Past and present

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 July, 2004, 12:00am

The Mandarin Oriental in Macau has opened two outlets decorated respectively in the styles of a colonial Portuguese home and an Italian villa. The Portuguese-inspired Cafe Bela Vista (right) and the refurbished Mezzaluna Italian restaurant are on the second floor of the hotel (956-1110 Avenida da Amizade, Macau).

Cafe Bela Vista is reminiscent of the much-missed Hotel Bela Vista, the 19th-century mansion on Macau's Colina da Penha that is now the residence of the Portuguese consul-general. The interior has dark wooden floors, mosaic tiling, columns and a veranda complete with ceiling fans and wicker chairs. In the open kitchen and at cooking stations, chefs make a variety of Asian and European dishes. There is a daily continental breakfast buffet ($145), an executive lunch buffet from Monday to Saturday ($130), a Sunday lunch buffet ($190) and a seafood dinner buffet from Friday to Sunday ($230). The a la carte menu includes Portuguese lobster soup ($70), pan-fried veal liver served with sauteed onions and red-vinegar gravy (below left; $140), marinated Tasmanian salmon with lime and mixed sesame dressing ($110) and a selection of hamburgers and sandwiches (from $70 to $95). The dessert sampler (below right; $90) includes marble cheesecake, blueberry New York cheesecake, vanilla panacotta, raspberry tartlet, rich chocolate tart and chocolate orange cake. Cafe Bela Vista is open 24 hours a day except Thursday when it closes at midnight.

After three months of renovation work, a now-modern Mezzaluna, complete with a wine room with more than 1,000 wines from around the world, has opened its Tuscan-villa-style doors. In an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven, Italian chef Igor Bocchia blends dishes from different regions of Italy. The menu includes sea bass and seafood papillote with clam and basil emulsion served with green beans tossed in truffle oil ($170), crawfish marinated in lime with julienne of vegetables and crispy pancetta ($85), lamb loin and Colonnata lard skewers with gorgonzola, pear crisps and honey balsamico reduction ($245), and honey and white truffle parfait with a spiced brown sugar sauce ($65). Mezzaluna is open from 12.30pm to 3pm and 6.30pm to 11pm. It is closed on Mondays. Call the Mandarin Oriental Macau on 853 567 888 for reservations.