April 14, 2019

10 days in 3 cities day 2: the elegant Dragon

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It was morning and Hello Kitty wanted coffee.  And Portuguese pasteis.  That was a sign that she was showing improvement from her condition last night.  So I rounded up The Dining Austrian and headed for Lord Stowe's Cafe in Coloanne.

I know it was only just after 10 a.m. but I felt like having a Bailey's latte... which came with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg.

The three of us ordered a half-dozen pasteis, which was just the right amount.  I can never get enough of these, and I think my friend liked them, too.

We checked out of our rooms at the Grand Hyatt Macau, then strolled over to Jade Dragon (譽瓏軒) for our lunch appointment.  When I brought The Dining Austrian for his first visit last year, our unanimous opinion was that the place should be upgraded to 3 macarons.  Lo and behold, the restaurant was upgraded at the end of last year - after Chef Tam Kwok Fung famously crossed the road to Wynn Palace and his deputy Kelvin Au Yeung took over.  I haven't been back here since Chef Au Yeung took charge, so I was curious to see how things were.

I didn't request anything when the booking was made via the PR team at the City of Dreams.  They suggested that Chef Au Yeung serve us some of his (note: not Chef Tam's) signature dishes since he took over, and I thought it made a lot of sense.  Then while we were having dinner together two nights ago, RAW Bro asked to join us today.  Since he's friends with Chef Au Yeung, I asked him to work things out for us today.

Pickled radish with yuzu sauce - good acidity.

Deep-fried shrimp paste with kumquat sauce - nice and crunchy.

Deep-fried mantis shrimp with ice plant - with tomato, French purple broccoli, and sesame yuzu (胡麻柚子) dressing.  Pretty interesting to have mantis shrimp battered and deep-fried.  The ice plants were nice and crunchy.

Baked Australian M8 wagyu beef puff (黑椒燒汁一口和牛酥) - very, very good.  Just look at those layers of puff pastry.  Very hot inside, but very tasty.

Steamed kegani crabmeat dumpling (灌湯日本毛蟹小籠包) - makes perfect sense to have crab as filling for xiaolongbao (小籠包), and this was decent.

Jade Dragon dumpling (翡翠玉龍餃) - still as good as ever, with lobster and shrimp filling.  Chinese chives were used to turn the wrapper into this lovely hue of jade green.  Of course, one must not forget about the gold leaf...

Baked Iberico pork pastry (黑豚叉燒酥) - the filling of these puffs were really piping hot.  Once again, just look at those layers of puff pastry.  So fucking good.

Fish maw in rabbitfish soup with kegani tofu - similar to the one Chef Au Yeung served for the Michelin gala last December, the soup was made with pinspotted spinefish (泥鯭) and the viscosity was pretty thick.  Seasoned with powdered 25-year aged tangerine peel, dried shrimp roe, and some white pepper.

The difference was this little hollowed-out piece of tofu stuffed with Japanese horsehair crab meat (毛蟹).

In case you were wondering, the caviar and gold leaf on top were completely unnecessary.  But when in Macau...

Deep-fried horse head fish (炸青根) - this was a piece of 青根, which is one of the species of tilefishes and related to the Japanese amadai (甘鯛) but smaller.  From the local market this morning.  Deep-fried with spring onions and ginger on top.  Like amadai, the flesh was very tender and fine.  The small scales were crispy the way amadai scales would be when deep-fried.  Beautiful.

Baked stuffed crab shell (焗釀蟹蓋) - my second baked crab shell in three days.  Served with a ring of butterfly pea flower powder around the edge of the plate.

This one came with black truffle inside.  Unfortunately I found it a little too salty.

Roasted Iberico pork spare ribs (黑豚燒排骨) - Chef Au Yeung thought we might be getting a little tired of having these Iberico char siu (叉燒), so he sent us spare ribs instead.

Fucking delicious.  I greedily stripped every last bit of whatever I could get off the bone with my teeth.

They also sent us a small plate of homemade salted fish (咸魚), which was done by putting through the brown-marbled grouper (老虎斑) through 2 separate processes - confit and deep-fry.

Suckling pig filled with pilaf (金陵乳豬飯) - WHOOMP! THERE IT IS!  I hadn't expected to see this come our way, but I sure wasn't gonna say 'NO'!

The ‘suckling pig maki' seemed a little off today.  The crackling came with slightly stronger charred flavors, and didn't quite properly fuse to the ball of rice... so it came loose and fell off.  The glutinous rice, diced Iberico ham, morels, and himematsutake (姫松茸) clumped together and somehow just seemed off.  BUT.  This was still pretty damn delicious, and I grabbed two of these.  Someone next to me had three.

Peach pudding with birds' nest - the peaches from the US were kinda blended together with birds' nest, so the texture seemed a little more solid and grainy.  Served with peach slices on the side.

I was pretty full so I didn't want to touch the petits fours, except for that little cone of milk tea ice cream.

This was lunch, after all... so we took it easy in terms of alcohol.

2013 Araujo Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard - prominent notes of green apple.  Still kinda fresh, but already showing signs of ripeness with a hint of bitterness.  A little alcoholic on the palate after warming up.

2009 Penfolds Yattarna - toasty, very open, and beautiful.

2007 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape - nice fruit, animal and leather notes.  Tannins are still here.

A very nice lunch with more than a few highlights.  So the feedback I've been hearing is true...  Oh, and Chef Au Yeung is so shy!

We grabbed our luggage and boarded the 7-seater for the journey back to Hong Kong.  Many thanks to the team at City of Dreams and Jade Dragon for their arrangements and warm hospitality.  The second leg of the eating tour starts tomorrow...

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