Category Archives: Hotel

Aurora hunting in Yellowknife

To cross off another item of my bucket list, I travelled to Yellowknife to see aurora borealis.  We studied about Northwest territories back in elementary school and the only things I could remember are ice, ice-fishing and more ice.  Because of that, I didn’t think I’ll ever visit that part of the country.  It’s just so cold!!  But for the last year or so, I’ve seen a lot of aurora photos on Instagram and also, a lot of people in Hong Kong has asked me if I’ve been to Yellowknife to see the northern lights.  I guess it was time for a trip to the north!

We traveled to Yellowknife in February, one of THE coldest months of the year. We spent 2 nights outside looking for the aurora in -33 degrees celsius….. if we could survive in that temperature.. cold weather will not faze us ever again!  We were so lucky to see the aurora 2 out of 3 nights.. it really danced in the sky!

We stayed at The Explorer Hotel, the best hotel in Yellowknife (even Prince William and Kate stayed there!).  Their restaurant is also ranked the best in Yellowknife but the food was really average and overpriced. We ate there for 2 nights because we were too lazy to put on our snow gear and walk 2 blocks to the main street.

What we ordered:

duck confit spring rolls……

Mussels meunière…extremely salty……. Don’t know how mussels could be that salty… when I ordered it the 2nd night, I requested the chef to tone down that salt.. but it was still so salty….. really.. I don’t know why….

sacchetti with black truffles….. this was the only good dish because it had strong truffle taste…

grilled arctic char……. it looks like salmon but the texture is a bit different and the taste is milder…

Pan seared lemon pepper whitefish

Shrimp stuffed pickerel with tarragon cream..

FAIM? un peu…

Trader’s Grill @ The Explorer Hotel

4825 49th Ave, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R3, Canada

Phone:+1 800-661-0892

Rimping Village Hotel – Chiang Mai

We stayed at Rimping Village Hotel, which was relatively close to the city centre and it had a free breakfast buffet.

They had the regular breakfast spread of breads/pastries, egg station and fruits.. but my favourite was the mango sticky rice….. the sweetest ripest mango…. so good!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Rimping Village Hotel 

13/1 Soi 2 Chiangmai Lamphun Road T. Wat Gate A. Muang Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand

Four Seasons Mumbai – India

In Mumbai, we stayed at the Four Seasons…..the service was good, but not as personalized as Trident.

The view from our rooms.  You could see the disparity between rich and poor in just this photo: Mumbai’s slum and the world’s most expensive private residence in the distance.

The breakfast buffet was better than Trident  though….masala chai…… watery though…

mango smoothie……………….. sooooooo goooood

mango lassi…….. I had 2 smoothies and 2 lassis… I have no self-control because I should have limited myself due to my lactose-intolerance…..

eggs benedict and floretine together!!!! I told them to put a piece of ham onto my eggs floretine….

hashbrowns and bacon…..

omelette….

dosa….. most modern plating for dosa ever….

japanese breakfast…. I love trying the Japanese breakfast at the Four Seasons because it’s also the only time I have it (apart from when in Japan)….

waffles with chocolate chips and syrup…..

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai

1/136, Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400018, India

Phone:+91 22 2481 8000

 

Eating in Udaipur- India

From Jaipur, it was a boring eight hour drive to Udaipur and the only stop we made was one bathroom break by the highway……..

Udaipur is known for its beautiful city palace by the lake.  I was a tad disappointed that this lake is man-made….  This is also where they filmed the James Bond movie, Octopussy.City Palace

Jag Mandir Palace

We wanted to find a place for dinner with a view found Upre, the rooftop restaurant of Lake Pichola Hotel.unobstructed view! We got there early to watch sunset!

mango lassi……

papadum (chips) and chutney…

garlic naan…..

At this point, I’ve forgotten what I’ve ordered….. but it should be more butter chicken and curry!

In Udaipur, we stayed at Trident again, and the service was superbe as well.

For breakfast, there’s a omelette station, buffet and made-to-order dishes. put together the most unhealthy cereal combination: flakes, nuts and chocolate!

chocolate- drizzled pancakes….

We also ate at the restaurant for dinner….

mango lassi…… this was the best ever because there’s herbs sprinkled on top… it looks good and tastes good also!

papadum (chips) and chutney…

garlic naan…. sooooooooo buttery and flavourful!

From top left clockwise: Chicken curry / gobhi adraki (cauliflower tossed with spices and ginger) / palak makkai (corn kernels and spinach cooked with cumin seeds and garlic)/ murgh tikka makhani (chicken in mild tomato gravy) …… delicious food even though it was spicy……

We ate at the hotel’s restaurant again the night we flew to Mumbai.  We were supposed to leave the hotel by 6pm but wanted to eat something before heading to the airport.  We wouldn’t be able to eat because lunch service ends at 3pm and dinner service begins at 7pm; however, the restaurant staff was nice enough to open for us at 5pm.  This was bend-over-backwards service!

Because they couldn’t make naan during off hours (I guess no one was manning the oven), they made paratha instead.  Paratha is another type of flatbread but it’s finished by shallow frying…

I was so impressed with our stays at Trident and would not hesitate to stay with them again!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Upre

Lake Pichola Hotel, Roof Top, Outside Chand Pole, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001, India

Phone:+91 294 243 1197

Trident Udaipur

Near Lake Pichola, Haridasjiki Magri, Mullah Talai, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001, India

Phone:+91 294 243 2200

A variety of meals in Jaipur – India

From Agra, we drove to Fatehpur Sikri, the capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. I have read about the many tour guide scams at this place so I was kind of iffy when our driver picked a random man off the streets to be our guide.

 

However.. this was clearly a case of “don’t judge the book by its cover.”  Our guide turned out to be extremely intelligent and apparently teaches French at the local university.

From Fatehpur Sikri, we continued onto Jaipur, where we also stayed at Trident.

Our room over looked the lake and could see Jal Mahal (Lake Palace) in the distance… The entire front yard of the hotel was set up for the MANDATORY Christmas Eve buffet dinner.  I did not like the mandatory dinner and it was 80 USD and the quality was sub par…… For that price I would assume they would be seafood but nooooooo….. It’s just regular western food and Indian food….

The only interesting thing was they had grilled steak! The one and only time I saw beef in India.

freshly made roti and naan….

I tried this interesting milk and herbs.. It was very rich but also very sweet….

The next day, we had a day touring Jaipur… elephant ride up to Amber fort…

Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace)….. This building looks extremely out of place because it’s located on a busy main street with normal looking buildings around it…

Jaipur is also called the “pink city” as their buildings are pinkish in colour….

We had a very late lunch at another restaurant catered to tours and again the naan and butter were delicious!

For dinner, we had a lovely home-cooked meal at the house of Sabu, the tour company’s owner.   It was a very traditional meal.. .we even sat on the floor to eat!  His wife prepared vegetable curry, briyani and naan… delicious, but a bit spicy!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Trident Hotel Jaipur

 Amber Fort Road, Opposite Jal Mahal, Gujarghati, Parasrampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

Phone:+91 141 267 0101

Trident Agra Hotel – Agra, India

From Delhi, we drove to Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located.

The first glimpse of Taj was surreal…. which was why everyone stood at at entrance to take photos…

After that, we also visited Agra Fort…..

While in India, I wanted to visit one of Mother Teresa’s  Missionaries of Charity orphanages.  I went to a Catholic elementary school where we learned all about Mother Teresa’s work so it was so uplifting to visit the orphanage in Agra.

While in Agra, we stayed at the Trident hotel, where the hospitality surpassed all of the international luxury 5 star hotels.  

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and there was a choice between buffet and à la carte.  We decided to order from the menu because we could order Indian dishes.papadum (chips) and chutney (condiments)….  The chips were peppery and a bit spicy…

dumplings in yogurt…..  this wasn’t spicy!!! but I didn’t like the dumplings, which basically was a ball of tasteless dough….

Methi aloo gobhi (stir fried potatoes and cauliflower with fresh fenugreek leaves)

Chicken tikka masala……

chicken curry

Murgh makhanwala (chicken tikka in tomato and ginger gravy with fenugreek)….

Chicken briyani (basmati rice with spices cooked in clay pot)……

When we ordered, we requested the food to be not spicy… but I still found it to be spicy!  The staff was so accommodating and even gave me Thai coconut soup because that was definitely non-spicy.  The head chef even came out to apologize, even though it was totally my problem!

thai coconut soup….

The server felt sorry for me so he told me to get dessert from the buffet.  I felt kinda bad because it was my fault for ordering Indian dishes instead of ordering safer non-spicy dishes…I ended up just getting a slice of cake only.

However, the server brought over some coconut dessert…..so nice of him! But this was reallllllllllllllllly sweet….

For breakfast, apart from omelettes, we also tried the Indian breakfast, dosa.  It’s spiced potatoes wrapped in thin crepe… the crepe was thin and cripsy!  Didn’t like the stuffing because it was spicy….

We were so amazed by the hospitality and thoughtfulness of the staff at the Trident Hotel as they went over the top trying to make our stay as pleasant as possible.  They also gave each of us a gift, wrapped and with a personal note! This was probably the most memorable hotel stay ever,  considering we often stay at other luxury hotels…..

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Trident Hotel Agra

 Next to TDI Mall, Fatehabad Rd, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
Phone:+91 562 223 5000

Pastry and Bakery Star 26 @ Grand Hyatt Hotel Fukuoka, Japan

Since we were on vacation, we spoiled ourselves with cake for breakfast at Grand Hyatt’s bakery.

We went in May so it was strawberry season.. ..

strawberry mille-feuille..

more strawberry creme cakes…

strawberry Mont Blanc

I didn’t particularly like it…I mean it looks pretty but I miss the chestnut taste of the traditional mont blanc..

We also ordered some non-strawberry items:

matcha and red bean roll

cheesecake….

egg tart…. this was the only disappointing item…

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Pastry and Bakery Star 26 @ Grand Hyatt Hotel

1-2-82 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan, 812-0018

Tel: +81 92 282 1234