The Tasting Room・御膳房
Date of review: October 20, 2016 | Reviewed by: Wilson Fok
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of summer 2017, The Tasting Room has been helmed by chef Fabrice Vulin, previously of the award-winning Caprice at The Four Seasons. The review below refers to our editor's visit prior to Vulin taking over the kitchen. Find out more about Vulin and the new chapter of The Tasting Room here
Dining at The Tasting Room is an experience to remember. Arriving guests are greeted and led through the entrance along a long corridor, passing the well-stocked bar before entering an enlarged main dining area similar to a rotunda with high ceiling. The round dining room is embellished with cool tones of light grey and subdue contrast of blue and gold, paired with hanging glowing globlets that brighten that accentuate a luxurious champagne display at the centre of the room. Tables are set spaciously across the room. We prefer a table by the window—the love seats at the front of the dining room offer more privacy with a full view of the Cotai Strip.
Guillaume Galliot is one good reason to dine at The Tasting Room. The seasoned Frenchman is keen on adding Asian—in particular Japanese—touches to his classic French execution throughout the restaurant’s menu offerings. The contemporary style French onion soup is a must-have, but so are some of Galliot’s signatures such as crab salad with cucumber jelly with green apple sorbet. A glass globe reveals a garden within, crisp and with spring colours from micro cresses and multiple textures, from creamy crabmeat to crisp green apple sorbet, its tartness lending a refreshing touch rounded by sweet cucumber jelly.
The live abalone, carbonara style, with 36 months Pata Negra ham, takes carbonara to new heights. Fresh abalone is cut into thin, tagliatelle-like strips, and served with a creamy egg dish with Pata Negra ham. The savoury ham gives the abalone pasta an extra punch of umami. The abalone is soft with an almost al dente texture like we would expect from fresh pasta, if not sweeter and richer. Burgaud duck with onion, pistachio crumble, potato mille-feuille and pumpkin mash is impressive; the duck, prepared just cooked and pink in the middle, is enhanced by the sweetness of pumpkin mash and a touch of earthy pistachio crumble.
The Tasting Room is complete with desserts, as the multi-layered chocolate banana mille-feuille variation of textures with cocoa sorbet reveals multiple textures of chocolate, while the sweet bananas ooze in its creamy state. The roasted plums with brown sugar cake and yoghurt sorbet masterfully pairs a light sponge cake with seasonal honey-sweet Mirabelle plums, while the light yoghurt sorbet keeps the dessert light and fresh.
The wine list at The Tasting Room is an interesting read, as guests should be able to find at least one label matching the food well. Wines by the glass options are particularly good and reasonably priced, with occasional rare finds good for a taste to match the detailed tasting notes listed in the wines’ descriptions.
Service at The Tasting Room is flawless, as guests are greeted with well-trained staff, offering assistance throughout dinner with just the right amount of care and dedication without being intrusive. Each dish is thoroughly described and the guests’ questions answered. The team is very knowledgeable on the menu’s offerings and is keen to offer wine pairing and portion control suggestions.
A dinner for two including wine amounts to close to MOP 3,000. Tasting Room’s near perfect execution in food and service rounds up an impressive restaurant experience that can be rare for a match along the Cotai Strip.