Have you always dreamed of a summer holiday in Paris?
Want to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower and eat innovative meals at French restaurants? And yet also wonder how you will find Asian food while on the road?
Well, now you can have the best of both worlds – no travel required.
Bonjour et bienvenue à La Chine, located within The Parisian Macao’s famous Eiffel Tower.
The black and white marble walkway that leads from the hotel to La Chine builds anticipation for the French-Chinese experience to come.
The restaurant’s interiors ooze industrial chic, with elegant tables and warm globe light fixtures set within the tower’s steel girders.
Most popular are the window tables with views of the Cotai Strip, which are best experienced as the sun goes down, just as the neon lights are starting to illuminate the night sky.
However, chef Chung Kuy Fai’s dishes will compete for your attention, too.
His new menu provides fascinating reading, presenting a combination of two of the most influential cuisines in the world.
Warning: there is no scanning this work of art as each dish description comes with a twist of a surprise.
Where else could you get “suckling pig éclair” foie gras char siu, or “canard à l’orange” with black pepper sauce, and French oysters with Sichuan pepper sorbet?
Chung is clearly passionate about innovation, perhaps because the Malaysian from Sarawak was born in his father’s restaurant – literally.
He grew up while absorbing the tricks of the trade by osmosis and aims to make his father proud, perhaps because he is inspired by his previous roles in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong and numerous provinces in mainland China.
Whatever his motivation, creating his latest menu took more than three months of testing and tasting with his team.
Ten different barbecue pork recipes, numerous chickens for the perfect crispiness, and the texture and taste of skin and filling for the golden fish dim sum resulted from his exacting standards.
“We were working morning to night to get the golden fish dumpling right,” Chung says. “We experiment a lot, like scientists.”
The fusion of East and West demands a constant reinvention of culinary traditions that take their influences from destinations and ingredients.
“I often use Chinese recipes to cook European produce, or French recipes for Chinese ingredients,” says Chung, whose plating is definitely Western.
Two tasting menus bring the best of his inventions together.
The French Discovery Menu includes more fusion dishes, while the La Chine Grand Tour leans more towards Chinese cuisine.
À la carte, dim sum also includes his renowned crab curry xiaolongbao, and the “Eiffel Seafood Tower” is a spectacular starter, while “Buddha jumps over the Eiffel Tower soup” is a play on the traditional Chinese dish with the addition of Morel mushrooms and French truffles.
M9 Wagyu beef, Boston lobster, Alaskan crab, Scottish scallops and French oysters, foie gras and truffles all get the Chung treatment, while he also brings white pepper from Sarawak and mala chillies from Sichuan among other spices.
To accompany his dishes, speciality cocktails, mocktails and teas compete with the wall of wines along the side of the room.
“We suggest perhaps a pinot noir to go with the scallop with Sichuan pepper,” Queenie Chen, who works closely with Chung, says.
“Traditionally, you might expect Champagne or white wine, but the sharper tannins of pinot noir go well with the spice.
“And how about a rosé with our Crab Curry Xiao Long Bao – dry, but with a hint of sugar?” she adds.
“With our xiaolongbao my choice is a single malt whisky,” Chung says, creating yet another geographic fusion of tastes.