Food Reviews

Crave Fishbar Upper West Side (NYC)

[Translate] I admit I rarely go to the Upper West Side unless it’s attending a show at Lincoln Center, the Museum of National History, or there’s really good food and a few friends are able to meet up with me. For this time around, it’s the latter and we met up at Crave Fishbar (Upper West Side). This spacious second location of the original (in Midtown East) is a seafood restaurant that is inviting with the spacious bar area with a dedicated oyster shucking area and the charming herringbone wood ceiling. What makes this particular restaurant brand unique is it..

Unique Flavors of Booza at Republic of Booza (Brooklyn, NY)

[Translate] If you want delicious and unique type of ice cream, you should go to Republic of Booza. Booza is an Arabic ice cream known for its stretchy texture and resistance to melting (at regular ice cream temperatures). It is claimed to be one of the oldest forms of ice cream, and is most commonly found in the Levant. For the most part, booza is made with standard ice cream ingredients like milk, cream, and various flavorings, though it does not contain any egg. The base does get mixed with salep and mastic, however salep is a flour traditionally made..

Luxurious Dining at Le Baccara at Casino du Lac-Leamy (Gatineau, Canada)

[Translate] We had dinner at Le Baccara. It might seem a little unusual to have dinner in a casino that is about 10 minutes away from downtown Ottawa but I couldn’t help but be curious how is it like to dine there. It is a five-star French restaurant where service is first class, from the choice of complimentary spring or sparkling water to the fresh linen napkin waiting every time you return to your table. We had a table by the window with a lovely view and see kayakers paddling around. (more…)

Wonderful Stay at Fairmont Le Château Montebello & A Visit to Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site (Montebello, Canada)

[Translate] If all of you are wondering why did I go to Montebello? It’s because it’s close to Ottawa (about an hour away by car) and I wanted to be away from the city (any, not just New York). Fairmont Le Château Montebello Montebello is located on a bank of the Ottawa River with its own marina. This grand log-built hotel provides rustic luxury, local flavor, beautiful grounds, great views, and heaps of activities to do for both summer and winter. It’s an annual family destination for many well-heeled Canadians (or tourist within the northeastern part of the U.S., it..

Great Stay (and Good Food to Boot) at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] Andaz Ottawa Byward Market was our home base when we were staying in Ottawa. This hotel juts up as the most prominent new high-rise in the ByWard Market, a 19th-century commercial district that now hums with both artisan goods shops and venerable Canadian department stores like Simon’s and Hudson’s Bay. Trendy bars and a few of the city’s best restaurants round out the mix. Art also meets power in this area between the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill. All of these locations are within a fifteen to twenty minutes of walking so a car isn’t needed to..

Hotel Reviews

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at The Langham Chicago

[Translate] For those who celebrate, Happy New Year and 恭喜發財! When we were visiting Chicago two weeks ago, The Langham Chicago was intuitive enough to serve Chinese New Year afternoon tea. The menu is generally inspired by Chinese cuisine while still maintaining the familiar format of tiers of food, served in separate courses, and the pots of very good tea of choice. (more…)

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..

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…)