Shanghainese food with intrigue
Dining at Shanghai Magic, located inside the Studio City Macau resort complex, is both a theatrical and entertaining experience. With a convenient location next to the resort’s The House of Magic by Franz Harary, you are encouraged to enjoy a show-stopping meal at Shanghai Magic followed by a visit to see the master illusionist perform.
While wizardry is in the air here, the food is actually quite good — expect contemporary Shanghainese fare presented in clever, entertaining ways.
Located on the second floor of Studio City’s glamorous shopping boulevard, Shanghai Magic transports you to an entirely different world. Just beyond the entrance, the atmosphere changes — lights dim, colors become moodier and servers, dressed in magician’s garb designed by The House of Magic creator, Franz Harary, are on hand to greet.
Most walls display a Chinese painting or tapestry bearing a superstitious story, while one is home to an animated piece featuring butterflies fluttering about. A large wine shelf is built into one wall, and two large bronze cages, which offer semi-private dining experiences, occupy another.
Dark billowing drapes, steampunk lighting and brass accents throughout the restaurant add an industrial feel to the atmosphere — no detail has been overlooked.
Helmed by chef Wilson Fam, this creative restaurant serves up modern Shanghainese food like none other. The magic starts with the very first bite, a refreshing burst of melon served in what looks like a bubble. The surprises continue with creative dim sum — think squid ink shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings with hot and sour sauce, truffle vegetable dumplings and goose liver sesame buns.
Nothing is as it seems when it comes to the main dishes. Offerings include a Shanghainese soy-marinated codfish served within a smoking dish with a delicious woodchip aroma. A warming Hangzhou fish soup and spicy dan dan Sichuan noodles take you on a more traditional trip across China.
As expected, the desserts are equally innovative with unexpected creations such as caramelized pistachio crème brûlée and red bean pancakes. Aiming for an elevated dining experience, Shanghai Magic begins each meal with a treat and finishes with a magical presentation of petit fours when smoke billows from below the dessert stand.
Magic is obviously the name of the game at this inventive restaurant, where surprises are encountered at every turn. The fun takes many forms — perhaps it’s a disappearing menu, a visual illusion, a magically moving table or a mysterious voice booming from the mirror in the bathroom. Everyone on the team seems to have a trick up his or her sleeve, and no two meals are alike.
If you’re keen to try Chinese wine, this is definitely the place to do it. Shanghai Magic has a more-than-comprehensive list, including a selection of premium bottles such as 50-year Moutai and 50-year Wuliangye. The enthusiastic sommelier is also quick to suggest more Western-style pairings with the modern Shanghainese food, should you prefer a nice bottle of red to go with your meal.