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  • Dec 28, 2014
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DISHING it out

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2011, 12:00am

MACAU

HEALTH CONSCIOUS

Wynn Macau is on a health kick - all of its restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan dishes. Creating dishes without meat, eggs, dairy or animal products tested the chefs. At Wing Lei, the smoked bean curd sheet rolls with mushroom and carrot are beautiful. Okada's vegetable tempura is standard, and the American tomato salad has a soy and wasabi dressing. Golden Flower's Tang cuisine offers appetisers (above) including small tofu cubes and cucumber wrapped around julienne peppers and carrots. At Il Teatro, there's the eggplant with mozzarella and herb ricotta cheese. BC

Wynn Macau
Rua Cicade di Sintra, Nape
(853) 2888 9966
www.wynnmacau.com

NORTHERN DELIGHTS

The Venetian Macao adds another restaurant to its stable. North is a northern Chinese eatery located right next to the casino floor. For appetisers, the marinated mung bean noodles, shredded pork and vegetables has a subtle kick from the mustard oil in the spicy sesame sauce. Dumpling fans will enjoy the extensive selection of jiaozi. Diners will like old favourites such as old Beijing noodles with condiments. Don't forget to try the dessert of deep-fried banana with pulled sugar (above). BC

North
Shop 1015, Venetian Macao
(853) 8118 9980
www.venetianmacao.com

CLASSIC TWIST

This Cantonese restaurant is a lovely open space with floor-to-ceiling windows and surrounded by a City of Dreams water feature with private rooms upstairs. Chef Tam Kwok-fung had a Michelin star at Altira before moving to COD and it is easy to sense his skills when dining here. Take just one chicken dish that is an adaptation of a classic recipe in which hay and clay are combined to form a crust for baking. Here, the 'hay' is thyme and dried fennel stalks thrown in a hot, dry wok. The cooking is 100 per cent Cantonese - with a twist on flavour and presentation. AJ

Treasure Palace
Level 1, City of Dreams, Estrada Do Istmo
Cotai, Macau
(853) 8868 6636
www.cityofdreamsmacau.com

GOOD TIMES

Miramar was a sad and lonely place which closed down, but has re-emerged as a widely popular Portuguese restaurant on Hac Sa beach. It is slightly shabby, not unlike many beach restaurants, but this is a delightful spot. There's a large terrace, and lots of dishes to share such as cataplana and seafood rice. In fact, portion sizes are generally large, so don't dine alone. Staples such as beef croquettes, codfish balls and chourico are really the business and, unusually for Portuguese restaurants, there's even some choice for vegetarians - rice and beans is super. AJ

Miramar
Zona Norte da Praia de Hac Sa,
Coloane, Macau (near Westin)
(853) 2888 2623

PICTURE PERFECT

Tranquility in Cotai, surely not? This restaurant is a fabulous achievement, all gorgeous muted tones with lovely design features (one private table for 12 is a single slab of trunk) and overlooking a Japanese garden. Little surprise that the dishes are beautifully presented and, beyond the flatware itself, the variety of colours, shapes and textures of dishes, even in the modestly priced set lunch, is inspiring (no doubt the kaiseki is out of this world). The ? la carte menu is compact and, besides sushi and sashimi and tempura, features simple but always appealing choices such as grilled cod (above) in miso, egg custard, and fried rice cakes. AJ

Yamazato
2/F 200, Hotel Okura Macau. Galaxy Macau
Cotai, Macau
(853) 8883 5127
www.hotelokuramacau.com

SHENZHEN

TIME FOR A REVAMP

This stylish Italian eatery is revamping and expanding its menu this month, moving away from a regional focus to a wider geographic spread that will now cover the entire country. The new menu is more detailed, more varied, and bigger in terms of choices, says Paletto's manager Michele Cantini. The emphasis will remain on traditional fare with a modern twist. When it comes to soups, classic Italian favourites, such as minestrone, lobster and mushroom, will continue. There will be lots of tasty antipasti (the beef carpaccio, above, is recommended). But there will be more fresh seafood options, and several vegetarian dishes will be added. A word to the wise: you don't have to stick to the menu. Diners are encouraged to ask for their favourite dish, and the kitchen will do its best to meet your request. MT

Paletto
The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen
2nd Floor, 116, Fuhua San Road
Futian District, Shenzhen
(86 755) 2222-2222
www.ritzcarlton.com
Average food cost: YYY-YYYY

DINING IN STYLE

Don't let the Spanish name confuse you. The InterContinental Hotel in Shenzhen has a Spanish theme, and its Chinese restaurant, El Chino, means 'the Chinese man' in Spanish. This is a stylish eatery, decorated with a stunning collection of Chinese art. It serves arguably some of the best Cantonese cuisine in town. Dim sum ranges from spring rolls, har gow and siu mai to such creative offerings such as Chinese pancakes with spring onions and bacon. There is an al fresco seating area overlooking the hotel's beautifully landscaped grounds. El Chino is open for lunch and dinner. The hotel also has Brazilian, French, Thai and -not surprisingly- Spanish restaurants. MT

El Chino Chinese Restaurant
InterContinental Shenzhen
Floor L, Overseas Chinese Town
Nan Shan District, Shenzhen
(86 755) 3399 3388
www.ichotelsgroup.com
Average food cost: YY-YYY

HIDDEN GEMS

From the pink crystal beaded curtains to the diamond shaped wooden bar, this eatery is reminiscent of an aristocrat's crystal jewellery box. An extensive menu focuses on Cantonese and Sichuanese cuisines. The thinly sliced pork and shredded carrots with homemade sauce was presented on a miniature Chinese clothes line. The steamed rice in countryside style came in a straw basket. Grilled shrimp with green and red chillies was served on skewers. The Sichuan-style noodles, also known as dan dan mian, had the right texture - and the right amount of numbing pepper. The highlights were the shredded chicken cool noodles and the fried rice in Yangzhou style. But the skins of the jiaozi, or dumplings, were too thick and the fillings lacked nuance. MT

South Beauty at Yi Tian Holiday Plaza
Building L3-2-3, Yitian Holiday Plaza
No. 9028 Shennan Road
Nanshan District, Shenzhen
(86 55) 8629 8336/9
http://en.southbeautygroup.com
Average food cost: Y-YYY

GUANGZHOU

MEAL WITH A VIEW

Located atop the twin towers of the Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, G Restaurant affords stunning views of the Guangzhou New City Central Axis. The Mediterranean-inspired menu is prepared in an open kitchen with wood fired ovens. It features everything from gourmet pizzas to pasta and risotto to premium seafood. For starters, the scallop tart with Mediterranean vegetables and field greens was delicious. You won't go wrong with the salmon tartar with lemon sour cream, pine nuts and red radish (above). The spring pea soup with crispy ham had a garden freshness. For mains, it was a toss up between the wagyu sirloin, the lychee wood-roasted, 200 days grain-fed tenderloin, and the grilled black cod with asparagus and saffron veloute. Save room for dessert. The caramelised banana tart with almond brittle, and chocolate chip ice cream were sublime. MT

G Restaurant
Grand Hyatt Guangzhou
No. 12 Zhujiang West Road, Pearl River New City
Tianhe District, Guangzhou
(86 20) 8396 1234
www.guangzhou.grand.hyatt.com
Average food cost: YYY-YYYY

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

A fine-dining Cantonese restaurant, Lai Heen offers the best of both worlds. Partial partitions and diaphanous curtains give the aura of privacy without cutting diners off from the rest of the tastefully furnished dining room. A highlight is the innovative tea-pairing menu, which the hotel believes is the only menu of its type in the country. Each dish is not only paired with a specific tea, the same tea is also used in the preparation of the dish. The clear winner was sauteed wagyu beef French style paired with rose tea. This prime beef would put most of Hong Kong's best steakhouses to shame. MT

Lai Heen
The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou
No. 3 Xing An Road, Pearl River New City
Tianhe District, Guangzhou
(86 20) 3813 8315
www.ritzcarlton.com
Average food cost: YYY-YYYY

BOUNTY OF SEAFOOD

Located atop the Garden Hotel on the 30th floor, The Carousel affords panoramic views of Guangzhou's Yuexiu district. Popular with local families, it serves up a bounty of fresh seafood. There are stations serving caviar, sashimi and all manner of shellfish. Noodle and sushi bars prepare dishes to order. There are also plenty of non-seafood offerings in the surf and turf buffet. Interestingly, a breaded pork cutlet with cheese and the potato salad were particularly tasty. Disappointing were the fruit juices and iced teas, which were obviously out of containers rather than freshly prepared. MT

The Carousel - Buffet Restaurant
The Garden Hotel, Guangzhou
368 Huanshi Dong Lu, Guangzhou
(86 20) 8333 8989 ext 3996
www.thegardenhotel.com.cn
Average food cost: YYYY

PEARL RIVER DELTA

HITTING THE MARK

Brazilian barbecue, known as churrasco in Portuguese, features grilled meats served on skewers. Churrascorias have become popular throughout the mainland, but few of them really hit the mark. An exception is the Ole Ole Restaurant & Bar, which serves authentic Brazilian- style barbecue prepared live in an open kitchen (left). Balance your protein fix at the extensive salad bar, and save room for some of those calorific Brazilian offerings at the dessert bar. After dinner, mosey on over to the bar, where you can sway to Latin rhythms, savour stylish cocktails, and puff on fine Cuban cigars. MT

Ole Ole Restaurant & Bar
Level 6, InterContinental Hotel Foshan
20 Denghu East Road, Nanhai District
Foshan, Guangdong
(86 757) 8626 8888
www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental
Average food cost: YY-YYY

VARIED FARE

This contemporary eatery serves food from around the world in relaxed surroundings. Buffets are popular with locals, but you can also order off an extensive international menu. Signature dishes include Italian-style minestrone soup, charcoal-grilled herbed vegetables with zucchini, eggplant, onions, mushroom and bell pepper served with garlic olive dressing, and baked cod with almond crust served with baked potato and tomato coulis. MT

Cafe Plus
Level 2, East Wing, Shangri-La hotel
16 Qi Wan Road North Eastern Area
Zhongshan, Guangdong
(86 760) 8838 6888 ext 6110
www.shangri-la.com
Average food cost: YY-YYY

TASTY TREATS

For delicious Japanese fare, you can't beat Cuisine Japan, one of six outlets at the Good View Hotel on the outskirts of Dongguan. A casual bistro serving freshly made sushi and sashimi, savoury noodles and rice dishes, it is popular with locally based and visiting Japanese businessmen. But the real highlight is the open teppanyaki kitchen, where dishes are prepared in front of you. Many of the eateries have outside seating -perfect for those sunny summer afternoons and balmy evenings. MT

Cuisine Japan
3/F, main wing, Goodview Hotel Tangxia
Yingbin Avenue Tangxia
Dongguan, Guangdong
(86 769) 8729 9333
www.goodviewhotel.com
Average food cost: YY-YYY

KEY

Y - MOST DISHES BELOW 50 YUAN (HK$53)
YY - MOST DISHES BELOW 100 YUAN
YYY - MOST DISHES BELOW 150 YUAN
YYYY - MANY DISHES/MAIN COURSES MORE THAN 150 YUAN

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