Food Reviews

Fantastic “New Indian” Fare at Badshah (NYC)

[Translate] We recently had a delicious dinner at Badshah in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a fairly new restaurant with Executive Chef Charles Mani, an alum of Babu Ji, and he was present throughout the entire evening we were there bringing out the food to various diners. He is an effusive, warm chef who deeply cares about how his food tastes and putting an ancient cuisine (Indian) and taking it in a different direction. We started off with drinks of Indian Rose and mango lassi. The latter is self explanatory and we appreciated the yogurt drink wasn’t too sweet but had enough..

Restaurant Lakasa (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] One of our dinners was at Lakasa in Chamberi. We were pretty excited for this dinner as we have heard good things about this restaurant that does cook according to the seasons and Chef César Martín and his team cooks meat very well (this is to appease one of my picky diners). This restaurant is a beautiful, open dining space with large windows and a large bar/lounge room when you enter. We sat by the windows and our waiter was thoughtful to leave us a tablet with the English version of its menu. (more…)

Tapas at Restaurante Jose Luis (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] We had one of those nights where we wanted to stay in close to our hotel, Barceló Emperatriz since it was a long day of sightseeing Madrid. Our concierge has suggested Restaurante Jose Luis for tapas and it’s about a ten-minute walk. An institution for over 50 years, Jose Luis has locations throughout Madrid, as well as in Sevilla and Barcelona. But the original is in the prestigious Calle Serrano in Madrid. A fashionable establishment of the 60’s, artists, writers, and professionals were drawn by the ambient and the large variety of tapas. Today’s crowd is a mix of..

Hermosos y Malditos (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] Hermosos y Malditos is located in Totem Hotel in the upscale Salamanca district of Madrid. Spanish for ‘The Beautiful and The Damned’, Hermosos y Maldito is a culinary hotspot that nods to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, the morality tale, ‘The beautiful and damned’ about elite urban socialites, the decadent lost generation. Food, by Rodolfo de Bernardi and Nacho Tirado’s is health-conscious Mediterranean home-style cooking, while the damned comes in the form of a round-the-clock Prohibition-style bar, featuring a vast menu of classics along with bespoke creations by mixologist Fran Camino. The menu is an intelligent mix of Mediterranean..

Boconó Coffee (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] When I was researching for my trip to Madrid, I have realized there aren’t many specialized coffee shops in the city. Though coffee has long been ubiquitous in the city, it’s consistently been of poor quality–over-roasted and drenched in milk. Like many traditional European coffee markets, the idea of “third wave” is new to most locals. However, I have found Boconó on Plaza de Cascorro, at the start of the Rastro flea market. This coffee shop reminds me of most Brooklyn coffee shops – part hipster and cozy with the exposed brick and furniture and art pieces that are..

Hotel Reviews

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..

Prestigious Luxury at Lotte New York Palace Hotel

[Translate] I had the good fortune to visit the New York Palace Hotel recently. Granted, I’ve eaten the wonderful, whimsical, and delicious confections of Chef Michel Richard’s at Pomme Palais during the holiday season. But that evening of potently good cocktails, dining at Villard Michel Richard, and go up to one of the hotel’s signature Tower suite, the Jewel Suite, it’s incomparable. The New York Palace is an historical landmark that is a combination of the Villard Houses and the Helmsley Tower. The Villard House was built in 1882 and was originally owned by Henry Villard, a well-known railroad financier...

Mandarin Hotel Boston – Excellence & Luxury in the Back Bay

[Translate] During our holiday weekend getaway to Boston, we stayed at Mandarin Oriental located in the Back Bay neighborhood. This hotel is luxury at its best. When you enter the spacious lobby, which was designed with local granite and artwork, a traditional New England color scheme and the principles of feng shui. The lobby’s long, gas fireplace is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by fresh flower arrangements, tasteful Christmas decorations, and personable staff ready to create a quiet oasis within the busy city hotel. It’s situated in the heart of an equivalent to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue shopping area; near..

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..