A culinary world tour at The Parisian Macao
Exploring the gastronomic world doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours on a long-haul flight. The Parisian Macao, now celebrating its first anniversary, enables you to journey from Asia to Europe in a few bites. Three of the resort’s top restaurants – Le Buffet, Lotus Palace and Market Bistro – offer inventive menus that bring diners the best of both worlds.
The Parisian Macao’s take on the self-service concept, Le Buffet, is a veritable marketplace of European and Asian delicacies. Its signature Chinese restaurant, Lotus Palace, is perfect for a casual lunch or a slightly more formal dinner, offering traditional Chinese dishes, from fresh seafood and spicy hotpot to
pan-Asian and Cantonese favourites. And for a Southeast Asian twist, Market Bistro introduces guests to a celebration of French culture in Asia. These eateries offer surroundings as distinctive as the food: from the high ceilings and Parisian Golden Age décor of Le Buffet to the street-like atmosphere of the Saigon-inspired Market Bistro.
Because a meal should be about more than just the dish in front of you – it should be an experience. One such experience at Le Buffet is the grilled raclette cheese with new potatoes and pickles. Part-gastronomic theatre, part culinary
delight, raclette is often presented as a half-wheel melted with a special apparatus before being scraped onto a plate. The mild yet nutty flavour of this semi-hard, unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese is perfect for a light lunch and is an autumn favourite in France. The cheese is grilled to order and served over new
potatoes and delicately seasoned with paprika and home-made pickled vegetables.
In addition to being a spectacle, The Parisian Macao is noted for its fusion cuisines. Take the humble prawn: a popular speciality at Lotus Palace is the fried prawns with creamy pumpkin sauce, a dish as smooth as it is sumptuous. Executive sous chef Hew Choong Yew has combined textures and flavours from various regions to create a distinctly autumn delicacy. Butter prawns, a popular Asian dish, are served with a pumpkin purée delicately spiced with curry leaves and Thai chilli. The silky purée, with its subtle heat which comes through at the end, adds a layer of richness to the dish.
There is a lot you can do with prawns, that most versatile of shellfish. Market Bistro offers several alternatives, one of the tastiest being wok fried king prawns in spicy sauce, with deep fried “mantou”. This is based on a classic Singaporean recipe for chilli crab, but here king prawns take the place of the crab, and the mantou, steamed buns from northern China, enable diners to soak up the gloriously fiery sauce.
Yet the Chinese don’t have a monopoly on seafood: inspired by his grandmother’s recipe, Le Buffet’s chef de cuisine Guillaume Gully serves up a quintessential French classic: bouillabaisse. A Provençal dish that originated in the port of Marseille, the dish started out as a humble stew made with ingredients that local
fisherman were unable to sell. Today, it is made with the finest ingredients the sea has to offer, including red mullet, prawns, lobster, clams, scallops and mussels. These are simmered in a traditional broth made with leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery and Provençal herbs and served with the essential rouille, a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper, on slices of toasted bread.
Speaking of national treasures, few ingredients are as highly-regarded in Chinese cuisine as abalone. To showcase this delectable mollusc, Lotus Palace’s Hew Choong Yew has created a dish that fuses the delicate flavour of abalone with sun-dried scallops, sea cucumber and fish maw. The soup is double boiled to extract maximum flavour from each ingredient, and just before reaching the table, thin slices of the revered black truffle are added to enhance the taste and fragrance. The resulting seafood stew is a show-stopper that will delight the taste buds as much as it will impress guests.
Everywhere at The Parisian Macao, visitors find this theme of tradition mixing with cultural fusion. Market Bistro offers an unlikely contender in the form of beef pho. The version here is a particularly rich pho, with beef balls, beef brisket, sliced beef and rice noodles – all in a beef broth. This is about as hearty as pho (pronounced “fur”) can get. You might be forgiven for thinking that this form of noodle soup is quintessentially Vietnamese – but the famous beef variant probably did not become widespread until the first half of the 20th century, when French colonial demand for beef was at its height. The dish has since been embraced by Vietnamese as a mainstay of the nation’s culinary heritage.
Back at Le Buffet (buffet itself being French for a sideboard on which food is served), French, Chinese and international highlights are presented alongside one another at the popular rotisserie and carving sections, which offer everything from Peking duck to all-you-can-eat lobster and foie gras. At the centre of the restaurant, diners can indulge in salads, cold cuts and chilled seafood. There is even a dedicated dim sum menu offering Cantonese morsels.
Le Buffet: +853 8111 9250
Lotus Palace: +853 8111 9260
Market Bistro: +853 8111 9270