Friday, December 16, 2016

Saturday Yumcha: Lai Heen

With us staying right next door under the same roof (at the JW Marriott), it made sense that we went to check out Lai Heen, the Chinese restaurant at Ritz-Carlton, which was just awarded the first Michelin star recently. We even dragged along our friend E, who relocated to Macau a couple months ago for her new job, to join us after going on a quick morning food crawl together in Coloane.

Both the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton were the newest properties in the Galaxy Macau complex in Taipa, completed about a year and half ago along with a few new restaurants at the premise, including Lai Heen, located on the Level 51 of Ritz Carlton, sharing the same floor with their lounge and lobby of this all-suite luxury hotel. Many have drawn parallels between Ritz Carlton Macau and the one in Hong Kong - while the one in Hong Kong was tastefully trendy, I do personally prefer the elegant classic style of Ritz Carlton Macau, with the Victorian décor, brightly-lit hallway, white marble floor and high ceiling. Lai Heen followed the similar design concept with inclusion of Chinese elements and dark wooden décor, with a comfortable dining area and great view, given it's said to be the highest Chinese restaurant in Macau.

For lunch the restaurant offers both the full a la carte menu and also a long list of dimsum items, some traditional ones and some with a twist. Their Chef de cuisine Bill Fu came from the kitchen of Tin Lung Heen of Ritz Carlton Hong Kong so it's no surprise that some dishes were similar, including the Iberico Char Siu. I wasn't a big fan of the Char Siu at Tin Lung Heen when we tried a few weeks ago (too lean and mushy), but Lai Heen's version fared better with fattier meat and more of a bite. Still not enough "bark" in my opinion but I like the sweet honey glaze on top.

We ordered a few dishes of dimsums and among which I like the steamed vegetable bun stuffed with black fungus and dried turnips most in a cute presentation like a flower. The steamed rice flour rolls were stuffed with slices of wagyu beef marinated with black peppers which was rich and delicious with a good chewy bite. A few other restaurants offered the baked abalone tartlet - the one here has a super tender abalone and a fluffy buttery crust - though I couldn't quite get the taste of the roast goose as part of the tart filling.

We finished with their signature dish of braised pork belly with preserved vegetables and a basket of steamed man-tou buns. The pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender with well-balanced flavor, served with a side of rice crisp stuffed with dried preserved vegetables for some extra textures.

We didn't have room for desserts but they passed us a couple sweet snacks as petit fours. The baked puff with lotus seed paste was lovely! Overall we liked the food and the ambiance - definitely on our list of restaurant that we would love to be back some time.

More photos at

When? December 3 2016
Where? Lai Heen, Level 51, Ritz-Carlton Macau, Galaxy Macau, Taipa
Menu Highlights? Steamed Vegetables Bun stuffed with Black Fungus and Dried Turnip

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