It may be best known as a gambling mecca, but those who travel to Hong Kong frequently will know that Macau has much more to offer than slot machines and luxury casino resorts. It’s also a world-class culinary destination, with glittering Michelin-starred temples of gastronomy every which way you look.
You can find it all in Macau: from classic French fine dining to comforting wood-fired pizzerias and of course, authentic Portuguese and Macanese cuisine. If Asian flavours are what you’re craving, you’ll find plenty to sate the appetite under Melco’s grand entertainment complex, encompassing City of Dreams, Altira Macau and Studio City, which together hold a total of seven Michelin stars.
Seek out Japanese flavours at the renowned 1-Michelin-starred Shinji by Kanesaka, which delivers a fine omakase experience hailing from Tokyo’s Ginza district. Sushi aficionados will find an array of jet-fresh fish here flown in daily directly from Japan, prepared with the utmost skill and attention-to-detail. It is the first outlet in Greater China by sushi maestro Shinji Kanesaka, who trained for a decade at the illustrious Kyubey in Japan, before launching his first restaurant at the young age of 28. Since opening a second branch in Hong Kong, Kanesaka has trained a team of dedicated chefs who have perfected the Edomae-style of sushi making. The Michelin-starred restaurant is considered a mecca for sushi fans around the world — a taste of which Hong Kongers can have right near home.
The chefs at Shinji by Kanesaka present seasonally-changing omakase menus rooted in authenticity and tradition, with emphasis on the freshest fish, precisely seasoned rice, freshly grated wasabi and a homemade soy dipping sauce that’s been left to deepen its flavours over time. Like the original Ginza Sushi Kanesaka, the Macau outlet follows a nature-inspired aesthetic, with clean and elegant lines reflecting Japanese-style minimalism. The sushi counter is crafted from a 220-year-old hinoki tree — the heart of the restaurant around which revolves an exciting gastronomic journey.
Those seeking out an authentic Chinese experience instead can head to the two premium Chinese dining outlets located within the Melco Entertainment complex: Pearl Dragon and Ying, both of which also boast one Michelin star. With arguably one of the most sumptuous restaurant interiors in all of Macau, Pearl Dragon is truly befitting of a celebratory dinner, with a plush dining room matched only by the exemplary offerings on the plate. The world-class standards here are enforced by head chef Lam Yuk Ming, who presents a mix of provincial flavours in dishes such as double-boiled silk fowl with sea conch, and delectable platters of premium Chinese delicacies such as braised abalone, fish maw, scallops, sea cucumber and goose web.
Over at Ying, a striking dining room lush in tones of royal red and gold provides a dramatic backdrop for everything from intimate date night dinners to banquet events. Situated on the 11th floor of Altira Macau, Ying impresses with its seasonal Chinese specialties, with a lively main dining room affording panoramic views over Macau. Guests can tuck into fresh Cantonese fare such as tender baked abalone in oyster sauce, fried rice with Wagyu beef and sakura shrimp, steamed chicken with Sichuan spicy sauce, and Cantonese-style stir-fried Boston lobster fillet.
In the evenings, Ying plays host to visiting celebrities and international dignitaries with seven private or three semi-private rooms to choose from; meanwhile, lunch is a more casual affair with an extensive dim sum menu showing off the skills of the kitchen’s expert dim sum masters. Stop by from 11am-4pm for steamed pork and crab roe dumplings, deep-fried crispy taro croquettes with foie gras, and steamed Shanghainese pork dumplings. Pair it with the selection of fragrant Chinese teas for an elegant dim sum affair before heading out to explore the rest of Macau.
Whether it’s Chinese or Japanese flavours you’re after, Melco’s resorts have a bevy of restaurants to choose from, each well-deserving of their Michelin accolades. With Pearl Dragon, Ying and Shinji by Kanesaka setting the bar high for the standard of fine dining in Macau, a trip to our sister SAR for a world-class gastronomic experience is well worth booking in your diary this month.
Shinji by Kanesaka, 1/F Nüwa, City of Dreams, Cotai, Macau, +853 8868 7300
Ying, 11/F, Altira Hotel, Avenida de Kwong Tung, Taipa, Macau, +853 2886 8868
This story is presented by Melco Resorts & Entertainment.