Robuchon Macao

When mom asked if I wanted to visit Macao's art collection from the Forbidden Palace and also I.M. Pei's new building, I was hesitant. But when she mentioned lunch would be at Joel Robuchon Macao, I immediately said yes! Macao we go... for the only Michelin 3-star restaurant in Macao. (HK has 龍景軒; while I didn't visit 龍景軒, I did visit its ex-chef's installment at Mongkok's 添好運 - see review abt a month ago)

Decor - very formal tho the patrons (namely, me) were more casual. It was homely and each table were flanked by four very lush sofa chairs that were very comfortable. Some tables and built-in sofas that seemed too luxurious and comfy for a restaurant.

Service - attentive but not great. We had to ask for water a few times. In general, they lacked a genuine knowledge about the food and the preparation. Very good at reading off the paper, not so much when asked more about it. And the dessert tray waiter must be a trainee or something. He needed better English, Cantonese, and understanding of the dessert dishes he is presenting.

On to the food:

The bread basket could have easily been the highlight of the lunch. As you can see, there were quite a few to choose from. The bacon bread was quite memorable - with strips of bacon twisting its way up on perfectly baked bread. The cheese bread was also very nicely done. It's hard to find good bread in Hong Kong, and Robuchon really nails it.

Amuse was oyster with vanilla foam. A wonderful start to a meal, mixing freshness with a hint of aroma.

For the appetizer, I ordered the foie gras dish. The curled pieces were all foie gras, so it was a pretty generous portion. I should have written down the different sauces, because they were the key to the dish, complementing the richness of foie gras perfectly. I thought it was a bit too much food though. Eating 5 to 6 pieces of rich foie gras may be luxurious, but certainly not the best to activate the taste buds.

I got the Buta no Kakuni as a main course. It was decent. The pork was done perfectly and the sweetness showed itself quite nicely. The condiments on top, however, missed the mark - the flavors didn't mixed well and I was left with a sour aftertaste. I also tried my brother's lobster with walnut sauce, and it wasn't very good. A bit overcooked and dry, it was no match for ones I've had in New York at Eleven Madison Park.

Dessert was generous - you get to pick four out of this truck. (Not discussed is the not-so-memorable pineapple and the over-the-top chocolate caramel cake)

Everybody agreed that the pistachio cake was the best among all the desserts. Moist, flavorful, and good for pictures. (Not so much about the golden pieces that accompanied most desserts... arg... we're not in China!)

I actually liked the Napolean even better. Nice and light and a perfect ending after the heavier pork entre. The crust: easily cut but did not crumble too easily. The fillings: flavorful without being overwhelming. There was a slight toasted honey taste as well that I couldn't really place but certainly remembered.

All in all, it was a decent meal that unfortunately didn't meet all my lofty expectations. Dishes were all decent. However, ultimately, the sequence and entrees were so-so and the service was definitely not up-to-par. You expect more from servers at these top restaurants. At $495 (USD 65), it's quite steep for a 3 course meal. Nonetheless, at least I can now take Robuchon off the list of places I need to eat at!


chaubella said...

that oyster looks soooo yummy. is there restaurant week in HK? (i.e. 3 course lunch for $24/ 3 course dinner for $35 at some of the nicest restaurants)

Anonymous said...

Seems that all the "STAR" restaurants use foam technology to "delight" the patrons. I somehow see the foam as "spits". Gross huh ?? Go to Cafe Des artiste in Punta Mita ( north of Puerta Vallarta). They serve really great exciting food that delights your senses, while watching sunset with sand under your feet. $75 USD for 5 course chef select meal including one glass of wine. You wont regret making this trip.