Walt Disney World Food Tour

Walt Disney World Food Tour

There are so much more than just theme parks when it comes to Walt Disney World. This time around, we decided to skip the parks and check out different restaurants instead.

1. Todd English’s Bluezoo (American, $$$). You should definitely try the Dancing Fish – their signature dish. For the price they charge, other items on the menu are quite ordinary. Maybe I should have ordered the Cantonese lobster, but I opted for the swordfish, which was rather disappointing.

2. Kouzzina by Cat Cora (Greek, $$$). Appetizers are great! Try the sampler and spread, you won’t regret it. For entrees, we had traditional whole fish, fisherman’s stew and create-your-own trio (pastitisio, cinnamon roasted chicken and potato). I had the trio and once again I was disappointed. Note to self – always order the signature dish.

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3. Fulton’s Crab House (Seafood, $$-$$$). Don’t be fooled by their expensive dinner menu. Lunch is very affordable and just as good! We wanted to come here for the delicious stone crab. Unfortunately, we missed the season by a month. We ordered the chilled seafood trio (king crab, oyster and shrimp) priced at $17. The best seafood we’ve ever had under $20!


4. Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian (Afternoon tea, $$). This is the first time I notice there’s an afternoon tea place inside Disney and it’s located in my favorite Disney resort – the Grand Floridian. It’s hard to book a convenient time slot at the last minute since it’s very popular. The tea, sandwiches and desserts met my expectation. The atmosphere is what makes this experience one of a kind – refined and relax.

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5. Flying Fish Cafe (Seafood, $$$). This is another restaurant on the boardwalk and it seems to have the best review. We were skeptical about how good the food could be, but in the end we could not resist the temptation. There are several items on the appetizer menu we were deciding on and we chose the fried calamari and rock shrimp. It turned out to be one of the best decision we’ve made on this trip. I ordered the potato-wrapped red snapper for entree and it definitely lived up to its reputation.


A Foodie’s Paris

A Foodie’s Paris

A trip to Paris is incomplete without trying all the amazing cuisines it has to offer. If you think sticking with French is the way to go, then you are seriously mistaken. We were totally blown away by how exquisite different cuisines are transformed by the Parisians.


1.  Passion Forest — a neighborhood bakery near Champs-Elysées. We sampled almost everything in here from baguettes to macaroons and they all taste great.


2. Ladurée – the famous bakery best known for its macaroons. Try to avoid the one on Champs-Elysées as the line is spilling out from the store onto the street. If you are going to visit Printemps, there’s one on the women’s floor 1 where you don’t have to wait at all and it has a nice sit-down area.


3. Galeries Lafayette Gourmet – who would think that this famed department store will have a Chinese Deli! Go to the men’s store and you will find it on floor 1.

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4. Dinner Cruise on the Seine – enjoy the city of lights with fine food and live music. It’s probably the best experience I’ve ever had with a dinner cruise.

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5. Latin Quarter – we came back to this area several times for dinner because we just couldn’t find anything better elsewhere. Excellent choice in terms of variety and price.  I strongly recommend trying beef tartar if you are feeling adventurous. Don’t go to one of those restaurants that have English menu at the door. The less English they speak, the better the food.


6. Chinese Food – this is not your usual, cheap, greasy, kung pao chicken type of food anymore. It’s actually quite refreshing, believe it or not. We went to Le Lys d’Or (meaning golden lily) near where we stayed in the 12th district, it was impressive.


7. Peruvian Food – we just happened to pass by this small restaurant, El Condor Pasa, during dinner time. Our friend saw some good reviews on tripadvisor and we decided to give it a try. It turns out the owner does not speak much more English than we speak French, but the food is excellent, which once again proves my point that bad English equals good food.


8. Thai Food – this was not our first choice for a farewell dinner in Paris. However, all the other French restaurants within walking distance were full. Things weren’t going too well for my better half until he had the super spicy papaya salad, and this little Thai place instantly jumped to the top of his list of best restaurants in Paris.



Countdown to Commencement

Countdown to Commencement

It will be 28 days until my Ph.D. commencement. It had felt like a really long journey although in reality it’s on par with average length of study. I would never forget the excitement when I received my admission letter, and later my funding letter more than 4 years ago. After my Ph.D. defense back in November last year, I sat down for a talk with my advisor. I asked him what was the reason that made he decide to take me in as his student. His answer – I was very enthusiastic at the time and he just took a chance on me. As simple as that, a chance that changed my life forever.