Monday, April 1, 2019

"Us Time"

Some quality “us time” was definitely in order as we sent the rest of our family off to the ferry pier and drew the big group Macau weekend getaway to a close. We realized we haven't visited The Tasting Room at City of Dreams for a while, so I shot a quick message to Chef Fabrice a few weeks before and let him know our plan for lunch at his restaurant. Unfortunately he was in France on the weekend we were going, but we figured we should stick with the original plan, knowing his sous chef Leonardo and pastry chef Julien would take good care of us.

It did take us a big glass of champagne to re-gain our composure as we settled down in the quiet (but busy) dining room after a hectic morning which involved going up the hill and running in the rain. We left it all to the chefs to decide on the menu, and soon, a few snacks arrived as our amuse bouche, all neatly plated and delicious, especially the shiso fritter with grated truffles and shaved foie gras. I have had a few variations of our first course of Gillardeau oyster before, the most recent being a few months ago at the Michelin Guide Gala Dinner, but seems like every time it’s better than the previous one, with this one beautifully presented with garnishes carefully put together on top of the poached oyster sandwiched between a thin sea water jelly and Kristal caviar. I like the touch of acidity from that of the lemon and green apples, and the creaminess both from the oysters and the ginger mousse.

Another pretty course followed – this time a thick slice of lightly-smoked salmon wrapped in watercress cream, and on top, pickled beetroots and radishes and tuile. It was light and refreshing. The next two dishes shared the common theme of winter black truffles but were quite different in characters. First it’s a sable with onions, black pepper and lardo di Colonnata filling and topped with black truffles, then a poached foie gras served with kabu turnips, black truffles in a rich broth. The former was crispy and buttery, full of earthiness with a hint of sweetness from the onion; the latter softer in texture but still retained much richness in flavor.

The ravioli stuffed with lobster mousse and served with lobster velouté and shellfish tuile was spectacular, especially the sauce with orange juice added in and then reduced for the unique taste. Chef Leonardo then prepared a different main course for each of us so we could share. Mine was an interesting one – underneath the creamy potato mousseline was a big slab of ox tongue done so that it’s almost melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s rustic in style yet the flavor was so delicate.

To end, we shared four different dessert courses. My favorite was the lemon tartlet, served with the yuzu mousse filling and the lemon and mint sorbet on top that resembled the whole lemon. There were different layers of citrus sweetness and acidity in every bite with a hint of zest. The second dessert was in a similar theme, this time, with mandarin orange and pomelo with meringues and vanilla mousse – it’s much lower in sweetness but the flavor was well-balanced.

The last two desserts were of chocolate theme, first the cacao profiteroles with sobacha kasha tea syrup, followed by the chocolate tart with honey caramel and dried fruits. And finally, a few cute pastry pieces as petit fours – my favorite was the pear-shaped macarons. Well, Chef Julien’s desserts never disappoint.

Went for a few glasses of wines – that’s much needed. Of course, one couldn’t go wrong with a glass of bubbly by the fine champagne house of Henri Giraud, but the bottle of white from Loire Valley was a surprising one – floral on the nose, bone dry with little mineral and a hint of honeysuckle on the palate. That worked extremely well with the seafood dishes served. Thank you The Tasting Room team for spoiling us!

More photos at

When? March 10 2019
Where? The Tasting Room, Level 3 Nuwa, City of Dreams, Macau
Menu Highlights? Aubrac beef tongue, black truffle and herb potato mousseline
Champagne Henri Giraud “Esprit Nature” NV
2015 Domaine Les Poete Quincy Argos, Loire, France
2015 Domain Philippe Charlopin Morey Saint Denis AOC
2016 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel, Germany

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