★ The Eight 8餐廳, Macau

First morning in Macau started with a visit to 3 Michelin-starred The Eight housed in Grand Lisboa hotel for dim sum. Only on Sundays & public holidays, the restaurant opens at 10am instead of the usual 11.30am, hence we could make it as brunch.

The restaurant wasn’t on my food radar until I saw a photo of their “Goldfish” dumpling. I was so impressed that it was the sole deciding factor which made me booked a table at this restaurant without further hesitation.

Travelling in Macau is relatively simple, so long as you stay in or near bigger hotels. Almost all the bigger hotels provide free shuttle bus services to various attractions and major malls. From Galaxy Macau we took the shuttle bus to StarWorld Hotel and took a short walk to the Grand Lisboa Hotel.

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Upon entering the restaurant, we were stunned by the impressive wall partitions with the lifelike Goldfishes painted on them~

However we don’t really have the luxury of time to slowly enjoy our brunch as there is a stipulated time limit to each seating. Our slot was 10-11.30am. We arrived at 10.15am but had to wait quite a while for staff to come and take order. There seemed to be a shortage of manpower to cope with the service as staff were busy serving up the food of guests who arrived earlier. After 10-15 mins we finally caught the attention of the staff who was available to take our order.

Appetizer was served pretty quickly, lovely chilled baby abalone with jelly. However after that we had to endure another 10-15 mins wait for our food to be served… Being told beforehand that we had to stick to the scheduled timing made me kinda angsty. Only at 10.50am our main food started to be served. Admittedly I expected that my mood would be spoilt by the rather short time limit…Guess it would be better if we were given 2 hours. Now we were left with 40 mins to finish everything…

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The Steamed dumplings with lobster, black truffle and asparagus came with gold flakes topping was good. Steamed rice flour roll with barbecued pork and baby ginger (available on saturday and sunday) was pretty ordinary.

My highly anticipated dish of Steamed cristal blue shrimp dumplings in goldfish shape that lured me to the restaurant was indeed “stunning”. Cos it certainly looked much prettier on the photo I saw…although the real thing wasn’t that bad…still looked cute. Perhaps if you google you could see photos of better shaped goldfishes than mine…Personally between this goldfish dumpling and the lobster dumpling, I preferred the latter for taste. The lobster filling was more chewy and al-dente.

I was more impressed by the presentation and taste of Baked Tartelette with Crabmeat in Curry Sauce. The bite-sized tart had mildly spicy curry filling with a nice tart skin.

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Puff Pastry with river shrimp in purse shape was equally stunning in presentation and taste. The exterior coating of this dish tasted somewhat like fried taro dumpling and was crisp.

Our last main was the Steamed barbecued pork buns with preserved vegetables which sent us into a photo-snapping frenzy. The porcupine shaped bun was simply too cute to be eaten. Nonetheless when we finally ate it, it tasted equally splendid.

After serving us the final main dish, the staff now started to be quite “pushy” in rushing us. They immediately asked if we would like to order Desserts (its 11am, we’ve only started eating for 10 mins from the 1st main) and was quick to pass us the menu.

By the time we finished all our main dishes, our desserts were served very promptly. And miraculously the number of service staff somehow multiplied.

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After our desserts were served, the bill was also presented at lightning speed (without our request)…At this time guests from other tables also began to ask for the bill while we attempt to gorge down our desserts and complimentary snacks in less than 5 mins. Well, we completed the incredible task even before the credit card charge sheet got returned to us…since everyone were paying at the same time…Staff were busy laying the tables for guests of the next session.

Oh yes, what we had were Crispy glutinous rice balls filled with egg custard and Chilled mango and coconut pudding in fish shape. I was in a foul mood by now that I wasn’t in the mood to taste anything….

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Gulped down the milk tea and finished off the pudding. Credit card charge sheet was printed at 11.35am, guessed we exceeded the allocated slot by 5 minutes…

I asked the staff if the 1.5 hours limit was because we visited during weekend or it’s the general rule. She replied that its the same for every session. I felt that while the restaurant might be so popular that it had to resort to time limit, 1.5 hours is too rushed if their staff couldn’t cope with the sudden arrival of guests at the stipulated time. A meal at the western fine-dining restaurant can easily take up to 2-3 hours…

We also had to spend some time browsing through the menu on the spot as we couldn’t access their dim sum menu on their website prior to our visit…

Although pricing wise, its pretty affordable for a 3-star restaurant. Frankly its the worst 3-Michelin star restaurant experience… No doubt the food looked pretty exquisite and well-presented; the decor was grand, I don’t think the service quality lives up to its ranking. The overall dining experience wasn’t as pleasant as I expect of a high calibre restaurant.

Would still recommend people to try them out but just moderate your expectations.

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