I’m not a gambler. Just a bit risk averse perhaps, and thus not entirely keen on visiting Las Vegas nor Macau and partaking in the various vices. That said, I couldn’t resist when a mate told me that one of the best dim sum restaurants is at the Grand Lisboa hotel in Macau. Being my typical OCD self, I immediately made lunch reservations for my coming weekend in Hong Kong.
Getting to Macau was pretty straight forward, and merely entails reserving a seat with the Turbojet with a travel duration of about 1 hour from the Sheung Wan Ferry Terminal. My local friends were nice enough to bring me around, as well as to join for lunch.
The Grand Lisboa is probably one of the most bizarre looking structures I had ever seen, and I’m pretty certain that the architect was smoking crack and opium simultaneously in order to concoct that sort of design. The Eight restaurant itself was a bit less funky albeit ornately decorated, plus the doors were all automated, which was very fancy indeed.
Now, onwards to the meal. We ordered a range of dim sum dishes which piqued our interests. Starting off was an Amuse Bouche of a simple but delicious nest of beef with mushrooms and peppers. Adjacent to that was a braised abalone with some form of sweet jelly (presumably plum or pomelo), which was tender and well cooked.
We had to order the Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings if you will. I do not know of a person who could resist these lovelies. The Eight’s iteration of this classic was filled with crab, and was delicious as one might expect. A dab of vinegar with ginger and you’re good to go.
One of the highlights of the meal was hedgehog shaped char siew buns, which was crisped at the bottom, whilst the remainder was wonderfully soft. The contrast of textures was a nice take on the classic. Each strand of the hedgehog spikes were also firm, and certainly shows the chef’s attention to detail.
Next, was Char Siew Rice Rolls with baby ginger in it. It was a well made version, and enjoyed the addition of the slivers of baby gingers, which gave a slight tinge of heat to the dish.
The subsequent dim sum was Fried Char Siew buns. The crust was crispy but a tad too hard to bite, otherwise the char siew interior was warm and lovely.
Another dim sum must-do was the Siu Mai with Abalone. The abalone was tender and savoury, with a pleasant chewy texture to it. The Siu Mai interior was also delicious.
Now, another highlight of the meal was the steamed superior river shrimp dumpling shaped in the form of a gold fish. I must say, the chef certainly went the extra mile in presenting their dishes. Got to say it was cute, but didn’t stop me from gobbling it up quickly. The texture of the shrimp was firm and the flavour was sweet. Visually attractive, but more importantly, a flavourful dish.
I was previously introduced to Abalone tarts at the Lung King Heen in the Four Seasons hotel, which were exquisite. For the Eight’s rendition, the abalone was well cooked as one might expect, and flavours were good albeit too aggressively salted for my liking.
Moving on to dessert, was another beautifully crafted mango and coconut pudding in the shape of goldfish in a Yin & Yang sort of fashion (starting to wonder if the chef has some sort of fish fetish). Flavours were good although not particularly mind blowing.
We capped off the meal with complimentary Portuguese egg tarts with warm milk tea. Being a bit nostalgic about Portugal, I opted to add some cinnamon to it. Flavours were rich and the crust was flaky, but I wished that the tarts were warmer as it had arrived almost at the verge of being cold.
Overall, one of the better dim sum meals around for sure. The dishes were visually appealing with a lot of attention to detail, and flavours were for the most part pretty good. That said, I’m still a bigger fan of Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons, as well as Yan Toh Heen at the Intercontinental, which had more balanced flavours. Perhaps we’ll give the signature dishes set menu a try next time, which also looked very appealing.
Location: 2/F, Grand Lisboa Hotel, Avenida de Lisboa, Macau. (853) 8803 7788. Website.