Since the launch of the 2018 Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau in November, it’s become clear that our sister SAR has become a worthy contender to Hong Kong when it comes to offering world-class dining experiences, with 18 total Michelin-starred restaurants in this year’s guide. Many of those are housed under the behemoth Melco Resorts & Entertainment group, which includes City of Dreams, Altira Macau and Studio City.
In City of Dreams alone, a fabulous fine dining meal is never far away, with top epicurean experiences including Cantonese restaurant Jade Dragon and Fabrice Vulin’s The Tasting Room, both of which have held an esteemed two Michelin stars since 2016.
At Jade Dragon, a splendid white tablecloth setting sets the stage for one of the finest Chinese dining experiences in all of Macau. The gilded room is accented with gold and black details, with lavish chandeliers, Christofle silverware, intricately patterned furniture, and traditional Chinese-style partitions separating the main dining area from the private rooms.
Steering the ship at this world-class kitchen is Tam Kwok Fung, who oversees a menu that’s rooted in well-balanced, seasonal ingredients. In fact, chef Tam takes special pride in the nutritional value of his offerings, with his tonic soup menu created in collaboration with the faculty of Chinese Medicine at the Macau University of Science and Technology. The balanced menu is further enhanced by Tam’s interest in traditional Chinese medicine, with healing ingredients such as goji berries and ginseng put to good use.
Of course, those looking for more indulgent dishes will find plenty to savour in chef Tam’s menu, from deep-fried duck with mashed taro to the signature thick and succulent char siu, a beloved Cantonese dish executed with finesse. Throughout the menu, Tam showcases his ability to refine traditional dishes with premium ingredients and innovative culinary techniques, such as using Japanese crabs in steamed xiao long baos, and dipping Chinese buns in eggs and milk for an eastern twist on French toast.
Diners can round out their meal with a selection of warming Chinese herbal soups — a perfect antidote to the cold weather season — followed by stir-fried prawns with lobster bisque, delicate grouper with steamed egg whites and hua diao wine, and wood-roasted chicken, imparting a lovely smoky aroma. The meal ends with seasonally updated petit fours, from colourful macarons to housemade sorbets and deep fried sesame puffs.
For a dazzling French experience instead, head over to The Tasting Room, helmed by Executive Chef Fabrice Vulin. Since joining the crown jewel of the Cotai strip early last year, Vulin has taken the French fine diner from strength to strength, debuting a new menu with his signature modern and refined touch, developed across a 30-year career spanning acclaimed restaurants throughout Europe.
A meal at The Tasting Room is bolstered by Vulin’s exclusive supplier relationships, with hard-to-get ingredients such as Perigord’s finest black truffles and rare white Kaviari caviar making an appearance at the table. From start to finish the menu is exquisite: starting with the freshest Mediterranean catch to gorgeous seasonal vegetables and the world’s finest beef — all sourced from Europe and flown directly to Macau. Expect to tuck into the sumptuous Blonde Aquitaine beef from Alexandre Polmard — the world-renowned butcher and Vulin’s close confidante — with only three restaurants in the world offering the exclusive beef (The Tasting Room is the only restaurant outside of France).
For the new year, guests can sample dishes such as the ziti pasta gratin with foie gras and black truffle shavings, lobster tart paired with watermelon and Kristal caviar, and plump Gillardeaus oysters — nicknamed the ‘Rolls-Royce of oysters’ — complemented by a refreshing ginger cream and herb salad. Each dish goes excellently with the recommended wine pairing, with dinner starting off with briny bivalves paired with the light-bodied, citrus-scented 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine from the Loire region of France.
At both Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room, the ambitious nature of the chefs and their dedicated kitchen teams reflect in everything from the refined menus to the elegant decor and personalised, intuitive service. With each restaurant preparing to unveil new dishes and unique gastronomic experiences in 2018, now’s as good a time as ever to book a ferry to Macau to experience the sensational culinary delights at these two Michelin-starred gems.
The Tasting Room, 3/F, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Macau, +853 8868 6681
Jade Dragon, 2/F, The Boulevard at City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Macau, +853 88682822
This story is presented by Melco Resorts & Entertainment.