mylifestylenews

2016-01-16

A Bon Vivant Experience @ The Ritz-Carlton Cafe, Macau


Meeting an old friend is a pleasure, meeting a celebrated chef is even a bonus and certainly over joy. It was a welcome return to one of our favorite cafes at the Ritz-Carlton, Macau and to be precise, the one and only of our favorite French Café in Macau. mylifestylenews has a home run……


We had previously only been able to do a lunch, so this time it was for dinner and trying out their new Steak Frites Menu. With the traffic picking up in Macau these days, we were 10 minutes late on our arrival. The place was buzzing with conversation and we were met by Chef Raphael Kinimo – just like meeting an old friend who introduced us the new seasonal menu.



While enjoying our feels-like-home surrounding, the Café was pretty much filled up with patrons who had made their table booking as well as a few walk-ins. A few minutes later, the first course arrived and it was a dish for both the eye and the palate. The creation was a smoked fish puree and foam with a French duck egg, caviar and toasted bread crisp.


 This was a surprisingly perfect combination of ingredients, with the egg just cooked to the point of being runny, which was positioned on the top. By poking through the foam, the delicious but not too strongly flavored smoked fish under the sea of foam and the egg. The flavors melded together beautifully and what a delicious start to the evening.



The staff created a great atmosphere of attentive and interactive service, while the food spoke volumes about what the kitchen can do with a new menu, plus paired wines that complimented each and every dish. Next on the table was the quintessential French wild mushroom soup with a drizzle of truffle oil on top. The aroma got us hooked before we had even tasted the soup. On the first spoonful, you immediately smiled and thought could soup taste any better than this. Suffice it to say not a single drop was left in the bowl. Indeed, that is the best way to finish it.



For the main event, we chose two different cuts of steak: a U.S. Prime Rib-Eye 330g and the Australian Wagyu M6 Rib-Eye 280g. Needless to say that each steak was full of flavor and the meat falling apart with a soft touch of the knife, plus a texture that made you realize how special these cuts of beef are. Each plate came with marrow cooked in the bone as a side, but this was not the only accompaniment to go with the frites.


Firstly, the choice of mustards was rather interesting, as apart from the usual French and Dijon types, there was also a more home-made French mustard that was a little more rough in texture and not as strong as the normal French mustard. The sauce choices were pepper, chili, béarnaise and a green sauce and all are worth trying on the steak. Lastly, there are a few more condiments that add flavor to the meat.



We love the idea that Chef Kinimo threw in a chili powder from a French island, freshly cut chili, sea salt and some herb butter to go with the tasty fresh cut of meat. It all looked delectable and we have to admit that we tried just about every condiment to determine what to look for next time. The hand-made frites were another triumph of a crispy outside and fluffy potato inside. All in all, a classic French bistro meal if ever there was one!


Dessert was beckoning, as the mention of profiteroles had us quivering with anticipation. Chef Kinimo has used Valrhona dark chocolate which is presented in an egg cup, you can decide where and when you apply the chocolate, plus scoops of vanilla ice-cream inside each profiterole. This was an utterly delectable and wicked creation that we will not forget in a hurry.



There is always that thought when returning to a restaurant after the first visit that you wonder if they can succeed so triumphantly again, and Chef  Kinimo has indeed. For a Café standard, he is once again outshone for what a Café or Bistro could offer in terms of quality and presentation. We were suppose to leave before the Café close for the night to catch our shuttle back to our hotel but playing catch up with Chef Rafael after his kitchen was closed for order is something we won’t want to miss. The conversation went on until we waved at the hotel Executive Chef Bruno Correa while he was doing his round and the conversation continued with lots of laughter and fun by sharing some common thoughts in cooking and others. We obviously had missed our shutter but the stay was really worth it, as well as the genuine yet unpretentious gastronomy creation from both Chef Kinimo and Chef Correa. It is certainly a bon vivant experience!



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

Highlights:
Mushroom Soup
Egg & Caviar

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

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.