A few weeks ago, junior reporters Veronica Lin and Christy Cheung experienced life as Parisians live it, at Macau’s new, incroyable – that’s French for “incredible”, by the way – The Parisian Macao Hotel. Veronica and Christy got to enjoy a delicious dinner for two and the hotel’s luxurious restaurant, Lotus Palace. Here’s what they thought about the location, and the meal.
The decor really lives up to the name of the restaurant, with a lot of it inspired by the shape of the lotus. In Chinese culture, the lotus is known as “the purest and most elegant flower of all”, and the restaurant has really tried to live up to that claim. From the elegant white tableware to the lotus-shaped chandelier, the close attention to detail separates the Lotus Palace from your average dim sum stop.
Cooked in true Shaanxi fashion, the marinated red jellyfish head and Japanese cucumberreally reflects the Northwestern Chinese cuisine. The jellyfish head was coated in a sweet and sour sauce, and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. The chewy jellyfish heads were a great contrast to the crispy cucumbers, which helped balance the acidity of the sauce.
While the restaurant serves up classic dishes from all over China, they do it with a special twist, by mixing in elements of Western cuisine. Take, for example, the scallops: while some were paired with the traditional steamed egg pudding you would find in Chinese cuisine, others were topped with fresh caviar.
The main courses
The fried prawns with creamy pumpkin sauce is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, and a personal favourite of mine. The prawns were coated in shreds of dried pumpkin and chilli instead of breadcrumbs, and they were crispy and crunchy. The red hot chilli got my tongue tingling, too. This blend of seafood and vegetable works marvellously together, as all the textures and flavours complement each other. The dish is a good example of how the chefs at the restaurant stay true to the traditional flavours but are also creative, and experiment with different combinations.
For a milder dish to cleanse our palates, we had the poached seasonal vegetables and wild mushrooms in fish broth. The fresh milk cabbages were paired with tender mushrooms and it felt like it was replenishing our systems with moisture. Goji berries, or wolfberries as they’re known in China, added a hint of sweetness to the dish. It is an excellent choice for anyone that’s conscious about their diet.
The food was served quickly, with the first dish on our table within five minutes, butnone of them were really piping hot when they arrived. Between that and the air conditioning, which was very strong, I wasn’t able to enjoy the food as much as I wanted to.
The drunken goose liver terrine with edamame consisted of goose liver covered by a kind of jelly made from wine. The dish was minimalist dish was like nothing I had seen before, with a single serving plated and dotted with Japanese edamame beans that added colour. The goose liver was served cold, and seemed to melt in your mouth. The jelly and the liver combined to create an unusual flavour, and though the smell of wine was strong, it wasn’t overpowering.
The main courses
The shredded spicy “pon pon” chicken is not for the faint-hearted. I am not normally a fan of spicy food, but the pretty plating of the dish made me curious. Shredded vegetables covered in a spicy sauce were placed in a circle around the chicken, and then everything was mixed together. After trying my first bite all I could taste was tongue-numbing spiciness, but the creative addition of fruit to the dish – cantaloupe – made it very refreshing and added sweetness to the chicken.
Out of all the dishes we tried, I enjoyed the fried noodles with seafood, chives and mushrooms the most. Yes, fried noodles are something you can get anywhere and everywhere in Hong Kong, but I was pleasantly surprised by how rich the flavours were. Plus, value-wise, if you’re looking to fill your empty belly, this dish should be more than enough. It was a big serving of noodles that satisfied our hunger.