When I was in Macau I had the privillege of dining at Treasure Palace, a restaurant famed for their Cantonese fare and more importantly helmed by Michelin Star Chef Mr. Tam Kwok-fung. Just in case you don’t know, Michelin Star is awarded to restaurants by the Michelin Red Guide, a series of annual guide books published by Michelin to acknowledge top restaurants and world chefs. It is one of the most recognized rating system in the world so if a chef is awarded even with a star, it indicates an exceptional quality and culinary skill in him/her.
Renowned celebrity chef Martin Yan also collaborated with Chef Tam to create a selection of lucky signature dishes featured in the “Exquisite Eight Specials” menu, designed to let visitors “taste the luck” (at the Casinos too?) at City of Dreams. This special menu will be served at Treasure Palace until the end of the year.
We were served the set course dinner, starting with the Assorted Cold Dishes Shanghainese Style as appetizers. Firstly, Cold Spiced Beef Shank and Tendon – dense and tender but not chewy, full of beefy goodness. It was easily my favorite among the appetizers.
Cubes of Winter Melon infused with Orange Juice. The delicate and slightly crunchy texture of winter melon combined with the refreshingly zesty flavor of orange makes it a hit especially for the ladies.
Braised Wheat Gluten with Mushroom – soft and tender having a texture similar to duck meat, appetizingly sweet and salty.
Pork Jelly – chunks of pork belly encased in a thin, transparent jelly that resembles the pork fat. The gelatinous outer layer is rather tasteless but when you bite into the meat filling it feels like having roast pork because of the five spice taste. I was a little taken by the dish’s apperance at first but actually it wasn’t so bad after having a few tastes of it.
Marinated Jellyfish, what we usually refer as rubber-band lol. I must say it does have some truth to it. If you could appreciate its rubbery and crunchy taste then maybe you would like this dish. Not for me though.
Last of the cold dishes, Japanese Cucumber Salad with rice wine vinegar, light but opens up the palate for the rest of the meal.
Then came our main dishes, firstly Stewed Abalone with Sea Cucumber – simply mouth-watering just by the looks of it. Most of the diners seated with me that night do not touch any of these premium ingredients so it was good for me lol. Man, the abalones were so delicious! Definitely the dish of the night in my opinion.
The prawns served in the Sauteed King Prawn with Salty Egg Yolk are seriously huge, meaty and not to mention fresh too. Unlike the Malaysian style where the dish is usually dry (and of course fragrantly salty), the sauce here is pretty runny and only has a hint of the salty egg yolk’s taste. I guess Chef Tam wanted to place the focus of the dish on the natural sweetness of the prawns more.
I simply loved this hearty dish, called Poached Chicken with “Wood Ear” Fungus and Ginger Wine. The soup that has absorbed all the essence of the ingredients was delicately aromatic to the nose and pleasantly light on the palate despite the rich flavors. Warm and comforting to the stomach too.
And how could a Chinese meal be complete without rice? The “filler” dish was a fried rice with an interesting fusion of Korean and Japanese ingredients like Kimchi cabbage and Wagyu beef. As innovative as the dish could be, I wasn’t really impressed because the taste felt too complex and none of the ingredient’s flavor managed to stand out. The spiciness of the Kimchi was no where to be found and you could hardly taste the Wagyu because it was diced into too small pieces.
As far as my food blog is concerned, my dining experience at Treasure Palace has to be the highlight so far for being able to taste food prepared by a Michelin Star chef, as well as meeting him in person. It is an honor for me that day, no matter how you view it. Hopefully this is an indication of better things to come in future.
Treasure Palace – 喜迎楼
Level 1, The Boulevard City of Dreams,
Cotai Strip, Cotai Macau.