of obsolete Laser Disc adorn the wall, paired with book, magazines and exotic posters from the 70s. This cafe is part of Hotel Mentana, a simple budget hotel suitable for backpackers or touring bikers.

2 I Cafe (Jl Cik Di Tiro 18) offers a wide range of food, from traditional Yogyakartans (Nasi Goreng Jawa, Mie Godhog Jawa, and more) to International fares (Spaghetti, various cuts of Steak, Fettucini, and more). The eating area is quite large, and the place is popular for its affordable yet good quality food.

3 For dessert and chocolate lovers, head to the aptly named Coklat (Jl Cik Di Tiro 17A), a small boutique cafe offering a variety of chocolate cakes and excellent coffee.

Kavos holidays represent the party atmosphere of Corfu. There is an enormous variety of bars, discos and nightclubs to choose from. The beach at Kavos is an impressive five miles long and the water is clean and safe for children.

World Gourmet Summit 2011

May 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, General Fun, Gourmet

Singapore’s most esteemed culinary event returned with aplomb in celebration of its 15th anniversary. The annual gastronomic extravaganza, which brings together the finest in the culinary industry, boasted an exciting line-up of renowned celebrity chefs, masterchefs and world-class vintners.

This year, the much anticipated event brought to the island state household celebrity chefs such as Rachel Allen, Edward Kwon, Michael Ginor as well as Andrew Turner. On top of that, the festival also showcased a strong Asian presence with the participation of seven highly esteemed chefs from China, India, Japan and Korea – the highest ever number of Asian chefs at a World Gourmet Summit event.

Other than celebrity chef Edward Kwon, diners were dazzled by masterchef Yim Jung Sik, Tam Kwok Fung, Manish Mehrotra, Keisuke Matsushima, Shinichiro Takagi and Yuji Wakiya. Photos courtesy of Peter Knipp Holdings, World Gourmet Summit.

This post is part of WanderFood Wednesday, a Blog Carnival held by Wanderlust & Lipstick. Check them out for a visual treat of tasty dishes, or take part in the carnival yourself!

If you are planning a visit to Asia, don’t forget to check out Unearthing Asia, the best Asia travel portal focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. We have got some of the Portugal car hire ideas and other inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of Singapore’s best romantic views.

Vietnamese Noodle Treats

September 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet

The famed Vietnamese Pho is without a doubt an excellent dish – succulent thin slices of beef dumped with fresh herbs in a stock of tasty broth. It’s no wonder travelers to Vietnam would often go searching for the ultimate pho. But the country’s noodle treats is more than just that, and travelers would often miss out on Vietnam’s other noodle treats. Here are a few of the best Vietnamese noodles, for the adventurous gourmand.

Photo credit - avlxyz

Photo credit - avlxyz

Hu Tieu Nam Vang – Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

Literally meaning Phnom Penh Noodle Soup, this is a Cambodian-Chinese concoction that was tweaked to the Vietnamese palate. Nam Vang is the Vietnamese word for Phnom Penh, so you can actually find various versions of Hu Tieu (Noodle Soup) in Vietnam, with Hu Tieu Nam Vang being one of the more popular noodle soup around. The dish is a surf-and-turf mix of cooked pork, thinly sliced beef, shrimp and group pork with light vermicelli in a sweet and savory broth. The essential garnishes are important here, Chinese celery, chives, cilantro and lettuce adds an extra layer of taste into this tasty dish.

Photo credit - avlxyz

Photo credit - avlxyz

Bun Rieu Oc – Snail Soup with Crab Paste

Hailing from North Vietnam, the Bun Rieu Oc (Snail Soup with Crab Paste) is a dish featuring chunks of snails and crab roe on top of a sweet-savory broth. The dish is studded with pork ribs, tomatoes, water spinach, sliced banana blossoms, fried tofu and more, topped with the ever popular rice-noodles. The Bun Rieu is hearty, light and refreshing, but also a very complex dish, with the various flavors and textures of the snails, crab and pork ribs mixed together.

Photo credit - Geordino

Photo credit - Geordino

Bun Thit Nuong – Grilled Pork with Rice Vermicelli

This local favorite is a simple dish that is more salad than soup, a welcome break from the usual soupy-broth on Vietnam’s other favorite dishes. Literally meaning Grilled Pork with Rice Vermicelli, this dish features grilled marinated pork chops served cold on top of rice vermicelli. As is the usual in Vietnam, a host of fresh herbs accompanies the dish – Thai basil, carrot and radish pickle, as well as cucumbers, bean sprouts, and crushed roasted peanuts. Add a dash of fish sauce and chilies according to personal preference, then enjoy the collision of flavors and textures.

Photo credit - avlxyz

Photo credit - avlxyz

Banh Canh Cua – Thick Noodle Crab Soup

Banh Canh noodles are like the Vietnamese version of udon – they are thick and chewy, although they are typically made with tapioca or rice flour instead of wheat. There are various versions of Banh Canh, and the Banh Canh Cua (Thick Noodle Crab Soup) is one of the more popular amongst them. The Banh Canh Cua features chunks of crab meats and shrimp balls paired with the chewy thick noodles in a crimson broth garnished with chopped scallion.

Photo credit - Ron Diggity

Photo credit - Ron Diggity

Pho Bo Tai – Beef Rice Noodle Soup

And finally of course, it would be remiss to talk about Vietnamese noodle treats without mentioning the popular noodle dish that is Pho. The Pho Bo Tai is a version of Pho with Half-Done Beef Fillet, featuring half-done thinly sliced beef with white rice noodles dumped in a clear soupy broth. The broth is the most important fixture of the dish, and the hardest to make as well, usually by simmering beef bones, oxtails, charred onion and spices for several hours. The dish is then topped with cilantro, basil, lime, bean sprout and onions.

This post is part of WanderFood Wednesday, a Blog Carnival held by Wanderlust & Lipstick. Check them out for a visual treat of tasty dishes, or take part in the carnival yourself. Let them be an inspiration for your last minute holiday plans!

If you are planning a visit to Asia, don’t forget to check out Unearthing Asia, the best Asia travel portal focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. We have got some of the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of must-try things in Hokkaido.

Jakarta Capital Treats

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet

Many travelers treat Jakarta simply as a stopover spot on their way to Bali’s island paradise. But this metropolitan capital to Indonesia certainly deserves more than a day or two,especially if you’re wanting to try all of the delightful eateries that add glam, glitz and style to the Big Durian. Sampled here are some of the capital’s best gourmet offerings, from international to local delights alike!

Social House

This laid-back lounge style restaurant/bar is proving hugely popular. It is the latest addition to a long list of successes by the Ismaya group, who also runs the ever popular Blowfish, Dragonfly and Sushi Groove. Social House, or SoHo, as it is affectionately known, boasts huge windows and a panoramic view of the iconic Hotel Indonesia Kempinski and its surrounding.

The Apartment

The Apartment lives up to its name in spectacular fashion. The interior of the restaurant is uniquely designed as an apartment complex. Diners can choose to be seated in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or even the bathroom! The decor plays right into the delightful food served by Chef Andry Winata, who specializes in modern European cuisine with Italian influence.

Not far from Jakarta is the hilly town of Bandung, a perfect spot for a weekend-getaway. There, you can enjoy a refreshing bath at the thermal hot pools in Ciater!

Dapur Babah

For excellent Indonesian food with Javanese and Peranakan Chinese influences, head to Dapur Babah at Jl Veteran 1, near Merdeka Square. This restaurant reeks of colonial charms. It’s filled with various objects and items that look like they belong in a museum instead of a restaurant. Dapur Babah is more than just a restaurant. It is a living museum that will transport you to the Batavia of old. The cuisine on offer is similarly nostalgic, featuring some of the best renditions of traditional local delights you’ll ever taste in town.


This well known restaurant has a branch in Jakarta and Bali. Its wholesome, authentic, homemade pasta is filled with creamy goodness. A homey and friendly spot where good times and good food reign, this simple Italian trattoria restaurant is well known to lovers of Italian food city-wide. The two storey restaurant is a great place for business lunches and brunches. It also serves as a comfy hangout for group dinners.

If you’re visiting Jakarta, don’t forget to also head to Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands), a group of small islands located approximately 2 hours north of Jakarta. A weekend getaway would be perfect to destress and get away from the hectic urban living in Jakarta!


The recently opened new wing at Plaza Indonesia plays host to Immigrant as its crowning jewel. Located on the sixth floor, this flashy new restaurant-lounge is set to attract the city’s glam and glitzy crowd for the foreseeable future. Just like SoHo, Immigrant features an open air balcony offering diners a fantastic view of the city skyline. The people behind Immigrant are also responsible for the celebrated Rustic restaurant, so you can be sure the steak here is up to par.

Le Seminyak

Balinese food is much under-represented here in the nation’s capital, but Le Seminyak, an intimate restaurant located on Pacific Place’s fifth floor, is a welcome addition to the short list of Balinese restaurants in town. The restaurant is a breath of fresh air, with mellow earthy tones and wooden decor completing the Balinese experience. Unfortunately, the restaurant does not serve Bali’s famed pork dishes, as they are a halal restaurant.

Looking for a quick fuss-free itinerary? We’ve got just the thing for you in this issue 01 of Unearthing Asia magazine. In it we shine our spotlight on Jakarta and share with you a quick 24-hour itinerary, complete with local tips and suggestions!


After a two-year layoff for renovation, the Mandarin Oriental Jakarta is now open for business. Cinnamon, and all day dining and buffet restaurant, is located on the hotel’s ground floor. The restaurant features all kinds of Asian food, as well as a selection of familiar international dishes. A relic from the Mandarin Hotel of old, however, is the cake shop, which has now been revived as Cinnamon’s dessert counter.


Located in the newly expanded Plaza Senayan, TeSate is a classy modern restaurant where you can try out local favorites transformed into gourmet offerings. Try out the satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) and the ever popular sop buntut (oxtail soup), reinterpreted and redesigned for your enjoyment.


Behind the pillars of Sampoerna Strategic Square’s South Tower Entrance stands Bibliotheque, arguably the hippest restaurant bar in Jakarta at the moment. In a city constantly crying out for innovation, Bibliotheque stands out with its low-key and effortless concept, that of an old-school library with books and wooden panels. The food is a mix of Middle Eastern and Western cuisines.

Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best cheap holidays ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of divers paradise in Indonesia.

Introducing Dempsey

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East

Dempsey, Eden in the City

Dempsey, Eden in the City

Listen to the cacophony of the traffic dwindle into a distance as you pace your way towards Dempsey Hill. Within minutes, tranquil and greenery unfold with every step up Dempsey road, leading you gently into a hidden paradise right at the doorstep of Singapore’s bustling Orchard Road.

Hardly a hill per se, Dempsey Hill has a history as a nutmeg plantation in its primitive days. It also housed the British army barracks a century ago and it was the headquarters for young Singaporean soldiers serving their national duty in the 1970s. Today, it has become a popular hangout spot for urbanites seeking the perfect escapade from the chaos of the city. Its colonial architectures are delicately preserved and restored, composing a rustic, yet homely aura. Rows of single-storey houses are lined up in an orderly fashion, well spaced from each other with lush flora encapsulating the vicinity.

“Every corner brings you something different!” raved Ms Kee Luah, PR and Marketing Consultant of Dempsey Hill. Over here, a galore of restaurants, galleries, furniture and lifestyle retail stores, bars and cafes keep you entertained. In the day, Dempsey Hill is a place perfect for solitude time away from crowds and the normalcy of life, luring creative individuals to hang around for fresh inspirations. The lunch crowd gathers, but it is nothing compared to how the area transforms as night falls.


A chill-out place popular amongst the locals, the hill ruptures with life at dusk. Ferraris, Lamborghinis and BMWs fire in and the arena bustles with elites dressed to the nines, all ready to let loose for party-going. Unlike the claustrophobic metropolis, people in Dempsey emanate a festive feel, leaving you feeling refreshed and enlightened.

With over 20 restaurants and bars offering a vast variety of cuisine from all over the world, not only does the natural charm of Dempsey enhance every dining experience, it is also a place where we witness culinary craft of a whole new dimension.

Read on – Culinary Treats at DempseyDempsey, Art Village

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