January 14, 2018

Girls' trip to Macau: sept chariots

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After another sleepless nice in the hotel room, I rolled out of bed to have a very small bite at Round-the-Clock Coffee Shop.  Since lunch was in a little more than an hour, Hello Kitty and I each nibbled on a danish pastry while getting our caffeine hits.  After checking out of our room at the Grand Lisboa Macau, we brought our bags up to Robuchon au Dôme and sat down for a long lunch.

My efforts to stay under the radar, however, proved futile.  The boss found out we were dining here and dropped by to greet us.  I kinda had an inkling of what was in store for us...

One of the main reasons why I love this place so much is the trolleys.  Some time ago I had written about a lunch here during which I enjoyed the offerings from 6 different trolleys.  After another meal here recently, a chef friend reminded me of the existence of yet another trolley - with Champagne.  I had never taken notice of its existence in all these years, because I have always been happy to order wine - including Champagne - off the extensive wine list.  So I made sure to ask for the Champagne trolley today and go through all seven trolleys...

2006 Louis Roederer Brut Nature - nice and crisp acidity after the initial ripe attack, and pretty long on the finish.

Then we have the bread trolley.  Today we decided to pick a few specific items instead of having the staff bring us a whole basket.  After all, we only had limited stomach space for bread and wouldn't want anything to go to waste.

It's only natural that the butter trolley follows the bread trolley.  I could never not get excited at the sight of these two big mounds of butter...

This is the most beautiful shape that butter can come in... scraped off the mound with a dinner spoon.  Oh, and of course we wanted beurre salé!

Hello Kitty was still miffed about the fact that she wasn't able to join me here for lunch last month, so when it came time to choose a set menu, she decided to go whole hog and took the winter lunch menu.  As the menu needed to be taken by the entire table, I had little choice but to take the same menu.  La vie est dure...

L'Œuf de poule «Mimosa» : «Mimosa» egg with impérial caviar and king crab - I've had Mimosa eggs from Oncle Joël before, but this is a different version. 

The yolk inside has been extracted and made into a mousse on top, while the center of the egg was stuffed with crab meat and caviar.  There's nice acidity here in the sauce, which I remember from the last time I had a similar dish here.  A good way to start our meal.

Le foie gras : artichokes carpaccio salad with shaving smoked foie gras - the rolls of shaved smoked foie gras sat atop round discs of artichoke, garnished with thin wafers of button mushrooms and radishes, slices of Pecorino, artichoke chips, thin slices of Melba toast, arugula, frisée, julienned noir long Maraîcher radish, and slices of black truffle.  The use of an acidic mustard sauce with foie gras is a familiar touch, and having both black pepper and piment d'espelette made things even more interesting.

At this point manager Ray Leung came over with a bottle of red, which had been kindly arranged by the boss.  It's from one of my favorite producers in Burgundy, and from a fantastic vintage, too...

2010 Lucien Le Moine Clos Saint-Denis - lots of dried herbs along with good amount of sweet berries, with leather and slightly smoky notes.  A little stemmy and a little grippy on the palate.  30 minutes after opening the nose showed lots of toasty notes, and was really, really fragrant.

La truffe noir : en ravioles de Pecorino crémeux cuisiné au bouillon de poule - this was a wonderful dish I had the pleasure of tasting last month, and it was stunning then.  This was still delicious but the execution felt a little off compared to the last time.  I wish the ravioli were a little more plump today, and I wish we had gotten a little more of the chicken bouillon

Le homard cardinalisé : au beurre salé, pois princesse mitonnés et baby bok choy, escortés d'une bisque épicée - I loved watching the bisque being poured into the bowl and the peas start floating around.

The roasted Maine lobster was deliciously sweet, as were the tender peas.  The bisque was very, very delicious with lots of kick from piment d'espelette.  The squid ink tuile on top added some texture and, of course, visual appeal.

Le canard : Challans duck breast and foie gras duo, mango with ginger vinegar and fresh coriander - another version of the "tournedos Rossini", except this came with duck breast instead of beef tenderloin.  Hello Kitty exclaimed that this was the best duck she has ever had.  While I'm not sure I would make that statement, the duck was indeed very, very tender and very delicious - with perfect execution.  And the foie?  O-M-G.  I'm having trouble deciding whether I prefer this or the "original" version I had last month.  The little mango balls on the side were pickled in vinegar, and garnished with Japanese red pickled ginger (紅生姜), coriander, and squid ink tuile encrusted with crushed peanuts.

We also got a cup of duck bouillon which, for reasons unknown to me, came decorated with a little gold foil.  The bouillon itself was delicious and packed a little punch thanks to the use of pepper and piment d'espelette.

Who could refuse the iconic "Robuchon mash"?!  Certainly not me... although I would have been satisfied with just a third of the portion.

Ah, yes... zee cheese trolley!  I see that the decoration has changed from autumn to winter since I was last here.

We get some nice wafers to go with our cheese.  Hello Kitty picked out the hard cheese she wanted, and I rounded out with a few soft ones.

Vacherin Mont d'Or - as this was a new piece I had no idea how ready it was when I asked for it, but it turned out to be soooo ripe!  Perfect softness, with a little nuttiness as well as a little ammonia.

Comté, aged 36 months - reasonably salty with crunchy crystals, but still some sweetness here.

Mimolette, aged 36 months - wonderful depth of flavors.  Salty with a hint of bitterness on the finish.

Chabichou du Poitou - pretty gamey, nutty, with nice acidity.

Époisses - soft enough but not quiet runny.  The ammonia was really strong, obviously...

La symphonie des douceurs: au choix selon vos désirs sur notre chariot de desserts - the next trolley came bearing desserts.

Galette des rois - very nice.  Not sure if they bothered to put in a feve but they did have the paper crowns ready...

Tarte citron - as delicious as always.

Opéra - pretty strong coffee flavors.  Very nice.

Caramel and chocolate tart - something I can't refuse.  Soooo good.

Mont Blanc - with vanilla cream filled with cherry (?) coulis inside.  And OF COURSE gold foil on top.

Next up was the ice cream trolley, which I seldom see because I'm usually too full at this point.  But today... Je prends!

Chestnut ice cream - pretty liquid, but I could taste the fine grain of the chestnut purée.  Delicious!

Finally we come to the mignardises trolley - the last of the seven.

L'Ourson: en velours rose et noire - the delicious chocolate and raspberry bear I had on my last visit.  So cute.  So delicious.

Lemon candy shell with chestnut cream inside.

Vanilla cream tart - with chestnut purée.

Coffee caramel tart -  So nice!

We were very, very full... and a little buzzed.  This was a very delicious meal, and both the food as well as the service was top-notch.  Chef Julien Tongourian came over to say hello, and I made sure to tell him that I would be coming back to see him in two weeks.  I'm really looking forward to check out their black truffle menu, and scratching an itch that I have been meaning to scratch for nearly 10 years...

P.S.  Many thanks to the boss for treating us to the delicious wines!  As usual, I made sure to leave a decent tip in return.

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