Sunday, September 2, 2012

30 Hours in Macau Part 1 - How this come about, Dim Sum and more...

We were surprised and happy to have received a kind invitation from Wynn Macau to spend 2 days at their property - an offer that we found it hard to turn away from. It came at the perfect time - this summer we have been spending way too much time travelling around without much vacation time, so a trip to somewhere just far enough to be considered a getaway but close enough to avoid all the travel hassles was exactly what we needed.

Day One

1000: One thing we love about Macau is that, going there is a breeze and you feel like you are in an entirely different world. Our 10am ferry from Sheung Wan arrived at Macau Ferry Pier in just slightly over an hour. And thanks to the new immigration e-channel for Hong Kong and Macau residents, exactly 10 minutes after we disembarked we were already in the hotel arranged car and hotel's only a 5 minute ride away. Just compare this to travel by air when you have to crawl to the airport, check in, go through security, wait in lines to board, sit in the cattle class eating lousy food etc etc - I think you knew what I am talking about.

1130: We arrived at the hotel just before lunch time and checked in to our room. They put us in the deluxe suite in the Encore Tower, the all-suite, 400-room annex that was built in 2010, on the other corner from the main building (Wynn Tower) with the casino and shopping center in between. Wynn is not the newest hotel in town (Wynn Tower was completed in 2006) but is still considered one of the top, and given our previous experience in some newer hotels nearby, we were surprised that the place was well-maintained and showed no sign of age. Panoramic harbor view, cheerful brown and red color scheme, over 1000 square feet of living space, double vanity in the bathroom, plush slippers... we love every details of it.

Dim Sum Platter - Baked Barbecued Pork Bun, Shrimp Spring Roll and Steamed Shrimp and Vegetable Dumpling
1230: We had our lunch at Wing Lei, one of the many restaurants at the premise, and one that was awarded the Michelin 2-star in the 2012 guide. On their menu was mostly Cantonese fare, with plenty of dim sums to choose from for lunch and then a la carte dishes for both lunch and dinner. For dim sum, I particularly liked the long spring roll with paper-thin crispy wrapper and stuffed with prawn paste.

The "thousand layer" bean curd skin with savory soy bean milk - one of the "dim sum dishes" - is a crafty Northern Chinese dish that we didn't see often in dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong and was beautifully presented.

 The dim sum platter was quickly followed by two seafood dishes - the cod fish fillet was rolled and steamed and served with a light soy sauce broth (and perhaps a hint of mirin?) and sweet preserved tree seeds. It's well-cooked and I love its distinct composition of tastes especially with the bits of sweet and sour preserved tree seeds which were different than gooseberry which was usually used in such a dish.

The second main course was the gigantic crab craw was deep-fried and served with crispy garlic in typical "typhoon shelter style", but here they also came with stir-fried crab meat with egg white. We were told that this crab "2-way" course uses crabs from Sri Lanka and the two styles of cooking brought the good balance in flavors and textures - yin and yang work in harmony.

The dessert platter was served western-style, in a nice golden "steam basket" as decoration - I like the taste of panna cotta infused with osmanthus syrup, and amazed at the skills required to create a baked walnut puff that was made of flour and ground walnut but resembled the real thing. We were told that the pastry team did take a lot of effort to hand craft them one by one and bake them carefully in the oven.

When you are here, try the special "Wing Lei" Signature Tea, which blends rose, jasmine, white peony and green tea for fragrant and floral aroma and an unique smooth taste.  

After lunch, we were given a quick tour of the hotel. This is the biggest suite in the Wynn Tower - 2 bedroom with separate massage room, "Him" and "Her" bathrooms, living area, dining rooms and entertainment room with A/V and karaoke system. Don't think I can ever afford to stay here. Ha ha.

Tea Bar at Golden Flower - another Chinese restaurant at Wynn Macau serving Tan Cuisine. Would love to try out their food some time but it's closed on the day of visit, unfortunately.

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