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BALI UPDATE #671 - 20 July 2009

Condotels No Longer the Rage in Hawaii. Is Bali Next?
Problems in Hawaii's Condotel Market May Foreshadow Future Problems for Bali.

HonoluluAdvertiser.com reports that the recent sudden downturn in Hawaii's tourism industry has sent shock waves through the condotel sector, outlining a possible future vulnerability for Bali tourism where condotel investments are becoming increasingly popular.
Condotels are tourist accommodations, either developed from scratch or through the conversion of existing hotel properties, in which rooms or suites are sold as condominium units to individual owners. As part of the sales transaction, the condotel units are assigned by their owners to a hospitality management company who market and manage the units as part of a larger holiday hotel.
In Hawaii there are many of an estimated 3,500 Condotel owners that, due to reduced visitors to the island and depressed rentals, now find themselves in negative cash flow situations. Revenues generated through rentals are often insufficient to service mortgages and pay monthly maintenance or membership fees demanded by the management company.
Making matters worse, management companies are claiming "force majeure" demanding higher commission levels from owners on already reduced rental rates. Obviously, those who once had visions of beautiful holidays homes paying handsome dividends are less than pleased.
What does the developments in Hawaii's condotel sector portends for Bali is still unclear. If, however, the Hawaiian experience is any barometer, Bali condotel "owners" might someday expect their profits to be shaved by management companies confronted by a declining market.
Should at some point in the future disputes arise in Bali between foreign owners and local condotel management companies, those disputes may be further exacerbated by foreign owners trying to assert legal rights and privileges under a complex and arguably "pseudo-legal" nominee structures in which title to the property are held by an Indonesian nominee.
Related Article
[Bali Artistic Leader Calls for a Stop to Condotels]


Bali: A 'Heaven' for Money Laundering?
Bank Indonesia Official Points to Bali's Property Sector as Ripe for Potential Abuse by Money Launderers.

Both BisnisBali and the Bali Post carry articles suggesting Bali has earned the dubious distinction of becoming a "heaven" for money launderers.
The Head of the Bali branch of Bank Indonesia, Drs. Viraguna Bagoes Oka, speaking at a meeting on money laundering, said, "the potential (for money laundering) is very high in Bali, especially in light of the high level of investment activity."
The Bank Indonesia official blamed imperfections in current "anti-money laundering" regulations for fostering these activities in the banking, hotel, foreign exchange and property sectors. "Transactions in the property sector are both numerous and large, with participants coming from various places," he explained.
Viraguna called on his colleagues in the banking sector to act firmly in supervising and preventing money laundering in Bali.
He also bemoaned the effects of money laundering on Indonesia's economy, society and law. "I call on banks to obtain detailed information on those making sizeable transactions," he said.
When asked about the modus operandi for money laundering in Bali, Viraguna said tracking such activities is difficult. Such illegal transactions are often broken down into smaller amounts, using a wide number of brokers and nominees. To counteract these problems he called for clear personal identification, ensuring people do not employ two different sets of identity papers.
Separately, the Vice-Chairman of the Law and Enforcement for the Center the Analysis of Financial Transactions (PPATK), Bambang Permantoro, highlighted property transactions as being ripe with opportunity for money laundering activities. To date, PPATK has referred over 700 cases of money laundering to the police for prosecution.
Bambang told the press that while new technology has widened the opportunities for money laundering, that same technology has also opened new avenues for law enforcement officials to track such activities.


Bali Named World's Best Island, Again
Travel + Leisure Magazine's 2009 List of the World's Best Returns Bali to Best Island Slot.

Travel + Leisure Magazine has concluded its annual survey of the discerning travelers who comprise its readership asking them to name their favorite cities, islands, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise ships and even rental car agencies.
Bali: World's Best Island
For many years, Bali consistently ranked as the world's best island in the prestigious poll, slipping momentarily in the 2008 polling to the number two slot. However, the 2009 Travel + Leisure survey has returned Bali to the coveted #1 spot, followed by Galapagos, which displaced Bali in the 2008 rankings.
The World's Best Hotels
In year's past, Bali has secured a number of hotels in the list of the world's best 100 hotels. However, the 2009 survey saw only one Bali property [Ayana Resort and Spa] listed in the "top 100."
The Ayana Resort and Spa is the re-incarnation of the former Ritz-Carlton Bali, Resort & Spa, following a parting of the ways earlier this year between the Indonesian owners and Ritz-Carlton.
In the latest survey, the Ayana Resort & Spa earned the "13th best" in Travel + Leisure's ranking of the "Top 15 Resorts in Asia."
The entire list of the "World's Best" in Travel according to Travel + Leisure [:The World's Best]


Who Speaks for Indonesian Tourism?
Care Tourism Calls for the Department of Culture & Tourism to Appoint an Official Spokesman.

The Chairwoman of the tourism forum CARE Tourism, Wuryastuti Sunario, has called on the Department of Culture and Tourism to appoint an official spokesperson to keep both the general public and tourism circles informed on a number of issues, including the H1N1 Virus.
According to Sunario, "the Department of Culture and Tourism needs a spokesperson to openly explain about H1N1 and other matters that threaten ongoing tourism operations."
Sunario, a retired official of the Department of Culture and Tourism, said her forum had long told the Department to appoint a spokesperson who could collect information from all ministries of the government impacting on tourism. The need for such a role is made even more essential in the absence of the long-promised crisis center. "First, appoint a spokesperson, if we are not yet able to create the crisis center," Sunario insisted.
Quoted in the Bali Post, pointing to the multi-dimensional problems that have plagued Indonesian tourism, ranging from the Bali bombings to the H1N1 virus, Sunario said: "There must be a government body empowered to make statements on H1N1. The Department of Culture and Tourism must be able to provide information to the public and the press, informing on the anticipative steps being taken to prevent the spread of swine flu."
Calling on past experience, Sunario told of how Indonesian tourism was negatively impacted by "bird flu." She warned the same negative effects will be felt due to H1N1, despite the modest growth in national tourism recently achieved by Indonesia.
Pursuing her theme, Sunario continued: "In the Department of Foreign Affairs it is clear that Teuku Faizasyah is the official spokesman. But who speaks for the Department of Culture and Tourism? Is it the Director General of Marketing Sapta Nirwandar or Secretary-General Wardhyatmo? Who has been appointed to the spokesman's role? This must be announced so when something happens, the people and the press can hear what steps are being taken."
Sunario says that the problem of a spokesman cannot be put off indefinitely, particularly in the absence of tourist promotion board or the establishment of a crisis center.
Sunario reminded that any spokesperson eventually appointed to that role should be multi-lingual, have access to government circles and government ministers in order to ensure that the Department of Culture and Tourism is not continually left out of the communication loop on matters affecting national tourism.
Insisting that Indonesia has nothing to fear in providing detailed and accurate information, Sunario said: "Making statements regarding Flu A (H1N1) and mining in West Manggarai at the very time when Indonesia is trying to have the (adjacent) Komodo National Park named one of the world's natural wonders will not detract from Indonesia's image, but will, in fact, have the reverse effect."


Bali's Chief of Police to be Replaced
Inspector General Ashikin to Retire as He is Replaced by Inspector General Drs. Sutrisna from the National Police Headquarters.

Bali's Chief of Police, Inspector General T. Ashikin, is just days away from commencing his retirement and will be replaced by Inspector General Drs. Sutrisna, moving to Bali from his current position as an expert staff of the National Police Chief in Jakarta.
The change of command was confirmed in an letter sent to Bali's police headquarters dated July 14, 2009.
In what is a routine reassignment of senior police personnel a total of 41 police offices are being rotated or retired, ranging in rank from Generals (4 star) to Chief Commissioners.
When, exactly, the handover of command for the Bali police force will occur has yet to be announced.


Bali Seeking Special Autonomy Status?
Bali's Desire to Obtain Special Administrative Status Receives Support from Indonesian House of Representatives.

The Indonesian House of Representative (DPR) has joined the island's governor, Made Mangku Pastika, in calling for the province to be declared a special autonomous regions (Daerah Khusus Indonesia) or a special province (Daerah Istimewa).
Such status, which accords special rights and privileges to the provincial or city government, is currently enjoyed by the capital of Jakarta, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Papua, West Papua and the city of Yogyakarta.
The Deputy Chairman of DPR Commission II. Sayuti Asythri, told the press during a visit in Bali that the change of status for Bali should be seen as "something normal."
Governor Pastika has termed the bestowing of special status for Bali as essential to preserving its unique cultural status and enhancing the island's basic infrastructure.


Is it Time to Rethink Bali's Response to H1N1?
Editorial: The Changing Character of the H1N1 Epidemic Will Compel New Tactics in Confronting the Disease.

Bali's transparency and aggressive steps to thwart the spread of "Swine Flu" or the H1N1 Virus are worthy of praise. From the earliest days of the most recent outbreak in Mexico - Bali, together with the rest of Indonesia, has tried to stem the spread of the disease by establishing screening procedures at international airports and providing free-of-charge medical care at special isolation wards in leading hospitals. Masks are also being issued and special medical containment teams deployed to help fight the plague. At the same time, money and talent are being expended to educate the public about the disease in an effort to prevent widespread panic and maintain normality in the lives of people living in Indonesia.
Change Ahead?
The changing face and character of the H1N1 epidemic, however, may dictate the need for a new response to this global health threat. The decision last week by the World Health Organization (WHO) to no longer publish or minutely track new cases H1N1 cases and the abrupt change from a trickle to a flood of new patients coming to Bali's Sanglah General Hospital every day for treatment, reflects the sad fact that the disease is spreading at an increasingly rapid pace. The Bali hospital's isolation ward is nearly filled to capacity, causing doctors to rightly wonder what they will do when, and no longer if, the number of new cases escalates further.
It now seems inevitable that Bali will be compelled to adopt a medical response resembling that taken by its near neighbor, Australia. In Australia, where confirmed cases of H1N1 now number in the thousands, people suffering from "Swine Flu" are not hospitalized but, instead, told to go home, rest, avoid human contact and take Tamiflu. Australian isolation wards are reserved for treating only those H1N1 cases in which life-threatening complications are also present.
That Indonesia may have to abandon its hospitalization and isolation policy will soon move beyond choice; the carrying capacity of isolation wards are being overwhelmed by new H1N1 cases.
New ways of dealing with this disease are urgently needed. The Country's medical experts must join forces with other sectors of society if Indonesia is to develop a coordinated and genuinely humane response to the changing face of H1N1.
Effective measures to limit the damage inflicted by this disease won't be easy. Creativity, generosity and transparency will form core themes in any intelligent "new" response to "Swine Flu." Those measures will have to contemplate how, in a country where poverty is a fact-of-life for many, to help people stay at home, take their medications and avoid human contact until the infectious period of around 7 days passes. Smart solutions may include means of delivering food and medications without charge to people who would otherwise be compelled to earn a living or make a daily trip to a local marketplace.
Bali, as a leading world tourism destination, will also have to determine how to deal with a tourist confirmed with H1N1. Will hotels in cooperation with the government offer free accommodation during the infectious period? Will each hotel need to set aside a separate wing to house these visitors? Will staff undergo special training and learn to use special equipment to protect themselves and others from contamination while serving ill guests? How will hotels and police deal with infected visitors who stubbornly refuse quarantine?
Clearly, there are tough choices ahead, And, H1N1, as with the remedy for any human tragedy, requires massive dosages of leadership, wise thinking and human compassion.


Jakarta Bombing: The Sounds of Distant Thunder
Bali Goes on High Alert Following Bombings at Jakarta Hotels.

Just before 9 a.m. Bali time on Friday, July 17, 2009, terrorist blasts rocked the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Jakarta and the adjacent Marriott Hotel.
It will be days, and perhaps weeks, before police investigators manage to unravel the mountains of evidence that will eventually expose those responsible for what is widely assumed to be the latest chapter in that ultimate oxymoron – a "holy war."
Gruesome facts are already emerging. We now know that 55 people were injured and at least nine died in the blast. Two of those who died are assumed to be suicide bombers who may have been dispatched from an 18th floor guest room, serving as a terrorism command post, before their final rendezvous with mayhem.
Distance from the blasts dictate that the people of Bali followed events in Jakarta via TV broadcasts and other electronic media. And despite an intervening distance of 1.5 hours away by plane, Bali has taken a number of steps related to the Jakarta bombings, including:
• Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika, the former Police officer credited with resolving the 2002 and 2003 Bali bombings, immediately convened an emergency coordinating meeting with the Udayana IX Military Command, Bali's provincial police, local prosecutors and Bali-based intelligence agencies.
• The island's security status was raise to the highest level of "siaga satu" by the island's Chief of Police, Inspector General T. Ashikin Husein, putting some 12,000 security personal on duty and at the highest state of readiness.
• Bali's sea ports and single airport were tightened up with careful checks introduced for both materials and people traveling to the island.
• Within minutes of the blasts in Jakarta, the Bali Hotel Association (BHA) told its members to raise their security levels to "red" – bringing pre-existing security screens and surveillance procedures to their highest level.
• Within hours of the Jakarta attack, members of the BHA met with the Chief of Police to enhance coordination with the security forces. During that meeting, the Chief of Police indicated that no credible threat to Bali's security had been detected at this time, but, in response to the Jakarta attacks, the island was now on "high alert."
• Hotel, restaurant and travel agency staff have been briefed by their respective stakeholder organizations to remain calm and focus on the comfort and safety of island visitors, avoiding speculation and rumors in connection with the Jakarta attacks.
• A check of several hotels and the Bali airport do not provide proof of any mass exodus of visitors following the Jakarta bombings.
• The Governor's office has issued written instructions to mayors and regency heads, ordering heightened security measures and complete cooperation with the police in introducing security checks in every district of the province.
• The regional administration is moving "full ahead" with plans to enhance security measures by a self-imposed August deadlines that will see 33 emergency service units distributed across the island, the installation of 1,000 closed circuit TV and the operation of a crisis center charged with crisis management for Bali.


Yak Awards 2009
Bali's Leading Style and Life-Style Magazine Holds its Annual Awards Party.

Bali's leading style and life-style magazine "The Yak" held what has become one of the island's leading social events of the year - The Yak Awards - on Saturday, July 18, 2009, at the Sentosa Private Villas and Spa, in the Pettitenget area of Seminyak.
After guests passed an extremely thorough security screening at the gateway to the complex and again at the actual entrance to the venue, the evening sparkled with many guests dressed in "psychedelic chic," body painters, Playboy bunnies, and live musical and dance performances. Copious quantities of quality wine and drinks, delicious canapιs and a fresh oyster bar - all flowed in defiant rebuttal to any suggestion that Bali may be running short of imported food and drink.
Punctuated by a live dance performance by Bali's premier contemporary dancer, Nyoman Sura, the main business of the night was the presentation of the 2009 Yak Awards.

And the Winners are . . .
The Winners of this years Yak Awards were:
• Best Newcomer: St Regis Bali
• Best Retail Space: Quarzia, Oberoi
• Bar of the Year: The Living Room
• Best Villa: Villa Bali Asri, Seminyak
• Best Spa: Como Shambhala
• Best Resort: The Bale
• Best Sunset Venue: Frangipani Lounge at La Lucciola
• Best DJ: Nina
• Yak Man of the Year: Michael Franti, Ubud
• Yak Woman of the Year: Rosalina Norita, Bali Creative Community
• Fashion Designer of the Year: Putri Mertaningsih N., Dinda Rella
• Chef of the Year: Oscar Perez, St Regis Bali
• Ad Campaign of the Year: Envy at Holiday Inn Baruna
• Best Community Services Award: Eco Bali Recycling Program, Bpk. Ketut Mertaadi
• Best Event: Earth Day
• Outstanding Achievement Award: Aldo Landwehr, Designer/Architect (Awarded Posthumously)
Shown on balidiscovery.com are some pictures from the gala cocktail party held at the 2009 Yak Awards.
Related Article
[Yak Awards 2008]


Sanur Village Festival 2009: August 12 – 16, 2009
Plans Taking Shape for a Memorable Four Days of Village Celebrations in Bali's Oldest Tourism Community of Sanur.

Bali's 4th Sanur Village Festival August 12-16, 2009, is shaping up to be bigger and better, inspired by its declared theme of "Life Marine."
This year's event will be centered on a new four-hectare beachside venue on Jalan Mertasari to accommodate a full range of entertainment, culinary and other events.
Cultural and Water-based Activities
Cultural activities will continue to dominate this year's festival via a series of traditional arts performances, parades, live music, water sports and a non-stop food festival. Included in the celebration this August will be a numerouus sub-aqua events aimed at protecting and preserving Bali's coral reef.
Culinary Temptations
A total of thirty booths will participate in this year's 4th Sanur Village Festival presenting the wide range of food and drink available to Sanur visitors throughout the year. And, as in past years, prizes will be awarded to the booth presenting the best food with the best booth decoration.
Celebrating the Arts
Sanur has always been a preferred "home" for Bali's artists, both of the local and imported variety. In recognition of this fact, an extensive arts program will celebrate the best of local paintings and sculptures through a series of exhibitions and street-art presentations.
Sports Activities
Also on tap for this year's Sanur Village Festival will be a full schedule of sporting events. Sporting enthusiasts will have the chance to watch the Asian Beach Rugby Championship, street ball and a new event – the Sanur Quadrathon comprised of cycling, running, swimming and canoeing.
[2009 Sanur Festival Website]


EU Lifts Ban on Four Indonesian Airlines
EU Ends 2 Year Blacklisting of Indonesian Aviation Opening Way for European Flights by Indonesian Airlines. Europeans Travelers No Longer Discouraged from Flying Domestic Carriers.

The prestigious Indonesia Digest published by Wuryastuti Sanario reports:
On 15 July 2009 EU officially lifted its ban on 4 from 51 Indonesian airlines from flying to and from Europe which the Union imposed in July 2007.
Although Garuda Indonesia had suspended its flights to Europe before that, the ban has practically affected not only the trust and image of Indonesia's airlines safety but has stopped European tour operators from selling tours to Indonesian domestic destinations served by Indonesian carriers because of the lack of insurance coverage. With the lifting of the ban, European Tour operators may now resume selling destinations served by Garuda and Mandala airlines on connecting flight from Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta or Bali to Semarang, Lombok, Medan, Padang, Makassar, Moluccas and other preferred destinations.
In a press conference held by the Minister of Transportation, Jusman Syafii Jamil and EU Ambassador Julian Wilson, the Minister said that EU has assured that the ban on other airlines will be lifted after re-certification to obtain the AOC (air operator certificate) as stipulated by Law No. 1/2009 on Air Transportation.
In July 2007 EU banned all Indonesian airlines from flying to Europe in the wake of a slew of air accidents. In two years Indonesia has made large strides in correcting the 121 findings by ICAO in 2007, said the Minister. The new Air Transportation Law strengthens the role of the government in regulating air transportation.
“It has been confirmed that Indonesia has made a great achievement by improving its air safety. I think at least two more airlines will be removed from the EU ban in the near future. Very possibly, [they will be] Lion Air and Air Asia Indonesia," Wilson told The Jakarta Post in a prior interview.
He said the EU would consider taking other Indonesian airlines off the list when the Indonesian directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) recertified them.
The four airlines immediately released from the ban are: Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, Airfast and Premi Air. Garuda Indonesia and Mandala are scheduled airlines, while Airfast and Premi Air are charter operators. This does not mean that other Indonesian airlines are not safe, assured Minister Syafii.
Following the lifting of the ban, Garuda Indonesia plans to fly to Amsterdam via Dubai before the end of the year using A330-200 aircrafts, said Garuda President Director, Emirsyah Satar. Further on, the airline plans to expand its Europe routes to London and Frankfurt.
Meanwhile, Mandala Airlines President Director, Diono Nurjadin said that his company has as yet no plans to fly to Europe but will focus on serving European travellers to Indonesia through interline connections.
Since the ban, a number of favoured Indonesian tourist destinations, such as the Moluccas, Lombok, on Kalimantan, Java and Sulawesi not directly served by other international airlines have suffered a dearth of tourists since European tourists on package tours have stopped coming there. Compared to tourists from Asia who stay in Indonesia for a maximum one week, Europeans used to stay more than one month travelling across the archipelago.
Four airlines likely to be lifted from the ban soon are: Lion Air, Batavia Air, Sriiiwijaya Air and Indonesia AirAsia.


New Director of Sales & Marketing for Westin, Nusa Dua
Jason Leung Head Sales at Westin Resort, Nusa Dua.

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali have appointed Jason Leung as Director of Sales and Marketing. Responsible for meetings, incentives, conferences & events (MICE) as well the leisure market segment for the 342-room resort as well as Bali's largest conference facility, the Bali International Convention Center.
Prior to joining The Westin, Jason was Director of Sales for MICE at the Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia. His resume contains a number of strategic roles within the hospitality industry, including a four-year stint as Business Development Manager for the MICE Market at Star City Hotel and Apartments. Prior to that, he was the Business Development Manager for the Australian Technology Park Conference Center for three years.
Leung told balidiscovery.com: "I am excited to join The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali and am personally looking forward to sharing the uniqueness of the Westin Brand with our partners globally. Westin has always been an innovative brand, with fresh new initiatives that help guests feel their best. I am passionate about how the brand is focused on inspiring guest programmes that encourages wellness through travel." Adding, "I am confident that the resort itself, which is along side the Convention Centre and located right on the tranquil Nusa Dua beach, is an exceptional product that will continue to satisfy both, our Leisure and Meetings guests."


Garuda : No Thanks Linus Airways and Star Air
Lion Airways and Star Air No Longer Attractive as Acquisition Targets for Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia has abandoned plans to acquire either Linus Airways or Star Air following the formal revocation on July 26, 2008, of the operating licenses of the two air carriers by the Indonesian Department of Civil Aviation.
The CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar, said any thoughts of acquiring Linus Airways disapeared when that airline's route permits were recently yanked by the government. Emirsyah commented: "Linus acquisition is cancelled. Their licenses are revoked, why would Garuda want to acquire them?"
According to Bisnis Indonesia, Garuda was considering a 100% purchase of the shares of Linus or Star Air as a means to pave the way for a fast track acquisition of needed operating permits and licenses for Garuda's low-cost subsidiary Citilink.
Related Article
[ Garuda Finalizing Acquisition of Star Air ]


Currying Your Flavor in Bali
Three Outstanding Queen's Indian Restaurants Awaiting Bali Visitors.

Kuta offers three excellent dining options for Bali visitors hankering for a lunch or dinner of quality Indian cuisine. All operated under the "Queen's" brand, the three Bali eateries form part of a chain of company-owned and franchised restaurants operated by "Queen's" in Jakarta, Singapore, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
The Bali restaurants provide a superlative range of Indian cuisine available for enjoyment at any of the three addresses or also available for home delivery. The newest Queen's of India, located in front of the Bali Dynasty Resort, also offers a separate private dining-meeting facility on its second floor.
At a special press briefing held at his new restaurant, Mr. Puneet Malhotra, the manager of the popular group of Indian restaurants, said that the consistent flow of loyal customers over times in which Bali was both booming and not, provided the incentive to take the calculated business risk of expanding the Queen's Bali business base. And, the simple fact that reservations are generally recommended for evening dining at the Queen's Tandoor or Queen's of India is vindication of both the excellent quality of food served and the business acumen of Mr. Puneet.
The third star in Queen's crown of Bali restaurants is the more relaxed "Indian Fast Food" dining option - Queen's Tandor Indian Xpress, now in operation at the Seaside Food Court on Jalan Pantai Kuta.
Queen's Indian Restaurants in Bali
• Queen's Tandoor - Jl. Raya Seminyak No. 73 (Gallery Seminyak), Kuta, Bali. Telephone ++62-(0)361-732770
• Queen's of India - Bali Dynasty Resort, Jalan Kartika Plaza, Tubam, South Kuta, Bali. Telephone ++62(0)361-765988
• Queen's Tandoor Indian Xpress - Seaside Food Court, Jalan Pantai Kuta, Kuta.
[Queen's Tandoor Website]


Burgers That Make Bali Visitors say ' Wah'
WWW - Wah Wah Gourmet Burgers. Hamburgers as an Art Form.

I have to admit I was skeptical. I had heard rumors of legendary hamburgers. "Zero-fat" gourmet burgers being served near Seminyak beach. The J. Wellington Wimpy in me mumbled, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today," as I ventured into the seductively-lit WWW – Wah Wah Gourmet Burger Wine Bar located on Jalan Laksamana in Seminyak, roughly across the street from The Legian.
In keeping with a restaurant that coniders burgers an "art form," every wall of this elegant road-side restraurant is covered with bold and striking beautiful paintings done by Mr. Wah - the same man who also composes the hamburgers I came to sample .
I was expertly guided by my "hamburger helper" - a waiter named Dewa from Jimbaran, who explained a menu that offered an eight-course tasting menu, exotic cocktails and fine wines. Relaxing with a pre-dinner drink, the amiable Mr. Wah suddenyl arrived to introduce himself.
After that meeting, I am unsure if the 62-year-old Shanghai-born artist's real name is "Wah" or merely a moniker that stuck after some many people exclaimed "Wah" after meeting this remarkable man.
To say that an artist is a person of conviction and passion is to perhaps state the obvious. But, in truth, Wah is both these things. The Son of two Chinese "Foodies" who could fondly remenise at length about great meals enjoyed years before, Wah left China as a well-fed young man to spend nearly three decades in London working as a part-time chef and full time member of the fashion industry. Wah told me of a 38 year-old Son who "loves to sing" and another Son, just four-years-old and waiting upstairs for his evening burger, suggesting that Wah's passions have operated on a number of levels during the course of a interesting life's journey.
The Burgers
Over dinner, Wah shared his uncompromising views on the absolute necessity of using only the very finest ingredients in creating burgers that can include slices of Foie Gras, Wagyu tenderlon, quality cheese, procini mushrooms and organic rocket. Defying the widely-held view that "the taste of a hamburger is in the fat," Wah assidiously cuts away all extraneous fat from the Wagyu tenderloin that he chops for his signature burgers.
Later, any hubris I felt for dining on a low-cholesteral plate of four different gourmet burgers got put to shame by my unabashed enjoyment of choclate truffels presented on Chinese soup spoons containing small ponds of Absolut Vodka.
Purist who insist that burgers must be served with fries, have the choice at Wah of mashed or friend potatoe sections, the latter served with a side of salt, pepper and truffle oil.
The price? Well, let's just say that Wah bears no resemblence to MacDonalds in either product or price. Wah makes no apologies for this. He persuasively argues that the quality of ingredients used results in low-profit margins for the owner and high-value meals for his diners.
My dining experience and the satisfied oohs, aahs and, yes, "wahs" sounding from adjoining tables of diners lends credence to Wah's claims.
The hamburger as an art form?
Tasting is believing at
WWW – Wah Wah Gourmet Burger
11A Jalan Laksamana – Seminyak, Bali.
Telp++62-(0)361-736585.


 
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Bali Update #671
July 20, 2009

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July 13, 2009

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July 06, 2009

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April 27, 2009

Bali Update #658
April 20, 2009

Bali Update #657
April 13, 2009

Bali Update #656
April 06, 2009

Bali Update #655
March 30, 2009

Bali Update #654
March 21, 2009

Bali Update #653
March 14, 2009

Bali Update #652
March 07, 2009

Bali Update #651
February 28, 2009

Bali Update #650
February 21, 2009

Bali Update #649
February 14, 2009

Bali Update #648
February 7, 2009

Bali Update #647
January 31, 2009

Bali Update #646
January 26, 2009

Bali Update #645
January 19, 2009

Bali Update #644
January 12, 2009

Bali Update #643
December 29, 2008

Bali Update #642
December 29, 2008

Bali Update #640
December 15, 2008

Bali Update #639
December 08, 2008

Bali Update #638
December 01, 2008

Bali Update #637
November 24, 2008

Bali Update #636
November 17, 2008

Bali Update #635
November 10, 2008

Bali Update #634
November 03, 2008

Bali Update #633
October 27, 2008

Bali Update #632
October 20, 2008

Bali Update #631
October 13, 2008

Bali Update #630
October 06, 2008

Bali Update #629
September 29, 2008

Bali Update #628
September 22, 2008

Bali Update #627
September 15, 2008

Bali Update #626
September 08, 2008

Bali Update #625
September 01, 2008

Bali Update #624
August 25, 2008

Bali Update #623
August 18, 2008

Bali Update #622
August 11, 2008

Bali Update #621
August 04, 2008

Bali Update #620
July 28, 2008

Bali Update #619
July 21, 2008

Bali Update #618
July 14, 2008

Bali Update #617
July 07, 2008

Bali Update #616
June 30, 2008

Bali Update #615
June 23, 2008

Bali Update #614
June 16, 2008

Bali Update #613
June 09, 2008

Bali Update #612
June 02, 2008

Bali Update #611
May 26, 2008

Bali Update #610
May 19, 2008

Bali Update #609
May 12, 2008

Bali Update #608
May 05, 2008

Bali Update #607
April 28, 2008

Bali Update #606
April 21, 2008

Bali Update #605
April 14, 2008

Bali Update #604
April 07, 2008

Bali Update #603
March 31, 2008

Bali Update #602
March 10, 2008

Bali Update #599
March 03, 2008

Bali Update #598
February 25, 2008

Bali Update #597
February 18, 2008

Bali Update #596
February 11, 2008

Bali Update #595
February 04, 2008

Bali Update #594
January 28, 2008

Bali Update #593
January 21, 2008

Bali Update #592
January 14, 2008

Bali Update #591
January 07, 2008

Bali Update #590
December 31, 2007

Bali Update #589
December 24, 2007

Bali Update #588
December 17, 2007

Bali Update #587
December 10, 2007

Bali Update #586
December 03, 2007

Bali Update #585
November 26, 2007

Bali Update #584
November 19, 2007

Bali Update #583
November 12, 2007

Bali Update #582
November 05, 2007

Bali Update #581
October 29, 2007

Bali Update #580
October 22, 2007

Bali Update #579
October 15, 2007

Bali Update #578
October 08, 2007

Bali Update #577
October 01, 2007

Bali Update #576
September 24, 2007

Bali Update #575
September 17, 2007

Bali Update #574
September 10, 2007

Bali Update #573
September 03, 2007

Bali Update #572
August 27, 2007

Bali Update #571
August 20, 2007

Bali Update #570
August 13, 2007

Bali Update #569
August 06, 2007

Bali Update #568
July 30, 2007

Bali Update #567
July 23, 2007

Bali Update #566
July 16, 2007

Bali Update #565
July 09, 2007

Bali Update #564
July 02, 2007

Bali Update #563
June 25, 2007

Bali Update #562
June 18, 2007

Bali Update #561
June 11, 2007

Bali Update #560
June 04, 2007

Bali Update #559
May 28, 2007

Bali Update #558
May 21, 2007

Bali Update #557
May 14, 2007

Bali Update #556
May 07, 2007

Bali Update #555
April 30, 2007

Bali Update #554
April 23, 2007

Bali Update #553
April 16, 2007

Bali Update #552
April 09, 2007

Bali Update #551
April 02, 2007

Bali Update #550
March 26, 2007

Bali Update #549
March 19, 2007

Bali Update #548
March 12, 2007

Bali Update #547
March 05, 2007

Bali Update #546
February 26, 2007

Bali Update #545
February 19, 2007

Bali Update #544
February 12, 2007

Bali Update #543
February 05, 2007

Bali Update #542
January 29, 2007

Bali Update #541
January 22, 2007

Bali Update #540
January 15, 2007

Bali Update #539
January 08, 2007

Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
December 25, 2006

Bali Update #536
December 18, 2006

Bali Update #535
December 11, 2006

Bali Update #534
December 04, 2006

Bali Update #533
November 27, 2006

Bali Update #532
November 20, 2006

Bali Update #531
November 13, 2006

Bali Update #530
November 06, 2006

Bali Update #529
October 30, 2006

Bali Update #528
October 23, 2006

Bali Update #527
October 16, 2006

Bali Update #526
October 9, 2006

Bali Update #525
October 2, 2006

Bali Update #524
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #523
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #522
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #521
September 04, 2006

Bali Update #520
August 28, 2006

Bali Update #519
August 21, 2006

Bali Update #518
August 14, 2006

Bali Update #517
August 07, 2006

Bali Update #516
July 31, 2006

Bali Update #515
July 24, 2006

Bali Update #514
July 17, 2006

Bali Update #513
July 10, 2006

Bali Update #512
July 03, 2006

Bali Update #511
June 26, 2006

Bali Update #510
June 19, 2006

Bali Update #509
June 12, 2006

Bali Update #508
June 05, 2006

Bali Update #507
May 29, 2006

Bali Update #506
May 22, 2006

Bali Update #505
May 15, 2006

Bali Update #504
May 08, 2006

Bali Update #503
May 01, 2006

Bali Update #502
April 24, 2006

Bali Update #501
April 17, 2006

Bali Update #500
April 10, 2006

Bali Update #499
April 03, 2006

Bali Update #498
March 27, 2006

Bali Update #497
March 20, 2006

Bali Update #496
March 13, 2006

Bali Update #495
March 06, 2006

Bali Update #494
February 27, 2006

Bali Update #493
February 20, 2006

Bali Update #492
February 13, 2006

Bali Update #491
February 06, 2006

Bali Update #490
January 30, 2006

Bali Update #489
January 23, 2006

Bali Update #488
January 16, 2006

Bali Update #487
January 09, 2006

Bali Update #486
January 02, 2006

Bali Update #485
December 26, 2005

Bali Update #484
December 19, 2005

Bali Update #482
December 12, 2005

Bali Update #481
December 05, 2005

Bali Update #481
November 28, 2005

Bali Update #480
November 21, 2005

Bali Update #479
November 14, 2005

Bali Update #478
November 07, 2005

Bali Update #477
October 31, 2005

Bali Update #476
October 24, 2005

Bali Update #475
October 17, 2005

Bali Update #474
October 10, 2005

Bali Update #473
October 03, 2005

Bali Update #472
September 26, 2005

Bali Update #471
September 19, 2005

Bali Update #470
September 12, 2005

Bali Update #469
September 05, 2005

Bali Update #468
August 29, 2005

Bali Update #467
August 22, 2005

Bali Update #466
August 15, 2005

Bali Update #465
August 08, 2005

Bali Update #464
August 01, 2005

Bali Update #463
July 25, 2005

Bali Update #462
July 18, 2005

Bali Update #461
July 11, 2005

Bali Update #460
July 04, 2005

Bali Update #459
June 27, 2005

Bali Update #458
June 20, 2005

Bali Update #457
June 13, 2005

Bali Update #456
June 06, 2005

Bali Update #455
May 30, 2005

Bali Update #454
May 23, 2005

Bali Update #453
May 16, 2005

Bali Update #452
May 09, 2005

Bali Update #451
May 02, 2005

Bali Update #450
April 25, 2005

Bali Update #449
April 18, 2005

Bali Update #448
April 11, 2005

Bali Update #447
April 04, 2005

Bali Update #446
March 28, 2005

Bali Update #445
March 21, 2005

Bali Update #444
March 14, 2005

Bali Update #443
March 07, 2005

Bali Update #442
February 28, 2005

Bali Update #441
February 21, 2005

Bali Update #440
February 14, 2005

Bali Update #439
February 07, 2005

Bali Update #438
January 31, 2005

Bali Update #437
January 24, 2005

Bali Update #436
January 17, 2005

Bali Update #435
January 10, 2005

Bali Update #434
January 03, 2005

Bali Update #433
December 27, 2004

Bali Update #432
December 20, 2004

Bali Update #431
December 13, 2004

Bali Update #430
December 06, 2004

Bali Update #429
November 29, 2004

Bali Update #428
November 22, 2004

Bali Update #427
November 15, 2004

Bali Update #426
November 08, 2004

Bali Update #425
November 01, 2004

Bali Update #424
October 25, 2004

Bali Update #423
October 18, 2004

Bali Update #422
October 11, 2004

Bali Update #421
October 04, 2004

Bali Update #420
September 27, 2004

Bali Update #419
September 20, 2004

Bali Update #418
September 13, 2004

Bali Update #417
September 06, 2004

Bali Update #416
August 30, 2004

Bali Update #415
August 23, 2004

Bali Update #414
August 16, 2004

Bali Update #413
August 09, 2004

Bali Update #412
August 02, 2004

Bali Update #411
July 26, 2004

Bali Update #410
July 19, 2004

Bali Update #409
July 12, 2004

Bali Update #408
July 05, 2004

Bali Update #407
June 28, 2004

Bali Update #406
June 21, 2004

Bali Update #405
June 14, 2004

Bali Update #404
June 07, 2004

Bali Update #403
May 31, 2004

Bali Update #402
May 24, 2004

Bali Update #401
May 17, 2004

Bali Update #400
May 10, 2004

Bali Update #399
May 03, 2004

Bali Update #398
April 26, 2004

Bali Update #397
April 19, 2004

Bali Update #396
April 12, 2004

Bali Update #395
April 05, 2004

Bali Update #394
March 29, 2004

Bali Update #393
March 22, 2004

Bali Update #392
March 15, 2004

Bali Update #391
March 08, 2004

Bali Update #390
March 01, 2004

Bali Update #389
February 23, 2004

Bali Update #388
February 16, 2004

Bali Update #387
February 09, 2004

Bali Update #386
February 02, 2004

Bali Update #385
January 26, 2004

Bali Update #384
January 19, 2004

Bali Update #383
January 12, 2004

Bali Update #382
January 05, 2004

Bali Update #381
December 29, 2003

Bali Update #380
December 22, 2003

Bali Update #379
December 15, 2003

Bali Update #378
December 08, 2003

Bali Update #377
December 01, 2003

Bali Update #376
November 24, 2003

Bali Update #375
November 17, 2003

Bali Update #374
November 10, 2003

Bali Update #373
November 03, 2003

Bali Update #372
October 27, 2003

Bali Update #371
October 20, 2003

Bali Update #370
October 13, 2003

Bali Update #369
October 06, 2003

Bali Update #368
September 29, 2003

Bali Update #367
September 22, 2003

Bali Update #366
September 15, 2003

Bali Update #365
September 08, 2003

Bali Update #364
September 01, 2003

Bali Update #363
August 25, 2003

Bali Update #362
August 18, 2003

Bali Update #361
August 11, 2003

Bali Update #360
August 04, 2003

Bali Update #359
July 28, 2003

Bali Update #358
July 21, 2003

Bali Update #357
July 14, 2003

Bali Update #356
July 07, 2003

Bali Update #355
June 30, 2003

Bali Update #354
June 23, 2003

Bali Update #353
June 16, 2003

Bali Update #352
June 09, 2003

Bali Update #351
June 02, 2003

Bali Update #350
May 26, 2003

Bali Update #349
May 19, 2003

Bali Update #348
May 12, 2003

Bali Update #347
May 05, 2003

Bali Update #346
April 28, 2003

Bali Update #345
April 21, 2003

Bali Update #344
April 14, 2003

Bali Update #343
April 08, 2003

Bali Update #342
April 07, 2003

Bali Update #341
March 31, 2003

Bali Update #340
March 24, 2003

Bali Update #339
March 17, 2003

Bali Update #338
March 10, 2003

Bali Update #337
March 03, 2003

Bali Update #336
February 24, 2003

Bali Update #335
February 17, 2003

Bali Update #334
February 10, 2003

Bali Update #333
February 03, 2003

Bali Update #332
January 27, 2003

Bali Update #331
January 20, 2003

Bali Update #330
January 13, 2003

Bali Update #329
January 06, 2003

Bali Update #328
December 30, 2002

Bali Update #327
December 23, 2002

Bali Update #326
December 16, 2002

Bali Update #325
December 09, 2002

Bali Update #324
December 02, 2002

Bali Update #323
November 25, 2002

Bali Update #322
November 18, 2002

Bali Update #321
November 11, 2002

Bali Update #320
November 04, 2002

Bali Update #319
October 28, 2002

Bali Update #318
October 21, 2002

Bali Update #317
October 14, 2002

Bali Update #316
October 07, 2002

Bali Update #315
September 30, 2002

Bali Update #314
September 23, 2002

Bali Update #313
September 16, 2002

Bali Update #312
September 09, 2002

Bali Update #311
September 02, 2002

Bali Update #310
August 26, 2002

Bali Update #309
August 19, 2002

Bali Update #308
August 12, 2002

Bali Update #307
August 05, 2002

Bali Update #306
July 29, 2002

Bali Update #305
July 22, 2002

Bali Update #304
July 15, 2002

Bali Update #303
July 08, 2002

Bali Update #302
July 01, 2002

Bali Update #301
June 24, 2002

Bali Update #300
June 17, 2002

Bali Update #299
June 10, 2002

Bali Update #298
June 03, 2002

Bali Update #297
May 27, 2002

Bali Update #296
May 20, 2002

Bali Update #295
May 13, 2002

Bali Update #294
May 06, 2002

Bali Update #293
April 29, 2002

Bali Update #292
April 22, 2002

Bali Update #291
April 15, 2002

Bali Update #290
April 08, 2002

Bali Update #289
April 01, 2002

Bali Update #288
March 25, 2002

Bali Update #287
March 18, 2002

Bali Update #286
March 11, 2002

Bali Update #285
March 04, 2002

Bali Update #284
February 25, 2002

Bali Update #283
February 18, 2002

Bali Update #282
February 11, 2002

Bali Update #281
February 04, 2002

Bali Update #280
January 28, 2002

Bali Update #279
January 21, 2002

Bali Update #278
January 14, 2002

Bali Update #277
January 07, 2002

Bali Update #276
December 31, 2001

Bali Update #275
December 24, 2001

Bali Update #274
December 17, 2001

Bali Update #273
December 10, 2001

Bali Update #272
December 03, 2001

Bali Update #271
November 26, 2001

Bali Update #270
November 19, 2001

Bali Update #269
November 12, 2001

Bali Update #268
November 05, 2001

Bali Update #267
October 29, 2001

Bali Update #266
October 22, 2001

Bali Update #265
October 15, 2001

Bali Update #264
October 08, 2001

Bali Update #263
October 01, 2001

Bali Update #262
September 24, 2001

Bali Update #261
September 17, 2001

Bali Update #260
September 10, 2001

Bali Update #259
September 03, 2001

Bali Update #258
August 27, 2001

Bali Update #257
August 20, 2001

Bali Update #256
August 13, 2001

Bali Update #255
August 06, 2001

Bali Update #254
July 30, 2001
 

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