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Crown Towers’ signature French restaurant is a sparkling jewel box of a place, with icy-blue tones giving a cool edge to a luxuriously outfitted setting. We love the clean, crisp, contemporary look of the dining room – The dramatic light centrepiece of glowing baubles, hanging over a lavish display of chilled champagne, makes a bold statement: this is a place to indulge, in style. Request the loveseat by the window, which looks out over Cotai, if you’re looking for an intimate setting.
Frenchman Guillaume Galliot is at the head of the kitchen and, through the impeccable edible tableaux he creates, it’s hard not to envision a chef driven by the pursuit of perfection. The baguettes are hot and fresh, an amuse-bouche of mushroom soup with a foie gras dumpling buttery and satisfying, the petits fours presented with just as much ceremony as the mains. Everything is a reflection of Galliot’s skills, which teases out and showcases the most concentrated essence of the ingredients – a signature lobster nage, which arrives encased in a glass bowl, features the best bounty of the sea, the creamy sauce simultaneously rich and light. We love the acidity and the judicious use of fresh coriander, which sets the dish apart from the European culinary canon. But even when Galliot tackles iconic French dishes such as onion soup, he’s not content with colouring inside the lines. His version starts with deeply caramelised Roscoff onion marmalade, topped with a smooth onion ice cream and thin shavings of parmesan; the velvety onion soup is poured tableside and we’re encouraged to scoop up each element in one spoonful. The effect is sensational – the ice cream and soup create an exhilarating contrast in temperature, and the heat of the broth coaxes the cheese into melting submission. An autumnal dish of quail, too, is memorable – the breasts are roasted and the legs confit and spread on toast; a slick of golden pumpkin puree with a few pumpkin seeds adds a deliciously nutty note to proceedings. The desserts don’t waver either. A chocolate banana millefeuille is perfectly judged with its crisp layers and expertly tempered dark chocolate that snaps satisfyingly at the tap of a fork. The cocoa sorbet on top is bitter enough to contrast with the sweetness of the fruit.
The City of Dreams master wine list is a joy to peruse, with its wide-reaching selection and, for serious oenophiles, the impressive vertical of first growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild (available for a cool MOP1,980,000). An inspired wine pairing goes with each of the dishes in the degustation, expertly explained with just the right amount of detail – the key tasting notes are deftly summarised and, more importantly, the reasons why they were chosen to go with the dish at hand are convincingly conveyed.
With a mixture of conviviality and professionalism of the highest standard, the service comes as polished as the cutlery. Staff are all smiles and smooth gestures, possessing sound knowledge of the menu and all of its secrets.
A four-course degustation for two with wine pairing and service will come to around MOP2,600 – for the quality of the cooking, the service, and the beautiful setting this is a fair price to pay. An eight-course tailor-made chef’s menu is also available for MOP2,588 with wine pairings.