Robuchon au Dôme



With breathtaking 360-degree views of Macau’s skyline from the hotel’s 43rd floor, to die for interiors that include a crystal chandelier featuring 131,500 individual Swarovski crystals, Riedel stemware, custom-made serving plates by Bernardaud and flatware by Christofle, Robuchon au Dôme reigns supreme among Asia’s finest dining establishments. Combining culinary artistry, a mind-boggling array of fine wine (more than 8,200 labels) and champagne, impeccable service and a revamped decor, Grand Lisboa Macau’s crown jewel has succeeded in capturing the hearts of gourmands worldwide. Inspired by the culinary genius of chef-restaurateur Paul Robuchon, the only chef to hold the incredible worldwide record of 28 Michelin stars, Robuchon au Dôme epitomizes the French chef’s commitment to providing the best culinary experience imaginable. Often referred to as the world’s best chef, Robuchon’s path started out humbly as a bricklayer’s son who thought he might spend his life as a servant of the church. At the tender age of 15, he became an apprentice chef at a hotel in his hometown of Poitiers. Thirty years later, after being awarded ‘Chef of the Century’ by Gault Millau, he opened a namesake restaurant in Paris that was awarded ‘best restaurant in the world’. After watching many of his peers pass away due to high levels of stress, he announced an early retirement at fifty to focus on television and writing books.

Not one to sit still, he developed his brand and opened a dozen restaurants bearing his name from Las Vegas to Monaco to Tokyo. Originally named Robuchon a Galera, Robuchon’s first foray into greater China, the Macao venue was re-named when the hotel’s executive director, Alan Ho, decided it was time to create an atmosphere that truly reflected the perfection of Robuchon and his team’s culinary talent. With his prodigy and French compatriot, Executive Chef Franky Semblat, at the helm of the kitchen in Macau since its opening over 10 years ago, it is a known fact that what comes out of Semblat’s kitchen can easily challenge some of the finest dining establishments in Paris.

Following in Robuchon’s footsteps, when Semblat was just 18 years old, he boldly sent his CV to over 20 chefs throughout Europe. “I knew Robuchon from his books and TV,” remembers Semblat. “And as luck would have it, he was the only one who responded.” Both men are from the Poitou-Charente region in Western France, famous for its production of cognac. Robuchon took the young chef under his wing and taught him “big city” techniques, something the country chef still had much to learn about. When Alan Ho approached Robuchon to open his first hotel dining venue in Macao, Robuchon handpicked Semblat for the position of executive chef. Semblat admits to not even knowing where Macao was at the time.

Up for the challenge, Robuchon moved Semblat from Paris to Macao in 1999, right after the handover. Although the best products in the world are now available in Macao and Hong Kong, Semblat says that Macao was still very ‘country’ when he first arrived, and that it took some time to adapt French cuisine to Macao’s taste for Chinese. Robuchon and Semblat worked closely to develop a menu that epitomized the Robuchon experience, yet refined certain dishes to appeal to Asian palates. Despite having opened the restaurant over a decade ago, Robuchon continues to visit Macao quarterly, regularly plans special tasting menus and is working to create a more health conscious menu that reduces the French’s heavy handed obsession with butter, cream and sugar.

Semblat describes the restaurant’s cuisine as a showcase for the region’s finest produce combined with expertly sourced French delicacies. House favorites include French Mussels Marinieres; which Semblat enhances with a touch of cream and leek fondant perfumed with saffron. His velvety Shellfish Bisque is spiced with Espelette pepper, a variety of chili pepper found exclusively in the French commune of Espelette in the Pyrenees-Atlantique. The Frog’s Leg Fricasee is heartily seasoned with garlic and parsley, accompanied by soft Spanish rice and sorrel butter.  As the quintessential Chinese favorite, Semblat’s Roasted Pork Belly is faultless and simply addictive. The chef starts with a thick slice of soft pork belly, keeping the skin on as a crispy treat after roasting. Accompanied by a smooth and indulgent polenta, an oaky moutard au cepes and an endive salad, this dish alone personifies the perfection of east meets west that Robuchon and Semblat have worked diligently to create.