Date of review: November 9, 2012 | Reviewed by:
Located next to the Grand Hyatt’s pool in Macau, Mezza9 is a beautiful restaurant filled with plenty of light, space and multiple live cooking stations. The tables are spaciously laid out which, combined with the high ceilings, give the restaurant a serene and tranquil atmosphere – a rarity in Macau. Seating options include the main dining room, alfresco by the pool or one of the private rooms: our favourite is the one located within the glass-encased wine cellar.
Mezza9 serves pan-Asian favourites from Japan, Korea and Macau, with also an emphasis on seafood. The restaurant just gained a new chef in Richard Sawyer, formerly of Hugo’s in Hong Kong. However, we didn’t get to try the chef’s new menu as we went on Sunday lunch, when only its famous Sunday buffet is served. The signature seafood on ice is worth trying as it includes seasonal oysters, lobsters, prawns and clams, all of which are fresh and well-cooked (apart from the raw oysters). The Caesar salad, on the other hand, is a little disappointing as it is overdressed and the dressing itself is bland. The Cantonese roast meats such as roast goose and soya chicken, however, are quite good. We also enjoyed the Thai chicken and coconut soup, which is aromatic, sour and spicy. For mains, the Macanese duck rice is tasty with thin shreds of duck and juicy slices of Portuguese chorizo. It's a shame it was cold, which we found to be a problem common to all the hot dishes served on the buffet line. We spied a good selection of beef on the a la carte menu which meat lovers will appreciate, including steaks from Cedar Farm, Black Angus from south Australia, wagyu from Darling Downs and also Irish Hereford prime. Whatever you do though, make sure to save room for desserts, which are excellent and easily the highlight of the meal. Particularly delicious were the chocolate tart, a supremely light and airy chocolate mousse, and a good tiramisu.
There is a large, glass-encased wine cellar in the middle of the dining room, and it holds some very nice wines indeed. Even the wines by the glass are more than decent, with some safe choices such as a Louis Jadot chardonnay as well as some more select ones such as the Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir from New Zealand. Wines by the bottle come from all over the world, with a focus on French and Italian wines, although Portuguese varietals are also handsomely represented.
Overall, the service at Mezza9 is quite good, although some of the staff struggle to communicate in English, and knowledge of the food could be improved. When, for example, we asked the chef at the pastry station what was in the sauce he was putting on our banana crepe, he merely shrugged and said it was “just a sauce”.
The Sunday lunch buffet is priced at MOP488 per person, which is not an unreasonable amount to pay, and although we had issues with the temperature of the dishes, there is a wide variety of them, all utilising good-quality produce.