November 12, 2014

Macau tour 2014: view from the Dôme

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After the cellar tour, our day continued with lunch at Robuchon au Dôme - one of the finest restaurants in the region.  I didn't have any breakfast this morning so that I could save some stomach space for what was bound to happen at lunch...

The boys decided that they didn't want to share their food with me.  No half- or third-portions of anything.  So I decided to just order the 4-course lunch - one fewer than usual, and also one fewer than the boys.  For once I wanted to be able to eat dinner after surviving lunch at this place, without feeling like I've swallowed a giant boulder...

First things first.  Buttah.  The first trolley - and there is a whole series of them in this place - to show up is the butter.  Not just any butter, but from Bordier.  We all asked for the salted version, and watched as our waiter carved it out from the mound with a dinner spoon.

That's a real pretty sight.  Funny how something so simple can manage to make one so happy.

The next trolley to show up is, naturally, the bread trolley.  They have already placed a section of them on our table, but wanted to see if there was anything else we wanted...

I know how much food will be coming our way, so I am pretty disciplined about bread intake today.  But I couldn't resist sharing this beautiful chestnut bread with one of the boys.  The chestnut paste was just delicious...

I have traditionally chosen a Champagne to go with lunch at this restaurant, and today I went back to an old favorite that is tough to find elsewhere...

2006 Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Le Creux d'Enfer, dégorgée a 12 avril 2010 - my favorite rosé Champagne.  Lots of fruit here, especially strawberries, and a little yeasty.  Loads of deep, rich flavors here.

Absolutely love that beautiful color from saignée.

Our amuse bouche turned out to be delicate prawn royale with fennel foam, crispy prawn with citrus dot.  Pretty good, and the fennel foam worked very well here.

Le saumon d'écosse, en symphonie de tartare au pousses de shiso relevé d'un caviar maraîcher - a nice Scottish salmon tartare with a layer of Puy lentils on top, and decorated with perilla flowers and the ubiquitous gold foil...  Served with country bread, saffron bread, and carta di musica on the side.

L'oseille, en velouté avec une mousseline de saumon et aux peluches d'aneth - the salmon mousse came with some gorgeous salmon caviar that I love to pop in my mouth...

...and the sorrel velouté was then added to the bowl.  This was a beautiful dish.  The flavors of the salmon mousse were nice and delicate, accented by a little dill.  The seasoning of the velouté was a wonderful balance between the acidity of the sorrel and the savory side.  The lightness of the velouté showed the maturity and experience of a chef who has adapted his recipes to both the modern and the local palates.

Le homard du Maine, escalopé tiédi au beurre d'algues sur un risotto de fregolas avec une sauce coralline - I was going for something completely different, but then I saw the word "fregola"... and like Pavlov's dog, I instinctively responded and began salivating.  It's one of my "buttons" and over the last few years, I've ordered a dish every time the description contains the word "fregola"...

The lobster, the seafood emulsion and the seaweed butter (from Bordier, no doubt) came together perfectly.  The fregola, though, was a little hard and undercooked today... and didn't show that slightly springy texture I usually get when chewing on it with the slightest pressure from my teeth.

Ah... the famous Robuchon potato mash!  When the boys saw that only I had a serving, they asked for it, too...  It's the only mashed potato in the world that I religiously lap up.

Our waitress came over to ask us whether we wanted some cheese or dessert - because the menu did say this course was cheese OR dessert - and was a little taken aback when we said we wanted BOTH...  Thankfully she did indulge our group of three greedy little pigs.

So the third "chariot" was wheeled over to our table, where I picked out a selection of four: Comté, Mimolette, Charolais that was a tad on the dry side, and a very, very ripe Époisses that was just beautiful.

Nigel the sommelier came over with a glass of dessert wine for us to try... and wanted us to guess the identity...

1929 Pla del Fount Maury - like a Late Bottled Vintage Port because of the light tannins and body.  I guessed it was a Rivesaltes... which was close because they are both vin doux naturel from the south of France made with Grenache Blanc.

Our pre-dessert was passion fruit with rum, coconut mousse, and mango purée.  This combination of tropical flavors was totally up my alley.

Next up was trolley #4... the dessert trolley.  I picked out just two items:

Coffee tart - must be the most intensely flavored and delicious coffee dessert I have tasted in recent memory...

Paris-Brest - with a beautiful praline cream.

There was also an ice cream trolley, but I chose not to take any.  Instead I did enjoy picking out a few things from trolley #6 - the mignardises trolley.  I chose canelé, chouquette, gingerbread, pear jelly, blackcurrant jelly, vanilla candy and a lollipop.

Last but not least, coffee.  But I never get the coffee for the sake of drinking coffee... No, the real star of the show here is the caramel sauce.  That's because on my first invitation here, KC and I asked what went into the sauce, and were told that the alcohol was Louis Treize.  Both of our jaws dropped.  Yes, Louis XIII de Remy Martin.  Look up the street price of this cognac.  This goes into the sauce that goes into your coffee.

Since that day I have decided to drink the sauce straight by pouring it into my spoon.  I don't know if they still use Louis Treize in the sauce today, but the sauce was still pretty awesome.

An incredibly delightful lunch.  I chose to only have seafood today, and everything was light and well-balanced.  I am thankful to have taken less on the savory side so I could enjoy a little more on the sweet side.  For me this is undoubtedly one of the very best restaurants in the Hong Kong / Macau region - which is in no small part due to its location within the Grand Lisboa.  Once again I am kicking myself for not making quarterly return visits here...

Many thanks to the Hotel Lisboa for spoiling us.  I will be back soon, with friends, and we will come raid your cellar!

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