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

5* Luxury at the Flagship Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

[Translate] Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is a legendary, luxury hotel in Central, Hong Kong. It is the flagship of all of the Mandarin Oriental properties. It passed its 50-year anniversary in 2013 and it’s a decades-long favorite of visiting dignitaries and celebrities like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger. When you enter the main entrance, you are greeted by professional staff and a bustling reception area where business people and well-to-do locals are checking in. The lobby is adorned with sleek, signature black marble walls, glamorous crystal chandeliers, and beautiful Asian inspired decor. The hotel has form of 10 different restaurants..

Dim Sum at Lung King Heen at Four Seasons Hong Kong (3* Michelin)

[Translate] Lung King Heen (龍景軒) at Four Seasons Hong Kong is the only 3* Michelin Cantonese restaurant (an accolade held since 2009) and currently ranked 20th World’s Best Restaurant in Asia, located in the bustling Central district. When we arrived to the fourth floor and enter the restaurant, the staff was welcoming. The restaurant itself is adorned with discreet Chinese motifs, polished woods and – a standard for any high-end hotel eatery in this city – views of Victoria Harbour. This restaurant is very popular and primarily filled with affluent locals. If you want dinner reservations, you should book about..

Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi (Tokyo, Japan)

[Translate] Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunounchi. It’s in the heart of the business district and it is boutique hotel with 57 rooms. This hotel is designed by Yabu Pushelberg; Andre Fu designed the hotel’s restaurant Motif. It’s chic and modern; decorated with warm, neutral tones and accents of wood. It makes you feel comfortable but it’s all luxurious. We whisked up to the seventh floor to the hotel’s restaurant Motif for afternoon tea. Seated at lounge area of the restaurant, The hotel’s teas are by a German tea brand Ronnefeldt (this brand started in 1823). Since it was a humid..

Fantastic Chef’s Tasting Menu at Sense at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)

[Translate] In a city that has the most Michelin stars in the world, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo takes pride of their awards and stars seriously. Sense at Mandarin Oriental is a 1* Michelin Cantonese restaurant in a 6* diamond, luxury hotel. Other restaurants within this hotel that share this prestige are Signature (French) and Tapas Molecular Bar (molecular gastronomy). When I arrived to the 37th floor and was greeted by the sight of sleek, dark wood and black marble restaurant with tables covered in heavy cotton candy pink tablecloth that reminds me of my childhood dining at Chinese banquettes. The best..

Lovely Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] The Palm Court at The Plaza is arguably one of the best hotel afternoon teas in New York City I’ve had in the longest time. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian re-launched the iconic Palm Court at The Plaza hotel with a renovation by Master Architect Thierry Despont almost a year ago. The renovation does result in bringing natural, floral elements inspired by Central Park (and it has the classic English elements that reminds me of another landmark, The Ritz in London, UK). Despite the fact it sounds quite touristy but you should go there once just to check out the scene...

Recent Recipes

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

[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

[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..