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Travelling on Cathay Pacific in Business Class is a wonderful delight – even on a red eye.

Check in

Business class passengers are entitled to priority check in at Cathay’s counter at Sydney airport.

Lounge Access

As there’s no Cathay Pacific lounge in Sydney, passengers have access to the Qantas International Business Lounge. Oneworld Emerald members can head to the Qantas International First Lounge.

Seating

Thanks to the reverse herringbone seat, passengers are able enjoy a decent amount of privacy. In addition, the 1-2-1 layout allows everyone direct aisle access. The fully flat seat comes in at a generous 208 cm (82 inches) when completely extended allowing most people to lie down and enjoy a good night of rest. Each seat can be customized to personal preferences courtesy of the easy to use controls located to the right of the seat.

Along with the seat controls, you’ll also find the entertainment handset, USB port, power plug, reading light and a small storage area (in which you’ll find the noise canceling headphones). While on the left is a retractable arm rest, that has to be stowed away during taxi, take off and landing.

Seat controls

Service

Cathay’s cabin crew delivered polite and friendly service from start to finish. Although it’s a small gesture, I really appreciated that I was addressed by name when I boarded and during meal service.

In flight Entertainment System

Each seat has a 15 inch touch screen monitor with Cathay’s StudioCX entertainment system. There’s a wide range of movies, TV shows, music and games to keep passengers entertained.

The system was intuitive and responsive though it was slightly jarring to see advertisements on the side of the home screen.

The noise cancelling headphones provided were comfortable to wear and did a decent job in blocking out noise.

Headphones on Cathay Pacific

Meals

As I was travelling on a red eye flight, passengers would be served two meals – dinner and breakfast. Dinner consisted of 4 courses: a starter, a main, cheese plate and dessert. There was only one starter available, the  Smoked Mackerel and Daikon Pepper Salad which was average and slightly bland. Passengers could pick from 4 options for their mains:

  • Kung po prawns
  • Roasted lamb loin
  • Braised chicken cacciatore
  • Rigatoni (vegetarian)

I went with the Kung Po prawns with stir fried vegetables and steamed jasmine rice. The plump prawns were surprisingly flavorful and packed a spicy punch. Along with my dinner, I had ordered Cathay’s signature mocktail – the Oriental Breeze which consists of sour plum tea, cranberry juice, honey and fresh lemon juice.

After my table was swiftly cleared by the cabin crew, I was served a moreish cheese plate complete with crackers, a few grapes and walnut prune paste.

The finale to the feast was an Orange Yogurt Cake that was satisfying and not overly sweet.

Breakfast was served 1.5 hours before landing and there were 3 options on offer:

  • Dim sum, har gow and glutinous rice
  • Mushroom omelette, baked beans, chicken chipolata, bacon and Lyonnaise potatoes
  • Chicken and dried pak choy congee

Since I was travelling to Hong Kong, I thougth it was only fitting to choose the first option. My breakfast was served with muesli, a croissant, fresh fruit and Illy coffee. It was a delight to see a small pouch of Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce included for my dim sum and har gow!

Amenity Kit

Cathay’s amenity kits were created by Hong Kong based design company- Seventy Eight Percent. Skin care products were courtesy of Australian brand Jurlique. There was also a dental kit, mini size mouth wash, eye mask, ear plugs and flight socks.

Unlike some airlines, Cathay Pacific doesn’t provide pajamas in business class. And there’s also no bedding available only a pillow and thin blanket. Fortunately, the temperature was comfortable throughout my flight.

Verdict

Courteous service combined with a solid seat and tasty meals makes Cathay Pacific business class hard to beat for those heading to Hong Kong.

Flight Details

Airline: Cathay Pacific
Route: SYD to HKG
Flight number: CX138
Plane model: Boeing 777-300ER

This review was based on award flight, I redeemed 30,000 Alaskan Air Miles and paid additional taxes.

The post Cathay Pacific Business Class – Sydney to Hong Kong (CX138) appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Chew Your Chow by Chris Chow - 1M ago

Japanese snacks are on another level, here’s my top 10.

10. Custard sandwich

I know a Custard Sandwich doesn’t sound appealing but this delicious snack is perfect for when you’re craving something sweet.

9. Onigiri

Onigiri are rice balls wrapped with seaweed and filled with different ingredients ranging from ume (pickled plum) to tuna. If you’re buying them from a convenience store like 7-11 or Family Mart, you’ll need to following the instructions before you open them as they’ve been specially packaged to separate the seaweed from the rice. Once you’ve mastered the unwrapping, you’re rewarded with a savoury snack that can be eaten any time of the day.

8. Pocky

Pocky are thin chocolate covered biscuit sticks with an array of flavours. They’re a great snack in between meals or as a quick dessert.

7. Dorayaki

Dorayaki are a traditional type of Japanese confections (Wagashi) usually served with tea. A sweet red bean paste is sandwiched between two small pancakes. You can pick them up premade from a convenience store or freshly prepared at a Dorayaki shop.

6. Egg sandwich (Tamago Sando)

Everything in Japan just tastes better, even the humble egg sandwich. If you find yourself feeling peckish in Japan, find the nearest convenience store and grab a tamago sando.

5. Tokyo Campanella

There’s cookies and then there’s Tokyo Campanella. This chocolate flavoured langue de chat cookie features three wafer thin layers and is so popular that the company has opened a cafe serving the delicious sweets.

4. Kit Kats

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would’ve heard about the different varieties of Kit Kats that Japan has to offer. While some flavours are rather peculiar (wasabi and chilli), most are very palatable. Personally, I’d recommend the green tea (matcha) and apple flavours.

3. Jagabee

Jagabee chips are baked french fries that come in a variety of flavours including seaweed, sweet potato, honey butter and my favourite – butter soy sauce. These little sticks of savouriness are highly addictive, so make sure you stock up before leaving Japan.

2. Tokyo Banana

Despite it’s odd name, Tokyo Banana is a very popular souvenir sweet (miyagegashi) that’s loved by both locals and tourists. The banana shaped sponge cake is soft and fluffy, with a banana puree cream inside.

1. Coolish

This “cool” snack is genius – it’s vanilla soft serve ice cream in a squeezable pouch. The smart packaging ensures there’s no mess while the screw cap lets you pause your snacking, though thanks to its sweet moreish flavour most people will devour it in one sitting.

Coolish

Let me know in the comments what your favourite Japanese snack is!

The post Top 10 Snacks of Japan appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is a storied institution that’s been delivering hospitality for over 20 years.

Name

The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai (上海波特曼丽思卡尔顿酒店)

The Portman Ritz-Carlton entrance Location

Conveniently located on the famous Nanjing Road, The Portman Ritz-Carlton forms part of the Shanghai Center, a commercial, shopping and dining complex. For those taking Shanghai metro, there’s two stations (Jing An Temple Station and Nanjing West Road Station) within walking distance from the hotel.

Room

At check in, I was notified that I had been upgraded to the Club Premier Suite (#blessed). At 79 square metres, the suite was expansive with a separated bedroom, a study area and living room.

Living room

With two armchairs, a sofa and a TV, the living room was the ideal place to relax after a busy day exploring the city.

A huge king bed, with luxurious linen, was the centerpiece of the bedroom. Despite the size of the bed, there was ample room left to fit a writing desk, a lounge chair and an extended wardrobe.

King bed in the Club Premier Suite Sitting area in the bedroom

Connected to the bedroom was the gorgeous marble bathroom. Inside was a double sink vanity, a separated toilet, a spacious shower as well as an over-sized bath tub.

Bathroom Shower

Bathroom amenities were from Asprey, a UK brand, and covered the essentials. While the bathrobes, slippers and bath salts provided an touch of luxury.

Asprey branded toiletries Asprey branded amenities

Next to the entrance, was a wooden console which had the kettle, Nespresso coffee machine and snacks placed on top. Tucked away in the console was the minibar on the right side, on the left side were the cups and glasses.

There was also several bottles of complimentary Ritz-Carlton branded water throughout the room.

Minibar Facilities

Guests looking to relax or exercise will be delighted to know that the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is equipped with a full-fledged fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, saunas and a whirlpool hot tub.

Fitness Center at The Portman Ritz-Carlton

The fitness center was one of the largest I’ve seen in a hotel and featured numerous workout machines, free weights and even a separate aerobics/Pilates area.

Indoor swimming pool

Both the swimming pool and whirlpool hot tub looked clean and maintained when I had a quick peek one morning.

Whirlpool hot tub Club Lounge

Perched high on the 43rd floor, the recently renovated Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge provides Club and Suite guests a place to relax. As a foodie, I was excited to see that there were “five complimentary culinary presentations daily” on offer:

  • Breakfast
  • Midday snacks
  • Afternoon tea
  • Hors d’oeuvres and Cocktails
  • Chocolate and Cordials
Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge

The Ritz-Carlton Club is divided into two distinct areas: a main dining area and a lounge/library section. The dining area is situated next to the buffet and was popular during breakfast when I visited. On the other hand, the stylish library area is much quieter and suited for reading or a spot of work.

Coffee at the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge
Wine served at the Ritz-Carlton Club

Additional Club benefits ranged from complimentary garment pressing to a personal limousine service within 3 kilometers from the hotel. Full benefits can be found here.

Food & Drink

Despite the multitude of breakfast options in Shanghai, I ended up dining at the Ritz-Carlton Club lounge out of convenience. Breakfast is served buffet style with a good mix of Western and Eastern dishes such as bacon, eggs made to order, dumplings and noodles.

Health conscious guests are also catered to with lighter options such as yogurt, fresh fruit and cereal.

If you’re after a more substantial meal, you can head down to the Portman’s Restaurant on Level 1 for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Photo credit: The Portman Ritz-Carlton

Alternatively, the Ritz Bar & Lounge also serves up food and drinks from the morning to after midnight. It’s a intimate space to unwind with a cocktail or tea in hand.

The Ritz Bar and Lounge

There’s also several restaurants nearby in the Shanghai Center including renowned dumpling chain Din Tai Fung, Pizza Marzano and a casual Japanese restaurant Hanagatami.

Service

Most of the staff I encountered during my stay were courteous and very professional, in particular I was rather impressed by one of the doormen who bid me farewell by name as he called a taxi for me.

Towel panda

I loved the cute towel Panda (complete with a fake twig) that housekeeping left on our last day!

Small Details

One of my hotel pet peeves is a lack of power points and USB ports, fortunately this was not a problem at the Portman Ritz Carlton as there was numerous outlets including this handy power-board on the bedside table.

USB and power points Verdict

Whether you’re a first time visitor to Shanghai or a regular traveler, the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai provides a calm oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.

This review was based on an independently paid stay.

The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai
Shanghai Center
1376 Nanjing W Road
Shanghai
China

The post The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai – Hotel Review appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Chew Your Chow by Chris Chow - 2M ago

Lyle’s is an ode to hyper local ingredients and modern British cuisine.

Food

Chef James Lowe is a disciple of British culinary giants Heston Blumenthal and Fergus Henderson. And unsurprisingly, the food at Lyle’s is British with an fierce emphasis on local seasonal produce. The daily menu features uncommon ingredients such as whelk, herring and mallard, which may be challenging for some diners.

Lunch is an à la carte affair while dinner is a set menu. During my meal, the menu listed 12 dishes and 4 desserts. Naturally I went with as many options I could stomach (both in the literal and financial sense!).

Sourdough + butter

I started with the whelk & mayonnaise, the whelk is cooked simply and served in it’s shell with the mayonnaise on the side.

Whelk & Mayonnaise

Next up was the mussels & cider butter, an understated but luxurious dish that highlighted the fresh sweetness of the shellfish.

Mussels & cider butter

As a fan of offal, I had to order the pig’s head terrine & pickles. This gelatinous pate is served with a warm toasted brioche and some sharp pickles which help to cut through the rich fatiness.

Pig’s head terrine & pickles

The smoked eel & spring greens was delicate but packed with umami and savory goodness.

Smoked eel & spring greens

To cap off the scrumptious meal, I finished with the caramel ice cream & espresso meringue – a balanced dessert with a punchy coffee flavour.


Caramel ice cream & espresso meringue Drinks

The wine list is predominately European and served by the glass (125ml), carafe (500ml) and bottle (750ml). Pre drinks on offer include ciders, ales and the classic Gin & Tonic.

Service Daily menu at Lyle’s

I was pleasantly greeted by the hostess and she generously accommodated my request to sit by the windows. However, the rest of the staff were rather nonchalant and a bit too carefree. Perhaps I’ve been spoilt by attentive service living in Sydney but hospitality is just as important as the menu.

Atmosphere Dining area of Lyle’s

Lyle’s is housed in the Tea Building, which fittingly was used as a bacon factory in 1931. A minimalist decor is achieved through white walls, wooden furniture and concrete floors. During the daytime, sunlight drenches the dining area, courtesy of the large windows lining the front of the restaurant.

Verdict

If you’re after British cuisine that is simple, stripped down but still intriguing then Lyle’s is the right place.

This review was based on an independently paid meal. 

Lyle’s
Tea Building
56 Shoreditch High Street
London, E1 6JJ
020 3011 5911

The post Lyle’s – London appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Day 7 of my Japan trip was filled with art, nature and food in the Kanazawa (金沢市) – the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture.

Having sushi for breakfast might seem peculiar but that’s how I started day 7 of my Japan trip. Yamasan Sushi is known for it’s decadent kaisen don (rice bowls topped with fresh seafood) and is located on the fringe of Omicho market.

Yamasan Sushi

Dining at breakfast is a great way to beat the crowds that form during lunch time for this gorgeous cuisine. For more information and mouthwatering photos, head to my review here.

After such a filling meal, we headed into Omicho market to have a wander. As Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market, Omicho market has around 200 stalls selling seafood, meat, vegetables and an array of prepared snacks and dishes.

Omicho market

During our walkabout, we happen to stumble across Hyakuman-san, the mascot of Ishikawa Prefecture. For the uninitiated, cities and prefectures in Japan have their own mascots, some are cute while others are bizarre. Hyakuman-san is a golden, floral patterned Daruma Doll with a mustache.

Hyakuman-san

After a 20 minute walk, my friend and I reached the first tourist attraction of the day – Kenrokuen (兼六園), one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.

Kenrokuen (兼六園)

As you can see from the map above, Kenrokuen is quite expansive and can take several hours to walk through. My friend and I spent 2 hours meandering through the gorgeous garden, stopping at the main sights and taking it the tranquility and peace.

Our next stop was the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (金沢21世紀美術館) which is conveniently located next to Kenrokuen. As it’s name implies, the museum focuses on contemporary art with permanent pieces by James Turrell, Atsuko Tanaka and Isa Genzken.

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (金沢21世紀美術館)

One of my favourite artworks at the museum was Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool” – a very unique piece were visitors can appear underwater in a pool.

Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool” View from inside Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool”

As we headed back to the city center of Kanazawa, we came across a cafe with the peculiar name of “World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-Pan Ice Cream”.

World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-pan Ice cream

With our sweet snack in hand we strolled towards Higashi Chaya District (東茶屋街) – a traditional neighborhood dating back to the Edo period (1820). The district features several chayas (tea houses) which were used as exclusive restaurants where geishas would perform during feasts.

Now the tea houses have been transformed into shops and cafes for the general public. After strolling through the main street, we headed back to the hotel to pick up our luggage as we were catching a JR train to Kyoto.

Higashi Chaya District (東茶屋街)

The 2 hours and 10 minute train ride sped by quickly and before we knew it we were pulling into Kyoto station. From the station, we walked to our hotel to drop our bags and headed quickly to dinner at Katsukara – a Tonkatsu (fried pork) restaurant.

We knew Katsukara was a popular restaurant and had preempted a line outside but we didn’t expect having to wait 40 minutes. As you wait, I would recommend looking at the window display to help you decide what to order!

Katsukara (Tonkatsu)

I went with the popular Tenderloin cutlet zen-set which came with a deep fried piece of pork, shredded cabbage, a bowl of rice and miso soup. As you bite into the tenderloin, you realise that this no ordinary tonkatsu. It’s an incredibly balance between the crunchy batter and the juicy meat inside. Our 40 minute wait was worth it.

Tenderloin Tonkatsu

After such a jam packed day, my friend and I agreed to retire early, so we could be well rested to explore Kyoto the next day.

Day 1 – Tokyo (Tsukiji Fish Market, Ginza, Asakusa, Shibuya)
Day 2 – Tokyo (Akihabara, Roppongi Hills)
Day 3 – Tokyo (Ueno Park, Tokyo National Museum, Odaiba, Tokyo Tower, Genki Sushi)
Day 4 – Matsumoto (Matsumoto Castle, Kobayashi-Soba, Hirayuno-mori)
Day 5 – Takayama (Takayama Morning Market, Menya Shirakawa, Sumiyoshi Ryokan)
Day 6 – Shirakawa-go

Follow me on Instagram for more culinary adventures!

The post Japan Day 7 – Kanazawa (Kenroku-en, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Omicho Market) appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Chew Your Chow by Chris Chow - 4M ago

American Express has partnered with The Fork (previously know as Dimmi) to bring back the spend $50 get $20 credit offer in Australia.

Registration for the offer is straight forward:
1) Head to the site to sync your American Express card to your The Fork account
2) Book at a participating restaurant on The Fork (look out for “AMEX Spend $50 get $20” badge)
3) Spend $50 or more at the restaurant in one transaction and pay with your synced AMEX card to receive a $20 credit on your AMEX card account

The offer runs from the 12th February to 12th March 2019, make sure you register quick cause it’s limited to the first 10,000 bookings.

There’s a decent selection of restaurants, particularly for Sydney and Melbourne, ranging from fine dining to gastro pub fare.

Sydney:
– Rockpool Bar and Grill
– Aqua Dining
– Ripples

Melbourne:
– Rosetta
– Taxi Kitchen
– Lee Ho Fook

Brisbane:
– Blackbird Bar and Grill
– Sake
– Kingsleys

Perth:
– Rockpool Bar and Grill
– Raffles Hotel
– The Aviary

Adelaide:
– Herringbone
– Level One

Full T&Cs can be found at: https://www.thefork.com.au/links/amex-spend-and-get

The post AMEX + The Fork offer appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Name

Oneworld Los Angeles lounge

Location

The Oneworld Los Angeles lounge can be found in Tom Bradley International Terminal on level 5. Once you exit security, head to the right and find the escalators that will take you up one level.

Access

As it’s name implies the lounge is for business and first class passengers travelling on Oneworld airlines. Passengers who are Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald can also enter, as well as Qantas Club members provided their next onward flight that day is a Qantas or Jetstar+ flight.

Space

The 600 seat lounge is separated into several distinct zones including a fire place, bar, dining areas, showers and work stations. Seating is spaced out to ensure guests do not feel crowded during peak hours.

Chic, modern decor and soft lighting created a relaxing atmosphere to the lounge.

Dining

As my flight from Sydney landed at 6:00 am, breakfast items were on offer in the lounge’s self serve dining area which was comprised of a mix of hot and cold items such as pastries, cereal, scrambled eggs, a pancake machine and fruit. Drinks were also self service and included fruit juice, soft drinks, coffee machine, Dilmah tea, and even sparkling water on tap.

Breakfast spread at oneworld Los Angeles lounge

Barista made coffee could be ordered from the bar located to the right of the entrance.

Work

Behind the entrance, there’s a work station consisting of 6 computers, printers and newspapers. Speedy Wi-Fi could be found throughout the lounge, as well as numerous power points and USB ports allowing travelers to be charged and connected.

Relax

With 16 well equipped showers, the Oneworld Los Angeles lounge makes it convenient and easy for passengers to fresh up during a layover. An attendant is stationed at the front of the showers to help allocate showers to guests and provide amenities like toothbrushes and shower caps. Each shower room had a rainfall/hand held shower, toilet, wooden bench, hair dryer and clothes hooks.

Showers

Bathroom amenities were from Australian brand ASPAR, which is the same brand found in Qantas lounges around the world, and came in large pump bottles.

ASPAR amenities Verdict

For passengers transiting at LAX , the Oneworld lounge is a reprieve from the chaos outside thanks to the large open spaces, decent selection of food and plentiful showers.

The post Oneworld Los Angeles Lounge Review – LAX appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Boronia Kitchen is a culinary gem hidden in the Lower North Shore that’s setting a new standard for suburban restaurants.

Food

Simon Sandall, former Head Chef of ARIA Sydney, has created a modern Australian menu that’s packed with options to satisfying every diner. Starters range from the must have Prawn Toast (seriously you have to get this) to old school Prosciutto and Melon.

Prawn Toast

I also recommend White and Green Asparagus, an exceptional dish that highlights both flavour and texture.

White and Green Asparagus

Mains are split between meat and seafood dishes, all are balanced and thoughtfully created. My Roasted Duck Breast was succulent and paired with baby squash and baby beans.

Roasted Duck Breast Jacks Creek Sirloin

Although you might be tempted to pick the cos, pear salad or sugar snap peas as a side, go for the Duck Fat Potatoes – it’s crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.

Duck Fat Potatoes

For a sweet finish, I opted for the Peach Creme Brûlée which was a clever twist on a traditional dessert.

Peach Creme Brûlée Drinks

The wine list, curated by sommelier Luke Sullivan, spans the globe but has a particular focus on those made organically. Non wine drinkers are also taken care of with several cocktails and beers to pick. If you’re feeling extra celebratory, there’s a 1996 Penfolds ‘Bin 95 Grange’ Shiraz ($880) for guests to splurge on.

Non alcoholic drinks including Single O coffee, tea, juices and smoothies are also served.

Service

Guests can expect friendly and welcoming service thanks to the leadership of co-owner Susan Sullivan, who’s managed Aria, Chiswick and Opera Bar.

Atmosphere Boronia Kitchen

Wide windows line the restaurant creating an inviting, open atmosphere in the refurbished building. Boronia Kitchen is versatile and suitable for any occasion whether it’s a casual breakfast or an intimate dinner.

Verdict

Boronia Kitchen is an unexpected delight that delivers on quality food and service.

This review was based on an independently paid meal.

Boronia Kitchen
152 Pittwater Rd
Gladesville NSW 2111
(02) 9817 0666

The post Boronia Kitchen – Sydney appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Chew Your Chow by Chris Chow - 6M ago

As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to share 5 books that I’ve read and loved this year.

1.The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.This book is an incredibly effective way to practice mediation/mindfulness on a regular basis. It’s designed to be read a page a day and each page begins with a pithy quote from stoic thinkers (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus), followed by clear commentary that helps modernize ideas for readers.

Favourite quote:

The universe is change. Life is opinion – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.3.4b

Who I would recommend this book to: anyone interested in stoicism/mediation/mindfulness, people who don’t like change, highly emotional people.

2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I’ve heard this book mentioned several times on The Tim Ferriss Show and I’m glad I finally read it this year. In this succinct guide, Steven lays out the common obstacles that plagues anyone working on a creative endeavor and then offers practical solutions to them.

As a food/travel blogger, there’s been countless times where I’ve procrastinated and put off writing, now when this happens I can turn to The War of Art and get back on track.

Favourite quote:

Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I’m going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, p21

Who I would recommend this book to: creatives, procrastinators and anyone who’s suffered from writer’s block.

3. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin packs a ton of insights, strategies and case studies that reframes marketing from click bait spam to authentic engagements. After reading this book, I immediately told my colleagues about it and incorporated some of the learnings in my 2019 plan.

Favourite quote:

We remember what you did long after we forget what you said. – Seth Godin, This is Marketing, p201

Who I would recommend this book to: marketers, marketing students and people who think marketing is just advertising.

4. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek explores in detail both excellent and terrible leadership. He eloquently highlights his ideas through an array of real life examples of successful leaders in government, manufacturing, and the military.

I particularity enjoyed the updated chapter titled “A Practical Guide to Leading Millennials” – which offers strategies for both leaders of millennials and millennials themselves.

Favourite quote:

Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first – Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last, p223

Who I would recommend this book to: people managers, employees with difficult managers.

5. Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Leadby Laszlo Bock combines empirical research and his personal experience as the former SVP of People Operations at Google to help demystify the hiring and managing of people.

Favourite quote:

Pay unfairly: Your best people are better than you think, and worth more than you pay them – Laszlo Bock, Work Rules!, p234

Who I would recommend this book to: hiring managers, recent graduates, people who have no idea how HR works.

Let me know in the comments below, what books you loved this year!

The post 5 Books I Loved in 2018 appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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Moxy NYC Times Square is billed as a “boutique social hotel” and is aimed at the modern millennial traveler.

Name

Moxy NYC Times Square

Location

Conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, on the corner of 7th Avenue and W 36th St, the hotel is close to Times Square, Empire State Building and Penn Station. It’s a great base for tourists with 5 different subway lines (8th, 6th, Broadway, 7th and Flushing) all within walking distance. 

Room

King Bedroom 912

I had originally booked a Queen Room but thanks to my Marriott Gold Elite status, I was upgraded to a King Room that looked out on W 36th St. 

The rectangular room is compact at 200 sqft/18sqm with the king size bed positioned flush against the windows. 

Renowned design company, Yabu Pushelberg employed some clever design tricks (fold-able furniture, utility hooks on the wall, storage drawers under the bed) so that guests could maximize space in the room. 

A warning for light sleepers, the rooms haven’t been sound proofed very well and music from the rooftop bar can definitely be heard at night. 

King bedroom at the Moxy NYC Times Square[/caption]

The bathroom is quite small with the shower taking up most of the space. This unfortunately meant the vanity had to be placed outside, next to the frosted glass sliding door.

Bathroom amenities are provided by Australian hair care brand, Muk – which I was not particular fond of. The hair + body wash was combined in one bottle and the pump required several pushes to produce an adequate amount out. 

Facilities

The hotel has a 24/7 gym, luggage storage, co-working space with free Wi-Fi and a barbershop. Keeping with the fun, eclectic theme of the hotel, there’s a mini putt putt golf course which is cheekily named Foreplay. 

An annoying inconvenience in regards to the facilities were the elevators, which often required long waits especially during peak times.  

Food

As Moxy is aimed at the millennial customer, there’s an abundance of food and drinks options, including:

  • Magic Hour – rooftop bar that also serves brunch on the weekend
  • Legasea – seafood brasserie
  • Bar Moxy – lobby bar and lounge
  • Egghead – sandwich shop with a focus on egg
  • The Pickup – grab and go cafe counter

With so many excellent restaurants in NYC, I was only able to dine at Magic Hour for Saturday brunch. 

Diners are spoilt for choice during brunch with both sweet and savoury options, there’s also an extensive drinks list that includes big batch cocktails that serves 15. 

The @Egghead On The Roof burger is perfect if you’re feeling hungover, as is the Super Stack Pancakes. For a lighter option I’d recommend the Coconut Chia Seed Pudding or the Blue Crab Toast. 

Although the food was scrumptious the service wasn’t ideal, with the waitstaff being inattentive.

Chia Pudding at the Magic Hour rooftop bar

Guests craving dessert can head to the millennial pink ice cream vending machine located on level 2 near the Lobby Bar. 

Unlike traditional hotels, there’s no room service available at the Moxy NYC Times Square but guests can order breakfast from Egghead to be delivered the next morning.

Service

Check in is completed at one of the wooden podiums that line the hotel reception area. Although I had arrived on a Friday afternoon, I was quickly attended to and my reservation was confirmed. 

As I was handed my room key, I was thanked for my loyalty and given a card that listed my Elite perks at the Moxy which included:

  • Free coffee at The Pickup from 7-10am
  • 250 points upon arrival
  • Room upgrades based on availability 
  • 2PM late checkout
  • 20% off all Blind Barber services

My other interactions with hotel staff were normal bar the one time I called housekeeping for some toothpaste which was ignored and I had to follow up with.

Small Details

A cute candy cart, located near the hotel entrance, is made available to guest for free – a small, sweet gesture.

Verdict

For tourists wanting to be in the heart of NYC, the Moxy NYC Times Square is an okay choice that won’t break the bank. However, if you’re a seasoned traveler or a light sleeper, I would recommend looking elsewhere if your budget permits.

This review was based on an independently paid stay.

Moxy NYC Times Square
485 7th Ave
New York
NY 10018
USA

The post Moxy NYC Times Square – Hotel Review appeared first on Chew Your Chow.

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