Set inside one of the most splendid casino complex in Macau, Pak Loh has the same kind of energy as the casino. The warm and understated décor is familiar to those who have visited this high-end Chiuchow restaurant chain in Hong Kong. The velvet seats lend a sense of style and luxury and offer a cosy and inviting environment for diners. Tables are separated by wooden carved shields, so diners can enjoy dining in their own compartment and conversations can be kept private. Yet the restaurant has a problem with the noise level as the dining hall is open to slot machines and gambling tables. For a more formal and intimate meal, diners can escape to the eight private rooms with effective sound insulation to stay away from deafening music and noise from the casino.
Pak Loh’s menu offers the most conventional yet delicious taste of Chiuchow cuisine. Chilled red spotted crab is a house speciality. As in most Chinese restaurant, diners can go up to the seafood counter and pick their favourite crabs. The crab meat is fresh and succulent and matches perfectly with the appetising dip. Marinated sliced goose meat is another house special, accompanied by spongy marinated beancurd and kidney, it is an abundant and juicy dish. The marinated foie gras, however, is less successful as the taste of foie gras does not match very well and its texture becomes mushy after the marination. Instead, opt for a comforting bowl of traditional Chiuchow congee, enriched by large chunks of meats and succulent baby oyster. The crispy noodle served with sugar and vinegar is a delightful surprise with crunchy yet not greasy noodles and very balanced seasoning. If there is room, try the sweetened mashed taro with gingko, a nutty note to end the meal.
Pak Loh’s wine list opens with ten choices of Chinese wines including aged mou tai. The rest of the wine list is quite standard with a variety of price ranges of wines, champagnes and there are nine wines by the glass. However we were told by the restaurant manager that the master wine list complied by Master of Wine Jeannie Cho-Lee for the Galaxy complex is not available here.
Service overall is amiable and efficient, and our teacups are never empty. However it can be difficult to get any attention at times as the shield blocks the sight of the staff. And when the place is full of patrons, you may need to throw your voice across the noisy dining hall to call for service.
Pak Loh is very good value for money for a quick meal with classic Chiuchow congee and goose meat. But the bill can rise if seafood delicacy such as chilled crab or abalone is ordered.