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The signature restaurant of Hotel Okura Macau has moved upwards to the 28th floor where guests can enjoy the sweeping views of Macau. The well-thought out interior is a marriage of minimalistic and traditional design style with modern aesthetic, best exemplified by the bright silver and white colour palettes, the use of light wood and thick plush carpet. Given the rather intimate space, the designer has cleverly placed lattice screen partitions and set up a private room to allow for more private experiences. The glistening light fixtures modelled into sakura also adds mesmerising Japanese glamour to the setting. Guests who prefer a more interactive culinary journey can choose to sit at the sushi counter.
We visited the restaurant while it was still in the soft opening period. Executive chef Akira Hayashi is best known for preparing Japanese cuisine such as sushi and Kaiseki ryōri so it comes as no surprise that the menu contains a number of gozen sets, kaiseki sets and a la carte options. Guest can choose a main course of either sashimi, sushi, tempura prawn or grilled fish in the gozen sets. The nigiri sushi gozen set we ordered is aesthetically pleasing. Our meal started with a daily delicacy of pickles, which packs some much-needed tanginess to whet our appetite while retaining the natural flavour of the ingredients. The salad strikes the right balance between acidity and saltiness, with sesame dressing drizzled atop crunchy vegetables and fruits. The five pieces of sushi perfectly demonstrates the exquisite craftsmanship of the chef. The sushi rice is nicely seasoned with the right amount of vinegar acidity while the texture is firm enough so that it would not fall apart easily, while the seafood is unforgettably fresh. We also enjoyed the simmered head of wild sea bream with lotus root and carrots, with the delicate and soft fish head absorbing the sweetness of the dense soy-based sauce. We ended our meal with a very appetising melange of Japanese-imported melon, pear and peach perched atop some sweet jelly for dessert.
The sake menu is neatly sorted into categories such as Junmai Daiginjo, Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo, with detailed trilingual (Chinese, English and Japanese) descriptions and origin prefecture, including a selection of award-winning sakes. We ordered a glass of Rien nashi no sake as liqueur, which won the title of gold monde selection 2009, and has extremely pleasant pear flavours and a lingering aftertaste of sweetness.
Service is generally unobtrusive and efficient. Servers are able to explain individual components in the set lunch when it is served. Sake connoisseurs should definitely have a chat with the sommelier, who is very patient and knowledgeable.
A lunch for two with a glass of sake each will hit around the MOP1,500 mark. Given the quality of food, the stunning interior, and the polite service, we find this price acceptable.