Tuesday, March 21, 2017

食・八方 Square Eight at MGM Hotel [Macau] - Unique Experience of Ordering Southern & Northern Chinese Food from Both Kitchens

  MGM Macau has recently revamped it's 食・八方 Square Eight restaurant, and is now interestingly branched into two sections - one side South 南苑 sells Southern Style Chinese food with a more emphasis on Roast Goose and Cantonese Milk Tea, plus accessible Rice dishes. The North 北㕑 on the right caters for customers longing for more homely Northern dishes like house made noodles, Spicy Chili Fish or Mapo Tofu, or even Beijing or Shandong dumplings, the variety extending all the way to unique Shaanxi thick noodles. I had the pleasure to dine at both restaurant sides three times lately, one time even got to experience making the noodles. I know I will be back for more soon.

   South 南苑   

Roast Goose Ovens on Lava Rocks -
My 1st visit was to the Northern restaurant next door. This 2nd visit, I came to the South side and discovered they make Cantonese Roast Goose dishes here

Cantonese Hong Kong/Macau Milk Tea - 
Very excellent actually, full of Tea Aroma.  I keep repeatedly saying,  the chances of having a great tea is much higher in Macau than Hong Kong nowadays.

Appetizers to Begin with - 
Jellyfish & Sliced Chicken with Ginger & Spring Onion - MOP 55
Cuttlefish tossed in X.O. Sauce - MOP 80
Black Fungus Mushrooms & Cordyceps Flower in Spring Onion Oil - MOP 40

Black Wood Ear Fungus & Cordyceps Flower in Spring Onion Oil - MOP 40
A crunchy appetizer, this seems to be becoming more popular in Southern Chinese cuisine these days, albeit we make them less spicy than in colder states.

Cuttlefish tossed in X.O. Sauce - MOP 80
Shaved thinly and the marinade is quite Cantonese style, also with the spicy XO Conpoy sauce. Chili and appetizing.

Jellyfish & Sliced Chicken with Ginger & Spring Onion - MOP 55
Another popular appetizer, some customers will add in Chili oil.

Whole Roast Goose - 
This photo I took at the Kitchen. Before we ordered a Combination of Roast dish below..

Roast Goose, BBQ Rose Wine Char Siu Platter - MOP $150 (Front)
The Roast Goose was excellent. Skin was crispy and not overly fatty underneath, using one of four famous Goose DNA's in China. The skin remained crispy even after turning cold, it was almost like a proper Peking Duck! The BBQ Charsiu in MGM restaurants are always famous, here it was thickly cut and tender, meaty, and the surface coating uses both malt & honey. ~ 8.5/10

BBQ Pork, and White Chicken in Broth - $150
The 5 layered BBQ Pork was squarely diced, and is crunchy with the skin, and I liked how it was not overly fatty. The chicken has good chicken flavor, although the poaching liquid retains a saltiness to it, which goes better with rice. ~ 8/10

Mixed Seafood Congee - $140
With famous local Macanese Crab, Prawns, Abalone, Fish, etc. Surprisingly despite being a Casino & Hotel restaurant this was affordable, in fact much more so than many other famous shops out there. The amount of seafood made one feel like you're eating a seafood stew! The rice congee base has a thick texture, overall I felt like there's more seafood than congee in the bowl. ~ 8/10 

The Graphic Designs by local Macau Artist -
Each picture has a meaning, some of them depicting Macanese History and famous Poets & People, and many locals would know about these folk stories...

    North section 北㕑    

Chef Making Shaved Noodles -

Sichuan Chengdu Sesame Sauce White Cabbage $44
This looked like Chinese Kimchi, and has a nutty sesame sauce with a hint of spice.  Really liked this as it was less greener than I thought, with an appetizing sauce.  ~ 9/10

Northern Chinese Chives and Pork Dumplings - MOP $55
The skin is slightly chewy and the minced pork inside is not overly grinded, the way I like them. They are also not overly seasoned, which can be a plus for eating late at night. ~ 8/10

Chili Oil Poached Perch Sichuan style - $180
This expectedly had a clear broth beneath, filled with hot dry chilies, chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns. I love how the fish were silky soft and the portion was big, and you can also order a yellow eel version. The mala numbness is slightly subdued, and overall it's less spicy than we imagined! For hardcore chili lovers, they might need to order extra extra hot! ~ 8/10

Braised Sea Cucumber with Minced Pork, Spicy Sauce and Bamboo Shoots - $200
This delicacy dish looked unassuming but was really spicier than imaginable! It was also of a great price as there's plenty of sea cucumbers which are pricy ingredients. This rendition is also less oily than the normal pork belly version! ~ 8/10

Sour Pickles & Pork Dumplings - $55
This time ordering them,  they seemed to be slightly smaller in size.  This is a Beijing version with sour pickles instead of other vegetables.  I personally prefer the Chives version more, but this is cleaner tasting..

Shaanxi 'Che Mian' Flat Noodles with Chili, Garlic & Soya Sauce - $70
Very thick chewy noodles, which are hand pulled. It's almost like Chinese equivalent of Italian pappardelle pasta. A very floury noodles and despite the simplicity, quite addictive for me. ~ 7/10

Sichuan Mapo Tofu - $60 + $10 for Rice
I came back the 3rd time to eat this, as it was on my radar since my 1st visit but my priority was trying other dishes and noodles!   It was a generous portion and was more on the savory side, with thickly diced tofu cubes which didn't break up too much.  Clean and the way I like them ~ 7.5/10

Beijing Style 'Donkey Sand Roll' Dessert. with Red Bean Paste - $30
Rolled neatly and with thin layers of glutinous rice sheets, it's a refined version of this Imperial Dessert Dim Sum.  This version does not come with soy bean powder.  Lovely finish.  ~ 9/10

Have Visited Here for 3 Times Separately -
On 1 of the Media Photoshooting Trips, I took the opportunity to learn making some hand pulled noodles, of which there are at least 3 to 4 different varieties here..  Overall the quality of the revamped restaurant is dependable,  hygienic and affordable,  and I enjoy how one can order Roast Goose from one side of the kitchen,  but at the same time order Northern style dumplings and noodles.  Little wonder I have already eaten here 3 times in succession. 

Price: MOP $55 to $200 + 10% Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕

Address: MGM MACAU Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau
Phone: +853 88022388

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