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Excellent Peking Duck at Jin Yaa Tang at The Opposite House (Beijing, China)

[Translate] The Opposite House; Jing Yaa Tang sign; Dining Room; Peering into the duck roasting area Jin Yaa Tang is a pan-regional Chinese cuisine restaurant anchored around Beijing’s most international recognized contribution to global cuisine – Peking duck. This restaurant is located in the Opposite House and the hotel is a pretty popular boutique hotel in Beijing, catering to a clientele generally much an even mix of well-off short-term-stay business travelers and well-off short-term-stay leisure travelers. So, instead of referring their guests elsewhere, Opposite House can now refer them downstairs to their very own venue right on the site. The..

Third Wave Coffee in Beijing Found at Ocean Grounds Coffee (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Interiors of Ocean Grounds; Jim Lee the owner of Ocean Grounds Coffee When you travel to China, it’s generally hard to find a very good cup of coffee. I’m talking about the Third Wave kind of places we have in the U.S. like Stumptown or Blue Bottle, not that international chain that has a bright grass green logo with a white mermaid printed over it or similar ones that are born from Asian countries. I’ve “discovered” Ocean Grounds Coffee owned and run by Jim Lee. Lee is an American-born Chinese expat trying to educate the local Chinese what is..

Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby Four Seasons Beijing is one of the luxurious hotels in the bustling capital of China that opened late 2012. It’s a little bit off the main tourist hubs but it’s close to the city’s business and embassies as well as the capital’s popular shopping and entertainment hub Sanlitun. Having tea and many different dishes at the Opus Lounge We start our afternoon having tea at the sleek Opus Lounge filled with impressive artwork inspired by striking Chinese landscapes. This lounge is a grand two-story space that offers Asian and Western specialties during their daily afternoon tea. We peered..

Fourme d’Ambert Blue Cheese, Thyme, Cayenne, Tomato Jam Popovers

[Translate] Recently, Cheeses of Europe generously sent me a package of Mimolette and Fourme d’Ambert from the best cheese shop in New York City, Murray’s Cheese (as part of “Make it Magnifique” campaign). It felt like Christmas since I love cheese! Mimolette’s bright orange paste and dusty exterior tastes something akin to gouda. Sweet-salty, caramelized flavor but has the texture of Parmigianno Reggiano (hard, dense and easily shaved). The Fourme d’Ambert is a mild, earthy, cow’s milk blue cheese. It is creamy and lacks the spicy funk in Roquefort. The latter is a good thing, especially for some of my..

789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge at Le Royal Méridien Shanghai

[Translate] Lobby of Le Méridien; Interior of 789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge 66th Floor; The view from our room on the lounge’s 66th Floor Le Royal Méridien’s 789 Bar is another great spot to enjoy cocktails and a wide selection of Champagne. What makes this hotel bar stand out from others is the 360-degree uninterrupted views of Shanghai since the hotel is the tallest in Puxi and bar takes up the 65th and 66th floors. On the lower level, plush crimson armchairs gathered in intimate clusters encourage quiet conversation. Live music, original modern artwork and soft lighting underscore the..

Luxurious Dinner at Nougatine by Jean Georges at Three on The Bund (Shanghai, China)

[Translate] Dining room at Nougatine & Menus Another great upscale dinner we had at Shanghai was at Jean Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, Nougatine at Three on the Bund. I ate at Jean Georges Restaurant and Nougatine in New York City but I was curious how it fared out on the other side of the globe. Three on the Bund is Shanghai’s newest epicurean lifestyle destination blending gastronomy, art, culture, and music in an elegant, sophisticated gathering place for dynamic people and stimulating ideas. It created and manages six award-winning restaurants and bars, The Cupola, and Shanghai Gallery of Art. It is..

Glamour Bar & M on The Bund (Shanghai, China) – Impressive Views of The Bund & Very Fine Food and Drinks

[Translate] Glamour Bar: Exterior/entrance to the building; Entrance to Glamour Bar; Part of the interior and looking out at the Bund from the bar The two venues my family and I went to this particular — Glamour Bar and M on The Bund — are part of the M Restaurant Group. These two luxurious places are not pretentious but definitely swanky and if you are a Western expat, it mostly makes you feel like home with the cordial service and familiar Continental fare and drinks. These two are meant to impress anyone you need or want to knock their socks..

Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby; Our Harbour City Suite and its huge bathroom; View of Huangpu River from the suite Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong is luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai hotel in May 2013. The hotel sits just east of the Huangpu River in the new Harbour City development, east of the Pearl Tower, and next to the newly opened Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club. The 362 guest rooms come with opulent gold and teal decor, iPod docks and luxurious toiletries from London perfumer Ormonde Jayne. We loved our Club level room and its giant bowl-shaped bath tub to soak our..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Afternoon Tea at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai

Afternoon Tea at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai

[Translate] Since we were staying at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, we might as well their legendary Red Velvet afternoon tea at the elegant, plush lounge on the hotel’s main floor, Peacock Alley (338 RMB per person/ 588 RMB for two persons). There were three wonderful tiers of delicious bites to nibble along with our teas. The lower tier of savory items were filled with citrus salmon tartar, dill sour cream, keta caviar on brioche; duck rilettes, apple chutney, on chopped walnut and parsley on rye bread; thin slices of roast beef, foie grass mousse & black truffle on baguette; marinated scallop,..
Old World Elegance and Luxury at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (上海外滩华尔道夫酒店)

Old World Elegance and Luxury at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (上海外滩华尔道夫酒店)

[Translate] The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is an elegant historic (the original portion opened in 1911) hotel has restored the heritage Shanghai gentleman’s club to its former glory, located in the heart of The Bund. This is the most glamorous hotel in town. Lovingly-restored in Neo-Classic style, the hotel decor is opulent but understated with trembling crystal chandeliers, lots of gleaming marble, and a working antique cage lift. The hotel offers a level of residential comfort that feels almost better than home, and nowhere is this more evident than in the 252 guestrooms and 20 luxury suites. Rooms are light and..
Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

[Translate] When mt family and I were traveling in Beijing, we stayed at the fabulous and centrally located Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店). This hotel has 825 rooms and Suites with a view of Chang An Avenue (one of the major streets in Beijing) or has a Courtyard View. It’s right next to Wangfujing shopping street and connected to a huge and luxurious Beijing Oriental Plaza commercial complex. The Club Oasis has a 55-meter (180.45 feet) indoor swimming pool that’s fashioned to look and feel like a jungle with its humidity. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center and a spacious heated..
All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

[Translate] One of our most expensive dinners while we were in China was at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai. What makes the place expensive? They specialize in the coveted hairy crabs (大閘蟹) ever since the Qing Dynasty (around 1640s) and they are primarily shrimp. Hairy crabs are a seasonal delicacy only found in Asia. The small window of time when the female crabs produce the coveted roe (during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year, meaning during the autumn season). We ordered a feast just all about this delicious crab, from whole steamed hairy crab (our..
Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Okra is one of those few restaurants in Beijing where you have to find your way to your meal. Not too far fetched like going to Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) but instead of walking down the somewhat sketchy, old school hutong, you would be walking around a maze of slick glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers that look like corporate businesses. When you do find a security guard right outside sitting on a corner of an entrance to a walled entrance to what may be another cluster of buildings, that is where you should be — The 1949 Hidden City..
Dinner at Made in China at Grand Hyatt Beijing (Beijing, China)

Dinner at Made in China at Grand Hyatt Beijing (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Our other Peking duck-centered dinner (and it was our last meal in China) was at Made in China at the Grand Hyatt Beijing (where we stayed while in Beijing but more on that in a near future post). We arrived to dinner at 7 PM with a reservation for a table and the Peking duck. (You must reserve a duck ahead of time or you’ll never have one that evening.) The dark wood and steel eatery; floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Chinese knickknacks and a stylishly exposed kitchen behind glass set the atmosphere inside this 126-seat glitzy space. Dumplings and..
The Sweet Spot at Shangri-La’s China World Hotel in Beijing, China

The Sweet Spot at Shangri-La’s China World Hotel in Beijing, China

[Translate] Lobby of China World Shangri-La; Pastry display cases at Sweet Spot; Whole green tea mousse cake On one of our late afternoons in Beijing, we stopped by The Sweet Spot of Shangri-La’s China World Hotel. When entered the lobby of China World, it felt like we’ve just walked into a miniature Forbidden City. Filled with Ming and Qing era style artwork, the red and gold lobby gave us the impression of old school Chinese glamour. We were informed that the Sweet Spot is actually found at the hotel’s luxurious shopping and corporate offices that’s just beneath and connected to..
Excellent Peking Duck at Jin Yaa Tang at The Opposite House (Beijing, China)

Excellent Peking Duck at Jin Yaa Tang at The Opposite House (Beijing, China)

[Translate] The Opposite House; Jing Yaa Tang sign; Dining Room; Peering into the duck roasting area Jin Yaa Tang is a pan-regional Chinese cuisine restaurant anchored around Beijing’s most international recognized contribution to global cuisine – Peking duck. This restaurant is located in the Opposite House and the hotel is a pretty popular boutique hotel in Beijing, catering to a clientele generally much an even mix of well-off short-term-stay business travelers and well-off short-term-stay leisure travelers. So, instead of referring their guests elsewhere, Opposite House can now refer them downstairs to their very own venue right on the site. The..
Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby Four Seasons Beijing is one of the luxurious hotels in the bustling capital of China that opened late 2012. It’s a little bit off the main tourist hubs but it’s close to the city’s business and embassies as well as the capital’s popular shopping and entertainment hub Sanlitun. Having tea and many different dishes at the Opus Lounge We start our afternoon having tea at the sleek Opus Lounge filled with impressive artwork inspired by striking Chinese landscapes. This lounge is a grand two-story space that offers Asian and Western specialties during their daily afternoon tea. We peered..

Recipes

Fourme d’Ambert Blue Cheese, Thyme, Cayenne, Tomato Jam Popovers

Fourme d’Ambert Blue Cheese, Thyme, Cayenne, Tomato Jam Popovers

[Translate] Recently, Cheeses of Europe generously sent me a package of Mimolette and Fourme d’Ambert from the best cheese shop in New York City, Murray’s Cheese (as part of “Make it Magnifique” campaign). It felt like Christmas since I love cheese! Mimolette’s bright orange paste and dusty exterior tastes something akin to gouda. Sweet-salty, caramelized flavor but has the texture of Parmigianno Reggiano (hard, dense and easily shaved). The Fourme d’Ambert is a mild, earthy, cow’s milk blue cheese. It is creamy and lacks the spicy funk in Roquefort. The latter is a good thing, especially for some of my..
Celebrating International Bacon Day 2014

Celebrating International Bacon Day 2014

[Translate] International Bacon Day is today! It seems pretty convenient that this year it falls on the long Labor Day weekend so if we overindulged in bacon-centered dishes, we can either sleep it off or go on a longer workout to burn it off. At any rate, the inaugural Famrland Bacon Treasure Hunt is commencing and folks who are located in Denver, St. Louis and Kansas City can participate. But us New Yorkers will celebrate by baking, cooking, and eating a whole bunch of bacon. Trust me, when you have a bacon loving boyfriend, he thinks this is Christmas and..
Maple Pecan Thyme Cayenne Pie

Maple Pecan Thyme Cayenne Pie

[Translate] Tonewood Maple Syrups and Maple Cube; Schermer Pecans Tonewood is a Vermont based brand that creates one of the most superior maple syrups I have ever tried. They recently took home the with Sofi Gold award. Schermer is a Georgia farm established in 1946, growing one of the finest buttery pecans. As they are great by themselves as well as together. As much as every American knows maple pecan pie, I wanted to make it a bit savory and throw in some dried thyme and a pinch of cayenne. Also to play along the savory note, I used Four..