Robuchon au Dôme
Grand Lisboa Hotel
43/F, Avenida de Lisboa, Macau Peninsula, Macau, China
Tel: (853) 8803 7878
Food type: French Gastronomy
Website: Robuchon au Dôme
I will kick off my return to blogging life by writing about my recent gastronomy trip to Hong Kong & Macau. During this trip, I was very keen to dine at Robuchon’s 3* restaurant at the Grand Lisboa Hotel. I had previously dined at the restaurant when it was still known as Robuchon a Galera and located at the (smaller and older) Lisboa Hotel back in 2011 just before they relocated. That meal remained one of the most memorable ones I have encountered. However what was also striking was how empty the restaurant was with only 3 other tables taken. A huge shame given the quality of Francky Semblat’s cooking.
The new dining room is located at the very top of the Grand Lisboa, perhaps the most iconic hotel in Macau. To get there you will need to take the fast lift to level 39F where, after walking through an impressive wine display of iconic first growths and DRCs, a separate lift will take you to level 43F where the restaurant is located. The first sight that greets you when you enter the restaurant is the iconic grand piano carved with a flower motif. Needless to say no expense was spared in the new dining room which provides 360º views of Macau peninsula, with an impressive crystal chandelier cascading from the dome above. The cutlery used is Cristofle and wine glasses are Riedel ‘Sommelier’ range – just don’t break any as they run at about £100 each.
For dinner, 3 menus are available – a la carte (items priced individually), a seasonal tasting menu (MOP$1,588) and a ‘Prestige’ tasting menu (MOP$2,688). The lunch menu offers between 3 to 5 courses with pricing from MOP$598 to MOP$788. Having travelled all the way to dine here, the only real option for us was the Prestige tasting menu with all the bells and whistles.
To start with canapés of Comte goujeres (made from Bernard Anthony aged Comte no less) were delightfully light with plenty of cheese flavour whilst a little tartlet topped with foie gras mousse was simply melt in your mouth. This was followed by an impressive bread chariot, groaning with pretty much every single bread imaginable. A trolley of Bordier butter followed behind with the waitress deftly curling up your choice of salted or unsalted butter. Olive oil is available but why bother when you can have some bread with your Bordier butter?
And then, the fireworks starts. Course after course of perfectly executed dishes were presented in succession – a few of them Robuchon classics encountered at his more casual L’atelier chain. The difference here was the quality of ingredients were second to none and paired with Chef Semblat’s immaculate cooking it made for an unforgettable meal. Take for example his Variations on Perigord Black Truffle. A foie gras ravioli with matchsticks of black truffle was accompanied by the most ethereal of chicken consommé whilst crispy tart with confit onion had black truffle slivers the thickness of pepperami – you certainly get the full truffle punch. However special praise has to be reserved on a French classic, Gruyere Soufflé floating on a pool of black truffle coulis. Simply put, this makes Michel Roux Jr’s cheese soufflé look like a Ford Fiesta.
The meat courses were equally as magical with 3 courses served in succession. The Robuchon signature of Quail stuffed with Foie Gras has to be the best version I have encountered yet – better than Paris – the quail breast, plump, pink and stuffed with a generous amount of foie gras, simply melted in your mouth. Kagoshima A5 Beef (the real deal, not some cheap wagyu clone) was carefully cooked to retain all its beautiful richness and cleverly paired with slow cooked shallots which provided the necessary acidity as a counter-point. Finally, we finished with Alaiton lamb, covered with black truffle crust (because you can never have enough of black truffle), simply served with a classic jus perl and refreshing salad. I would happily swim to Macau just to eat this lamb again.
In England, the meal often concludes after the mains as desserts tend to be a non-event (aside from a few restaurants like Ducasse or Greenhouse). Here, however the hits kept on coming. It is hard to choose my favourite. Le Diamant Noir features a blown sugar sphere so thin it would probably shatter upon sneezing. Hiding within was a unique pairing of cognac infused cream and black truffle ice cream – mind blowing. But my highest praise has to be reserved for a classic Île flottante, the best version I have ever eaten. And if you think you are done, a petit fours trolley ends the meal with one final flourish, but by then we were well and truly stuffed.
I don’t think you need to read between the lines to see that this was simply a magical meal from start to finish. Chef Semblat is without doubt one of the most talented chefs out there and it is such a shame that despite holding 3*s and having a beautiful dining room, the restaurant still remains relatively empty (only 5 tables were taken the entire night). No doubt, this is not a problem for a restaurant which is financially backed by a casino hotel. If you are anywhere near the vicinity, please do yourself a favour and make a side-trip here.