Food Reviews

Dinner at Atoboy (NYC)

Though it took me some time, I finally made it to Atoboy, a highly acclaimed restaurant that explores the creative small Korean plates called banchan. The difference between the banchan you do get at most Korean restaurants and what Atoboy serves is the fact these are thoughtful plates – carefully devised flavors and ingredients and it’s a larger portion. They serve a set menu of 3 plates for $42 (and there are supplement plates if you like to accompany your meal). (more…)

Wedgewood Afternoon Tea at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena (Los Angeles, CA)

When we drove over to The Langham, Pasadena from central Los Angeles, the pace of life here feels a little more relaxed and it truly does look like paradise on the vast grounds of this historic hotel. My friend and I came to this ornate, stately hotel for the Wedgewood afternoon tea. The moment we stepped in to its spacious marble lobby redesigned in 1911 by architect Myron Hunt. It has a stunning crystal chandelier with double French doors looking out to its center courtyard, one cannot be helped but be in awe. The lobby lounge, where afternoon tea is..

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: Highland Park (Los Angeles, CA)

If there’s such a bakery that has an Instagram friendly space and serve excellent laminated pastries at the same time that would be Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. The space itself is slightly on the industrial style with minimalist decoration, done in tones of white, beige and grays and a touch of wood, making it a great canvas for the golden brown pastries (some dipped in colored glaze) to stand out. This particular bakery started in San Francisco, CA particularly famous for the Cruffin, a croissant dough shaped like a muffin and filled with various flavored fillings depending upon the day of..

Dinner at Gwen Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)

I’ve been to plenty of steakhouses (especially NYC is pretty much known as a steakhouse town) and the one that feels the most well-rounded I’ve been to as of recent is at Gwen. It’s kind of odd to say, for me at least, that a restaurant in Los Angeles would provide me a better experience both in service and in food that doesn’t feel brusque and the menu is uneven that the beef steaks shine but little else on the menu would be as good or notable. What is notable about Gwen is the fact the menu is meat-forward but..

Noree Thai on Beverly (Los Angeles, CA)

Noree Thai on Beverly is a relatively new Thai restaurant from the Luv2Eat team. The chefs’ namesake eatery, which opened this week, is the most mature of the bunch with Thai-inspired design elements coming from the warm gold chandeliers and cascading art on the walls. What I adored about this place was the unabashed Thai flavors and cooking that comes from the kitchen. We started with the tum pu pla ra, a salted crab green papaya salad made with fermented fish sauce and black crab paste that was both spicy and deliciously funky fermented flavors that made this papaya salad..

Hotel Reviews

Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi (Tokyo, Japan)

Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunounchi. It’s in the heart of the business district and it is boutique hotel with 57 rooms. This hotel is designed by Yabu Pushelberg; Andre Fu designed the hotel’s restaurant Motif. It’s chic and modern; decorated with warm, neutral tones and accents of wood. It makes you feel comfortable but it’s all luxurious. We whisked up to the seventh floor to the hotel’s restaurant Motif for afternoon tea. Seated at lounge area of the restaurant, The hotel’s teas are by a German tea brand Ronnefeldt (this brand started in 1823). Since it was a humid day,..

Fantastic Chef’s Tasting Menu at Sense at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)

In a city that has the most Michelin stars in the world, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo takes pride of their awards and stars seriously. Sense at Mandarin Oriental is a 1* Michelin Cantonese restaurant in a 6* diamond, luxury hotel. Other restaurants within this hotel that share this prestige are Signature (French) and Tapas Molecular Bar (molecular gastronomy). When I arrived to the 37th floor and was greeted by the sight of sleek, dark wood and black marble restaurant with tables covered in heavy cotton candy pink tablecloth that reminds me of my childhood dining at Chinese banquettes. The best part..

Lovely Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel (NYC)

The Palm Court at The Plaza is arguably one of the best hotel afternoon teas in New York City I’ve had in the longest time. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian re-launched the iconic Palm Court at The Plaza hotel with a renovation by Master Architect Thierry Despont almost a year ago. The renovation does result in bringing natural, floral elements inspired by Central Park (and it has the classic English elements that reminds me of another landmark, The Ritz in London, UK). Despite the fact it sounds quite touristy but you should go there once just to check out the scene. This..

Gorgeous, Fabulous Anguilla

Many thanks to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Anguilla has everything one would want in an ideal beach wedding. Fine white sandy beaches, clear blue waters that varies in its varying tones of vibrant turquoise to dark blue depending how the sunlight strikes it, old clapboard buildings meets tony resorts (old/something borrowed and something new), and the island’s style of unfussy chic, barefoot elegance. This Caribbean island, a British overseas territory about seven miles north of St. Maarten/St. Martin, is a tiny island — a mere 35 square miles with just six traffic lights...

Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests. The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles, and..

Recent Recipes

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

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 a..

Whole Tea Smoked Duck Recipe

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 raised..

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

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, Dijon..


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