Announcing the 2019 Black Pearl Restaurant Guide
When gastronomes are looking for dining ideas, many go to internationally recognised restaurant listings, such as the Michelin Guide and World’s Best 50 Restaurants. However, as these places are mostly reviewed by food critics and experts from the Western world, Chinese culinary culture and perspective sometimes can be overlooked.
In 2018, China’s leading e-commerce and dining-focused platform Meituan-Dianping launched the Black Pearl Restaurant Guide, a list of quality restaurants selected by a team of master chefs, culinary experts and renowned gourmets in the Chinese dining industry.
On January 10 this year, top chefs from China's culinary world, media and social influencers gathered at The Venetian Macao’s Venetian Theatre for the announcement of the second edition of the list – the Black Pearl.
Committed to be China’s own Michelin Guide, this year the Black Pearl awarded 287 restaurants in 22 Chinese cities, including including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macao, Yangzhou and Chengdu, as well as five international metropolises – Tokyo, New York, Bangkok, Singapore and Paris.
Of these, 20 were honoured with three diamonds (must visit once in a lifetime), 77 got two diamonds (perfect for special occasions) and 190 received one diamond (great for families and friends). Acclaimed restaurants such as Da Dong Roast Duck in Beijing, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai, Lung King Heen in Hong Kong and Jade River in Guangzhou are some of this year’s three-diamond recipients.
The Black Pearl Awards Ceremony 2019 Gala Dinner was held at The Venetian Ballroom, and guests were presented with eight delectable dishes by Executive Chef Chung Kuy Fai of La Chine; Chef Justin Paul from The Golden Peacock; Liang Jianyu, Executive Chef of White Swan Hotel Guangzhou and DeAille Tam, Chef of Bo Shanghai restaurant in Shanghai.
At the ceremony, senior vice-president of Meituan, Zhang Chuan, said, “The Black Pearl is not only a restaurant guide, but responsible for exploring and promoting Chinese culinary culture, and propelling the development of China’s dining industry.” Alongside the ceremony, a special four-course dining experience, Lunch on the Water, took place on The Venetian Macao’s canals for 20 media members and social influencers, showcasing the formidable culinary skills of three celebrity chefs – La Chine’s Chung; Deng Huadong, Chef and CEO of Sichuan restaurant Deng G in Hong Kong; and Su Weiqing, Executive Chef of Ming Court in Shanghai.
When the guide made its debut, it honoured 330 restaurants in 22 Chinese cities and five overseas cities. By visiting restaurants anonymously, the appraisal committee select awardees based on three perspectives: cooking skills, experience, and inheritance and innovation.
In Macao, the Black Pearl picked 14 restaurants – including three at Sands Resorts Macao – this year. The French-influenced Chinese restaurant La Chine at The Parisian Macao has got a two-diamond rating for two consecutive years; Indian restaurant The Golden Peacock at The Venetian Macao gained an extra diamond to a total of two, after receiving its first in 2018; while Zi Yat Heen, the signature Cantonese restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Macao, was awarded one diamond for the second time.
La Chine nestles in The Parisian Macao’s iconic Eiffel Tower, which overlooks the Cotai Strip. The restaurant is famous for its traditional Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. Signature dishes such as roasted suckling pig “éclair” with foie gras, apple and black truffle caviar, and French foie gras char sui with pineapple, crispy ginger and rice crackers are popular among diners. The Golden Peacock is renowned for its authentic regional Indian cuisine created by Kerala native chef Justin Paul. Zi Yat Heen has also won the hearts of many discerning foodies with its authentic Cantonese dishes by Executive Chef Cheung Chi Choi.
Available until the end of Dec 2019, three menus will be offered at each of these esteemed restaurants to showcase their award-winning dishes. Prices range from MOP688 at The Golden Peacock, MOP1,288 at La Chine to MOP1,880 at Zi Yat Heen, which are subject to 10 per cent service charge.
This is the second year the three restaurants have received such high praise from the Black Pearl Restaurant Guide, cementing Sands Resorts Macao as a haven for gourmands from around the world.