As you drive about most cities, or better still walk, you can get the feeling of how it was planned. There are really different feelings evoked by different districts, through their design & layout, through the type of shops and restaurants that are housed there, the offices, the apartments, the houses, the schools and of

Alistair Speirs

Petty Pandean-Elliott Sets The Indonesian Table

Featuring 150 accessible recipes, interspersed with recollections of her culinary journeys throughout the archipelago, the latest book by Petty Pandean-Elliott, ‘The Indonesian Table’, is a love letter both to a country and its cuisine. Over her now 20-year career, Petty Pandean-Elliott has received many accolades. The award-winning chef, writer and entrepreneur has been a judge


The Consultant Conundrum: The Infantilising of Government

First of all, I have to admit, I am, at least part of the time, a consultant, so everything I write from here on in has to be conditioned by that. I am part of the problem, though I have to admit, a very small part indeed… But hold on, I haven’t told you what


Can Jakarta Become a ‘Biophilic’ City? 

I was recently watching a very good documentary on Singapore’s impressive progress on sustainability, which now falls under a new but very relevant term: Biophilia. This is a term given for the love of biodiversity, and whilst it may seem futile to compare what Jakarta has done or can do in comparison, we honestly have


‘The Garlic Peanut Story’ and the Power of Forgiveness

In ‘The Garlic Peanut Story’, author Jonathan Rachman hopes to convey how powerful unconditional love can be. He shares through his memoir lessons of letting go, of releasing ones grudges, and how to fully appreciate the special people in our lives. A world-class interior designer, whose fame in the field has reached international renown, Jonathan

Devina Konatra, Designing Success in Hospitality

Tanly Hospitality is one of Indonesia’s rising stars. It is a growing hospitality management company with three hotel brands under its umbrella, including VASA Hotel Surabaya, one of the city’s top five-star destinations. Leading the charge is Devina Konatra, CEO of Tanly Hospitality, whose success in the business is proving to be an inspiration for


Metta Murdaya: Championing Jamu and Indonesia’s Herbal Traditions

In this far-reaching and diverse interview, NOW! Jakarta publisher Alistair Speirs talks about enterprise in both the cosmetics and jamu businesses with a lady who is a New York-based Indonesian, but really beginning to go worldwide, entrepreneur. Her name is Metta Murdaya and she has recently published a great book called Jamu Lifestyle, which attracted our

Successful Women of Jakarta

What Makes a Successful Woman? Answered by the NOW! Jakarta Community

Everyone’s measure of success is different, but people always look at successful women in a different way to men, sometimes questioning why they have done so well. Publisher Alistair Speirs’ first boss in the City of London was a German lady who succeeded in the cut-throat, public-school, English dominated insurance industry despite all her disadvantages,


A Splendid Chaine des Rotisseurs Dinner at The Orient Hotel

The fine dining group La Chaine des Rotisseurs got their culinary year off to a brilliant start in the beautiful surroundings of The Library at The Orient Jakarta. Since The Orient has two very different restaurants on its premises (actually there are several more but these are the selected ones!) Furusato Izakaya and Caspar, serving

The Era of Suspicious Sustainability

Yes, finally it’s the time for everyone to claim “sustainability” as their new mantra, new passion, or in many cases, just their latest marketing campaign. “Surely not“, I hear you say, “doesn’t sustainability have to be real, certified, audited or something to prove the claimant isn’t just giving us a load of hot air?” (or

Love in Indonesia: Redefining Valentine’s Day

In Indonesia, Valentine’s Day has been somewhat of a ‘taboo’ celebration. As someone raised in a Muslim family, I was never prohibited from celebrating Valentine’s Day, but it was something that was frowned upon by my parents, or those more religious than myself — many of us were told that the origin of this observation

Can’t be Bothered to go to Work? Here’s why.

I don’t know about you but I honestly believe that governments are elected – and paid – to look after their citizens, exercising their judgment as to the right path of course, but basically looking at the essential elements in the lives of their people and saying: “right we’ve got to fix this or make

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