Sunday, 4 August 2013

Macau's Finesse and Crassness

Asia's gambling capital keeps luring in the players, both classy and crass
Macau continues to go full throttle, and despite the threat of China's economy slowing down, at least one senior executive I talked to is confident it'll be business as usual for the next few years.

Believe it or not, the biggest problem at the moment is not having enough hotel rooms to house all visitors coming to the gambling enclave.

I heard this before from a taxi driver a few months ago and found it hard to fathom, but then hearing it from an executive of one of the resorts, it was definitely true.

So Macau is expanding with at least one more resort complex putting in two hotels to add over 1,500 rooms, but this won't be opening until 2015.

However when it comes to fine dining, it's unpredictable. The other night last week I was there, only three tables were occupied in the Grand Lisboa despite the food being one of the more memorable meals I've had.

And then on another night I went to another fine dining restaurant at Altira that had an outdoor terrace where guests could have drinks before or after their meal. Just before dinner we headed outside and saw a group of Chinese men sitting around speaking Cantonese.

They eyed us suspiciously and then went back to their conversation when they saw we were only there to check out the view. After a while the gang went back into the dining room; they didn't sit near us but we could hear them.

Not only was the volume of their voices cranked up high, which made us wonder if they were from Guangzhou, but every sentence started with a swear word.

Loud conversation we will put up with, but coarse language in a fine dining western restaurant?

Staff didn't say anything to these guests, and it was a strange experience trying to enjoy my food when every other word I heard seemed to be the Chinese version of the f-word.