Latest Articles

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..

Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] The Marriott Taipei is one of the newest luxury hotels in Taipei. The largest complex of its kind in Taipei, the Taipei Marriott Hotel comprises a five-star 320-room hotel, restaurants, lounge, convention center, shopping mall and apartments. It is located on the north bank of the Keelung River, in the Dazhi district, near Songshan International Airport. As part of Marriott’s “Green Hotel Development” initiative, indigenous shrubbery and flowering plants are found throughout the hotel grounds and are interspersed with pieces of nature inspired art and sitting areas. (more…)

Amazing Shaved Ice at Ice Monster (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Ice Monster is a Taiwanese kakigori (shaved ice) chain. This shop is famous for its mango shaved ice. Although mango and other flavored shaved ice can be found almost anywhere, Ice Monster has become a must visit for travelers and locals alike that there’s a crowd and a line at the front of the shop to order. All of the bowls of shaved ice — they are called “sensations” that are like shaved ice sundaes — are huge but it’s mostly just fluffy ice. They are great shared and perfect on a hot day (which seems to be nearly..

Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

[Translate] When it comes to the holiday season and I’m entertaining my family and friends, it’s a constant feeding, baking/cooking frenzy that I have to get up at the early hours of the morning to prep for the day of the big dinner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, you name it). The best way to keep the crowds at bay and away from the kitchen is to provide them with snacks and a drink. While it’s easy to provide them with bowls of fresh roast nuts and platters of cheese and charcuterie, I like to give them something savory like these..

Great German Fare at Wendell’s Bakery & Bistro (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Wendel’s Bakery & Bistro has four locations with Tianmu has an outside beer garden. The location in Da’an and Neihu offer just as much selection as the Tianmu, but the menu selection differs a little and they have way more pizza options than the Tianmu location. They offer authentic German bread in their bakery and deli, and also have some other take home items such as cheese, homemade jam, cake, and dessert. The bistro section of Wendel’s serves the best Taipei German food that I have found so far. Everyone else I know, Germans included, also agree that it’s..

Voodoo Doughnuts Taiwan (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Voodoo Doughnuts is the famous Portland-based doughnut shop that has quirky shaped and oddly named doughnuts (like Old Dirty Bastard named after a well known rapper) that many adore. We visited Voodoo Doughnuts Taiwan for a quick stop for something sweet. The shop looks similar to the original and had the large rotating display cases of various doughnuts they create. We tried the Bacon Maple Bar and the famous Voodoo Doll and a mug of hot chocolate at the shop. The hot chocolate was fine. The doughnuts we had were generally too sweet for our preferences but at least..

Best Bubble Tea and Chinese Snacks at Chun Shui Tang 春水堂

[Translate] Bubble tea shops occupy nearly every corner of Taiwan’s streets. They spread to neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea and China and then to the rest of the world. I admit I never really understood the love of bubble tea since I had one too many mediocre or even terrible cups of bubble tea. It’s either the tea is saccharine sweet or the tapioca pearls (or “bubbles”) textures are off. Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 is founded by Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan where he..

Universal Noodle Ramen Nagi (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Taipei has an abundance of soup and noodle shops but once in a while I do crave a good bowl ramen and based on what I’ve heard from friends, Universal Noodle Ramen Nagi Nagi quickly became one of the most popular Japanese ramen chains in Taipei. They offer more customization than other ramen restaurants by giving their customers a menu where their personal, desired choices can be circled. They offer four different pork soup bases and a fifth limited soup base that changes weekly. Their four pork soup bases are: Butao King (豚王): award winning tonkotsu pork broth prepared..

Very Good Lunch at YEN Chinese Restaurant 紫艷中餐廳 & Best Braised Beef Noodles at YEN Bar at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] If you are yearning for really good, nouvelle style Cantonese food in Taipei, you should go to YEN Chinese Restaurant 紫艷中餐廳 at W Taipei. YEN Restaurant and YEN Bar share the top 31st floor of W Taipei with views of central Taipei from the dining room side of the restaurant and Taipei 101 when you’re at the bar. Besides the awesome views of the city, the interior of both parts of the dining floor are modern and primarily with the color palate of purple, black, white and chrome or stainless steel. (more…)

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..
Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] The Marriott Taipei is one of the newest luxury hotels in Taipei. The largest complex of its kind in Taipei, the Taipei Marriott Hotel comprises a five-star 320-room hotel, restaurants, lounge, convention center, shopping mall and apartments. It is located on the north bank of the Keelung River, in the Dazhi district, near Songshan International Airport. As part of Marriott’s “Green Hotel Development” initiative, indigenous shrubbery and flowering plants are found throughout the hotel grounds and are interspersed with pieces of nature inspired art and sitting areas. (more…)
Amazing Shaved Ice at Ice Monster (Taipei, Taiwan)

Amazing Shaved Ice at Ice Monster (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Ice Monster is a Taiwanese kakigori (shaved ice) chain. This shop is famous for its mango shaved ice. Although mango and other flavored shaved ice can be found almost anywhere, Ice Monster has become a must visit for travelers and locals alike that there’s a crowd and a line at the front of the shop to order. All of the bowls of shaved ice — they are called “sensations” that are like shaved ice sundaes — are huge but it’s mostly just fluffy ice. They are great shared and perfect on a hot day (which seems to be nearly..
Great German Fare at Wendell’s Bakery & Bistro (Taipei, Taiwan)

Great German Fare at Wendell’s Bakery & Bistro (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Wendel’s Bakery & Bistro has four locations with Tianmu has an outside beer garden. The location in Da’an and Neihu offer just as much selection as the Tianmu, but the menu selection differs a little and they have way more pizza options than the Tianmu location. They offer authentic German bread in their bakery and deli, and also have some other take home items such as cheese, homemade jam, cake, and dessert. The bistro section of Wendel’s serves the best Taipei German food that I have found so far. Everyone else I know, Germans included, also agree that it’s..
Voodoo Doughnuts Taiwan (Taipei, Taiwan)

Voodoo Doughnuts Taiwan (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Voodoo Doughnuts is the famous Portland-based doughnut shop that has quirky shaped and oddly named doughnuts (like Old Dirty Bastard named after a well known rapper) that many adore. We visited Voodoo Doughnuts Taiwan for a quick stop for something sweet. The shop looks similar to the original and had the large rotating display cases of various doughnuts they create. We tried the Bacon Maple Bar and the famous Voodoo Doll and a mug of hot chocolate at the shop. The hot chocolate was fine. The doughnuts we had were generally too sweet for our preferences but at least..
Best Bubble Tea and Chinese Snacks at Chun Shui Tang 春水堂

Best Bubble Tea and Chinese Snacks at Chun Shui Tang 春水堂

[Translate] Bubble tea shops occupy nearly every corner of Taiwan’s streets. They spread to neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea and China and then to the rest of the world. I admit I never really understood the love of bubble tea since I had one too many mediocre or even terrible cups of bubble tea. It’s either the tea is saccharine sweet or the tapioca pearls (or “bubbles”) textures are off. Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 is founded by Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan where he..
Universal Noodle Ramen Nagi (Taipei, Taiwan)

Universal Noodle Ramen Nagi (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Taipei has an abundance of soup and noodle shops but once in a while I do crave a good bowl ramen and based on what I’ve heard from friends, Universal Noodle Ramen Nagi Nagi quickly became one of the most popular Japanese ramen chains in Taipei. They offer more customization than other ramen restaurants by giving their customers a menu where their personal, desired choices can be circled. They offer four different pork soup bases and a fifth limited soup base that changes weekly. Their four pork soup bases are: Butao King (豚王): award winning tonkotsu pork broth prepared..
Very Good Lunch at YEN Chinese Restaurant 紫艷中餐廳 & Best Braised Beef Noodles at YEN Bar at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

Very Good Lunch at YEN Chinese Restaurant 紫艷中餐廳 & Best Braised Beef Noodles at YEN Bar at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] If you are yearning for really good, nouvelle style Cantonese food in Taipei, you should go to YEN Chinese Restaurant 紫艷中餐廳 at W Taipei. YEN Restaurant and YEN Bar share the top 31st floor of W Taipei with views of central Taipei from the dining room side of the restaurant and Taipei 101 when you’re at the bar. Besides the awesome views of the city, the interior of both parts of the dining floor are modern and primarily with the color palate of purple, black, white and chrome or stainless steel. (more…)
Fantastic Stay at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

Fantastic Stay at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] For the first portion of our time in Taipei, we stayed at W Taipei. The first thing that is great about this hotel is centrally located the Xinyi District that makes it easy for me to drop off my shopping bags (there are many shopping malls surrounding the hotel). It’s also a few blocks from the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Taipei 101, the world’s second-tallest building. Nearby subway stations mean you can be whisked to the city’s shopping districts and mountain hot springs. Entering the lobby of the W Taipei, it’s technically not their lobby. As confusing as..

Recipes

Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

[Translate] When it comes to the holiday season and I’m entertaining my family and friends, it’s a constant feeding, baking/cooking frenzy that I have to get up at the early hours of the morning to prep for the day of the big dinner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, you name it). The best way to keep the crowds at bay and away from the kitchen is to provide them with snacks and a drink. While it’s easy to provide them with bowls of fresh roast nuts and platters of cheese and charcuterie, I like to give them something savory like these..
Whole Wheat Pistachio Yogurt Cakes and Pistachio Crust, Pistachio-Orange, Balsamic Vinegar Tarts with California Figs

Whole Wheat Pistachio Yogurt Cakes and Pistachio Crust, Pistachio-Orange, Balsamic Vinegar Tarts with California Figs

[Translate] I go through food moods that I will obsess on a certain dish or ingredient for an intense period of time and seek them whenever I go out to eat. Figs was (and sort of is still) my ingredient obsession ever since I was having an incredible lunch at Joel Robouchon in Monte Carlo and saw and ate slices of the gorgeous, gold leafed fig tarts on the dessert cart and the best ones I’ve had were from the large, juicy, super ripe figs from Cours Saleya market in Nice. Figs hold a special place in my heart because..
Pistachio Oil, Yogurt Lemon Cake

Pistachio Oil, Yogurt Lemon Cake

[Translate] Nounos Creamery is a family-owned creamery in based in Southampton, Long Island, NY. What makes their Greek-style strained yogurt distinctive are the cute glass jars besides the very delicious yogurt. These yogurts come in various flavors like plain, forest berries, orange fig to seasonal flavors like apple pie a la mode. The yogurt itself isn’t sweet. It has the thick, tangy characteristics that you’d expect from this style of yogurt. The fruit that accompanies the yogurt aren’t too concentrated nor sweet which really appeals to me. (I have eaten certain brands of Greek yogurt where I feel like I..