Thursday, November 22, 2018

Lunch Before We Go

I can’t say I have been to too many Alain Ducasse restaurants, but Voyages at the new Morpheus did stand out to be somewhat different than the others bearing his name. We sat down at the lounge inside the restaurant for a couple of drinks and snacks the night before, and we returned for lunch the next day, just before we headed back home.

Morpheus didn’t have an all-day dining outlet under its roof per se, but Voyages by Alain Ducasse is perhaps the closest equivalent, serving an a la carte menu from noon til late evening. The décor of the restaurant was consistent with the overall theme of the hotel, luxury with a contemporary touch and a somewhat laidback atmosphere, especially during the day when the sunlight beaming in through the windows. It did remind me of Spoon Hong Kong, another Alain Ducasse restaurant which was closed a couple of years ago.

The menu came with an interesting mix of dishes from around the world, said to be “translating the culinary heritage through the signature lens of chef Ducasse”, whatever that means. Marketing jargon aside, the menu was straight forward – there’s the starters, than the main courses of seafood or meat, a few sides, then desserts. There were a number of Asian dishes, like the shrimp toast, or tandoori chicken breast, but there were also classic French bistro fare like duck confit or dover sole prepared Grenobloise style and a few Middle-eastern style dishes in between like the chickpeas and lentils, or the Zaatar shoulder of lamb. So they basically covered all bases from every corner of the earth.

Having stuffed ourselves non-stop with food for the past 24 hours or so, it was a good idea we ordered just a few dishes to share family-style in small portions. And from a casual dining point of view, I say they did a fantastic job with most of the dishes above my expectation in terms of taste and creativity. The marinated sea bream was gently cured with citrus juice and served with bits of pomelo and mandarin with a touch of chili powder and kaffir lime flakes. I enjoyed the refreshing acidity to start our lunch with.

The shrimp toast with katsuobushi flakes turned out to be a variation of a popular street food dish,  with mince shrimp stuffed in slice of bread and deep-fried, and served with bonito flakes and nori strips on top, with generous drizzle of mayo and sweet tare sauce, just like the classic Japanese okonomiyaki.

Our main courses ranged from a couple Asian-inspired dishes to two more classic Western, and I happened to enjoy the former more. The piece of black cod fillet was poached than pan-seared with the skin on, and served with a mango sauce plus salsa on top of a pickled celery stalk. It’s cooked perfectly and I like this somewhat unique combination of ingredients. I normally wouldn’t think much of a Thai curry shrimp dish, but the one we had was tasty – I only wish it’s served with a bowl of rice as well, then I would wipe the dish clean.

We finished with a couple of desserts, which went back to more traditional French style. First was the “Paris-Macau”, with choux pastry, peanut praline cream and almond and peanut flakes on top plus candied and kumquat jam on the side - a play of the traditional Paris Brest cake with a tribute to the traditional Macanese peanut candies. Then second was the key lime pie, with plenty of (well-made) citrus custard as base and a good layer of meringue on top with lime zest - conventional but tasty. Just set us up for major food coma on our ferry home right after.

(Our weekend in Macau - including the hotel stay and meals - was organized by the PR team of The Morpheus/City of Dreams Macau as part of the media fam tour)

When? October 21 2018
Where? Voyages by Alain Ducasse, 3/F Morpheus Macau
Menu Highlights? Shrimp Toast, Katsuobushi Flakes

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