Food Reviews

Restaurant Manitoba (Montreal, Canada)

Interior of dining room and open kitchen Pouring out of a magnum sized bottle of Sylvaner Restaurant Manitoba is a restaurant I’ve been meaning to go for a long time. I’ve first heard about this place when I was in Montreal four years ago. However, I didn’t have enough time to change plans and squeeze a stop by for a quick bite. Manitoba is located out in the industrial neighborhood of Mile-Ex (think of New York’s current equivalent of Bushwick, Brooklyn). (more…)

Mamie Clafoutis (Montreal, Canada)

Interior of retail side of the bakery Boules of bread The final bakery I’ve visited in Montreal was Mamie Clafoutis. This bakery started in 2008, by Nicolas, a pastry chef and Joseph, a baker, originally from France. They moved to Montreal to build their dream, committed to find and share their fond childhood memories. The first bakery opened its doors in Outremont. They use traditional skills and using the best ingredients and organic if possible, like the Canadian flour from La Milanaise Mill. (more…)

Brunch at Salmigondis (Montreal, Canada)

Exterior Caffeine (cappuccino) + Vitamin C (fresh grapefruit juice) Like most local farmers markets, it’s best to go on the weekend and I went to the beloved and famous Jean Talon Market. It’s so easy to be seduced by the gorgeous summer produce (oh, the perfectly ripened Quebecois strawberries! The sweet peaches! Rhubarb!) that’s available at multiple vendors’ stands. But I had to restrain myself from buying the glorious fruit since I am not permitted to bring this home but I did pick up some really flavorful goat’s milk cheeses and sheep’s milk butter. (more…)

Boulangerie les Co’Pains d’abord (Montreal, Canada)

Exterior of the bakery (Rachel location) Partial of the interior Sheet pan full of fresh baked brioche, chaussons aux pommes (French style apple turnovers) One of my favorite bakeries (boulangerie, to be exact) for my morning viennoiserie would be at Boulangerie les Co’Pains d’abord. This particular bakery makes their heavenly, buttery breakfast pastries from scratch in a compact kitchen in the back of the retail/café space. I had the honor to observe and photograph the hard working, busy but friendly bakers and staff members during an early, busy Saturday morning. Everyone at the kitchen is at least busy rolling; moving..

Sublime Dinner at Restaurant Beau Mont (Montreal, Canada)

Entrance Lounge area Restaurant Beau Mont feels like you’ve walked into one of your charming, well-heeled artistic or fashionable friend’s spacious apartment for dinner. One who cares and loves food deeply and has the food philosophy of using the best, locally sourced ingredients, cooks it well but simply and make the dishes look beautiful yet effortless even though it’s not. That’s how I felt overall when I dined here. Beaut Mont is led by the same team of the famous Montreal upscale and avant garde restaurant Toqué! While it feels a little bit relaxed compared to its older sister restaurant,..

Hotel Reviews

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…)

Praya Kitchen and Yao Rooftop Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse

If you are looking for a place that has phenomenal 360-degree views you should head to Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse rooftop at Yao Rooftop Bar, which I will get to later on this post. This fairly new hotel (it opened Spring 2018) is situated on Surawong Road, Bangkok’s bustling thoroughfare that runs from the Chao Phraya River to Rama IV Road, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse is surrounded by cultural attractions including Neilson Hays Library and Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. This property is the perfect jumping-off spot for travelers looking to explore Bangkok’s past and contemporary art scene. (more…)

Sophistication at The Okura Prestige Bangkok

The 24th floor lobby Room with awesome views When I stayed at The Okura Prestige Bangkok for a few nights, the first several minutes when I got there is the fact it is a very Tokyo kind of hotel. To explain, the hotel is found within a gleaming skyscraper, Park Ventures Ecoplex, that is shaped like a steel and glass rocket and its actual lobby with reception, concierge and most of its restaurants is up on 24th floor. (If you ever been to Tokyo, most large hotels are situated within tall skyscrapers and tend to have the middle and upper..

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…)