Food Reviews

Dinner at De Pisis at Hotel Bauer (Venice, Italy)

A few friends and I recently went off to Italy—namely, Milan, Venice, and Parma—and explored the sights, shopping and of course, the varied food scenes. I will post in no particular order of the restaurants we have dined. One of the most glamorous ways to dine is at De Pisis at the five-star luxury hotel, Hotel Bauer Venezia. This hotel is surrounded by all of the high end European designer boutiques that lead to the entrance of the hotel. When you walk through the doors, it’s a spacious, elegant lobby set with palm trees giving off the warm Mediterranean vibes but..

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..

Hotel Reviews

Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court at The Ritz (London, UK)

While I was in London, I was fortunate to have a reservation afternoon tea at the historical and legendary Palm Court at The Ritz (£47.00 per person or $78.96 at the exchange rate of £1 = $1.68 US). The local Londoners would pretty much tell you if you want a traditional afternoon tea, you should go to here. The Palm Court at The Ritz is absolutely stunning. It is a destination for glamorous guests from high society to “see and be seen” dating back to 1906. The Palm Court is a dramatic room with high ceilings and its walls of..

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..

Prestigious Luxury at Lotte New York Palace Hotel

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. This..

Mandarin Hotel Boston – Excellence & Luxury in the Back Bay

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 exclusive..

Loews Philadelphia Hotel – A Historical Landmark & Luxurious Hotel

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 hotel..

Recent Recipes

Taiwanese-Style Mooncakes and Taro Root Paste Recipes

Traditional mooncakes (before and after baking) Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up soon (this year, it’s September 19th) and it seriously felt maybe a week or two ago I made these traditional Chinese pastries – the traditional mooncakes (廣式月餅) and the snowskin mooncakes. I’ve been making these ever since for my family and a few close friends and they always wanted a few of these pastries once they start seeing it at the Chinese grocery stores and bakeries. Taiwanese flaky mooncakes This year, I did not make any snowskin mooncakes and made traditional mooncakes (what you see at the beginning of..

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salted Bourbon Cajeta & Hazelnut Brittle

This weekend was my brother’s birthday and housewarming party as he just bought a condo within New York City. To celebrate these two fortuitous occasions, I had to bake a cake that’s decadent and delicious. Knowing my brother, he likes complex flavors, dark chocolate and nuts. So, I don’t see an issue baking and serving this gorgeous rich chocolate cake with salted bourbon cajeta and hazelnut brittle. It is an over-the-top chocolate cake but the best thing is, it’s not sweet because the moist cake itself is deep, dark and rich chocolate flavors from the unsweetened cocoa powder and my..

Pluot Pistachio Streusel Cake (Recipe)

Summer is the best season to bake any desserts with fruit. This past weekend, while shopping for groceries my local market had a huge abundance of red-brown pluots (a hybrid of a plum and an apricot) on sale that’s a shade overripe, so it’s on the softer side – and I bought several pounds of them. What fantastic about these pluots is it does taste so sweet and juicy that it drips down my wrists as I bite into them. Rather than taking the easy route and just eat them quickly within a day or two, I thought of baking..