A French Affair @ The Ritz-Carlton Café, Macau

Within the confines of Macau’s latest luxury hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Café, Macau offers you a chance to experience classic French café culture at its authentic French Brasserie, The Ritz-Carlton. mylifestylenews went on for a French affair just another hour away from Hong Kong......

The café has a charming décor in black and white tiles with lots of faceted glass lights, doors and mirrors, some mirrors replicate the aged look of the chic and fashionable mood in Paris. With the touches of gold as accents and very high ceilings to create an airy space that reeks of class, creating an ambience that attracts any passerby as one of the entries to the restaurant faces onto the new Galaxy Macau shopping mall.

There are intimate tables for two or larger configurations for bigger groups, but most importantly, the café evokes a touch of France in a truly elegant and nostalgic way – with maybe a touch more opulence than some, to give that more unique experience that sets this café apart from any other’s in Macau.

Apart from offering a decadent afternoon pastry tradition, the set menus and a la carte menus are really the stars of this latest dining destination. Helmed by a true French Chef de Cuisine Rafael Kinimo from Lyon in the heart of French gastronomy country, we were extremely excited to try his menu creation.

One of the biggest emphases is the seafood on display that is freshly delivered every day, but we opted for some quintessential French dishes that you would find anywhere in France.

We began our lunch with a starter of <Pan-fried Scallops with Caviar in Orange Sauce>, a <Garden Vegetable Salade, Comte Cheese & Baby Vegetables> and <Pan Seared Duck Liver, Roasted Peach, Maple Syrup & Hazelnut>. At the first taste, we knew we were in for something special, as the scallops and suck liver were cooked to perfection with Chef Kinimo displaying the quintessential flavours that you could expect, the balance of accompanying ingredients highlight and compliment the main feature.

<Pan-fried Scallops with Caviar in Orange Sauce>

<Garden Vegetable Salade, Comte Cheese & Baby Vegetables>

<Pan Seared Duck Liver, Roasted Peach, Maple Syrup & Hazelnut>

To follow was a <Mushroom Soup with Sauteed Morels & Truffle Oil> and before the bowl had even been put down on the table, the aromas emanating from this dish were heavenly, instantly making you think of mushrooms on the forest floor with that entire earthiness coming alive to your senses. The texture was foamy and medium light yet the taste was very in full bodied, it was such a delight to enjoy.

By far, there was nothing we dislike, from lightness to something more substantial, a <Pan Seared Seabass with seafood Risotto in Saffron Sauce>. The fish looked too perfect to eat, with the skin having a beautiful salty crispiness to it, with the flesh still very moist and just falling apart as you cut, plus a bed of creamy risotto to add some textural element that was so tasty in itself and just the right crunchy taste to the Arborio rice, it was a captivating way to cook and present fish.

Next, <Steak Frite Grilled Rib Eye, Bone Marrow with Beurre a la mode de Chef Raphael & Hand Cut Fries>, the entrecote was perfectly cooked to order, with plenty of juice and tenderness to the meat, the bone marrow was able to add another dimension of richness and smooth texture to the char-grilled flavours of the meat. The hand-cut fries were also the best we had tasted in a long while fired to the right temperature.

Another entrée was <Roast Racan Pigeon From France, pea a la Francaise Demoiselle Sauce>. The generous portion of the whole pigeon were served, meat were grilled with the right tenderness without being too dry or too chewy. Another triumphant creation by Chef Kinimo.

We request for a chicken dish since we couldn’t find any from the menu and a pleasant surprise came to the table with this <Poached Truffle Bresse Chicken Breast> with sliced truffle on a bed of mushrooms in light sauce. The Bresse chicken was heaven sent, with such tenderness and so much flavor this is what chickens from this region are famous for. The sauce just heightened the sense of enjoyment with the truffle flavor. The mushroom effect in taste and the aroma with every element providing a perfect counterpoint to each other, it was truly divine. We suggested this dish shall well be on the regular menu but Chef Kinimo would rather put that into consideration as this bird can only be obtained on a seasonal basis. FYI, the Bresse chicken was not on the menu, but Chef Kinimo happened to have some in stock for a special request with some to spare, it was indeed the lucky charm on this attempt.

The veritable feast that offer at The Ritz-Carlton Café, Macau with such generous portions, we could not find room for any other meat dishes but who can resist dessert when in a French brasserie? There is always something classic on such a menu and we were surprised with one concoction that has to be seen to be believed.

The first delivery was a gold flecked <Chocolate Surprise with Gariguette Strawberry sorbet and Meringue Eton Mess style> with ice cream inside, over which they pour melted hot chocolate to half expose the centre and create a hot and cold effect, which was stunning in presentation and taste.

The second dessert was a <Raspberry Mille Feuille a la minute> that was especially made upon ordeing, as we mentioned to Chef Kinimo that something with raspberries would be perfect. The raspberries were beautifully ripe and the slices of the mille feuille were so golden, warm and lightly crispy interplayed with the vanilla cream.

Lastly, another bonus order came the <Vanilla Crème Brulee> which had a silky smooth custard and a delightfully thin crunchy covering. Simply ces’t bon!

Other ready to go dessert is ready for your pick.

The lunch was a sumptuous affair and that would not be forgotten easily, not to mention that the café was already packed and we were surprised that the chef wished to make us something from scratch in amongst everything else that was going on. Every detail was handled with precision by the attentive staff and you are left with a sense of being immersed in all that is French. The fabulously flavorsome food that we experienced were the hallmarks of France’s iconic café and gastronomy history, we were truly left with a sense of wonderment at Chef Kinimo’s skills in the kitchen. Thanks to Chef Kinimo and his team.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5

Mushroom Soup
Roast Racan Pigeon 
Pan Seared Seabass

Estrada da Baia da Nossa
Senhora da Esperanca, s/n
Cotai, Macau
Tel: +853 8886 6868

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