Jade Dragon

Sterling Cantonese cuisine in Macau
Jade Dragon brings one of China’s favorite and most esteemed cuisines — Cantonese — to Nüwa Macau at the City of Dreams. Master chef Kelvin Au Yeung’s experience cooking for royalty makes him the ideal person to cater to international high rollers. He specializes in choosing the freshest, healthiest ingredients, many of them organic, to create dishes that help to balance the body and encourage longevity.

He is assisted by Lam Lat Cho, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, who has brought elements of the ancient philosophy of well-being into the menu. You’ll see his philosophy in soups, such as double-boiled cordyceps (a deliciously healthful fungus) with fish maw. 

The entrance has old-style traditional Chinese medicine apothecary drawers, creating an attractive and cultural welcome. (VIPs can use a private lift that takes them here directly from the car park.) A mouthwatering and theatrical show follows as you make your way toward the dining room, with various open kitchens displaying the meats being roasted, the desserts being created and the fish swimming in their tanks while awaiting their fate.
Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The memorable interiors mix contemporary décor seen in the metallic silver and gold VIP rooms with curving walls with the classic elegance of dark wood furniture and traditional Chinese symbols. You’ll notice blue-and-white Chinese tableware, the jade dragon chopstick holders and hand-painted walls featuring traditional scenes.
  • The Macau restaurant is renowned for its barbecued items, roasted in-house over lychee wood, which infuses the sweet flavor of the smoke into the tenderly cooked meats.
  • Dim sum is also particularly popular here, with chef Song Jian Li standing by in the dining room to create his famous Japanese hairy crabmeat dumpling to order.
  • Every dish is a mini work of art. Dim sum is served on a plate garnished with a double leaf, and flanked by three sauces, or if steamed in a steamer, it is placed within a silver dragon-carved dish that stands on three feet. The meats and soups are presented rather more earthily on an irregular-shaped ceramic plate and a clay-style pot, respectively.
  • The chef works with a traditional Chinese medicine doctor on a menu that combines the freshest ingredients with organic and healthy produce to balance and promote a long life. Particularly interesting is the menu of TCM-inspired soups.

Things to Know

  • Professional and charming, the service at Jade Dragon is superb. While not all the waitstaff speaks English, there are plenty who do, and they are ready to share helpful information on the menu.
  • At dinnertime, you might find the restaurant filled with businessmen entertaining important clients, see VIPs from a nearby casino or spy couples on dates. During the day, however, it attracts families who are interested in an authentic dim sum lunch.
  • The dress code is casually elegant. It’s best to avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts and open-toe shoes.
  • The place settings, which cost more than HK$15,000 (about US$1,920) each, feature an eye-catching, light-reflecting transparent dragon. This symbol of happiness and immortality is placed in the middle of the table to reflect the healthful philosophy of the Macau restaurant. 
  • Securing a reservation to dine at Jade Dragon couldn’t be easier. Book through any of the City of Dreams hotel concierges or by calling 853-8868-2822. It’s recommended to reserve tables and VIP rooms well in advance.

The Food

  • Served unusually in single portions, the dim sum at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant — in particular the light-as-air beef puff and the creamy shrimp dumpling with the most delicate skin — transcends other versions you’ll have eaten before.
  • The traditional Chinese medicine soups are nerve-wracking to order, simply because even the English translations of some of the ingredients will mean nothing to the average diner. Instead, choose your soup according to the benefits you seek, or go for the simple-sounding double-boiled herbal winter melon, meant to counter dampness and increase the appetite — which could be handy considering what is to come.
  • The roasted meats are sublime, with the Iberico ham char siu another menu item that takes the traditional Chinese dish far beyond the usual, in terms of flavor and texture. Incredibly tender and a little crispy with ambrosial fat, the hint of lychee and its sweet coating makes it pleasingly rich.
  • One of the most luxurious ingredients in Chinese cooking is abalone, and there is a list of dishes dedicated to this much-loved specialty.
  • The desserts span Western and Chinese sweets. The petits fours are a spectacular dish of mini ice creams in cones served in a teapot, a square of the softest chocolate, a mini cake, fruit jellies and a macaron.

The Drinks

  • The imperial Cantonese cuisine goes well with the Cantonese restaurant’s various teas
  • Choose from Chinese rice wines and liqueurs, and international grape wines from both the old and new worlds.
  • Staff members are knowledgeable about all of the options and can help suggest a tea that will complement the dishes or suit the palate, as well as steer the less experienced diner through Chinese wines and liqueurs. They can also suggest individual pairings to go with each dish for an extremely personalized meal.

Getting There
Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau
Jade Dragon
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