Food Reviews

Dinner at Glass Hostaria (Rome, Italy, 1* Michelin)

[Translate] I’ve recently traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy! Both cities were great and they definitely have different personalities despite both places have a lot of pride for their city. The posts I will be putting up are going to be in relative random order rather than chronological. I will start off with a very good, creative dinner at Glass Hostaria led by its chef and proprietor Cristina Bowerman. Almost as renowned for its design as it is for its food, Glass Hostaria is a culinary fixture of the historic alleyways of Rome. The restaurant itself is a wonderful mix..

Dinner at Le Coucou (NYC)

[Translate] When you think of recent restaurant openings for the past few years (decade, really), it feels like elegant fine dining is dying. There are a select few restaurants that really drum up the food press of fine dining are places like the revamp of the legendary Four Seasons hotel’s restaurants led by the Major Food Group — and where I chose to celebrate my mother’s birthday at Le Coucou that opened about a year ago. Once you enter the doors of Le Coucou, it feels grand and sophisticated with the large circular chandeliers, plush leather stuffed banquettes but with..

The Spaniard (NYC)

[Translate] The Spaniard is a lovely gastropub in West Village that is popular with mostly the young professional crowd. The vaulted ceilings and landmark designation, put the owners in mind of iconic New York taverns like Old Town and P.J. Clarke’s, which served as inspiration. The bar is stocked with 100 whiskeys, half of them Scotch, and the cocktail list calls out whiskey drinks like the Penicillin and a rosemary Manhattan. (more…)

Brunch at Street Taco (NYC)

[Translate] Street Taco is a colorful, cavernous, low-key Mexican spot in Gramercy. It’s an attractive restaurant decorated in white-glazed brick archways dividing the space, cobalt-blue booths and bright yellow chairs, murals by a Manhattan tattoo artist, and a lone golden disco ball. There are plenty of places to post up with a date or a group of friends for happy hour, but the booth by the front near the windows is a prime spot. Throw all fears of imminent headaches or hangovers to the wind and go for a Tsunami, which is a frozen margarita swirled with frozen sangria or..

Hotel Reviews

Mandarin Hotel Boston – Excellence & Luxury in the Back Bay

[Translate] During our holiday weekend getaway to Boston, we stayed at Mandarin Oriental located in the Back Bay neighborhood. This hotel is luxury at its best. When you enter the spacious lobby, which was designed with local granite and artwork, a traditional New England color scheme and the principles of feng shui. The lobby’s long, gas fireplace is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by fresh flower arrangements, tasteful Christmas decorations, and personable staff ready to create a quiet oasis within the busy city hotel. It’s situated in the heart of an equivalent to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue shopping area; near..

Loews Philadelphia Hotel – A Historical Landmark & Luxurious Hotel

[Translate] At the lobby of Loews Philadelphia Hotel Loews Philadelphia Hotel is a national historical landmark (earned its status in 1979), as it was the first International style skyscraper built in the United States. This building was formerly the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building, or PSFS Building, the nation’s first savings bank. The bank commissioned the construction of a 36-story, 491-foot skyscraper that would provide for the banking and office activities of the Society, designed by architects William Lescaze and George Howe. The bank eventually failed and was bought by developers to turn into a Loews Hotel. Conversion into a..

Afternoon Tea at St. Regis New York: Astor Court

[Translate] Interior of Astor Court and its lounge; our full spread of afternoon tea Afternoon Tea at the St. Regis New York Hotel, an historic Manhattan landmark at 55th and 5th Avenue, serves as the perfect oasis from the frenzy of New York City to the calm of a centuries-old British tradition – for Mother’s Day. As my mother and I sat in the luxurious Petit Salon sipping various blends of teas and enjoying an assortment of pastries and desserts, it seemed like the chaos of the city just outside the hotel’s doors was hundreds of miles away. In fact,..

Four Seasons’ Taste Cocktail Party

[Translate] A few nights ago, I had the honor to be invited to Four Seasons‘ cocktail party launching their newest website Taste. Taste is essentially their platform to engage and inspire food connoisseurs like us with the luxurious hotel chain’s chefs and sommeliers’ of their recipes and inspirations. If you take a look at my photos and read the descriptions of what’s been served to us, the menu’s muse is the apple but applied in different mediums like duck, venison, and pork. All were executed well but my favorites are highlighted on this post. (more…)

Recent Recipes

Chinese New Year Dinner 2014 – Traditional Dishes & Spice and Herb Salt Crust Duck

[Translate] Happy New Year! Good luck in the Year of the Horse! 恭喜發財! 馬年行大運! My family and I ended up serving a mix of traditions, so to speak, for our new year dinner. The dessert you see above, is a rich and delectable macadamia shortbread brownie. The buttery, delicately crisp shortbread just melds with the fudgy brownie perfectly that if I left my weight consciousness at the door, I would have eaten the entire batch by myself. Of course, we did make and ate the simple traditional sweet of nian gao (my recipe). Chewy and tasty, and symbolically give us..

Whole Tea Smoked Duck Recipe

[Translate] I recently received an incredible package of local, humanely raised duck products (whole duck with its head and feet intact and duck breasts) from Crescent Duck*, located in Long Island, NY. Crescent Duck Farm grows only premium Genuine Long Island ducklings. What is particularly great about Crescent Duck Farm is it’s a family owned farm since 1908. The birds are fed only natural grains without hormones or artificial growth stimulants. What I’m really excited is the fact I get to cook with the Chinese style whole duck since type of duck is pretty hard to come by that is..

Thanksgiving 2013 – Roasted Aioli Turkey, Braised Pork Belly, Tomahawk Steak, Cranberries, Scallion Biscuits & Many More

[Translate] The meats of the night: Roasted aioli turkey, Grilled Pat LaFrieda tomahawk ribeye steak, braised pork belly (东坡肉) Thanksgiving in my family always mean to go big or don’t bother trying to cook. I mean, it’s the holidays so there’s no need to heed to our waistlines and calories and just enjoy the food. My brother wanted a roasted turkey so I remembered reading from Thomas Keller’s mayonnaise turkey several years ago and thought this might be a good time to experiment this idea. I dry-brine the turkey first and made my own mayonnaise. It’s made with egg yolks,..