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Dinner at Sushi Seki (Hell’s Kitchen, NYC)

[Translate] Sushi Seki in Hell’s Kitchen is a brand new location of Sushi Seki (there’s the Upper East Side and Chelsea locations) that is a stunning, large bi-level space. The main level is Bar Seki, a more casual experience featuring shared plates and a long 15-seat bar, complete with artisanal, craft cocktails with a Japanese twist, perfect for sipping before or after dinner. It also has an additional 80 seats for diners including a communal table for shared dining, as well as many banquettes and tables facing the fully open kitchen. A 6-seat Kappo/Chef’s counter for food enthusiasts who have..

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

[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..

Tastings Social Presents Mountain Bird (NYC)

[Translate] Tasting Social presents Mountain Bird is the relocated home of the critical, poultry-centric restaurant Mountain Bird. The co-owners and husband-wife team of Mountain Bird, Kenichi Tajima, a native of Japan who cooked at Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro and at Tastings, and Keiko, who works the front of the restaurant. I don’t normally make the trip up to East Harlem for food since it’s quite a schlep. However, Mountain Bird is a cozy restaurant that has the relaxed yet old time feeling feel with the butcher paper lined tables and the white plates and cups monogrammed in gold. The food..
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…)
Dinner at Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒 at Ritz Carlton Hong Kong (2* Michelin)

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..

Travel

Mandarin Hotel Boston – Excellence & Luxury in the Back Bay

[Translate] 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..

Afternoon Holiday Tea at Fairmont Battery Wharf – Not Your Grandmother’s Tea

[Translate] Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Battery Wharf is what I would consider, a modern take of what the age-old version of afternoon tea. Their dining room is streamlined and modern, evoking a luxury yacht with cozy touches like comfortable leather sofas and chairs, a fireplace toward the back, and floor to ceiling windows looking out to the majestic wharf. It’s more of a handsome place rather than a feminine or frilly dining room. The food has a modern take to it and service is friendly and not uptight. The diners there were a mix of tourists and locals who..

Driving to Boston, MA with the luxurious Cadillac CTS

[Translate] My 2014 Cadilac CTS: At home and in Boston This past holiday weekend, the luxurious American automobile company, Cadillac lent me their best car to me, the fully equipped 2014 CTS Sedan. It’s a striking, powerful car with a 3.6L V6 engine, premium Bose® Active Noise Cancellation sound system, plenty of leg room – even in the rear seats – and it’s loaded with tons of safety features with the Driver Awareness Package (like the rear view cameras, Safety Alert Seat, etc.). I’m highlighting a few details but it’s truly a fantastic car. Since I have this amazing car..

Thoughtful Asian-Spanish Fusion at Dos Palillos (Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] < One of the unique meals I’ve eaten in Barcelona was at the 1* Michelin restaurant, Dos Palillos. Dos Palillos technically has two locations, one being in Barcelona (where I ate and the original location) and Berlin, Germany. It’s a thoughtful, fusion restaurant merging Asian, mostly Japanese, cuisine with Spanish food sensibilities; not some weird mash-up of cuisines that doesn’t make sense on a plate. The results were mostly good (with a few dishes bringing up my childhood memories) but a few little details that could have made certain dishes excellent. This place is very popular, especially on the..

Dinner at Espai Sucre (Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] Interior of Espai Sucre; Our Amuses; Pouring Josep M Ferret Guasch Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava Espai Sucre in Barcelona means “Sugar Space.” It’s an intriguing restaurant and cooking school concept started by patissier Jordi Butrón. The menu is mostly devoted to tapas-style desserts that has a few savory dishes. The school aspect is teaches both the professional and amateur students. We headed here for dinner since we do adore desserts and their savory dishes does read tasty. Entering this minimalist decor dining room is a mix of Industrial (open steel racks containing glass jars of colorful candies and..

Beachside, Leisurely Lunch by the Beach at Xiringuito Escribà (Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] Xiringuito Escribà: Exterior, Interior, Table setting When you go to Barcelona and want to be out and about on a Sunday, you should plan to do little or an activity that can take a very long time because many shops and museums don’t open on a Sunday. It’s an European thing, I guess, to pace yourself and enjoy the weekend before the grind of the work week comes. Unlike in New York City, where it’s the norm for a shop open seven days a week unless it’s a major holiday. We were fortunate to have a sunny, balmy Sunday..