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Historical, Luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel & Booking Office (London, United Kingdom)

Inside Hansome Lounge, the lobby of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel During my trip to London, I had the opportunity to stay at the historical, luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross. King’s Cross in London is currently an up-and-coming neighborhood where both locals and travelers would meet since the railroad stations are here. This hotel was built in the 1860s, when the thriving Midland Railway, which connected the industrial heartlands of the East Midlands and Yorkshire with London, chose to build its own railway and station. William Barlow owned the property and appointed architect, George Gilbert Scott to build..


Sublime Sophistication at The Ledbury (2* Michelin, London, UK)

View of Tower Bridge from London Bridge*; Table setting & menus; Partial interior of dining room; W checking his phone while getting his Riesling; My plate of amuse bouches The Ledbury was one of my favorite meals in London. Not just because this is in a beautiful neighborhood of Notting Hill, a two-starred Michelin restaurant, and World’s 50 Best Restaurants (#13 in 2013), under the helm of Brett Graham, being surrounded by the well-to-do, ladies who lunch, and a large round table of wine pros having a serious wine lunch, but because I finally had the pleasure to meet and..


Green Tea Workshop at Ippodo (NYC)

Ippodo (not to be confused with Ippudo, the popular Japanese ramen shop) is one of the few Japanese tea shops in Manhattan that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Japan. The minimalist, warm wood interiors and the Japanese staff members greet you in Japanese and see them boiling kettles of water to prepare for our green tea workshop. Ippodo is nearly a 300 year old tea brand that procures and blends its own teas beyond being just a retailer. With that much knowledge and history, this tea workshop would be informative of Japanese green teas. We were presented..


New York Culinary Experience 2014

Last weekend, (not far after I landed from London), I attended the New York Culinary Experience 2014 at the International Culinary Center in SoHo, New York. As like my previous two years of participating in these weekends, this cooking weekend is always a blast. Certainly food filled (you will practically eat non-stop from morning to early evening). You will be enlightened by famous and well respected chefs (at least two dozen on the schedules) and get a sense of their personality as they teach you their recipes and you’ll meet individuals from around the country who love food and eager..


Not Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower Brasserie (London, UK)

OXO Tower Brasserie is found on the rooftop of an award-winning, riverside landmark building named the OXO Tower, found on the South Bank of London. This tower houses some of the most innovative and internationally renowned contemporary designers, and exhibition venues gallery@oxo and Bargehouse. The area is sort of what reminds me of Williamsburg, Brooklyn back in the late 1990s, where it’s an industrial area but revamped to an artistic hub. Shoppers and diners who go up to OXO Tower Brasserie are definitely the well-to-do locals, as I recalled smelling a strong scent of a woman’s Dior fragrance when a..


Went to London (U.K.) and Adore GAIL’s Bakery

Big Ben & The Houses of Parliament In case you don’t follow my Twitter or Instagram, I went to London about two weeks ago. (I’m suggesting you should follow either to keep abreast with my activities since it’s quicker to do a short update than writing a full blown post here and actually get to read this much later than what happened.) Many fellow Londoners who I’ve met when traveling and some — eating with — through that fine city asks me, “Why visit London?” My answer is, there’s a food revolution happening there for the past five to ten..


Spring & Easter Gift Guide 2014

Ironically, it doesn’t feel like spring in New York City but Easter and Passover is coming up. Here’s some gift ideas for this (fast approaching) holiday. Sweets When you think Easter, you tend to think chocolates, especially the Easter bunny. There’s plenty of these delicious sweets coming from many great brands across the U.S. Mariebelle has a beautifully whimsical (and delicious) assortment of Easter chocolates ranging from a large chocolate egg ($35) (like the size of an adult’s head) filled with chocolate eggs and set in a nest with a colorful bird and butterflies. It looked like a girl’s dream..


Jack Daniel’s Single Bourbon: Bounty & Barrel Dinner Series (NYC)

Last night I attended the kickoff of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel: Bounty & Barrel Dinner in Openhouse in the Nolita section of New York City. This is one of the five-city tour that features local chefs who cook with the tasty Jack Daniel Single Barrel Tennessee whiskey (and cocktails made with this fine spirit) for an intimate dinner that is also a fundraiser benefiting Share Our Strength‘s “No Kid Hungry Campaign.” Since I arrived a bit late for the canapes due to work, I settled for a refreshing and citrus-y Bluegrass Shrub (seen on the top of this post) made..


Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Historical, Luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel & Booking Office (London, United Kingdom)

Historical, Luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel & Booking Office (London, United Kingdom)

[Translate] Inside Hansome Lounge, the lobby of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel During my trip to London, I had the opportunity to stay at the historical, luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross. King’s Cross in London is currently an up-and-coming neighborhood where both locals and travelers would meet since the railroad stations are here. This hotel was built in the 1860s, when the thriving Midland Railway, which connected the industrial heartlands of the East Midlands and Yorkshire with London, chose to build its own railway and station. William Barlow owned the property and appointed architect, George Gilbert Scott to..
Sublime Sophistication at The Ledbury (2* Michelin, London, UK)

Sublime Sophistication at The Ledbury (2* Michelin, London, UK)

[Translate] View of Tower Bridge from London Bridge*; Table setting & menus; Partial interior of dining room; W checking his phone while getting his Riesling; My plate of amuse bouches The Ledbury was one of my favorite meals in London. Not just because this is in a beautiful neighborhood of Notting Hill, a two-starred Michelin restaurant, and World’s 50 Best Restaurants (#13 in 2013), under the helm of Brett Graham, being surrounded by the well-to-do, ladies who lunch, and a large round table of wine pros having a serious wine lunch, but because I finally had the pleasure to meet..
Not Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower Brasserie (London, UK)

Not Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower Brasserie (London, UK)

[Translate] OXO Tower Brasserie is found on the rooftop of an award-winning, riverside landmark building named the OXO Tower, found on the South Bank of London. This tower houses some of the most innovative and internationally renowned contemporary designers, and exhibition venues gallery@oxo and Bargehouse. The area is sort of what reminds me of Williamsburg, Brooklyn back in the late 1990s, where it’s an industrial area but revamped to an artistic hub. Shoppers and diners who go up to OXO Tower Brasserie are definitely the well-to-do locals, as I recalled smelling a strong scent of a woman’s Dior fragrance when..
Went to London (U.K.) and Adore GAIL’s Bakery

Went to London (U.K.) and Adore GAIL’s Bakery

[Translate] Big Ben & The Houses of Parliament In case you don’t follow my Twitter or Instagram, I went to London about two weeks ago. (I’m suggesting you should follow either to keep abreast with my activities since it’s quicker to do a short update than writing a full blown post here and actually get to read this much later than what happened.) Many fellow Londoners who I’ve met when traveling and some — eating with — through that fine city asks me, “Why visit London?” My answer is, there’s a food revolution happening there for the past five to..
Prestigious Luxury at The New York Palace Hotel

Prestigious Luxury at The New York Palace Hotel

[Translate] I had the good fortune to visit the New York Palace Hotel recently. Granted, I’ve eaten the wonderful, whimsical, and delicious confections of Chef Michel Richard’s at Pomme Palais during the holiday season. But that evening of potently good cocktails, dining at Villard Michel Richard, and go up to one of the hotel’s signature Tower suite, the Jewel Suite, it’s incomparable. The New York Palace is an historical landmark that is a combination of the Villard Houses and the Helmsley Tower. The Villard House was built in 1882 and was originally owned by Henry Villard, a well-known railroad financier...
Flour Bakery (Boston, MA)

Flour Bakery (Boston, MA)

[Translate] Entrance to Flour Bakery (Back Bay location); Interior; Sweet orange rolls and Doughnut sugar muffins Flour Bakery (the bakery currently have 4 locations) was our first stop on our weekend holiday trip to Boston. What prompted us to go there first is because of the delicious memories I had when the James Beard nominated Chef Joanne Chang cooked at the James Beard House for afternoon tea. Since then, it was bookmarked in my brain to visit Chef Chang’s bakery and it finally happened. We went to the Back Bay location since it’s close to our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental...
M Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Boston

M Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Boston

[Translate] Mandarin Oriental’s art book; cover and inside During my stay at Mandarin Oriental Boston, I had received a copy of the hotel’s beautiful (albeit heavy), hardcover art book. Flipping through the pages of the gorgeous photographs of the brand’s various locations, I can’t help but be inspired and hope to travel to their international locations, especially in Hong Kong. Toward the middle-end portion of this book, when I came across the photos of the colorful cocktails (seen above) and made me wanted to have a drink downstairs for my nightcap for the evening. We took the elevators down to..
Holiday Afternoon Tea at L’Espalier (Boston, MA)

Holiday Afternoon Tea at L’Espalier (Boston, MA)

[Translate] Entrance to L’Espalier; Interior of main dining room; the legendary cheese cart Steps away from the luxurious hotel I stayed in Boston, The Mandarin Oriental, is the equally elegant, AAA Five-Diamond awarded restaurant (and James Beard Award to Chef Frank McClelland), L’Espalier. This restaurant is actually one floor above a bank. You would walk through the doors and be checked in with a host, then you get whisked up viewing the stately bank while riding up to the elegant dining room. I had to have afternoon tea with them to see and taste how a fine dining restaurant would..
Bold, Gusty Italian Inspired Food at Coppa (Boston, MA)

Bold, Gusty Italian Inspired Food at Coppa (Boston, MA)

[Translate] Interior and Menu of Coppa Coppa is a very popular, Italian-inspired restaurant run by the chef/owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. This small plates restaurant serves platters of salumi, housemade pasta, and pizza crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. Coppa offers a certain urban charm. It sits on a quieter corner behind Peters Park. The intimacy of the space works well as there is little car traffic. Inside, Coppa’s wedge-shaped room with simple black-and-cream-colored décor is also appealing, especially with the taxidermy pig head donning, when we were there, a Christmas hat, and seats about 40. We were aware of..

Recipes

Coconut, Adzuki Red Bean, Matcha Green Tea Layered Jelly

Coconut, Adzuki Red Bean, Matcha Green Tea Layered Jelly

[Translate] For the past several weeks, it’s been a crazy, busy several weeks for me, primarily with work and planning my upcoming trip to London. I wanted to make a simple but tasty but minimalist beautiful dessert that also has Asian flavors since they were all in my pantry – matcha green tea, adzuki red beans, and coconut milk. Come to think of it, this sweet is pretty healthy since there is no cream or butter involved. This jelly is made with agar, a vegetarian alternative to gelatin that’s normally sold in powdered or flake form. There is generally a..
Raspberry Religieuse Recipe

Raspberry Religieuse Recipe

[Translate] Recently, Driscoll’s was generous to send me some of their wonderfully sweet-tart raspberries for me to bake with. Inspired this weekend for the spring-like weather we were finally having in New York City, I wanted to bake something “happy,” if that make any sense. For me, one of my happy memories was when I was in Paris several years ago and brought my ravenous carb and sweet tooth, saw and ate my way through the city. One particular pastry that stuck in my mind that looked elegant and feminine when I passed by a few patisseries, which I found..
Savory Oatmeal with Crisp Prosciutto, Skellig Cheddar & Poached Egg

Savory Oatmeal with Crisp Prosciutto, Skellig Cheddar & Poached Egg

[Translate] The folks over at Kerrygold were sweet to send me a package of a few of their delectable light cheeses and their wonderful butter in aims to create a lighter, healthier dish. If you read this blog long enough, you’re aware that I don’t necessarily bridge the two unless I do feel insanely gluttonous. I like moderation and more on the lines of flavor trumps healthiness (especially desserts!). With that all said, I woke up one morning craving a bowl of savory oatmeal since I eat many variations of the sweet versions too often and had a craving for..