Editor's note: in late 2015 head chef Francky Semblatts left to open a new Robuchon restaurant in Shanghai at Bund 18. The new head chef is Julien Tongourian. He had previously worked at Restaurant Laurent, Les Jalles and Meurice in Paris. He moved to Hong Kong in 2013 to work as Chef de Cuisine at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon prior to moving here.
Robuchon au Dome is the new location of what used to be called Robuchon Galera in Macau, which originally opened in 2001. It is in the same Grand Lisboa hotel, but has moved to a striking location at the pinnacle of the tallest building in the city. From its 43rd floor perch it has a commanding view over the surrounding area, weather permitting. The dining room has a vaulting glass domed roof, the dining area seating up to sixty customers at one time. The circular shape of the room means that almost every table has a window view, the room dominated by a massive crystal chandelier stretching up to the apex of the domed roof. The room is carpeted and so has pleasantly low noise levels, with an entrance area so large that it includes a grand piano. An impressive selection of wines (such as a rare Chateau d'Yquem 1847) is displayed in cabinets that are fronted by elaborate wooden models of several of France's grandest wine chateaux.
Chef Francky Semblatts worked with Joel Robuchon in Paris, and has been the head chef here since the opening of the restaurant. The wine list is shared with the other restaurants of the Gran Lisboa hotel, and is breathtaking in scope: 12,600 separate labels and 450,000 bottles are on the list, served in Riedel glasses. The tasting menu here is HK$ 2,000 (£154), and there is an a la carte menu too.
The meal began with a bang. Aged Comte from top French supplier Bernard Antony was used in a stunningly delicate gougere, accompanied by a remarkable sardine mousse coated with crispy rice. The latter had tremendous depth of flavour. To take the humble sardine and create something with this much flavour takes real talent; It is rare indeed to encounter nibbles of this quality (20/20). ThIs was followed by white asparagus panna cotta with shredded almonds and tomato coulis. The panna cotta was feather light, the asparagus flavour lovely, the tomato flavour intense (20/20). An array of bread, made from scratch in the kitchens, included superb bacon bread.
Next was a trio of miniature dishes. A caviar tin contained crab covered with a layer of Oscietra caviar; alongside this was a broccoli velouté with shiso flower, and a warm leek with caviar cream and mimosa, topped with a cheese tuile. The flavour of both the broccoli and the leek were remarkable, the combination of flavours working very well (20/20).
This was followed by Roseval potato with truffle and Parmesan, pink radish and smoked foie gras shavings. The combination of the waxy potato with the richness of the foie gras worked superbly, and the humble potato had superb flavour; even a tiny sliver of baby rocket garnish had a gorgeous, peppery taste (20/20).
Next a layer of sweet onion foam was topped with bacon, baby onion rings and mint, with a pea velouté poured over the top of it at the table. The flavour of the peas, imported from France, was really impressive, the bacon and onion lifting the dish to even greater heights (20/20).
This was followed by a trio of little dishes. Abalone from Dalian in China on the Yellow sea coast was extremely tender, served with a fricassee of baby artichokes, bell peppers and parsley foam. Sea urchin from Hokkaido was served on a bed of rich, buttery mash potato and topped with a little coffee powder, the contrast of the potato and sea urchin flavour very effective. The third dish was New Zealand langoustine ravioli, served with baby spinach, black truffle, Sarawak pepper sauce and coconut emulsion, garnished with a delicate pepper tuile. The ingredients were of impeccable quality, the flavour combinations controlled and harmonious (20/20).
Bamboo heart was wrapped in cabbage with foie gras and served with a warm truffle emulsion; this was yet another lovely dish, the earthy cabbage a counterpoint to the rich foie gras (20/20). Next was Amadei (tile fish) fillet topped with its crispy skin and a red onion sauce with pistachio coulis. The fish was perfectly cooked, the skin superb, the sauce having great depth of flavour (20/20).
A pan-fried Hokkaido scallop was served on a bed of puy lentils, Jura vin jaune sauce and a buckwheat tuile. The scallop was sweet, the tuile delicate, the lentils a good contrast for the shellfish (19/20). Veal chop was served with squid ink tagliatelle and celeriac, black truffle jelly and garlic confit. The French veal was very tender, the celeriac going well with the meat, and even the garlic confit was superb (20/20). The last savoury course seemed something of an afterthought: a little dish of spelt risotto had lovely stock, but it seemed unnecessary (17/20).
Pineapple was served with pistachio ice cream, pistachio jelly, white chocolate, yoghurt mousse and pistachio powder, the pineapple having super flavour, the combination with its natural acidity and the chocolate and yoghurt creating a beautifully balanced dish (20/20). Fresh mango came with coconut Chantilly and a mango tuile millefeuille with orange confit and salted caramel sauce. The tropical fruit had superb flavour, but in this case I didn't think the salted caramel added much to the dish (19/20).
Service was superb throughout the meal. Your bill will be heavily influenced by what wine you order, but realistically a typical bill with moderate wine might come to about HK$ 2,400 (£186) a head. This is hardly unreasonable given the remarkably high standard of cooking, particularly if you consider what a meal of such a standard would cost in, say, Paris.
This was a stunning meal, even better than my previous one here. Even in a three star Michelin restaurant it is exceptional to find such a high standard of food from the beginning to the end, with superb dish following superb dish in a cascade of fabulous textures and flavours. It was a tour de force of world class cooking.
Further reviews: 01st Feb 2009