Macau’s boom in casinos has transformed the city into China’s Las Vegas whilst also attracting numerous high class restaurants; these have joined the many rustic Portuguese eateries which are a legacy of colonial rule. The two sides of Macau, luxurious gambler’s paradise and laid back colonial outpost, are evident in these ten restaurants, which are the best that cultural Macau has to offer.
Robuchon au Dôme
Located in the stunning Grand Lisboa casino, which dominates the Macau skyline with its lotus inspired design, Robuchon au Dôme is the most exclusive and refined of Macau’s many luxury restaurants. Formerly the three-Michelin-starred Robuchon à Galera, Robuchon au Dôme is the latest venture of star French chef Joël Robuchon, and maintains his reputation for innovative and culinary excellence which he has acquired in recent decades, matching its predecessor with a three Michelin star rating. Executive Chef Francky Semblat creates stunningly inventive creations such as caviar with anise cream, a fricassée of girolle mushrooms in fregola with shaved Parmesan, and braised Iberico pork cheek with aubergine fondant, tomato confit and basil jelly, all of which are complemented by the panoramic views over Macau offered by the restaurant’s 43rd floor vantage point.
Add: 43/F, Grand Lisboa
Phone: 00853 8803 7878
Located at The Venetian Macao, Portofino is one of the Macau’s best Italian restaurants, and has developed a reputation as one of the best new restaurants in the city. Its contemporary take on Italian classics has wowed diners with dishes such as Pestcatore, ‘Ligurian Style” mussels, clams, prawn and calamari in spicy tomato sauce with linguine, and Fiorentina Tagliata al Chianti, marinated T-bone steak with Chianti wine, being particular highlights. The interiors offer a slice of Little Italy, whilst the restaurant also caters for al fresco dining on its stunning outdoor terrace. Portofino was named as one of Tatler’s Top Restaurants in 2013.
Add: Shop 1039-1040 Estrada Da Baia De N., Senhora Da Esperancea S/N, Taipa Macau, Macau
Phone: 00853 8118 9950
The Tasting Room
Awarded its first Michelin star in 2012, The Tasting Room is a gastronomic laboratory run by Chef Guillaume Galliot. His incredible creations fuel the restaurant’s revolving menu, which takes inspiration from culinary traditions from all over the world to produce contemporary regional French cuisine. Dishes such as poached lobster with red wine sauce, sweet carrots, heirloom beets and roasted French quail with celeriac mash, medjool date sauce, zucchini tagliatelle are highlights of the two degustation menus, whilst the restaurant also offers an eight course Chef’s menu, which uses the best ingredients of the day to allow Guillaume Galliot to work his culinary magic.
Add: Level 3, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Taipa, Ilhas, Macau
Phone: 00853 8868 6681
Another Michelin starred restaurant, Tim’s Kitchen is one of the best places to go for Cantonese food in the city, and the restaurant rivals some of Macau’s neighbour Hong Kong’s most famous Canto eateries – including the original branch of Tim’s. The food is typically bold and flavoursome, with an emphasis on freshness of ingredients and refinement of flavour over the minimalist portions which so often characterise Michelin starred restaurants. Classic, traditional dishes are given a fresh spin by director Chef Yau-Tim Lai, and signature dishes such as crystal king prawn, braised whole fresh crab claw with winter melon, and sautéed pork stomach with pickled vegetables and bamboo shoots are cooked to perfection.
Add: Hotel Lisboa, 2-4 Avenida De Lisboa, Macau
Phone: 00853 8803 3682
The 8 Restaurant
Another Grand Lisboa restaurant, The 8 maintains the casino hotel’s status as the gastronomic powerhouse of Macau. With two Michelin stars, The 8 offers highly refined takes on Dim Sum and other Cantonese and Huaiyang cuisine, creating stunning new dishes as well as offering all the classics you would expect in a traditional Dim Sum restaurant. The intimate, elegant atmosphere is ideal for the communal eating which is so typical of Cantonese food, and the incredible range of 50 types of Dim Sum means that even experienced diners will find something new to enjoy.
Add: 2/F, Grand Lisboa
Phone: 00853 8803 7788
Il Vida Rica Restaurant in Mandarin Oriental
Cutting edge design combines with avant-garde gastronomy in the Mandarin Oriental’s Il Vida Rica Restaurant. Offering expansive views over the South China Sea and Nam Van Lake, the restaurant’s ‘natural stone and sensuous lighting’ create an exhilarating atmosphere, which combines with the constantly surprising food to great effect. Dishes such as white onions from Cevennes and cheese, a traditional onion soup with Gruyere cheese melted in salted crust onion and charcoal bread, and Boston lobster and cauliflower, roasted lobster with liquorice, cauliflower flavoured with Tahitian vanilla, cannelloni with lobster bolognaise, are unique experiments in culinary potential.
Add: Mandarin Oriental, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Macau
Phone: 00853 8805 8918
Evidence of the profound impact the Portuguese had on Macau during their colonial rule of the region, Restaurante Fernando is one of the best of the many rustic, laid back Portuguese eateries in the city. Located on Hac Sa beach, it is a trek from the central strip but the hearty, flavoursome food is well worth it. The mammoth portions and ready supply of Sangria also mean that is difficult not to enjoy Fernando’s take on classic Portuguese food. Dishes such as suckling pig, codfish salad, and roasted chicken and chips, or the excellent prawns in garlic are intensely flavoursome, and the extensive bar space means that the Fernando’s revelry often continues far into the night.
Add: 9 Praia de Hac Sa, Macau
Phone: 00853 2888 2264
Lord Stow’s Bakery
With branches throughout Macau, including at the Venetian hotel, Lord Stow’s Bakery is a Macau institution which has yielded many copycats throughout the region. Opened by Englishman Lord Stow in the late 1980s, the bakery specialises in Portuguese ‘Pasteis de Nata’, egg tarts using a recipe Stow picked up in Lisbon and modified with a few English touches. These egg tarts are now a symbol of Macau and the original Lord Stow’s Bakery is a tourist attraction in its own right. Egg tart shops now line the streets in Macau, but Lord Stow’s remains the best; one competitor which is making a name for itself is Margaret’s Café e Nata (Edificio Kam Loi, Macau, +853 28710032), opened by Stow’s ex-wife, whose own take on the tarts rivals her ex-husband’s.
Add: 1 Rua Da Tassara, Coloane Town Square, Macau
Phone: 00853 2888 2534
A hearty and traditional Macanese restaurant which is further evidence of the profound Portuguese legacy in Macau, Antonio’s is an unmissable part of any trip to Macau. Its rustic and charming atmosphere fuses with the extremely high quality culinary offering, which garnered it a Michelin star in 2012. Signature dishes such as goat’s cheese gratin with olive oil and honey served on toast are Portuguese with a Macanese touch, whilst its charcoal grilled sardines with boiled potatoes and green bell pepper salad shows off the Portuguese talent for seafood to perfection.
Add: Rua dos Clerigos No. 7, Old Taipa Village, Taipa, Macau
Phone: 00853 2899 9998
IFT Educational Restaurant
A unique experiment which offers high class gastronomy in an educational environment, the IFT Educational Restaurant is a training unit for the hotel and culinary students of the Institute for Tourism Studies which nevertheless functions as a first class restaurant. Whilst the students do not run the kitchen they assist with preparation and service, and the emphasis on high standards is evident throughout. The restaurant features an international menu with Macanese touches while on Fridays it offers a Portuguese and Macanese Buffet Dinner. It also supports organic agriculture in their sourcing of ingredients, many of which are grown on site. The restaurant is the perfect place to see Macau’s next generation of hoteliers in action and to experience their precocious abilities.
Add: Colina de Mong-Ha, Macau
Phone: 00853 8598 3077