Jessica Beaton

Correspondent

  • Hong Kong, China, Asia

Jessica Beaton is a correspondent who lives in Hong Kong and covers the region for Forbes Travel Guide. She lived and worked in South America, Thailand and India before settling in Shanghai, where she was a freelance writer for a number of international and China-based publications as well as editor of City Weekend magazine and CNNGo Shanghai. After half a decade in mainland China, she got the travel itch again, so she packed up and moved to Hong Kong. From there, she bounces to and from Southeast Asia writing online travel, food and lifestyle articles. Her work has appeared on sites including Condé Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, Jetsetter and Wallpaper (Chinese edition).

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  • On September 18, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    What are some things to know about Belon?

    Located atop Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Macau, Belon is the hotel’s signature restaurant. Other than having expectations of an exquisite meal, here are the things you should know before you go:

    The view. Although the food and service here are world class, Belon’s 31st-floor location gives the restaurant 360-degree views of Cotai that are second to none on the strip. 

    Reserve in advance. As Belon offers one of Macau’s signature dining experiences, it should come as no surprise that interested diners need to make a reservation a few days in advance in order to dine during the restaurant’s peak hours. Those willing to eat on the early or late side, however, can usually get away with a same-day reservation.

    What’s in a name. Belon was named for Brittany’s famous delicacy, the Belon oyster, so make sure you save space for the house specialty. The menu offers a minimum of five different types of oysters (from at least two different countries) on any given day, although on some nights, the freshly flown-in offerings can climb to a dozen.

    Surf and turf. Although oysters are the restaurant specialty, there are options for those less seafood inclined. Belon serves classic European grills (think USDA prime beef rib eye and Colorado organic rack of lamb) alongside its premium aquatic fare.

    Great heights. Belon is the perfect locale to bring a wine lover, as the venue’s two-story wine cellar is one of its main design features. And being part of the Galaxy complex means that Belon has access to some of the most interesting and rare bottles on any Galaxy Macau restaurant wine list.
  • On September 18, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    What is the interior design of Belon?

    Thanks to an interior design infused with a modern aesthetic, guests are offered an immersive experience from the moment they step foot in the door at Belon. So do not let the sleek, white interior fool you, Belon at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Macau was designed to invoke an aquatic feel — note the clean lines of the illuminated blue glass stairwell, which begins the motif, and is followed by a waterfall and custom kinetic artwork. From the hostess stand, a whalebone arch corridor leads into the two-story dining room with walls accented by shapes and details inspired by aquatic forms of scallop tails, jellyfish, waves and spiral shells.
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  • On September 4, 2013
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    Is Belon a romantic restaurant?

    Although there might not be violinists circling tables at Belon located inside the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Macau, the restaurant can still be considered romantic. With a variety of oyster offerings, the beautiful aquatic-themed décor, and 360-degree views over Cotai, any dining experience here can be charming. Although the spacious 84-seat restaurant lets couples enjoy their own area as they look out over the city, the venue also offers a 10-seat private dining area for events that require a more intimate locale. To add to the romanticism of dining with your date at Belon, book an early meal and then head down to the spa, which is located on the second floor of the hotel. It is there at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Spa Macau that you can arrange for a romantic couples massage to make the most of your date night.
  • On September 4, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    What are some of the specialty cocktails at Belon?

    Belon offers a few specialty cocktails for guests dining at the restaurant. The signature cocktail served at Belon’s sleek, white bar next to the main dining space is the Belontini. Made from vodka, oysters (of course), a dash of Tabasco sauce, and fresh lime juice, this popular ode-to-the-sea drink is served in a martini glass. For something a bit more traditional, the Pimm’s Royale (Pimm’s, champagne and blueberry) and the Flirtini  (vodka, Grand Marnier, orange juice, and champagne) are also popular orders as people relax at the bar for pre- or post-dinner drinks. The bar offers similar views to the restaurant only a few feet away and plays host to a live band on select nights, making it a place that people can grab a tipple and stay for a while.
  • On September 4, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    What is the food presentation like at Belon?

    Part of any world-class meal is the food presentation, and there is a reason that Belon reigns supreme in Cotai — and it isn’t just because of its 31st floor location atop the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Macau. The Belon staff has gone to great lengths to ensure truly outstanding service and pay attention to detail, both of which extend to the plating. Every dish is simply yet magnificently presented and introduced in detail by knowledgeable staff, which adds to the luxuriousness of the dining experience at Belon. From the food presentation to the fare itself, you will be exposed to an elevated dining experience here.
  • On September 4, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    Does Belon offer any special gifts from the chef?

    Belon doesn’t technically offer any special gifts from the chef since most dishes on the restaurant’s menu are already gifts from the kitchen, and chef Setiawan has most of the staff place a big emphasis on preparing the main meals. However, although not a regular part of the menu, the Belon kitchen is always ready to celebrate big occasions with guests and, if notified in advance, will prepare a small cake for anniversaries or birthdays. Pair the main meal with a cake (or other dessert) and the restaurant’s stunning views from the 31st floor and you’ll be treated to receiving special gifts all night long.
  • On September 4, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    What are the desserts like at Belon?

    The dessert menu at Belon goes for quality over quantity, dividing the nine options into three sections — chocolate, fruit and prepared tableside. The desserts are mostly classic dishes (think profiteroles, soufflés and crêpes) with Setiawan’s unique interpretation. The three categories touch on any flavor a sweet tooth could crave post-meal. Highlights include the lemon gelato Baked Alaska stuffed with nougatine, and a crêpe suzette that is flambéed tableside by Belon’s expert chefs who ensure the liquor flavor doesn’t overpower the simple, moist pancake. Although the daily cheese selection isn’t detailed on the dessert menu since it constantly rotates, the friendly staff is happy to introduce the day’s options if you’re craving something a bit more pungent.
  • On September 4, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    What is the cheese course like at Belon?

    Although Belon at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Macau does not have a full-on cheese course, it does offer a rotating mix of “special daily cheeses”. Depending on the cheeses available and what catches chef Setiawan’s eye that day, the special daily cheese list offers a mix of fresh, semi-hard and hard cheeses, all served with dried fruit, fruit jam and crispy crackers. With access to the Galaxy Macau complex’s wine cellar, many will make this a pairing course, matching the cheeses with some of the rare bottles tucked away into the vino vaults inside the massive Galaxy Macau complex.
  • On September 4, 2013
    Jessica Beaton answered the question: Jessica Beaton

    Does Belon have a bar?

    Belon has two bars — the oyster bar and main beverage bar — the former is probably better known than the latter, but that doesn’t stop the Belon beverage bar from offering similarly expansive views to the restaurant, or world-class cocktails. With a bit of a more relaxed environment than the main room, bar guests can sit at the low tables by the window or pull-up to the long, high bar to order an extensive range of cocktails and liquors, and selections from the oyster bar and main menu. Many guests arrive early and opt for pre-dinner drinks at the modern, white bar while being serenaded by a live band on select nights.