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Robuchon Au Dome @ Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau

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Before embarking on the mission of trying all the Joel Robuchon restaurants in Asia, I'd have struck off the idea of going for a day trip to Macau just for lunch.

And that was exactly what we did. Spontaneous much...except I was not prepared for bad time management and rushing to the ferry terminal (almost forgetting our passports), buying ferry tickets from the touts, left almost stranded without a cab in sight and alas, arriving so fashionably late for our lunch reservation and nabbing the spot for last lunch order for the day.

Oh my, the drama. I don't think I want to relive any of this if I could do this all over again.

35 storeys up and we entered a secret doorway - dark and menancing, except that corridor led us into the world of Joel Robuchon, at the dome.

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This stunning centerpiece greeted us. Wow, just wow.

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And the pianist was tinkling on the ivory keys of this equally gorgeous piano. Sigh, why am I missing a ball gown and a feather boa in my head.

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At the corner of my eye I spotted a bread trolley - holey moley god almighty. These usually aren't even displayed but tucked hidden in their kitchens and served in baskets.

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The gorgeous dome design that kept me starring at it for...so long. Surely, the dining experience at this three starred experience is not the same as their L'Atelier's, and I was slowly soaking it all up.

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From the ceiling to the plates, this life is easy to get used to.

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My still water in crystal glasses too. I could be going nuts over this but my water certainly does look better in a crystal glass.

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You can probably tell by now how in awe I was over the lunch experience - the next surprise came in the trolley. Churned butter, salted and unsalted.

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Curls of butter, looking just like icecream and tasting like heaven. Until now, the supermart butters have made my meals complete - and in the most pompous fashion ever, until you've actually eaten churned butter, the rest is truly history.

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Ooh, my favourite part of any Joel Robuchon meal - their bread baskets! One that always gets me into a food coma by the end of two baskets and kicking myself for inhaling too much bread. But, it's Joel Robuchon!

The options in this basket are similar to the others eaten, except this had a festive addition of chestnut loaf, a pillowy soft loaf bread with swirls of chestnut paste. Oh hurry up arrive already, Christmas.


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L’Oursin
sea urchin in a lobster jelly, topped with cauliflower cream

I was already floored by the presentation. Beautifully put together and this looked too much of a masterpiece to even eat. I wish I could capture the intricacy of the details in the single glass cup of sea urchin jelly. Overturn it to see the patterns even.

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This would have been a savoury version of a jelly topped with foam. Words probably would not be enough to explain that umami in every bite. I am confused if I love sea urchin naked on my  sushi or snug in a jelly like this.

Tough decisions.

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There was a reasonably priced promotion for wine accompaniments - two glasses for just HKD 320.

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Bottoms up for a belly happy meal ahead.

We both opted for the Menu Gourmet which entitled us to two main courses.

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L’ Hamachi
Hamachi tartar with spicy avocado guacamole and fresh coriander coulis

The chef probably needs to have an OCD streak to be able to put plates of these together. Like a garden with sprouts planted above an impeccably tasty hamachi tartar.

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Le Foie Gras
Warm salad of roseval potatoes, smoked foie gras and parmesan shavings

And finally we are talking about the best smoked foie gras ever. For those who tried to imitate, this is the real deal and unless you can match up, blatant copying is an outright insult.

With eyes closed, the shavings and foie gras were the exact ingredients for a lovely party in the mouth.

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Les Crustacés
shellfish bisque with crispy shrimp and Espelette pepper


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A complicated broth choice with the foam, broth and prawn balls kept separate.

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Robust flavour achieved by all those hours of simmering over the stove and copious amounts of seafood. I particularly loved the addition of crabmeat in the umami broth.
 

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La Châtaigne
light chestnut veloute on top of delicate scallion custard and sweet onion foam

I would have expected the bisque to trump this but it became apparent in my few visits that vegetarian menus are also the forte of the Robuchon team. Beautifully smooth and the earthyness of chestnuts made christmas come early. Delicately flavoured with sweet onion foam, the scallion custard was the icing on the cake for me. Yes, I would give up seafood for chestnuts.

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Le Canard de Challans
Roasted Challans duck breast, celery stuffed with chestnuts, vegetable juice

Roast goose and duck debate takes a seat in the face of this amazing roasted duck breast. So good, the chewy skin rubbed with salt can be enjoyed on its own. Medium doneness with a slight ooze of bloody juice but this was a notch up from all the duck dishes attempted - good enough to topple steak even.

I would just give up my share of icing chestnuts for this savoury version.


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Le Cochon Ibérique
roasted Iberico pork “pluma” with bell peppers and creamy polenta

Juicy and fatty pork slices, oh how pampered am I with the main courses all brimming with animal fat and more. At this point I berate my self to no end for that additional bread basket I stuffed myself silly with.

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La Joue de Bœuf
Braised Wagyu beef cheek with red miso and medley of seasonal vegetable  

By now, it is no secret how talented the Joel Robuchon team is - give them the simplest ingredients and amazing happens. Magic ensues with even better ingredients. Fork tender and so flavourful, this would be the beef cheek to beat for all other contenders.

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Their famous mash that I always have trouble finishing at this point of the meal - like why only serve it so late! I'd be satisfied with just their bread basket and this honestly. Butter me straight up to heaven already.

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Le Black Cod
black cod with Malabar black pepper sauce, bok choy and coconut foam

Almost famous is this black cod next to the red meats, excellently executed as expected. Unctuous flaky bites with that lovely char and I can just go on forever. Just order it and dig in.

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The single most beautiful thing happened - a dessert trolley gets pushed to my table and it feels like a kid in a candy store. Every single dessert was screaming "pick me!".

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Opera cakes so pretty, especially that glaze!

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The waitress was quick to promote this new addition - a mango tart that found its way into our plates during our visit in Bangkok. Seems that their repertoire of desserts are similar throughout their outlets.

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Certainly does help when the server himself looks yummy. Oops! But let's just say, they do select their serving staff pretty well, both on service on the looks department.

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I swear I was definitely bursting at the seams but gluttony always gets the better of me - how often do I get the privilege of picking from a dessert trolley

Vanilla bean mille feuille with the most generous squirts of cream. Look at the speckled beauty! Was truly a delight if only I did not have a ton of other sweets to try.

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Lemon meringue tart that I would have enjoyed right to the last crumb - tart base perfected and the zesty lemon custard totally on point.

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Who'd have thought a single slice of pineapple to be worth the dessert space - fresh from the tropics. The mango mousse sphere was a tad disappointing though, custard was a tad stiff and lacking in mango fragrance.
 
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God knows where on earth I found more space to wallop two scoops of hand churned icecreams too - mango and yogurt! Both were creamy and well, really delicious.

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And like a beautiful dream that I wish would never end, here comes the petit fours trolley! Gasp.

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These macarons are too pretty to eat.

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We definitely had more than our share of petit fours, including a freshly baked madeleine. From their home made caramels to lollipops and fruit jellies, my stomach was brimming with too much to even think of another course to digest. 

Our super late lunch ended close to 4pm, way past their official closing time and the waitress so nicely waited up for us to finish our petit fours and bade us a hearty farewell. 

Three stars and this visit more than lived up to expectations.

Robuchon Au Dome
Grand Lisboa Hotel

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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