Awarded the coveted Michelin Star two years in a row, The Tasting Room By Galliot promises nothing short of a gastronomic adventure. Helmed by Chef Guillaume Galliot who strongly believes in purity, The Tasting Room's menu pays homage to nature, a celebration of tastes where every mouthful is a revelation, every element meticulously orchestrated to surprise and exhilarate. And this is just what I experienced after spending dinner at this Forbes Travel Guide and Hong Kong Tatler-recognized restaurant.
Located at the 3rd level of Crown Towers Macau, guests of The Tasting Room are first greeted with a line of wine caves by a lounge area -- seating perfect for small bites and a few glasses of wine. Then, there's the circular main dining area framed by dangling ropes of sort. It definitely won't take long before one's eyes meet the dining room's focal point, the simple yet very elegant hanging lights in the center. And while I think I would've enjoyed sitting by the lounge which has a nice view of the Cotai Strip and its skyline through their floor-to-ceiling windows, our group was seated in the spacious and warmly-lit main dining room. A sign that we're up for some serious nomming action.
|Love the hanging lights in the center of the dining room!|
|Here's another photo of the dining area; grabbed from dining.macau.com|
Though I haven't been to a lot of French restaurants, I still welcome the idea of amuse bouches -- single, bite-sized appetizers to amuse and ready the palate. And while this fried cheese amuse bouche was not something my palate would remember for long, it was still quite successful in whetting my appetite. And just look at those mini glass skewers! Aren't they cute? I swear, I wanted to take them home!
|Fried cheese amuse bouche|
We were also served with these cheese and sausage hors d'oeuvre. They may not be something my palate will yearn for, but they sure had my eyes whetted. It was a different story with the complimentary housemade bread though. I've always been picky with my bread, but this piece definitely had me wanting for more. Paired with a serving of their artisan Bordier butter, I tell you, you'll shamelessly be asking for seconds!
|Cheese and sausage hors d'oeuvre, and housemade bread with Bordier butter|
Last among the amuse bouches is this serving of octopus ham. If you've been a long-time reader, you'd know how much I love my octopus. And with sea urchin thrown in, how could I resist? Among the amuse bouches, this is definitely the one that successfully amused my senses. Now, let's get to the main dishes!
|✓ Octopus ham with tomatoes and sea urchin amuse bouche|
To really start off our dinner with a bang, we were served with this beautifully-poached egg topped with truffle shavings and a golden flake in a wild mushroom emulsion. I might have eaten quite a few golden flakes in Macau, but this is definitely one of my most favorite gold-infused dishes. The egg was pillowy soft and so creamy. It blended beautifully in the light yet flavorful foam. While the ensemble itself is already very satisfying on its own, it also comes with a serving of a mini ham and cheese toast.
|✓ The golden egg, Tasmanian winter truffle and wild mushrooms|
Wine Pairing: Sancerre Domaine Vacheron
I love food with a twist. However, never in my wildest imagination did I think I'll encounter such a dish like this one. In the bowl is an onion cake sitting on a thick and flavorful stock, then topped with a tuile and a delicate scoop of onion ice cream. Yup, you've read that right! ICE CREAM. This dish is a marriage of not just contrasting textures, but also of contrasting temperatures. It first gave my palate a shock when the cold ice cream melded with the piping hot broth. However, this is a creative and inspiring modern take on onion soup you ought not to miss at The Tasting Room by Galliot.
|✓ Contemporary Onion Soup|
Wine Pairing: Domaine F. E. Trimbach
For protein, we had this serving of medium rare lamb. While I'm normally a sucker for lamb, I thought this dish wasn't as flavorful as how it could have been. And unlike the previous dishes that wowed me, this was just okay. Tender and subtly-flavored lamb that can be considered pretty good if it were to come out from a non-Michelin Star restaurant.
|Slow-cooked lamb rack, rosemary aroma, piperade and argan oil|
Wine Pairing: Santenay 1er Cru "La Comme"
This dessert more than made up for the lackluster lamb dish. It might not be an overly complex ensemble that will blow your mind, but this chocolate-banana goodness can definitely make one ooh and ahh in pleasure, just like it did with me. The smooth cocoa sorbet on top was already a treat on its own, but eaten with the crisp-thin chocolate, the bananas, and the chewy and crunchy base, you'll be sent straight to chocolate bliss!
|✓ Chocolate banana mille-fuille with variation of textures, cocoa sorbet|
Wine Pairing: Ben Ryé Donnafugata
I also have to mention that this dessert with the sweet and crisp Ben Ryé was my favorite of all the food and wine pairings we had that night. It was just perfect!
|The perfect sweet ending!|
If you'll look at the portion of food, you won't think I got full from this dinner. However, the service was so well paced that the food got to "cook" in my tummy course after course. My brain also successfully processed every mouthful, unlike when I'm hastily chomping down dish after dish without pause. Flavors were mostly bold as well, which definitely had my palate "full" in no time. ( ˘▽˘)っ♨
This is definitely a dinner to remember. Even the macaron that came with my tea was splendid! However, I wish the complimentary sweets at the end were presented better...
After experiencing a gastronomic adventure at The Tasting Room by Galliot, I can definitely say that it deserves its Michelin Star. There were dishes that had me really impressed, from the creativity, taste and presentation. They just showed that Chef Guillaume Galliot is truly an artist that took classic French dishes and successfully transformed them to playful and whimsical modern European creations. However, there were also dishes that didn't stand out. They might be good even for fine dining level. But come on! Who wouldn't expect perfection from a Michelin star restaurant?
The good news though is that, for a highly-acclaimed restaurant, The Tasting Room delivers good value. Good to excellent food, impressive wine list, wonderful ambiance, and service that's prompt, thoughtful and familiar (Yay for Filipino staff!) with price tags that although may put a hole in the pocket (about MOP 2,000 or P11,250 for a 3-course meal for two), will surely not break off an arm and a leg.
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
The Tasting Room, Crown Towers Hotel
Level 3 Crown Towers Hotel, City of Dreams Macau
Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau, China
(853) 8868 6681
COD Macau Website
Posted in: city of dreams, city of dreams macau, crown towers macau, european, fine dining, food, French, hotel restaurant, michelin star restaurant, the tasting room