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Robuchon à Galera Macao logo

Recommended reviews and articles about this restaurant:  Asia Sentinel  /  Cuisine & Wine Asia (SG)  / 
Frommer's Guide  /  New York Sun (about the wine list) /  TravBuddy  /  Weekend Standard

   

 

MICHELIN GUIDE

 

GAYOT

 
       

x

Open every day

 

Dinner
6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

 

Lunch
12 noon to 2:30 p.m.

Address:
 
 

  Robuchon à Galera
Hotel Lisboa, No. 2-4
Avenue de Lisboa, Macao

 

Phone:

  +00 853 2888 3888

Fax:

   

Email:

   
 

Executive Chef:

  Francky Semblat
     

Chef Pâtissier:

  François Benot
 

Sommelier:

  Paul Lo
 

Maître d' Hôtel:

  Morgan Li
 

Restaurant Manager:

  Dives Chiu
 
Chef Propriétaire:   Joël Robuchon
 

Official Site:

[website]

Review of Robuchon à Galera in Hong Kong

by Andy Hayler

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Food Rating: 9/10

Last visited: February 2009

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Andy HaylerI confess to having had somewhat cynical expectations about Robuchon à Galera in Macau after my disappointing experience at Robuchon Las Vegas. Based on this I had surmised that gambling towns were an unlikely match for top cuisine. The restaurant is one floor up in the Lisboa Hotel, and is richly appointed but otherwise fairly low key room, with a low ceiling and no view to speak of. There is a thick blue and gold carpet and comfortable, traditional chairs, though the lights twinkling in the ceiling were not to my taste.

There are several menu choices, form a full tasting menu at HK$ 2,100 down to a cheap lunch menu at just HK$ 398. We opted for an intermediate tasting menu at HK$ 1,488. The wine list is truly remarkable. It arrives in a vast, closely typed, leather bound tome, and there are no less than 4,300 separate wines listed. As one can imagine, every taste in catered from, with wines from obscure regions (Slovenia wine, anyone?) through to massively deep coverage of the classic regions. Moreover mark-ups are by no means excessive in some cases. Examples of the wines offered are Jermann Pinot Grigio 2004 at HK$ 600 for a wine that costs perhaps HK$ 180 in the shops, Cuvee Catherine Pinot Gris 2005 at HK$ 900 for a wine you can purchase for about HK$ 300 retail, through Penfolds bin 707 1997 at HK $1,195 is quite fair for a wine that costs about HK$ 560 to buy. A relative bargain is Kistler Dutton Ranch 2004 at HK$ 1,800 for a wine that costs over HK$ 800 to buy. I cannot recall seeing a better wine list than this.

A bread chariot arrives groaning under the weight of loaves. The bread is made from scratch here and is genuinely superb. There are two different baguettes, black olive rolls foccacia, mixed grain rolls, sun-dried tomato bread, through to sweeter breads such as apricot and chestnut. The rolls made from Comte cheese were utterly divine, the cheese flavour bursting from the soft roll, while a firmer roll had bacon and mustard flavour in perfect balance. I am very fond of bread at the best of times, and I felt like a kid in, well, a bakery. This was genuine 10/10 bread; I like the bread at Louis XV, and remember fine bread at Marc Veyrat, but this is just about as close to perfection as you will find.

The menu began with a pretty dish of petit pois, a “floating island” on top of a cream of peas flavoured with a little mint with veal juice, alongside a sesame fritter. The pea puree had lovely flavour, the veal juice adding depth, the mint just a hint; the fritter was very delicate, the sesame seed flavour a nice touch with the peas (9/10).

Next was a very pretty casing of Romaine lettuce, garnished with black truffles, inside which was king crab, avocado mousse, Mozzarella and a little virgin olive oil. Crab and avocado are a fine pairing, here the crisp lettuce adding a texture contrast, the aromas of the truffle and the olive oil lifting the dish (9/10).

Next was a remarkably intense chestnut soup, poured over a little foie gras and bacon and celery foam. A gossamer-light bacon crisp was on the side. The bacon added a little saltiness to balance the richness of the foie gras, and the soup itself had marvelous depth (10/10).

Next for me was a wild sea bass fillet pan-fried with crispy skin, seasoned with five spices and served with an aromatic verjus sauce; for me there was just a little too much acidity to the red wine sauce, though the fish itself was superb and the concept was fine (8/10). Stella had amadai in a spicy oil with remarkably good endive and a good saffron broth (8/10). For my main course I had duck breast with foie gras with a few figs, cherries and pear pieces on the side to provide a welcome acidic balance to the rich duck (8/10).

A palate cleaning pre-dessert was an exotic fruit sherbet with coconut, rum and a little popping sugar (8/10). At this point a dessert trolley arrived with a wide array of choices. Amongst these were a very good passion fruit tart, superb Rum Baba, and an intense coffee choux bun. I was less taken with an apple clafoutis, but I suspect the issue was the brand of apple used (this is one occasion where the English with their Bramley apples win the day). Still, overall, the desserts were very fine (9/10 overall).

Coffee was also deeply flavoured and rich, and a further array of petit fours then came wheeling past, including a feather-light tuile and superb salted caramel chocolate. The bill for two with a classy Kistler wine was HK$ 5,381 for two. Service was very good, though it was strange that there was no proper sommelier present with a wine list like this. Chef Francky Semblat trained with Joël Robuchon at the great man’s restaurant at Avenue Raymond Poincaré in Paris, and has learned a lot from his training. For me the cooking here was significantly superior to the Robuchon in Tokyo, and far better than that of the Robuchon Las Vegas. It was true three-star food.

Incidentally, if you are traveling to Macau from Hong Kong be aware that it is a separate "special administrative region" and so you will still need your passport. Macau is a one hour ferry ride from Hong Kong; the hotel Lisboa is a short taxi ride from the ferry terminal.

© AndyHayler.com.  Used by Permission.  All rights reserved. See Andy Hayler's Restaurant Guide for reviews of outstanding restaurants around the world.

La Cuisine de Joël Robuchon

Simply French : Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joël Robuchon

L'Atelier of Joël Robuchon : The Artistry of a Master Chef and his Protégés

Joël Robuchon: Cooking Through the Seasons

The Complete Robuchon

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