July 21, 2023

Go Goh Macau

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While having lunch together yesterday, NC Chung and I found out that Tigger was gonna be home alone today, kind of. While both Tigger and I ignored our friend's earlier suggestion of a boys' trip to Macau, driving across the bridge now suddenly seemed like a great idea. The boys were opening joking about the next instalment of The Hangover...

After the decision was made to come to Macau for dinner tonight, I was scratching my head about where we should dine. Suddenly I remembered that Goh-san was coming to Macau for an event, and in fact was flying in yesterday. I began to message him as well as the PR team at Wynn to see whether it would be possible for the three of us to join the event. Well... we could not be seated with the private group of media and KOLs since we are nobodies, but Chef Tam was kind enough to arrange a table for us along with a menu. I was happy at the prospect of seeing Goh-san a couple of days early, and of course I haven't seen Chef Tam Kwok Fung (譚國鋒) in more than 4 years - which is far, far too long.

So we met up this afternoon, hopped into NC Chung's car, and let our zero-star Uber driver take us to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Frontier Point. After parking the car, we went through the empty immigration hall and hopped into a taxi, heading for our destination - Wynn Palace Cotai.

It's been years since Tigger was last in Macau, so we spent a little time walking about the shops and casino, trying to guage the level of economic activity and tourist spending. There were certainly a lot of people roaming the halls of the shopping small, and a reasonable number of people betting at the tables.

We had arrived in Macau far too early and were led to believe that the kitchen wasn't ready for us, so we decided to park ourselves at Wing Lei Bar. As soon as I walked up to the door I saw a few of the KOLs who would be attending the special 4-hands dinner with Chef Tam and Goh-san. In fact, we interrupted RAW Yeah's solo drinking session by sitting down with him and ordering drinks for ourselves...

Citrine sphere - with banana liqueur and coconut liqueur along with a base of dark rum.

I could see more KOLs arriving for the dinner, so I suggest that RAW Yeah should follow them in to Wing Lei Palace (永利宮). The three of us moved over to the restaurant a few minutes later and found ourselves seated at a table by the window, with full views of the Performance Lake. I had totally forgotten what this feels like over the last few years.

I realized afterwards that we pretty much had all of the dishes presented at the 4-hands dinner, plus a couple of extras from Chef Tam's repertoire.

Rock oyster and cucumber ceviche - underneath the layers of wafer-thin slices of cucumber was a ceviche of rock oyster from Nagasaki as well as big head carp (鱅魚), with a melon gazpacho. This was really refreshing with good acidity, and good depth of flavors from green tomatoes. A dish which features on the current menu at Goh in Fukuoka.

Whole winter melon soup with crab meat and roast goose (原隻冬瓜盅) - we were given a choice of two variations of this soup, but all of us wanted to take a whole winter melon since this was offered. I love having this soup in the summer, which comes with crab, roast goose, lotus seeds, bamboo pith, and tonkin jasmine. We did wonder, though, whether we made the right decision after almost finishing the soup... because we were already more than half full!

Abalone with seaweed powder and shiitake mushroom - another dish currently featured at Goh. Slices of mushrooms and slow-cooked abalone came with a mushroom sauce along with seaweed powder.

Underneath we had a bed of risotto made with mushrooms, seaweed, and abalone sauce. Very tasty with lots of umami.

Braised baby pigeon (豉油皇太子鴿) - they serve pigeons that are around 28 days' old, so it was very, very, very tender. The marinade was on the sweet side, but oh-so-tasty. In fact, I can't remember the last time I tasted such a delicious pigeon that wasn't fried.

Wok-fried chicken roll with sand ginger and spicy yuzu sauce - the chicken came with a traditional aromatic ginger (沙薑) sauce, which was a little on the mild side, but also a little dab of yuzukosho (柚子胡椒) to lend some Japanese flavors and extra kick. The terminite mushrooms (雞盅菌) on the side were nice, too.

The chicken roulade came stuffed with some minced prawn mousse.

Stewed wagyu beef cheek with Port wine and red miso sauce - honestly, the slice of slice of battered and deep-fried bun (饅頭) was pretty WTF. It tasted greasy and bland, and added nothing. The tri-colored carrot and radish balls, though, were nice.

The beef cheek was stewed with Port wine and red miso. This was so, sooo tender... with so much collagen. Also really flavorful to make it moreish.

The next dish came in two parts, first with a crab shell over the bowl, which one lifts to reveal the crab curry underneath. This comes from GohGan in Fukuoka.

The noodles in the other bowl came with spring onions, garlic, and deep-fried lard.

Coconut crab curry with tosed noodles in scallion oil - a local twist to the classic GohGan dish, with a little Chinese flavor added.

I really loved this. The crab curry packs the usual big punch of flavors from the ocean along with the spicy kick and richness from coconut milk, then you've got the fried spring onions and finally, the absolutely gorgeously sinful fried chunks of lard just oozing fat onto the tongue. How is it possible not to love thid dish?!

A trio of desserts came next.

Wampee sorbet - I've never had sorbet made with wampee (黃皮) before so this was interesting. Definitely got the distinctive fragrance. Served with diced wax apple (蓮霧) so that's doubly refreshing.

Baked flaky custard tart with sake and grape - in the middle there are some sake-marinated grapes along with the custard, bringing an extra layer of flavors. We've also got some shavings of Hungarian honey truffle on top.

Baked adzuki beans and egg yolk puff - made with adzuki beans from Tokachi (十勝) in Hokkaido.

Then we had a trio of petit four:

Walnut nougat

Coffee and milk tea macaron - wouldn't the combination of coffee and milk tea make this a yuenyeung (鴛鴦)? Well, I definitely tasted the milk tea flavors, and this was delicious. What a surprise!

Strawberry jelly

Chef Tam very kindly sent us a bottle of wine.

2014 Rémi Jobard Meursault 1er Cru le Poruzot-Dessus - good acidity and ripeness balance. Some toast on the nose but it wasn't overpowering like many other Meursaults. Of course there is still the crisp, refreshing lemon.

A very good meal with many tasty dishes, but how did we get so much food?! So happy that Chef Tam could make our little boys' trip something special.

The whole gang with RAW Yeah and others were moving to the Mandarin Oriental Macau, since some of the contingent from Asia's 50 Best Bars - including the likes of Bee's Knees from Kyoto - were guest bartending at Vida Rica. Tigger, NC Chung and I went along for a few drinks, but when the next stop became a pool party at Wynn Macau... it was time to go home. Our zero-star Uber driver still had a long drive back across the bridge to Hong Kong...

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