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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…)

Dinner at Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒 at Ritz Carlton Hong Kong (2* Michelin)

[Translate]   Since we’re staying at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong and thoroughly enjoyed afternoon tea (my post here), we were curious about Tin Lung Heen. This is a high end Cantonese restaurant and earned consistently a 2* Michelin rating since 2013. Its floor to ceiling windows give a birds eye view over Victoria Harbour, and it is so high up that it is actually at or above the level of the clouds. This can be experienced when the clouds on occasion completely envelop the building, and the windows appear opaque due to the mist. To access the restaurant, take the express lift from..

Ritz Carlton Hong Kong – Amazing Presidential Suite & Fantastic Afternoon Tea at Café 103

[Translate] Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, relocated and opened in March 2011, is located on the top of Hong Kong’s tallest building (on floors 102 to 118) of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), with 484 meters or 1588 feet of the 7th tallest building in the world and the highest skyscraper in Hong Kong. If you don’t suffer from vertigo, it offers a stupendous panorama of Hong Kong island, Kowloon, the loops and swerves of Victoria Harbour that separates the two and the mountains that coddle both. You won’t see as astonishing a vista as this anywhere else in Hong Kong...

5* Luxury at the Flagship Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

[Translate] Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is a legendary, luxury hotel in Central, Hong Kong. It is the flagship of all of the Mandarin Oriental properties. It passed its 50-year anniversary in 2013 and it’s a decades-long favorite of visiting dignitaries and celebrities like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger. When you enter the main entrance, you are greeted by professional staff and a bustling reception area where business people and well-to-do locals are checking in. The lobby is adorned with sleek, signature black marble walls, glamorous crystal chandeliers, and beautiful Asian inspired decor. The hotel has form of 10 different restaurants..

Dim Sum at Lung King Heen at Four Seasons Hong Kong (3* Michelin)

[Translate] Lung King Heen (龍景軒) at Four Seasons Hong Kong is the only 3* Michelin Cantonese restaurant (an accolade held since 2009) and currently ranked 20th World’s Best Restaurant in Asia, located in the bustling Central district. When we arrived to the fourth floor and enter the restaurant, the staff was welcoming. The restaurant itself is adorned with discreet Chinese motifs, polished woods and – a standard for any high-end hotel eatery in this city – views of Victoria Harbour. This restaurant is very popular and primarily filled with affluent locals. If you want dinner reservations, you should book about..

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

[Translate] 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..

Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon & Urban Works Bakery at The Landmark (Hong Kong)

[Translate] The Landmark is an exclusive luxury mall in Central, Hong Kong. Landmark it is a serene world of high-end shopping, including Louis Vuitton’s Asia flagship store, Harvey Nichols and Tiffany & Co. The dining is equally prestigious and includes Michelin-starred restaurants like L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Other fine casual dining places like Café Landmark are popular spots for the well-to-do locals and expats. Besides wanting to give my credit card a workout with luxury shopping, I wanted to start my morning with great pastries like Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon. (more…)

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

[Translate] 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..

Sweet Taste of Tradition – Wagashi at Tokyo Mise (鶴屋吉信)

[Translate] Tokyo Mise is located on the ground floor of Corredo Muromachi 3 in the very upscale district Nihonbashi. It is both a sit-down tea salon and a retail space where one can pick up a couple of sweets to go. Tokyo Mise is founded in 1803, headquartered in the Nishijin district of Kyoto and serving wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) that reflect the four seasons and based around the Japanese tea culture, including matcha green tea. Tsuruya Yoshinobu (Tokyo Mise’s parent company) expanded to Tokyo’s Nihonbashi area for clients to savor freshly made treats made in front of their eyes..

Afternoon Tea at Dalloyau Hong Kong

[Translate] Dalloyau, a prestigious French culinary brand with a rich royal heritage and a 300-year legacy, is the only maison de gastronomy to serve the royal court of Louis XIV since 1682. This location in Harbour City, Kowloon comprises of a boutique, café, French fine dining restaurant, and terrace (opened in July 2014), Dalloyau Hong Kong is a four-in-one experience. Designed by award-winning international design firm Yabu Pushelberg, the space is divided into four distinct areas, each with their own theme. La Boutique Dalloyau is dominated by white marble and gold, highlighting selections of treats including the finest patisseries and..

Mind Blowing Chocolate Mooncakes From Pierre Hermé Hong Kong (IFC)

[Translate] Pierre Hermé Hong Kong opened its doors in May 2013 and so much buzz generated on that side of the world that it made me a bit envious, frustrated and lamented that Chef Hermé still hasn’t opened a boutique in the U.S. On the bright side, since Hong Kong was my first city on my long trip in Asia that I get to have my hands on the vibrant, jewel-toned macarons and chocolates. (Unfortunately, all of their HK locations do not sell the beautiful, delicious pastries like its Paris and Tokyo locations.) Entering its first location in Hong Kong..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Fantastic Coffee at Victrola Coffee Roastery (Seattle, WA)

Fantastic Coffee at Victrola Coffee Roastery (Seattle, WA)

[Translate] When in Seattle, you should have seafood and coffee or you’re wasting your time in this city. Victrola Coffee Roastery is a local Seattle coffee roastery established in 2000. In a city filled with many coffee shops (hello, it’s the home of the corporate coffee mecca that has the green mermaid as its mascot), what we really love about Victrola committed themselves to sourcing and roasting only the best. With a passion for great coffee, they can’t wait to share their hard work and passion with you through one of their delicious blends or single origins. The Pike Street..
Delicious, Casual Vietnamese Steakhouse Fare at Seven Beef (Seattle, WA)

Delicious, Casual Vietnamese Steakhouse Fare at Seven Beef (Seattle, WA)

[Translate] Seven Beef is the newest restaurant by Chef-Owner Eric Banh and his sister, Sophie and with Executive Chef Scott Emerick helm the kitchen. Seven Beef occupies a 4,000-square-foot building that once housed an architect’s office. The centerpiece is the dramatic open kitchen equipped with a wood-burning oven alongside a combi-convection oven. What you don’t see is the cooler in the back that houses the restaurant’s sub-primal cuts of prime, grass-fed beef, delivered weekly by Heritage Meats from their ranch in Rochester, Washington and have a young butcher to break down the animal everyday. (They will cut a three pound,..
Dinner at Spur Gastropub (Seattle, WA)

Dinner at Spur Gastropub (Seattle, WA)

[Translate] Spur Gastropub is located in the Belltown section of Seattle, WA, run by award winning chefs/owners Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, the same team behind other popular, gastronome-favored places like Tavern Law and Old Sage. When you enter this understated nouveau-Western decor, you can’t help but notice the bar filled with great microdistillery spirits and the mostly young diners who are enjoying a couple of well-crafted cocktails and several plates of food. It’s a cozy space that has both modern and rustic. Wood trim and natural log tables coexist with hip light fixtures and ambient projections of black and..
Delicious and Beautiful Pastries at Thomas Haas Patisserie (Vancouver, B.C.)

Delicious and Beautiful Pastries at Thomas Haas Patisserie (Vancouver, B.C.)

[Translate] Thomas Haas is a fourth generation pastry chef who grew up in his family’s pastry shop in Germany. It was located in the Black Forest village of Aichhalden. It all began when his great-grandfather opened the Café Conditorei Haas in 1918. Every generation after that continued the tradition of the family’s Black Forest cakes and other local sweets. Following in their footsteps, Haas trained in his native Germany, and then headed to Switzerland, France, and North America to gain more experience. He worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe before moving to Canada as executive pastry chef at the..
Fantastic Lunar New Year Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)

Fantastic Lunar New Year Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)

[Translate] The Urban Tea Merchant is found along the glamorous and busy business district (I would say it’s an equivalent to NYC’s Madison Avenue in Midtown). The Urban Tea Merchant is well known in Vancouver since 2004 for carrying exclusively the line of teas and teawares from the luxury brand TWG from Singapore. On the ground floor, you’ll find the retail shop, where you can buy teas, gorgeous teapots and accessories, and even tea-infused macaroons. Toward the back of the shop upstairs is the hidden tea salon, where you can have lunch, brunch, desserts, cocktails, and, of course, tea service...
Highlights of 2015

Highlights of 2015

[Translate] 2015 came and went much quicker than I could ever imagine. Despite the year breezing by, I am grateful for having the opportunities to travel to six international destinations (while still being employed full time), meet interesting people while traveling and collaborating with several brands. Wales, United Kingdom I started off traveling to Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom during late February/early March with Visit Wales. Landing at Heathrow Airport in London and take the leisure train ride over, seeing the rolling green hills that gave me a preview of the lushness of the landscape and the many adorable, fluffy sheep..
Excellent Dim Sum at 8 Restaurant at Grand Lisboa Hotel  新葡京酒店賭場 (Macau)

Excellent Dim Sum at 8 Restaurant at Grand Lisboa Hotel 新葡京酒店賭場 (Macau)

[Translate] When you think of Macau, you would associate this former Portuguese controlled region for the glamour of Las Vegas. Except Macau has a fantastic dining scene from fine to street food like its neighbor Hong Kong. On the fine dining spectrum, 8 at Grand Lisboa Hotel is a glamorous 3* Michelin rated restaurant (since 2014. up to its current list for 2016) in Macau. It’s a very sleek restaurant that does serve the best dim sum I ever ate. Ever since that having 8’s dim sum, every other dim sum meal didn’t match up the deliciousness of what we..
1* Michelin Sushi Iwa (Tokyo, Japan)

1* Michelin Sushi Iwa (Tokyo, Japan)

[Translate] A high end sushi experience in Japan can be intense and uncomfortable sometimes with the formality and etiquette, the inevitable language barrier and the hefty price tag. Sushi Iwa 鮨 いわ, located in Ginza, is a high end, 1* Michelin restaurant that serves excellent sushi without the snobbery. Sushi Iwa’s entrance is at street level. It is recognizable from its classic wabi-sabi (tea-ceremony style) look, hempen curtain, bamboo trellis window and small iron lantern at foot level. Inside, it feels relaxed and, with a counter only big enough for six, surprisingly intimate. Owner-chef Hisayoshi Iwa learned his skills at..
Conrad Tokyo

Conrad Tokyo

[Translate] Hilton Conrad Tokyo, opened in 2006, is located on floors 28 through 37 in a high-rise building in the Shiodome area of Tokyo, the Conrad is a 290-room, premium-service hotel that caters to business travelers and tourists who want to be near downtown. The hotel is also a 10-minute walk from the very popular Tsukiji Fish Market. When we entered their ground floor elevators up to the 28th-floor check-in lobby, we were welcomed to a double-height space that looks out onto Tokyo Bay. The interior illuminated by glowing lightboxes and floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, the décor of the hotel is..

Recipes

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

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

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…)
Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

[Translate] I’ve recently found out and shopped at OurHarvest. Our Harvest is an online farmers market that connects us consumers to local farmers and food producers (currently for the NYC area only). Through partnerships with farmers, fishermen, and food artisans, OurHarvest purchases and sources their products locally to maximize freshness; hence ensuring quality and traceability while keeping costs down and combating hunger at the same time. For every delivery above $25 it receives, OurHarvest also donates a meal to a family in need through its relationship with the Food Bank of New York City. My recent shopping haul consisted of..