Monday, February 29, 2016

St. Regis Bali Wins Four Awards from International Hotel Awards 2016-2017




The St. Regis Bali Resort adds to its accomplishments by winning four award categories in this year’s International Hotel Awards. The prestigious international award was announced at the award gala dinner in London where The St. Regis Bali Resort was awarded Best International Resort Hotel, Best Resort Hotel Asia Pacific, Best Large Hotel Indonesia and Best Resort Hotel Indonesia.

The International Hotel Awards are the international 5-star standard of hotel ratings which serves as a global competition that determines the finest hotels and hospitality companies in the world. The International Hotel Awards were developed to identify, highlight and reward excellence throughout the global hospitality industry throughout a wide range of areas. The awards are split into regions covering Asia Pacific, Arabia & Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and UK. Participants enter at their relevant national level and are judged by a highly experienced team of professionals who cover the whole range of hospitality disciplines.


The St. Regis Bali Resort features 81 suites and 42 villas including 1 residence. Combining panoramic sea views as well as tranquil, colorful and lush gardens, the resort reflects a true element of style in the culturally rich and luxurious environment of Bali. Each suite and villa is infused with a residential feel and is intricately adorned with indigenous materials, cultural artefacts and fabrics. Each villa features a Butler Quarters with its own separate entrance for 24 hours personalized St. Regis Butler service. The St. Regis Bali Resort boasts two restaurants, a deli and two bars, Kayuputi, Boneka, Dulang, Gourmand Deli, King Cole Bar and Vista Bar while the Rèmede Spa provides a sanctuary for world travelers looking for rejuvenation.


About The St. Regis Bali Resort
Located on the pristine beach of Nusa Dua, The St. Regis Bali is nestled in the heart of the noteworthy “Garden of Bali”. Exuding understated Balinese-inspired living, the Resort offers infinite panoramic ocean views on a generous 9 hectares of lush gardens, a strand pool with a swim up bar and 3668sqm of crystal blue lagoon to its lavishing guestrooms. Captivating in every detail, the beautifully appointed 123 Suites and Villas welcome guests with all the comforts of a contemporary refined Balinese home with striking interiors, complimentary Wi-Fi, and The St. Regis heritage of uncompromising luxury:  bespoke 24-hour Butler Service. The resort promises culinary excellence with 3 distinctive restaurant venues and 2 bars spread across the expansive property. Indulge into blissful treatments at Remède Spa or unwind at the fitness center. In its own tropical park, the Children’s Learning Center features intelligent fun-filled activities for youngest connoisseurs.

For more information, please visit www.stregisbali.com

Mercado de San Miguel dan Gadis Pengasong Wine


Pergilah ke pasarnya jika kamu ingin tahu tentang kota itu. Begitu nasehat seorang fotografer senior. Maka, ke Madrid, Spanyol, kurang lengkap kalau tidak mengunjungi Mercado de San Miguel. 

Pasar ini awalnya dibangun oleh pemerintah pada tahun 1916, kemudian dibeli oleh swasta pada 2003, serta direnovasi dan dibuka kembali pada tahun 2009.  San Miguel Market adalah pasar yang paling populer di Madrid oleh kalangan wisatawan karena terletak di pusat kota Madrid, dalam jarak berjalan kaki dari Plaza Mayor.

Inilah pasar bersejarah dan monumental, tempat berbelanja dan berwisata kuliner. Pasar modern (karena sangat berbeda dengan umumnya pasar-pasar yang ada di negara berkembang) yang terletak di jantung kota ini juga tempat bertukarnya kebudayaan antar negara – karena banyaknya turis, terutama Eropa, yang berkunjung ke area tersebut.



Bagi negara maju, Mercado de San Miguel sebetulnya tergolong tradisional – karena berbeda dengan mal, di situ tempat berkumpulnya pada penjual tingkat UKM, tapi dengan kreativitas yang luar biasa. Para pemilik toko, dengan caranya masing-masing menawarkan dagangannya secara unik, mulai dari coklat hingga caviar.


Para pembeli pun tidak harus membawa pulang belanjaannya, tapi bisa – dan kebanyakan, menyantap makanannya di situ juga. Ada ham, paela, buah zaitun, churos, bir, anggur, sampanye dan lain-lain.  Ini konon untuk menanggapi minat yang baru tumbuh di dunia gastronomi yang kini telah menjadi fenomena budaya secara global.



Mercado de San Miguel saat ini memang menjadi salah satu pusat gastronomi, di mana produk dengan latar belakang kebudayaan yang kuat adalah kunci. Sebuah tempat pertemuan untuk produsen makanan dan para food enthusiast yang lapar untuk mencoba makanan-makanan baru. Sebuah tempat di mana kita bisa belanja sehari-hari, tapi bisa juga  sekadar mampir untuk minum dan makan. Alhasil, bukan hanya tapas-tapas yang dipajang secara atraktif, tapi juga wine dijajakan seperti tukang asongan oleh gadis bule – yang di Indonesia mungkin sekelas dengan usher cantik penjaga pameran mobil. (Burhan Abe)

Monday, February 22, 2016

An Indigenous Ranah Minang Food Festival at Banyubiru Restaurant


Banyubiru Restaurant at The Laguna Bali invites you to experience indigenous delectable cuisine from West Sumatra during a three-day festival. Taste the bold flavors of the famous beef “rendang” and nasi Padang at this newly revamped restaurant.

Ranah Minang Food Festival will also be presenting guest chef, Reno Andam Suri, who will be working alongside the culinary team at Banyubiru. Reno started her culinary career when she created a “rendang” package known as “Rendang Uni Farah” which became famous among Indonesian people living abroad as a dish that brought them strong memories of home. Her reputation has strengthened over the years, allowing her to receive many awards for business and entrepreneurship. Reno wrote “Rendang, Minang Legacy to The World” and became a culinary advisor for the Indonesian box-office movie “Tabula Rasa” which has a culinary theme. Reno is very passionate about her culinary culture and would love to share her creativity with the world.

The three-day festival will open, located at Balai Ulu at The Laguna Bali, which will give an overview of the exciting three days of festival. Banyubiru Restaurant will present a special buffet dinner during the festival from 25 to 27 February 2016 starting at 6PM to offer an indigenous experience at its best. This unique experience will be offered to hotel guests and non-hotel visitors at IDR450,000 net per person.

The newly revamped, Banyubiru Restaurant at The Laguna Bali, features western and pan-Asian cuisine, with an extensive á la carte menu. Various buffet themes are also offered. With a 200 seat capacity, Banyubiru has a spectacular glass show kitchen where guests can observe the chefs preparing the best of eastern and western cuisine. Open for breakfast and dinner, the restaurant has both air-conditioned and outdoor seating areas, furnished in a contemporary style, it makes for a truly exceptional experience for dining in Nusa Dua.

For info, call +62 361 300 5626 or email to FB.Reservations@luxurycollection.com

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Toma Café: Best Cup of Coffee in Madrid



SECANGKIR kopi menjadi ‘bahasa universal’, apalagi di era Web 2.0 di mana informasi mudah didapatkan dan tidak ada batas wilayah antar negara. Maka, kebutuhan secangkir kopi jualah yang mengantarkan saya ke Toma Café, warung kopi kecil (tentu, modern) di sebuah gang (calle La Palma 49) di kota Madrid, Spanyol. 



Di kota yang mengagungkan seni, arsitektur, makanan, dan sepak bola itu, saya mencicipi secangkir kopi, plus latte coffe, untuk mendapatkan gambar yang fotogenik. Tidak sia-sia menyusuri jalanan Madrid, bersama seorang food enthusiast Billy Oscar, Luissa Luvania, dan dan Teguh Hardjono dari KBRI, dan menemukan kafe ini – yang ending-nya terbayar dengan cita rasa kopi yang nikmatnya bisa dikenang sepanjang masa.



Terletak di lingkungan Conde Duce lucu, Toma Café didirikan beberapa tahun yang lalu oleh orang Argentina asli Santi dan tim barista yang handal. Toma Cafe menempati ruang yang tidak begitu luas, hanya cukup untuk 20-an orang, tapi mengesankan sebagai very intimate lounge.

Pengunjungnya saya yakin bukan berasal dari Madrid saja, tapi kota-kota  sekitar, serta para turis Eropa yang sedang berkunjung ke kota itu. Toma dalam bahasa Spanyol artinya "Take it" , meski nyatanya tidak sekadar take away. Ada yang berlama-lama menyeruput secangkir kopi sambil membuka notebook, ada ibu-ibu muda – dengan membawa bayi dalam dorongan, yang asyik bercengkrama, tapi tidak sedikit yang mampir sejenak untuk sekadar meneguk secangkir espresso. Dalam pengamatan yang tak lebih dari satu jam, tempat ini relatif padat dengan para tamu yang keluar-masuk.




Para barista sangat antusias melayani pengunjung, dan pengunjung pun bisa melihat langsung saat pesanannya dibikin. Tidak hanya kopi tentu, tapi tersedia homemade pastries, cookies, dan cake, untuk menemani minuman paling populer di dunia itu. Arriba! (Burhan Abe) 

Pasta House AWkitchen Jakarta: Italia versus Jepang

Sensansi rasa pasta yang memadukan Italian cuisine taste dengan Japanese ingredients, selain mampu menyelaraskan cita rasa antara Timur dan Barat secara harmoni, juga semakin menambah ‘warna’ pada dunia kuliner di Indonesia.

Open Kitchen
Setelah dua tahun Pasta House AWkitchen hadir di Jakarta, tepatnya di Plaza Senayan Jakarta, resto asal Jepang ini membuka cabang keduanya, 19 Februari 2016. Plaza Indonesia menjadi pilihan lokasinya.

Menurut Lowrenz Tanuwidjaja, COO Pasta House AWkitchen, semua menu yang disajikan di gerai kedua ini adalah menu pilihan sang celebrity chef yang juga merupakan founder, Akira Watanabe. Pasta House AWkitchen menghadirkan pasta sebagai healthy food yang memadukan antara pasta, protein, sayur-sayuran, dan fresh ingredients.

Tuna - Red Snapper
Di Pasta House AWkitchen Plaza Indonesia, kita akan menemukan beberapa varian homemade pasta.  Ada Troffie, Maltagliati, Parpadelle, Chitarra, dan Gnocchi. Chef Akira Watanabe menciptakan tiga macam saus sebagai pelengkap pasta-pasta tersebut. Sebut saja saus Cheese and Cream, Garlic Oil, dan Tomato Sauce. 

“Kami menyiapkan beberapa menu khusus untuk Pasta House AWkitchen Plaza Indonesia. Di sini tersedia  Japanese King Crab ‘Tarabagani’ Pasta dan Spaghettini Cream Sauce Pasta with Sea Urchin. Ada juga Osso Bucco, main course yang populer sebagai makanan ‘classic Italian’. Saya yakin, masakan yang satu ini mampu memberikan sensasi rasa nikmat yang berbeda bagi para pecinta kuliner di Indonesia, sekaligus untuk memberikan variasi menu populer yang ada di Jepang,” ujar Chef Akira Watanabe.

Rossini BA Tenderloin
Menu utama di Pasta House AWkitchen Plaza Indonesia ada yang berbahan utama ikan dan ada pula daging. Restoran yang terletak lantai dua No. E026 ini, juga menghadirkan Tuna Salad with Japanese Radish Sauce sebagai appetizer  bagi penyuka seafood. Sementara buat para penyuka daging, bisa memilih Black Angus Beef Tataki with Soy Truffle Sauce yang bercita rasa yummy.

Capellini with Sakura Shrimp & Truffle Oil 
Lobster Linguine
Pasta House AWkitchen Plaza Indonesia memiliki dessert serta minuman yang sangat beragam. Panna Cotta & Berry Sauce yang selama ini sangat identik sebagai hidangan penutup khas Italia, menjadi pilihan utama. Bisa dijumpai pula Chocolate Profiterole serta Cannoli yang menggoda karena memadukan antara kelezatan cita rasa dan tampilan yang cantik. Sementara itu, aneka mocktail, cocktail, jus, kopi, hingga wine yang cukup lengkap, bisa dinikmati di sini.

Open kitchen sengaja didesain untuk memperlihatkan aksi executive chef, yang bagaikan sebuah atraksi saat memenuhi pesanan para tamu. Suasana interior pun didesain open space bergaya romantic modern dan sedikit sentuhan gaya pop art, yang berpadu serasi dengan alunan musik ber-genre blues dan Top 40. Semuanya itu, melengkapi kelezatan dan kenyamanan saat bersantap di Pasta House AWkitchen Plaza Indonesia.

Osso Bucco
Iced Lychee Tea
Sepanjang bulan Februari hingga Maret 2016, Pasta House AWkitchen Plaza Indonesia tidak lupa memberikan berbagai program promo. Program promo itu berupa Winter Promotion; New Dessert (Hi-Tea Promo); Disc.10% bagi Privilege Card Member Plaza Indonesia (bekerja sama dengan Plaza Indonesia) dengan min. transaction IDR 300.000,++; Lunch Set Menu IDR  200.000,++; serta The Plaza Office Tower Employee Card Disc. 10% (min. transaction 250.000,++).

Green Tea Opera Cake
Tentang Pasta House AWkitchen
Pasta House AWkitchen pertama kali berdiri pada Maret 2004 di wilayah Nakameguro, Tokyo. Alasan utama digunakannya sebutan Pasta House karena homemade pasta dan beragam sayuran segar merupakan menu andalan sekaligus menu yang ditonjolkan oleh restoran ini. Adapun inisial AW terinspirasi dari singkatan nama sang pendiri, Akira Watanabe, yang juga seorang celebrity chef terkemuka di Jepang.

Menu cold pasta merupakan hasil karya Chef Akira yang terkenal kelezatannya dan menjadi kekhasan restoran ini. Akira berhasil memadukan cita rasa antara Italian cuisine otentik dengan Japanese ingredient berbekal pengetahuan, cita rasa, serta pengalaman panjangnya di dunia kuliner. Karenanya, hingga 2016 ini sebanyak 15 Pasta House AWkitchen telah berdiri di beberapa kota di Jepang, seperti di Tokyo, Chiba, dan Yokohama, serta dua di antaranya hadir di Jakarta.

Bar
Berbeda dengan kehadirannya di Jepang yang hanya menawarkan varian menu serba pasta, Pasta House AWkitchen yang ada di Jakarta menawarkan kombinasi menu pasta dan pizza. Agar cita rasa otentik tetap terjaga serta masakan yang disajikan berkualitas sempurna, Tanaka Hidekazu (executive chef) sengaja didatangkan dari Jepang. Bahan-bahan yang digunakan pun 70% impor. Contohnya sea urchin dan yellow tail yang didatangkan dari Jepang. Dan untuk terus memanjakan lidah para penikmat kuliner serta mengatasi adanya kejenuhan, Pasta House AWkitchen secara berkala mengganti varian menunya. Hal ini sekaligus untuk mengenalkan ragam sajian lainnya dari Pasta House AWkitchen.

Friday, February 19, 2016

An Endless Calendar of Enthralling Events with Alila Manggis

Add a touch of magic to your East Bali holiday

En Route to the Temple
A visit to Bali anytime of the year is likely to coincide with one of the island’s year-round calendar of enthralling temple ceremonies and religious festivals. East Bali in particular, being home to Bali’s majestic Mount Agung, sacred temples, and ancient villages, that still live and dance to age-old traditions, offers a chance to witness some of the most unique ceremonies and rituals.

At its serene coastal setting in East Bali, Alila Manggis is perfectly placed to offer guests all the blissful indulgences of a relaxing holiday combined with real insights into Bali life through countless fascinating events. Here are some highlights of what you can experience in the coming year.

Morning Vista
February & September 2016 - Galungan & Kuningan
Galungan is one of the most important religious festivals celebrated by the Balinese, marking the triumph of good over evil. Following the 210-day Balinese calendar, Galungan will next occur from 10 - 20 February 2016, and again from 7 - 17 September 2016, bringing ten days of joyous festivities. Immerse in the celebratory atmosphere as the Balinese, dressed in their ceremonial best, honour the spirits of their ancestors, which are believed to return to earth, with prayers and offerings, and the traditional Barong dance is performed on the streets. On the final day, Kuningan, special offerings are made to bid farewell to the ancestral spirits.

During Galungan, locals from the surrounding villages in East Bali also make a pilgrimage to Lempuyang Temple, known locally as Pura Lempuyang Luhur, one of Bali’s oldest and most highly regarded temples. The main reason for the pilgrimage is to obtain holy water, which stems from a yellow bamboo plant that grows in shrubs in the inner courtyard of the temple. Situated high on the peak of Mount Lempuyang, the temple is reached via a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps. The effort is worth it though to take in the picturesque vistas of the lush surroundings that stretch to Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak.

9 March 2016 - Nyepi Day
Marking the Balinese New Year, Nyepi is an experience unlike any other – a day of silence, fasting and meditation. Festivities begin on the eve of Nyepi Day when ‘ogoh ogoh’, giant paper and bamboo puppets that symbolise evil spirits, are paraded around the streets before being burnt to ashes in a cemetery. On Nyepi Day itself, silence is observed from 6 am until 6 am the next morning. Just imagine... empty roads, little or no noise, few signs of activity. A precious time for self-reflection as well as a moment of respite for Mother Earth.

Pasar Agung Temple Entrance
23 March 2016 - Full Moon Ceremony at Besakih Temple
The 10th Full Moon is considered highly significant amongst Balinese Hindus and is observed with festivals in major temples islandwide. The mother temple Besakih, located on the slopes of sacred Mount Agung, holds a special ceremony known as Ida Betara Turun Kabeh. Devotees invite deities and other important ancestors to descend to the temple where they receive blessings in what is one of the most elaborate Hindu rituals you will see in Karangasem regency, just one hour’s drive from Alila Manggis.

June 2016 - Mekare Kare Duel at Tenganan Village
Nearby Tenganan Village is an ancient village where daily life still follows the Bali Aga (pre- Hindu) culture and traditions. The village’s annual ‘mekare kare’ is an extraordinary sight – a theatrical fight between the young men of the village, using prickly pandanus leaf whips! Each duel is staged to the intense martial sounds of ‘gamelan selonding’ music, and lasts only a few seconds, accompanied by much merriment and laughter. The attacks are warded off with tightly woven ‘ata’ vine shields.
 
There are no winners or losers; the objective is to draw blood as an offering to the gods. After the battles, the combatants’ wounds are treated with a stinging mixture of alcohol and turmeric, leaving no scars. Meanwhile, the women of the village don the famous hand-woven double ikat textiles, known as ‘Geringsing’, that is believed to possess the power to protect the wearer from sickness and evil.

20 & 21 July 2016 - Rejang Gegitayan at Ngis Village
Ngis is considered one of the old Bali villages, built hundreds of years ago by 55 people from the Klungkung kingdom. Every year, the villagers engage in a temple ceremony, a highlight of which is the Mabuang Dance ritual performed by the village youth and the descendants of Klungkung kingdom. This dance is a form of respect to the creator of the universe and a reminder to man to guard the sky and all that live on earth, maintaining stability and balance.
September 2016 - Usaba Daratan at Selumbung Village

Bali’s religious ceremonies exude a magical aura, often incorporating sacred dances during which performers are in a trance. Displaying the power of the gods through the human body, they inspire a mixture of awe and fear. Witness the powerful performance of the Keris dance trance during the Usaba Daratan Ceremony held at Selumbung Village.

15 & 16 October 2016 - Usaba Guling at Gumang Hill
Throngs of people from several East Bali villages – Bebandem, Jasri, Ngis and Bugbug – ascend to the summit of Mount Gumang in a ceremonial procession that lasts through the night, accompanied by an offering of more than a hundred suckling pigs, a keris dance and Jempana War rituals in which men bearing palanquins containing effigies of deities stage a ‘battle’. The following morning, the procession descends the mountain to Bale Agung Temple in Bugbug village for another day of ceremonial ritual and dance.

14 November 2016 - Pasar Agung Temple Anniversary Ceremony
The magnificent Pura Pasar Agung temple lies off the beaten track, three quarters of the way up Mount Agung. This breathtaking temple complex is thought to be the holy meeting place of Bali’s most ancient deities, the ancestors of the Gods of Besakih, hence the name Pasar Agung (the supreme market). Probably the most dramatic pilgrimage site on the island, it overlooks the entire island, surrounded by a forest of towering ferns and pine trees, with panoramas that stretch as far as the volcanoes of Lombok. It’s also a starting point for hikes up Mount Agung.

For those who seek to experience a slice of authentic Bali, plan your escape to Alila Manggis and enjoy a time of sublime relaxation coupled with unforgettable cultural discovery!
For more information or booking, please contact the reservations team at +62 363 41011 or email: manggis@alilahotels.com

Down fro the Temple
About ALILA

Surprisingly Different
The hallmark of Alila is the combination of innovative design and luxury in unique locations, set apart by an unprecedented level of private space, personalised hospitality and destination experiences. Alila means “Surprise” in Sanskrit, which suitably describes the refreshing character of our properties and the reaction of our guests when they stay with us. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt EarthCheck operating standards, integrating the natural, physical and cultural elements of their environments. To stay at any of Alila's hotels or resorts is to embark on a learning journey. Whether recreating the flavours of the local cuisine, enhancing your well-being through ancient healing arts, tasting the thrill of adventure sports or participating in volun-tourism, you'll find life at Alila an inspiration. Re-discover the luxury of living at Alila www.alilahotels.com

About COMMUNE
Commune Hotels & Resorts is an international, multi-brand lifestyle hotel management company which manages and operates Alila Hotels and Resorts, an exclusive luxury brand; Thompson Hotels, a sophisticated lifestyle brand; Joie de Vivre Hotels, a collection of independently branded boutique hotels; and tommie, a new micro-lifestyle hotel brand. The COMMUNE office in Singapore oversees the Asia Pacific development and hotel management for all four brands, with upcoming developments in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Meliá Lisboa, The First 5-Star Hotel Operated By Meliá Hotels International in Portugal Open Its Doors In 2018

The hotel will add to the collection of ‘bleisure’ hotels focused on combining business travel with urban leisure and lifestyle


Meliá Hotels International and Discovery Fund announced the signature of an agreement by which the hotel chain, the third largest in Europe, will add the 5-star hotel, Meliá Lisboa, to its portfolio as part of an ambitious project which aims to return life to a strategic location in the city, with the hotel set on the corner of the central Antonio Augusto de Aguiar and Fontes Pereira de Melo avenues.

The hotel will open in early 2018 with 239 rooms, a 24-hour restaurant adapted to the lifestyle needs of guests, and a panoramic lounge-bar on the upper terrace with stunning views of the city.


In the essence of ‘bleisure’ (business + leisure) concepts, the hotel will provide everything needed by guests visiting Lisbon for a combination of business travel and leisure, while also providing residents in the city with a meeting point in which to "see and be seen", with attractive options for dining, drinks and music. Therefore, the Meliá Lisboa will feature the most modern facilities for conferences and conventions for between 50 and 550 people,-two floors of parking, and a health club and a Yhi Spa, the Meliá hotels’ Spa brand, with the highest standards.

In one of the most important destinations for European tourism, with a growing strength in urban hotels, the new Meliá Lisboa means Meliá Hotels International continues to grow in Portugal, this time hand in hand with Discovery Portugal Real Estate Fund, focused on Real Estate & Tourism assets management in Portugal, with a specialized Real Estate & Tourism team.



Pedro Seabra, Partner of Discovery Fund, highlighted the importance of this signature to bring an internationally reputed hotel brand into this hotel’s management: “This alliance and the Meliá Lisboa’s project represent the continuation of the excellent work of the Discovery team, with the aim of re- evaluating the Fund's assets. We are also excited to be able to count with the best professionals to make this project a successful reality from 2018.”

For the Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, “We are very excited about the Meliá Lisboa because it combines architectural innovation in a hotel with the highest standards of quality and service, with the history of such an emblematic corner of the city of Lisbon, with the attractiveness that you only find in the centre of the great historic capital cities in Europe.”


About Discovery Fund
Discovery Portugal Property Fund manages tourism real estate assets in Portugal since September 2012, thanks to its specialized team Real Estate and Tourism. Discovery has an integrated management which produces economies of scale, synergies, and a high bargaining power to significantly improve the performance and management of its business and liquidity of its investors, through the sale of the assets or units of the Fund for Institutional Investors with exposure to the tourism sector in Portugal. In carrying out its activity, it acts on the advice Discovery Explorer Investments SCR, SA, a private investment management company with more experience in the Portuguese market, and one of the most important in Europe.


About Meliá Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies worldwide as well as the absolute leader within the Spanish market. At present, it operates and distributes more than 365 hotels throughout 40 countries and 4 continents under the brands: Gran Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus Resorts, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá, Tryp by Wyndham and Sol Hoteles. The strategic focus on international growth has allowed Meliá Hotels International to be the first Spanish hotel company with presence in key markets such as China, the Arabian Gulf or the US, as well as maintaining its leadership in traditional markets such as Europe, Latin America or the Caribbean. Its high degree of globalization, a diversified business model, the consistent growth plan supported by strategic alliances with major investors and its commitment to responsible tourism are the major strengths of Meliá Hotels International, being the Spanish Hotel leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco 2014). www.Meliahotelsinternational.com

Winemaker Dinner: Taste of Bordeaux



Take a break in the middle of the week, I join the Winemaker Dinner with Jean-Michel Cazes at C’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, Grand Hyatt Jakarta, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 It’s an unforgettable experience with an exquisite selection of Chateau wine paired with an exceptional five-course menu especially designed by the chef.



Voila the menu:

Lightly smoked scallops, pickled vegetables
Chateau Villa Bel-Air, 2001

Lobster risotto, fennel slaw
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domain des Senechaux, 2009

Grilled beef tenderloin, bone marrow sauce, organic vegetable
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domain des Senechaux, 2010

Slow roasted lamb, gratin dauphinois, green beans
Chateau Lynch-Bages, 2006

Selection of French cheeses, pear compote, dried fruit brioche
Chateau Lynch-Bages, 2011

Coffee and tea

Lightly Smoke Scallop

Lobster Risotto

Grill Beef Tenderloin

**

Jean-Michel Cazes
Jean-Michel Cazes (born 25 March 1935 in Bordeaux) is a French winemaker and insurance executive. He managed the wine holdings of AXA Millésimes until 2000, the family insurance agency, and the Cazes family estates until 2006. He is the son of André Cazes and grandson of Jean-Charles Cazes who acquired the family's initial holdings.

He is one of Bordeaux's legendary figures, a man of enormous dynamism, vision, energy and charm. His family have owned 5th Growth Ch Lynch Bages for decades but in recent years have added Ch Les Ormes de Pez in St Estephe to their portfolio. He has also been responsible for pioneering developments in wine tourism, gastronomy, wine education and the revitalization of the hamlet of Bages which sits behind Ch Lynch Bags.



Chateau Lynch Bages
Château Lynch Bages, a 5ème Cru Classé, is one of the best-known Médoc estates and has always had a particularly strong following on this side of the English Channel. Since 1973 it has been owned by the enigmatic Jean-Michel Cazes and is now run by his son, Jean-Charles.

Lynch Bages's vineyards are superbly sited on a plateau west of Pauillac town, in the small village of Bages. The 90 hectares of vineyards (Red: Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Franc 10%) lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. For the reds, fermentation is temperature-controlled with extensive 'remontage' to ensure concentration and depth of colour. A special system of pipes transfers the wine from the cuves to the oak barriques (60% new) where it matures for 15 months.

Lynch Bages can be surprisingly soft and approachable when young. However, when fully mature, it develops a succulent richness and a heavenly bouquet of minty blackcurrants and cigar boxes. As Oz Clarke says "Lynch Bages is impressive at five years, beautiful at ten years and irresistible at twenty."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Glam and Glow Yoga

Community Footprints Fundraising Event


In commemoration of International Childhood Cancer Day 2016, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan present a unique fundraising event; Glam and Glow Yoga, Saturday 20 February 2016. Glam and Glow Yoga will bring an exceptional experience of yoga class, as it will be presented in the elegant Mutiara Ballroom and emerged with the unique colorful glow-in-the-dark ambience, which offers above and beyond experience to the yoga participants. Yoga participants will be given glow-in-the-dark painting supplies and plain t- shirt, where they are able to express their creativity and glow paint the t-shirt to have the glow look on their body as the UV lights on. To elevate the moment, yoga music background will be brought by a trendy DJ performance, DJ GIE 45G.

With this creative and exciting concept, Hotel and partners aim to attract public participation and raise donation for children with cancer, in return for the exceptional yoga experience. To add up the excitement, Celebrity Bazaar will be also showcased during this event, to sell pre-loved or used branded fashion items and healthy food. Profit earned from Yoga class registration fee and Celebrity Bazaar will be donated to Yayasan Kasih Anak Kanker Indonesia.

This activity is part of The Ritz-Carlton social and environmental responsibility program, Community Footprints. With a commitment to “Expand Global Citizenship,” Community Footprints is embedded into the company’s service values, long range plan and business operations. This commitment is focused on child well-being, environmental responsibility and hunger and poverty relief.

The event starts will be held on Saturday 20 February 2016, from 10.00am to 15.00pm at Mutiara Ballroom, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan. The yoga-glow-in the-dark experience can be purchased at IDR120,000 per person inclusive t-shirt, towel, glow-in-the-dark supplies, infused water and fresh fruits. Advanced reservation is required. For more information and registration, please call (021) 2551 8847 / 0811 905 070.


Setting a new standard of luxury in the Indonesian capital city, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan is situated in an open area affording beautiful views. Sleek sophistication outside provides a way to warm elegance inside, where each guest room and suite offer an oasis of pampering and prestige. Accommodations are one of Jakarta's most spacious. The baths feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city. Luxury amenities such as fine linens, designer bath essentials and a 55-inch LED screen television enhance each stay. For dining options, guests can choose from: Asia, featuring Jakarta’s largest Island Buffet Restaurant, Lobo, Jakarta’s modern European restaurant, where finest USDA prime beef steak are prepared in a spectacular display of modern interior design for bar, lounge and dining destination and TEMPUS, a hot spot hosting two different zones of Avanti for cozy lounge with compelling dance floor and JADE for elegant and spacious karaoke.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 89 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 40 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Padang Culinaire Goes to Madrid

Gule Kambing ala Marco Padang
Kuliner sudah sudah makin populer, dan merupakan salah satu industri yang berkembang pesat. Indonesia, melalui KBRI Madrid, kembali ikut ambil bagian dalam mengenalkan kuliner tradisional  Nusantara di Madrid, Spanyol, 24 Januari 2016.

Kegiatan promosi warisan budaya kuliner tradisional Indonesia ini, salah satunya dalam format adalah jamuan santap siang (brunch) di Restoran El Jardin, Hotel Intercontinental. Juga kegiatan masak bareng dengan pada calon chef di Gredos San Diego Gastronomy School, Madrid, Spanyol.
                   
Menu yang ditampilkan Indonesia adalah masakan Padang yang telah tersohor di seluruh dunia dengan dukungan Marco Padang, pionir restoran yang mengangkat masakan Padang ke level yang lebih tinggi di Jakarta.

“Spanyol merupakan negara yang sangat menghormati budaya kuliner,” ujar Yuli Mumpuni Widarso, Dubes RI untuk Spanyol.

Itiak Lado Ijo
Hal ini, katanya, terlihat pada komitmen berbagai pihak di negara tersebut, mulai dari Pemerintah Pusat, Pemerintah Otonom, hingga kelangan ahli kuliner dan restaurateur yang terus mengembangkan dan mempromosikan budaya kuliner mereka, yang antara lain ada penyelenggaraan event bergengsi “Madrid Fusion” di Palacio de Congresso Madrid 25 – 27 Januari, yang pada tahun 2016 memasuki tahun ke 14. Pihak panitia sedang berupaya agar Indonesia akan menjadi tuan rumah Madrid Fusion 2018 di Bali.

Seafood Panggang Pacak
Untuk itu, misi kuliner Indonesia ke Madrid kali ini sangat relevan.  Selain itu pada saat yang berdekatan di Madrid juga diselenggarakan beberapa kegiatan internasional terkait dengan prmoso parisiwata dan kuliner, yakni: UN WTO (World Tourism Organization) Awardee Day, di Markas UN WTO Madird, 20 Januari. Terdapat 3 finalis dari Indonesia untuk kategori kebijakan pemerintah, partipasi LSM, dan perusahaan serta partisipasi komunitas.

Juga ada FITUR, Pameran Pariwisata Internasoional di IFEMA Madrid yang berlangsung pada 20 – 24 Januari. Terdapat pavilion Indonesia yang diselenggarakan oleh Kementrian Pariwisata RI. (Burhan Abe)

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Diplomasi Rendang

Jamuan Santap Malam – Promosi Kuliner Indonesia 2016

Promosi Kuliner Indonesia
Kuliner bukan sekadar makanan, tapi bisa juga menjadi duta sebuah negara. KBRI Madrid sangat menyadari hal itu, dan secara berkala telah mempromosikan warisan budaya kuliner Indonesia ke Spanyol. Tahun ini giliran masakan Padang yang mendapat kesempatan untuk diperkenalkan ke kalangan industri pariwisata Spanyol dan kalangan ahli kuliner internasional, 19 Januari 2016.

Budaya di Balik Kuliner
Acara dalam format sebuah jamuan santap malam itu berlangsung di Hotel Intercontinenal, Madrid. Tak kurang dari 130 tamu yang hadir malam itu, menyaksikan ketrampilan tim juru masak restoran Marco Padang yang mempunyai keunggulan dalam menyajikan masakan Padang, Sumatera Barat, dengan selera kuliner internasinal.

Banyuwangi Ikut Memeriahkan
Tidak sekadar makan malam, tapi ruang tempat acara berlangsung mempunyai atmosfer Sumatera Barat, lengkap dengan pertunjukan kesenian asal daerah tersebut.

“Hal ini sejalan dengan kebijakan Kementrian Pariswasata RI tentang promosi keanekaragaman dan kekayaan waisan budaya kuliner tradisional Indonesia sebagai salah satu daya tarik pariwisata Indonesia,” ujar Duta Besar RI di Madrid, Yuli Mumpuni Widarso.

Diplomasi Kuliner
Sebetulnya, sejak 2011 KBRI Madrid telah memperkenalkan warisan budaya kuliner Indonesia di Spanyol, antara lain melalui kegiatan “Santap Siang Indonesia” (Almuerzo Indonesia) di KBRI Madrid dan “Seminggu Sajian Masakan Eksotik Indonesia” (Semana de Cocina Exotica Indonesia) di Restoran El Jardin, Hotel Intercontinental Madrid, setiap bulan Januari. Memperingati lima tahun kegiatan tersebut, Januari 2015 KBRI Madrid menyelenggarakan “Pekan Warisan Budaya Kuliner Tradisional Indonesia” (Semana Tradicional Culinaria Patrimonio Indonesia) di Restoran El Jardin, Hotel Intercontinental Madrid yang dibuka dengan Gala Dinner di Albenis Hall di hotel yang sama, menyajikan menu tradisional Bali hasil racikan Chef Henry Bloem dan Chef Vindex Tengker.

KBRI Madrid pada September 2013 juga telah menyusun “Buku Masakan Indonesia” dalam bahasa Spanyol (La Exotica Cocina Indonesia). Selain itu pada Januari 2015 untuk pertama kalinya Indonesia berpartsipasi dalam “Madrid Fusion” diwakili oleh Akademi Gastronomi Indonesia (AGI), di bawah pimpinan Vita Datau Mesakh.

Soto Padang
Ayam Panggang Lado Ijo
Gule Kambing
Rendang Hitam Kayu Bakar + Seafood Panggang Pacak
Babur Ketan Item
Tahun 2016 masakan Padang dengan tim juru masak (chef) restoran Marco Padang Peranakan, yang terdiri dari Marco Lim, Timotius Agus Rachmat, dan Wanda Mahardi, menyiapkan menu andalan, yang terdiri dari beberapa course, dimulai dari makanan pembuka Soto Padang, disambung dengan Ayam Panggang Ladio Ijo, Randang Hitam Kayu Bakar, Seafood Panggang Pacak, Gule Kambing, serta penutup Bubur Ketan Item.

Kelemahan makanan tradisional biasanya terletak pada presentasinya. Dan itu tidak terjadi dengan makanan dalam santap malam kali ini. Makanan Padang disajikan dalam presentasi yang menarik ala fining dining, bahkan bisa dipadukan dengan wine dari Spanyol.

Chef Marco Lim, Timotius Agus Rachmat, dan Wanda Mahardi 
Rendang adalah menu wajib dalam gala dinner ini, bahkan boleh jadi menjadi primadona. Ya, rendang tidak hanya dikenal sebagai masakan Padang, yang sangat populer di Indonesia, tapi santapan berupa daging sapi yang diolah dengan santan hingga kering itu juga masuk di urutan ke-11 dari 50 daftar makanan terenak di dunia yang pernah dipublikasikan CNN, sehingga membuat para tamu penasaran. “Rendang yang mempunyai 27 bumbu, merupakan makanan yang mempunyai filosofi tinggi, populer, dan diharapkan bisa jadi locomotive food untuk makanan Indonesia yang lain,” jelas Vita Datau Mesakh dari AGI. (Burhan Abe)

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