I think you would be hard pressed to find a food lover who hasn’t heard of Joël Robuchon. Joël Robuchon is famous French chef and restaurateur who has restaurants bearing his name all over the world. I’ve been lucky enough to the visit all the countries where Joël Robuchon has his restaurants, but have never dined at any of them until we visited Macau.
Due to the arrival times of our flights and the connecting ferries, we only really had one opportunity for a fine dining meal in Macau. Since hubby and I had never been to a Joël Robuchon restaurant and Robuchon au Dôme is the only 3 Michelin starred restaurant in Macau, we decided to make a booking.
In my browsing of restaurant menus online, I quickly learned it was cheaper to dine at lunch than at dinner at most of the fine dining restaurants. Most restaurants have a reasonably priced set lunch menu, which was often less than half the price of the larger (and I’m sure more impressive) menu available at dinner. We chose to go for lunch over dinner as my photos would be better during the day and it meant we could go for more meals for the same amount of money.
When I called the restaurant to make a lunch reservation about a month in advance, they asked for my email address so they could send me a form to complete. I needed to provide my credit card details and sign a confirmation form saying I agree that if I fail to show up or cancel within 48 hours, they would charge my credit card HKD$200 (approx $27 AUD) per person. I also had to return the completed confirmation form in a week or they would release my booking! I would understand if they took credit card details for an event, but for an everyday booking, I thought it was a bit extreme. We complied anyway as we wanted to make a reservation.
The Grand Lisboa from outside – Robuchon au Dome is the 43rd floor
Formerly known as Robuchon a Galera, the restaurant has now moved to 43rd floor of the Grand Lisboa and renamed Robuchon au Dôme as it sits in the dome of the Grand Lisboa Hotel. It boasts a magnificent view of Macau, but really, there’s nothing much to see except dingy old buildings and it’s quite foggy! We had a window table, but one of us still had to have our backs to the view. I don’t know why they don’t position the table so both diners are looking out the windows and can enjoy the view.
Left: looking up into the top of the dome from the dining room
Right: The view of Macau from the restaurant
Robuchon au Dôme certainly makes an impression with its decor. Some people would describe it as grand opulence, but it’s not to my liking and reminds me of old school fine dining, even though Robuchon au Dome only moved to their new location recently! The Grand Lisboa foyer seems to be decorated in the same style – quite blingy and gaudy!
The interior of Robuchon au Dome
The foyer area of the Grand Lisboa
The set lunch menu starts at a very reasonable MOP$458 + 10% service charge (approx $61 AUD + 10%) for 2 courses plus dessert, so technically 3 courses. We opted for 3 courses plus dessert (4 courses) for MOP$558 + 10% service charge (approx $74 AUD + 10%). The thing that is expensive in Asia is wine. Hubby got the Sommelier selection which was two glasses of 75ml wine for MOP$220 + 10% (approx. $29 AUD + 10%).
I always take photos of the menu with my iPhone so I have a reference for the photos I take, but because of problems with unlocking my iPhone, I ended up losing all the photos I took of the menus from my trip!!! Needless to say, I was very upset to have lost the menu descriptions. I’ve had to rely what I could find from the restaurant website and my memory (which is getting worse!).
We had a generous basket of a variety of bread with both salted and unsalted butter. I’ve never been to a restaurant with such a large selection of bread on the table.
We were brought a complimentary amuse bouche to start the meal. There were two pieces of flat bread, one olive and one tomato, a chilled tomato and basil soup and a cous cous wrap.
Complimentary amuse bouche
The first course came from a choice of 3 items in the Appetizers category. I went with “Le crabe” – crab meat in chilled cream of cauliflower. There were two sesame seed sticks served on the side (not shown in photo). Look how pretty the dish looks! There was a lot of care and thought put into the presentation of each dish.
Crab meat in chilled cream of cauliflower, served with sesame seed fritter
Hubby chose “Le foie gras” – lightly smoked foie gras shaved on warm potato salad with a black truffle dressing. This was one of the best dishes. The foie gras was so incredibly smooth.
Lightly smoked foie gras shaved on warm potato salad with black truffle dressing
For the next course, I chose “Le champignon blanc” from the soup menu – white mushroom veloute served with tiny ravoli and thin strips of Pata Negra ham. The soup was wonderfully potent and the tiny ravioli was a nice addition. This was another one of the best dishes at lunch.
White mushroom veloute served with tiny ravioli and Pata Negra ham julienne
Hubby got a fish dish “Le bar” – back of sea bass slow roasted and covered with an open ravioli. It was an unusual but creative way of serving fish, with a thin sheet of pasta draped on top.
Back of sea bass slow roast under fine open ravioli with an essence of savory herbs and vegetable broth
For the final savoury course, we both chose meat. Hubby ordered the hanger steak which was served with sautéed shallots and piquillos and a parsley coulis. Even though the steak was cooked perfectly, it was still chewy and not as good as the hanger steaks hubby has had in Melbourne.
Hanger Steak in French-style with sautéed shallots and piquillos, parsley coulis
As I don’t have a photo of the menu and the menu online is different, I can’t remember what I had! I’m pretty sure it was pork cheek, served on a bed of spinach, with deep fried cheese balls.
Pork cheek with spinach and cheese balls
There was a spectacular dessert trolley that we were eyeing off every time it rolled past and we were stoked to learn we would be able to choose three items for dessert. I chose a chocolate tart, chocolate profiterole and a mille feuille. Hubby declared the mille feuille the best he ever had. The layers were so thin and flaky and crunchy and the custard was silky smooth.
Dessert selection – mille feuille, chocolate profiterole, chocolate tart
Left: Dessert trolley
Right: Cheese trolley
There was also a cheese trolley going around and hubby decided he was more in the mood for cheese than dessert (though that didn’t stop him digging into my dessert!). I can’t remember the three cheeses he chose, but they were recommended by the waiter. They were only served with dried apricot, no crackers which I found really strange. The serves were also very small, so hubby had some dessert envy afterwards!
Tea or coffee is included in the set lunch. I chose a herbal tea. The tea and coffee was served with complimentary petit fours.
Hubby and I had a very enjoyable long lunch at Robuchon au Dome. It was reasonably priced for 4 courses in a 3 Michelin starred restaurant. We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the centre of Macau and being drawn to further expand our already full stomachs with Macau street snacks and the freely available samples in the bakeries.
Over & Out, April xx