Anyone who keeps close tabs on the F&B industry in Macau knows how much of a sham it is. 90% of the articles or blog posts seems to be penned from people personally connected to the restaurant or chef in some way which makes 95% of what they write either extremely dubious or just made up.
For that reason I was very skeptical about La Chine at the Parisian, after reading all the marketing mumbo jumbo about a “new dining concept”, “fine fusion French infused Chinese”, and “East meets West” etc. Their angle is to add elements of French styled cooking into traditional Chinese dishes, which sounds totally wild and amazing if it works, an utter disaster if it doesn’t – I’m just happy to report that my meal there was well above expectation.
Dining at lunch, I started off with 5 kinds of dim sum that were nothing like your ordinary Southern Chinese yum cha. Mostly sticking to their Chef Recommendations, I ordered Siu Mai Pork Dumplings with Black Truffle ($48), Pan Fried Buns Filled with “Steak au Poivre Beef” in Black Pepper Sauce ($48), Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork ($48), Baked “Pithiveir” with Chicken Truffle Fois Gras ($58), and Eiffel Tower Shrimp Dumplings with Wasabi Roe ($58).
Besides the Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork, which were far too chewy and glutinous, every other choice was at least 4.5 out of 5 stars, if not perfect.
The Pan Fried Buns and Shrimp Dumplings were my two favourite ones, aided greatly by the fusion inclusion of steak filling and wasabi, respectively.
The Pithiver was similar to a flaky chicken pie, extremely tasty and well executed, while the Pork Dumplings were another great choice.
Even though the black truffles didn’t really add anything, the dumplings were fresh as hell and I’d definitely order them again.
As good as the dim sum was, the two mains were even better, in particular the Roasted Cod Fish Fillet in Black Bean Buerre Sauce with Asparagus ($168), which I liked a hair more than the “Canard a L’orange”, Crispy Roasted Duck Marinated In Black Pepper and Mandarin Peel ($128).
The problem with the duck was the black pepper sauce, which was somewhat of an unnatural pairing; apart from that, the meat was la la luscious and the skin soft soft succulent.
As for the cod fish fillet, you simply must try it. It’s flawless, and a must order.
The praise for La Chine begins and ends with the food though, because other aspects just don’t measure up.
The restaurant has all the ambience of a scrap metal yard with its cold obtrusive iron bars criss crossing across the main floor; the big bulbous lamp bulbs another eyesore.
Why couldn’t they just have given the floor an elegant treatment and then left it alone?
Two, the English level of the waitresses was embarrassingly poor. La Chine is located in what has become the central tourist attraction of the Cotai Strip, yet they struggled to string together a coherent English sentence. For a restaurant of this category and grade in Macau, it’s simply unacceptable.
Luckily for La Chine, people go to restaurants to eat so the food should always be the most important consideration. Fine infused French Chinese fusion was a big hit with me and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.
Bon appetit mes amis, 慢慢吃！