One similarity between Las Vegas and Macau is that both areas are infamous dining destinations. Macau is one of the most surprising foodie cities in Asia. The Galaxy Macau complex is loaded with dining options, from food courts to soon-to-be Michelin Star restaurants. Here’s our pick on where to eat in Galaxy Macau.
Lai Heen at the Ritz-Carlton Macau
When creating a list of where to eat in Galaxy Macau, I of course had to start with the most glamorous of the restaurants we tried – Lai Heen in the Ritz-Carlton Macau. Chef Fu Man Piu came from the two Michelin Star Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. I would not be surprised if Lai Heen Macau earns a Michelin Star soon. It was one of the best Cantonese meals we’ve had.
The food was as decadent as the surroundings. Every inch of the decor at Lai Heen was purposely designed to incorporate elements of Chinese, Macanese, or Portuguese architecture. From the glass tiles along the wall, to the ancient Chinese vases, the stone work, the Portuguese tiles. Even the flatware was gorgeous, with mother of pearl and black checkered silverware. I kind of wanted to slip a set into my purse they were so beautiful. I resisted this urge.
Love beautiful things? Check out this list of the most Instagrammable spots in Macau
The service was also top notch, from the sommelier who poured us our Louis Roederer champagne, to the tea sommelier, who recommended the perfect tea for our afternoon dim sum lunch. We sat in a table near the window, offerings us a few from the 51st floor, making Lai Heen the highest Cantonese restaurant in Macau. It was experience before we even started eating.
We walked through a tasting menu, of sorts. Rather than picking one of their set menus, we talked with our server about what we liked and what we wanted for our last meal in Macau. She matched those desires with some of their signature dishes, ones she said we just had to try.
We started with a selection of dim sum, including a succulent steamed bbq pork bun, a mushroom and fungus bun, and their signature steamed shrimp bun. The shrimp bun was flavored with orange and topped with gold leaf. It was delicate and elegant. It was all served with a chili sauce, and the infamous XO sauce. I’m usually quick to drop chili sauce all over my dim sum. In this case, I didn’t want to overpower the subtle flavors.
The steamed rice rolls were a contemporary interpretation, including pumpkin, goji berries, and white truffles. Of course. There is no way to have a meal at the Ritz-Carlton without a dish of truffles…well, and gold leaf. Of course.
A trio of roasted meats offered perfect sized bites of some of our favorites. The roast suckling pork came with crispy pork skin and tender pork. The bbq roast pork was sweet and caramelized. And, we tried fried shrimp toast, something we don’t often order when eating dim sum.
One of the stand out dishes, though, was the roasted pork belly. I knew I was getting full, but Eric wanted to ensure one more dish of Chinese style pork belly before we made our way to Europe for a few weeks. The pork itself was prepared well, but the crispy fried rice cone made the dish come together. The crispness of the rice with the sweetness of the sauce was just heaven.
Lai Heen was the last of our meals in Macau, and was a perfect way to end our trip. With Ritz-Carlton luxury.
Ritz Cafe at Galaxy Macau
We ate at the Ritz Cafe on the recommendation of a contact at the JW Marriott Macau. I was a little hesitant to add a French restaurant into our itinerary. After all, we only had a few meals to eat in Galaxy Macau, and we wanted to focus on Chinese food, not French food. But, I figured any chance to dine at the Ritz-Carlton should not be turned away.
I am actually very glad we ate at the Ritz Cafe. It felt like we were sitting a small cafe table in Paris. They even had an accordion player in a beret, and a caricaturist walking the restaurant on the Friday nigh we were there. That was perhaps a little too much Paris for me, but the food made up for it.
We dined on their set tasting menu, starting with an aperitivo of Ricard. This was a first for us. Ricard is an anise flavored liquor. When water is added, the drink becomes cloudy. It was a bit too anise flavored for me. I prefer my Aperol Spritz aperitivo. But, the French wine that followed perfectly matched the meal.
We are not as knowledgable about French food as we are Spanish cuisine, or eating in Italy. But, we held our own. The beef carpaccio was stunning, rolled around a soft cheese, and served with toast points and layers of black truffle. Eric’s pan seared sea bass with saffron and a grilled mussel was moist and tender, with a crispness to the skin. My lobster mousse was creamy and served with a perfectly cooked giant prawn. Eric’s bacon wrapped steak was served in a tangy cognac sauce. Even the bread was fresh and soft…something we don’t often splurge on while in Asia.
The real entertainment occurred during the dessert presentation. I just love the concept of dining with a dessert presentation. The profiteroles were served with a warm dark chocolate sauce, which was lovely.
But, we also opted for the table side presentation of Crepes Suzette. The gentleman who made the crepes was lovely, as he chatted with us, and allowed me to snap photos along the way. And, the crepes were amazing, with a citrus tanginess and a sweetness from the sugar. It was a perfect end to our French meal.
The Ritz Cafe is, I believe, the only French restaurant in Macau. It was busy on a Friday night, and is one of the top places to eat in Galaxy Macau. It is often necessary to make a reservation ahead of time. I’m not surprised, as I thought the food was impeccable. I was happy to allocate one of our chances to eat in Galaxy Macau to French cuisine.
Man Ho at JW Marriott Macau
We dined twice at Man Ho, the JW Marriott Macau’s Cantonese restaurant. First, we ate a dinner in one of their private dining rooms. A few days later, we had a dim sum lunch in their main dining room.
We are not used to dining in private dining rooms. As much as the one at Man Ho was smaller than the enormous private dining room at Lai Heen, it was a unique experience. It would have been a fun experience to have with a group of friends. I felt a little closed off from the rest of the restaurant. As a couple who spends all of our time together (and, I mean ALL of our time together), we feed off the energy of a restaurant when dining.
Regardless, Chef Andy’s cuisine was top notch for both meals. The roast meats they offered, including a succulent goose, and crispy skinned suckling pig were phenomenal. Dim sum with abalone. Fresh rice rolls stuffed with crispy fried spring rolls. Some of the best beef we’ve had in a long time (surprisingly from Texas). Chef Andy was pleased that we were so surprised the beef was from the US.
Each of the desserts was impeccable as well. We ate a crisp and cool mango sago, a tapioca based dish with bits of mango and pomelo, as well as a warm custard bun in the shape of a pig!
Several other JW Marriott hotels have Man Ho branches, offering top notch Cantonese cuisine, including the JW Marriott Seoul. I would definitely recommend dining at Man Ho.
Urban Kitchen at JW Marriott Macau
Urban Kitchen is the JW Marriott’s buffet option. Like many hotel buffets it’s a mix of local specialities and international cuisine. It serves mostly the hotel guests, but on the weekends, it is packed.
I was surprised at how authentic the Cantonese and Szcehuan cuisine was. And, even more impressed that they have their own Peking duck expert, essentially imported from Beijing. He roasts the fresh duck each day, and prepares famous Peking duck rolls, with scallions, cucumbers, and Hoisin sauce.
I couldn’t help myself, as I continued to visit his stand. I skipped a tour of the extensive dessert buffet, to have duck for dessert. I finished a half a dozen duck rolls. It is worth a visit to Urban Kitchen just for the duck!
Where to Eat in Galaxy Macau – The Cheaper Eats
We didn’t make it to actually eat at the Broadway Macau, a hawker style street market located at the edge of the Galaxy Macau complex. The night we had set aside to eat there, we ended up having a fantastic bowl of bbq pork wanton mee at the JW Marriott’s Executive Lounge. After our big meal at Man Ho for lunch, we were overfed.
But, we walked through the Broadway Macau to check out the offerings of alternative places to eat in Galaxy Macau. There are over 40 restaurants, offering the best of Macanese cuisine, along with some of the top restaurants from elsewhere in the region. It’s a great option for some cheaper eats, or just to escape from the confines of the Galaxy Macau complex. They even have space to eat outside, a rarity when looking for places to eat in Galaxy Macau.
We also spent an afternoon walking around nearby Taipa Old Town, just across the street from the Galaxy Macau complex. One of the primary reasons why Eric planned our trip to Macau was to try to famous Macau pork chop bun, which we did.
Taipa Old Town is quaint, with a lovely mix of Chinese shop houses and temples, and blue and white tiled Portuguese architecture. The food is also a similar mix. In addition to pork chop buns, which are a Macanese ode to the bifana you can find in Lisbon, there are stalls selling pastel de nata egg tarts.
There were a handful of Portuguese seafood restaurants too. If I shut my ears to the Chinese language spoken around me, I could have placed one of these restaurants in Lisbon or Porto. I liked the fact that the Galaxy Macau was so close to alternative dining options in Taipa, just across the street.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new Food and Drink Destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.