April 23, 2016

Macau Michelin tour 2016: another bargain Tasting lunch

Pin It

Our only non-Chinese meal this trip was today’s lunch at The Tasting Room in Crown Towers. The Great One had insisted on this stop as she had yet to visit the restaurant, and quite a few of us have delivered positive feedback.

We had chosen to come for lunch because of the excellent value offered by the set lunch (3-, 4-, or 5-course options are available), so as it turns out, we would miss the dinners with guest chef Thierry Drapeau from Vendée – with two Michelin stars to his name. Quel dommage!

I was flattered to be recognized by Manager David Bassaluy as soon as I walked in. This time, though, I decided to keep things “light” and stick to the set lunch menu… instead of following his suggestion last time of taking the set dinner at lunch.

David very kindly offered complimentary glasses of bubbly for all of us to start, and the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs went down very smoothly, with a nice degree of ripeness and less acidity than I remembered.

The Great One was going for the 5-course lunch and naturally tried her damnedest to persuade us all to do the same. I initially wanted a smaller meal but eventually relented. I guess we’d be doing a lot of walking today and can probably burn off the calories from the extra dish… maybe…

The amuse bouche was an Alaskan king crab salad with cucumber gelée, yuzu sauce, green apple sorbet, and caviar.  There were little bits of crunchy cucumber peel as well as finely diced onions for some texture, as well as some coriander to give a little extra flavor.  I didn't get any hint of flavors from yuzu, but the whole dish was already refreshing enough.  A lovely start to our lunch.

Slow cooked egg with potato smoothie Parmesan and onion - my jaw dropped when this arrived in front of me.  This was a pretty big bowl and the volume of its contents was pretty substantial... and it was all meant to go into my stomach.  The slow-cooked egg came on a bed of caramelized onion compote with potato espuma on top, with bacon bits, bread crumble, and chopped chives.

Honestly, this was like a cross between a French onion soup and a fondue.  This was seriously thick in terms of viscosity, and extremely rich in terms of flavor.  When you take egg yolk, potato cream, Parmesan cheese, and put it together with caramelized onions...

I first began by spooning this into my mouth, but after a while I decided to take the advice of our server by dipping pieces of baguette into the bowl, and watching the mixture slowly drip and succumb to gravity.  Yeah, I probably should have taken a video of this...  Just.Heavenly.

Truth be told, this was too much to take as the first course of a set menu.  Even without any bread, there was enough stuff sitting in my stomach by now that I could walk away from lunch happy.  Adding some bread would just make an entire meal out of this one dish.  But speaking to David after lunch, it seemed clear that downsizing the dish wasn't an option, as Chef Guillaume Galliot would want to keep the ratio of the egg yolk to the rest of the ingredients... and no self-respecting chefs in a restaurant with Michelin stars would serve you half a slow-cooked yolk...

Lobster bisque with fresh Scottish razor clams - with brunoise of carrots and celery.  As the bisque was poured into my bowl, I came to the realization that I had made a mistake with ordering... and the feeling was confirmed with my first spoonful.  This was an incredibly viscous and rich bisque - probably the richest lobster bisque I have had in recent memory.  Besides the obvious ingredients, I swear I could taste beurre noisette... with caramelized sweetness and an almost nutty fragrance.  It was so delicious that I couldn't stop myself from cleaning the interior of the bowl...

The Scottish razor clams served with orange and grapefruit seemed a little superfluous.  The acidity of the citrus fruits didn't seem able to balance out the overwhelming richness of the bisque...

By now I have consumed two out of the five courses from my set lunch, but I was already feeling 80% full.  I was due to take down a lobster course next, but made the painful (both literally and figuratively!) decision to ask the kitchen to cancel it so that I could downgrade myself to a 4-course lunch.  I was ever so grateful that the kitchen agreed to my request, and hope that I didn't end up causing any issues.

Pigeon from Racan with fava bean purée, popcorn, cooking jus infused with 'Peranakan' nut - I would always choose the Racan pigeon, and was particularly intrigued by the mention of "Peranakan nut".  Did they mean buah keluak?  I didn't ask for clarification, since I figured I'd find out for myself, anyway...

I asked for the breast to be done rosé, bien sûr!  The execution was perfect.  It seemed to be sitting on top of a slice of celeriac, and topped with a combination of popcorn and what seemed to be cocoa nibs.  I didn't really get the popcorn, but cocoa nibs always work well with pigeon.  I thought that I may have detected a slight hint of something exotic in the jus, but couldn't definitively say that it was from buah keluak...

The leg was much drier, and almost tasted like a confit.  Beautiful.

I picked out a glass of red to go with my pigeon, and was pretty satisfied with my choice.

2012 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis - very fruity with blueberries and lots of vanilla oak, very minty, very fragrant... almost like cedar.  Really sweet on the nose.  A little bit of sweetness on the palate.

Caramelized bananas, caramel, peanut, brown butter ice cream - the three of us who chose dessert over cheese all picked the same one.  Loved the caramelized chunks of banana.  The delicious beurre noisette ice cream sat on a bed of peanut butter crumble, next to some wonderful caramel mousse.  Blueberry halves and a piece of blueberry wafer served as garnish.  Very, very good.

We were presented with the usual assortment of mignardises.  While I agreed with the Great One that her financiers were better, I didn't mind nibbling on one of these from the plate.  I always liked the raspberry pâté de fruit, and passed on the brownie with popcorn today.

This chocolate macaron with hazelnut ganache came with my espresso.

Absolutely stuffed, and very thankful that I did not insist on taking 5 courses.  Every single course I had today was delicious, and I really, really, really loved my bowl of "onion soup fondue".  With prices for the set lunch being so reasonable - and knowing that the kitchen changes the offering on a pretty frequent basis - I really wonder why more people (including myself) don't find themselves lunching there.

P.S. I was told that the restaurant plans to raise prices for their set lunch in a matter of days, but even with an increase of MOP 50, it would still be a bargain!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map