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Why eats awesome in Macao |


Why eats awesome in Macao

OOH LA LAI - Lai S. Reyes - The Philippine Star
Why eats awesome in Macao
At the opening of the “Glow Your Way to Macao” roadshow at City of Dreams Manila: (From left): Kevin Benning, senior VP, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and property general manager of Studio City; Bob Zozobrado, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines; Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office; Sharlene Batin, regional director, Department of Tourism-NCR; Vincent U, president, Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute; Kent Wong, chief advisor, Melco Resorts & Entertainment; and Ben Leong, vice president, Global Marketing, City of Dreams Manila
STAR / File

This tiny city isn’t a UNESCO-designated “Creative City of Gastronomy” for nothing. Macao is home to some of the world’s finest, most imaginative chefs and restaurants. Here, every eatery — from the big players on the strip to smaller bistros and hawker stalls down the many cobbled side-streets — is being inspired to live up to the city’s new accolade.

And so, it’s only fitting that the country’s vibrant culinary culture was highlighted during the recent “Glow Your Way to Macao” roadshow at City of Dreams Manila.

Hosted by Melco Resorts & Entertainment, the event is aimed at promoting Macao’s appeal as a key destination for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions and leisure.

“In alignment with the Macao government’s vision of diversifying visitor sources and propelling sustained economic growth, the objective of the event is to attract a greater influx of international visitors,” says David Sisk, Melco chief operating officer of Macao Resorts.

Deep-fried scallop with fresh Sichuan pepper sauce.

One way of doing that is to highlight Macao’s appeal as a key destination for business and leisure travelers.

“We aim to entice local stakeholders and travelers from the Philippines to visit Macao with its abundance of exciting historical and cultural offerings,” he adds.

To help boost tourist arrivals in Macao, Melco opened its first sales office in the country at City of Dreams Manila.

“It’s part of our ongoing commitment to promoting Macao’s position as a global hub for tourism and leisure. The Philippines sales office, together with our forthcoming sales offices soon to be opened in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Republic of Cyprus, will serve as platforms to showcase the unique charm of Macao to international tourists,” explains Sisk. 

Hot and sour soup with red prawn, chicken and rice.

Dine with the (Michelin) stars

Melco is one of Macao’s integrated resort operators awarded with the highest number of Michelin-star accolades. In 2018, I had the privilege of attending the launch of one of the premier properties in Macao — Morpheus.

Designed by the late “starchitect” Zaha Hadid, Morpheus is one of the first exoskeleton buildings in the world. What this means is that there are no pillars inside. The outside structure is what holds the building together.

More than the spectacular design and architecture, what makes Morpheus shine is the constellation of Michelin stars under its roof.

We even had dinner with French chef Alain Ducasse, the only chef in history to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career. During that time, he set up not one but two restaurants at Morpheus — Alain Ducasse at Morpheus and Voyages by Alain Ducasse — occupying an entire floor of the hotel.

At the “Glow Your Way to Macao” event, Melco brought its award-winning culinary team to craft a sensational, six-course dinner. And it was truly an unforgettable dining experience.

“Preparing Michelin-quality dishes is all about the freshness, the season’s ingredients, and attention to detail,” explains chef Calvin Soh, vice president of Culinary, Melco Resorts & Entertainment. “Maintaining the highest standard of quality is what sets it apart. We serve the food fresh, hot, and flavorful. And this is what our chefs are doing every day.”

Some of the dishes presented were the signature offerings of Jade Dragon and Pearl Dragon. The collaborative menu chef Soh’s team prepared that night is how the dishes from Melco’s restaurants are prepared, “not repeating any of the ingredients and the method of cooking to create a perfect, harmonious set menu.”

For starters, we had Chilled Alaskan King Crab in aged yellow wine with caviar, the signature dish at Pearl Dragon, Studio City Macau. It boasts one Michelin star. Chef Otto Wong crafted this culinary masterpiece, which highlights the freshness of the produce. 

This was followed by the Deep-fried Scallop by chef Kelvin Au Yeung of Jade Dragon, City of Dreams Macao, which has three Michelin stars.

This dish looks simple, but that thick, pretty green sauce where the scallop sits is a flavor bomb. It’s made with fresh Sichuan pepper so it’s hot, hot, hot!

Another sensational dish is the Roasted Fresh Cod with Aged Mandarin Peeled and Black Beans by chef Otto Wong of Pearl Dragon. It goes well with a glass of 2011 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc.

I was already full by the time the Slow-cooked Green Lip Abalone and Wagyu Beef Cheek with Truffle and the Hot and Sour Soup with Red Prawn, Chicken and Rice were served. Still, I managed to have a spoonful and I’m glad I did. A specialty of chef Yeung of Jade Dragon, both dishes are easy on the palate and packed with so much flavor.

“By combining the finest culinary expertise and talent and underlining Macao’s gastronomic excellence, Melco demonstrated its commitment to providing unparalleled hospitality to further promote the city as a premier destination for exceptional experiences,” enthuses Kevin Benning, senior VP of Melco Resorts & Entertainment and property general manager of Studio City.

The memorable and exceptional dining experience not only left a lasting impression on our palates but also highlighted Macao’s position as a UNESCO-designated Creative City of Gastronomy.

And these, folks, are just some of the reasons why eats awesome in Macao.

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