Monday, March 25, 2019

Grand Family Yum Cha

It’s been forever since we went on a family trip, so when my brother and sis-in-law returned for a short vacation with our nephew and niece, we were off to a weekend getaway to Macau. And after checking in to our rooms at Grand Lisboa, we went for yum-cha at The 8 Restaurant right downstairs.

I seek help from the hotel PR team for certain arrangement with our rooms and lunch, and they were so nice to put us up in one of the private rooms at the restaurant. With the kids who were still on jet-lag and could be uncontrollable at times, that saved us a lot of troubles in keeping them at bay throughout the meal. I only called the restaurant a few days ahead of time to reserve a couple of dishes, and for the rest, we just went for a few dim-sum dishes from their a la carte lunch menu.

Of course, Char Siu is one of the must-order items at the restaurant and must be reserved in advance. With the chef insisted on using only the rare cut from the shoulder part of the pig, the dish tends to run out quickly. And this time it’s as good as I expected, cut into thick chunks with balanced fat and a good charred crust. The sauce and glaze was not of the sweetest type but with excellent flavor. Once again, it’s my favorite dish of the afternoon.

The restaurant offers a good selection of dim sum dishes during lunch service, some the more conventional ones and some in newer styles. We loved the couple based in traditional recipe but was given a contemporary (and cute) facelift. The shrimp dumpling was like the familiar har gau but shaped like a gold fish, while the barbecued pork bun was in the form of a hedgehog and done similar to the Shanghainese style pan-fried bun, steamed then finished on a frying pan for the crust at the bottom. Both were pretty and delicious, and certainly crowd-pleasing, especially for kids.

We were told Xiaolongbao is the favorite dim sum dish of our nephew Ethan and this version at The 8 is probably slightly different than the one he normally has, with crab meat added in. The skin was just of the right thickness and paired well with the juicy filling. The couple of rice rolls were done with a super-thin rice flour wrap – the vegetarian version was nice with plenty of ingredients went in.

Other than the Char Siu, roast suckling pig was another one that required prior reservation. It’s another signature dish of the restaurant but surprisingly, we have never tried it before. The whole pig was shown to us before it’s carved and served at our table. The pig was of petite size – only 14 days old we were told – and was perfect for our group to share. Well, I was expecting the skin of the pig to be a bit crispier, but it was tasty nonetheless. I especially love the rice stuffed inside, with a mix of regular and sticky rice for the right texture, and the meat jus well infused in every bite of it.

The restaurant also comped us for the cake served at the end. I love the rather theatrical presentation with the top caramelized in open flame like a crème-brulee, and the sweet meringue crust plus the coconut and red-bean icecream filling was tasty, and of course, the very last course of the meal was their signature Petit Fours, which was a mini Portuguese style egg tartlet and a small cup of milk tea.

A few years back we gave our nephew Ethan his first experience to a Michelin restaurant when we ate at Caprice, and this time around, it’s our niece Ella’s turn for the first 3-starred experience. We were such proud aunt and uncle for such feat.

When? March 9 2019
Where? The 8, 2/F Grand Lisboa Hotel, Avenida de Lisboa, Macau
Menu Highlights? Honey-glazed Barbecued Pork
Drinks? Champagne Arlaux Premier Cru Brut Grande Cuvee NV

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