The name of Alain Ducasse has been synonymous with luxurious French fine dining producing excellent service, having opulent dining room and using high-quality ingredients. The presence of his “flagship” restaurant in Asia seems to have been long overdue. In late Spring last year, finally he opened a gastronomy dining place carrying his name at the hotel Morpheus, dubbed as the most expensive hotel ever built in Macau with outstanding architecture and interior designs. I think it makes sense to open here since Chef Ducasse would have the full support of the Melco group’s owner – this way, it’s unlikely to suffer the fates of Joel Robuchon sentosa / Guy Savoy marina bay sands.
Alain Ducasse normally created “unique” cuisine for each restaurant bearing his name. However, this time he simply pretty much copied the concept of his Monaco dining place adding a little Asian touch. The signature (tasting) menu was relatively not too expensive by his standard. He did not enter Macau with a loud bang, but rather low profile; probably learning from the Ducasse Essex house experience. Did Ducasse put his ‘best’ chefs in Qatar (Idam)? Romain Meder led Plaza athenee Paris after working there. Now, Pierre Marty (Ducasse Morpheus chef de cuisine) was also an alumnus of Alain’s middle east restaurant
The cooking here seemed to be simple. You could clearly see and taste the main ingredient accompanied by 2-3 side dishes and well-executed sauce. My favorite was the first appetizer: superb gamberoni with its natural sweet flavor was enhanced by savory caviar and delicate rockfish gelee – refreshing and delicious; nearly perfect. With such a high note, it’s very difficult to expect the next ones to be better.
I also enjoyed the juicy and tender Pyrenees lamb. In contrast, the kitchen prepared crunchy artichokes and piquant capers. Lastly, the classic chocolate from Paris manufacturer made it here too. The combination of aromatic coffee, bitter chocolate, crisp buckwheat and not so-sweat ice cream served on a huge cocoa pod was wonderful, delicious and pleasant. You can check the rest of the dishes from the links below.
While the head chef “coming” from Qatar, the core service team of Ducasse Morpheus led by staffs formerly worked at Ducasse dorchester London. Chris Boothwell, the leading sommelier, is the restaurant director; Romain Chery who also used to work at Alleno Ledoyen becomes the assistant manager. Some of the local staffs here were very fluent in English since a few of them actually was working in Britain. One of the highlights of hospitality at Alain Ducasse top restaurants was the attention to details. For instance, I sneezed once and immediately the lady staff brought me tissues in less than a minute; the staff provided bar stools to put my bag. However, when they saw I also had a camera, she gave me the second stool – simple but somehow, I did not often experience this kind of treatment elsewhere.
The restaurant was only operational for a few months when I had this dinner last Summer. The food was good and with some tunings, it could be even better in the future. I was not surprised when it received Michelin 2-star in the latest Macau guide edition; consistent with my own judgement and experience.
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