Archive for the ‘French’ Category

Well, Mr. Robuchon, you’re a genius.

P and I came to this conclusion last Tuesday. In honor of P’s birthday, we booked a table for lunch at Robuchon a Galera in the Hotel Lisboa of Macau. With its three Michelin stars and sterling reputation, it definitely seemed splurge-worthy. I downloaded the set lunch menu in advance, studied it well, and prepared to be dazzled.

Once P and I stepped into the restaurant, the decor transported us to a posh old-school French dining room. Navy and gold were the predominant colors, and everything was tastefully upholstered, draped, or covered in rich fabrics. After looking at the menu, P ordered a six-course lunch for $638 MOP with two glasses of wine for $220 MOP. I opted for a five-course lunch, which came to $498 MOP.

Our first “course” was not actually listed on the menu – it was the bread basket. These were gourmet breads; one of mine had cheese baked in (gruyere?), another had what seemed like prosciutto, and one was slightly sweet, with a peach jam inside. They came to our table hot, perfect for soaking up our hand-carved butter.

Our basket flow-eth over

My first course was fresh crabmeat on spiced avocado with pomelo jelly and green apples. The crab was almost souffle-like it was so tender, and the avocado was just a bit chunky, the perfect texture to pair. The tiny bits of diced green apples also added a nice crunch. P had the smoke foie gras on top of marinated mushrooms. It was the smoothest foie gras I’ve ever had.

The foie gras

The crabmeat with spiced avocado and pomelo

Our second course was soup, with P getting the sorrel bouillon under a sea-scented froth, topped with caviar. I ordered a shiitake mushroom broth with herbs and foie gras royale. For me the broth stole the show; I couldn’t believe such a small amount had so much mushroom-y taste, and when mixed with the herbs – shredded bits of basil, mint, and sage – it exploded with flavor.

Shiitake broth with herbs and foie gras royale

P’s fish course came next, a back of sea bass with crispy potato chips on top. The contrast between the soft fish and the crunchy potatoes was a clever touch.

I guess you could call them potato "scales"

For our meat course, P and I both chose the hanger steak, and what a great choice that was! It came out the perfect medium-rare, with a pink juicy center. The fried onion slice on the side was a fun garnish, but honestly, the meat was king. It was juicy, chewy yet manageable – just fantastic. It was served with a side of new potatoes covered in a sage butter sauce. As I told P, “Just give me a pot of these and I’ll be happy for life.”

Hanger steak with sauteed shallots

I've never met a potato I didn't like, and these were no exception

Dessert came by on a trolley with nine or ten choices. From assorted tarts to Napoleons to a floating island covered in a sugar-spun dome, everything was tantalizing. We got to pick three, so my choices were a mascarpone cream cheesecake, a slice of the rum baba, and the mille-feuille. Out of the three, the cheesecake was my favorite because it was smooth and creamy-beyond-creamy. The rum baba was a little too soaked in rum for my taste, but the raspberries that came with it were divine. And hey, if you can get drunk off dessert, that’s a pretty nice deal, right? The mille-feuille was flaky and the custard had true vanilla flavor with bits of crushed vanilla bean mixed in. P especially loved his lemon tart with cookie crust.

At this point we were stuffed, but who can turn down dessert?

At the end, when we were too full to think, we were served coffee and tea with candies. The latter was again offered on a beautiful trolley that looked like a cross section of Willie Wonka’s factory with chocolate sticks, lollipops, four kinds of chocolates, caramels… Suffice it to say, P and I just took a few, with the lemon macaroon being our favorite hands-down.

Combined with the excellent service (not to mention P’s great wine pairings),  it was a meal I won’t forget anytime soon.

Robuchon a Galera
3/F, Hotel Lisboa
(853) 8803 7878
Cost: Set lunches from $398 MOP to $638 MOP


Read Full Post »

After a year and change of living in Hong Kong, I finally made it to M at the Fringe. Last year, my foodie friend H had this restaurant on her radar for most of our stay and since it was worthy of her attention, I knew it was worthy of mine. Then Time Out Hong Kong rated it the Best Restaurant in Hong Kong and I discovered it was closing at the end of the month; therefore, I knew the food gods were telling me to make a booking already, dang it!

I heart ewe

P and I went on a Monday evening, and were immediately impressed by the environs. The dimly-lit, slightly-bohemian dining room definitely lives up to the “romantic” billing I’d read about in numerous publications; it was kind of like eating in your really hip, artsy friend’s loft (because everyone has hip, artsy friends, of course).

We started with a tapas appetizer with gazpacho, anchovies, empanadas, olives and toasted seasoned almonds. Our favorite was the empanada; the dough was crispy yet flaky. Our mains were goose and roasted lamb with rosemary. P throughly enjoyed his goose, along with the accompanying sausages that reminded him of the kielbasa/kovbasa/kubasa his grandpa used to make.

My lamb was so tender a knife was basically unnecessary. It came with a lovely fig jam that gave the lamb the perfect amount of moisture and sweetness. The sides with my lamb were also delish – rosemary roasted vegetables and potatoes that echoed the taste of the lamb. Everything on the plate balanced or enhanced the other flavors to create a holistically pleasing taste, just like a good entree should.

Truthfully, we had no room for dessert, but me being me, I insisted upon it. We decided on ice cream in three flavors, including licorice and turkish coffee, the latter of which was grainy just like the beverage would be. Yum.

The waitress said they were closing to relocate and open again. I’ll definitely be on the lookout.

M at the Fringe
2 Lower Albert Road
2877 4000
Cost: ~ $550 HKD/person

Read Full Post »