Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Macau Dimsum Part 2: Golden Flower

Of the many restaurants on my to-try list, Golden Flower has always been the elusive one for whatever reasons. But we worked around our itinerary a little bit this time to make sure we stopped by for lunch at the restaurant this time we were in town for the weekend.

We are not the biggest fan of the golden décor that's consistent of all Wynn properties, but with the name of the restaurant being "Golden Flower", I guess it's somewhat appropriate and it was tastefully done, all things considered. The restaurant didn't offer a view unlike other restaurants inside this complex on Macau Peninsula, but with the greenery arrangement inside the dining area I felt like sitting inside a luxury garden.

The restaurant is one of the few in the region specializing in Tan Cuisine, a cross-regional cooking rooted from the Tan scholar family in Qing Dynasty who brought together the styles from the south (where he came from) and the north (where he lived whilst being an official in the imperial court), using the most exquisite ingredients common in imperial cuisine at that time. Whilst the menu at Golden Flower has specific section dedicated to the classic Tan Cuisine dishes, there's also a number of Cantonese, Szechuan, and Northern Chinese dishes in the same spirit of the north-meets-south cooking style.

The restaurant only opens for lunch on weekends, and they offer a good selection of dimsums along with their regular a la carte menu. Inside a separate menu was their long list of teas available, which were served in an elaborate manner by the tea sommelier on premise. I am no tea connoisseur but I like my pot of aged shoumei for the deep yet refreshing taste, even after several rounds of brewing.

We were recommended to try the dimsum set menu, served at lunch only with six different dishes of our choices. Among them our favorite was the the cold appetizer of shredded chicken with rice noodles in spicy sauce, which we were told was a popular dish at the restaurant. The rice noodles was made thicker than usual, which worked better with the sauce coated on top when mixed. The sauce was a combination of toasted sesame and Szechuan pepper, giving the dish a rich smoky flavor with tingling on the tongue from the spices.

For the other choices, we wanted something different so we skipped those familiar Cantonese dimsum items and went for the slightly unusual ones. I especially like the steamed pancakes with spring vegetables shared the same root as the traditional jianbing from northern China. It looked simple but it was delicious with julienned meat and vegetable filling wrapped inside a spongy wheat flour pancake. The steamed chicken with cordyceps served in a bamboo basket has a clean taste with infusion of the earthy aftertaste from the cordyceps (a kind of mushrooms used traditionally as medicine) with the deboned chunks of tender meat.

The sauteed tofu with crab roe sauce was the only dish we ordered in additional to the dimsum courses and it was delectable. I am most impressed with the preparation of superior broth (using scores of ingredients such as ham, chicken, dried scallops and so on) in Tan Cuisine, and in this dish, the broth was used as the backbone for the contrast with the silky and light tofu along with the rich crab roes. Many restaurants offer something similar for twice the price and not even half as good as the one we had at Golden Flower. The concentrated taste from the broth worked well with the decadent crab meat and roes for a double punch of umami flavor.

Our dessert of deep-fried rice cake with red bean paste reminded me of the Japanese dorayaki with tsubu-an filling, but it's said to be done Beijing style with the red-bean filling with distinct dried mandarin peel flavor wrapped in sticky rice dough and deep-fried for the crispy shell. By then we were completely stuffed and was amazed at the serving size of their dishes which represent unrivalled value for money for anything similar in caliber in the region.

There were so many dishes we regret of not able to try this time, like the sea cucumber or soup or other seafood dishes. Will definitely keep this in mind when we plan on our next trip to Macau.

More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157682142515340

When? May 21 2017
Where? Golden Flower, G/F Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau
Menu Highlights? Sauteed Tofu with Crab Roe Sauce
Web: www.wynnmacau.com/en/restaurants-n-bars/fine-dining/golden-flower

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