Maven Guide (3, 2, 1 stars)+ Back

19 restaurants in Macau were awarded Michelin stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide to Macau and Hong Kong.  As your dutiful purveyor of all things Macau, particularly in regards to the dining scene, I’m happy to say that I’ve personally tried 14 of them, but to far different results than what Michelin came up with.  In my view, only 6 restaurants truly deserve their stars: the rest are ordinary, overrated, or just plain bad and expensive.

It also bothers me that no Portuguese restaurant made the list.  Perhaps Michelin doesn’t rate the food as stylish or sophisticated enough to stand beside their Chinese, French and Italian peers, but that’s just ignorance.  The truth is that some of the best meals in town are prepared in the kitchen of a Portuguese restaurant, and their predictable exclusion from this list year after year is both inappropriate and embarrassing.

In other words, forget Michelin, and just listen to the Maven.

Here’s my take on the restaurants in Macau that have been awarded Michelin stars, using my own distinct rating system.  The stars beside the restaurant name are how many stars Michelin gave them.

 

On their own level; in a league of their own (***)

The 8
(***) - Hong Kong Chef Joseph Tse has a relatively straightforward cooking philosophy - dishes don’t necessarily have to be creative, they just have to be good.  His track record suggests he's got that skill locked down, first turning Above & Beyond in Tsim Sha Tsui East into one of Hong Kong’s hottest venues before leading the 8 into three star Michelin territory.  His dum sum lunches are simply the best in town, with reservations essential every day of the week.

 

 

 
Other signature choices include Barbecued Suckling Pig, Steamed Crab Claw with Egg White in Fish Broth, and Stir Fried Australian Lobster with Egg, Minced Pork and Black Bean.  

 

Location: Grand Lisboa, 2F     Phone Number: (853) 8803 7788     Price: $$

The Tasting Room (**) - Even though head chef Guillaume Galliot left in 2017, the Tasting Room retains its three star ranking, and my endorsement as the top fine dining venue in town.  The reason is because his replacement, Fabrice Vulin, has proven to be just as good, totally worthy of the distinction he received in 2015 when he was named Best New Chef in Hong Kong by Tatler magazine.  Whereas Galliot incorporated more European and Mediterranean elements into his cuisine, Vulin keeps it strictly French, espousing fusion for familiarity and time honoured traditions.  The set meals at lunch are of particularly good value.

 

   
Location: Crown Towers 3F, City of Dreams     Phone Number: (853) 8868 6681     Price: $$$

 

A restaurant of distinction; I’d definitely take my friends there (**)

Golden Flower (**) - Venerable master chef Liu Guo Zhu is in his 60s but shows no signs of slowing down, tending to his kitchen at Golden Flower five days a week, ensuring standards stay strong.  Well schooled in the intricacies of both Northern and Southern Chinese cuisine, Chef Liu has created a menu that not only celebrates time honored styles and traditions, but also breaks new ground.  For a crash course into the beauty and diversity of Chinese food, just try any of his carefully crafted set meals.

 

 

Other house specialties include Stir Fried Prawns with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Braised Pork Meat Belly in Clay Pot and Salted Baked Chicken.

Location: Wynn Macau, GF     Phone Number: (853) 8986 3689     Price: $$

Lai Heen (*) - Chef Bill Fu cut his chops working at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong where he helped Tin Lung Heen achieve 2 star status.  Within one year of opening Lai Heen in Macau, he put it on the Michelin map, and it’s everything you’d expect from of a Ritz-Carlton restaurant.  Rocking superlative service, a stunning venue on the 51st floor and out of this world Cantonese food, Lai Heen should get their second star before 2021.

 

 

Try the Chef’s Special Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables, Baked Crispy Fried Rice with Seafood in Baby Pumpkin, and BBQ Iberico Pork in Honey Sauce.

Location: Ritz-Carlton Macau 51F, Galaxy Complex     Phone Number: (853) 8886 6868     Price: $$$

Golden Peacock (*) - Only one of seven Indian restaurants in the world with a Michelin star, it took Golden Peacock just 7 months to get their first one in 2013.  Much of the restaurant’s success owes itself to affable Head Chef Justin Paul, a native of Kerala who’s been in Macau for 9 years.  By only using original Indian spices, vegetables and peppers, and eschewing MSG, preservatives, and artificial enhancers, he and his team of 17 chefs are able to produce dishes of unusual depth and quality, in particular the soups and curries, which are just to die for. 

 



Other signature dishes include Kandari Murgh Tikka, Kumarakom Tiger Prawn, Choosa-Khaas-Makhani, and Palak Chaman.

 

Location: Shop 1037, Venetian Macao     Phone Number: (853) 8803 7788     Price: $$

Well-deserved; an above average restaurant  (*)


Zi Yat Heen (*) - Zi Yat Heen specializes in Cantonese cuisine but also does other styles of Chinese food too, such as Beijing Duck.  They had two stars for a number of years before losing one in 2017, which is more in line with how I rate the restaurant.  An extremely pleasant dining venue located in the Four Seasons, the service is top notch as is most of the food.  For more discerning diners, there might not be a better choice in all of Macau. 

 

   

Signature dishes include Zi Yat Heen Crispy Chicken, Barbecued Pork with Honey and Braised Superior Bird’s Nest with Crab Meat.

 

Location: Four Seasons Macao, GF     Phone Number: (853) 2881 8818     Price: $$

 

For restaurants that Michelin likes much more than the Maven, please follow the link here: Maven Guide (0 stars)