Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mandala, No Other Place, Except Our Other Places



Mandalais a portfolio of privately owned, design-led residences in spectacular Balinese locations conceptualized around clean, flowing lines and open airy spaces that mix raw, industrial elements with warm, elegant and luxurious finishes to provide private refuges with a signature flair for the unexpected.

Mandala began as the vision of owner Ben Jones, Founder and CEO of the M.Development family of businessesand creator of an award-winning group of bars and restaurants, including Bali’s hottest new beach club, Ulu Cliffhouse. This trailblazing new villa brand establishes a new paradigm in luxury accommodation, bridging the gap between branded boutique hotels and one-off, fully independent villas for those who want to kick back with the creature comforts and consistency of a five star hotel while enjoying the exclusivity of a private home. Each villa is a super-luxe, five+ bedroom property, with painstaking attention to detail throughout, from interior design, architecture and services to the exceptionally high standards of staff training.


“Our ultimate goal is to create and set the “standard” for five-star villas,”said Ben Jones, owner of Mandala. “We are building a brand where consumers will expect and receive quality, experience and service on par with any five-star hotel, with the privacy and discretion of a private villa, in literally the most beautiful locations we can find.”

Designand aesthetics are central to Mandala, the result of a dynamic collaboration between the creative team of Ben Jones, James Hillier and James Brown, the acclaimed international award-winning designers of Motel Mexicola in Bali and Africola in Australia, amongst others. Each villa has been developed to meaningfully occupy its environment and is located in a carefully selected, truly magical destination, emblematic of its location, from the green Balinese rice paddies of Canggu, to the surf of Uluwatu and the picturesque lagoon in Nusa Lembongan. Ben's love of design, food, art, music and travel is reflected in the villas, and together with his wife Nathalie, who works in luxury fashion and beauty for Chanel, they have weaved their passions into the properties.


Mandala sets a premium standard across all locations, with an unforgettable food program, incredible menus and a fully stocked bar with premium brands, a wine cellar, Mandala’s custom infused spirits range and even their own bottled cocktails, inspired by Ben’s Singapore bar Operation Dagger, ranked in the world’s top 20 bars. Each property has its own art collection, bespoke bathroom products, and fully equipped gym with workout programs and a vetted list of Bali’s best yoga instructors, meditation coaches, fitness professionals, surf instructors and aestheticians all on call. The villas have attentive but discreet staff in attendance 24/7 to ensure any and every need is met.

Mandala started as a dream home in Canggu and the concept has evolved into a portfolio of superb sites with the launch of three more villas in Berawa, Uluwatu and Nusa Lembongan with further locations to follow in 2019.

The Villas





The House (Canggu)

Featured in Elle Decoration’s “World’s Most Beautiful Homes” and Condé Nast Traveller’s “The Hot List” 2017

Minutes from the surf breaks of Canggu in Bali’s most happening neighbourhood, this one-of-a-kind villa was designed by one of Bali’s leading architects and its unique features include a glass-bottomed pool, swim-up copper bar, boxing gym, and infinity swimming pool that overlooks the adjoining paddy fields. The House has five king en-suites spread over 6,500 square feet of interior, each with a signature bathroom. The striking open plan entertaining space is centered around a palm tree growing through the double height ceilings and sunken living room in shades of ocean blue.



The Home (Canggu)

This five king-ensuite bedroom villa neighbours Mandala.The House, just minutes away from the beach. The elegant villa was designed by the same award-winning architect and spans over 5,000 square feet of meticulously designed interiors, with paddy fields on two sides and a peaceful riverside frontage. Curated with world-class art and finished to the highest standards with heavy use of local stone work, artisan ceramics and bespoke furniture, highlights include the stylish poolside suites and master bedroom with tailor-made dressing room and private terrace. The property has a beautiful outdoor dining area and brass bar shaded under a fragranced canopy of bougainvillea and jasmine, this villa is truly your home from home.




The Rocks (Uluwatu)

This mind blowing 5,000 square foot luxury villa is newly finished and in arguably the best location on the island. Situated on the rocks of Uluwatu between two of Bali’s most iconic surf spots Padang Padang and Bingin, with its turquoise shutters, panoramic view and swim out access to impossible break, The Rocks is truly the ultimate beach house. Each of the six bedrooms features a pastel-hued ensuite bathroom and private terrace overlooking the white sand and azure waters, while the open plan entertaining space includes a private bar and ocean deck. Work out in the outdoor jungle gym, sip on a margarita with unrivalled views of the famous sunset and fall asleep to the sound of the waves, you won’t want to leave.




Coming soon!

The Bay (Nusa Lembongan from January 2019)

This new addition to the portfolio is located on the small island paradise of Nusa Lembongan, just a thirty-minute boat trip from Bali. For those looking for a barefoot beach getaway, look no further. This five bedroom water-front villa overlooks Sandy Bay, arguably the best sunset spot in Bali, an area we fell in love with for its understated chicness, dreamy beach and for the wild energy and dramatic beauty of the crashing waves at Devil’s Tear just across the bay from the property. Nusa Lembongan’s vivid aqua crystal clear waters are perfect for diving, surfing and snorkeling, and the island can be hiked across in two hours and is dotted with pristine white sandy beaches.




The Services – at a glance


  • The Mandala concierge is always on hand with a black book of contacts to arrange a wide range of services at the villa and excursions including: massages, spa services, personal trainers, private yoga classes, surf lessons, private bartenders, restaurant reservations, bar and club access
  • Mandala knows how to throw a party, from weddings to birthdays to product launches, we have access to full catering, mixology, event planning services and can partner with our sister business Ulu Cliffhouse in Uluwatu 
  • Each villa is fully staffed with an in-house manager, chef, housekeepers and full time security
  • The complimentary breakfast menu caters to each and every diet, from the healthier poached eggs and avocado on rye bread to the more indulgent scrambled eggs with chorizo and fresh pastries
  • If you are travelling with children we can provide a baby cot, arrange for barriers to surround the pool, organic baby purees, nannies and anything else you may need!
  • VIP meet-and-greet service at the airport, whisking you through customs in a flash.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Design of Four Seasons’ First Urban Hotel in Kuala Lumpur




Wilson Associates was commissioned by Hotel Properties Limited to design the interiors of Four Seasons’ first urban hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The hotel has 209 guest rooms and suites, as well as serviced apartments for extended stay and Four Seasons Private Residences. The new property is located in the heart of the Golden Triangle neighbourhood next to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

Design Concept

Wilson Associates took advantage of the Four Seasons hotel’s exotic location, selecting materials and finishes to reflect the local culture yet exuding understated sophistication. The interiors are light, spacious and have an open feel with soft tones which combine well with the luxurious, warm-metal finishes.


“The world has become our home where countries are no longer maps of faraway lands but destinations within our reach and within those destinations we do subconsciously look for the familiar touch that connects our heart to that land,” says Susan Isaac, Design Director & Principal with Wilson Associates.

Color Palette

From rich and deep to pale or bold, the variety of blue-green tones applied to the bedrooms at Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur adds strong accents to the space. Calming and restful, and reminiscent of forests and oceans, the blues and greens conjure youthfulness and vibrancy. Accents of pomegranate pink, associated with femininity, lend an atmosphere of freshness, sweetness, and comfort. The color represents the hibiscus hues mixed with multiple shades of grey, found in the soft sunsets of Malaysia. Tones of black, deep chocolate and soft gold are subtly blended into the spaces.


Wilson Associates’ thoughtful design masterfully interplays natural light, neutrals and fantastical color to create shadows, shapes and reflections. Period details are paired with bright all-over tones, while cut outs – interior windows, doorways, stairwells – are emphasized through sudden shifts in shade. The result is playful and mesmerizing, incorporating views of Kuala Lumpur’s breath taking skyline.

The intention of the design is to present guests with a sense of personalized comfort and the essence of belonging. From the public areas to the rooms, Wilson Associates approached the design through the eyes and expectations of a well-travelled and seasoned guest. In every space and at every junction is a sense of being comforted, welcomed and embraced.

Perks of the Location

Kuala Lumpur is a thriving city, a recognized destination by many local and foreign investments with an advancing technology sector. It is also a lush region with an equally rich tourist market, and voted the second-most visited city in Southeast Asia. The establishment of the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, and interior architectural design by Wilson Associates, present a sophisticated destination in the heart of this thriving locale.



About Wilson Associates

For nearly 50 years, Wilson Associates’ dynamic talent and collaborative spirit have inspired and created some of the world’s most iconic, avant-garde spaces, among them the Conrad Koh Samui; The Venetian Las Vegas; Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; and the Armani Hotel Dubai. Wilson has a strong international footprint, with more than 300 team members and design hubs in 10 cities: Bangkok, Dallas, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Wicked Halloween


Kid-friendly Sunday Brunch at Pasola The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place


Halloween Cookies

In the celebration of Halloween, Pasola Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place presents a kid-friendly Halloween Sunday brunch on 28 October 2018. It’s the time to enjoy a family day-out with thematic brunch party and the little ones wearing special costume.

Halloween Cocktail

Young guests are invited to have Halloween fun as the children playground will be transformed into a wicked party with magic performance, bouncing castle, Halloween art station, and children movie. Delicious offerings for the little ones are waiting such as Witches Fingers, Monsters Eyeballs, Ghoulish Beef Goulash, and Sausage Mummies. There will be a special session for little monsters with fun games and prizes for the best Halloween costume.

While the children having their time, adults may indulge in the gorgeous spread of International and Indonesian cuisine buffet. Pasola offers its signature brunch with fresh seafood on ice, roast meats, Peking duck, Western and Asian delicacies, Sushi and Sashimi, Egg Benedict and Foie Gras burger station, while desserts will see brilliantly crafted spooky chocolate cake, pudding and sinfully sweet homemade gelato and ice cream station.

Halloween Chocolate Mousse


Sunday, 28 October 2018
12:00 noon to 3:30 p.m.
Level 6 - The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place

Rp428,000++ per person
Kids under 10 years old dine free with two paying adults
Buffet includes free-flow of iced flavored tea, juices and homemade lemonade.


Halloween Cake

For more information, guest may call (021) 2550 1993 or email to pasola.jakarta@ritzcarlton.com

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Head to The Winter Sun for Your Festive Revelry


With winter just around the corner, those intent on chasing the sunshine can check out Alila's top five ‘Winter Sun Destinations’ around the world, which includes a private island escapade on the Cambodian Riviera. From atop the majestic mountains of Oman, to sailing on the Flores Sea to Raja Ampat, the Alila Experience takes you from resorts to cities in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and Bali Indonesia...

BEST FOR A PRIVATE ISLAND ESCAPE...

ALILA VILLAS KOH RUSSEY, CAMBODIA



Opening this November 2018, on the Cambodian Riviera, Alila Villas Koh Russey is set on its own private island in the Koh Rong archipelago – ideal for an awesome jetaway this winter. Just 20 minutes from tarmac to your private island, this five-star eco resort is set to serve up pristine bays, dramatic peninsulas, white-sand beaches and tropical forestry at a balmy 26 degrees C. The 50-suite, 13-villa hotel has a strong Khmer influence – a clever infusion of contemporary architecture with traditional Cambodian touches and charm.

The Alila Experience will bring forth some exciting activities and new journeys to be explored, with stays in one, two and four - bedroom villas. The little ones can enjoy Play Alila's Kids' Club, while giving families, their own private villa space with a terrace, pool and garden as well as optional Chef and Butler services.

Alila Villas Koh Russey opening rates start from US$375 per night for a stay in the Garden Pavilion, or book the 'Night Three Stay Free' package for a minimum of three nights' stay with the 3rd night on us - includes daily breakfast, return Sihanoukville airport transfers, 30-mins foot reflexology at Spa Alila, and scheduled shuttle boat-service to the island.

This opening package is valid for bookings and stays from 1st November 2018 to 21st April 2019. For further information and reservations please visit alilahotels.com/kohrussey or email kohrussey@alilahotels.com

BEST FOR TWINNING CITY & BEACH BREAKS...

ALILA BANGSAR, MALAYSIA AND ALILA MANGGIS, BALI


Make the best of both worlds with a city and beach break this winter pairing Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Bali, Indonesia. With temperature averaging 27C, start your journey with a stopover in Malaysia to check out the just-opened Alila Bangsar. Elevated above the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan district, Malaysia's 1st Alila is a modern, urban retreat that combines a haven for relaxation with a lively city vibe.

Continue on to the tranquil Bali seaside resort of Alila Manggis, set amidst a coconut grove by the sea. Notorious for being a fashionista's hideaway, the resort is famed for some of the most amazing dive sites to observe manta rays and mola mola at play.

At Alila Bangsar rates start from US$111 per room per night for a Studio room. For further information and to book visit alilahotels.com/bangsar

At Alila Manggis rates start from US$157 per room per night for Superior room. For further information and to book visit alilahotels.com/manggis. All room rates are inclusive of breakfast.

BEST FOR STEEL-ROPE MOUNTAIN TREKKING...

ALILA JABAL AKHDAR, OMAN


With an average temperature of 27C over the winter months and only seven hours from the UK, Oman makes for a great winter-sun mid-haul destination. Perched 2,000 metres above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar overlooks a dramatic gorge, surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the Al Hajar Mountains. Furnished throughout for a stylish at-home feel, Alila Jabal Akhdar offers all the pleasures for the ultimate mountain retreat in winter. Drawing on its dramatic surroundings, Alila Jabal Akhdar offers guests the chance to explore the mountain on the Via-Ferrata – a protected mountain climbing route built to international standards.

Not for the fainthearted, this adventure dares adrenaline lovers to step out onto 20-metre-high ropes and traverse a cave mouth – a thrilling experience which won't be forgotten.

Rates at Alila Jabal Akhdar start from US$493 per room per night for the Mountain View Suite with breakfast. For further information or to book visit alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar

BEST FOR A ROYAL FORTRESS EXPERIENCE...

ALILA FORT BISHANGARH, INDIA


Hidden away in the Aravalli hills in Rajasthan, Alila Fort Bishangarh - a 230-year-old royal fortress is thought to be one of the only warrior forts of its kind to be converted into a hotel of this stature. Jaipur-Bishangarh temperature averages 25C, making it an ideal getaway from Delhi for a change of pace to indulge in timeless wonder. The Fort has a remarkable presence, sitting up high on a granite hill with staggering 360-degree views of the Rajasthani landscape, surrounded by hills and dotted with havelis, villages and temples.

The tiny village of Bishangarh skirts its base and adds to the rural charm. Book an Alila Experience during your stay for cultural excursions to discover Bishangarh.

Rates start from US$260 per room per night for a Heritage Room with breakfast. For further information and to book please visit alilahotels.com/fortbishangarh

BEST FOR A BUCKET-LIST ADVENTURE ON THE HIGH SEAS...

ALILA PURNAMA, INDONESIA


This winter, guests can embark upon a 5 or 6-night journey on-board Alila Purnama, a 46-meter-long Phinisi ship with three decks and five suites. With an average temperature of 31C, it is an ideal time to discover the Raja Ampat Islands one of the last remaining pristine marine environments in the world today. With over 1,600 fish species and over 600 coral species, it is believed that the diversity of marine life in Raja Ampat is the highest recorded on Earth, making for some truly spectacular snorkeling and diving. Whilst sailing through the Raja Ampat waters, guests will have a full itinerary of spectacular diving, island treks and picnics on quiet beaches – making it a truly bucket-list experience.

Rates on-board Alila Purnama start from USD 2,833++ per suite, per night, based on two people sharing on an all- inclusive basis. For further information please visit alilahotels.com/purnama

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Eye on The Tiger



  • We’re pressing shutters, to stop the shutters being pulled down on Wild Tigers 
  • World’s largest photographic exhibition from the world’s leading photographers at the Royal Albert Hall 

A picture speaks a thousand words and if we are to save wild Tigers, we have over 30 of the World’s best photographers speaking eloquently via their cameras in stunning pictures that bring global attention to the biggest Cat of them all.

The beauty and grace of these rare creatures is something to behold in the frozen image. But we don’t want this to be the only lasting record that they ever existed on our precious planet.

Simon Clinton, founder of Save Wild Tigers states that “If no action is taken Wild Tigers could be extinct in just 10 – 20 years. “Eye on the tiger” is set to raise awareness and capture the imagination –this is absolutely an event not to be missed”

Actress and Save Wild Tigers ambassador Jaime Winstone “What an amazing exhibition this will be, can’t wait to see it, such a great cause”



In the heart of London, an event that is the heartbeat of Tiger conservation

The venue is The World Famous Royal Albert Hall, in association with The Eastern & Oriental Express and YTL Hotels.

Mehdi Aoustin-Sellami, Head of Programming, Royal Albert Hall – comments - “We’re delighted to welcome this important and artistically dazzling exhibition to the Hall, its crucial and urgent message delivered by the world’s finest wildlife photographers.”

These passionate and distinguished photographers are lending their talent, time and energy to bring the world’s attention to the plight of wild Tigers and this event is a place where a stand is being taken. In fact, many stands where you can study and admire what we may well be missing if we don’t act now.


The fight to end the wild Tigers’ plight

Wild Tigers are being hunted for their skins, bones and parts by the illegal poaching trade. The illegal trade in endangered species is worth around £12 billion every year. Additionally, the Tigers’ natural habitat is being decimated by greedy developers, which increases the risk of human/animal conflict points.

Clinton comments - “With only 3,800 tigers left in the wild, time is running out to save this majestic species from extinction. Through this stunning exhibition, we want to inspire the public to join us and act to save, surely one of the planets’ most beautiful & captivating species for future generations”.

On-going fragmentation of centuries old habitat is also killing off other rare species like rhinos, elephants, lions and numerous other species at an alarming rate. The wild Tiger has roamed our planet for over 2 million years and its future survival now in the in the balance, is a critical symbol for how we view the future.

Jimmy Choo, Save Wild Tigers ambassador “The Tiger is being pushed closer to extinction due to man`s greed and carelessness. We need to reverse this tragic decline and I am proud to support Save Wild Tigers and to be part of such an inspirational photographic exhibition

The artists

Renowned and award-winning UK & international photographers from around the globe – including USA, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Australia, Russia, Japan, Germany & India - have very generously donated their time and photographic rights to exhibit these beautiful photo`s at ‘eye on the tiger’.

Award-winning National Geographic photographer Steve Winter notes that “over the course of a century, tiger numbers have plummeted from about 100,000 to perhaps 3,800 today. They face a litany of threats, from poaching and the illegal wildlife trade to the pillage of their remaining habitat, conflict with people and disappearing prey. I hope these images inspire people to act. Together, we can insure the long-term survival of one of the planet’s most iconic animals — the largest and most endangered of the world’s big cats.”

International photographers include:
  • Steve Winter (USA) 
  • Michael Nick Nicols (USA) 
  • Anup Shah 
  • SuziEszterhas (USA) 
  • Steve Bloom (UK) 
  • Andy Rouse (UK 
  • Theo Allofs (Germany / USA) 
  • Thorsten Milse (Germany) 
  • Vladimir Cech (Czech Republic) 
  • Iain Green (UK) 
  • Robin Hamilton (UK) 
  • Roger Hooper (UK) 
  • Paul Hilton (Hong Kong / Australia) 
  • E.A.Kuttapan (India) 
  • Misha Masek (Canada) 
  • Baiju Patil 
  • Toshiji Fukuda (Japan) 
  • Nick Garbutt (UK) 
  • Elliott Neep (UK) 
  • Vladimir Medvedev (Russia) 
  • Tony Heald (UK) 
  • Anish Andheria (India) 
  • Mike Birkhead (UK) 
  • Chris Brunskill (UK) 
  • Bjorn Persson (Sweden) 
  • Aditya “Dicky” Singh (India)
  • Shivaram Subramaniam (India) 
  • Kim Sullivan (USA)
  • Jami Tarris (USA)
  • Satyendra Tiwari (India) 
  • Michael Vickers (UK)
  • Theo Webb (UK) 

Renowned photographer Anup Shah comments on how "I am overcome with hope in taking part in this unprecedented international exhibition featuring photographers at the top of their art. I am confident that the exhibition will serve as an ambassador for this most charismatic of all the big cats, intoxicating in its beauty yet facing threats to its very survival in the wild


Support, survive and thrive

Save Wild Tigers motto has never been more pertinent in this singular point in time, because time is running out.

We need to turn the tide of destruction, protect and preserve and keep the dimming light of wild Tigers burning bright in the eye of everyone concerned.

To this end Save Wild Tigers is harnessing marketing & creative thinking to bring sharp focus to the cause. We’re collaborating closely with academic, media, corporate & conservations partners to develop immersive campaigns designed to engage & inspire all stakeholders.

Gary Franklin, Vice President, Trains & Cruises at Belmond comments:

"Following the success of our Eastern & Oriental Tiger Express back in 2014, Belmond is delighted to continue their support of Save Wild Tigers and the Eye of the Tiger exhibition later this year. We are excited to sponsor this London exhibition and we hope that it will raise the awareness and essential funds to work towards ensuring that this beautiful species is saved from extinction.

Make the journey and make a difference

Come by tube, bus, car, taxi, bicycle or on foot. The trip will be worth your while to see a breath- taking exhibition in an awe-inspiring location. You can even buy one of the framed and iconic photos of a rare and majestic creature. Just by attending, the public are showing active support and contributing to protect one of the world’s most revered animals.

Exhibition dates September 18th - October 14th, 2018 at the iconic Royal Albert Hall, (public viewing dates on savewildtigers.org)
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Taman Wantilan: New Design and Concept



Chefs take centre stage for live action cooking against sparkling sea views



In its latest enhancement, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay has relaunched Taman Wantilan restaurant with a new design and concept, which sees the chefs take centre stage with live action cooking against sparkling ocean views.

Setting a new standard in upscale yet relaxed dining, Taman Wantilan emerges from a major renovation with a chic new design that maximizes the views of Jimbaran’s curving 3-mile beach and dusky sunsets. Previously an all-day à la carte venue, the restaurant now offers an impressive array of Asian and Western cuisine at 9 live action stations. Specialty chefs display their craftsmanship at new show kitchens in the middle of the open-air, Balinese-style dining pavilion. Every sense is aroused as the chefs prepare dishes à la minute, using the highest quality ingredients and catering for individual preferences to provide diners with a completely customized experience.



Indian Specialty Chef Anil Naudiyal attracts an audience as he hand-makes naan and fires up the tandoor for succulent lamb chops and kebabs. Every craving is satisfied at the sizzling teppanyaki grill, streetfood-style laksa and noodle station, seafood-on-ice and sashimi bar, salad shaker bar, carvery and homemade pasta station. Save room for dessert by award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Yusuke Aoki (Asia's Best Chef in the Valrhona C3 Competition 2018), whose dainty French-style sweets fill the temperature-controlled Patisserie’s sleek glass cabinets. Children love the gelato and crepe station with dozens of toppings to choose from.



“Bali’s dining scene is constantly innovating and evolving, and we are delighted to be a part of this as we present a world-class dining experience at Taman Wantilan. The new concept offers an endless array of international cuisine, cooked fresh-to-order at the live action stations by our specialty chefs,” said Uday Rao, General Manager of Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. “The setting is elegant and sophisticated, combining contemporary interiors with traditional Balinese architecture, panoramic ocean views and Four Seasons legendary service.”



Taman Wantilan’s upgrade follows a two-year renovation of Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay’s 147 pool villas, relaunched in July 2017 with more spacious interiors, bigger plunge pools and contemporary Balinese decor. The new culinary concept further strengthens the resort’s dining experiences, which also include the renowned Sundara Beach-Club and Restaurant for Modern Asian ‘Customized Dining’ and innovative cocktails; Jala for authentic Balinese cuisine in an intimate, home-style setting; and Pool Terrace Café for Western and Asian favourites.



Taman Wantilan is open daily for breakfast 6.30-11am and dinner 6-10pm. The dinner buffet is priced at Rp695,000++ per person. Non-resident guests are welcome. Room packages that include breakfast are available online at www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mason Takes A Hands-On Approach to Dining in Canggu, Bali


THE beachside village of Canggu, along Bali’s west coast, is now home to Mason—a new restaurant dedicated to the timeless craft of using carefully sourced, quality ingredients to make good food from scratch, by hand.


Mason is the latest offering from Brett Hospitality Group, the team behind the acclaimed debut of Fishbone Local earlier this year. Owners Dominique Brett, Isabella Rowell, Brant Bauer and Ben Cross have welcomed Australian chef Nathan Sasi into the fold, following stints at some of Sydney’s most esteemed eateries like Nomad and Mercado.


Nomad’s kitchen is where Sasi honed his hands-on approach to cooking, exploring ancient processes of pickling, curing and fermenting, and perfecting traditional techniques like cheesemaking and whole-animal butchery. He brings the same artisanal point of view to his new menu at Mason which, like the craft of masonry itself, is squarely focused on creations built from the ground up. Only the finest raw materials are sourced—locally and organically, wherever possible—and a pared-back approach is taken from start to finish, employing ageless cooking methods like smoking and wood-fire grilling to coax maximum flavour from minimal ingredients.


A long afternoon lunch might find the table covered in a variety of snacks ranging from wood-fired flat bread with taramasalata or brown butter and chilli-spiked hummus to snapper croquettes served with tangy lemon mayonnaise or a selection of house-made cheeses and smallgoods from the in-house butcher, such as wagyu beef pastrami, truffled mortadella and Catalan-style chorizo.


Dinner, meanwhile, might see more substantial starters like spiced calamari with romesco and radicchio or fried cauliflower paired with pine nuts and pomegranate followed by mains along the lines of wood-fired fillets of barramundi spiced with cardamom and smoked tomato, or slow-cooked lamb shoulder slathered in a classic salsa verde. Simple sides like a salad of chopped broccoli with mint and almonds, or beer-battered onion rings complete the picture, and seasonal tarts and sorbets make for a light, fitting finish.



The handcrafted aesthetic applies as much to the mood of the 100-seat restaurant as it does to the menu. Designer Kelvin Ho has created a minimal, elegant space using concrete, stone, steel and wood—elements that convey relaxed sophistication and allow the open kitchen to be the centre of attention. A hand-chiseled concrete bar makes a handsome addition, as does the terracotta strip that leads the eye across the dining room floor and into an open-air, string-lit courtyard, the perfect spot for a cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail from the concise list of no-nonsense takes on classics like sours, Martinis and Negronis.


It’s a fundamental respect for the art of craft and a hands-on attitude that defines the Mason experience, from the informed and attentive service down to the custom-made glassware and ceramics that grace the tables. Open seven days for both lunch and dinner, it’s a refreshing change of pace in Bali—one that looks to time-honoured techniques of the past for feel and flavour, but rewards the curious and discriminating palates of the here and now.