Monday, 14 June 2010

Noodle & Congee Corner

Upper 1st Floor, Grand Lisboa Casino, Macau
Visited 13th June 2010
When I first visited Macau people referenced the Macau Tower as a certain part of Stanley Ho's body; however I'm not sure what they make of the new, sparkling shrine that is the Grand Lisboa. I visit Macau relatively frequently, yet apart from the mandatory sightseeing trudge through the Venetian I tend to avoid the casinos. Gambling in a crowded, smoke filled room holds little appeal, especially when the minimum bets are so ridiculously high. Despite all I found myself exploring the shinny depths of the Grand Lisboa, but only so we could try Noodle and Congee Corner. This place has gained a bit of a reputation with TV appearances and a Michelin 'bib gourmet' recommendation. It's a big restaurant that overlooks the gaming floor with the Kitchen proudly on display. We watched the dumpling making team, before starring starry eyed at the main kitchen were hand-made noodles are cut, pulled and in the case of their famous yi gen mian, tossed into shape.

As you can probably guess they specialise in noodles and congee as well as an assortment of dumplings. We went for poached Tianjin Dumplings, a rice paper roll, barbecue pork buns and the famous yi gen mian. First out were the tender pork and vegetable dumplings which were pretty good, but lacked flavour. The single, foot long rice paper roll was filled with scallops and enoki mushrooms; it was delicate and totally delicious. The soft pork buns were pretty good with an obvious hint of honey to the pork. Ordering the noodles are a matter of selecting the individual components and we went for stewed beef and wontons in a beef broth and of course the mighty yi gen mian. This house speciality is a big ball of fun; a single noodle that's over 10 feet long. We saw the chef making these and the impressive display involved throwing a continuous stream of dough into the pot from several metres away. The accompanying wontons were OK, but were overshadowed by some mighty tasty, tender stewed beef. The noodles itself was good; I just wish I could find the end. Joey also liked the fact that she could add her own sugar to taste to the glass of soy milk she ordered.

I enjoyed my meal at Noodle and Congee Corner. The food was well prepared and quality of ingredients was obvious, especially the tasty scallops, beef and handmade noodle. The fact you can see the dishes being prepared adds an element of theatre, especially when the chef starts throwing around a ten foot noodle. The service was good and the small army of waiters (wearing what would have to be contenders for the worst trousers in the world) were very attentive and professional. Our meal came to MOP162, which I think is certainly fair value considering the quality of the grub. Casinos aren't my favourite places, but if they don't bother you then Noodle & Congee Corner certainly presents a good value option for a casual feed. Visit restaurant website.

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