[Updated] Chef Julien from 2 Michelin Starred Restaurant Odette will be partnering with Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate for a dinner series at The Tasting Room, City of Dreams, Macau from October 12-15.
Prices range from MOP640 (SGD$110) for a 4-course lunch to MOP2,400 (SGD414) for a 6-course dinner with wine and champagne.
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/odetteatthetastingroom
[Macau] Macau, the city of casinos and glitz, is no stranger to respectable food.
There are 16 Michelin-starred restaurants in this region. A counterpart from Macau mentioned that it is not uncommon for diners to travel from Hong Kong (and other nearby areas) just to have a luxe Michelin starred meal or two during a weekend trip.
Comparatively, fine dining meals at Macau are considered to be relatively more affordable, say 10-30% cheaper, than across at Hong Kong.
I made my way to The Tasting Room 御膳房, conveniently located at Crown Towers, City of Dreams at the Cotai side.
The Tasting Room has 2 Michelin stars, and according to the inspectors, ”Finding respite on the Cotai Strip away from the lively casino vibe can be hard but this relaxing restaurant could help. It’s an elegant circular room and offers discreet service. The food is largely French and the Bresse pigeon is the favoured dish of the locals. The chef adds his own unique touches, like onion ice cream to the onion soup. Be sure to have the Chef’s Menu.”
After having a chat with Chef Guillaume Galliot who helms The Tasting Room, he joked that he was too familiar with Singapore, having married a Singaporean wife and worked at the Raffles Hotel Group prior.
After moving over to Macau, his baby – The Tasting Room earned a star just 6 months after opening, and two stars three years later.
The French restaurant has a quiet, elegant and intimate setting, but considered restrained if you consider how many other restaurants at Macau could appear overly extravagant.
Described as “a sparkling jewel box of a place”, pick the window seat which would offer a picturesque view of the Cotai Strip and nearby casinos (or perhaps a view of the ‘Eiffel Tower’).
A 4-course Degustation menu is priced at MOP$828, MOP$1,178 with wine pairing (SGD$141, SGD$200), while an 8 tailor-made course with the best ingredients of the day will come to MOP$2,088, or MOP$2,588 with wine pairing (SGD$356, SGD$441).
Its set lunches are a steal for its quality and setting – MOP$398 for 3 course, MOP$488 for 4 course, and MOP$588 for 5 course (SGD$68, SGD$83, and SGD$100 respectively).
Chef’s travels provide further inspirations to his cooking, and he makes it a point to source for the most suitable ingredients from around the world.
The food didn’t go over the top (thank goodness), mostly subtle, with incorporation of interesting ingredients (the Asian twist), and well-executed to allow the quality ingredients to shine through.
One of my favourite was a Shrimp with Onion Kombu on Tomato and Saffron (that could be a proper name for this seasonal item, but the ingredients make-up was according to the notes I took).
The base was tangy sweet with fruitiness and mildly cold on the touch of the tongue, beautifully balanced with the top shrimp layer.
The Beef and Oyster Tartare, Oscietra Caviar, Frisée Salad. Consider this surf and turf in an alternate approach.
I am normally not the greatest fan of a beef tartare, but took the leap of faith for this pairing for the tender raw wagyu beef with fresh oysters.
It was seductively delicious, with light favours of saltiness and seafood-sweetness.
The Celeriac Soup with Mushroom Cream, Tasmanian Truffle was wonderful; and the Poached Lobster with Shrimp Consommé, Summer Vegetables, Ginger and Razor Clam was all right for me.
I might not have liked the Burgaud Duck with Fresh Almond, Cherry Chutney, Beetroot Puree as much as I wished to. While the texture was suitably moist and soft, there was a minor gamey taste I wasn’t that comfortable with.
The highlight for this meal had to be the Chocolate Banana Mille-Feuille, Cocoa Sorbet.
Its play of textures with the layers of chocolate, banana, wafer and egg of creamy rich sorbet (and gold) was every mouthful a tantalising bite.
Fell in love, and I want to have this again, and again.
The Tasting Room is where elegance, romance (maybe) and quality French food meets.
The Tasting Room 御膳房
3/F, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau
Tel: +853 8868 6681
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with City of Dreams Macau.