Villa on View.
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Elite Havens villas are synonymous with superb dining, prepared by skilled chefs – many of whom have trained in internationally renowned restaurants. Villa menus include an extensive range of Western and Asian suggestions, and our chefs will also do their best to cater to guests’ special requests. But, of course, every chef has his or her own ‘special’ dishes – the ones that guests ask for again and again. With much coaxing and cajoling, we’ve prised some of these secret recipes from our chefs to share with you here.
In this issue, the outstanding private chef at The Longhouse in Jimbaran reveals how to make one of Indonesia’s most popular dishes. Gado-Gado, with its spicy peanut sauce poured over blanched veggies, is a delicious treat. At the Longhouse, spices are ground and the sauce is made before your eyes at the dining table. Here is the recipe.
The Longhouse Gado-Gado
Special equipment: pestle and mortar/grinding stone. (If not available, you can substitute with a food processor.)
100g spinach, washed and blanched
100g bean sprout, washed and blanched
100g long beans (green beans), cut into 5cm pieces, washed and boiled
1 large fresh tomato, washed and cut into wedges
1 fresh cucumber, washed and cut into half-moons
200g fresh tofu, cut into 2cm cubes and deep fried
4 tbsp sweet soy sauce to serve
Fried shallot to serve
Prawn cracker to serve
400g fried peanuts
4 fresh shallots, peeled and cut in half
4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
2 tsp black soy bean paste (available in Asian Markets)
1 fresh bird eye chili
4 tbsp palm sugar (brown sugar is a substitute)
3 cups water
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
- Peanut sauce: grind peanuts, shallots and garlic in the mortar stone until smooth. Add black soybean paste, chili, palm sugar and grind again very well. Add water little by little continuously until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
2. Toss the vegetables in the peanut sauce and divide onto plates.
3. Serve topped with crisp prawn crackers.
“Go West young man, and into the country”, instructs American author Horace Greeley in his oft-quoted phrase, and on The Island of the Gods, as in The Land of the Brave, once you leave the crowded streets (in this case, those of Kuta and Seminyak) behind and head west, a whole different world is revealed. A more traditional Bali, a picturesque rural scene of gently terraced rice fields, quiet villages, dramatic sea temples clinging to rocky islands and deserted ocean beaches.
Pererenan, to the west of Canggu, is an increasingly popular area for holidaymakers as it’s close enough to Seminyak (10km) for an evening out at one of many gourmet restaurants or for an afternoon shopping trip, but still possesses a serene laid-back village vibe. The beach here, with its rugged rocky outcrops and tidal pools, is undeveloped, except for a couple of local warungs and basic kiosks selling Bintang beer, soft drinks and coconuts. It can be a little stony for swimming – best to stay between the flags at neighbouring surf break, Echo Beach, which is just a couple of hundred metres further along the sand and has a great selection of cosy eateries offering music, beer and sunset seafood barbecues. Villas in and around Pererenan include the gorgeous beachside 4-7 bedroom Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa, ocean-view 6-bedroom Villa Luwih and grand 8-bedroom Villa Manis. Moving slightly further from the beach, among the rippling rice fields are 4-bedroom Villa Hansa, the 6-bedroom Chalina Estate and the 3-bedroom riverside hideaway, Villa Pangi Gita. For a real rural retreat (but still only 12km or so from Seminyak and 4-5km from the ocean) try the chic 5-bedroom Iman Villa or the charming Dutch-colonial-styled 3-bedroom Villa Mako.
Heading further westwards brings you to the peaceful fishing village of Seseh, where narrow country lanes leading to the coast call for leisurely bike rides and afternoon strolls. Farmers work in the rice paddies, children fly kites in the fields and cows take shelter from the midday sun under the shade of mango trees. Those looking for a dreamy, romantic getaway will be enchanted by the 2-bedroomed Villa Belong Dua set in a whimsical walled garden,
With a string of white-sand beaches lining its west coast, Phuket is one of Asia’s top island destinations. Phuket also boasts some great dining, a historic ‘Old Town’ and a world-class yachting scene, but the beaches remain its main attraction.
But Thailand’s largest island has not been without its share of challenges, with unchecked development threatening to harm its natural beauty and environment. Following the Thai coup of May 2014, Phuket became subject to some surprising – yet mostly welcome – initiatives by the military government to clean up its beaches.
In late June 2014, several stretches of sand including Patong Beach, Kamala Beach, Bang Tao Beach and Surin Beach were cleared of rental sunbeds and umbrellas, and all structures built on the sands were removed.
The clear-out was launched to rid the sands of encroachment and illegal profiteering, and the effect was dramatic. The white sands of Patong Beach came back into view, having been covered by several rows of sunbeds across its entire length for many years. The popular beach clubs and dining spots of Surin were forced off the sands, but most remain in business just a few metres back from the beach. The sunset views here, now unobstructed, are better than ever.
Heeding the call of beach-loving visitors wanting a more comfortable day out on the beach, Phuket officials in early 2015 allowed a limited number of rental umbrellas and mats to return. These umbrellas are set up in designated zones and those bringing their own umbrellas are welcome to pitch them in the sands in the same areas. Beach masseuses, snack and drink stands and roving vendors are also given space to operate, ensuring that most beach-goers’ needs and comforts are still catered to without having to leave the sand.
Though it was knocked off the sands, the Phuket beach club scene still thrives, with Catch Beach and Bimi beach clubs serving up fresh cocktails and seafood with a splash of DJ tunes at Surin Beach. Patong and Bang Tao beaches also boast several good seaside dining spots, perfect for enjoying sundowners with those fabulous Andaman sea views.
Xana Beach Club and Bliss Beach Club on Bang Tao hold regular DJ party nights and dining events, and Bliss is also host to a surf and stand-up paddle shop where you can rent boards or sign up for lessons.
Dade Akbar is the creative mind behind ‘Warteg Gourmet’, a project that aims to show that just because street eats are cheap, it doesn’t mean it can’t be presented in an interesting way — and thus, appreciated more.
A warteg is a casual Indonesian food joint where you choose from an array of intensely flavored dishes kept in stainless steel containers in the shop (or cart) window. Traditionally, ingredients are scooped up and unceremoniously dumped on top of a pile of white rice served on a plastic plate. But with Dade’s creative touch, a meal from a warteg that costs 15,000 rupiah (USD $1.20) is presented with the panache you’d expect to find in a fine-dining restaurant.
All photos are from https://instagram.com/warteggourmet/
Sri Lanka’s south coast is home to some of the island’s best restaurants outside of Colombo. Galle is Sri Lanka’s premier tourist town and it is no surprise that this increasingly cosmopolitan hub attracts the most diverse range of eateries. The streets of Galle Fort are lined with restaurants and hole-in-the-wall cafés, and the beautifully renovated Galle Dutch Hospital, a precinct of restaurants and boutiques, is the fort’s newest dining venue. From Galle to Tangalle, here are 6 of the best south coast restaurants in Sri Lanka:
The Tuna & The Crab
This outlet in the Galle Dutch Hospital follows in the footsteps of its popular sister-restaurants Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi in Colombo. This is the place to try succulent export quality Sri Lankan crab doused in beautiful sauces (we love the garlic and chilli), served with local kade paan (bread) and (optional) sticky garlic rice, or the delicately flavoured crab linguine. Also on the menu are steaks and a selection of fresh sushi and sashimi. Bring your own alcohol.
Address: Galle Dutch Hospital, Hospital Street, Galle Fort
A striking coral and lime wall, showcasing the centuries-old heritage of the beautifully restored building in which it stands, backs this open-fronted restaurant in Galle Fort. This is a popular place for a rest stop whilst touring Galle Fort, and the eclectic menu includes Singapore style burgers, table barbeques and sesame crusted tuna salad as well as coffee, beer and juices. Tables spill from the fan-cooled interior onto a convivial courtyard edged by banana plants.
Address: Church Cross Street, Galle Fort
Wijaya Beach Restaurant
This casual beach restaurant on Dalawella’s idyllic beach, 8km east of Galle, is a hot favourite amongst the region’s expats. Families and groups of friends converge here to dine on very reasonably priced seafood, pasta, salads, curries and excellent wood-fired pizzas, all served up in an open-sided pavillion with dashing views of the Indian Ocean. The sandy beach here is kid-friendly and the lagoon-like sea a reliable place for a swim. Sunsets from here are spectacular.
Address: Matara Road, Dalawella
Talpe Beach Club
Talpe Beach Club is another favourite with expat families thanks to its swimming pool, open-plan restaurant and varied menu of international dishes.