Saffron maintains Banyan Tree standard with signature tastes of Thailand
G115, G/F, Banyan Tree Macau, Galaxy Macau, Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Cotai, 853 8883 6061
Banyan Tree has earned a reputation for setting the benchmark for Thai hospitality, so you couldn't help but expect something special from its signature restaurant.
Located to the right of the main lobby, Saffron offers a calm and tranquil setting with warm woods decorated in lattice patterns, gold ornaments here and there, and an oriental simplicity that provides a welcoming atmosphere.
There's no sawadee kha or greetings in Thai but, aesthetically, it's the closest thing that Macau has to offer to feeling like you're dining in Thailand, the Land of Smiles. Seating is comfortably spaced, making it suitable for intimate dinners for two or large gatherings.
Our food was overseen by the capable hands of sous chef Chananya Chawengchote, a previous winner of Thailand's Ultimate Chef competition. The menu offers variety with delicacies from mostly northern regions.
We started with the Thai classic tom yum goong, which, with spicy river prawns, is a warming soup. We then opted for grilled pork neck served on its own mini grill complete with a flavoursome sauce on the side.
For the main we tried the braised chicken green curry complete with apple, aubergine and rice noodle. We requested a medium level of spiciness, which the kitchen was happy to accommodate.
If, like us, you have room for a dessert, then there's really no better way to finish off a traditional Thai meal than with mango sticky rice served with coconut ice cream. The portion size was just right to satisfy the need for something sweet without being too heavy.
The beverage list offers a wide selection of fresh juices, signature cocktails and red and white wines. The restaurant occasionally highlights bottles from Thailand - we sampled the 2011 Monsoon Valley from Chao Phraya, a light-bodied white that complemented our meal.
In addition to the à la carte menu (available weekdays for lunch and dinner), Saffron holds an all-you-can-eat buffet on the weekends "Flavours of Siam", priced at 458 patacas per person.