Food Reviews

Three Pillars Bar Lounge – Cozy, Upscale and Great Drinks and Japanese Food (NYC)

[Translate] There’s lots of bars in New York City and its nightlife give you a wide range to choose from the bustling, hole-in-the-wall to the really nice, upscale lounges that may reside in hotels. A relative newcomer from the Suzuki Hospitality Group (the group that owns the 1* Michelin sushi and seasonal kaiseki restaurant called Suzuki and a sushi bar counter seating restaurant, Satsuki) has Three Pillars Bar. This upscale yet cozy lounge is found across the hall from Suzuki restaurant. When you enter through the doorway, you’d see the short foyer filled with crystals dropping from the ceiling making..

Solid, Upscale Szechuan Cuisine at Hwa Yuan (NYC)

[Translate] Hwa Yuan is a new upscale Szechuan restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This restaurant started by the son of one of New York’s legendary Chinese restaurants. Hwa Yuan (the original opened in the 1980s) closed years ago and seminal Chinese restaurateur Shorty Tang died, his son Chen Lieh Tang reopened this current restaurant in hope to revitalize this part of Chinatown. The restaurant is spacious having three floors, taking up the space of what was Bank of China. The basement is the kitchen and private dining room that was the safety deposit room of the bank. The main floor and..

Relaxing Time at Loews Miami Beach Hotel – SOAK Cabanas and Lure Fishbar (Miami, FL)

[Translate] If there was a day I felt like a pampered (and very well fed) person while in Miami, it was spending the day at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This hotel recently underwent a $50 million dollar renovation that gave the hotel a fresh, sophisticated look. When we walked through the tall palm tree-lined path to the pool, we were mesmerized how stunning it is. It looked glamorous and it’s not too far from the beach. We had the cabana and it’s practically a mini studio apartment. We had our private bathroom fitted with a walk-in shower with a large..

Santorini by Georgios at Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach (Miami, FL)

[Translate] One of the relaxing (and very stomach fulfilling) days I have spent in Miami was at Santorini by Georgios at Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach. We’ve explored Little Havana during the morning to check out the predominantly Cuban community and had fresh pressed sugar cane juice then drove down to South Beach for some sun time. Santorini by Georgios feels like a local Greek restaurant since it’s a family owned joint despite the fact it is in a boutique hotel. This not a bad thing at all since everyone greets and treats you like you are a friend or part..

Hotel Reviews

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..

Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] The Marriott Taipei is one of the newest luxury hotels in Taipei. The largest complex of its kind in Taipei, the Taipei Marriott Hotel comprises a five-star 320-room hotel, restaurants, lounge, convention center, shopping mall and apartments. It is located on the north bank of the Keelung River, in the Dazhi district, near Songshan International Airport. As part of Marriott’s “Green Hotel Development” initiative, indigenous shrubbery and flowering plants are found throughout the hotel grounds and are interspersed with pieces of nature inspired art and sitting areas. (more…)

Fantastic Stay at W Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] For the first portion of our time in Taipei, we stayed at W Taipei. The first thing that is great about this hotel is centrally located the Xinyi District that makes it easy for me to drop off my shopping bags (there are many shopping malls surrounding the hotel). It’s also a few blocks from the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Taipei 101, the world’s second-tallest building. Nearby subway stations mean you can be whisked to the city’s shopping districts and mountain hot springs. Entering the lobby of the W Taipei, it’s technically not their lobby. As confusing as..

Lunch at Le Cinq (3* Michelin, Paris)

[Translate] We had lunch at Le Cinq at the very posh Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris. I was generally excited for this particular meal is because of Executive Chef Christian Le Squer currently cooks here and I recalled of the wonderful lunch I had in 2010 when he worked at Ledoyen. We opted for the 4-course lunch (145€ per person) since we still have a long day of eating. Starting off our meal was a “mises en bouche” of a plate set with a ginger jelly balloon, raspberry truffle has a liquid center, and a crispy jigsaw shaped..

Luxurious Dim Sum Afternoon Tea at La Chine at Waldorf Astoria (NYC)

[Translate] La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria is a grand, luxurious haute Chinese restaurant. Renovated in colors of black, gleaming gold and silver, fuzzy banquettes and a black marble bar. The layout is like an old-school power room surrounded by orchids and dim lighting. I’ve been in the search for solidly good high-end Chinese food in New York City (I’m speaking of the ones I’ve eaten Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong) and based on this dim sum afternoon tea experience, I think this is a good bet. The service was professional and friendly. The plush atmosphere feels comfortable. The food..

Recent Recipes

Pistachio Oil, Yogurt Lemon Cake

[Translate] Nounos Creamery is a family-owned creamery in based in Southampton, Long Island, NY. What makes their Greek-style strained yogurt distinctive are the cute glass jars besides the very delicious yogurt. These yogurts come in various flavors like plain, forest berries, orange fig to seasonal flavors like apple pie a la mode. The yogurt itself isn’t sweet. It has the thick, tangy characteristics that you’d expect from this style of yogurt. The fruit that accompanies the yogurt aren’t too concentrated nor sweet which really appeals to me. (I have eaten certain brands of Greek yogurt where I feel like I..

Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Mango Ginger Lime Jam, White Chocolate Lemongrass Frosting

[Translate] I’ve been a long time fan of eating and baking with Valrhona chocolate. This brand creates one of the world’s finest chocolate in the small village of Tain L’Hermitage, France since 1922. They are dedicated to creating unique, artisan quality chocolate with complex, balanced and consistent flavors. This mission of excellence continues as the gastronomic traditions of the renowned Rhone Valley find expression in every mouthwatering taste of Valrhona’s superb chocolate. Valrhona has created a range of unique and recognizable aromatic profiles by perfecting techniques for enhancing the flavor of rare cocoa beans, grown on land masterfully selected for..

Apple Cardamom Yogurt Cake

[Translate] This weekend was truly autumn. Leaves turning from shades of green to vibrant colors of reds, golden yellows, and orange. Autumn is also prime apple season. I’m not in the mood to bake a somewhat finicky pie but wanted to do an apple cake. I’ve tried out the Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt; a thick, tangy yogurt that has natural creamline on top that would make a perfect addition to the cake. The natural acidity would make for a tender cake and add some moisture and fat. (more…)