Date of review: October 7, 2015 | Reviewed by: Venus Wong
The floor-to-ceiling windows at Ying provide an impeccable view of the Macao peninsula from across the bridge — an indisputable highlight of the entire dining experience. Reminiscent of an old-fashioned theatre, the décor reflects classic Chinese style: A giant pillar embossed with intricate cloud motifs immediately commands your attention, while the gold cranes and plum blossom glass statues hiding behind a waterfall of beaded curtains invite a closer look. The lush tassel curtains separating individual booths are aesthetically pleasing, but fall short in obscuring background noises.
The menu offerings are diverse in both price levels and taste, but they all share the common trait of being meticulously prepared. The stir-fried water spinach stems with shrimp paste is an excellent option on the cheaper side of the spectrum. Fried with strands of ginger for an extra zesty kick, the fresh vegetable comes with an irresistible seafood aroma that can be detected from afar. Deluxe options such as the braised rice with abalone and fried chicken did not disappoint in portion. Served in a large stone pot, it is best enjoyed after a few minutes, so the grains can take in all the moisture from the savoury sauce. The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the scrambled eggs with scallops and truffles, in which the chef displays a talent for manipulating different textures and imbuing the truffle, a Western gourmet ingredient, with Eastern flair. While the majority of dishes were well-seasoned, the beancurd with pumpkin and mushrooms was a let down: It was a bland, slippery combination that can use a bit of oyster sauce.
The Altira offers an extensive master wine list shared amongst its restaurants. A variety of Chinese spirits is also available, ranging from six figures to just under MOP800 per bottle. While the tea choices are quite basic, they are of the highest quality and fragrance.
The staff is quick and attentive when it comes to refills and clearing plates, though fulfilling more specific requests take longer time than usual.
A Cantonese restaurant of this calibre is hard to find, and this one is definitely worth the price tag of MOP650 per head.