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

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..

Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby; Our Harbour City Suite and its huge bathroom; View of Huangpu River from the suite Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong is luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai hotel in May 2013. The hotel sits just east of the Huangpu River in the new Harbour City development, east of the Pearl Tower, and next to the newly opened Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club. The 362 guest rooms come with opulent gold and teal decor, iPod docks and luxurious toiletries from London perfumer Ormonde Jayne. We loved our Club level room and its giant bowl-shaped bath tub to soak our..

Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court at The Ritz (London, UK)

[Translate] While I was in London, I was fortunate to have a reservation afternoon tea at the historical and legendary Palm Court at The Ritz (£47.00 per person or $78.96 at the exchange rate of £1 = $1.68 US). The local Londoners would pretty much tell you if you want a traditional afternoon tea, you should go to here. The Palm Court at The Ritz is absolutely stunning. It is a destination for glamorous guests from high society to “see and be seen” dating back to 1906. The Palm Court is a dramatic room with high ceilings and its walls..

Historical, Luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel & Booking Office (London, United Kingdom)

[Translate] Inside Hansome Lounge, the lobby of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel During my trip to London, I had the opportunity to stay at the historical, luxurious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross. King’s Cross in London is currently an up-and-coming neighborhood where both locals and travelers would meet since the railroad stations are here. This hotel was built in the 1860s, when the thriving Midland Railway, which connected the industrial heartlands of the East Midlands and Yorkshire with London, chose to build its own railway and station. William Barlow owned the property and appointed architect, George Gilbert Scott to..

Recent Recipes

Coconut, Adzuki Red Bean, Matcha Green Tea Layered Jelly

[Translate] For the past several weeks, it’s been a crazy, busy several weeks for me, primarily with work and planning my upcoming trip to London. I wanted to make a simple but tasty but minimalist beautiful dessert that also has Asian flavors since they were all in my pantry – matcha green tea, adzuki red beans, and coconut milk. Come to think of it, this sweet is pretty healthy since there is no cream or butter involved. This jelly is made with agar, a vegetarian alternative to gelatin that’s normally sold in powdered or flake form. There is generally a..

Raspberry Religieuse Recipe

[Translate] Recently, Driscoll’s was generous to send me some of their wonderfully sweet-tart raspberries for me to bake with. Inspired this weekend for the spring-like weather we were finally having in New York City, I wanted to bake something “happy,” if that make any sense. For me, one of my happy memories was when I was in Paris several years ago and brought my ravenous carb and sweet tooth, saw and ate my way through the city. One particular pastry that stuck in my mind that looked elegant and feminine when I passed by a few patisseries, which I found..

Savory Oatmeal with Crisp Prosciutto, Skellig Cheddar & Poached Egg

[Translate] The folks over at Kerrygold were sweet to send me a package of a few of their delectable light cheeses and their wonderful butter in aims to create a lighter, healthier dish. If you read this blog long enough, you’re aware that I don’t necessarily bridge the two unless I do feel insanely gluttonous. I like moderation and more on the lines of flavor trumps healthiness (especially desserts!). With that all said, I woke up one morning craving a bowl of savory oatmeal since I eat many variations of the sweet versions too often and had a craving for..