Food Reviews

Fantastic Stay (Humbled, Really) at Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China)

Street view of Mandarin Oriental Pudong before heading up the driveway The hotel I’ve stayed in Shanghai is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. If you ever talked to anyone who lives and/or works in Shanghai and you mention that you’re staying at the mentioned hotel, its reputation preceded it, whether or not he or she stayed there. So when I rolled in my bags and arrived at the door, we were treated like VIPs. My reservation was an Executive King room so we were escorted to the second floor (you need a special key swipe to access that floor) and checked..

Cafe Gray Deluxe at The Middle House – Fine French Cuisine Meets Luxurious Chinese Ingredients (Shanghai, China)

Usually I don’t seek another cuisine outside of where I’m traveling. For example, when I’m in Shanghai, I would typically eat Chinese food or eat the local region’s cuisine. However, I made an exception with Cafe Gray Deluxe at The Middle House. Chef Gray Kunz, who is named after this restaurant and owns, is one of the most revered chefs in the world. He made his name at the New York City restaurant called Lespinasse in the 1990s and started his own restaurant Cafe Gray at the Time Warner Center in 2004-2008. I remembered eating at the latter back in..

Hairy Crab Feast at Si Ji Xuan at the Four Seasons Shanghai (Shanghai, China)

Lobby The Four Seasons Shanghai is one of the first luxury hotels in the city. (Let’s be clear about this and don’t confuse the other Four Seasons location in Pudong that’s opened in recent years.) This location in Puxi is centrally located in the downtown business district where there’s many commercial banks and company headquarters and see lots of white collared workers come out for a catered lunch as you’d pass by, and of course, luxury shopping malls to peruse or shop to your heart’s content.  The Four Seasons is bright and beautiful. The high-backed velvet chairs and contemporary chandeliers..

Midtown Shangri-La Hangzhou and Cheng Zhong Restaurant (Hangzhou, China)

Lobby Lobby centerpiece The other hotel I’ve stayed in Hangzhou was Midtown Shangri-La, Hangzhou. This Shangri-La hotel is the newest of the two in Hangzhou and interestingly this hotel is connected to the luxurious Kerry Centre Mall and about ten minutes to West Lake. This stately and centrally located hotel is great. Check-in was speedy and for the most part the receptionists spoke English fairly well. I stayed at the Executive Club King room so my room is on the floor of that lounge. (more…)

JW Marriott Hangzhou (Hangzhou, China)

Canopies of willow trees at West Lake Boats floating on West Lake West Lake, Hangzhou Next off to Hangzhou! My flight from Chengdu took me to Shanghai. Learning that Hangzhou is less than an hour away from Shanghai by way of the bullet train, I planned to head to this city for a few nights. The bullet train system in China is very efficient. It’s like any other train station I’ve been to in Europe: it’s lots of people waiting on lines and waiting around the central information area waiting for their gate information; chaotic to swim through the masses..

Hotel Reviews

French Opulence at Le Pavillon Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Grand staircase from the lobby to lower level Part of Cachette 1907 looking toward the lobby and reception desk This Romanesque white stone building is one of the most architecturally dramatic hotels in the city. The lobby is no less elegant, with towering ceilings, marble columns, and large crystal chandeliers. Marble floors and gilded ceilings surround a lobby covered in art and sculptures. The hotel’s original owners had grand plans, and stated them clearly with the construction of the striking, 15-foot monumental limestone pillars that frame the entrance. A refurbishment in the 1960s had artifacts and interiors sourced from Europe,..

Excellent Stay at Windsor Court Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Entrance at Courtyard When I was in New Orleans, I stayed at The Windsor Court Hotel. It’s a very elegant hotel just a few blocks away from the French Quarter, making it accessible to the main touristy neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the overall stay didn’t make me think I’m that close to the boisterous crowds of Bourbon Street. The ornate decor (British 19th-century antiques, furniture, and artwork) is courtesy of the hotel’s original Anglophile owner, and would be over-the-top if it wasn’t so consistent. A full gym, heated outdoor pool, high tea service, and delicious food all add to a decadent..

Comfortable Stay at Boxotel (Montreal, Canada)

Reception /lobby area called Box Office” My Studio Queen Room Kitchenette inside the Studio Queen I was invited to a press trip to Montreal last week to explore this charming city that has both the Old World and modern. It has been about five years since I’ve been to this city and even though it’s generally familiar in terms of where are the popular neighborhoods are but life always moves on and certain trends pick up or went away since I last visited. I will write a general overview post of this trip soon but I’ll start with the individual..

Staying at the Legendary Shangri-La, Bangkok

Lobby area at Shangri-La wing Lobby lounge View of Chao Phraya River from outdoor terrace at Shangri-La, Bangkok My last hotel stay in Bangkok was at the legendary Shangri-La, Bangkok. This property is locally famous since it’s the second luxury hotel brand to be in Bangkok and to sum up the stay: it was grand to be there.  The Bangkok Shangri-La is the largest hotel property along the Chao Praya river, stretching a quarter of a mile north from Saphan Taksin bridge. It’s a short hop by boat to the city’s historical sites and a two-minute walk to Saphan Taksin..

Dinner at Celadon at The Sukothai Bangkok

Celadon Restaurant – Exterior Interior of one of the dining rooms Coconut water Celadon at The Sukothai Bangkok is its signature upscale restaurant offers a calming ambiance of teak, ceramics, and Thai silk. The restaurant is separate from the hotel and is surrounded by a picturesque pond full of beautiful lotus blossoms.  The restaurant takes its name from the green ceramic glaze (meant to resemble jade) for which Thailand is known. Celadon’s food is primarily based on Royal Thai cuisine. (more…)

Recent Recipes

Amazing Truffles from Gourmet Attitude – Dessert Recipes with Truffles

Gourmet Attitude is a New York City-based truffle importer since April 2003 by Céline Labaune. Ms. Labaune always brought the best truffles for her company and ultimately for us, the consumer. Of course, truffles are one of the few ultimate food luxuries to have and I’ve been given the task to create a couple of truffle recipes using Gourmet Attitude’s exceptional truffles. (I am forever humbled and grateful to Gourmet Attitude for sending me their gorgeous and delicious fresh truffles and truffle products to play with (in terms of recipes) and of course, eat.) (more…)

Poppy Seed Cherry Yogurt Cake

I recently worked with Nounos Creamery using their incredible Greek-style yogurt (and it’s locally made in Long Island, NY) into my recipes. (more…)

Savory Choux Pastry, Pâté with Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves

One of my favorite preserves brand is Bonne Maman. They use time-honored traditional French recipes, their preserves and jellies are made with natural ingredients and feature the finest quality fruit. They are Non-GMO Project Verified, have no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial coloring or no preservatives added so you taste the pure essence of the fruit. Besides having the great preserves, also being able to find them at almost every grocery store. (more…)