Earlier in the year I received an invitation for a junket to the City of Dreams in Macau, but I was completely buried in paperwork... working 7 days a week while trying to launch our new hedge fund, so I politely declined while citing the reason. A few months down the road, and I'm actually not that busy at work anymore... so when the invitation came a second time, I happily accepted the offer to spend 2 days in Macau trying out 3 of the restaurants in the hotel complex.
We were picked up at the ferry terminal and whisked to Hard Rock Hotel Macau so we could check in a drop off our bags. I had the distinct pleasure of spending a few hours here late one evening a few years ago while I conducted a key board meeting for another hedge fund - and elicited strange looks from the staff because I was checking out only a couple hours after checking in. This time I'd actually spend the entire evening here...
Lunch was at The Tasting Room in the Crown Towers Macau next door, and I was met by Natalie from the City of Dreams who accompanied Hello Kitty and I. We were quickly introduced to Chef Guillaume Galliot, whose cuisine I enjoyed very much on my first visit last year. We took our seats and waited for our 4-course lunch to arrive.
Not wanting to get too drunk from lunch (like I usually do in Macau), I declined the offer of more Champagne... and also nixed the idea of ordering from the wine list.
squid carbonara at Amber and the raw version at Noma Tokyo. But now you've got abalone cut into fine shreds, dressed in a creamy carbonara sauce, with onion compôte, shredded pata negra jamón, and a raw quail egg on top as well as a few flakes of Parmesan.
Believe me, this was an absolutely beautiful dish. The soft onion compôte contrasted well with the chewy shreds of abalone and the even tougher strands of jamón. The sweet, caramelized onion helped cut down the richness of the carbonara sauce. The finely diced chives were the perfect accent here. Slurp! Thank you, sir... may I have another?
It was explained to us that the chef chose not to pan-fry the fish, and here I think he understands the preferences of his Asian clientele... Many of us Chinese (and especially Cantonese) do prefer the beautiful and soft texture that comes from steaming the fish... and sous vide can deliver something similar.
Many thanks to the City of Dreams, and especially Natalie for sacrificing her weekend to babysit us...