Monday, 21 November 2011

Northern Delights in Macau

Beijing Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt Macau
After watching The House of Dancing Water we headed to Beijing Kitchen just steps away at the Grand Hyatt Macau in the City of Dreams complex.

Shanxi knife-cut noodles with pork and mushroom
For a weekend -- and Macau Grand Prix weekend -- it wasn't packed, but all the better for us to have good service.

The restaurant is very contemporary looking with a few subtle Chinese accents, such as a display of porcelain against the wall, Chinese wines sealed with paper lids on shelves and even a long dragon kite suspended from the high ceiling. There's also a few open kitchen stalls for different items, such as dumplings, steamed buns and noodles.

Perusing through the menu it's not strictly northern Chinese; one can order steamed garoupa or wood-fired honey-glazed pork, braised abalone, shark's fin soup and double-boiled bird's nest.

Panfried pork dumplings with cabbage and yellow chives
However our group of nine decided to stick to mostly northern Chinese dishes including a pre-ordered Peking duck. One of the first dishes to arrive was the Shanxi hand-shredded noodles with pork, but it's really called knife-cut noodles. They arrived in a large bowl and were what you'd call almost al dente, with braised marinated pork cubes and thick mushrooms that were delicious.

Another dish was the pan fried minced pork dumplings with Beijing white cabbage and yellow chives. They came beautifully presented purposely stuck together with crispy bits left over from the flour and water mixture. As a result these dumplings had a play on textures, crunchy and soft, and even more savoury with dark vinegar.

Fried rice with prawns, French beans and preserved vegetables
A quick favourite was crispy pork ribs with fried garlic. The garlic taste is very pungent and the pork ribs were definitely crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. This dish was quickly followed by a plate of fried rice, prawn, French beans and preserved vegetables. We had left over bits of fried garlic on our plates and it further enhanced the flavour of the fried rice which was fantastic. The fried rice itself was well executed, the rice not dry and yet each grain separated from each other as well. A sign of a good chef.

We also had a dish of braised eggplant, garlic and sweet soya paste that was very flavourful and baby cabbage in duck boullion topped with thinly-sliced Chinese ham. Braised ox tail with chilli was excellent as well as the spring onion cake. Another winner was the Tianjin steamed pork buns with spring onions. The bun was very spongy and smooth, with juicy minced pork inside.

Baby cabbage cooked in duck boullion
However we had to wait a while for our main event -- Peking duck -- to arrive because we sat down much earlier than our table reservation time. Nevertheless it was worth the wait. A chef arrived by our table to quickly slice up the duck -- first the skin skimmed off the length of the chest and then some parts just skin, some mostly meat, and others in between.

What was even more impressive were the pancakes that were steamed and practically paper thin. We thought they'd break because they were so delicate, but they were actually quite elastic and wrapped easily without falling apart. We added condiments like mashed garlic, cucumber, spring onion and plum sauce, and sugar is also very northern Chinese. Yum.

Slicing up the Peking duck tableside
Diners have an option of having either duck soup or stir-fried duck bones; but because we had more than six people we couldn't order the soup. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the stir-fried bones were very tasty and crispy, and one of us licked most of the bones clean.

Finally for dessert, the menu has a selection of Western and Chinese sweets, but this is a weak point for the restaurant. While the sorbets, peach Champagne and raspberry were refreshing, the honey jasmine ice cream was reportedly not good to eat. Another was the double boiled papaya with almonds that came chilled, but would have been better hot.

Nevertheless we still thought it was a delicious and memorable meal at around HK$1,800 for nine people including 10 percent service charge.

Beijing Kitchen
G/F, Grand Hyatt Macau
City of Dreams
Estrada do Istmo, Cotai
853 8868 1930

No comments:

Post a Comment