Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bali's Dance Classes

They say, “Dancing with the feet is one thing and dancing with the heart is another.” Dance is known to be the most beautiful form of expressing yourself. It is a highly liberating activity and infuses a lot of fun element to an otherwise boring workout schedule. True dancing is not about how well you perform, but is more about how much you enjoy it and feel good about it.

Bali offers a lot of dance classes and workshops which not only teaches how to dance properly but also brings a lot closer to the culture where the dance is originally from. These dance classes will be a refreshing experience for a newbie, and the dance instructors are extremely patient. They will make sure you have a wonderful time and a good insight on the cultural aspects of the dance styles. In case you are a fast learner, they might even let you join their group to perform in front of a real audience on a real stage. Nerves aside, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime unforgettable experience.

Balinese dance is beautiful and unique, and is closely connected to religious rituals. Dancers use all parts of the body, including their faces and eyes. Hand gestures are very important. The “Legong Dance” is one of Bali’s most refined and feminine forms, typically performed by young girls who use intricately choreographed movements, manipulating their bodies, fingers, and faces to accompany music. This dance form traces its origins to the 19th Century. History says that when Prince Sukawati was ill; he had a vivid dream that portrayed two maidens performing this type of Balinese dance to gamelan music. After he recovered, this form of dance became a part of Balinese culture.

Girls from age of five aspire to perform Legong dance, and girls at the age of fourteen usually take retirement from this dance form. The dance performance is usually up to two hours with dancers dressed in silk cloth, blanketed with gold brocade, Jepun flowers, and ornamental gold leaf dripping. Makeup for these dancers display black painted eyebrows, thickly powdered faces with a white dot. 

Balinese dance classes can be seen all over Bali, and they are conducted regularly. You do not have to carry a lot of things to these classes as you will be provided with the sash and sarong. However, for the entire Balinese costume, you need to pay a little more. So, dress up, dance and get yourself clicked. The effort is worth it.

In Hotel Tugu Bali, the Balinese dance class is also available for children. The class is held every Sunday at 3PM. The skilled students will have the chance to perform what they learn in the class on Bale Agung Garuda stage at Hotel Tugu Bali.

Bali also conducts dance classes for Salsa, owing to the popularity and demand. This Latin origins dance is a lively, sensual dance with basic steps that make it easy for beginners to pick up. The basic Salsa dance rhythm consists of taking three steps for every four beats of music. The odd number of steps creates the intrinsic rhythm to the Salsa dancing and ensures that it takes eight beats of music to loop back to a new sequence of steps. You just need to be comfortable with your dance partner and follows the four basic steps of Salsa, which is closed dance position, good posture, hip movement and a fast tempo Salsa song.

The instructors will uncomplainingly guide you through these basics, and you will have the best fun time with your dance partner. They will also explain the meanings behind the individual postures and gestures that comprise the basics of Salsa. It is a wonderful way to expand your knowledge while enjoying a bit of exercise.

In Salsa, the dress requires the dancer to be bright or graphic but with a sense of comfort as things get heated up during the dance. Men usually wear button down shirts with Jeans or Slacks, and women go for club top or cami with skinny jeans. Sleeveless tops and strappy dresses work the best for women on the dance floor. Most important to Salsa dancing are good dance shoes. The suede-bottomed shoes designed for salsa may not be fashionable but are recommended while dancing, as they give you the freedom to move around and prevent slowdown of your movements while dancing.
There are so many Salsa classes in Bali. Private class is the fastest way to learn, while in a group class you can share the lesson with people in the same passion. It will cost around IDR 200,000 – 300,000 per hour lesson. Alternatively, you can go for a free class every week where Salsa party is taking place.

Tango is a vibrant and playful dance from Argentina. It has very rich potential for expression, improvisation and connection, either danced in both modern and traditional styles. In tango, there is a ‘leader’ and ‘follower’. Like the symbols of yin and yang, the roles of leader and follower each have a little of the other within them. Tango is a collaborative process, which encourages the development of sensitivity, clarity, trust and respect. Since this dance form is quite intimate and passionate, it is best to get your beloved on the dance floor to enjoy a romantic time.

It is recommended to wear lose and comfortable clothes as the postures involve a lot of stretching and turning. Men should make sure that the pants do not have a turned up cuff. It is very easy for a stiletto heel to get caught here, and this is one of the few things that can bring both partners crashing to the floor. For the ladies, it is best to wear heels as it lends to the good posture and flexibility of foot movement. Tight skirt at the thigh or knees should be avoided as this will prevent from moving your legs. Since Tango is a great dance form to express yourself on the dance floor, it is recommended that the dresses that you wear should make you feel confident and sensual at the same time. The clothing basically needs to elevate your mood while dancing.

If you are into this type of dance, Tango class is available every Saturday at Trattoria Legian and every Sunday at Zia Hotel Petitenget between 2PM – 5PM. There will be no specific fee to join these classes, but your small donation would be highly appreciated.
This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Divine Italian Taste in the heart of Seminyak

Created by Restaurateur Maurice Terzini, Da Maria is a modern Italian restaurant offering stunning exteriors, great Italian food with diversity in cuisine, good music and wine, and much more. Brainchild of Australian Terzini, this restaurant offers Osteria style. This restaurant is located in the heart of Seminyak with simple and elegant Italian dining options in the tropical settings of Bali. A closer look at the interiors of this restaurant shows the classy work done by Roman architects Lazzarini Pickering.  The theme of this restaurant showcases the Italian style 60’s courtyard restaurants with a touch of modernity that will not date. The restaurant is surrounded by mesmerizing Balinese greenery that hosts passion fruit wines, and rubber trees. The fountain inside the restaurant is Neapolitan icon with Italian touch that provides a refreshing ambience to the guests with the sound of water adding a melancholy touch to the cool surroundings.

The restaurant involved local Balinese craftspeople to do the work thereby ensuring that the work was completed perfectly on time with a big smile on the face of everyone attached to it. Ceiling of the restaurant is amazing with Gio Ponti inspired motifs offering a very graphic roof that essentially ties in the skylight not only the slanted walls towards the side but also the divisions between each room in the restaurant. Terzini and the team proudly refer to the ceiling as ‘Bali’s Sistine Chapel’ due to the splendor associated with it. Another additional concept that is visible and appealing within the restaurant is the pattern of tiles on the fountain and the bars. This concept was extremely tough and was carefully hand painted by these talented local craftspeople in Bali.

Music finds its own identity in Da Maria with a European sophistication as well as House music for holiday people with live DJ shows happening every night post 10:30 pm thereby morphing dinner into dancing towards the end of the night. Da Maria restaurant website guides you to the playlist of everything musical that has been happening here and updates the same on a regular basis. Basically, music, soulful food, and ambience are all clubbed together in this restaurant to provide the guests with an engaging experience that is rare to find. The playlist in Da Maria is mixed by Sydney DJ and event producer from the group called Picnic. Da Maria also plans to host some of the best events in Bali calendar with tie ups with other event groups to provide a unique experience to its patrons in the long run.

Menu in Da Maria is extremely accessible and fun with a simple yet modern approach to classical Italian flavors, and pizza offerings. These pizzas offer Italian touch straight from the region of Naples with lava stone ovens and Neapolitan artisan techniques. Another delightful dish on offer is the traditional Italian Porchetta that is carefully marinated with local herbs and cooked in a precise and slow manner over the coals. Some of the tasty appetizers to look out for include Snapper Crudo presented with tomatoes, Asparagus with touch of anchovy butter, Octopus with red wine vinegar, parsley and overnight cooked beans. Da Maria also has a wood fired grill that offers chilly King prawns, and variety of delightful pasta dishes such as Gnocchi pesto, Oreccheitte. To finish off on a high, Da Maria offers a variety of mouth-watering deserts like Da Maria Tiramisu, Bomboloni.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Spanish Touch at Jimbaran

Akua Bali Restaurant is more than just a restaurant but also a beach club and a lifestyle center that’s set up has been inspired by the amalgamation of the beautiful blues and greens associated with Bali together with the Spanish ideas. This is a place where one would always cherish to see as well as to be seen. You are assured of enjoying great foods as you get the rare opportunity of paddling in the great Jimbaran beach and Kayaking among other beach activities.
There are times that you may just need some bit of inspiration so as to keep going. At Akua Bali, rest assured that you will get the best of the Spanish healthy living concept in the combination of seas sport such as SUP and kayaking together with delicious healthy foods. Paddle more as you worry less thus stimulating your senses at the paddle beach offered by Akua Bali and guided by a team of specialist who have lots of passion and rich experience in water sports. 

The list of the foods found in this restaurant is unending. Other than the food itself being excellent, there is also excellent food service provision. You feel comfortable even before the food has been served courtesy of their customer care experiences staff. Below are just some of the foods they offer.

1.    Chopitos: Must-try Tapas
The Chopitos found in this restaurant are very fresh and well battered thus making Akua to be among the restaurants that offer the best of Chopitos. Chopitos are best enjoyed when fresh. The delicacy is light and slightly crunchy, coming with an aroma that will make you want more of it. If you come from some of the European countries or you are a resident of the inland USA states and you thought what you have been eating are sweet Chopitos, then you have not yet tasted fresh Chopitos.

2.    Gambas al ajillo
Translated Garlic Shrimp in English, Gambas al ajillo is s saucy dish that is made by placing a clove of garlic in each shrimp. It is super delicious. To sauté the dish, why not try it with red peppers and some lemon juice. It can also be taken with suited spinach among other types of bread and rice that are all well prepared to taste in the great Akua Bali Restaurant.

3.    Paella
Paella is among the best natural and healthy foods, prepared by combining meats and vegetables then characteristically being seasoned with saffron. Other spices great Asian spices are added to the Paella in this restaurant thus giving it a sweet aroma and a mouthwatering taste. With onion, garlic and saffron as among the key herbs in the delicacy, you are sure that when eating Paella, you are eating your way to health. Served family styled the way it is done by the Chinese, if you come as a family, you will be served in a round pan and on a round table.

4.    fresh & slim juice
There are a number of fresh fruit juices that you can decide to enjoy at any time of the day. If you want to enjoy that fresh mango or citrus juice for your morning, at Akua Bali Restaurant, be sure you will enjoy the best fresh juice in town.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sanur’s new outlet by Chris Salans

In response to the loyal customer’s demand in Ubud, Spice by the celebrated chef Chris Salans has just announced its new outlet in the epicentre of dining in Sanur. Applying French cooking techniques in the local sourced ingredients, Spice Sanur offers a package of surprising flavours and a culinary experience of Indonesia’s aromatic roots, herbs, and spices. The cuisine encompasses the precious Slipper lobster with curry-leaf butter and tempe, or Snapper carpaccio with tamarind croutons and rujak. As for the interior, the new venue in Sanur is a combination between Indonesian archipelago and contemporary artisan styling. 

Famous as a gastro-bar, Spice is dedicated to provide some of the best drinks in Bali. Creative cocktails are built around fresh ingredients, whole spices, and fine imported spirits. There is also a good selection of wines. Chef Chris Salans will also lend you his expertise to choose the right drink with the food you order. The most distinguishing feature of Spice is the concept of “Open Kitchen” which makes the dining experience a lot more interactive and interesting. The guests are able to enjoy the process where they see Indonesian ingredients picked, cut and mixed into the foods and cocktail. All this embraced with the smart, hospitable service, makes Spice a favoured hangout for hipsters and foodies.   

Credit to Spies Sanur
This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bring Mediterranean atmosphere to Nusa Dua

Offering the finest Mediterranean cuisine, Ole Ole Tapas Bar is the newest additional of culinary optional for people in Nusa Dua area. Within a large lofty space with tiled floors, leatherette chairs and brick walls, it encompasses an authentic European texture. Owing to the famous Mediterranean colour Blue, you will notice that the interiors of this restaurant is charmingly designed in various hues of blue.

All the dishes are highly provoking and very commendable. The most popular are Tapas and Spanish Rice with originally from Valencia, seafood, vegetable and saffron. This dish is extremely flavoursome in itself, but when ordered with the Crispy Pork Belly becomes simply out of the world. Crispy Pork Belly is one of those slow cooker recipes which provides a dash of flavours altogether. While enjoying these dishes, make sure a glass of Sangria is sitting next to the meal to give a punch of Spanish origin. It is a good pick for the wine lovers. Lastly, no meal is considered complete without a dessert. Chocolate con Churros is a hit dessert in Madrid and is an apt end to a Spanish meal. This dessert is normally served with hot chocolate, while the freshly made churros are served in a platter. It is normally a fritter that will make you thirsty, so the Sangria acts as a saviour.

Credit to Ole Ole Tapas Bar
This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Smile for your Buns

Moving its venue to the new hype centre in the Lower Ground of Lippo Mall Kuta, Kukusan Steamed Buns is an alternative place to go for its fluffy and light steamed buns alongside quick bites of Asian street food. The steamed buns come in many innovative fusion fillings, such as Chinese BBQ Marinated Chicken, Seared Fish, Korean Style Spicy Chicken and Beef Rendang. They are also served with caramelised pineapple or banana with whipped cream, making it so stylish for the camera. 

If you are not into buns, you may want to lay your fingers on other distinguished Asian flavours, starting with Citrus Prawn Salad, Thai Fried Rice, Chicken Rice Burger, Japanese Ramen, Spicy Korean Ramen, and Singaporean Fried Noodles. Also don’t forget to taste a small bite inspired by Asian street food like Yakitori, Vegetarian Gyoza, and Thai Fried Spring Rolls.  

On the drinks side, they created the fresh Rantang drinks that are uniquely served in tiffin carrier or tin container to keep them cool. It comes in a simple refreshing selection of flavours, like Lychee, Tropical Fruit and Citrus Gang.

Credit to Kukusan Steamed Buns
This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Following the tradition of afternoon tea

An afternoon tea is as important and enjoyable as a breakfast, lunch or dinner. And what better than to enjoy a well-laid afternoon tea spread while relaxing in the exotic weather of Bali. The Awarta’s Long Table Restaurant allows you to enjoy afternoon tea with your family in outdoor environment or at the classy signature communal table. The Awarta’s Afternoon Tea is a peek into the Peranakan cultural culinary theme of Awarta. The magnificent array of Indonesian-Chinese inspired fresh and hand-crafted snacks along with premium tea selection successfully refreshes and recharges your senses.

The afternoon tea at Awarta comprises of sumptuous dishes like Banana Fritters, Mini Scones (served with jam and cream on the side), Sticky Rice Cake with Javanese Sugar Cream, Pink Pearl Cake, Onde-Onde with Melted Salted Egg, Bakpao with Char Siu Chicken, Cassava Casserol, Chicken Sambal Matah on Sliced Cucumber all organized under the sun. In case you want to enjoy a royal experience, do try out the “Classic Afternoon Tea” which has a distinct royal taste. Enjoy in-house pastry and homemade delicious treats like Valrhona Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Meringue Tart, Earl Grey Creme Brulee, Raspberry Choux au Craquelin. Enjoy a mouthful of assorted cookies such as the double chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and almond cookies. Also choose to indulge in Chicken Croissant Sandwich, Ham & Cheese Sandwich and Spinach Mushroom Quiche.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tummy-full Japanese Treat

Mad Ronin is for those energetic, enthusiastic nocturnal creatures who want to spend their nights eating good food and drinking good beer. Highly inspired by Japanese culture, this place is full of fine Japanese paintings and fixtures. Open for 6 PM to 2 AM, this place is contagiously full of life and vigor. The crowd keeps pouring in more after midnight, so make sure you have booked your seats in case you do not want to get disappointed. Bring your friends along and groove with live music and yummy food.

Famous for its steaming, hot ramen with mouth-licking broths and toppings this place sure fills up the hungry. Roasted, Chicken, legs on Japanese rice, Onsen Eggs on Ramen, Tonkotsu, Tori Momo, Laksa Ramen, Donburi and so many other lip-smacking toppings available just to customize your bowl and hunger. Select from a range of Japanese Craft Beers like Sapporo, Hitachino and Baird Beer or cocktails like Session Ale. Belgian and American beer can also be enjoyed here. This place is very famous for throwing parties and treating friends for no reason. On weekends there are always some offer or the other like a booze free with a ramen bowl, free third ramen bowl with order of 2 ramen bowls or happy hour option. If a fun night is what you are looking for, drop in here and have a tummy-full memorable time.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pairing Your Tea

Afternoon tea gets exciting and irresistible with some fun snacks on the menu. Looking for something to treat your sweet tooth? Something which is sweet, yet comes with a tang of other flavours. What’s cooking today is the very famous “Yorkshire Curd Tart”. This British baked cheesecake is an absolute delight. Curd cheese sweetened with castor sugar, blended with raisins, all ground spice of clove-cinnamon powder, lemon zest and a tinge of rose water is a blast of flavours in the mouth. You could easily pop in 2-3 tarts owing to the amazing taste and perfection with which it is prepared. 

This delightful teatime treat is a warm and delicious pudding which goes very well with tea and sandwiches. You could go for a ham, egg, tuna or turkey sandwich with buttered brown bread and a layer of mayonnaise and some mustard if you prefer. You could also choose form an array of sweet items like Victoria Sponge Scones, Battenberg Cake, Marbled Coffee Cake, Bakewell Tart or the simple, yummy English Muffins. But it is suggested to always try out the item on “What’s Cooking Today” menu as it is the chef’s choice and made with extra care and flawlessness to offer you one hit goody everyday with your tea.

You can always pair your sweet and savoury cravings with a cup of piping, hot, aromatic tea. The range of teas on offer can vary from half a dozen to over a hundred, including some very rare and obscure ones. Some of the common teas on offer are Assam Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong all with a very distinctive taste and aroma. To find out the best grouping of your snacks and tea do refer to the tea pairing attachment because when combined rightly, your afternoon tea experience will be satisfying and fulfilling.
This article is also published at The Leaf Jimbaran Blog