Friday, February 3, 2012

Update ON our Radar

executive summary by Darmansjah

Kitchen Inspiration
Singapore, The voice behind foodie blog Kuidaore, Joycelyn Shu, has crossed over to bona fice author with her first book. Nostalgia is the Most Powerful Seasoning. Though she does include a small collection of recipes, along with detailed infromation on each ingredient, the book is more an assortment of essays about why she cooks and a touching ode to her grandmother, who has infused within Shu a great love for slow food; “the progression, the methodical addition of individual ingredients”-all by hand. That’s what we call home cooking

Raising The Roof
Shanghai; Two new bars offer fresh perspectives of Shanghai from on high. Crowning the top three floors of Hotel Indigo on the Bund, rustic-chic steakhouse Char (86-21/3302-9995; is delighting gourmands with its Balckmore’s Wagyu and banana cheesecake. But ofr Shanghai on plate, step out onto the 30th-floor roof terrace. Sitting directly above the Huangpu River, it encompasses a startling panorama of the city’s signature buildings, accompanied by an equally inspired wine list Farther up the Bund, what Shook! (86-21/2329-8522; lacks in altitude it makes up for in heritage. The pan-Asian restaurant and bar sits atop the six-story Swatch Art Peace Hotel, formely the Palace Hotel. Climb the antique staircase to drink in river views from the alfresco rooftop lounge. The Upwardly moble can puff in the cigar lounge housed in the heritage cupola, or choose a bottle from Shook! Rare vertical Bordeaux collections from 1945.

In A Leather
Hongkong,; Male grooming has a new home with the opening of the first Hong Kong branch of London’s Gentlemen’s Tonic (B47, The Landmark 15 Queens Rd.,Central 852/2525-2455;gentlemens this trim little salon, tucked away below The Landmark shopping center, offers touch of British suavity and a host of feel-good, masculine inspired treatments from massages and facials to beard scupting. Dressed in muted white and black, the new salaon makes up in service and diversity of treatments what it lacks in cigars and smokingjacket decor. Try the Hemingway (Us$230), a package that includes a steam facial and back massage as well as Bloody mary; or slip in for a quick we shave, conducted in chic private suites.

Right On Track
Beijing; The Beijing South train station might resemble a sleek new airport terminal, but the new high-speed train that departs throughout the day to Shanghai hardly resembles a cramped airplane cabin. Instead, passengers get higher ceilings, more legroom, bigger windows, and scenery to enjoy. The latter, of course, goes by rather quickly as the train travels at around 300 kilometers per hour, cutting the nearly 1,320-meter ride to under five hours-as fast as a flight if you add in check-in and airport travel times. VIP seats even get one side of the cabin all to themselves, plus pampering by uniformed attendants. Who needs a plane?

All Well And Good
Java.; Ringed by volcanic peaks in the lush highlands of Central Java, the Losari Spa Retreat&Coffee Plantation (Magelang; 62-298/596-333;, a colletion of antique joglo houses set around a colonial era planter’s mansion, has never been short on allure. Come November, though, the  24-hectare property plans to recast it self as a package-only wellness retreat-which sould come as good newa to the holistic-minded traveler. The landscape alone, says manager Bryan Hoare, offers an excellent environment for healing. But it is Losari’s well-being and fitness.

Under The Volcanoes
Losari’s colonial-era planter’s mansion., left Right yoga on the retreat’s grounds programs-pencak silat calsses, detox regimens, spiritual counseling, sessions with the resident yoga master-that are designed to bring the most benefit. The cuisine here, naturally, emphasizes organidc produce, and activities range from mountain biking and jungle trekking to turns in the spa’x hamman bath. For guests in search of something further to meditate upon, Borobuder temple, the world’s largest Budhist monument, is a scenic two-hour drive away.

Utopia Re-Visited
Tasmania,; A touring exhibit from the Melbourne-based group Experimental Media Arts, “Utopia Now” (, inhabits hobart’s Museum of New and Old Art ( from August 5 to October 3. the group, established in 1986, aims to drive the development of contemporary media art in Australia and overseas, and evidence of that missions is seen in this exhibit’s evocative stills and video works. Melbourne artis Kit Wise’s 2009 Xanadu conjures a disquieting no-man’s land where Western medieval narrative painting, traditional Janasese ukiyo-e (floating world) landscapes, and sci-fi cinema blur into one another. Humoris evident in works like Germans artis Christian Jankowski’s The Hunt, a video lasting just over a minute in which a man in a grocery store hunts down yogurt and frozen chicken with a kid’s palstic bow and arrow. The venue is nearly as quick as the exhibit. The privately owened underground museum, which opened earlier this year to much fanfare in Australia, hopes to be a kind of subversive “un-museum.” Sitting on a peninsula, it can be reached by fast catamaran from Brooke Street Pier in Hobart.

Tried And True
Japang,; While earthquake related tragedies forced the cancellation of many art exhibits around Japan, the Yokohama Triennale ( will thankfuly, proceed as planned. The event began 10 years ago and has grown in both size and reputation. Never afraid to chanllenge visitors, this time it asks, “How much of the world can we know?” and highlights works referring to the world’s mysteries-an aptheme, perhaps, given nature’s demonstrated upredictability. An image of lightning by Tokyo artis Hiroshi Sugimoto captures electricity tumbling downward like a waterfall againts pitch-black darkness, its beauty captured by technology, but its behavior impossible to predict. The exhibit runs from August 6 at the Yokohama Museum of Art and other nearby venues.

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