Food Reviews

Creative Flavors at Supply and Demand (Ottawa, Canada)

[Translate] As a brief introduction for my readers out there who do not follow me on Instagram, I have been posting photos and occasional Stories of my recent travel to Ottawa, Canada. Now, most of you might look at me quizzically wondering “why Ottawa?” like many of my friends and acquaintances have. I have been to the well known Canadian cities of Montreal, Toronto (though admittedly, it’s been a while) and Vancouver and I want a short getaway for the summer holiday week. Also not everyone has been there and I don’t mind visiting a place that is relatively under..

Drunken Dumpling (NYC)

[Translate] One of the few restaurant niches that fares well in New York City are Chinese-style dumplings. One of particular fast-casual restaurant that is Instagram-famous particularly for its giant soup dumpling is Drunken Dumpling that is a mother-and-son operation in the East Village. (more…)

Delicious Moroccan Fare at Mekki NYC

[Translate] Mekki NYC is a new Moroccan restaurant in Greenwich Village. It’s a beautiful restaurant done in a cobalt blue with some furnishings (like the beautiful light fixtures and the many pairs of babouche, traditional slippers) from Morocco. We walked to the back of the restaurant where the main dining area is located and started off with a lovely Moroccan Sauvignon Blanc (yes, Morocco makes wine for a millennia). The wine was had citrus and touch of floral notes on the nose. It is bright then fills the mouth with soft tannins and flavors of grapefruit and pineapple that lead..

The Tang (NYC)

[Translate] A recent dinner with a few friends at The Tang in East Village, we were pretty surprised how good this very small Szechuan restaurant is. It’s essentially a narrow restaurant that have about seven two-tops and a four top right behind the compact open kitchen that’s up at the front end of the restaurant. We started off with a smattering of (cold) small plates. The tofu dishes – Naughty tofu and Sesame tofu – were very tasty. For the ones who are sensitive to chili heat, the sesame tofu is your best bet. Cold, soft tofu wading in a..

Bar Belly (NYC)

[Translate] In the neighborhood of Lower East Side, it’s filled with bars that can range from dive to upscale. Bar Belly is a great cocktail bar, oyster bar, and have a band performing (at least when a friend and I were there on a Thursday night). The bar itself is a long and narrow, set with a beautiful bar up in the front with mid-century Europe-and-Americana-inflected design with its jackalope mascot mounted toward the middle of the room. (more…)

Hotel Reviews

Dinner at Wit & Wisdom at Four Seasons Baltimore

[Translate] Four Seasons Baltimore opened its doors in 2011. This property is located on the edge of Baltimore’s historical and picturesque Harbor East waterfront. Apart from the top-notch location, the stylish lobby, gorgeous rooftop pool area and, of course, the Four Seasons’ signature impeccable service. The hotel has elegant accommodations, appointed with marble bathrooms, plush down comforters, cozy terrycloth robes, flat-screen TVs, and a beautiful spa with plunge pools. We had dinner at one of their restaurants, Wit & Wisdom, a casual fine dining restaurant by Michael Mina is one of the hottest restaurants in Baltimore. Chef Zack Mills helmed..

Afternoon Tea at Ritz Carlton Buckhead (Atlanta, Georgia)

[Translate] Ritz Carlton Buckhead is set in an upscale neighborhood of Atlanta (there is another Ritz Carlton Atlanta that is about 10 miles south in Downtown Atlanta), not too far from the tony shopping boutiques and the city’s most prestigious shopping venues – Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza. When we arrived to the Lobby Lounge, it’s a handsome, dark lounge set with a large bar toward the front, plush upholstered sofas and chairs dotted throughout the lounge. Afternoon tea is a staple at this luxury hotel. Here, the traditional afternoon tea takes place Wednesday through Sundays at 2 PM and..

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman

[Translate] The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman is currently considered the best luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands. It is a AAA Five Diamond property and occupies 144 acres across the Caribbean to the North Sound, facing Seven Mile Beach’s shoreline. When we entered the spacious and beautiful Silver Palm dining area that divides into two sections — a handsome, dark wood bar on one end and an elegant tea room flooded with lots of natural light. (more…)

Excellent Afternoon Tea at The Pembroke Room at The Lowell Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] I’ve recently went to The Pembroke Room at The Lowell Hotel for afternoon tea with my mother this past weekend. The Lowell is a boutique hotel in the tony neighborhood of the Upper East Side. When you do enter the charming Pembroke Room upstairs, it felt like I went to an elegant, wealthy grandmother’s home. It’s warmly lit with chandeliers, tables set with heavy tablecloths and fine china, and comfortably padded chairs. (more…)

Luxurious Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam & Lunch at Jansz

[Translate] On my recent trip to Amsterdam last week, I stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam. This hotel has heritage and prestige given its twenty-five restored 17th and 18th century houses that were once homes of prosperous trade merchants and the decadent and flamboyant Dutch aristocrats. The hotel grounds now encompass nearly an entire city block along Prinsengracht, the canal dedicated to the Prince of Orange. This hotel is still under renovations when I was there but when I entered the hotel, it felt like entering a high-end private residence. On the left of the door, you enter the..

Recent Recipes

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

[Translate] PARTNER POST – Get creative with any of Castello’s uniquely crafted cheeses. Click here for a $1 off coupon to create your own gourmet masterpiece. Castello Jalapeño Havarti cheeses; Jalapeño Havarti & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche Castello Cheese is an historical cheese brand that started since 1893 and they create more than 40 different types of delicious cheeses. I’ve recently been selected to be one of Castello’s collaborators to come up with a unique recipe with their jalapeño havarti cheese that’s more than just a grilled cheese sandwich or cheese dip. Havarti cheese is a Danish-style cow’s milk cheese that..

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

[Translate] Chinese New Year (or what others would generalize this holiday, Lunar New Year) is coming up this Thursday and if you really want to make a dessert to impress your family and friends, this pistachio, yuzu, chocolate feuilletine cake, would be it. I chose these flavors centered on the pistachio. Even though pistachio is my favorite nut and flavor, in Chinese New Year traditions, this nut means happy nut and symbolizes happiness. Thankfully, my family isn’t staunchly stuck on tradition; I’ve incorporated a mix of Chinese tradition with French pastry technique for this dessert. (more…)

Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

[Translate] I love fudgy brownies. But I’ve been wondering over the years as I’ve been baking these rich, fudgy squares does it really require the half pound of butter in that batch, even if I do melt a substantial amount of chocolate? After some naval gazing and an opportunity to collaborate with Four Roses Bourbon, I had an eureka moment. I know it sounds insane to not bake with butter (and I do love my butter) but for the sake of curiosity and experimentation, you can have a fudge-y, dense brownie. Partially inspired by the macaron cookie, you can create..