Hotel Banke, Paris

Europe Fun, Mel Around the World

Hotel Banke is a small 5 stars boutique hotel in the Paris opera district, less than 5 minutes to more than 3 metro stations.

Few minutes walk to Galeries Lafayette or Opera Garnier.

Great great location!!!

The hotel is transformed from an old bank building from the 20th century.  I love the old architecture with a twist of modern interior design.  The hotel lobby glass ceiling looks stunning!

Contemporary room design…

Nice stay.

Cleanliness 4/5

Bed comfort level 3.5/5

Service 4/5

Value 4/5 (got it on sale from Expedia with the flight)

Location 4.5/5

Other to consider:  

Toilet and shower were in separate rooms..

Bathroom towels were extra soft 🙂

No coffee machine in the room, but received a big bottle of evian water and truffle chocolates on the first night!


Stayed 2015 April


JaBistro Japanese Restaurant, Toronto

Love Affair with Food, Yummy North America

Finally I had a chance to try JaBistro, my chef friend has been asking me to try this restaurant for over a year…




Hubby ordered the wagyu beef tartare..


Lobster Sashimi Platter…very fresh


Slow braised pork belly…this dish is just ok, I feel it is little too greasy..maybe is the fat in the belly :p

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Blowtorched sushi…so yummy, I love this dish the most 🙂

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Lobster soup came with the lobster platter

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End the meal with matcha tiramisu 🙂

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Thumbs up…I will definitely go back!!!

Visited 2014 December

High Tea at Ritz Carlton, Toronto

Love Affair with Food, Yummy North America

I love high tea…..enjoying a nice cup of tea and catching up with my girl friends…

Most important…an exercise for me to dress up…

This time I picked the High Tea at Ritz Carlton Toronto.

First, we got to pick the organic tea from the tea box…

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I can’t remember what tea we picked?  One looks like a fruity tea…

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First came the savory

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Of course… I was waiting for the sweet…

I still remembered the scone with the clotted cream was very delicious.

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Decorated with Ritz Carlton Toronto printed on the chocolate


Because it was the Easter, they had cute bunnies to celebrate the holiday 🙂


I had a great time…now I think I need to go back again soon!

Visited 2014 April

ZenKashoin Tea Cafe, Tokyo ShinQs

Love Affair with Food, Yummy Asia

Every time I visit Tokyo…I will try to look for an authentic matcha tea cafe to satisfy my craving 🙂

I came across this tea cafe by accident..My goal was to visit the Hikarie ShinQs department store (a must visit for ladies) and it was a bonus…when I saw this cafe hidden on the 5th floor of the department store.

Dessert time…:)

The cafe gives me a very zen like atmosphere…


This cafe is originally from Koyto, photo of their head office in Koyto.

I ordered the matcha dessert and tea combo…

My weakness … Matcha…love love

Matcha ice-cream drizzled with matcha sauce and matcha cake…matcha overload 🙂

If you are not a matcha fan, they also have coffee and other flavor desserts.

My friend ordered Chestnut dessert with coffee…just as yummy 🙂

I love dessert and Tokyo…

Cafe website:

ShinQs department store website:

Visited 2015 February

Sushi Dai, Tsukiji Fish Market Tokyo

Love Affair with Food, Yummy Asia

Here is my most crazy food waiting experience…

I waited for over 4 hours to try Sushi Dai at the Tsukiji Fish Market.

I started lining up before 6am…omg still dark outside and it was cold, but there was already a long queue, so many crazy tourists like me lol

Still waiting … after 4 hours…

Photo of the main chef…

They offered us green tea while we were waiting…

Finally…I got in…

I am so ready to order two sets of the set menu lol compensate the long wait :p

There are approx. 12 bar seats…in the restaurant.

The cute young chef served me…he was able to say the different fish names in different languages … 🙂

You must order either the deluxe or regular set first than you can add individual pieces from the a la carte menu.

I ordered the deluxe set for 4,000 yen. There is also a regular set for 2,600 yen.

My deluxe sushi set (11 pieces plus 4 maki rolls and a bonus order from the a la carte menu).  The sushi were served piece by piece.

They sushi were very fresh and unique…not the typical sushi I had in North America.

The last piece on the bottom right is a soft eel, it was one of my favorites from the set.

The two a la carte sushi I ordered…

It was definitely the best sushi I had at the Tsukiji Fish Market…but I will not return again….unless someone is willing to line up for me…hahaha

Visited 2015 February

Momofuku Shoto, Toronto

Love Affair with Food, Yummy North America

We pre-celebrated our Valentine’s Day at Momofuku Shoto Toronto this year.

This restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of the Momofuku complex, just beside the Shangri-La hotel.

It is a bar style seating with an open kitchen concept.  Chefs prepare the dishes infront of you.

Guess who is the head chef?!?

We both ordered the set course menu for $95 CAD per person.

Dishes were nicely presented and food were very tasty, but service was average, because chefs were not too friendly lol.  If the idea is to have chefs serving the customers, maybe show us some 🙂 faces…

Hubby’s comment “good dinner, but not amazing”.


Visited 2015 February

La Pergola Restaurant in Rome, 3 Michelin Stars

Love Affair with Food, Mel's Michelin Star Experience, Yummy Europe

During our trip in Rome, we had a chance to dine at  La Pergola Restaurant in Rome Cavalieri Hotel.  It is the only restaurant in Rome has 3 Michelin Stars.

The hotel is located at the top of a hill where it overlooks the city.  We had a dinner reservation so we missed out the chance to view the city (day view) from the top of the hill.

The restaurant is decorated in the classic style with arts around the room.

As per their web site, they have over 53,000 bottles of wine and 29 types of water (H2O).   The price tag on the most expensive bottle of water, is more than a bottle of wine I drink in Canada.

We had a Sommelier helped us to select the wine. I found it to be an unique experience, since we rarely have this type of service in a Canadian restaurant.

We ordered the nine courses tasting menu.  The dishes were prepared with perfections.


Photos of my favourite dishes…each dish is beautifully plated.

Cheeses trolley contained different types of Italian cheeses.

Of course you always need something sweet to end a perfect meal…look at all the desserts we got…European love sweets 🙂

The service was very good, but I found them less attentive than the Michelin 3 stars restaurant we tried in Spain.

Overall, we had another great experience.  Thank you hubby!


Visited 2011 November