Well, I don't know about you... But if someone tells me they'll bring me to a Michelin-starred restaurant, I'll just have to be flexible. Like, eat gluten even when I'm on a paleo diet, or even go all-carnivorous even when I'm a vegetarian. Umm, not that I am. But I'm sure you already get the point. I just can't pass up an opportunity like this.
So what makes Jade Dragon so special?
Located on the second level of Crown Towers, Jade Dragon is the second restaurant from City of Dreams Macau to be included in the Michelin Guide to Hong Kong & Macau. What's more impressive is that Jade Dragon received its Michelin star just last year, after only a year of operation. It has also been included in the Top 20 Best Restaurants of 2014 in Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants guide, ranking 6th place.
Just like what you'd expect from a fine-dining Cantonese restaurant, Jade Dragon is beautifully and lavishly decorated. Every space I laid my eyes upon seemed to be glowing and picture-perfect. But since this is a fine-dining restaurant, I didn't want to disrupt other diners with my camera's shutter. So yes, I didn't get to take photos of the place.
*Interior photos by Blueplates Studios.
The Unforgettable Cantonese Lunch
If there's one thing I always look forward to at the beginning of a meal in a Chinese restaurant, it'd be the tea. And from a restaurant of this caliber, Jade Dragon doesn't offer just any mediocre tea variant. The place actually carries a really interesting selection, of which the Rose Tea and Lychee Tea intrigued me enough to order them.
Call me greedy, but I just had to get these two variants to go along with my lunch! And unlike most rose teas I've had in the past, Jade Dragon's had a really smooth and subtle rose note that oozes with finesse. The lychee variant was also impressive. Light, subtly fruity, aromatic and refreshing, this is the kind of tea I wish I can drink everyday! I also noted how my cup was never empty for more than 2 minutes. Refill is very fast. Bravo!
|✓ Rose Tea and ✓ Lychee Tea|
Moving on, we were then served with this trio of Jade Dragon's exquisite specialties. The Iberico Barbecue Pork was so tender, so succulent, and had a beautiful, slightly sweet-savory charred flavor with subtle notes of lychee from roasting it over lychee wood. If there's a pork barbecue God, then this is probably his gift to humanity!
|✓ Iberico Barbecue Pork, ✓ Steamed Signature Live Tiger Prawn Dumpling|
and ✓ Baked Turnip Puff with Yunnan Ham
The Steamed Signature Live Tiger Prawn Dumpling is also a winner in my book. So pretty and obviously meticulously-prepared, this chartreuse-colored dumpling is super enjoyable, with a soft yet slightly chewy wrapper and juicy, plump tiger prawn filling that will make even a non-seafood lover, grin in satisfaction from ear to ear. The piece of gold sheet on the dumpling also adds luxury and a one-of-a-kind experience. Just who eats a dumpling with gold anyway? Well, we did! *teehee*
And while the Baked Turnip Puff with Yunnan Ham doesn't look like much on the plate, it's actually another item I really loved. The turnip-ham filling inside had a subtle sweetness that was just refreshing on the palate. But more than the enjoyable filling, what I was really into was the casing -- light, airy, puffy and quite flaky. If only all the rolls and buns in the world can have this kind of addicting exterior!
We then had the Hot and Sour Soup with Hairy Crabmeat next. If you've been a reader way back when I just started blogging, you probably already know that hot and sour soup is a staple when I'm in a Chinese restaurant. But what sets this bowl apart from the ones I had in Manila, was the intensity of flavors. Although the first few plates exuded such sophisticated flavors that show a lot of subtlety and restraint, the chef didn't hesitate packing this bowl of soup with flavor -- rich, (about level 6 to 7) spicy and beautifully sour, with lots of seafood goodness plus a fun quail egg. Just the way I like it.
|✓ Hot and Sour Soup with Hairy Crabmeat (MOP 228)|
Don't let this close-up shot of the Stir-Fried Prawns with Lobster Bisque fool you. That 2-headed prawn flower is not in any way small, I tell 'ya! A size larger than a big, chunky scallop, this dish, I can say, is one of the best preparation of prawn I've had in my whole life. Super plump, super juicy, super tender with a super enjoyable bite, this prawn is just spectacular! I'd actually still gladly eat it on its own, but the smooth and refined flavor of the lobster bisque makes the whole dish even more seafoodgasmic!
|✓ Stir-Fried Prawns with Lobster Bisque (MOP 198)|
Normally, I don't gush over rice. However, the Fried Rice with Azuaga Iberico Ham and Diced Vegetables is so good, you can eat it on its own and still be happy. Rice -- plump and cooked perfectly, had a really enjoyable savory note. The Iberco ham and dried shrimps even added more salty and umami-tastic flavors. Seriously, I still can't believe how Jade Dragon can make even rice taste this good! Now I want this at home!
|✓ Fried Rice with Azuaga Iberico Ham and Diced Vegetables (MOP 148)|
Seemingly more Western than Oriental in presentation, this dish fell a little short for me. Not that I'm not a fan of vegetables, 'cause I am, but the beautifully structured leafy veggie, quinoa, ham and corn kernels in melon is a little too subtle for my taste. Even with the pumpkin chicken broth that was enjoyable by the way, I still think the dish as a whole is too safe compared to the previous plates of awesomeness.
|Braised Vegetable in Melon Ring, Azuaga Ham and Quinoa with Pumpkin Chicken Broth|
For dessert, we had a bowl each of Double-Boiled Pear with Fritillaria and Apricots. I'm usually not a fan of soup-like Chinese desserts, but with the mention of pear and apricots -- two fruits I really love, I knew right off the bat I'd enjoy this. And I wasn't wrong at all! Despite being a warm dessert, every spoonful was very satisfying. Slightly sweet, fruity, and with fruits and a flower that make the taste and texture more interesting.
|Double-Boiled Pear with Fritillaria and Apricots|
Since one dessert was not enough to end a meal this magnificent, we were still served with this ensemble of Petite Fours (which is complimentary when you dine at Jade Dragon) -- truffles, macarons, jellies, steamed custard buns, and green tea, lemon and milk tea ice cream in mini cones which were fantastic! And here I thought complimentary anything in restaurants means less than amazing... I was proven wrong!
|✓ Petit Fours|
When it comes to rating restaurants, I find giving 3s and 4s very easy. It's the exact opposite when giving a 5 though, as I rarely rate anything a perfect score. However, my experience at Jade Dragon easily warrants the highest rating I can give. From the very lavish and tasteful ambiance, to the thoughtful and very attentive service... And how can I not mention the exquisite, meticulously-prepared food that only uses high quality ingredients? To say that this has been a great meal is an understatement. This is probably the best meal I've had in two years, so far.
And while dining at Jade Dragon can easily set one back MOP 1,500 or P8,400 (though the food and experience can justify the price), I can definitely say with confidence that I won't let this be my first and last time at Jade Dragon. On our (the beau and I) nth anniversary, we'll definitely celebrate here. So Jade Dragon, I shall return!
Taste - 5/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 4.5/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 4.5/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4.5/5
Jade Dragon, Crown Towers Hotel
Level 2 Crown Towers Hotel, City of Dreams Macau
Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau, China
(853) 8868 2822
COD Macau Website
Posted in: cantonese macau, china, chinese, city of dreams, city of dreams macau, crown towers macau, food, hotel restaurant, jade dragon, michelin star restaurant