Sunday, 3 January 2016

Robuchon au Dôme in Grand Lisboa Macau

Robuchon au Dôme
43/F Grand Lisboa Casino

Since I don't gamble, and have been to Macau before and had done some sightseeing, so the only thing left to do in Macau was to diner in expensive style. And Grand Lisboa has 3 restaurants with Michelin stars.

 The Place 
The restaurant occupies the prime location of the dome (hence the name) atop Grand Lisboa like a Fabergé egg sits precariously on a fork of a tree, or a flower bud of a plant (or whatever else you can imagine).

Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau
Egg shaped dome on top of Grand Lisboa

While you feast on the fine dining, you can also feast your eyes with the panorama of Macau. There were some haze on the day, probably wafting south from the industrial hearts of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Aerial View, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau
Depending where you sit. This is the aerial view in front of our table (viewing NW direction).
Can you spot the Ruins of St. Paul's ?   Hint:  It's next to a park.
(click to enlarge)
The yellow building occupies the waterfront (1/3 from top left corner of the photo) is Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16. The historical quarter is sandwiched between Grand Lisboa and Sofitel.

The other side of the river (on the left of the photo) is mainland China. If you're a good swimmer, it doesn't take long to get there. Just put your passport (with Chinese visa) into a waterproof bag. Of course, before 1980s, that's how some Chinese got to Macau (if they survived the hail of bullets).

Aerial View, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau
Zoom in the area between Grand Lisboa and Sofitel, the blue building
that stands out in the landscape in the foreground belongs to New Central Hotel.

From this height of 43F, you need a pair of hawk eyes to spot the most well known of Macau's iconic Ruins of St Paul's. With my camera zoom lens, I can make it out from this HD (high density) concrete jungle (or matchboxes) of Macau.

Ruins of St Paul's, Aerial View, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Ruins of St. Paul's, Aerial View, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau
The iconic landmark of the Ruins of St. Paul's

On the other side of the restaurant (SW side), if you happened to be given a table there, you will see this aerial view (facing SW direction).

Macau Tower, Aerial View, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau
Macau Tower and Sai Van Bridge (Chinese: 西灣大橋). This bridge is actually double-decked.
The haze is more evident from this angle.

 The Food 
Bread basket: 9 / 10
The tiny pointy baguettes are both nice and crispy: one is plain and the other has bacon stuffing. The burnt ends are nice and toasty.

Bread basket, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Complimentary Corn Soup: 9 / 10
Corn soup is usually not my cup of tea (or bowl of soup). And I was going to have many courses to come. But then, it's rude to refuse free food. It was actually better than I expected. Nice corns, not too sweet.

Corn Soup, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Seafood Brisque: 9 / 10
It has a deep rich taste. The froth seems to be the chef's signature touch for his sauces and soup.

seafood brisque, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

French Mussels Mariniere: 9.5 / 10
Mussels are in generally tough, but not these babies (probably baby mussels), which simply melt in my mouth like butter. Note the froth.

French Mussels Marinierre, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Wagyu Beef Cheek: 9 / 10
I'm not a fan of wagyu beef. But these cheeks were heavenly soft. The last time I had a beef cheek was in Prague. But This is far softer because it's wagyu beef. The sauce is however slightly more salty than I would like, and had that indescribable (or as the French says, c'est ne sais quoi) taste.

Wagyu Beef cheek, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Pan-fried scallops: 8.5 / 10
Of all the dishes we sampled today, this has less to write about. It's quite good, just doesn't have the wow factor as the other dishes.

pan-fried scallops, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Coffee: 10 / 10
I do expect a good cup of coffee from a 3-star French restaurant, but I didn't expect the best drop my tongue has the pleasure to have ever tasted. I had tried kopi luwak (or cat-poop coffee), costing an arm and a leg, but it doesn't even come close. I love to know where they shop for their coffee. I also suspect it's the right choice of milk, which makes it perfect. There's no best perfume for everyone, just perfume that's perfect for one person. Similarly, not all milk are perfect for all coffee. I think this place gets the perfect marriage of the Mr. right coffee and Ms. milk. Yum, yum (or 飲飲 in Cantonese) !

This is the 1st, and probably the only time that I give a score of 10. If you're a lover of coffee, this is likely gonna be a love at the 1st sip.

coffee, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Cheese Cart
As they wheeled out their cheese cart, I couldn't find my fave cheese. Apparently, my taste of cheese are simply too common, and wasn't available. I gave it a miss.

Cheese table, Robuchon au Dôme, Grand Lisboa, Macau

Overall Score: 9.5 / 10. I enjoy French food (I was once a raving Francophile. Not that there's anything wrong. I'm just too old for that now), but I find some of the dishes too rich for my taste. French food is adapted for its local conditions. Specifically, Europe climate, which is cold (relative to tropics and sub-tropics where I grew up), and so its dishes are high in calories. But not Robuchon au Dôme, I don't find their food rich. I don't know if the chef is catering for Cantonese palate, which are accustomed to subtle, mild and light dishes, which evolved to suit the relative warm climate of Guangzhou (where HK is a part of geographically and culturally). Maybe this is simply because of the chef's consciousness of our health consciousness.

I certainly wouldn't go back. I can't afford it. I'm not rich, and I don't like rich food. I like congee (as Hakka people say: "Poor people should eat congee" 人窮該食粥).

If somebody else foots the bill, I wouldn't hesitate. It's outrageously rude to refuse free food (no, I don't fight for la bill like des Chinese. If 2 Chinese fights for the bill, I'll tell one of them pays for the bill, and the other gives me the cash. This should settle their Battle of the Bill, and save both of their faces. After free food and take-way cash, this is the least I can do: be a generous cheapskate peacemaker. Saving faces of others is one of my many saving graces).

Peace man! Bon appétit !

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