Food Reviews

Tempo Dulu and Opium at The Danforth (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] The Danforth, as I’ve mentioned on my previous post, is a fantastic, luxury inn and it’s a fascinating place that houses an unexpectedly good upscale Southeast Asian restaurant, Tempo Dulu and a cocktail lounge called Opium. I didn’t have high expectations of eating good Asian cooking since Portland does not have a large Asian population compared to New York City or Boston. I expected great New American, farm-to-table food while I’m in Portland. However, Executive Chef Michael McDonnell and his team cooks dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia while using local ingredients. The food that arrives to..

Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] If there’s something I’m pretty excited to visit in Portland, it would be the famed artisan doughnut shop, Holy Donut founded and owned by Leigh Kellis. All of the doughnuts are hand made and with real, natural ingredients (like fresh blueberries and pomegranate) and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious and there’s some mashed Maine potatoes. (more…)

Brunch at Sonny’s (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Sonny’s is a funky, historical but cool restaurant that has a large bar with two overstuffed couches near the entrance and provides a steady buzz that fills the high-ceilinged rooms overlooking Exchange Street. The ornate, tiled floors and the enormous safe in the back of the restaurant recalls the building’s 19th-century origins as the Portland Savings Bank and the stained-glass windows left over from its incarnation as F. Parker Reidy’s. When you read the brunch menu of Sonny’s, the menu is varied but mainly sticks with the idea of American comfort food with a Latin influence. We started off..

Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Local 188 is a mainstay in Portland since 1999, originally located across the street from its current location, this laid-back eatery is one of the original farm-to-table trendsetters in the area with owner Jay Villani at the helm creating an innovative menu that draws on Spain and the Mediterranean. Local 188 has a relaxed, bohemian vibe with mismatched lounge furniture, including big, comfy couches and retro chairs. It’s a spacious restaurant that can accommodate a variety of needs – dinner, drinks, appetizers, late-night munching – and a mix of patrons. (more…)

Union Restaurant (Portland, ME)

[Translate] Union Restaurant is located within the Press Hotel, just across the street from Portland’s City Hall. It’s a beautiful and inviting, contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant led by Maine native Chef Josh Berry. The menu is thoughtfully designed and divided into broad categories of small plates, large plates, sides and on the bottom of the menu, must haves. We were informed by our waitress that all of the dishes err on the generously portioned. (more…)

Hotel Reviews

Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests. The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles,..

Old World Elegance and Luxury at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (上海外滩华尔道夫酒店)

[Translate] The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is an elegant historic (the original portion opened in 1911) hotel has restored the heritage Shanghai gentleman’s club to its former glory, located in the heart of The Bund. This is the most glamorous hotel in town. Lovingly-restored in Neo-Classic style, the hotel decor is opulent but understated with trembling crystal chandeliers, lots of gleaming marble, and a working antique cage lift. (more…)

Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

[Translate] When mt family and I were traveling in Beijing, we stayed at the fabulous and centrally located Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店). This hotel has 825 rooms and Suites with a view of Chang An Avenue (one of the major streets in Beijing) or has a Courtyard View. It’s right next to Wangfujing shopping street and connected to a huge and luxurious Beijing Oriental Plaza commercial complex. The Club Oasis has a 55-meter (180.45 feet) indoor swimming pool that’s fashioned to look and feel like a jungle with its humidity. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center and a spacious heated..

Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby Four Seasons Beijing is one of the luxurious hotels in the bustling capital of China that opened late 2012. It’s a little bit off the main tourist hubs but it’s close to the city’s business and embassies as well as the capital’s popular shopping and entertainment hub Sanlitun. Having tea and many different dishes at the Opus Lounge We start our afternoon having tea at the sleek Opus Lounge filled with impressive artwork inspired by striking Chinese landscapes. This lounge is a grand two-story space that offers Asian and Western specialties during their daily afternoon tea. We peered..

Recent Recipes

Miso Chocolate Hazelnut (Nutella) Rugelach Bars Recipe

[Translate] My love for desserts has never deterred but my preferences has certainly changed and yearn for something unusual. Don’t get me wrong. I still love my chocolate but it has to be dark and not too sweet (unless I have a craving for sugar). I remembered recently reading the Wall Street Journal about (white) miso accented desserts and it’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments since I adore and obsessed with salted caramel or anything sweet and salty in a dessert, it makes sense for miso and its fermentation adds an umami effect that bridges..

Chocolate Kefir Cake Layered with Jam & Variations of Yogurt Cake

[Translate] I’ve recently tried experimenting with two great brands — deZaan Gourmet for their fantastic chocolate and cocoa powders and Redwood Hill Farm goat’s milk dairy products. deZaan brings a century of tradition, quality and technical leadership to an impressive portfolio of premium cocoa and chocolate products, including cocoa powders, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor and custom chocolate formulations. Their cocoa powders are available in a variety of flavors and color shades — from vibrant reds to dark browns and black — with various accompanying taste profiles and intensities. Redwood Hill Farm is an award-winning, goat dairy farm and creamery located..

Recipe: Matcha Green Tea Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake

[Translate] My mother is obsessed with Japanese desserts. Green tea (matcha) ice cream. Daifuku. Taiyaki. Yokan. Aduzki bean anything (that goes for any Asian desserts, really), and so on, she’ll love to get her hands on and savor them. She adores Japanese desserts because of its great balance of sugar (most of their desserts aren’t sweet, if you had) and the textures are sublime. Over the weekend, my mother and I were talking over the phone and she requested me to bring dessert over for the Dragon Boat Festival dinner (I’ll write a post about that soon) we’ll be having...