Honolulu, Hawai’i | Orchids at Halekulani

Friday, January 31, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

Remember how I said there was more to come about desserts at the Halekulani?

Here it is! ^_^

I’ve mentioned the Coconut Cake (served at Orchids and House Without a Key) a few times in the past. It’s my favorite coconut cake in Honolulu and I make a point to eat it at least once when I’m back home. 

Orchids also does a number of other memorable desserts…check Serious Eats for the full post

There’s the Lychee and Strawberry Fraisier (with green tea sponge cake)…

…and a Lilikoi-Chocolate Bar.

The Chocolate Cream features dark chocolate brownies, whipped milk chocolate, and caramelized apple-bananas…

…and there’s a daily rotation of housemade sorbets and ice cream. I am partial to the calamasi and pineapple ^-^

Hong Kong | Afternoon Tea at The Langham

Friday, January 31, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

Let’s go back to Hong Kong! We’ll arrive just in time for afternoon tea at The Langham.

Tea is served in the Palm Court right off the lobby. They offer two types of Tiffin Afternoon Tea:

  • Beauty and the Beast  – more chocolate and darker flavors
  • Sleeping Beauty – lighter, fruity flavors (we ended up ordering this one)

The Langham has a collection of private blends, and also serves Ronnefeldt (which I rarely see in the US, but is super popular in Hong Kong). I went with Lukull Darjeeling ^_^

Shall we begin? Start with the savories! Slow-cooked chicken and foie gras wrap followed by…

…smoked salmon, ceps duxelles, horseradish cream, and candied beets on whole wheat.

A mini banquette with caviar, roma tomatoes, and egg salad…

…and cilantro crepe rolls with celeriac and blue lump crabmeat.

Black truffle butter with wagyu beef and hot house cucumbers.

And finally, the tiniest quail scotch egg.

Scones were delivered later in the service to ensure that they were still warm when we ate them. A small touch that made all the difference. One each of the raisin and classic scone with…

…clotted cream, strawberry jam, and raspberry preserves.

Hope you saved room for dessert, there’s plenty coming! This is the lilikoi and quark cheese dome on a shortbread crust.

Mango-caramel-coconut tartlet (like the ones from The Carlyle only these were 1000X better).

A sweet brioche stuffed with raspberry preserves…

…and crisp profiteroles with green apple.

There was a caramel panna cotta topped with toffee streusel…

…and tiny angel cookies alongside lemon “marshmallow” macarons ^_^

Thierry Marx at Mandarin Oriental New York

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

I love it when the Mandarin Oriental New York hosts chefs from other Mandarin Oriental locations around the world.

Remember when Chef Man Sing Lee visited from Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong to recreate his famous dim sum dishes from Man Wah? (Even neater was when I got to see him again in Hong Kong a few months later!)

This time the hotel is hosting Chef Thierry Marx from Mandarin Oriental Paris. I’ve always wanted to eat at Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx and Camélia so it was a treat to see him cook in NYC.

The dinner series takes place at Asiate and runs till Saturday night. 

Head over to Gotham Magazine for a look behind the scenes

…and definitely make sure to order the Castenea for dessert ^-^

Steepster Select | Box #2

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

Have you seen the new Steepster Select box?

The folks behind Steepster recently launched a monthly tea subscription service. This is box #2.

It’s pretty cute ^_^

There are five different teas in each box, two servings of each. So ten servings in total. 

The teas are a mix of Steepster branded teas and teas from select companies.

This month featured Taiwan-based Eco-Cha. Last month it was Brooklyn-based Tea Wing. Remember the first time we met Zach of Tea Wing? Can’t believe that was almost a year ago. 

The teas come with a pouch (convenient for taking tea on the go), tea filters (in case you’d rather not steep grandpa-style), and a card with descriptions and steeping instructions. 

Starting the day with a super heady Da Hong Pao from Wuyi, China ^_^

Honolulu, Hawai’i | Halekulani

Sunday, January 26, 2014 1 No tags Permalink 0

The Halekulani is one of my favorite hotels in Hawai’i.

I’ve blogged about afternoon tea at the Veranda and Orchids, killer mai tais at House Without a Key, and memorable meals at La Mer (plus the Coravin ;). 

But I don’t think we’ve taken a look at the entire property yet…

Want to check it out? ^_^

We can start in one of the Diamond Head Suites…especially named for the view. 

Big plushy beds (love the idea of waking up to this view)…

…and all the little details. Let’s take a morning nap…

…before heading out for lunch at Orchids. It’s just an elevator ride away.

Appetizers are the best part of menu. So whimsical and fresh. Let’s start with Ahi Crudo, colorful with horseradish, daikon, and a tart lemon-sake dressing.  

And the Nairagi and Korean Pear Tartare. Caviar to top and watercress velouté poured tableside. 

Don’t skip the Grilled Romaine. It’s paired with feta, cucumber, onions, a lemon-oregano dressing…plus Chef Vikram’s tomato chutney (same recipe he grew up eating at home :) 

More on dessert in a future post!

Slather on that sunscreen (thoughtfully provided in the room)…

…and head down to the pool. 

I like the shady spots, heheh.

We can have afternoon tea in the Veranda room after a little swim. 

Or even better…

…afternoon tea room service! Genius idea. 

On Wednesdays the GM hosts a sunset cocktail hour for hotel guests. Sweet and savory nibbles, endless champagne and those brilliant mai tais

…complete with a soothing sunset. And pretty soon after…

…Waikiki is all lit up ^-^