June 5, 2016

Macau Michelin tour 2016: chefs' dinner

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So we've come to the end of our tour of Michelin-starred restaurants in Macau... and our 10th stop would be Wing Lei (永利軒) at the Wynn Macau.  We had just finished lunch about two hours ago, so while I wasn't stuffed to the point of being nauseous, I really wasn't all that hungry.  Thankfully, we were joined by three additional mouths who weren't at lunch with us, and who - presumably - were hungry enough to help take in extra portions of food.

Having been a fan for a little while, I finally got a chance to say more than just "Hello" to Chef Guillaume Galliot of The Tasting Room - thanks to his lovely wife who decided to bring him along.  So it only made sense that we put the Man in the White T-Shirt next to him... and let the chefs yap.

Suckling pig knuckles with Sichuan pepper sauce (椒麻汁滷豬仔腳) - these came with a small pitcher of Sichuan peppercorn (花椒) sauce on the side, and this was a little spicy and numbing, but really delish.

Barbecued pata negra pork with maple syrup (楓糖黑毛豬叉燒) - since they advertise this as being pata negra, I guess we gotta try it...

The maple syrup glaze was sweet but not over the top.  The strip of fat in the middle was nice, but a little chewy.  A pretty decent char siu.

Roasted crispy goose with apple wood (蘋果木燒鵝) - this was very good.  The crispy skin was tasty, and the smokiness was there.

Pan-fried green pepper stuffed with minced pork and salted codfish (馬介休豚肉釀尖椒) - this dish tasted as interesting as it looked on the menu.  While it's common to see stuffed peppers, it's a little unusual to see bacalhau in the same dish - in this case flakes sprinkled on top... along with garlic, shredded spicy chili peppers, and frisée.  I thought the flavors actually worked well together.  The only fault I found was that the green peppers didn't stick to the minced pork filling... and kinda fell apart.

Braised sea cucumber with dried shrimp roe and spring onions (香蔥蝦子燒海參) - this was pretty tasty.  Flavors were naturally heavy, with dried shrimp roe and a sweetened, soy sauce-based sauce.  Spring onions were stir-fried with enough heat to make them fragrant and tasty.

General Tso's chicken (左宗堂溜滑雞) - this is one of those buttons I have... Just have to order it when I see it on the menu.  When I see the description as "slippery and smooth", I already knew that this wouldn't be the heavily-battered variety ubiquitous in American Chinese restaurants.  The sauce was made with aged black vinegar and still sweet, but surprisingly the whole thing turned out a little bitter.

Stir-fried kailan with ginger (薑汁炒芥藍) - a simple stir-fried veg, but so beautiful because of the quality of ingredients.  The kailan (芥藍) was naturally sweet, young and tender.  The ginger sauce gave it a merest hint of a kick and highlighted the sweetness.

Fried rice with soft shell crab, minced pork and bean curd with spicy pepper sauce (軟殼蟹麻婆豆腐燴炒飯) - we ordered this because it sounded very interesting.  When it came, though, we were surprised at the presentation.  Basically... the mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐) and the soft shell crab came as two separate parts of the dish...

Mixed in a bowl, the components came together to deliver a nice combination of flavors.  Definitely tasty, but I wish the components had been cooked together so that the flavors could have melded a little better.

Chilled mango and coconut milk layer cakes (芒果椰汁夾) - not bad at all...

Crispy sesame glutinous dumplings with egg yolk custard (流沙煎堆仔) - these were OK.

Crispy sweet potato with chestnut (栗子紅薯棗) - there was barely a hint of chestnut... and the sweet potato wasn't obvious, either.

Homemade pancake with sugar and peanuts (家鄉煎甜薄餐) - the pancake was pretty soft and sticky... I would have preferred something more dry and crispy.

Petits fours

I wasn't in the mood to drink any wine, and in any case the wine list wasn't particularly inspiring.  We did have a couple of thirsty people who proceeded to order a bottle of white wine... which turned out to be corked.  Since they only stocked 1 bottle of that particular wine, they decided to give up and drank beer and whisky instead...

This was a pretty good dinner.  For most of the dishes, the flavor combinations worked and the quality of ingredients was high.  We didn't order any premium or luxe dishes, so we got away pretty easy in terms of the bill.  So comparatively this was a "cheap and cheerful" dinner.

Most impressive of all, after we had finished order, the manager actually asked us whether we wanted our food served one dish at a time, or if we wanted all our food at the same time.  This was simply unheard of at Chinese restaurants... and definitely earned them some brownie points in my book!


Michael L said...

That plate of fried rice just looks like a 碟頭飯 in a 茶餐廳!

But I can see the rice was actually fried well. I can see them by grain and not mushy, and not glistening in oil.

Peech said...

@Michael: OUCH! 碟頭飯... But in all honesty it was a very tasty dish in spite of its faults.


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