Author: La Vie Partagée

Honey Milk Bread

Ever since my first trip to Japan years ago, I have been obsessed with fluffy white bread that is drastically tastier than the US version. I could only find this at good Asian bakeries like Tous Le Jour. Due to the pandemic, milk bread was hard to come by. I scoured Youtube and blogs to find the perfect recipe and after a few trials and errors, I finally modified one that works for me. This recipe is based on Aimee’s Cooking’s dinner rolls, where I adjusted the sugar and honey ratio and used a different bread formation. The differences make the honey flavor more pronounced and the bread less sugary tasting. The loaf method compared to the dinner roll method also gives the bread more structure while retaining the fluffiness.  I hope you like this as much as my family. This recipe is for one bread using an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2” loaf pan. It’s medium in difficulty and takes around 2.5 hours including a lot of waiting time. Ingredients: 3/4 cup of milk …

Viet-Cajun Butter Sauce for Seafood

Like all good recipes, I accidentally created this addicting crack sauce (per my foodie family) when I was experimenting with new toppings to take steamed seafood up a notch. In the summer, our family likes to have a variety of crustacean and shellfish. Viet-Cajun style butter sauce has been popular for seafood boil starting in the southern region of the US for a few years now. This sauce is not for the faint of heart…literally, as it comprises of melted butter and a lot of different seasoning. This sauce will make you the star at your next seafood feast. This sauce serves up to 8. You can always freeze the leftovers. Ingredients: 1 large orange 1 large lemon 4 sticks of salted butter 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon of sugar 6 tablespoons of minced garlic 1/2 tablespoon of cajun boil seasoning like Zatarain’s 1 tablespoon of lemon pepper powder 1 tablespoon of paprika 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon of onion powder 4 Thai Kaffir lime …

Nước Sâm / Vietnamese Herbal Ice Tea

Vietnamese herbal tea is usually served with ice, which makes it a refreshing drink in the middle of a hot and humid summer day. This drink is inspired by Chinese medicine with a focus on ingredients that have “cooling” properties. There are many variations and the one that we are sharing includes artichokes. Don’t be put off by the scary ingredient list as they are easy to find at any Asian grocery store or online. Ingredients: 1 gallon or 3.75 litres of water 2 artichokes cut into quarters 1 pack (6 oz.) of dried longan 1 cup of dried dates 1 cup of dried chrysanthemum flowers 2 pieces of sanh dia (dried Rehmannia glutinosa) 1 tablespoon of rock sugar or regular sugar (adjust to taste). Rock sugar is less sweet and has a clearer taste than regular sugar so it doesn’t overwhelm the light drink.   Directions: Soak the artichoke in cold water and rinse thoroughly to remove any sediment. Quickly rinse the dried ingredients to remove any impurities. Boil all the ingredients in a …

Airline Review: Air France Business Class Paris to NY

*I had written this post before Covid-19 upended the travel and airline industry. I hope we can go back to our wanderlust days safely soon. It is unclear how Air France’s offerings will be impacted by the pandemic. On my recent flight from Paris to NY, I was able to try out Air France’s business class on an Airbus A380-800. This model will eventually be replaced by a newer and more efficient version later in 2020. I was very sick returning from a holiday in France, so a comfortable journey was a necessity. This was my experience on Air France in comparison with other business class flights that I have taken over the years. Value: Average Generally, AF’s Paris to NYC flight costs a few thousand dollars each way. Some discounted business class flight upgrades may be available on the day of departure at the check-in counter. Seat: Average For a business class seat on a 7+ hour flight, I was disappointed to find out that it was not a fully lie flat bed even …

Review: Japan Airlines Sky Suite 787 Business Class from New York to Tokyo

Over the years, I have faithfully flown Japan Airlines whenever I traveled to Japan or any destination in Southeast Asia. JAL has one of the best services of any airline and the cleanest bathroom even after a 14-hour flight. I had opportunities to fly on their business class a few times and have finally sat down to write this review. Value: Above Average Japan Airlines’ round trip on business class from NY to Tokyo will run approximately $7,000 and prices go up from there. I did a price comparison to ANA’s business class and for the same dates, the fare was around $9,000. You can also buy a premium economy ticket and upgrade with points to business class as an alternative to the full fare. Seat: Above average JAL’s product is called Sky Suite, a fully flatbed seat with direct aisle access that is very spacious. The seat configuration on my recent flight was in a 2-3-2 layout with privacy partition between adjoining seats, so you do not have to see your neighbor except for …

A Gastronomic Weekend in Lyon, France

On my quick trip to France, I was enticed to come to Lyon by its gastronomic reputation even among my non-foodie friends. The best way to explore this charming city is with a local guide, and I just happen to have one in the family. My cousin, NT, planned our never-ending walk around town to explore Lyon in 1.5 days, which turned out to be much-needed exercise from all the delicious food that we ate. In this post, I will share our walking and eating tour of this charming and unassuming city. Day 1: Dinner at Restaurant M After arriving from Aix-en-Provence in the late afternoon, I only had enough time for dinner. NT introduced me to her favorite low-key restaurant in Lyon, Restaurant M. This is a contemporary French restaurant helmed by Julien Gautier, from Léon de Lyon – a 2 Michelin star restaurant. With a Michelin pedigree, the price was shockingly cheap. The menu is only 39 euros for entrée, plat and dessert. The atmosphere is of your neighborhood bistro and the restaurant …

Journey to the Bucolic Japanese Alps – Shirakawa-go and the Gifu Prefecture (Part 2)

Waking up to birds chirping in the garden from my Japanese futon somehow felt surreal. This was a strong contrast from the night before, where I slept in a small modern hotel room in the center of Tokyo. As I watched the sun streams in through the paper windows, a sense of serenity enveloped me. It was mostly due to the time difference that I was awake this early to enjoy this moment. It was joyful to listen and observe nature doing its morning song and dance. I could’ve stayed in bed much longer but another day of exploring the Gifu region beckoned me to get up and start my day. I still had 30 minutes before breakfast, so my sister and I took advantage of the quiet morning and rode our bikes around the village. As it was very early, and no one was out and about yet, we had the roads to ourselves to leisurely admire the mountain scenery around us. There was a sense of freedom and playfulness that we don’t often …

Journey to the Bucolic Japanese Alps – Shirakawa-go and the Gifu Prefecture (Part 1)

Over the past year, I have been lusting for Ogimachi Village in Shirakawa-go, a Unesco village nestled in the Japanese Alps and where time has seemingly left the region untouched. This mountainous area is known for its historic A-frame houses, also known as gassho-zukuri, which were made with a traditional building method without utilizing any nails. These gassho houses have withstood the test of time and continue to attract new generations of admirers. The next destination of our trip was a visit to the Gifu region where these houses are located today. Our trip started early in the morning with the high-speed train ride from Tokyo to Toyama, where we then picked up the rental car for a 1-hour drive to Shirakawa-go. Once we entered the picturesque village and checked into Shiroyamakan Inn that was established in 1884, we knew we were in for a special visit. The inn keeper’s daughter, Nana, greeted us and took us to our room where we were served tea and snacks. We were also given 3 bikes to use while …

Best Souvenirs in Tokyo for Foodies and Chefs

Buying quality souvenirs can be a hit or miss experience. Tokyo has an amazing assortment of interesting trinkets to buy for loved ones. If you are sick of T-shirts and generic tchotchkes, I would recommend the following stores where I buy my souvenirs. A. Kappabashi-dori – For chefs and home cooking fanatics Kappabashi-dori is a 800-metre-long street lined with more than 170 shops that sell anything and everything cookware related. The shops here cater to both professional cooks and home chefs alike. Kama-asa Shoten – Japanese knives This  family-run business opened in 1908 and specializes in Japanese knives, or wabōcho, handmade by craftsmen in Japan. The business is currently run by Daisuke Kumazawa, who is the 4th generation proprietor. This is one of the most popular shops on the street. There are also very knowledgeable English-speaking staff who help you select the best knife for your cooking requirements. The best part is that they’ll engrave your name in Japanese onto each knife making it a special memento for you or for gifts. I did have to …

A Short Visit to Tokyo

Tokyo is a dizzying hub of sights and sounds and was also the first destination on this 2.5 week trip to Japan for my mom’s special birthday. While I have been exploring this city over the past 10 years, it was her first time in Tokyo,  I created this truncated itinerary to give her the best flavors of Tokyo in a relatively short duration and I’m excited to share it with you. Day 1: Arrival into Narita Terminal 2 and the Shibuya Scramble We arrived on Japan Airline at Narita Terminal 2 in the early afternoon and proceeded to procure a pocket Wifi. This was very important as we needed the data service for navigation throughout the country. I went to the J Wifi and JAL ABC counters located on the first floor and Softbank Global Rental and XCom Global counters located in the basement level near the train platform to search for the best data plan. (see Terminal 2 map) After getting my exercise running around the terminal, I concluded that J Wifi had …