Food Reviews

Fantastic Stay & Dining Options at JW Marriott Bangkok

When we stayed at JW Marriott Bangkok for a few nights, we were floored from the moment we were checking in. We were welcomed like a dignitary with the seriously gorgeous phuang mala, a Thai flower garland symbolizing for luck and respect, on a tray draped in gold silk cloth while I was going through the usual check-in process. My entire party gasped in utter surprise and completely humbled by the fact they gave us these garlands and walked us up with our luggage to our Executive one-bedroom suite. (more…)

Fine French Fare at Tables Grill at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

Dinner at Tables Grill at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok was a very solid fine French dinner in the middle of Bangkok. Sure there are plenty of non-Thai restaurants in this city but many would be mediocre but Tables Grill, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Hans Zahner was something worth noting since he taken over as Chef de Cuisine as of fall 2018. We had the pescatarian five-course dinner tasting menu was overall tasted and felt like a solid 1* Michelin. The ingredients used in the restaurant feature locally sourced vegetables from the Royal Project in Chiang Mai. (more…)

Very Good Stay at Oriental Residence Bangkok

My friends and I made it to Bangkok and the first hotel we stayed in was at Oriental Residence Bangkok. This boutique hotel and residence is located in the very heart of downtown Bangkok, right next to the U.S. Embassy, the Oriental Residence brims with quiet, understated luxury for business and leisure travelers. The modern luxury at the Oriental Residence, a pleasant space to linger for a little. The spacious lobby, complete with chandelier is very quiet except on mornings where everyone is going in and out for breakfast at Cafe Claire or out and about to explore the city..

Afternoon Tea at Anantara Siam Bangkok

We stopped by Anantara Siam Bangkok for afternoon tea to cool our heels from the intense heat and humidity of Bangkok. We had hoped to have their legendary Sunday Brunch but it was booked by the time we tried making a reservation.  The hotel has a large ostentatious lobby, with ceiling frescoes and an incredible mural atop a wide staircase and a large wooden boat decked out with carved elephants and local flowers. We had some time to wander a little around their public space and it’s very lovely especially the enormous koi pond fitted out with tropical flora and..

Excellent Afternoon Peranakan Tea at Violet Oon at ION Orchard (Singapore)

After spending several days in Singapore and understanding the multicultural city-state and Peranakan cuisine, Violet Oon is an upscale version of what that cuisine is. We visited its ION Orchard location for afternoon tea and it’s a understated beauty. Violet Oon is the grande dame of Singaporean cooking and is widely considered to be an authority on Asian cuisine, specializing in Nyonya food. She had her own television cooking show in the 1980s and wrote three cookbooks on Peranakan cuisine. In 2012, Violet and her children, opened Violet Oon’s Kitchen in Bukit Timah and two other locations: National Kitchen by Violet..

Hotel Reviews

Varanda Restaurant at Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz (Lisbon, Portugal)

Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz was built in 1959 by the Dictator Salazar to prove that Lisbon could do luxury as well as any other European capital. More than half a century later it is still setting the bar, managed now by the Four Seasons Group, and still renowned for the service for which they have always been famous. Designed by renowned Portuguese architect Porfirio Pardal Monteiro and built atop one of Lisbon’s many hills to maximize city views, this monolithic structure houses Art Deco-meets-Louis XVI interiors embellished by more than 400,000 square feet of Portuguese marble and Norwegian granite...

Historic Elegance at Palacio Belmonte (Lisbon, Portugal)

Built on the fortress walls of the medieval São Jorge Castle, Palacio Belmonte the oldest palace and the city’s first hotel in Lisbon. The house had been in the same family for more than 500 years. It is a stunning building, a 2197-year-synthesis of Portuguese history and culture. They rediscovered all the different layers of construction, hidden frescos, walled rooms and found fabulous archives, letters of queens and kings of Portugal, an escape dating from the Roman time leading to the Tagus, cisterns, Roman tower, and original 18th-century Azulejo tiles during the process of renovating the palace to a hotel...

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

If there’s a place to be to have afternoon tea in its most classic form and have great people watching, you should head to Palm Court at The Drake Chicago. There’s a harpist performing on certain times of the hour. Since its opening in the 1920’s, The Drake Hotel has maintained a British vibe becoming the home away from home for many of Britain’s royal family starting with the Prince of Wales who stayed there in 1924. Other royals — both British and non-British — have continued the tradition including Princess Diana and the Empress of Japan. Drake’s afternoon tea..

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at The Langham Chicago

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)

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 as..

Recent Recipes

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

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 is..

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

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)

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 a..