Food Reviews

Lunch at Sobrino de Botín (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] Sobrino de Botín is one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid operating since 1725. First opened as an inn, the landmark eatery was founded by French cook Jean Botín and his wife. It is the world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records. Today, Botín is famed for its rustic Castilian cuisine, including succulent roast meats fired in an wood-fired oven made of cast iron that’s close to 300 years old. Botín has four floors and the air of a traditional Spanish tavern. There are three dining rooms: the bodega (“cellar”), the Castilla room, and the Felipe..

Pasteis de Belém (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] One of the days when we were in Lisbon, we headed out to the historic town of Belém that’s about 30 minutes out west by tram. This particular town is picturesque and has the most important tourist attractions. Belem is situated on the northern banks of the River Tagus and from the ancient harbors of Belem, ships set sail around the world, and many of the 14th century “voyages of discovery” departed from here. The Belem Tower was constructed to guard Lisbon from sea bound attacks and was positioned in the centre of the Tejo Estuary but today, due..

Choice Eats 2017

[Translate] This year’s Village Voice‘s Choice Eats is another great food event that took place at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Friday. There’s lots of great bites provided from the fifty or so restaurants and shops like Chefs Club, Doughnut Plant, Glasserie, La Vrai Raclette, The Lucky Bee, Pinto Garden, The Black Ant, Buka, The Gander, The Handpulled Noodle, Raclette, Huertas, ilili Box, and Underwest Donuts. We really adored the plmeatates of shrimp noodles salad and spicy wontons from Mooncake Foods. Great, balanced flavors from both dishes and they were cooked very nicely. The shrimp salad was savory, a little sweet..

A Fun Dinner at Mini Bar by José Avillez (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] If you want dinner that is expertly prepared and cooked with seriously good cocktails without the pretense in Lisbon, I would steer you to Mini Bar, one of Chef José Avillez’s eight restaurants in Lisbon and he’s the few chefs in Portugal pushing the country’s cuisine to the modern times (and he is also a Michelin-starred chef). For those who have been to Barcelona and dined at Tickets, Mini Bar’s casual atmosphere and food feels like an homage to the restaurant, since Chef Avillez has worked with Ferran Adria at El Bulli. The ‘El Bulli olives’ that kick off..

Varanda Restaurant at Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz was built in 1959 by the Dictator Salazar to prove that Lisbon could do luxury as well as any other European capital. More than half a century later it is still setting the bar, managed now by the Four Seasons Group, and still renowned for the service for which they have always been famous. Designed by renowned Portuguese architect Porfirio Pardal Monteiro and built atop one of Lisbon’s many hills to maximize city views, this monolithic structure houses Art Deco-meets-Louis XVI interiors embellished by more than 400,000 square feet of Portuguese marble and Norwegian..

Hotel Reviews

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,..