Macau Michelin Guide (3-1 Stars)
(Last updated: August 15, 2023)
17 restaurants in Macau were awarded Michelin stars in the 2023 Macau Michelin Guide, down from the 20 they had before Covid hit. 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 12 of them, but to far different results than what Michelin came up with. In my view, only 4 Macau 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 cut, which has been the case for the past decade or so. 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. 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 embarrassing and wrong.
In other words, forget Michelin, and just listen to the Maven.
Here’s my take then on Macau restaurants 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.
A restaurant of distinction; I’d take my friends there (**)
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 of a Ritz-Carlton restaurant.
Rocking superlative service, a stunning venue on the 51st floor and out of this world Cantonese food, I’d be shocked if Lai Heen doesn’t have tw0 stars by 2025. (I’ve also been predicting that for 5 years, and it hasn’t happened yet. Come on Michelin!)
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.
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 Macau, 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.
Five Foot Road (*)
Spicy Sichuan cuisine is the name of the game at Five Foot Road, at prices that won’t leave a mark.
With awesome service, an inviting decor and simple scrumptious Sichuan on offer, it’s worth taking a walk down Five Foot Road.
For restaurants that Michelin likes much more than the Maven, please follow the link below!