While it may be known as the Vegas of the Far East, Macau is transitioning from a gaming hub to an entertainment destination. The first step in that direction is creating a formidable fine-dining scene. Macau recently added four Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurants to its already impressive lineup. The new entries have helped Macau amass a total of nine top dining spots — that’s more Five-Star restaurants than any other rated locale in the world. We give you the inside scoop on the newest winners.
Tenmasa strives to provide an authentic Japanese experience (think tatami mat seating). Upon arrival, you are prompted to remove your shoes before entering the restaurant, which is located on the 11th floor of Altira Macau. Working hard to earn the coveted top honor (the restaurant was a Four-Star last year), the team at Tenmasa focused on its fare. “Tenmasa has a high standard of food quality control and all ingredients are flown in from Japan four times a week,” says Kristoffer Luczak, senior vice president of food & beverage. Plus, each dish, like the restaurant’s signature tempura prawn, is prepared to perfection. “At Tenmasa, prawn is massaged with a specific technique before frying, which would enhance its aesthetics and texture. Our chef [Takenori Noguchi] has a high standard on the jet-fresh ingredients from Japan and the technique of making a perfect tempura,” Luczak says. And it is these standards, along with stellar service and amazing floor-to-ceiling views of the Macau Peninsula, that put Tenmasa in such an elite class.
Over at the chic 20-table Belon, where chef de cuisine Robby Setiawan helms the kitchen, the staff holds regular training sessions to reinforce Forbes Travel Guide’s standards and more. Beyond relishing the elegant service, you can also savor everything from banana heart niçoise to beetroot-cured Norwegian salmon while taking in 360-degree views of Cotai from Banyan Tree Macau’s 31st floor. And if that’s not enough to draw you in, the team at Belon records personal preferences as a way of being proactive when it comes to exceeding your expectations.
Vida Rica Restaurant and Bar
Going the extra mile for guests appears to be the norm in Macau, especially at Mandarin Oriental, Macau’s Vida Rica Restaurant and Bar. “The restaurant has been dedicated to bringing new influences and energy to the city’s culinary scenes by regularly inviting world-famous chefs to showcase their one-of-a-kind culinary creations,” says general manager Martin Schnider. In addition, you will love the over-the-top service that the waitstaff provides. Dining alone? A newspaper will be brought to your table. Want to know the ingredients to a specific amuse-bouche you tried? (By the way, we love the lobster mousse with lobster eggs accompanied by an avocado sauce.) The recipe will be emailed to you. Whatever the request, Vida Rica aims to please. And it’s that determination for culinary greatness that makes a dining experience here so memorable.
Il Teatro at Wynn Macau
Keeping in line with the region’s other standout establishments, Il Teatro at Wynn Macau believes in the art of fine dining. “To maintain the highest standards,” says Olivier Bonard, the hotel’s vice president of food and beverage, “we intensified both our internal and external Forbes Travel Guide training for staff, as well as continuously reviewed our service standards and plate presentation. Forbes Travel Guide represents the standard for our daily operations, and it has become second nature as part of the culture of Il Teatro.”
The lively Italian eatery, which specializes in handcrafted pastas (chef de cuisine Anthony Alaimo’s grandmother’s traditional black angel hair with Sicilian red prawns recipe is a favorite), also provides a feast for the eyes. “The spectacular lights, music, color and fire effects from the Performance Lake outside also offer our guests the perfect entertainment for an unforgettable dining experience,” Bonard says. Il Teatro (“theater” in Italian) puts on an elaborate, Five-Star show for anyone who walks through its doors.