Belon is Banyan Tree’s signature restaurant, located way up on the 31st floor. If you read enough of these reviews, you’ll find my experience in these kinds of expensive restaurants is often quite similar. I invariably end up having a very nice meal with excellent service in a beautiful environment, with very little to complain about.
You’ll also notice that most of these restaurants only receive 3 stars, because I don’t think the dining experience merits what you pay for it. While the food is often good to great, it’s simply not worth the inflated, exorbitant prices. (And don’t even get me started about the wine markups!)
I also find these kinds of big name restaurants in Macau to be rather characterless – they’re all more or less repeated versions of each other. If you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all.
With that being said, however, I’ve chosen to give Belon 3.5 stars, which is a touch higher than most restaurants in their category get. The reason is because the food was a bit more memorable than usual, especially the two salads I ordered – the Tiger Prawn and the Spanner Crab. Both were full of taste and extremely succulent in ways that salads usually aren’t.
The main course steak was also very good, but not the best I’ve had. My father, for one, does it better (and doesn’t charge $500 while doing so.)
Apart from the food, the service was extremely warm and I liked the general layout of the restaurant. Tables are spaced fairly far apart so you’ll always have your own personal space, unencumbered by those sitting near you. There’s also a couple very beautiful private rooms available, should you be dining with a larger party.
For two salads (which both ran over $200) and one steak main, along with dessert, my bill ran over $1000. Throw in the wine I brought (which cost $300 for corkage) and a couple of after dinner drinks, and the final total was $1650 – for one person. Fine dining obviously comes with a price, and if you’re willing to pay it then maybe Belon is 4 or 4.5 stars overall.
Personally I think it’s too much and that’s why I knock the overall rating down to 3.5 stars. It’s still very nice quality food though.
Belon Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet
Children under 8 are allowed into Belon on Sundays only, when they do their free flow champagne buffet. Prices are not cheap, with children aged 4 to 12 charged $238, seniors $399, and adults $798.
Belon pushes the buffet as a premium dining experience, and the roll call reads out like culinary royalty. Among the food on offer includes: caviar, pan fried foie gras, seafood paella, New Zealand lamb chops, braised wagyu prime rib, barbecue pork spare ribs, grilled lobster, oysters, mussels, sushi, and king crab, not to mention a fine selection of soups, salads, pastas, pizzas, and desserts.
So needless to say, the gang’s all there.
My issue with the buffet is that while they have all the big names, big names don’t amount to much if the chef can’t make them sing. Pavarotti might be Pavarotti, but no one’s paying money to see him if he’s got strep throat. In the same way, caviar, king crab, and wagyu beef sure all sound good, but it’s how they taste that ultimately decides how good they are.
And as I moved from station to station sampling the myriad premium fare, I didn’t find many selections that were amazing or out of this world. In terms of food quality, the buffet is nowhere near as good as the one at Urban Kitchen for example, and that’s the one you should be trying when visiting Macau. Free flow Moet champagne is nice and all too, but I go to buffets to eat, not drink.
All in all, I think the Belon Sunday brunch buffet is worthy of three stars. For the price you pay, it’s quite average.