Food Reviews

Shaya (New Orleans, LA)

I’ve made a trip down to the Big Easy, also known as New Orleans. This city captivated me for sometime for the many cultures that meld over the centuries (as complicated as it was and probably still is) that created an interesting food culture because of it—and it’s the supposed birthplace of several cocktails like the Sazerac, Brandy Milk Punch, Vieux Carré, and the Hurricane, to name a few. It will be a slightly random order of posts related to this city’s dining and stunning boutique hotels but I’m starting off with a very satisfying yet seemingly simple Mediterranean inspired..

Restaurant Manitoba (Montreal, Canada)

Interior of dining room and open kitchen Pouring out of a magnum sized bottle of Sylvaner Restaurant Manitoba is a restaurant I’ve been meaning to go for a long time. I’ve first heard about this place when I was in Montreal four years ago. However, I didn’t have enough time to change plans and squeeze a stop by for a quick bite. Manitoba is located out in the industrial neighborhood of Mile-Ex (think of New York’s current equivalent of Bushwick, Brooklyn). (more…)

Mamie Clafoutis (Montreal, Canada)

Interior of retail side of the bakery Boules of bread The final bakery I’ve visited in Montreal was Mamie Clafoutis. This bakery started in 2008, by Nicolas, a pastry chef and Joseph, a baker, originally from France. They moved to Montreal to build their dream, committed to find and share their fond childhood memories. The first bakery opened its doors in Outremont. They use traditional skills and using the best ingredients and organic if possible, like the Canadian flour from La Milanaise Mill. (more…)

Brunch at Salmigondis (Montreal, Canada)

Exterior Caffeine (cappuccino) + Vitamin C (fresh grapefruit juice) Like most local farmers markets, it’s best to go on the weekend and I went to the beloved and famous Jean Talon Market. It’s so easy to be seduced by the gorgeous summer produce (oh, the perfectly ripened Quebecois strawberries! The sweet peaches! Rhubarb!) that’s available at multiple vendors’ stands. But I had to restrain myself from buying the glorious fruit since I am not permitted to bring this home but I did pick up some really flavorful goat’s milk cheeses and sheep’s milk butter. (more…)

Boulangerie les Co’Pains d’abord (Montreal, Canada)

Exterior of the bakery (Rachel location) Partial of the interior Sheet pan full of fresh baked brioche, chaussons aux pommes (French style apple turnovers) One of my favorite bakeries (boulangerie, to be exact) for my morning viennoiserie would be at Boulangerie les Co’Pains d’abord. This particular bakery makes their heavenly, buttery breakfast pastries from scratch in a compact kitchen in the back of the retail/café space. I had the honor to observe and photograph the hard working, busy but friendly bakers and staff members during an early, busy Saturday morning. Everyone at the kitchen is at least busy rolling; moving..

Hotel Reviews

Yan Ting at St. Regis Singapore

Yan Ting at St Regis Singapore is a very comfortable restaurant that can impress both visitors (like myself) and locals. The latter crowd are definitely affluent or some who want to celebrate an occasion. The dim sum menu is traditional and it is covers a lot of categories.  I’ve eaten with a few friends that afternoon and how the dim sum brunch works is that we each have our own pot of soup double-boiled fish maw soup with black garlic (原盅黑蒜炖花胶) and wok-baked Boston lobster with XO sauce (XO酱焗波士顿龙虾). We get to choose as many dishes as we want. The..


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

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 seemed)...

Fantastic Stay at Hyatt Regency Mexico City

Hyatt Regency Mexico City offers a unique infusion of Eastern and Western influences, with Asian elements sprinkled throughout the property. Not only does this Latin American-Asian fusion set the Hyatt Regency apart from its Polanco-area neighbors, but it’s popular with leisure travelers and business travelers. Though we were in the heart of one of Mexico City’s tastiest gastronomic districts, the hotel’s three restaurants (especially the Japanese plates at Yoshimi, as I’ve written earlier), excellent Sunday brunch at Rulfo (read here) as well as Amado, a pastry shop, are worth sampling. (more…)

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

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 rainfall..

Recent Recipes

Apple Cardamom Yogurt Cake

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

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 a..

Happy 4th of July!

Hope all my fellow American readers had a great and safe Independence Day! I celebrated with my friends and family the U.S.’ freedom with style. We started off with a luxe note with Petrossian Caviar. Petrossian started in the 1920s by two Armenian brothers – Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian – to Parisians. The brand has dominated this luxurious trade and continued to strive for the best of the fresh, high quality caviar produced. (more…)