Traditionally, a manor is a large country home, often British, one with many rooms and sprawling lands surrounding it. In other words, it’s the last thing you’d expect to find in a place like Macau. And while it’s true you won’t find this sort of estate on the Cotai strip, what you will find inside The St. Regis Macao is a restaurant called The Manor, which manages, surprisingly, to evoke the feeling of a large home with its differently styled, separate dining areas. In fact, it manages to feel airy and bright even without having any windows to allow in natural light.
The Manor is comprised of five areas: The Library and The Penthouse Kitchen are private dining spaces, so most guests will find themselves inside The Dining Room, the largest and most refined space; The Wine Gallery, a beautifully decorated, more intimate area; or The Verandah, a casual bistro-style area meant to evoke an outdoor garden. We recently had lunch at The Wine Gallery and found it to be a surprisingly stylish and welcoming place to enjoy a leisurely meal.
Under the guidance of executive chef Gaetano Palumbo, a native of Sicily, The Manor is a temple of simplicity focused on serving the best ingredients from around the world. Indeed, scanning the menu is like reading over the greatest hits of international gastronomy. There are oysters from France (Fine de Claire and Gillardeau), lobster from Australia, Miyazaki wagyu A5 from Japan, trout from Tasmania, ibérico ham from Spain, crab from Alaska and scallops from Hokkaido, just to name a few.
Though he’s worked in Asia for many years, chef Palumbo stays true to his Italian heritage by not fussing with the ingredients too much, but rather letting them shine on their own. After all, when you’re paying to import produce, it had better taste good enough to eat on its own, or else there’s no point. A perfect example is the Culatello di Zibello, an artisanal Italian ham which is considered to be one of Italy’s finest food products and is served at The Manor. With ingredients this good, why bother ruining them with spices and sauces?
Beyond the outstanding raw bar selection, including the signature live Australian lobster sashimi, the standout pleasures on the menu all involved the Robata grill, which is fuelled by the superior Japanese binchotan, otherwise known as white charcoal. There’s grilled corn served with miso butter and sweet green chili Parmesan, and grilled corn again in an incredible dish of seared Hokkaido scallops with corn purée and luscious Italian lardo, which adds a hint of meatiness to the dish.
It would be a mistake to pass up one of the Robata-grilled steaks, whether it’s from Australia, the U.S. or Japan. Of course, the Miyazaki wagyu A5 melts in your mouth, but if you like variety and have an appetite, the kitchen offers a tasting of five different breeds of cow for HK$1688. There’s a small selection of services to pair with your protein, but you may do as the chef advises and eat the meat unadorned to better appreciate its flavour, or simply enjoy it with some of the roasted head of garlic that arrives on the plate as well.
As one would expect from The St. Regis, the service at The Manor is top-notch, friendly and knowledgeable but never cloying or overbearing, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice or for wine suggestions. Speaking of drinks, with its storied legacy in the cocktail business, The St. Regis has no trouble serving amazing tipples, so don’t skip one or two of those. Its signature drink — the Bloody Mary was invented at The St. Regis — is represented here with 10 different versions on the menu. Whether it’s brunch or lunch or dinner, you won’t want to leave without tasting a bit of history.
The Manor, The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central, Estrada do Istmo. s/n, Cotai, Macau, +852 2882 8898, themanormacao.com