LOMBOK FOR CHRISTMAS!
It’s our favourite time of the year and the Christmas parties have already started. If you haven’t booked your Christmas holiday on Lombok yet, don’t delay… festive season looks like being a busy time on our beautiful island!
With this special Christmas issue, we feature the best choices of where to celebrate Christmas in Lombok, starting on page 10.
To all our clients and readers around the world, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and all the joys of the season!
To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on http://www.thelombokguide.com/distribution.html or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!
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FESTIVE FEASTS... WHAT’S ON FOR CHRISTMAS!
Christmas is a special time for sharing with family and friends, enjoying great traditional foods and relaxing in comfortable surroundings. In this issue we bring you the best places to celebrate Christmas on Lombok!
Asmara Restaurant is a favourite with both visitors and expats, with many celebrating Christmas together each year.
The popular Christmas Lunch Buffet featuring traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings is on again this year, starting from 12.00 noon on Christmas Day, 25 December.
The carollers were such a hit last year, this year guests will again be entertained by the fabulous Children’s Gospel Choir from Ampenan singing carols to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. There will also be a lucky draw with fun prizes.
Roast Turkey will also be on the specials menu at Asmara for dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, for those who must have turkey but can’t make the brunch.
Christmas at Asmara is very popular and numbers are limited, so tickets should be purchased and paid for a minimum of 3 days in advance to secure your place! Book now on: 693 619
Café Alberto on the beach in Batu Bolong is the perfect place to escape the heat on Christmas Day.
Special for Christmas is Grilled Duck with Honey Sauce and puree for Rp 150,000 ++ per person, or choose from the delicious ala carte menu.
Diners can enjoy free day use of the swimming pool, relax on bean bags on the beach and swim in the ocean out front. Ph: 693 039 or 693 313 to book.
The feast at the Holiday Resort on Christmas Eve is always excellent value and the Christmas Eve Buffet on 24 December looks to be a winner this year too!
The festive buffet includes a huge selection of appetisers and salads, specialties from the chafing dishes, and wonderful desserts prepared by the in-house bakery.
From the Carvery Station, feast on Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and Giblet Gravy, and New Zealand Roast Lamb Leg and all the traditional accompaniments.
While dining, be entertained by live music... bring the family! Phone: 693444 for reservations.
Lotus Bayview, on the beachfront at the Art Markets (Pasar Seni) in Senggigi, is celebrating Christmas with a special Christmas Eve Dinner on 24 December.
Guests can feast on a specially prepared Festive Seafood Buffet featuring the freshest local fish and seafood, while enjoying live entertainment and carolling by a children’s choir.
Catch the festive spirit and enjoy the cool breezes on the beachfront! Bookings recommended: 693758
Puri Mas Boutique Resort in Mangsit is hosting Christmas Dinner at the delightful Ballroom Restaurant overlooking the beachfront on Wednesday, 25 December from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.
Guests can choose from starters such as Roasted Capsicum and Mascarpone Cream Soup or Cold Lobster and Avocado Salad with Brandy Dressing.
Main course features a buffet of Traditional Roast Turkey and Peking Roast Duck with Chestnut, Sage and Onion Stuffing, Sweet Potato Puree, Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto, Brussels Sprouts, Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.
Dessert selections include Home-made Christmas Pudding, Christmas Yule Log or Chocolate Bonbon.
Price is Rp 650,000++/person for three course dinner or special menu items can be ordered separately (ala carte menu is also available).
Guests will be entertained with live music and lots of dancing... everyone is welcome to join in the dancing and fun! Ph: 693 831 to book your table.
Qunci Villas has a well-deserved reputation for quality dining in a fabulous beachfront location. This year the stylish resort presents an elegant Christmas Eve Dinner on 24 December prepared by Executive Chef Frederic Pougault for $50 per person.
Guests will enjoy a choice of appetisers: Scallops and Prawn Gyoza, with Sea Urchin Beurre Blanc, or Korean Yukhoe Beef Carpaccio, or Orange, Pomelo and Seagrape Saffron Salad.
Main course selections include Grilled Veal Rib, Couscous Feta Galette, and Mediterranean Salsa; or Pan Seared Barramundi Fillet with Citrus Fennel Pappardelle, Horseradish Whipped Cream, and Ikura; or Moroccan Vegetarian Tajine.
Choose from Traditional Mocha Yule Log or Qunci Signature Chocolate Molten Cake to finish.
Qunci is sure to be a popular choice for Christmas celebrations, so book early on: 693 800.
Senggigi’s favourite fine dining venue, Square Restaurant, is also offering a special 5 Course Christmas Gourmet Dinner available to diners on both 24 and 25 December.
The 5-course menu created by Executive Chef Made Suyana starts with an amuse bouche of Warm Scallop on Saffron Tomato Jelly with Salsa Verde.
Appetisers include a choice of Pan Fried Goose Liver Foie Gras on Caramelized Pear with Toasted Brioche; or Spiced Mushroom Soup with Duck Rillette and Black Peppered Crème Fraiche; or Poached Prawn on Avocado Coriander Tian.
Break for a refreshing Raspberry Vodka Sorbet and then choose between Char Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Mashed Potato and Rosemary Sauce; or Pan Fried Salmon Fillet on Celeriac Purée with Cherry Tomato Compote and Seafood Bisque Emulsion; or Slow Cooked Turkey Breast and Confit of Turkey Leg Roll with Mashed Sweet Potato and Berry Infused Bigarade Sauce.
For dessert, there is a choice of Pecan Nut Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Ice Cream, Berry Coulis and Chantilly Cream or Christmas Pudding with Tropical Fruit Salad and Brandy Cream Sauce.
Enjoy this luxurious gourmet dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for just Rp 400,000 ++ per person. Bookings are highly recommended on: 6644 888 or 693 688
Laut Biru Café at Sempiak Villas in Selong Belanak is a wonderful option for those celebrating Christmas on the south coast, with special menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day created by Executive Chef, Toni Foerg.
Enjoy a sumptuous Christmas Eve Set Dinner on 24 December, starting with Chilled Eros Mango Gaspacho followed by Small Crab Cakes and Creamy Brûlée with Avocado Salsa; or Fresh Lobster Rocket Salad with Pastry Feuille.
Refresh your palate with Chilli Lemon Sorbet with Mint before choosing from Chef’s Rosado Grilled Australian Beef Fillet with Red Wine Jus and Risotto; or Tiger Prawns Romano with a Creamy Thyme Sauce.
Finish with Threesome of Crème Brûlée, Passion Fruit Mousse and Floated Chocolate Cake for dessert, and assorted home-made cookies
with coffee or tea. Price per person is Rp 325,000.
Christmas Set Dinner on 25 December starts with Fried Samosa and Mango Chutney followed by a choice of Ranch Salad with Anchovy Dressing, Parmesan Cheese, Bacon and Chicken; or Crystal Rolls with Vegetables, Sautéed Rocket, Roasted Cashew and House Dressing.
Mains are a choice of Beef Semur (Lombok Style Stew) with Coconut Rice; or Tiger King Prawns with Sweet Sambal Sauce and Potato Fritters.
For dessert, choose Chocolate Ginger Mousse or Mango Cheesecake, followed by assorted home-made cookies and coffee or tea. Price is Rp 285,000 per person.
For diners not wishing to indulge in the full set dinners, there is a selection of Christmas Sundries available, including: Roast Turkey (Rp 89,000); Roasted Duck Breast Fillet (Rp 98,000), 500g Grilled Marinated Whole Lobster (Rp180,000); 200gr Australian Beef Fillet Bernaise (Rp135,000); Beef Rosalova with Cream Cognac Sauce (Rp125,000); or Marinated Sliced Chicken Fillet (Rp79,000).
Prices are subject to 20% tax and service charge. Bookings are recommended. Ph: 0821 4430 3339. www.sempiakvillas.com
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TIGER AIR DIRECT SINGAPORE – LOMBOK
The much-anticipated Tiger Air direct flights between Lombok and Singapore successfully commenced on Friday, 22 November 2013.
The inaugural Tiger Air flight departed Singapore’s Changi Airport on time and arrived at Lombok International Airport at 13.30, where passengers were greeted with a welcome reception in the VIP Lounge.
126 passengers were onboard the flight, many of them winners in the “Travel Less Ordinary” contest held by Tiger Air, in conjunction with Qunci Villas in Lombok, to launch the flights in Singapore.
Contest entrants had the chance to win return tickets on the inaugural flight and free accommodation at Qunci Villas, as well as complimentary candlelit dinners and spa treatments, and $1000 in cash for travel expenses from Tiger Air.
After being transferred to the hotel, guests were welcomed at Qunci Villas with frangipani leis and treated to a Cocktail Party reception on the resort’s beachfront.
Michelle Ng, from Tiger Air Branding and Marketing, accompanied the group and was enthusiastic in her praise for Lombok as a new destination.
“I’m very surprised by the hospitality!” she told us, “On arrival, we were whisked to the VIP Lounge and greeted by the Vice Governor. Now we are being given a cocktail party by Qunci Villas. Already, we can feel the hospitality and warmth of Lombok”.
“Wow – Qunci is beautiful! This is so much more than we expected!”…
Tiger Air guests
Tiger Air will operate three direct flights between Singapore and Lombok per week – every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – flying Airbus 320 with a capacity for 180 economy seats. Flight time is around 2.5 hours.
“Raw” introductory fares are listed on their website, starting from just Rp 686,000 (one way from Lombok) and SGD 98 (from Singapore) – making Lombok a very affordable holiday for Singaporeans, as well as for travellers connecting from SE Asian and European destinations.
Tiger Air will directly compete on the route against Silk Air, which has operating direct flights between Singapore and Lombok for many years, with five flights per week out of Lombok.
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• Laut Biru Café at Sempiak Villas in Selong Belanak has been busy making changes to their kitchen since the arrival of Executive Chef, Toni Foerg.
Toni is an accomplished Chef and F&B Manager who moved to Lombok after his most recent appointment as Executive Chef at the 5 Star Hotel Waldorf Walliserhof in Saas Fee, Switzerland.
His international experience includes working at a number of restaurants in Europe, including the Michelin star-rated Gourmet Restaurant Baren in Switzerland.
His previous stints in Indonesia have included Food Consultant at The Bridges Restaurant in Ubud and Executive Chef at Hotel Royal Pita Maha in Ubud.
Toni has now brought his skills to Laut Biru Café where he has revamped the kitchen and the menus, and is providing international training to the staff.
Laut Biru Café already has a reputation for excellent food and service, and we are expecting even higher accolades in the future. If you are visiting the south coast, a stop at Laut Biru Café at Sempiak Villas is a must! www.sempiakvillas.com
• It’s not easy to find yoga classes in Lombok, so we’re delighted that Puri Mas Boutique Resort is now offering regular Hatha Yoga classes at their resort in Mangsit.
The classes will be held in their beautiful tranquil yoga garden alongside the herb garden every Wednesday and Saturday from 4.30pm to 6pm.
Price per person is just Rp 50,000 per class. Make a New Year’s resolution and reserve your space now by phoning: (0370) 693 831. www.purimas-lombok.com
Two great offers for coffee lovers from two great coffee venues!
• Cafe Lombi in Senggigi Square is offering a free freshly baked baguette to all customers who purchase a kilo of coffee beans from now until the end of January 2014.
The café has a great selection of different coffee varieties, freshly brewed coffees and home-baked breads… so pick up some coffee beans for your favourite brew at home and a free baguette to go! www.CafeLombi.com
• Lombok Coffee House in the Mataram Mall is already a popular coffee stop during a day of shopping. Specialising in coffees for the connoisseur, Lombok Coffee House sells a huge range of coffee beans and blends, coffee making equipment and supplies, as well as freshly brewed coffees and home-baked goodies.
From now until the end of 2013, customers can choose to upgrade at no additional cost for any choice of single origin bean used for your coffee (usually Rp 3,000 upgrade) plus enjoy a free Belgian waffle with any order of two cups of coffee or more!
Located on the 3rd floor of the Mall (near the entertainment centre), now there’s even more reason to stop in for a coffee break! www.coffeelombok.com
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TIGER AIR LOVES LOMBOK
Lucky Tiger Air contest winners enjoyed free trips to Lombok on the inaugural flight from Singapore, free accommodation at Qunci Villas in Lombok and a special cocktail reception on 22 November 2013.
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HATTEN WINES LAUNCH AT SQUARE RESTAURANT
Well known Bali-based winery, Hatten Wines, held a wine tasting at Square Restaurant in Senggigi on Friday, 22 November 2013, to celebrate the launch of their new 2013 vintage Two Islands Riesling and Chardonnay wines.
Hatten Wines is a Balinese company founded by Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa who was saluted as a wine pioneer in Asia, for producing the Hatten Wines and Two Islands ranges, by a panel of judges at the “Wine for Asia Awards” in 2011.
The Two Islands range is a collection of wines originating from the wine region of South Australia. These wines were designed to offer distinct Australian wine characteristics and are a perfect match for local cuisine and our tropical climate.
The brand takes its name from the synergy created between Australia and Bali… using Australian grapes to make wine in Bali.
The major difference in the 2013 vintage is the prime ingredient: the grapes.
In the past, Hatten imported grape juice in barrels from Australian wineries and used this to create the wines in Bali. For the new vintage, the grapes themselves – or rather, the “must” – is being imported.
“Must” is the juice of freshly pressed grapes, prior to fermentation into wine. Must contains various quantities of pulp, skins, stems, and seeds, called “pomace” or “grape solids”. These components, and the time they are allowed to be in contact with the juice, are critical to the final character of the wine.
Once the must has been received in Bali, the fermentation, winemaking, maturation and development of the wine is carried out at Hatten Wine’s state-of-the art winery in Sanur.
We spoke to James Kalleske, Wine Maker at Hatten Wines, who originally hails from the famous Barossa Valley wine-making region in South Australia.
“The 2013 vintage has an improved quality and variability over previous vintages, because we are now sourcing better quality grapes grown in areas that are renowned for that particular variety,” he said. “I am actually lucky enough to be able to make Barossa wines in Bali!”
The 2013 Riesling and Chardonnay wines now on sale have only been in the bottle for around 6 weeks and will continue to develop, but are fine for drinking now.
The Riesling is young but true to its variety – crisp and dry, with fresh spring aromas. Served chilled, it is a good accompaniment to seafood, hors d'oeuvres and cheese dishes.
Two Islands Chardonnay is already a popular wine in Lombok and the 2013 vintage is very quaffable. It is only lightly oaked and has a nice floral bouquet with an easy-drinking style, making it a fine match with poultry, seafood and lightly spiced dishes.
Both wines are very reasonably priced, particularly important in Indonesia where the cost of imported wines is prohibitive.
“You’ll see a big difference later this year in the quality of the reds,” James told us. “Both the Shiraz and the Cabernet Merlot have improved immensely. And hopefully, next year, we will be producing a Sauvignon Blanc, too!”
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MEMANGKEQ (GASING) OPEN TOURNAMENT
From 1 December 2013 until 1 January 2014, visitors to Lombok will have a unique opportunity to witness a traditional tournament taking place in Lendang Luar, just 10 minutes north of Senggigi.
Organised by Remaja Masjid Baiturahman Lendang Luar (Lendang Luar Youth Community) this Memangkeq Tournament showcases the almost forgotten traditional sport of Gasing.
The sport involves specially-made Gasing (which look similar to the spinning tops children play with in the west) – but this is not just a children’s game!
Gasing is a traditional Sasak game that can be played by children or more competitively as a sport by teenagers and adults.
The first player of one group will throw the Gasing to make it spin and then the first player of the opposing team will try to hit that Gasing by throwing his Gasing to spin right on top of the opponent’s Gasing (this action is called Memangkeq).
If the player misses hitting the Gasing, that team loses and it’s game over! The team will then compete against an opposing team.
In a pitched battle, strategy can sometimes mean that all the players manage to land on the right target, in which case the judge will rule on the winner based on which gasing has been spinning for the longest time.
Gasing is unique because it must rely on the strength of the hand, the skill of the player, and strategic planning for hitting the opponent’s Gasing with the right target.
In Lendang Luar, Gasing is played by at least two groups competing; although the rules of the game may vary in different regions in Lombok. One team contains 9 players and 3 substitute players, and all players are required to wear traditional costume when playing.
Even the shapes of the Gasing are important and come in many different forms, from the ordinary into extraordinary. They can be made from wood or sometimes terracotta. The villagers in Lendang Luar have created many shapes ranging from oval, round, tear-drop and flat (plate shaped). Some of the Gasing are also made using a little round bullet shape underneath (on the tip) so that it can rotate smoothly and for longer.
This tournament has been organized by the community to celebrate the New Year and to introduce traditional Sasak games to the tourists.
The community are keen to keep this traditional game alive amongst the new generation of Sasak youth, as it was once a major tournament which was played yearly during the Lumdum Sari Empire at Bentek, in North Lombok, near Pusuk.
They also aim to attract interest to the Lendang Luar area, which is located 7km north of Senggigi, just past Mangsit and Klui (Living Asia Resort, Hotel Bulan Baru and Ebano R & R are all located in Lendang Luar).
The tournament will include participants from different villages in the North Lombok region, with a total of around 30 groups competing over the next month. The group plan to hold the tournament every year.
The winning team will receive the annual trophy, while finals winners will share in small cash prizes.
The group also plans to produce video CD’s of the tournaments that can be purchased at the event as a gift or memento of your stay in Lombok.
When: now until 1 January 2014
Time: every day 2pm – 6pm
Where: Across the road from Ebano R & R on the main road in Lendang Luar
All welcome – bring your camera!
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IN GOOD TASTE…
Welcome to Lombok! As an expat working here in Lombok, I want to share with all our valuable visitors a few of the recipes that you will try around our lovely island, so hopefully you can take more than just a great memory home and show your friends that – apart from beautiful scenery, sexy beaches, amazing weather and friendly people – we have some exquisite food available in our restaurants here and Lombok people do take their food seriously!
Good day all and welcome to paradise! Well, we are all gearing up for the Christmas / New Year Season on the Gili’s and the weather remains beautiful.
It’s amazing to watch the rain falling over Lombok and Bali from under the sunny skies on Trawangan… I cannot get enough of it!
As it is the holiday season, I wanted to do a simple Christmas recipe we are looking to put on our menu at The Terminal Restaurant. It’s a very simple Banana and Baileys Irish Cream Trifle.
Bananas are in season on Lombok all year round, chocolate brownies are simple to make, and who doesn’t love Baileys?! This recipe is a great dessert idea for Christmas feasts…Selamat Makan!
BANANA AND BAILEYS IRISH CREAM TRIFLE
by Bryce Adamson, Manager and Executive Chef at Gili T Resort
300g extra-thick Double Cream
7 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
6 Chocolate Brownies (about 250g), broken up (or use crumbled chocolate biscuits or store-bought chocolate cake)
3 Bananas, sliced
500g Vanilla Custard
6 tbsp Toffee Sauce (can substitute Caramel Sauce)
25g Chocolate, grated
1) Mix the cream with 1 tablespoon of Baileys and set aside.
2) Divide the brownie pieces between 6 glasses (cocktail or fancy glasses look great), and then drizzle each with 1 tbsp Baileys.
3) Top with the sliced bananas, then custard and the cream mixed with Baileys, dividing equally.
4) Drizzle toffee or caramel sauce over the top and finish with grated chocolate.
These can be made a few hours ahead and stored in the fridge to set. Fantastic if you top with whipped cream and decorate with fresh berries… be creative!
As always if you don’t want to make it, or if you want a good reason to escape to Paradise (Gili T), come visit us at The Terminal Restaurant where I’ll be happy to make it for you with my team!
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HAVE A GILI LITTLE CHRISTMAS!
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, the dazzling white sand beaches of the Gilis could be mistaken for snow, but you won’t find stodgy cold-weather fare at the islands’ top restaurants and resorts!
Gili Meno’s most elegant venue, Mahamaya Boutique Resort, celebrates the festive season with Christmas Eve Gala Dinner by candle-light on the Mahamaya beachfront.
Enjoy an Apéritif of Sparkling Chilean “Unduragga Brut” and start your gourmet meal with Seared Scallops with Pea and Mint Puree; followed by Roast Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with homemade bread.
For main course, choose between Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Yorkshire Pudding with Steamed Vegetables and Homemade Gravy; or Seared Salmon with Sautéed Spinach and Wild Mushrooms, served with Mashed Potatoes and White Wine Sauce.
Finish with MAHAMAYA Chocolate Fondant with Homemade Ice Cream
and coffee or tea.
Price is Rp 850,000 per person (and already includes 21% tax and service charge). Reserve your beachfront table now on 0888 715 5828.
Hotel Vila Ombak, celebrates a traditional Christmas Gala Dinner on 24 December from 7pm on the spacious beachfront dining area.
Enjoy a night of entertainment and feasting, with a sumptuous buffet of traditional Christmas fare and festive dishes prepared by their award-winning kitchen team.
Join in the Christmas joy with live music and dancing on the beach under the stars. Ph: 614 2336 for reservations.
Pearl Beach Lounge joins the list of top venues for celebrating Christmas this year, with two special set menus for Christmas Dinner.
Menu 1 starts with Asparagus Soup with Cheese Croutons, followed by Scallop Ragout with Sugar Peas and Cherry Tomatoes. For main course, enjoy Fillet Wellington with Pinot Noir Sauce and Home-made Truffle Gnocchi, and finish with a refreshing Passion Fruit Sorbet. Price is Rp 350,000 per person.
Menu 2 offers diners Saffron Soup with Baby Vegetables, followed by Salad of Marinated Duck and Green Asparagus with Truffle Dressing. For main course, indulge in Lobster and Tenggiri in Chablis Sauce with Vegetable Cake. Finish your meal with Carmelised Apple Tart with Christmas Spices. Price is Rp 420,000 per person.
Phone 0812 3818 2999 now to reserve your table next to the waves!
ko-ko-mo Resort celebrates the season in elegance and style with its Christmas Celebration 2013 available for Christmas Eve dinner (24 December) and lunch and dinner on Christmas Day (25 December)
Dine from a sumptuous 5-course menu which includes complimentary Amuse Bouche and freshly baked bread loaf.
Entrées include a choice of Honey Glazed Duck Breast Salad with honey mustard dressing; or Duet of Grilled Canadian Scallops & Crusted Soft Shell Crab; or Salmon Carpaccio; or a vegetarian option of Stuffed Zucchini and Bell Pepper with Couscous.
Guests have a choice of four main courses: Roast Turkey served with gravy and cranberry sauce; Pan Seared Coral Trout with a shellfish bisque sauce; Grilled Australian Harvey Tenderloin with roasted potatoes; or a vegetarian Saffron Risotto with steamed broccoli and snow peas.
Finish this gourmet repast with Individual Traditional Christmas Pudding
with brandy custard; Lemon Curd Tart with vanilla bean ice cream and candied lemon zest; or Lemon Myrtle Crème Brulee with caramelised sugar and fresh seasonal fruit, together with Italian coffee or a selection of local and imported teas with biscotti.
Celebrate Christmas on the beach under the stars with this delicious menu for Rp 700,000 ++ per person. Reserve your table now on 614 4169.
The Beach House is always a favourite for Christmas. This year the popular resort celebrates Christmas with a fabulous Christmas All Day Buffet available from lunch to dinner at its beachfront restaurant overlooking the ocean.
The Christmas All Day Buffet gives diners the chance to sample all their favourite Christmas fare with Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Sauce, Suckling Pig with Apple Sauce & Gravy, and traditional Baked Ham with Apple Sauce.
Other offerings include Hot and Sour Prawn Soup with Noodles and Thai Herbs, Roasted Garlic Lemon Chicken, Braised Beef with Red Wine Gravy, BBQ Whole Snapper with a Saffron Sauce and large variety of fresh salads and accompaniments.
For dessert, indulge in Christmas Pudding with a Brandy Anglaise, Mango Cheesecake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and
This festive feast is excellent value at Rp 450,000++ per person and is sure to be popular. Book early on: 6142352.
assorted Fruit Platters, together with Italian coffees and a selection of imported teas.
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STYLISH AND ORGANIC… Pearl Beach Lounge
Since it first opened earlier this year, Pearl Beach Lounge on Gili Trawangan has been attracting attention for its distinctive, environmentally pleasing structure.
Constructed mostly from bamboo, the lounge sits on the beachfront just south of Hotel Vila Ombak, and makes a statement with its stylish and organic design. With its flowing roofline, supported by huge bamboo poles, it seems to have risen up out of the sand and taken root on the beach.
Under the shelter of the curved roofs, guests are invited to relax in a variety of settings… at shaded tables for dining or on brightly coloured bean bag lounges lined up metres from the waves for sun lovers.
There’s rarely a time when the bean bags are unoccupied in this idyllic spot, as guests enjoy juices and cocktails with the waves rolling gently onto the shore and fantastic views across the ocean to the other Gilis and Lombok’s mainland.
Across the road from the beach, the kitchen and another dining area carry through the elegant bamboo theme. Further back, a lagoon-shaped swimming pool with waterfall and swim-up bar serves the lovely rooms at Pearl of Trawangan.
While the resort accommodation is managed by Hotel Vila Ombak, Pearl Beach Lounge is a completely independent business, with its own separate management, as well as having a distinctively different approach to food and beverage.
The organic and natural philosophy that is the basis for Pearl Beach Lounge is carried through on all levels – from the use of bamboo, rattan and recycled railroad sleepers in construction and decoration, to the relaxed beach atmosphere, friendly staff and chilled lounge music playing in the background.
And of course, there is the menu, which reflects a fresh, natural and – where possible – organic approach to island dining.
The kitchen is western-managed with strong roots in nutrition and healthy eating, but that isn’t to say guests are limited in dining choices. Rather, the philosophy embraces popular dishes with a healthy twist.
The Tapas menu, which is perfect for grazing at any time of the day, features delicious choices such as Tiger Prawns in Coconut with Sweet Chili Dip, Cucumber Mint Raita and Mango-Chili Jam; Corn Fritters with Guacamole, Sambal and Garlic Yoghurt; Pita Bread filled with Roast Lamb and Cucumber Raita; and Roasted Beef Short Ribs with Cashew Nuts and Oranges; to name a few.
Appetisers, salads and light meals include such delightful offerings as Roasted Polenta with Balsamic Pears; Tiger Prawn and Avocado Salad; Roasted Duck Salad Vietnamese Style; Rice Paper Rolls filled with Prawns, Rocket Salad and Spinach, or the Vegetarian option, filled with Rocket Salad, Shitake Mushrooms and Bean Curd; and much more.
Burgers and sandwiches are served on home-made baguettes with toppings such as Marinated Beef slices with Salad and Sweet Chili Sauce, or Roasted Chicken on Wholegrain Bread with Basil Cream.
The list of main courses has plenty of variety, and pizzas and pastas are also well represented. It would take a while to sample all the tasty offerings, which include Tenderloin Steak with Baby Potatoes and Bok Choy, served with Spiced Mango Salsa; Stir Fried Chicken with Bamboo Shoots and Cashew Nuts; Scallops roasted with Green Chili Vegetables and served with Cous Cous; and Duck Breast Fillet with Spiced Orange and Star Anise, served with Asparagus and Potato Gratin.
Desserts are equally stylish and include Apple Crumble, Coconut Cheesecake, and Mango Tartlets, as well as a range of home-made ice creams in tempting flavours such as Ferrero Rocher, Snickers, Pistachio and more.
At the moment, home-made breads and ice creams are locally sourced but the kitchen plans to make these products in-house in the coming months.
The mouthwatering menu doesn’t stop at food with the “fresh and natural” theme playing through the large selection of juices, smoothies and cocktails on offer. Try the taste-bud tingling celery, lemon, tomato and Tabasco “Blood Cleanse” or a “Tropical Delight” with mango, passion fruit and lemongrass.
In the evening, claim a lounge as the sun sets and indulge in sensational cocktails such as “Crazy Crush” with Vodka, Melon Liqueur, Basil, Lime
and Sweet & Sour or, my favourite, “Mixed Berry Mojito” with Sparkling Wine, White Rum, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Fresh Lime & Mint.
Pearl Beach Lounge brings to Gili T the same understated elegance as popular beach lounges in Bali. With an on-trend menu, dishes not normally available in Lombok, and competitive pricing; this is a must-try for anyone visiting Gili T… it’s a place you want to return to, again and again!
As one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “On the sign out front, 'we don't use methanol in our drinks' - BONUS!
So the food is absolutely amazingly fresh, tasty and healthy…The service too was top notch. Finish eating - they take your plate. Want a drink, there in 30 seconds. 2nd day here and we plan to come back at least two more times in three days before we leave. You get what you pay for... We got more than that!”
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