Thursday, September 22, 2011

Travel - Taipei, Aug 2011 - (Day 3 / 4)

Mitsui Cuisine

On our 3rd day, we were able to get up before 12:30pm only because I made a lunch reservation at 1:30pm. When it comes to food, to urge to sleep becomes secondary! The place was Mitsui Cuisine which has become one of the must stop Japanese restaurants in Taipei on every visit. Mitsui and its chain of Japanese restaurants each has its own theme so to speak to provide a different experience to diners. I am not certain and I doubt Mitsui and all its outlets are the best (or the cheapest) in Taipei but so far all my visits have been very consistent in terms of quality and service.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Man Wah @ Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)


Time truly flies, it is the season for hairy crab once again! Instead of cooking myself this year, I kicked off the hairy crab fest at Man Wah (Mandarin Oriental). Truly an indulgence I may add. I was invited along with a few other fellow bloggers to attend the advance tasting for the special offering from 15 to 23 October during which the Crab Palace Restaurant in Shanghai will be visiting Man Wah, bringing a series of famous dishes including its famed Shanghai hairy crab. One of the special highlights will be the technical display of de-shelling crab in front of diners in three minutes! I do wonder how long it took them to master such a skill!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Travel - Taipei, Aug 2011 - (Day 2 / 4)

Smith & Hsu

Typhoon Nanmadol was approaching Taiwan during our stay causing unstable climate and frequent showers. We were afraid we would be stuck in the hotel (not so much about flight delays or cancellation to be honest, really don't mind staying longer), but luckily by the time we got up the early morning shower has stopped and left us with a gloomy sky. I like waking in the rain, it is rather romantic as well but only if it is light rain or shower not heavy rain AND strong winds!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just another story ...


I came across an online story recently, written by J for Jerk. His blog is written Chinese but the untitled  story was interesting enough that I have decided to spend some time to translate it into English for sharing.   The story is about a teenager and his life experiences which many of us can relate to in some ways. It is (or was) quite relevant to many of us or perhaps all of us who have been through the teenage years.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Travel - Taipei, Aug 2011 - (Day 1 / 4)

Dazzling Cafe

Like most people, I do enjoy afternoon naps whenever possible. After checking into HOME Hotel around 4pm, I spent 20 mins or so doing interior shots followed by a 5 mins rest on the sofa which turned out to be a 20 mins nap thanks to the comfort of the sofa!! Almost every time I attempt to take a 5 mins nap on this sofa, it ended up nothing less than 20 mins, it happened at least once every day during our stay! By the time I got ready it was 5pm already and our lunch was ... plane food, therefore we were quite hungry.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

HOME Hotel (Taipei, Aug 2011)


I am a sucker for boutique hotel! Yes I am! I rarely blog about hotels or travel accommodations in great details unless I would actually return. The previous boutique hotel I blogged about was the QUOTE Hotel in Taipei which is still in my top 3 pick in that city. On my recent trip to Taipei, I took advantage of a discount package and stayed at the newly opened HOME Hotel in Taipei which I am very impressed with the moment I stepped into this boutique hotel. While there are still areas for improvement which I will talk about later, the following two elements more than captured my undivided attention:
  1. It is located in the center^ of Taipei, right in the middle of the XinYi district, within walking distance of the Taipei 101 and literally 1 min walk to the trendest Neo19 club scenes, 3 mins walk to the Mitsukoshi Department Store, 5 mins to Tapiei City Hall, 10 mins walk to Bellvita and right next to Vieshow cinema. (^there are many districts in Taipei, 12 administrative districts to be exact. Xinyi is just one of them, each with their own characteristics. The Xinyi district is significant in recent years because of Taipei 101 ) 
  2. Home Hotel implements a MIT policy meaning everything or perhaps 98% of the hotel is Made in Taiwan. The wood, the lift, the carpet, tea, coffee, furnitures, mattress, garbage bin, sleepers, TV, soap, shower gel and all in-room amenities are Made in Taiwan! Yes I did check most of the items in order to verify its claim! (except for the Yamaha iPod/iPhone station perhaps)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mandarin Grill + Bar (Hong Kong)


Many restaurants and chefs nowadays have the tendency to categorize themselves in the different schools of ... gastronomy, be it molecular, avant-garde, traditional, new cuisines or something as extreme as emotional cuisines, they are all different styles of cooking aiming to put creativity into every-changing culinary experiences. It can be quite confusing indeed to imagine the cuisine by their name or category. At Mandarin Grill, the chef likes to call his cooking progressive gastronomy. So what sort of cooking is progressive gastronomy? It is difficult to describe in a few words but if I understand the concept correctly, it puts emphasis on presentation, a strong visual as well as direct stimulation of the 5 senses.

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