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With gilded paper adorning the walls and comfortably spaced seating, it’s hard to fault the setting of Zi Yat Heen. Good flow and circulation, as well as double-height ceilings within the restaurant, provide diners with an elegant and refined atmosphere to dine on some of the city’s best Cantonese cuisine.
The traditional trio of XO, soy and chilli bean sauces are presented before feasting begins. To start our meal, we order a thick crabmeat soup with egg white and a double-boiled chicken soup with snow fungus and matsutake mushrooms. Each of the soups were beautifully balanced and nicely seasoned, but the crabmeat soup was the clear winner, with generous amounts of crabmeat lending the soup a more complex flavour profile and silky texture. The cut of the barbecued pork doused in sweet honey is extremely tender, and the usually casual dish is elevated with a combination of spices created by the restaurant’s head chef, Patrick Lee. A restaurant speciality, the pigeon fillet with Yunnan ham does not disappoint. The unexpected pairing of thinly sliced pigeon fillet with breaded Yunnan ham makes for a delightfully unique dish. The sweetness of the ham balances the salty tones of the pigeon sautéed in traditional Cantonese style. We finish our meal with a recommendation from our waiter: glutinous rice dumplings with egg custard, which arrived warm, with the custard filling close to melted in the centre. Overall, the food is excellently executed and proves its worth with unique flavour pairings and finesse with seasonings.
Being at the Four Seasons almost guarantees an excellent wine list full of bottles from around the world spanning various price ranges. As if its floor-to-ceiling wine cellar in the centre of the restaurant isn’t evidence enough of the restaurant’s love of pairing Chinese food with wine, the sommelier’s extensive knowledge may drive the point home. There is also an elaborate selection of specialty Chinese teas: the traditional pu-er we sampled was delicate and aromatic.
From start to finish, service at the restaurant was near flawless. Our server was consistently attentive, pleasant and willing to make some recommendations when we felt at a bit of a loss with the lengthy menu. No need goes unnoticed by the well-trained staff at the restaurant.
A delicious and filling meal for two, including a special Chinese tea or selection from the wine list, comes to around MOP$1,500. Although we ordered a la carte, be aware that set menus for the restaurant start at around MOP$1,200 per person, but Zi Yat Heen’s tranquil atmosphere, impeccable service and flavourful food make it worth returning for.