Category Archives: Macau

Restaurant Banza, Macau 👍

We woke-up that morning a little slowly after a long night at Antonio, and we even more slowly made our way to the fitness centre for a weight-lifting and cardio session…whew, it sucks getting old!

Thereafter, we checked-out with the luvly ladies at The JW Marriott Executive Lounge…Inga from Mongolia goes the extra mile!!! We had some time so we popped over to Studio City for a look – waste of eye-quota – and caught a taxi to Restaurant Banza.

Loja De Sopa Fitas) 叠記咖哩麺食
Loja De Sopa Fitas) 叠記咖哩麺食
Loja De Sopa Fitas) 叠記咖哩麺食
Curry Noodle

However, we arrived about 15 minutes early, saw a “curry noodle” shop (Loja De Sopa Fitas 叠記咖哩麺食) down the road and decided let’s have a go. You know the sort of place where, well, you are happy to consume steaming hot food, but you would not have use the toilet to have a steaming hot number two! Yup, we think they clean once per month…or is it quarter!? Never-mind, the curry noodles were excellent! A “secret” recipe curry with fresh herbs coursing throughout, we thoroughly enjoyed the half bowl we shared before lunch. Tres yummy!

We slowly made our way down the street to Restaurant Banza. Our choice of this small restaurant nestled on a side-street just behind the Macau Jockey Club reflect our desire for something simple and a recommendation by a Portuguese chef regarding the same. Let’s just say the food at Restaurant Banza really hit the spot for very simple and inexpensive Portuguese dishes.

AMBIENCE

location. Small side street running perpendicular with The Macau Jockey Club.
character and atmosphere. Quaint, simple, friendly.
style and comfort. One gets a feeling of a diner.
table and glassware. Simple.
other guests. Local people availing of the set lunch.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👌

SERVICE

booking. Fairly quick response time via email.
reception. Friendly…only one wait-staff.
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). Plate softly placed on the table without explanation.
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. No chance!
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👌

FOOD

bread. Typical Portuguese, rustic. We think every Portuguese restaurant in Macau serves the same.
ingredients. Good.
presentation. None.
creativity. None.
taste. Good.
smell. Good.
execution. Good.
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍

Pasteis Bacalhau – Codfish Cakes with Tomato Rice. Very good, very simple, rice cooked Cantonese style.

Carne de porco a Alentejana – Fried Pork with Clams Alentejana Style. Very good blend between the pork and clams. Yummy and a very large portion.

Polvo a Lagareiro – Grilled Octopus. Very good and as simple as one can get…along with the smashed boiled potato.

WINE

selection. Portuguese.
variety. Very limited.
value. Inexpensive.
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👎

We skipped as (a) the selection was not too exciting and (b) we needed a break!

MISC

type of cuisine. Portuguese.
dress code. Very casual.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍

Restaurant Banza 👍
Ilha da Taipa, Oceano Bloco 5, r/c, Avenida de Kwong Tun
Macau
Tel.:+853 2882 1519

 

Photos (Restaurant Banza)

Robuchon au Dome 👍👍👍👍👍

We woke-up a touch tired and late, hustled to the fitness centre for a pre-lunch, much needed cardio workout and felt more than prepared for the sumptuous lunch ahead. Ah, so nice to return to Joey’s Place aka Robuchon au Dome in Macau!

Quick note: we spaced on the dress code and forgot men must wear collared shirts. The fact you may be going commando or wearing torn (read fashionable) jeans is irrelevant. Fortunately, the receptionist had a jacket for us to borrow to hide our very expensive sweater!

Regardless, Joey’s Place in Macau still ranks as a top destination and THE Wine Bible sporting 16,200 labels is simply spectacular fun!!!

AMBIENCE

location. The Grand Lisboa Hotel in the heart of the city centre of Macau. Give yourself ten minutes or so to walk around the lobby as it is home to an extraordinary collection of Chinese art and jewels.
character and atmosphere. OTT, swish from the moment you arrive to see a baby grand piano with a Swarovski chandelier hovering above to every element of the restaurant. Equally, classical…just sit back and let your senses be overwhelmed…then take a breath and return to reality!
style and comfort. Very, super stylish and comfortable. We were seated in a large private room that easily could handle 8…thus, 4 people were exceedingly happy.
table and glassware. Top-shelf and as good as it gets!
other guests. Mostly Sunday lunch / brunch people seeking something a big step above the buffets.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

SERVICE

booking. We recently met the Manager of The Grand Lisboa at Robuchon Hong Kong. He kindly made the arrangements.
reception. Excellent, professional and friendly. Apologies we forgot our collars.
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). Between the Sommelier (Bhatia), Manager (professional and fun lady from Taiwan) and the other staff, you were in a perfect, Michelin Three Star world.
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. Excellent!
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

FOOD

bread. OMYG meets exceptional. Only rivalled by Robuchon Hong Kong and Pierre. We had to request the staff remove the bread…otherwise, we would eat until there was not room for the “real” food.
ingredients. Excellent.
presentation. Excellent.
creativity. Very creative.
taste. Exceptional.
smell. Exceptional.
execution. Perfect.
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

Le Mais – Amuse bouche of Sweet Corn Veloute, Marshmallow and Smoked Duck Breast. Very yummy…really loved the sweet cor veloute.

La Betterave – Duo of Beetroot, Apple and Avocado, Young Herbs and Green Mustard Sorbet. Many years ago, we started to encounter beetroot at quite a few restaurants. We thought average at best. However, beetroot in more recent years has been championed by some exceptional chefs and, not surprisingly, we have grown exceedingly found of its myriad of flavours and charming blending with other fruits, veggies and herbs. This dish was no exception as the beetroot was in perfect synch with the apple, avocado, herbs and, Oh My Ears and Whiskers, the green mustard sorbet. An OMYG meets exceptional starter!!!

L’hamachi – Yellowtail Carpaccio, Sea Urchin and Crispy Waffle. It is times like this when you realise the Japanese may do stunning sashimi, but the Europeans do even better carpaccio. Raw and lively, the Yellowtail was swimmingly stunning!!!

Le Foie Gras – Warm Salad of Roseval Potatoes, Smoked Foie Gras and Parmesan Cream. Très traditionnel and yummy!

Les Crustaces – Shellfish Bisque with Crispy Shrimp and Esspelette Pepper. We love bisque…we think it returns the love in waves of mild spiciness when laced with this famous French pepper. Arguably – we have tasted many a bisque in our day – the best version of this classic on the planet! OMYG meets exceptional!

La Saint-Jacques – Pan-seared Sea Scallops, Creamy Baby Artichoke and Chickpea Foam. We often partake of the sea scallops at Joey’s Place because, well, they always are so darn yummy! We loved the accompanying creamy baby artichokes and the chickpea foam (seriously?) was outstanding!

Le dos de “Black Cod” Rôti – Roasted Back of Codfish with an Essence of Vegetable, Basil and Iberico flavours. When in Macau, regardless of the cuisine’s nationality, it seems Codfish always is a winner. Et voila, the Chef produced a perfectly cooked, excellent piece of fish with an “essence” so soft that it was mesmerising! Let’s hear it for the perfume. OMYG!

 

WINE

selection. THE BEST.
variety. THE BEST.
value. Incredibly reasonably priced!!!
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍

We arrived at Robuchon Macau at 12 Noon, and we immediately requested “The Wine Bible” that boasts 16,200 labels! We spent the next 45 minutes speaking with the sommelier and choosing our champagne, white Burgundy and red Bordeaux for lunch. Always a magical experience as patience (a tempting virtue) results in a rewarding selection at a great QPR! We are spoiled…all other wine lists at the world’s best restaurants have to fall in line behind this extraordinary selection!

2000 Charles Ellner Champagne Brut. We were stunned to discover this vintage 2000 champagne at less than USD115 at a Michelin Three Star, internationally renowned restaurant! Joey’s Place (Joel Robuchon) in Macau rocks!!! Gold colour on the eye was mega-attractive. Aromas of mousse, toasted oak with vanilla cream. Outstanding! Honey, vanilla cream with toasted almonds on the palate. Luvly. A stunning finish. Excellent champagne!

2009 Remoissenet Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne. A most excellent Corton-Chuckie from one of our favourite producers in Burgundy. Outstanding greenish-yellow colour that indicates she is ready to rock ‘n roll. Outstanding Bangkok Klong (the smell wafting through the air from the small streams in Bangkok…humanity presenting itself before showering in the morning) on the nose with ints of vanilla and toasted almonds. Honey, vanilla cream on the palate with a long, lingering, enticing finish. She is humming now, which surprised us a bit, but will continue to evolve for another 5 years. Outstanding QPR a reward for our patient review of The Wine Bible!

2005 Château L’Arrosée. We think L’Arrosee, now Quintis owned by Chateau Haut-Brion, is one of the best value St. Emilion wines. Light red on the eye. Aromas of dark berries with a toasty-smoky, nutty feel. Warmth on the nose. Subtle, smooth, red fruits with pleasant tannins and a comforting finish. Truly a pleasant sip!

MISC

type of cuisine. French.
dress code. Collared shirt for men. Business casual.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍

Robuchon au Dome 👍👍👍👍👍
Chef Joël Robuchon
43/F Grand Lisboa Hotel
Macau
http://www.grandlisboahotel.com/dining-Robuchon_au_Dome-en

Other Robuchon experiences

Photos (Robuchon au Dome)

Antonio, Macau 👍👍👍👌

We arrived for a late dinner at Antonio Macau, and we sipped a Proseco our Italian friend brought while speaking with the Chef outside waiting for our table. Chef is muita diversão (a lot of fun) with interesting stories about the Macau restaurant scene…worth the price of admission!

Antonio remains our favourite Portuguese restaurant in Macau…or, for that matter, outside of Portugal. Nothing fancy, but “real” and very yummy Portuguese cuisine.

AMBIENCE

location. Old Taipa…much needed relief and luscious local feel after all the OTT stuff at the casino hotels.
character and atmosphere. Friendly and very, very relaxed.
style and comfort. Old-world style, reasonable comfort. Come in shorts for even better comfort!
table and glassware. Chef really paid attention to this bit. The plates are all adorned with the restaurant logo. The knives and forks are some of the best we have seen anywhere in the world. Very swish!
other guests. Families, couples and every nationality. Chef told us that 30% of his clientele are Japanese…then you know you are good.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍

SERVICE

booking. Via email with, in theory, Chef. They are very quick to respond and accommodate. Having said that, we do not like their two seatings concept as 8:30pm is a bit late for we old people and 6pm is far too close to our often long lunches.
reception. Chef was sitting outside so we popped open a bottle of Prosecco that one of our friends brought, and we sipped together. Difficult to experience better reception!
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). The young Filipinas are very good. The Portuguese gal is great!
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. Chef Antonio a lot of fun…very straightforward, intelligent and savvy about the local scene. We never have met a “manager”, “sommelier” or “maitre’d”…everyone does everything!
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍

FOOD

bread. Old fashion Portuguese, rustic. Far from our favourite, but great for dipping in the sauces accompanying the various dishes.
ingredients. With the exception of some of the veggies for salads, etc, Antonio imports everything from Portugal. Very cool!
presentation. The young Portuguese lady enjoys presenting the dishes with some flair and passion. Nice.
creativity. Very simple…just like Chef!
taste. Excellent.
smell. Excellent.
execution. Perfect.
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍

Gambas ao Alhinho – Shrimps with Garlic Sauce. Simple, yet perfect, and neither too “shrimp” nor too “garlicy”…if the latter is possible!

Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato – Sautéed Clams with Garlic, Coriander, Olive Oil and White Wine Sauce. Fantastic flavours and a huge portion of clams that took all five people to finish!

Salada Mista da Estação – Seasonal Vegetable Salad. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Perfect to eat with the shrimps and clams.

Bacalhau com Natas – Shredded Dried Codfish Baked in Oven with Creamy Sauce and Cheese. OMYG! Chef shreds so nicely that ever strand of codfish is infused with the creamy cheese sauce. Whether eating a piece with chopsticks or lopping up an entire spoon, you enthusiastically experience the flavours and textures throughout your palate!

Peixes Diversos do dia na Cataplana com Batata Cozida – “Portuguese Style” Assorted Fish of the day stew in Copper Pan with potatoes, mushroom onions, garlic, tomato, green bell pepper and with white wine sauce. There is Cataplana and there is Antonio’s Cataplana. The only place we ever had better – or at least equal – was in Faro, Portugal at a tiny place on the water. Otherwise, this is top-noth, stunning!!!

Arroz de Tamboril com Gambas à “António”, Servido em Tacho de Barro – Wet Monkfish and Prawns Rice “Antonio Style”, Served in a Ceramic Pot. When we were young – many decades ago – our Jewish friends always called Monkfish the “lobster of the Jews” because it was much cheaper, but offered similar texture (depending how it was prepared) and flavours. Regardless of what you call it, Chef Antonio knows how to prepare this dish in a most sumptuous way. The “wet” style of rice is equally yummy. Serving in a ceramic pot is, well, just adorable! OMYG!

WINE

selection. Limited.
variety. Only Portuguese…which is expected.
value. Excellent.
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍

We always stick with “Antonio’s Private Selection”, which means he has arranged to place his image (very stylish) on these bottles and promote his brand. Clever fella!

2013 Quintas de Melgaco Alvarinho Vinho Verde QM. The green wine presented well on the eye and makes you feel happy. Aromas of toasted almonds and ripe green apples. We all looked at each other and said “is that an Alvarinho?” Shockingly smooth, creamy, well-structured, delicious and well-rounded wine. We would not have guessed an Alvarinho from start to finish. A wonderful surprise!!!

2010 Quinta da Romaneira Douro Reserva. A blend of Touriga Nacional (55%) and Touriga Franca (45%). Opaque purple-red on the eye. Aromas of dark, concentrated fruits and notes of spice. Voluptuous round structure, subtle tannins, fresh and balanced. Long, happy finish. A very nice wine.

MISC

type of cuisine. Portuguese.
dress code. Casual.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👌

Menu/Price

Antonio, Macau
Chef António Coelho
Rua dos Clerigos No. 7, Old Taipa Village, Taipa,
Macau
http://antoniomacau.com

 

Photos (Antonio, Macau)

Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Macau  👍👍👍👍👌

We enjoyed a post-Broadway-lunch “high tea” at The JW Marriott Executive Lounge prior to a much needed power nap. By the way, the folks at the Executive Lounge are excellent professionals with exceedingly pleasant personalities…just in case you happen to parachute into Macau and are looking for some cost-effective pampering!

 

Suitably rested, we settled into The Ritz-Carlton 51st Floor Bar for a pre-dinner bubble – aperitif – with our friends. A bottle of NV Baron de Rothschild Champagne, albeit not the best bubble on the planet, was a perfect start for what would be a fantabulous evening! The Bar? Eh…swish but nothing special.

We arrived at Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Macau with friends from Hong Kong and Chef’s Mama visiting from Italy to celebrate the award of a Michelin One Star for Bombana’s most recent success! Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Hong Kong, the first of now four renditions of Bombana’s culinary destinations, remains our favourite Italian restaurant outside of Italy. Having said that, Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau is a very, very close second…and likely will eclipse the “parent” given Chef always cooks us his very own style of Artisanal “Cocco” Spaghetti tomato in different forms and textures…OMYG!

By the way, we threw down the gauntlet to Chef while exercising with him in the fitness centre when we informed him the morning of dinner just how good the feast at The Tasting Room was the previous evening. Step-up time, baby, because Chef Guillame was off-the-hook inspiring!

AMBIENCE

location. The Galaxy Hotel Complex. We are not big fans of restaurants in malls – even super-swish ones like The Galaxy – but understand the reason. Small problem that was easily overshadowed by the venue.
character and atmosphere. Modern classical, very nicely designed and furnished. A little OTT in the wine cellar, but sit back and relax…this is Macau where a bit of silliness (if not garish or gaudy) is to be expected.
style and comfort. Excellent.
table and glassware. Not quite The Tasting Room, but excellent!
other guests. Lively, event-oriented and happy. Reasonably well-dressed.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍

SERVICE

booking. We booked with Chef…good to have friends!
reception. Hey, when you walk into a joint with the Chef’s Mama visiting from Italy, what do you expect!? Passionate, professional and perfect reception!
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). Outstanding!
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. A to Z, exceptional. Thanks to Antimo (Chef), Michele and Danny.
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

FOOD

bread. Very good, but not The Tasting Room, Robuchon or Pierre.
ingredients. Excellent. Otto e Mezzo spares no expense!
presentation. Perfect.
creativity. Very!
taste. Exceptional.
smell. Exceptional.
execution. Perfect!
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍

Seared Red Tuna fennel pollen, tomato citrus emulsion (some with Calvisius elite caviar). Top-shelf ingredient, stunningly perfect preparation and a luvly use of fennel with tomato and citrus. Seriously, a beautiful, exceptional dish. The majority of the diners, based on Chef’s design and for reasons beyond our philistine attitude, enjoyed this dish with caviar. We guessed it worked, somehow, but as much as we love fish, we prefer they keep their eggs to themselves!

Scampi & Ceps green vegetables, gnocchi ragout, scampi jus. OMYG! Off the hook fantabulous scampi. Chef is remaining true to Bombana’s style of using the best ingredients and preparing perfectly and simply. We just adore this approach!!!

Royal Scampi, romanesco, sea urchin. Et voila, we did not try the “royal” version with the baby broccoli and sea urchin (we think they are best left alone peacefully in the murky depths of the ocean). However, the expressions on the faces of those who dived into this rendition of our second dish were, well, expressing pure ecstasy. We, therefore, extend, via proxy, an OMYG!

Pappardelle porcini mushroom, mushroom jus, Alba white truffle. Ah, the happy little piggies…or doggies…smelling their white truffles from Alba along with a mushroom sauce and some porcini mushrooms. Did we mention mushrooms? Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Macau has a young Italian pasta chef in situ so you can guess how awesomesauce was the Pappardelle…simply marvie!

Homemade Chitarra Spaghetti Alaskan king crab, citrus spring onion, seafood jus. OMYG! Breathtaking pasta exceptional crab and luvly use, yet again, of citrus. A touch of Chef’s creativity, well, all over this impressive offering!

Artisanal “Cocco” Spaghetti tomato in different forms and textures. This is the dish we think defines the simplicity, creativity and phenomenal cooking of Chef. Yes, simple and creative altogether because, hey, what could be simpler than spaghetti? Well, first, you call it “Cocco”, which inspires thoughts of a century of “pasta masters” from Abruzzi, Italy. Big shoes! Second, you come up with three different flavours and textures from an assortment of tomatoes…creativity in the extreme. Finally, you put it altogether, try to explain to your Italian mother why hers could never be as good, and you can only say phenomenal. OMYG meets exceptional…and then crosses a road less traveled to je ne sais quoi!

Line Caught Seabass , clams & parsley broth, semi-dried tomato compote. Great fish + subtle yet flavourful broth and you have to be happy. Bombana simplicity!

“Fassone Veal” Tender loin, organic pumpkin, Piedmont hazelnut, parmesan fondue. If the pasta was not enough, then taking the best veal from Piedmont, Italy and employing the flavours of pumpkin and parmesan with the texture of hazelnuts just “flies you to the moon”. OMYG!!!

Millefoglie, wild strawberries, “Mara des Bois” strawberry sorbet, vanilla chantilly. Excellent…we always are happy to know a Japanese pastry chef is in situ. When the Japanese do either French or Italian, they really do it well! The attention to detail, subtle flavours and textures and blend of everything yummy is their province!

Selection Of Italian Cheese from In-house aging room, homemade raisins, orange marmalade, onion compote. We almost always find ourselves staring at a selection of French cheese, which does not suck, but we just get all giddy inside when offered some of Italy’s best! The Taleggio brought tears to our eyes!

WINE

selection. Excellent.
variety. Excellent…and fun.
value. Reasonable.
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍

NV Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Champagne Brut. Aperitif at the Ritz-Carlton Macau 51st Floor Bar. Vibrant yellow with bubbly bubbles on the eye. Subtle toasty almonds and citrus fruits on the nose. Reasonable dry, pleasant aperitif! A slightly difficult QPR, from our perspective, but definitely a nice way to start a great evening.

2007 Bellavista Franciacorta Gran Cuvée Brut Pas Operé. A blend of 65% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Nero that immediately lets us know Italians are more than capable to produce fantabulous bubbles. Vibrant gold with fine bubbles. Absolutely attractive!!! Perfume of almonds, vanilla, honey and green apples. Dry, Sophia Loren elegance and structure with nice balance of fruit and acidity. A diva commanding the unparalleled attention of the men in the room as well as the jealousy of the other deserving luvlies. Stunner!

2012 Foradori Nosiola Fontanasanta Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT. We decided to “go off the range” with our first sip of Nosiola, which is an “ancient” varietal from Trentino, Italy. With only 8,000 bottles produced, we felt privileged to sip this light, friendly and fun rarity. Aromas of tropical fruit and citrus. Fresh, dry and served best fairly cool. A pleasant wine we would be delighted to sip again when seeking an alternative to the usual suspects. Excellent QPR…we wonder for how long!

2013 Fattoria San Lorenzo Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Le Oche. Transparent to the eye. Aromas of toasted almonds and lemon-citrus. Nutty with citrus fruits and fairly high acidity. Short, tangy finish. A pleasant wine that prepared the palate well for the upcoming, fairly big Italian reds.

2008 Benanti Etna Serra della Contessa. Vibrant ruby red on the eye. Aromas of very, berry berries. Equally, very, berry berries on the palate with subtle tannins. Pleasant, good QPR and interesting wine from Sicily.

2004 Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 20% Sangiovese. Oh my ears and whiskers, what an awesome Bordeaux blend with just enough of Tuscany’s great Sangiovese to allow the Italians to throw down the gauntlet to their French friends! Ruby red colour that screams “sip me if you can”. Aromas of dark red fruits and liquorice with subtle toasted oak. Perfect perfume of spicy red fruit…enticing Palate of robust red fruit and terrific tannins. Long lingering finish. The salacious seductress you want to meet, but then can never forget…and wish you could date every night!

MISC

type of cuisine. Italian
dress code. Smart casual.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👌

Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA 👍👍👍👍👌
1031, 1/F, Galaxy Macau, Cotai
Macau
http://www.galaxymacau.com/en/macau-restaurant/restaurant-directory/international/otto-e-mezzo-bombana

Photos (Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Macau)

The Broadway Macau Tasting Walk 👌

We decided a walk down The Broadway Macau just opposite The Galaxy Hotel complex might be an interesting way to snack on a selection of Chinese victuals.

The Broadway Macau is an outdoor food court highlighting cuisine from various Chinese provinces. The restaurants are fairly small – which gives them a feeling of being food stalls with plastic tables and chairs – and the venue highlights various street entertainers. The screeching clown strumming on a banjo was fun…for about five minutes!

The Broadway Macau
The Broadway Macau

We made three stops along the way given thoughts of a long Italian dinner at Otto e Mezzo were on our mind, and we passed several interesting looking venues. If we return, which is possible given the casual change from fine dining, we probably would try Katong Corner and Ngau Ngau.

Huo Gong Dian 火宮殿 👎

(Hunan 湖南菜)

This venue sported an upstairs full dining room, but we decided to sit outside to enjoy the pleasant weather and get a feel for the atmosphere. The staff, albeit fairly clueless about serving food, were friendly and did their best. Some people, perhaps, are better suited for dishwashing. The service was only outdone – in a negative way – by the food!

Stir-fried Green Pepper with String Bean(青椒炒長豆角) . We requested extra-spicy – which they got right – but we were disappointed with the over-cooked, soggy and over-oiled green peppers and string beans. We did not even finish half the dish as we focused mostly on the chilis.

BBQ Shrimps in Chilli (串串海中𧎚). Another loser as the shrimps were BBQ’ed almost to extinction while the chilli offered virtually no flavour. We did not even finish half.

Ba Shan Spicy Noodles 巴山酸辣粉 👍

(Sichuan 川味粉麵)

We sat down and proceeded to order the spiciest possible noodle available on the menu along with the flat, rice noodles. Excellent!!! Did you say street food delicacy!? We did! Mucho yummy!

Nan Xiang Steamed Bun 南翔饅頭店 👌

(Shanghai 上海包點)

Whenever we see Xiao Long Bao 小籠包 on the menu, we feel compelled to sample. Et voila, a steamer of six pieces of the famed dumpling appeared like magic. Sadly, the dough was a touch too thick as the flavour of the soup and pork was very good. The problem, of course, is perfection is fundamental with his dish and, well, they did not quite hit the mark. Just OK-lah!

 

The Broadway Macau 👌
Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Cotai
Macau
http://www.broadwaymacau.com.mo/en/

Photos (The Broadway Macau Tasting Walk)

The Tasting Room By Galliot 👍👍👍👍👍

Having stretched our stomachs with a quick cardio workout at The JW Marriott fitness centre after ours tasty Thai lunch at Saffron, we hopped a complimentary shuttle bus to the City of Dreams where we had a quick stroll through SOHO. Frankly, we are not big fans of these hyped-up food courts, but we are confident quite a few younger “playas” in Macau would enjoy this venue sporting bars, restaurants, live music and a lively vibe.

In any event, we arrived at one of our favourite French restaurants outside of France – Michelin Two Star The Tasting Room by Galliot – where rockstar Chef Guillame Galliot plies his trade. We enjoy the fact Chef Guillame never allows us to see the menu and always designs and perfectly cooks a culinary masterpiece for us! Exceptional!

The double-edged sword of The Tasting Room by Galliot is the scarcity of guests (four or five tables) and the more than sufficient number o front-line staff (almost as many as the guests). We clearly are benefitting from all those people sitting at slot machines, baccarat and card tables as they generously donate excessive sums of money to the casinos…and subsidise our culinary extravaganza! Xie xie, pengyou!

AMBIENCE

location. Crown Towers Hotel in the City of Dreams, Taipa, Macau. If you are anywhere in Taipa, you can easily walk or hop a courtesy bus to visit.
character and atmosphere. Modern classic feel accentuated by the wonderful walk from the lift to the reception area while reviewing the wines in the floor-to-ceiling glass cellar. Let’s just call it The Walk of Fame!
style and comfort. We consider the sitting and dining room to be THE definition of style and comfort. Generous spacing between tables, exceedingly stylish and comfortable chairs and attention to every detail really makes The Tasting Room a winner from A to Z.
table and glassware. Exceptional!!! Only the best restaurants in the world dedicate as much attention to such details. The Tasting Room rocks in this regard. We registered a complaint to the Chef that he still has not solved the problem of not serving the food on edible dishes…we think a minor, yet worthy of mention, oversight! :p
other guests. Mostly couples, like us. A perfect setting for a romantic dinner despite the fact we were the only people who dressed the part.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

SERVICE

booking. We booked directly with Chef Guillaume…good to have friends!
reception. Perhaps because we had the earliest booking or perchance they remembered us, but we were greeted by our names before uttering a word…nice!
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). The only appropriate word is “passionate”. They simply share with us a sincere appreciation and love of Chef’s culinary creations.
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. Chef Guillame visited our table to say hello and chat. He truly is a culinary genius! We were impressed with the new sommelier, Mathieu, who demonstrated excellent knowledge and an appreciation for QPR. Given sipping wine is our favourite sport, we were very happy to meet Mathieu.
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

FOOD

bread. OMYG!!! Same class as Robuchon and Pierre!
ingredients. Top-shelf.
presentation. Outstanding.
creativity. Exceptional.
taste. Exceptional.
smell. Exceptional.
execution. Perfect.
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍👍

Eel marinated, avocado sauce and egg mimosa. Exceptional! The eel, marinated in je ne sais quoi yumminess, was a delectable piece, just thick enough and perfectly cooked. The avocado sauce paired beautifully with the eel. Egg mimosa pleasant. Luvly way to start!!!

Kinki fish cooked “à la plancha” Mediterranean vegetables. OMYG! We felt so “kinky” after munching on this stunner Kinki is an awesome fish when cooked properly. Et voila, Chef hit this one out of the park. The baby veggies were excellent.

Slow cooked turbot with zucchini mash Corn and Comté cheese emulsion. Seriously!? The best use of Comté – when not au naturel – that we ever have experienced! OMYG meeting exceptional!!! Pure genius as the Comté emulsion blended beautifully with the turbot. A moment of sheer ecstasy!!!

Grilled lobster in the shell, cauliflower cream light sea food jus. Leave your knife for steak or chicken as this lobster succumbed to our spoon. The jus ranked at the top of OMYG and only was surpassed by the Comté emulsion. Oh, please stop it, Chef!!!

Cheese from Les Frères Marchand. Mimolette and Comté from our favourite French affineur!!! A bit of Chef’s bread and “we were knocking on Heaven’s door”.

The Tasting Room lemon meringue pie. Tres parfait!!!

Petit Fours. Photo speaks volumes!

WINE

selection. Excellent.
variety. Excellent.
value. A touch pricey.
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👌

Glass of NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. You cannot go wrong with this bubble!

Bottles of:

2013 Henri Germain et Fils Meursault (Click for photo and additional details). We were searching the wine list for a nice, white Burgundy that would not break the bank. Sommelier Mathieu recommended (thanks!) this “village” wine that presented a vivid yellow reminiscent of a 1er Cru to the eye. Aromas of wet stones with excellent balance. Fresh, crisp and light/medium-bodied on the palate. The wine clearly benefitted from the delicate seafood/fish menu Chef Guillame. Tres parfait!!! A dainty, luvly lady, very good QPR…definitely worth a second date!

2005 Wine & Soul Douro Pintas (Click for photo and additional details). We decided to go off the ranch, so to speak, and sip a Portuguese, rather than expensive Bordeaux, wine. Sommelier Mathieu recommended this most excellent drop…thanks! Dark purple red on the eye…did you say “opaque”? Mysteriously inviting. Mathieu suggested, and we agreed, that decanting was in order given the fairly short time window to sip. Aromas of dark cherries, coffee and chocolate…warm o the nose. Palate of dark fruits, massive tannins and great balance. Long finish that went well with the 30 months Comte. Excellent!

Sommelier Mathieu offered us some complimentary sips of a pleasant Chenin Blanc and Port. Both well-received and went well with the cheese.

MISC

type of cuisine. French.
dress code. Smart casual.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍

Menu/Price

 

The Tasting Room by Galliot 👍👍👍👍👍
Chef Guillaume Galliot
Level 3, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Cotai
Macau
http://www.cityofdreamsmacau.com/dining/international/tasting-room

Photos (The Tasting Room by Galliot)

 

Saffron, Macau 👍👍👍👍

We disembarked the Hong Kong to Taipa Ferry after nearly 60 minutes of smooth sailing, hopped a complimentary bus to The JW Marriott, checked-in and left our luggage at the super-efficient Executive Lounge and walked five minutes to Saffron at The Banyan Tree Macau for a hopefully excellent and real Thai lunch.

We usually find Thai food in Hong Kong to be “dumbed-down” due to the Cantonese preference for less-spicy victuals. Although Thai food does not have to be super-spicy, we prefer the tongue-tantalising spicy version. As such, we generally are very disappointed in what can only be described as Cantonese food with some red colour!

In any event, we arrived at Saffron, which is beautifully designed and furnished, to a very pleasant and professional reception. We walked over to the open-kitchen (very Thai), and we met Chef Pong. We informed her of our disappointment with most Southern China Thai restaurants, and she nodded sadly while recounting her many challenges to meet local palates and still call the dishes “Thai”. She promised to deliver an excellent and “real” Thai lunch. Despite the restrictions (she cannot even procure Thai chilis), she met our expectations! We were sad to learn she would be departing soon for another adventure, but we were pleased to know her second in command would be in situ to serve us a real Thai meal when we next visited.

AMBIENCE

location. The Banyan Tree Hotel, Taipa, Macau. If you are anywhere in Taipa, you can easily walk or hop a courtesy bus to visit.
character and atmosphere. Swish, nicely designed, properly furnished and, generally, exceedingly comfortable.
style and comfort. Very stylish with a Thai feel. Chairs cheerfully comfortable. Spacing between tables generous.
table and glassware. Top-shelf!
other guests. We were not surprised to see a table of 10 Japanese and another of 10 Cantonese speaking Chinese availing of the well-priced set lunch.
ambience rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍.

SERVICE

booking. We booked online without a hitch.
reception. Very pleasant and professional. All smiles!
floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests). Professional, yet playful, in true Thai style…despite being mostly Filipina.
sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager. We chatted with the Executive Chef of The Banyan Tree (Indonesian) as well as Chef Pong. Very friendly and eager to receive feedback. The young Filipina and Thai ladies who served us were friendly, albeit lacking in wine knowledge.
service rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍

FOOD

bread. Thai food lah…no bread!
ingredients. In general, very good. However, we were surprised to learn about the limitations placed upon the Chef in terms of procuring Thai ingredients. Very odd as some of the basics, i.e. Thai chilis, can be purchased in the local supermarkets.
presentation. Chef Pong, particularly when the spicy Thai dipping sauces, presented several of the dishes. Top-shelf! The staff also did a great job explaining the dishes.
creativity. Nice.
taste. Excellent!
smell. Excellent!
execution. Perfect!
food rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍👍👍👍

We decided to go big with the Saffron Seafood Bonanza Gourmet.

Amuse bouche of Thai crackers with chili dipping sauce. The crackers were very yummy, but in some ways more filling than the bread served in top-shelf French restaurants. We carefully did not finish.

Seafood Platter of Boston Lobster, Alaskan Crab, Tuna & Salmon Sashimi. We requested additional sashimi to replace the Oyster & New Zealand Mussel on the menu, and we also ordered the sashimi to be seared. Mai peng rai (Thai for no problem). Excellent quality ingredients. The Salmon was exceptional! Chef Pong prepared three Thai dipping sauces that elevated in spiciness. The final sauce (green colour) really hit the spot!!!

Tom Kha Goong Huaplee soup (Traditional Spicy River Prawn, Coconut, Lemongrass, Galangal, Banana Blossom). The spiciness beautifully blended with the coconut and lemongrass to offer an outstanding, full-flavoured soup.

Pla Krapong Tord Nam Pla (Fried Sea Bass, Fish Sauce, Shallot & Garlic Sauce). Lightly fried, excellent piece of fish – huge portion – with pleasant, Thai style (soft spice) sauces. We, of course, dipped into he green spicy sauce previously served with the Seafood Platter!

Chu Chee Goong Maenam (River Prawn Red Curry, Eggplant, Red Chilli, Sweet Basil). Thick, but smooth, medium-spicy red curry complimented extremely well with the sweet basil. Perfect to munch with steamed white rice. Prawns were excellent and nicely cooked…but the sauce spread over the rice would, without any assistance, have made us gloriously happy.

Goong Munggorn Phad Himapan (Wok Fried Lobster, Cashew Nuts, Sweet Chilli Paste, Oyster Sauce). Exceptional lobster! The blend of sweet chillis and oyster sauce was very yummy!

Despite being very tempting, we skipped the dessert…we need to stretch our legs and tummies to prepare for dinner!

WINE

selection. Good.
variety. Good.
value. Expensive.
wine rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down) 👍👍

2013 Monsoon Valley (Siam Winery) Colombard (click for photo and additional details). We visited Hua Hin Valley Vineyards several years ago. Their Colombard, which is very good, is an example of what they call New Latitude wine that “…is a combination of the New and the Old World accentuated with an exotic touch and a new wine world to discover.” OkeyDokey, we guess that is fair. An easy sipping, Sauvignon Blanc like wine. Light yellow on the eye. Aromas of tropical and citrus fruits. Very fresh and vibrant on the nose. Palate of crisp acidity with grapefruit shining through. A touch more subtle than similarly priced Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs, which was a saviour, and the acidity proved useful with the spicy Thai food. Pleasant, easy going, cheeky little gal and fun two glasses (max) sorta wine.

MISC

type of cuisine. Thai.
dress code. Casual.
overall rating (1 to 5 thumbs up/down)👍👍👍👍

Menu/Price

Discount and benefits available with GEG Privilege Club card

Saffron 👍👍👍👍
The Banyan Tree Macau
Ground Floor, Cotai
Macau
http://www.galaxymacau.com/en/macau-restaurant/restaurant-directory/asian/saffron

Photos (Saffron, Macau)