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An attempt to create an outdoor courtyard environment almost succeeds but the overly crowded grouping of tables confuses the setting; the marble bridge over water should be the centre piece but once across diners are often sent to windlowless rooms devoid of any charm; guests seated in the main area benefit from a large window overlooking the dramatic centre piece of the Casino’s floating diamond; tables are adorned with crisp white linen tablecloths and expected cutlery that would look better if not chipped. High ceilings create drama but the overall effect is one of confusion rather than style.
Two vast menus are offered with numerous added sheets of special dishes; presented on laminated fold-out cards with picture displays of the food is convenient; an extensive dim sum menu presents all the expected tastes and are executed with acceptable ability but lacking any special taste sensation; a house speciality of roasted peking duck was disappointing in both presentation and taste; a request for finely sliced was met with heavy chunks of skin and flesh scattered over prawn crackers that were toasted a degree too far; stodgy pancakes and an unremarkable hoisin sauce made for a chewy mouthful; a second course of duck minced and served with lettuce was better however a zealous use of chilli destroyed any chance for the flavour of the duck to shine; kailan served with garlic was pleasant but would have benefitted from some better trimming before serving. Laurel’s diverse menu will always offer want people want, but quantity has been offered at the cost of quality.
A limited range is offered from the restuarant wine list; the master wine list of the hotel can also be produced for a more extensive selection; a large range of teas are offered.
Laurel is not a restaurant where the elegance of service has been either taught or learnt; an almost impossible task of getting a waitresses attention is met with complete ignorance of the menu and a need to repeat an order several times; when dishes do arrive they are dumped on to the table with no explanation; plates were not removed when dirty and only when serving oneself tea did a waitress arrive to wrestle the teapot from you; a complete inability to speak English is not acceptable in a restaurant where guests arrive from around the world. Dire service needs improving.
Dim sum lunches will cost around MOP450 with dinner for two costing MOP900+; for food of this quality and service so poor, it is not good value.