Monday, August 8, 2011

Robuchon a Galera

I finally got the chance to eat at Robuchon in Macau, a year after my first attempt to visit. Tables for weekend lunch are near impossible, though two remained empty throughout my meal. Situated in the Grand Lisboa, the ambiance screams old-school fine dining with the royal blue carpet, opulent decor, gold trimmings, and pristine white table cloths...not to mention the huge arm chairs we sunk ourselves into. Not exactly my scene, but once in a while it's fun to indulge in excess. I felt like I was eating in the Palais Garnier alongside Napoleon III :P

The set lunch is amazing value - you can opt for 3 courses ($398), 4 courses ($498) or 5 courses ($638). In retrospect, I should've paid extra for 2 glasses of wine which only sets you back $220. After all, Robuchon is known to have the finest wine selection in Asia.

amuse bouche

Can't remember what this was. Something to do with apples and jelly and foam. Didn't like it :( Wish they had served oysters instead...

We were then given a glorious looking bread basket that I wished they took away after the appetizers because I couldn't help picking at it throughout the meal.

Unfortunately, the bread was hit and miss. I was disappointed that they did away with the bread cart and just plonked a basket on your table so you couldn't tell what was what. However, they still rolled out the butter tray with heaping mounds of salted or unsalted French butter, quenelled onto a side dish at your table.

The first piece I tried was a delicious flute baguette with ham and cheese. With the rich French butter - I discovered while living in Paris how much better it is than American butters - smothered inside, this baguette was heaven. However, everything else was meh, especially as I had such high expectations from Robuchon's Salon de The in Hong Kong, and numerous reviews glorifying their bread carts...

I forget exactly what this was called but there were fried mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes and it was just beautiful to look at. I loved the crispy coating which reminded me of wu gok! Maybe it was also made with deep fried taro :)

芋角 (not robuchon :P)

le champignon blanc

I loved this. It was a white mushroom soup served with the most incredible foie gras ravioli and Pata Negra ham :) All things love in one dish! It was creamy, decadent, melt in your mouth perfection, and it came on such a pretty plate!

pea soup with prawn croquette?

Completely made up that description but that's what it tasted like to me. The prawns were very nicely cooked and the soup came with a side of prawn heads (you can see in the background :P) I quite enjoyed it but thought the mushroom one was far better.

black cod fish, provençal style

Thought this was good, though the flavours weren't too innovative and didn't blow me away. The fish was very delicately cooked, and the hint of garlic a great addition. But it's hard to go too wrong with fish so long as it's fresh... Expected more creativity. The potatoes it was served with (in the little pot behind the plate) were delicious though! Maybe more so than the fish haha.

hanger steak with sautéed spinach and artichokes

Warning bells should've gone off when I read "hangar steak". While this cut is prized for its flavour, it's definitely not a tender cut. Our server even asked if we wanted it medium!! I was inclined to say go for rare as that's the only way you'll get away from the toughness. However, I stuck to medium rare and was a bit disappointed by how chewy it still was.

tough meat

Despite that, the flavours were spot on. I loved the Béarnaise sauce with its buttery herb taste, and am always a sucker for sautéed spinach. The meat itself was perfectly cooked with a nice pink center. I just wished it was a different cut of meat, my jaws were getting such a work out chewing and chewing!

dessert "chariot"

Wasn't as exciting as I hoped for :P What happened to all the talk about Willy Wonka style trolleys complete with huge lollipops and candy floss and chocolate sticks?!?! Plus, we were only allowed to choose two things!! Whaaaat....

mille-feuille & caramel profiterole

Mille-feuille's are one of my favourite French desserts. I love the puff pastry layers and the delicate pastry cream in between. This one was very very creamy and flaky. Pretty good in small doses!

opera cake and banana tart in the background

Another of my favourite French desserts is the opera cake. This had a lovely coffee aroma and the ganache and buttercream was super rich and decadent. MMmm almost as good as Dalloyau's version. Had to wash down all that chocolate with an amazing scoop of vanilla bean ice cream:

Is it a bit sad that the vanilla ice cream may have been my favourite dessert?

All in all, it was an enjoyable meal at very affordable prices. However, I may have gone in with too high expectations because I was let down by a few things. The bread wasn't that outstanding, the food wasn't that innovative, and the service was only okay. It took a while for the bill to come, and no one bothered to bid you farewell at the end of the meal which is surprising given it's a 3 star restaurant. They also didn't serve any petit fours - I know that it's a lunch but I've definitely been served macarons and homemade truffles after lunch at restaurants of far less calibre.

Maybe the dinner tasting menu will blow me away? :)

Robuchon a Galera
Grand Lisboa 3/F