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Located within the windowless cavern of the casino at Sands Hotel and divided by a half wall partition, Golden Court is not exactly a place to visit for its ambience. The sounds of the casino and the occasional live shows reverberate through the space. The décor is old school Chinese, with plenty of red and swirled carpeting, pendant lights and vases of flowers, with shimmery red table runners set atop white linen. The atmosphere suggests that this is a restaurant where lingering is not considered an option.
Casinos are about luck and, sadly, this seems to be the case with Golden Court – some dishes are exceedingly good whilst others not. Golden Court Fried Rice is listed as a Chef Kan Special Dish, yet fails to exceed expectations with its rather ordinary medley of flavours. Barbecued pork fails to deliver completely, served marginally too cold and saturated in fat with a crackling that was soggy rather than crispy. Much better were the seasonal hairy crab xiao long bao, which were well made and the parcels luscious, however served in tinfoil cups cheapened the presentation and detracted from the experience. But we hit the jackpot with Golden Court’s classic crispy fried chicken, which was absolutely excellent. Deboned without asking by the chef, there is a feeling of pride in this creation that was missing from all other dishes. We enjoyed the succulent meat coated in a fine crispy skin, with every morsel a taste sensation.
A diverse range of wines that include many Chinese boutique vineyards is available. For the less adventurous, familiar new world wines are available by the bottle or the glass. A good selection of premium Chinese teas is available to complement the meal.
Indifference would be the best description for the service here – plates were seldom, tea cups never refilled and dishes presented in an ad hoc order with no introduction. Golden Court’s chefs deserve more respect for their food than the unpolished service.
Golden Court is not overly expensive if you factor in the quality and excellence of some dishes. A meal for two with premium tea and a glass of wine will cost around MOP1,200.