Food Reviews

Great Stay (and Good Food to Boot) at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] Andaz Ottawa Byward Market was our home base when we were staying in Ottawa. This hotel juts up as the most prominent new high-rise in the ByWard Market, a 19th-century commercial district that now hums with both artisan goods shops and venerable Canadian department stores like Simon’s and Hudson’s Bay. Trendy bars and a few of the city’s best restaurants round out the mix. Art also meets power in this area between the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill. All of these locations are within a fifteen to twenty minutes of walking so a car isn’t needed to..

Afternoon Tea at Zoe’s Lounge at Fairmont Château Laurier (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] If there’s a hotel that is famous in Ottawa, it is the Fairmont Château Laurier. Not only for the stunning architecture but there’s so much history involved in this hotel. It was built as one of the classic railroad hotels by the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada a century ago, it is a massive turreted structure, a venerable castle that is remarkably spacious and very lovely inside. A friend and I decided to have afternoon tea here despite the fact it was still in the middle of a heat wave. (more…)


Black Walnut Bakery (Cumberland, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] A surprising find from my drive from Montebello to Ottawa was Black Walnut Bakery. This bakery is very charming as it’s a large house painted in a sunny yellow and outfitted with a porch. It makes me think I will be entering my Southern grandmother’s home when I walked up the porch and through the white wooden door. As you walk down the hallway, there’s a door opened to a kitchen that was wrapping up the day’s work but not too far is the room where the display counter and small seating area lined up with locals waiting for..

Fantastic Coffee at Little Victories Coffee (Ottawa, Canada)

[Translate] Little Victories Coffee is an independently owned coffee shop between two coffee professionals (and friends) Andrew Bassett and Jeremie Thompson, who became disenchanted with Canada’s coffee industry. After experiencing the incredible divide in coffee quality between Canada and other parts of the world they felt obligated to help Ottawa compete on the global stage. Several global sourcing trips later, Little Victories Coffee Roasters began retail and wholesale operations across Ottawa. Within a year the fledgling company had contracts with over a dozen small and independent coffee shops supplying top shelf coffee beans and training across the Ottawa Valley. Since..

Hotel Reviews

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...

Gorgeous, Fabulous Anguilla

[Translate] Many thanks to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Anguilla has everything one would want in an ideal beach wedding. Fine white sandy beaches, clear blue waters that varies in its varying tones of vibrant turquoise to dark blue depending how the sunlight strikes it, old clapboard buildings meets tony resorts (old/something borrowed and something new), and the island’s style of unfussy chic, barefoot elegance. This Caribbean island, a British overseas territory about seven miles north of St. Maarten/St. Martin, is a tiny island — a mere 35 square miles with just six traffic..

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…)

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...